So you’ve decided you want a video for your wedding. That’s awesome! How in the world do you go about finding the right videographer for you? Let’s face it, there are some stories out there of videographers that don’t play well with others. I think it’s so important (obviously) for you to have a wedding video or “film” as we call it. Here are 5 questions to ask your wedding videographer so you know if it’s a good fit.
- How long have you been doing weddings? One of the most important things you can ask your videographer about is their experience. Not just video experience, but wedding video experience. There are so many subtle things that happen at a wedding, it’s important that your videographer has instincts to know when things should be happening when to be right there, and sometimes when to stay out of the way. TV, music videos, movies, short films do not prepare you to cover a wedding properly. Not to mention that experience teaches you how to interact with the other vendors and treat the whole vendor group like a team.
- How do you work with photographers? This is probably one of the best questions to ask because the two people that will be with you all day are the photographer and videographer. The cool part is, there’s always a way to work together. A videographer is mainly an observer. We record the story and report it, so there’s always a way for us to be unobtrusive. What we do is so different from photography, so there’s no reason it should conflict. I think a great relationship between the photographer and videographer can not only result in great images and video but make for a fun day.
- Have you worked at my venue? This is a good question because the venue has a lot to do with how the finished video turns out. Now, I work at new wedding venues every year. The cool thing is that if you understand the challenges of shooting in a restrictive church, on a beach, on a golf course, or beside a fountain, etc., these challenges are pretty simple to overcome. We’ve run into everything from hurricanes to church directors that won’t let us into the church and the bride and groom would never know there was an issue. I guess this goes back to experience, but knowing the venues makes a huge difference.
- How do you handle backups? Backup equipment is really important, especially for the wedding ceremony. There are so many things happening at once, it’s critical that everything gets covered. What if the pastor has everyone stand for the kiss? If one camera gets blocked, there should be another one to pick it up. It can’t happen again. If someone is reading during the ceremony, how will you hear them? They should have direct audio, no matter the situation and backup equipment is the key to that. Another consideration for backups is equipment failure. If one camera or lens fails during a wedding, your wedding videographer should have equivalent backups just to keep on going and never miss a beat. Backups aren’t anything you should ever know about during the wedding, but it’s an important question to ask ahead of time.
- What exactly will we get? It’s very easy to get caught up in terminology like “highlight film”, “documentary style” and “cinematic feature” A lot of times, the videographer can’t tell you exactly how long the video will be, but with experience, there’s an average. If you’re expecting a 15 min film and only get 3 min, that’s a breakdown in communication. It’s so important that you understand what you’re getting before the wedding day so you know what to expect. Will you get the whole ceremony? Will you get all of the toasts? Will there be DVDs, BluRay disks, a USB Thumb drive? All important things to know before the wedding. And bonus question if it’s important to you, how long will it take until we see our video?
Every videographer that’s worth hiring should have pretty instant and comforting answers to these questions. If they seem like they’re dodging, or the answers don’t feel sincere, I would press further and get good answers before committing to them. It’s so great that you’ve decided on a video for your wedding, now the most important thing is to choose the right one.
If you have any other questions about wedding video (and there are a lot more to ask) feel free to email or call me at any time. I believe in this work, and want to see every wedding well documented.