Top 10 tips for choosing your videographer
I was recently asked by the new wedding vendor directory – weddingsuppliers.ie to do a short video on my top 5 tips to help you picking the right wedding videographer for you.
You can watch the short video below, I had to keep it short and sweet ( under 60 seconds ) as they wanted to use it on Instagram.
You can view my Instagram Account here.
Video of my “Top 5 tips when choosing a videographer” for weddingsuppliers.ie
Choose a style that suits both of you.
One that suits your own characters and personalities.
After that try and make a shortlist of the top 3 videographers that you like and that are within your budget. If there is no pricing on the wedding vendors website then still get in touch and hopefully they will have some packages within your price range.
For most people it can seem daunting at first with so many options but I always tell couples if they can get referrals from friends or other vendors it’s a good start.
Other than that, a good old google search will be your starting point.
Go with your gut feelings first, pick out a few. From those that you like have a read of the about you page if there is one and try a get a feel for the videographer.
Don’t be afraid to ask about their credentials.
What do I mean by that? Well if a vendor has not listed that are insured you should always ask for peace of mind.
All serious vendors will be insured and more than likely VAT registered ( unless they are very new ).
There are some wedding venues that insist on seeing a vendors insurance before they can work on the premises. You don’t want your videographer being refused so it’s best to double check for all parties involved.
In relation to insurance, if your wedding videographer offers drone work as part of their packages they should be insured and most venues will insist on this. Although not a legal requirement, if they hold an up to date licence from the IAA (Irish Aviation Authority) you will know they went through the rigorous tests and will have had to learn about good airmanship.
Drones add a lovely dimension to your wedding video, but safety and especially the safety of yourselves and your guests should be paramount. The same rules apply to your photographer too if they are flying drones.
Double check what’s included in your package
Are the ceremony and speeches included in your package? Or are they extra?
Sometimes a couple will book a videographer or cinematographer for a short film and not realise they don’t have the ceremony and/or speeches included.
Just ask if you are not sure.
Also you need to confirm if the bridal preparations are included and what time your cinematographer finishes at. 10pm is a standard cut off time and if you have not had your first dance then you can just part the extra cost to have the videographer stay and cover the extra time.
You also need to find out how you will receive the wedding video. Will it be on DVD, a USB or just online? A lot of the time it is a mix of 2 of these 3 options.
The average turnaround time is 16-20 weeks from the date of your wedding, but if not stated just check when you can expect delivery
Don’t be afraid to ask for a Skype chat or phone call
Although initial contact with your wedding suppliers is usually via email it is always a good idea to try and arrange a quick chat in my opinion.
After you have gone through the steps in my first tip and narrowed down your list to 3 or 4 vendors you can get in touch via email or their contact form on the website to see if they are available.
Has the vendor been prompt in replying? Even if I am already booked I will always reply to a couple. I have had referrals from couples who never even booked me because i was unavailable. But because I was their first choice and I still had the courtesy to reply to them they remained big fans and still recommend me to their friends.
If your videographer is available and within ( or close to ) your budget at that stage i think it’s great to have a phone call.
We can answer so many more questions in a quick Skype chat or phone call and you will get a “feel” for the videographer or other wedding vendor.
Value your memories and avoid regret.
As the potential videographer it often sounds like a sales pitch if you bring up the fact that the No.1 regret of all couples after their wedding is not having a videographer.
But i don’t need to do that.
We all have friends or relations who are married and they say “we wish we could look back, so many family and guests are no longer with us”.
None of us will be around forever so you need to protect those memories. They are all you have left after the wedding apart from the wedding photos and dirty dress!
Ask yourself, what would you pay to see a video of your grandparents wedding? A lot I am guessing if your anything like me.
The pain of regret will live a lot longer than the cost of valuable memories.
Value your memories.
Some of my most cherished memories from our own wedding video on 8/8/2018 are with my kids before i even got dressed. This was also captured by the videographers and we are so lucky to have it to look forward to. ( remember I said 16-20 weeks turnaround time? It’s the same for videographers who get married too! )photo credit: Alejandro Diaz
Choosing a videographer and photographer that compliment each other.
When choosing a videographer and a style of wedding video suits you always try and keep in mind the photographer you have booked.
