How To Hire and Choose the Right Videographer for YOU
The Sad Fact:
Sadly, wedding videography and the wedding videographer are often un-justly pushed to the bottom of the priority list. Often, it’s the misconception of what role the videographer and wedding video will play in the overall scheme of things, that has many brides thinking of this as a low priority. Compound this with the added insult that many professional event planners actually recommend to their brides against hiring a professional wedding videographer. One wedding coordinator recently went onlive broadcast television and advised brides against hiring a professional wedding videographer.She tells brides to save their money and have a family friend to do the filming. Her implication is that anyone can do the filming, which totally minimizes the talents and skills that a professional videographer possesses. She goes on to say state that you can pay to have this amatuer footage edited, but doesn’t this defeat the purpose of the money saving aspect of having a family member film? The hypocrisy of these statesments are ridiculous.
It was would be just as outlandish as a professional wedding videographer telling brides not to waste their money on a high priced wedding coordinator. Where a bride wants to spend her money is her business and no wedding planner should discourage a bride for wanting a professional video. Now, if the bride sees no value in having a professional video, then that’s something we can discuss below.
Our goal with this page is to try and get brides who are sitting on the fence with regard to videography, to reconsider. We will do this by relating stories we have received from brides who regretfully did not hire a videographer, as well as the happy brides who did! We are thankful that they changed their minds!
SEE THE WORK:
When a bride is given the opportunity to view a truly professional wedding video, this is often enough for them to change their minds. More often than not, it is the amateurish, home video that they have seen and may be the reason for leading them to believe they do not want a wedding video. The reality is, a professionally produced wedding video is a beautiful thing and often reflects the day as it was. Moreover, it is an opportunity for the bride to see the things that she missed or couldn’t have possibly seen..such as parents being seated, or the ceremony processional. Wedding Photography is great! But having a photographer doesn’t negate having a videographer. They are two totally different artforms, telling an entirely different side of the story.
When it comes to videography, the most common thing we hear is that it is out of the budget. The bottom line is, if the videography is not important to you then yes, it will be out of your budget. However, if it were at the top of your list, and you wanted a really great video, then you would find the budget within your overall wedding budget to be able to hire a videographer. It really hinges on the fact of how important it is to you!
WHAT TO AVOID:
It is important to choose a videographer who will work well within the given parameters of your wedding. First and foremost is the lighting. If you are having a gorgeous, formal candle lit dinner, the last thing you want is a videographer who uses 1000 watt lights mounted on huge stands that stick out like an eyesore. These “10′ o’clock news” videographers often use bright lights in guests faces and light up the dance floor. This style has been heavily frowned upon, but is still prevalent among lower end vendors today.
Another important factor is how well your videographer will work with you photographer. Most brides will agree that photography is paramount. Therefore, if your photographer offers a professional videography service, then it’s recommended to go with that. If your photographer offers video, but not as professional as you would like, seek out a videographer who understands that the photographer has priority over any particular shots and placements of cameras, tripods, etc. Along these same lines, do not get a videographer who will shoot over the shoulder of your photographer. Think about it….if your videographer is filming you getting your picture taken, who is covering the actual event? Wouldn’t you much rather see your cocktail hour on video, rather than seeing you getting your photo taken, unless they can do both?
A good videographer will fill in the gaps that the photographer is leaving (as mentioned above, filming your cocktail reception because you are off site taking pictures) and be your eyes and ears for the things you will not be present for.
SOUND IS CRITICAL TO ANY MOTION PICTURE.
We recently read on a videographers website that ‘for realism, we do not use wireless microphones’. To put it nicely, this is complete and utter rubbish. Wireless microphones are an absolute must have so be sure to choose a videographer who uses them. The reason being that, audio production is a huge part of video production. If the videographer doesn’t think enough of the audio to use a wireless mic, chances are they are not true professionals and they are certainly not concerned with the audio portion of the program. Another great way to capture sound is by using additional digital audio recording devices, or patching directly into the sound system being used for the ceremony and/or reception. Videographers do this by using additional wireless microphones and the necessary cables to connect to the sound system being used.
