Thursday, June 26, 2014

Should You Book A Wedding Videographer?

You might think that a wedding video is a luxury that you can do without. But consider this: Only a video will let you hear your loved one’s vows or see you enthusiastically smooshing cakes in each others’ faces. A wedding video captures all the sights and sounds of what will be one of the most exciting days of your life.

Many couples who want a video try to save money by asking a relative or friend to record the wedding. But this can be a risky choice! Many amateurs don’t have experience shooting weddings and have little knowledge about the ceremony or traditions involved. And that means there’s a good chance they will miss important shots.

For example, consider the volunteer videographer who set up his camera on the far side of the wedding guests, anticipating the bride’s grand entrance. He had a beautiful view of the wedding procession. Unfortunately, he was completely unprepared when everyone stood at the bride’s arrival and his great shot was blocked. By the time he’d shut down the camera and moved to a better location, he’d missed her walk down the aisle. Imagine the disappointment of everyone viewing that video.

Better to avoid such scenarios by following the advice of industry experts who say you should plan to spend as much on the wedding video as you do on your photography. And it makes sense when you think about it. Your wedding day will become one of the greatest memories of your life together as a married couple. A video will keep the memory alive (yes, even Uncle Bart’s drunken dancing!).

Speaking of memories, make sure that the person you have behind the video camera is someone you feel comfortable with. You’ll be spending as much of your wedding day with them as you will with your photographer.

Book your videographer as soon as possible – six months to a year in advance is advisable. The best ones can be booked far in advance. As always, begin by chatting to family and friends with recent wedding experience. Trusted, firsthand experience is always going to be your best bet. Other good sources include your photographer, local wedding consultants, bridal show exhibitors and any other people you can think of in the wedding industry. Most will have worked with a variety of videographers and should be able to offer names to consider – or avoid! You can also find prospects in your local listings, on the Internet and by contacting the Better Business Bureau.
Narrowing It Down

Your videographer will need advance warning of any lighting or sound challenges. Unless they are quite familiar with your sites, they will need to scout the locations ahead of time. Find out if there will be additional charges for this service. And check with your site’s management about any restrictions or rules regarding recording. You’ll want your videographer well-informed.

You’ll also want to discuss the number of cameras that would be used. If possible, ask to be shown sample DVDs made from the footage of one camera versus that of two or three cameras so that you can see the difference. Be aware that the price increases with the addition of each camera. Also ask about the experience level of any crew a videographer works with.
Are there any photographers in town that you have had difficulty working with?

Our videographers always carry back-up equipment on location. You don’t want to miss any important moments because your shooter’s battery ran out! What sort of satisfaction guarantee do you offer? You need to know how a videographer will handle any problems. Most will gladly explain their policies and spell out all guarantees and responsibilities in the contract.
Costs Involved

Professional videography can be a significant investment for you. If you’re keen to make this investment, count on spending a minimum of several hundred dollars on a professional wedding video. In-depth pieces with lots of post-production can run as high as $5,000 or even more. The majority average around $1,500.
Camera Count

The number of cameras used may or may not affect quality, but it can have a real effect on cost. Many weddings can be shot with one camera while others really do need more. Make sure any shooter who wants multiple cameras can explain their reasoning to your satisfaction.
Shooting & Editing

The way your video is shot can have a lot to do with the final costs. If you want a documentary-style record, make sure the videographer is willing to start early and stay late. Be sure to discuss all overtime expenses. Stacks of footage from multiple cameras will need a lot of expensive editing time. Be sure to ask for the most cost-effective way to achieve the look you want.
Lights & Sound

Titles and subtitles (including the date, time, location of the wedding, the bride and groom’s names, names of the bridal party and special thanks to whoever helped with the wedding) can be edited onto your film. Some videographers charge more for this so be sure to discuss this option and get in writing exactly what titles will be included.

Special effects (like slow motion or fades) are not the only way to personalize your video. Adding photos of the two of you as children or while dating can provide some special moments. You might include engagement or wedding announcements, love letters or a list of favorite songs. Keep in mind that each addition will raise the price of the final product to some degree, but your videographer should be able to work with you to get the most for your money.
The Contract

Remember, if it’s not in writing, it might not happen. Make sure that all details are covered in the contract. This will protect you and the videographer by making sure that everyone’s expectations are spelled out.

Fun Ideas
Video Save-The-Dates

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