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Spotlight on the Videographer


 

When meeting videographers, these are the questions you might want to ask them.

Wedding of Feng Lin and Garek
Photo by 9frames Photography. Wedding of Feng Lin and Garek.

HOW LONG HAVE THEY BEEN IN THE BUSINESS?
An experienced videographer will ensure that he gets the job done well. Engaging an established business means that they are here to stay and most probably won't close down any time soon.

WHO WILL BE SHOOTING YOUR WEDDING?
You should meet and speak to the person who will be shooting your wedding on the actual day. Some studios may be using free-lancers, thus it is very important to speak to the actual videographer ahead of time to make sure he/she understands what to expect on the wedding day (a copy of your wedding day schedule will be useful).

HOW MANY CAMERAS WILL BE IN USE?
If you are having "two cameras", - it can mean wither you will get a 2nd videographer or simply a camera on a tripod. And of course having a second videographer means more cost than a camera on a tripod. A second videographer might be worth the extra cost as it also means you get extra coverage. Be sure to give a heads up on videotaping restrictions (in places of worship / certain ceremonies) well in advance.

WHAT KIND OF LIGHTING DO YOU USE?
Ask if they use lights on their cameras - some videographers will use a stand-alone soft-box light that gives off soft, even lighting.

HOW MANY AND WHAT KIND OF MICROPHONES DO YOU USE?
Don’t forget about the quality of the audio as well. At the ceremony, have the groom wear a wireless microphone and have another one on the podium for any readers or singers. At the reception, make sure everyone who is giving a toast or speech uses a microphone

HOW DO YOU EDIT THE WEDDING VIDEO?
The latest and newest technology is non-linear editing (on a computer). Ask how many hours your videographer spends on editing since it will make a difference in the final price. It is not unusual for videographers to spend between 30-40 plus hours on the computer editing a wedding. Expect a price difference (and quality difference) between those who edit non-linear and those who don't.

CAN I HAVE MY WEDDING ON DVD?
Some videographers can customize their DVDs with multiple chapter stops/scene selection and a customized case with your wedding picture on it. Your wedding video can last for generations without any deterioration when archived to DVD. We believe providing the finished production on DVD is a must-have!

HOW DO YOU STAY UP-TO-DATE IN THE VIDEO BUSINESS?
Video technology is an ever-changing field and professionals need to stay current. A videographer should be a member in local and national associations. Ask the videographer if he/she has ever been to any seminars or conventions.

WHERE CAN I SEE SAMPLES OF YOUR WORK?
Be sure you are seeing samples of the actual videographer who will be videotaping your wedding. This is especially important when dealing with larger studios that may have several crews that they send out on the weekend. Some videographers will send out demo tapes and others will ask you to schedule an appointment to visit them, others have video clips on their website. If possible, try to meet with the videographer before you sign the contract.

WHAT OTHER SERVICES OR SPECIAL EFFECTS DO YOU OFFER?
Some examples are childhood/dating photo montage, wedding/honeymoon photo montage, bridal preparations, love story video (the two of you describing how you met, etc.), short-form video, highlight video, recap video, concept video, rehearsal coverage, big screen presentation, etc. This is also a good time to ask the videographer if they use special effects such as black & white, sepia-toned, slow motion, animation, etc. You will be spoiled for choices!

CAN I READ THE CONTRACT FIRST?
When you decide to hire the videographer, ask to see a copy of the contract. Ask how much of a deposit is required and when the remaining balance is due. Make sure everything you want in your wedding video is spelled out. As it gets closer to your wedding day, the videographer should request a "planning meeting" either over the phone or in person. Ask your videographer if they will attend your rehearsal - some videographers attend, some do not. It should also state when you would get your finished video.

WHAT WILL YOU CHARGE TO SHOOT MY WEDDING BASED ON THE COVERAGE I AM LOOKING FOR?
If you are on a budget, let the videographer know that upfront. If your budget is flexible, wait to ask about pricing until you have explained to the videographer what you are looking for and after the videographer has talked about skill, equipment and service. A professional videographer with up-to-date digital equipment can start around $2,000. Videographers with S-VHS cameras and less editing will probably charge less. A more seasoned professional offering many extras can charge upwards of $5,000 and more. These prices are only a guideline, as pricing can vary region to region. It is hard to put a price on talent unless you view their work.

Remember, your videographer is creating a family heirloom. Great video is not expensive, it's priceless!




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Keywords: Wedding Planning



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