Mar 2, 2008

Choosing a Videographer

Wedding Videography is a unique field where the deadlines are tight and the quality is far to often sub-par. Here follows some suggestion to ensure your Wedding Videographer is a cut above the fold.

Keep in mind a wedding is a one-time job, do they have known repeat off-season customers? Unfortunately it's just too easy for wedding vendors to produce sub-par work and walk away from it. It becomes a matter of "Are you going to hire me again?" and unfortunately for some Videographers they know that no matter how good they are, you won't have need of their services again.

About 2/3 of people calling themselves wedding, videographers, or photographers have been in business for 2 years or less and many appearing at Bridal Events are appearing for the first time. Most of these companies will be out of business within the first year and the rest within 3 years. Make sure you hire someone who has been in business for over five years. This is a good benchmark for a company. If they can last five years chances are they are getting a great deal of referrals.

Some things to consider asking for

Do they have a lady to shoot the bridal preparations? This is not a total necessity but it sure is nice for the bride and the bridesmaids.

Do they use low light cameras to 1-2 lux?

Audio is critical! Do they have up to 8 microphones available? You must have a lav mic or 2 for the vows, but what about the music? The toasts? Every source of audio needs to have a microphone close by in order to capture quality audio. Do they place microphones everywhere or are they relying on a input mic directly connected to the camera?

No single camera packages. Do they use 2-3 cameras to capture every angle? If not they WILL miss something. 2-3 cameras don't guarantee every shot but it becomes more likely they will get the important ones. Would you prefer one camera malfunctioning during the Best Man speech or one getting it perfect and two trained on the Bride and Groom to capture reactions?

What is the format? Do they show a series of stills followed with shaky single camera coverage? Videograpy is an art form but it is also technical. Often videographers are too concerned with their own artistic expression using odd tilted angles and overusing effects that don't necessarily add to the story of your wedding day. We recommend at least 2 cameras and a full ‘movie’ style delivery showing the whole day condensed.

Packages: Is it a photographer’s or a DJ's single camera afterthought? This is a great way for photographers and Dj's to make extra money, but it's your money and for around the same price you should get something very special that you can be proud to show your family and friends. Get multi-cam for the same $ and provide your family with an heirloom that will continue giving forever. 10 or even 20 years from now you will truly understand what we are talking about.

Do they use camera stabilizers?

Do they have wind muffs available for their microphones? It is impossible to stop all wind noise on a microphone but a fuzzy wind muff like you see on TV productions can sure minimize it.

Rain Jackets? If it rains can they stay and shoot?

Experience. Every year we see new wedding videographers at the Bridal Expos and Wedding Fairs, and every year we notice that most or all of them don't return. Everybody thinks they're a photographer or a videographer these days but there is a HUGE difference between holding a camera or two and having the experience to know what difficulties may arise during a shoot. How long have they been in business?

Make sure in all Wedding Vendor dealings you receive a written contract. No word of mouth dealings. This is important for all you wedding events.


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