Everything you need to know before hiring a wedding videographer
I am a videographer who molded my love for cinema into a wedding service. I started by making movies for fun and eventually lived and breathed cinematography. I learned everything I could about film and video. I graduated from college with a degree in cinema while starting my first business making music and corporate videos.
I learned about filmmaking by working alongside phenomenal artists. However, I found myself longing to create content that had a deep connection to its viewer. I wanted my work to make people laugh and cry; I needed to make videos with a deeper emotional connection. Through my network, I started creating videos in the wedding industry. I shot venues, vendors, brides, and grooms. I was developing a style of my own that made for an impactful and beautiful video.
Along my journey, I found what makes wedding videography such fulfilling work. I believe every bride and groom should know why their wedding video is some of the most impactful work any videographer can make. More importantly, I have learned what brides and grooms should look for when searching for great wedding videography. Here is what you need to know before booking your wedding videographer.
Look for good quality footage
You should always look for a videographer that will give you quality work. Poor quality video is a give-away that a particular videographer will deliver flawed work. Be on the lookout for grainy footage, soft focus, mismatched colors between cuts, unnatural colors, low-quality videos (anything less than 1080p), and image noise. This is your wedding video, and the quality should never be compromised.
Listen for good quality audio
Like video, take the audio quality into account. Muffled sound, background noise, and distortion take away from the immersive experience. You shouldn’t have to suffer through listening to poorly captured audio. A good videographer takes audio as seriously as they do video.
Composition and camera movement
Pay attention to how a videographer frames the scene. Are the compositions eye-catching? Are the camera angles flattering? Do the camera movements match the pace of the film? Ask yourself these questions when reviewing any wedding videographer’s portfolio. Looking a little deeper will tell you if the videographer is simply capturing footage or telling a story with their camera.
Properly exposed images and the basics
Every videographer should be able to properly expose an image. If the highlights are blown out (white areas with no details) or the shadows are underexposed (black with no details), then the videographer is not exposing the images correctly. Auto-focus hunting (when the camera has trouble finding and maintaining focus on the subject) is a big no-no. If you see autofocus hunting, this means that the videographer is relying on an outdated or ineffective camera to capture your wedding. Your videographer’s equipment should be of high quality and have little to no focus hunting. Manual focus (the videographer is physically manipulating the focus ring) is an exception because it is a stylistic choice but should be executed flawlessly.
Filming and editing style
Look at the videographer’s portfolio to see if their style is what you are looking for. Do you like modern videos with effects, or is your style more in line with timeless videos which seem more filmlike? Keep in mind that each videographer’s filming, editing, and color style is unique. Find a videographer that will give you the wedding video of your dreams.
Easy to work with and accessible
Communication is key. Everybody gets busy now and again, but your videographer must respond to your questions/requests promptly. Choose a videographer you can establish reliable communication with so there are no surprises on your wedding day.
If you are interested in drone footage, photography, an additional highlight reel, etc., ask the videographer if they can provide you those services. This is also an opportunity to negotiate for package deals and service discounts.
Type of wedding video
There are a few wedding video styles such as cinematic, documentary, vintage, and modern. Some filmmakers have developed a blend of these styles. How a filmmaker shoots, edits, and colors your wedding video will affect the outcome. Choose a videographer whose work reflects your personal taste.
Set a budget you are comfortable with. Like anything, the better the quality, the more expensive the videographer will be (usually). If a videographer you like is out of budget, ask if there are ways for them to bring the price down. They may be able to tweak your package or offer a discount.
Research and ask questions
Like any other aspect of wedding planning, finding the right videographer to film your special day can be overwhelming. There are plenty of options to choose from, and it may be difficult to determine which videographer will provide you with the best video. To find the perfect vendor, research your options and narrow down your list to a couple of favorites. Make sure to contact the videographer(s), ask questions, and get a sense of what it is like to work with them. By sticking to these instructions and considering the above, you’ll be surprised at how painless the process can be!