Choosing a Videographer
“It went by so fast”
Countless brides the world around have uttered these words when remembering their wedding day. So many months–and many times over a year–of planning their special day, and it flies by in a matter of hours. How are you to remember it all? How will you be able to really see how everyone looked in living colour? If you chose to budget for a video of your wedding day, this should help you relive your wedding memories.
Choosing a videographer can seem like an overwhelming task if you aren’t quite sure what you are looking for. Varying price ranges and packages can make this seem like just another confusing aspect of the wedding planning process. Arm yourself with the at least the basics, and you will be able to select your videographer with ease.
You may think that having a video is just a duplicate of having photographs, but this is not necessarily true. Photography and videography are both art forms, and they both serve different purposes. A good photographer will catch all the appropriate poses and candid (informal) pictures, and a good video will let you see and hear similar scenes in progress. Of course, it is nice to have a picture of your father walking you to your groom, but what if you could hear him whisper “I love you” to you as he passes you over to your new husband? Years later, this will be a priceless keepsake for you. If many years from now he is no longer with you and your family, this second-long video clip will be a precious remembrance.
Of course, budgetary limits must be considered when choosing a video. However, do not be fooled into buying the lowest-priced package you come across. As with so many things, it is often that you get what you pay for. Although commendable work can sometimes come with a low price, the important things to consider are what you are getting and the quality of what you get. Always, always, always see samples of a videographer’s work. Just like you ask your photographer to see a start-to-finish wedding album, ask to see a tape of a recent wedding that was videotaped. Keep in mind that although “second generation” tapes (tapes that are recorded from other tapes) can sometimes lose their quality, you want to see how smoothly the images blend together, the lighting of the scene (does it look too dark? Are guests squinting from the light?), nicely focused, sharp images, and colour accurate. If the tape looks like someone was jostling the camera around trying to maneuver it, they may not have as much equipment handling experience.
So exactly where do you find these gems of the recorded image? Referrals are always a good start. Ask your reception site if they have any suggestions for good videographers. This may be a benefit since the vendor has worked there before and is familiar with the layout and lighting. However, always ask more than one person, and always check references. It is a good sign if the videographer also has industry references, since then you can get a feeling for how well-regarded they are by their peers. An excellent source for vendor referrals for a videographer would be your photographer. It is imperative that the two work well together and do not get in each other’s way during the day. You hired them both to work at your wedding, not step on the other’s toes or have a positional power play!
Professional associations such as WEVA (Wedding and Event Videographer’s Association) may also be a resource for you to find a videographer in your area. Although membership in any organization does not always guarantee a vendor’s quality of service, it is a step in the right direction for the vendor. It does show that he is committed to presenting his business in a positive light and may even be continuing his professional development. Any reputable vendor knows that his future success is dependent on good work in the present.
So get ready to view a few tapes, take notes, and rest assured that you will have a movie to cherish for generations to come. Choosing a Videographer can be fun.