You don’t want to book one of each on opposite spectrums. If you’re looking for a relaxed natural style of video then ideally your photographer will have a similar style, often referred to as “reportage” or “documentary photography” . In essence they will understand the art of storytelling and how important the flow of the day is the flow of the day is.
But the bottom line is your looking for vendors who have a “team ethos”.
On a wedding day it is essential to have all the vendors are rowing in the same direction. There’s no room for alpha dogs or ego trippers.
When should i book my wedding videographer?
Our lead time for bookings is between 18 and 24 months. but we have also often picked up a late booking up to a month before the wedding.
The main influencers in this are some couples decide very late on that they need a wedding videographer, often after hearing yet another story about a friend who regretted not having 1.
Quite often also we get a referral from a photographer after they have had a phone call with their couple and upon realising the couple have no photographer they give a list of their preferred wedding vendors.
The only problem with this is we are often booked at that stage and couples end up having to settle on their third or fourth choice more often than not if it’s a very late booking.
Moral of the story: When you book your wedding vendors early you have a much better choice and chance of getting your first choice.
Has good camera: Should I get a friend to do my wedding video for me?
Sometimes a couple might think ” sure we will just get our friend to do it” or “Uncle bob has a camera he can do it”.
This *generally* will not work out too well.
Even if the person is proficient with the camera weddings are specialised and there is a lot of etiquette involved . The two main things are the etiquette for working in the church or even the ceremony if it’s in your hotel or venue.
Discretion is called for and that’s not usually something a rookie wedding videographer will have mastered.
It will also make your photographers job harder ( and is one of the reason they have given you a list of their preferred vendors ) . This goes back to point No.6 , teamwork. Most vendors who have a lot of experience in the environment will be able to just make any situation work.
Wedding photographers and videographers are masters at getting perfect results from imperfect situations.
P.S. I have worked with fashion photographers and sports photographers before at weddings and even though they have the camera skills and even a solid vision they struggle with the running of the day and being able to anticipate what happens next. If other professionals find it hard imagine how much of a longshot it is that an amateur will get good results.
I value my memories too much to leave that to chance.
photo credit: Alejandro Diaz
How much do you value your memories?
This 1 photo alone was worth the cost of our photographer. He was not cheap, in fact probably the most expensive of all our options but he captured put day perfectly because we put a lot of thought into choosing our vendors. The end result exceeded our expectations as we ended up with so many priceless memories.
Our Motto since day 1 has been: “To exceed customer expectations, whilst capturing their unique story”
What are the different styles of wedding video?
This one is a bit of a minefield so I’ll try and keep it simple if you managed to get this far. Historically a videographer would show up at a location with a Camera and Tripod. They’d pick out the best spot, whilst trying to remain unobtrusive and from there they would “document the day” at each location.
More recently there has been a shift towards cinematography and the “storytelling approach” which we have built our reputation on. For us it *usually* means a dialogue based short film which weaves a certain narrative into the piece by using some of the audio from your day to make the film unique to each couple.
This makes our wedding films very personal and emotional.
Sometimes though a couple will want a more upbeat film and less dialogue to try and capture the “party atmosphere” of the day.
There is a style of videographer for everybody and no 1 size fits all which is great for couples. There has never been so much choice. But choose wisely.
The importance of audio for your wedding memories
I left this one till last purposely. For the wedding videographer audio is more important than anything. A slightly bad image can be covered up but slightly bad audio is jarring and make a wedding film almost unwatchable.
We use up to 8 different discrete audio recorders on the day to ensure pristine audio.
If your look at wedding films and it’s all music don’t be afraid to ask for a longer sample so you can watch and see ( well listen really! ) how the good the audio is from the church or ceremony . The celebrant, the readings, the music and the vows. Are they all crystal clear and the same goes for your speeches.
Just having great audio of your wedding n years to come will make it worth the cost.
Going back to point No.5: What would you pay no to be able to hear your grandparents’ speeches or vows? Or for some of us even to hear our own parents’ vows and the voices of so many people who have long since passed on?
Well that’s the end of my “Top 10 Tips on choosing a wedding videographer”.
If you have any questions, would like to check a date, or just want to discuss something in the article then feel free to get in touch with me through the form below.