The Ultimate Guide To Choosing A Wedding Videographer – Part 1

Many young women grow up dreaming of being brides on their wedding day. They visualize perfect event that they will never forget, uniquely theirs and unlike any before or since. To them, it is their dream come true, their time as a princess, to be swept away like Cinderella. When the time does come, they might spend hours looking for that perfect wedding ring.

However, when those same brides look for a wedding videographer who has the expertise to record their special day so they can relive it for years to come, many brides take shortcuts. They might:

Choose the photographer before they find their videographer.
Look for videographers as they shop for someone to cater, do flowers, or man the limousine.
Don’t think much about what they want their wedding video to record, only want to know that it will get done; therefore, they might just simply ask a brother-in-law to do it.
They make their final choice by choosing the cheapest way to do so possible (including using the brother-in-law).
If you want the proper product, you have to do it right. Don’t simply do what everyone else does. To hire a proper videographer, do your homework and don’t just settle on the lowest priced vendor. Remember that you want a video that you can look at for years to come. Look at quality first, not price. If you don’t, you may regret what you get; remember that you wedding happens only once, so you can’t do your video over, either.

HIRE A PROFESSIONALM

The Wedding and Event Videographers Association (WEVA) is an international professional group founded in the 1980s. They ran a 2005 nationwide study to look at brides’ attitudes about videography; one survey was done before the brides’ weddings and one survey was done afterward. In both cases, the brides were asked to choose the importance of the videography among other wedding priorities. Before the weddings occurred, only about 50% of the brides thought videography was a “top 10” priority. However, after the weddings, that percentage jumped to 79%.

It may also be true that if brides were surveyed again a year after the weddings, that percentage might be even higher. Like photographs, videos are something that should last forever and should show your special day to you whenever you want. Unlike other mementos such as flowers, wedding cake, even that special champagne, they are something that can endure and can help you relive your memories, similar to photographs.

A VISUAL HEIRLOOM

Your video can provide a “living” memento of your special day, in that every single nuance is recaptured, except for perhaps the smells of the flowers or of your special perfume. Nonetheless, everything else is preserved, every visual image, every laugh, every note of your special song, played at the reception. It can also preserve memories to be shown later to people who weren’t even born at the time you wedding, such as your children. Now, how can you skimp on that?

As time goes on, most people realize that their video was meant to be an investment, to be enjoyed again and again. Unlike other things like the caterer or the flower color, they were shopping for something as special and as permanent as their wedding rings. Unfortunately, many didn’t realize this until it’s too late.

Therefore, don’t make the same mistake yourself. Choose your videographer with the same care as you would your photographer.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK

Do your homework and look at the work of as many videographers as you can find. You’ll need to do this because you need to look at several in order to find what you want and to get an idea of what you want your own video to have in it. Make your selection based upon the experience, personality and professionalism of the videographer.

Although it might not seem important to you, “personality” is an important part of the equation because the videographer will be working closely with you on one of the most important days of your life. In addition to being important, you wedding day is also very stressful, so he or she will need to have a calm personality and good people skills to stay above the fray. Take your time and choose carefully.

If you’re not comfortable with a particular videographer during the interview process, keep looking. If the interview isn’t comfortable for you, it sure won’t be comfortable for you to have him or her looking at you continually through a camera lens for the entire (stressful) day of your wedding. In addition, look with someone who is supportive and can help instead of hinder things if something goes awry during your wedding day.

Next, look at the videographer’s craftsmanship. When you’re shopping, make sure you look at each videographer’s work so that you have some base of comparison. As you continue to look around, you’ll get a feel for who’s good and who’s not, so that that you can make the proper choice.

WHERE SHOULD YOU START?

Bridal fairs are great places to start looking. Most of these will have at least three or four exhibits by videographers. As you watch how each videographer approaches his or her task, you’ll see how each handles visual composition, transitions, timing, and such things as captions and special effects. As you watch, you’ll get a clear idea of what you like.

You can also do a lot of looking online. Most professional videographers will have a web site that features sample clips. Do a search for videographers in your area online and then take a look through their sites. While you’re there, also look for evaluations by clients. Although of course the videographer can simply pick and choose which evaluations he or she has on the site, they will at least give you an idea of how long the videographer has been in business, and what kind of work he or she does. Once you’ve taken a look through various videographers, you can choose several; obtain references from them and/or contact the reviewers on-site; make sure you follow through and check them out.

USE YOUR EYES AND EARS

You should also pay attention to the quality of the audio. Most experienced videographers use wireless microphones during the ceremony and reception to make sure they fully capture such important moments as vows and speeches. Since audio is such a critical part of what needs to be captured on film, videographers need to use the proper audio equipment and not a single microphone, for example. Therefore, if you find a videographer during your search who only uses one microphone, look elsewhere.

Some videographers will give you sample DVDs or CDs of their work. This is a good way to sample their work on your own time. You can take your time, compare styles and make your decision without being rushed. I should also note that almost no one delivers video on VHS cassettes now, unless they are asked to do so. DVDs offer both superior image quality and navigation; they are also much more durable and less likely to degrade overtime.

Remember that if all of this sounds like a lot of work, it’s worth it because these are memories that will literally last a lifetime; you’ll be sharing them with your children and grandchildren, too, if you’re lucky. After the fact, you’ll be glad that you went to the trouble to make sure you had quality video. You can even have your videographer do something special like a “vignette” tape, where he or she constructs a short “movie” or series of photographs in a montage set to music, to encapsulate you and your spouse’s lives before your special day.

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