Your wedding video will be the lasting document of your special wedding day, shown most probably to your grandchildren many years after you have given up on fashion and gimmicks. It should therefore be timeless and represent your love, personalities and joy as fully as possible and requires a professional artist. So here are some tips to finding a professional, as in reliable, reputable and beyond competent, videographer for the job.
START YOUR RESEARCH EARLY
Browse websites, ask friends, family for recommendations, draw up a short list and check out their education and experience. Don’t just look at their portfolios but Google them, read other customers’ reviews. Look at samples on their website and critically view the quality of work: composition, framing, picture focus and quality, transitions and editing. Is the audio good? Make sure he or she uses wireless mics for professional quality sound. If just on board mics are used, the sound quality will not be as good for vows and speeches. You also want a company that offers HD from start to finish. They should be using the latest HD technology, cameras with 1080p resolution. Subscribe to Vimeo as this is where the A list post their work. Check out professional referrals and reviews.
BOOK THE ONE YOU WANT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
Don’t wait until the last minute as good videographers get booked months (if not a year) in advance. The earlier you book, the more chance you have of other videos like ‘Save-The Date’. Also ensure that the person you ask for is the one who will actually be shooting the video and if they will have a second shooter included in the price.
HAVE A LIST OF QUESTIONS TO ASK
Can they guarantee staying within your budget? Are there any discounts or promotions? Do they keep up with contemporary styles and trends in terms of technology and styling? It is important to find out how up-to-date they are on current methods, software, editing and presentation. Can they customize to suit your needs and wishes or are you limited to working within their products?
CINEMATIC VERSUS DOCUMENTARY STYLE - YOUR CHOICE
Some companies offer a contemporary take including Save-The-Date, Vignettes and Couple Stories. Discover what else can be included such as credits, photomontages and highlights. Cinematic weddings are currently more popular than the photojournalistic style. For a cinematic wedding, the videographer would definitely need to be adept with HD cameras and glide cameras, shooting in 24 frames per second (FPS) and able to edit in the cinematic style.
CHECK OUT HIS/HER PERSONALITY AND APPEARANCE
You need a videographer with an upbeat personality who can think on his/her feet and direct both herself and others in an unobtrusive, pleasant way. their appearance should match your particular wedding theme. Be specific in telling them what you want them to wear. A good professional videographer with real experience in film or TV knows how to be invisible and what the proper etiquette is at weddings. You should be hiring someone whose style or vibe reflects yours. They should definitely ‘get’ you both, as individuals and as a couple and ideally have a sense of humor! What sort of details do they notice or pick out? Do they just get the standard shots or are they able to become the real ‘fly-on-the-wall’ and get into the intimacy of guests’ interaction and your own private moments? Can they capture the beauty and magic of the day without making a song and dance about it?
MAKE SURE THEY HAVE THE PROPER LICENSING AND INSURANCE
The company do need the correct licenses to film the choir singing, filming certain buildings or artefacts, children etc. They also need public liability insurance and are responsible for getting permits allowing them to film at the range of locations you are using. Do have this written clearly in the contract.
GET IT IN WRITING!
Write all the specifics of your package down - from what package, what products, what styles, any specific sequences or shot lists to whether a second shooter is included so you have at least two perspectives, an edited video lasting 5-25 minutes as well as coverage of both the ceremony and reception.Include the details about proper licensing, insurance and permits.
TRUST THEM AND GIVE THEM FREEDOM TO DO THEIR THING!
They are professionals, they are artists and you chose them from a whole range of others so now let them get on with it and don’t try to get involved and become the director. You are center stage - not left of and certainly not behind the camera. From filming to editing, unless you requested a specific rough cut, let them go with it. And if the final product meets all your wishes and standards, pay it forward: post a review or give a reference.
ASK IF THEY HAVE A GIFT REGISTRY TO FINANCE EXTRAS
Some video companies do have a gift registry whereby guests can gift towards additional hours or extra DVDs. This can certainly help supplement your video budget.