Once you’ve come to the conclusion that hiring a videographer for your wedding is a great idea (which it is! Biggest couples’ regret? Not hiring video!), you then need to go about finding the right one. But where to start? Are all videographers basically the same? What sets them apart and how do you choose?

Well the good news is that it’s a lot like selecting a photographer. Good, because you’ve been through that process already (if like many people you hired your photographer first!) and so you’ll have an idea of the style you like from a particular photographer. You most likely will want a videographer whose style is compatible with your chosen photographer’s style.

Here are some things to look for when choosing a videographer.

1. What’s their style?

To narrow things down. Ask yourself the following questions, and then look for your answers in videographers’ work (or just ask them!)

 

  1. Do you like bright, bold colours or muted tones? Perhaps you’d like it super crisp and clear with natural colours?Or maybe a more vintage or film-stock vibe, or resembling a movie?
  2. Do you want to be directed all day into the most flattering light and poses or do you prefer a more documentary / hands off approach?
  3. Do you like dreamy artistic visuals set to emotional music or would you prefer something more upbeat and fun?
  4. Are you looking for a final video that is like a video montage of all the best moments of your day set to music, or would you prefer a longer film that documents the events of the day at a slower pace?
  5. Consider the style of your wedding, and your own personalities. Is it/are you: fun, classic, traditional, modern, vintage, bohemian, adventurous etc? You’ll most likely want to select a videographer who can create films that show your personalities.
  6. How important is captured audio to you? If it’s important that your wedding film has dialogue from the day, be aware that some videographers only create video highlights films with music and no speech.
  7. Is their portfolio work consistent? When you’re looking at their work, is there consistency between each video in terms of content and style? If the colours are completely different, or the types of content or the way music and speech is used differs a lot, then it’s harder to know what your finished video will look like.
  8. Do they use quick cuts and fancy editing transitions in their editing, or is there more of a sophisticated and timeless feel?

What about Me?

My films are technically highlight films, but they’re longer than most to feature more of the day’s moments.  I also feature audio dialogue from vows and speeches throughout, telling your story, and giving context and emotion to the film.

My colours are contrasty, slightly muted and resemble film-stock for a movie-quality feel. It’s highly cinematic feeling and kinda nostalgic.

I choose music to fit what’s happening on screen… Emotional where it needs to be; upbeat when the energy rises.

In terms of direction, I film unobtrusively for the majority of the day, stepping in to direct only for portraiture here and there during prep and couple portrait sessions.

The editing is subtle and non-distracting. I’m going for timeless, movie-like vibes. I try to use in-camera transitions where possible, or just simple fades. I edit chronologically rather than timeline jumping because I just prefer the story to be told as the day happened.

> To see my work check out my films here.

> Are we a good fit? Take the quiz!

2. Is it their main job or a side hustle?

This might be difficult to determine, but you can always ask them outright! There’s nothing wrong per se about doing videography as a side hustle but it may have several not so welcome effects…

 

  • Editing wedding movies can take a long time. If you’re also trying to do a day job, this could mean that your wedding film either doesn’t get the time and attention it deserves, or it may take longer to complete.
  • Shooting and editing wedding films comes at a considerable cost to the videographer. The amount of gear required is enormous, and expensive, and so is the computer hardware required to edit it, to say nothing of the skills required to produce something worthy of the amount of money you’re paying. Someone who is doing wedding videos on the side may not always have the same level of skills or equipment as a full time professional.

3. What kind of music do they choose for their films?

Music plays a big part in a videographer’s style, but it might not be to your taste. If you’re having a highlights video produced, it might be important to you what kind of music is overlaid on it. Watch a few films to find out, and ask about whether you can have input to the music.

How do I choose music?

I typically choose instrumental music for my films (but not always), because otherwise lyrics can conflict with what people are saying in the film.

I try to keep control over what music is used because it has a huge impact on how the film is edited, as well as being an intrinsic part of my style as a filmmaker. That said, I’ve never had an issue with a client not liking the music I’ve chosen.

I have a long background as a musician and producer and spend a lot of time on music choice. Whereas many videographers will just choose a song and overlay the footage, I actively edit the music to fit what’s happening on screen. So it rises and falls with the emotion and energy. You won’t find long sentimental piano pieces overlaid over the whole film – there’s upbeat music when it’s party time and there’s lower key emotional music during more intimate moments such as the vows.