LET’S GET EXCITED ABOUT THE VIDEO!
For those couples who want to do video right, you’ll want to do your research and find out who is shooting High Definition (HD) or HD’s little cousin HDV. You’ll want someone to do multiple cameras and offer a DVD with a customized motion menu. You may also want a long form video as well as a short form video with highlights. Slow motion sequences are also very popular. Wireless microphones are a must, as are low light HD or HDV cameras that can shoot in available light without having to bring spot-lights that spoil the mood of your reception. If necessary, a soft-diffused on camera light can be used to fill in the flesh tones at a dark wedding venue.
WEDDING VIDEO TURN AROUND TIME.
Wedding Video turn around times vary from videographer to videographer. The average time we have found is 2 to 4 months. Videographers that spend more time editing to create a highly stylized movie, may take anywhere from 4 to 8 months. Also, it is not uncommon for some videographers to take up to a year to produce a finished movie. In many cases, the videographer may ask you for your music choices and/or images for a montage. To decrease your turn around time, make sure to give your videographer any and all of these components as a delay in your part to submit these, may increase the turn around time.
WHAT BRIDES HAVE SAID IS THE REASON WHY THEY DO NOT WANT A VIDEO…AND THE REASON TO RECONSIDER.
1. I can’t afford it. It’s simply not in my budget!
This is the most common excuse from brides who simply do not care about, nor do not want a video. If this is the case, nobody except the bride herself, can change her mind. As our budget theory states, if something is not important to you, then you place no value on it. If a bride really wants a professional video, then the budget WILL be there as importance will be placed on this most important wedding service.
2. I have family and friends who will be taking video so I don’t need to hire a videographer.
Home video is great! So are still photos taken by family and friends. But for the same reasons, you wouldn’t want your family and friends doing your wedding photography, is the same reason you need to hire a professional videographer who knows what it takes to make a professional movie based on good, solid video production techniques. With family and friends taking video, often what you end up with is an incomplete program, shot handheld, very shaky with absolutely no editing. This is far from what a true professional videographer will offer you.
3. I’m spending a lot on my photos on a really good photographer so I don’t need a video
Photography and videography are two totally separate art forms and industries. One does not negate the other. What the photography doesn’t have is the sound and the motion. Let us give you one example. You have living grandparents that are coming to your wedding. In the future, when they pass on, would you rather stare at a picture, or see them move and hear them talk on a video?
4. I will just get a cheap videographer because I am spending so much on my photography!
You have to be really careful on this one! Many brides do not fully understand the impact a low level videographer can have on your wedding and on your wedding photography. If you get a low level videographer who interferes with your photographer with their unprofessionalism, bright lights and overall intrusiveness, then you are actually hurting yourself. If you do decide on video, make sure to get a vendor that matches the overall professionalism of all your vendors including the photographer. Don’t get a videographer who will shine bright lights and stick a microphone in your guests face, putting them on the spot.
5. We are not video people and/or we don’t want to see ourselves on video and/or we don’t watch alot of television.
It really comes down to seeing all of your hard work on the big screen. A good videographer will get a great mix of shots, guests and the decorations. The video will not be a 90 minute close up of just the couple. And, with the proper pre planning with your videographer you can minimize that shots you don’t want. For instance, if you are only doing one camera for the ceremony, have the videographer shoot it from the audience view to get an overall feel of the ceremony. Do not shoot it in front so that all you see in your ceremony is a close up of your faces. Instruct your videographer that your goal is to see all your family and friends on the video, not just yourselves.
The video will be your eyes and ears for things you won’t see! How would you like to see your processional? How about being able to see the grooms reaction as you come down the aisle? When you are off taking photographs at the reception, the video can film the cocktails and do interviews at that time and show you what you missed there. How did the reception room look before guests entered? You see, there are many things that you will not see but would like to. This is the reason for the video.
WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHY CAN GIVE YOU TWO THINGS THAT A PHOTOGRAPH CAN’T, SOUND AND MOTION.
At Clapboard Video we do all the right things, check out our past work and examples here (Wedding Films).