By Rebecca Padgett
My husband and I got our wedding video back this week. I’ve watched it countless times already, and each time a new moment becomes my favorite, much like when I think back on our wedding day. I’ve cried the happiest of tears reflecting on moments with my family, friends and, of course, my groom. I cannot imagine not having this tangible product to help me relive one of my most cherished days.
If like your photographs, you’re seeking another forever keepsake from your wedding, read on for tips on how to select a videographer.
Do Your Research
I’ve said it before and will say it many times more — do your research. As with any vendor, we have countless resources to access information. Most videographers will have a website, social media and reviews. These things alone will provide you with a lot of insight on their work. Some videographers may not post the full length videos. If not, reach out to them, explain your interest, and they will likely send examples over. When watching, really watch and critique their work (internally); this will help you to know what you like and what’s not your cup of tea. Also take a look at any reviews they may have; this will tip you off to their reputation. When in doubt, consult friends or family whose wedding videos you’ve loved.
Arrange a Meeting
You’ve done your homework, now it’s time to meet with one or a few videographers. Whether it’s in person, over Zoom or on the phone, I suggest meeting in some capacity to ensure your personalities mesh. The videographer(s) will be following you around all day, so it’s best to know if they make you feel comfortable, confident and at ease. Sometimes personalities just don’t match, so move on. Other times, your videographer becomes a close friend, even if just for the day.
Hopefully, you listened to Step 1 and did your homework, so you now have a feel for their style. If not, use your meeting as an opportunity to see more of their work. When talking, ask them to define their style. Take this opportunity to highlight what you like and expect in a wedding video — extra points if you can specifically point to moments in their work that you loved. You should ask what input, if any, you have a say in regarding your video. Most photographers are artists who are protective over their creative endeavors, and you should love their style enough to trust them. Yet for many, there is room for suggestions, such as songs or moments you want captured. Let your videographer know what you hope this video accomplishes or any moments you don’t want captured, and they are very likely to accommodate your wishes.
For most, this is usually a set rate based on the number of hours you select coverage for. Photographers often have packages, but they also can accommodate and customize options. Be sure to know the details of what all is included and what aspects might cost additional fees, such as a second shooter, a hard drive of additional footage, printing, a preview video, etc.
You are going to be anxious and excited to receive your video, but you should understand that good things take time — especially wedding videos. Ask your videographer the average time it takes to receive your final video. Be aware that this could fluctuate depending on the time of year you get married and how in demand your videographer is. The time table may also depend on the length of your video. As a guide, a teaser is 1-to-2 minutes, a highlight film is 3-to-10 minutes, a short film is 10-to-20 minutes and a documentary is 30-to-90 minutes.
Additional Questions to Ask
How long have you been doing wedding videography?
How many weddings do you do per year?
Am I your only wedding that weekend?
Do you have multiple shooters?
How do you select your additional shooter?
How do you select the songs for the videos?
How do you ensure your videos are backed up/no issues?
How do you protect your equipment due to inclimate weather?
When will I receive my video?
How will I receive my video?
What are my rights to the video?
What expectations do you have for me when sharing the video?
Can I add on more hours the day of?
Am I able to request changes?