A great wedding and event videographer is a creative storyteller and master editor who uses moving images and sound to paint a vivid memory you can relive, over and over, for generations to come. Their videos are timeless, entertaining, and full of life. Think of how many times you have watched your favorite movie. Each time you notice something you never saw before. Photography, important as it is, does not make you laugh and cry as a video does. Video is the only way to capture sights…sounds…and motion.
Here are a few things that you should consider when selecting a videographer for your special occasion.
- Ask for samples of their work.
- As you watch, you will want to take notice of the general creativity of the video, its clarity, the variety of shots, the sound quality, lighting and generally how smoothly the video flows even if only one camera was used.
- Is the video interesting to watch?
- Are there interviews?
- How long is the finished product?
- Is it on DVD or tape?
As a general rule, a well-produced video will not initially have you saying, “Wow, what a great video!” Instead, you will find yourself commenting on the content of the video – the beautiful dress the bride wore, the speech of the valedictorian, the slow-motion close-up, the excited look of a couple as they left the altar and walked down the aisle, the face of your child crossing the finish line first at the state finals and the many other emotional moments that only a professional knows how to capture. That’s when you know a lot of skilled work and planning have gone into both pre and post-production. A well-produced video will make you feel like you’re actually there over and over again.
This is what you should be looking for in a video, not just a recounting of your day.
If you are pleased with what you see and hear, then they are obviously doing something right, using quality equipment, and have the creativity you’re looking for. By asking the right questions you can be reasonably sure they will deliver a video you will cherish for the rest of your life.
The remainder of your checklist is to ensure that what you saw and heard is what you will actually get for your video.
Ask about packages and prices. Did what they show you reflect all that you will get or are there additional charges for more cameras and operators, post-production editing work, different locations, effects like slow motion, highlight montages, interviews with guests and family, etc? Remember to ask them how many copies you get and how much extras copies cost. Be careful to stay on budget, however, be careful not to under-budget this important part of your special occasion. Very often people can’t remember most of their day because it blurs by so fast so don’t underestimate the power and importance of capturing the moments that will last forever. A good wedding and event videographer may put 30 to 50 hours into a single video (weddings, special events) between shooting, editing and client meetings. These professionals work hard and earn their money. Excellence shows. You will get more than your money’s worth when you hire a quality wedding and event videographer.
A nice addition to any wedding and event video is a “highlights montage.” This is a tightly and creatively edited look at your day that is also set to music. This ‘snapshot’ of the day typically lasts from five to ten minutes and it is great to show guests that pop in for coffee. This will usually cost you extra however, it is well worth the investment. Then, if they choose, they can sit and watch the two-hour full version, complete with a bowl of popcorn.
Talk to them about what you want and what you definitely don’t want, allowing them to make suggestions. They know what works and what doesn’t and may suggest items you never thought of including. If you book them, they will also do a pre-consultation with you prior to your day to make sure they have all the details. Along with your videographer, you are co-producers and directors in the making of your video. With today’s computer technology in film and video editing software, if you can imagine something, odds are high that it can be done, of course for a price.
A reputable wedding and event videographer will ask for a deposit. A deposit is a good sign. It means that they have enough business that they want to make sure that you’re serious about booking the time for your event. It’s also good for you because you know that they are serious. Review any contracts carefully and make sure that everything you want is listed.
One final consideration, make sure to that you have permission from the “powers that be” to have video cameras present at any function or event that you are considering videotaping. Some events don’t allow cameras of any sort. Checking beforehand will save you time and headaches on the day of your videotaped event.