4. Cost. How cheap or expensive are they?

Basically, the more in demand something is, the more expensive it usually is. A good, experienced videographer who is in demand will be more expensive than someone just starting out. There are many beginners who are excellent videographers just getting started in the wedding industry, and are worth a shot, but likewise, there are many people trying their hand without the requisite equipment or skills in place. Be savvy about a videographer’s experience. Ask them about their background. Make sure they’ve got videos you can watch to assess quality and style.

There is a high price point barrier to entry into the field of videography because there is a lot of gear required. There are also many additional costs videographers have to meet to be able to produce a film, including fast computers for editing, media hosting services, music licensing, insurance and public liability, education and training, storage. Professional videographers charge more to cover these costs as well as the large amount of time spent filming and editing your video. Be wary of anyone offering cheap video services (less than £1000). A good rule of thumb is to never spend less on your videographer than you spend on your photographer. Working with inexperienced videographers harms you photographer’s ability to do their job well. More on this in point 9 below.

5. What will the resolution of the films be?

Don’t go for anything less than 4K (1080p no longer cuts it). Anything less than this indicates that the videographer doesn’t own high enough spec gear and you should be wary of that.  Investment like that means they’re serious.

4K films will be future proof to a degree. Resolutions will only increase over time, but 4K has a much better chance of still looking great in 10 years over Full HD which will only really look good on small screens.

6. How will the films be delivered?

When you get a wedding film made, it’s really nice to have something you can physically hold. Be it a DVD or USB drive. It’s also important to many couples to be able to share the film easily. Rather than mass producing DVDs which are pretty much obsolete now, I feel it’s better to have your videos stored privately online in a way they can be securely accessed by you, and shared easily with friends and family without them having to download huge files. This way you can control who sees it.

How do I deliver my films?

My films are delivered through a dedicated video portal that you will have private access to. You can easily download and stream (on your TV as well as devices), or share with others through the portal. Any additional edits you order will be added to the same portal. The portal doesn’t expire. For some of my packages, I also provide the film on an engraved USB drive, which is also available as an option.

7. Communication

Communication is probably one of the most important aspects of dealing with any wedding supplier. If they don’t communicate in a timely and effective way, it can make things so frustrating. You should expect quick responses to your emails, an initial consultation either in person or via video chat, and quite likely a second planning session nearer to your wedding to make sure that all the details are considered. If you don’t receive great communication at the start, it should raise a red flag to you.

8. Contracts

In short – if there’s no contract, that’s a no go. Contracts exist to protect your interests as well as the videographer’s. Make sure you read through any contract to see what you’re agreeing to beforehand. If you don’t like or are not sure about a clause, always bring it up in discussion with the vendor. Legal terminology can be difficult to understand and you may have your wires crossed. Once you’ve read a few videographer or photographer contracts you’ll see that most are basically the same, so if something jumps out at you as odd, it’s a good idea to probe it! But never book in a vendor without a contract. You’re paying a lot of money, and they’re committing to create something special for you. It’s important to protect everyone’s interests.

9. Working with photographers

It’s crucial that your photographer and videographer work well together. Hopefully you’ve chosen a photographer partly for their style, but also for the experience they will give you on the day. Are they constantly in charge, directing everything, or are they more like a guest with a camera? Somewhere in between? Two very proactive, hands-on people with cameras might get in each others way and create something of a power struggle. This doesn’t create a nice atmosphere, and can end up meaning it takes twice as long to get all the shots done. However, if your just one is like this and the other is a bit more documentary/candid focussed, that might work better. Two laid back shooters will almost always work well too.

Current trends are towards more laid back / documentary style shooting where the photographer really only gets very involved with group shots and portrait sessions such as bridal prep, and couple portraits. But just be sure that you take shooting styles and personalities into account when hiring a photographer and videographer separately.

It may be easier to hire a photographer and videographer together – there are plenty of partnerships where the two types of vendor have teamed up because of their experience shooting together in the past. I have a similar offering with 2 photographers (and will add more in the future). Hiring together saves you time and money, and guarantees a smoother working relationship.

Got any questions for me?

 

I’d love to hear your questions! What should I add to this list?

Get in touch to ask me anything about videography and photography here.