Once you’ve come to the conclusion that hiring a videographer for your wedding is a great idea, 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.
To narrow things down. Ask yourself the following questions, and then look for your answers in videographers’ work…
- Do you like bright, bold colours or muted tones? Maybe a more vintage vibe, or resembling an independent movie.
- 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? Maybe a mix?
- Do you like dreamy slow motion set to emotional music or would you prefer something more upbeat and fun?
- 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 evens of the day at a slower pace?
- Consider the style of your wedding. Is it fun, classic, traditional, modern, vintage, bohemian, adventurous etc? You’ll most likely want to select a videographer who can work in harmony with your wedding’s vibe.
- How important is captured audio to you? If it’s important that your wedding highlights film has dialogue from the day, be aware that some videographers only create video highlights films with music and no speech.
- 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 video will look like.
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. See if you can have input to the kind of music that is used.
4. Cost. How cheap or expensive they are reveals something
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 £800).
5. What will the final resolution of your videos be?
Don’t go for anything less than Full HD which is also known as 1080p. Anything less than this indicates that the videographer doesn’t own high enough spec gear and you should be wary of that. I’d go further and suggest that these days 4K Ultra HD should be the target for your final films since there isn’t really much reason why your films can’t be shot and edited in 4K with today’s tech. It also means that your videographer will own high quality cameras and a fast enough computer for editing it. 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 your films be provided?
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.
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.
In short – if there’s not 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.