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 Finding Your Perfect Videographer
 02-09-11

Finding Your Perfect Videographer

By WeddingSolutions.com

MAIN VIDEO

Why video? Sight, sounds and emotion. Movies... today's wedding videos are no longer just moments recorded on tape. They can be edited and produced. They can have music to enhance the moment, slow motion, black and white. Video brings you closest to reliving that day. It brings it to life over and over again. The question is not "if" you should have video any more …… video is fast becoming a must at all weddings. The only question is: Who to choose and how do you find the right videographer for your day.

Capturing a wedding on video used to mean bright lights, cables, and microphones. But technology has changed, bringing smaller, more light-sensitive cameras to today's wedding videographer. No longer is it necessary to have huge obtrusive cameras to capture "broadcast" type footage. Real time television has dispelled the myth that "bigger is better" when it comes to producing footage suitable for television. Smaller, less obtrusive digital cameras allow camera operators into such places delivery rooms, courtrooms, etc. Most brides we speak with are much more concerned with "content captured" than they are with "pixels per inch" and "lines of resolution".

Make sure you're hiring a professional videographer that specializes in shooting and editing "weddings. Weddings are very specialized events. A $1000 video camera in the hands of a seasoned professional "wedding" videographer will produce far better results than just an average camera operator with a $15000 camera. Also, unlike days of old where the final product was pretty much on the tape leaving the camera, most of today's wedding videos are shot on digital tape, brought into computers and delivered either on VHS tape or DVD's. It's important to know who will be handling the editing of your production.

There are basically two types wedding video productions you can choose from. One is a documentary type production; the other is more of a cinematic type production. The documentary type video delivers just as it states… your wedding day as it happened, in real time. Editing is minimal. The videographer will shoot the events as they happen and deliver a tape/DVD that will allow you to view your day as it happened. Very little editing is involved. These types of productions are normally less expensive and can be delivered in only a few days after the wedding.

The cinematic type video delivers more of a "movie" type of production. Although it can be shot with one camera, most good cinematic wedding videos are shot with two cameras allowing one videographer to focus on the "events" as they happen while the other gathers footage that will later be used to enhance the production. Some videographers spend as much as 25 - 30hrs of studio time editing these types of videos. Some companies offer both styles with their packages …. A documentary style production of the day, along with a "cinematic" type video or "Short Form" video. These types of productions will take longer to receive because of the extensive editing that is done with the footage.

In the end… your choice will come down to style and price. Want to find the best videographer, that will deliver the style video you want? Do the following:

 

Start soon. Most good videographers shoot on average one wedding a weekend. Book them at the same time you book your church, hall, photographer, etc. Normally 9 - 12 months in advance of your date. Never settle on the first video you see. Go through the process…eliminate all doubt. Contact 6 videographers. How do you find them?: Contact friends that have used a videographer (ask to see their video)
Bridal Publications always have videographers listed. Surf the internet.

Once you've settled on six do the following:
Contact each and get a demo. Most established videographers have something on their websites for you to view and information about their packages. Don't ever scratch anyone from your list yet because of price until you've seen the work they produce. View the work of the least expensive videographer ($500 - $700) in your area and the most expensive ($2000 - $5000) in your area. It will give you an idea of what kind of work is delivered at those prices. Set an appointment with the 3 that you feel have the style you would be comfortable with and a price that fits in your budget. If you follow this system you'll assure yourself that you will have a video you'll treasure forever.

Things To Consider: Look at previous weddings the videographer has videotaped. Notice the color and brightness of the screen, as well as the quality of the sound. This will indicate the quality of his/her equipment. Notice the picture -- is it smooth or jerky? This will indicate the videographer's level of skill. Notice any special effects such as titles, dissolve, and multiple screens.

Make sure you hire someone who specializes in weddings. Just like your photographer, your videographer should be experienced in wedding procedures and, ideally, should be familiar with the layout of your ceremony and reception sites. This will allow him/her to anticipate your next move and be in the proper place at the right time to capture all the special moments. Remember to ask your videographer to interview your wedding party, close friends and family members, asking them to make a wish or toast to both of you as a married couple, or to tell any "wild" stories they may want to share for the record. This personalizes your video and is a wonderful memento. Consider both personality and professionalism when hiring your videographer.

Find out what is included in each package you are considering: hours of coverage, titling, in-camera editing or post-editing. If you will be getting married in a church, find out the church's policies regarding videography. Some churches do not allow a videographer to be close to the ceremony.

To preserve your wedding video for many years to come, store it in a cool, dark place.

Beware: As in photography, there are many companies with more than one videographer. These companies often use the work of the best videographer to sell their packages and then send a less experienced videographer to the wedding. Again, don't get caught in this trap! Be sure to interview the videographer who will shoot your wedding so you can get a good idea of his/her style and personality. Ask to see his/her own work.


TITLES

Titles and subtitles can be edited into your video before or after the filming. Titles are important since twenty years from now you might not remember the exact time of your wedding or the names of your wedding party members. Some videographers charge more for titling. Make sure you discuss this with your videographer and get in writing exactly what titles will be included.

Options: Titles may include the date, time and location of the wedding, the bride and groom's names, and names of special family members and/or the wedding party. Titles may also include special thanks to those who helped with the wedding. You can send these people a copy of your video after the wedding. This is a very appropriate and inexpensive gift!

 

EXTRA HOURS

Find out how much your videographer would charge to stay longer than contracted for in your original package. Don't forget to get this in writing.


PHOTO MONTAGE

A photo montage is a series of photographs set to music on video. The number of photographs depends on the length of the song and the amount of time allotted for each photograph. A typical song usually allows for approximately 40 to 50 photographs. Photo montages are a great way to display and reproduce your photographs. Copies of this video can be made for considerably less than the cost of reproducing photographs.

Options: Photo montages can include photos of you and your fiancé growing up, the rehearsal, the wedding day, the honeymoon, or any combination thereof.

Things To Consider: Send copies of your photo montage video to close friends and family members as mementos of your wedding.


EXTRA COPIES

A professional videographer can reproduce your video much better than you can. Ask your videographer how much s/he charges. You'll certainly want to give your parents a copy!


QUESTIONS TO ASK VIDEOGRAPHER

• What is the name & phone number of the videographer?
• What is the address of the videographer?
• How many years of experience do you have as a videographer?
• Approximately how many weddings have you videotaped?
• Are you the person who will videotape my wedding?
• Will you bring an assistant with you to my wedding?
• What type of equipment do you use?
• Do you have a wireless microphone?
• What format do you use (VHS, Super VHS, 8mm)?
• Do you bring backup equipment with you?
• Do you visit the ceremony and reception sites before the wedding?
• Do you edit the tape after the event? Who keeps the raw footage?
• When will I receive the final product?
• Cost of the desired package: What does it include?
• Can you make a photo montage? If so, what is your price?
• What is your payment policy? What is your cancellation policy?
• Do you offer a money-back guarantee?

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