Ever since the invention of photography, happy couples have been visually preserving their wedding memories as a way to commemorate that special day. From the earliest black and white tintypes, featuring stiffly posed couples dressed in formal wedding attire, to modern color photographs catching the bride and groom happily feeding wedding cake to each other, the wedding photographer has become a staple of the marriage ceremony. But over the last couple of decades, advances in portable video technology have brought a new twist to the the wedding photography game. Today, many couples are choosing to have their big day captured on video, preserving the wedding and reception as they unfold in real time. The moving image makes a powerful memento, but there are a few questions couples should consider when choosing to have their wedding captured on video.
Do It Yourself or Hire a Professional?
The first question to consider, is whether to hire a professional or to do it yourself. Every couple has a friend or favorite uncle with a brand new video camera who will anxiously volunteer to film their wedding. They are certainly well meaning, and it is always tempting to say yes. After all, it will make them happy to contribute to the wedding and it is a chance to save a bit of money. However, there are no second chances where any kind of wedding photography is concerned, and Uncle Joe is probably not qualified or experienced enough to guarantee a satisfactory result. As well meaning as friends and family can be, if the results are unsatisfactory it can lead to hard feelings on both sides. The choice is clear – hire a professional.
Choosing a Professional Videographer
Hiring any professional service for your wedding takes a bit of research, and a finding a wedding videographer is no different. Referrals from friends and family who have had their weddings filmed is always a good place to start. If no suggestions are forthcoming, turn to the yellow pages and the internet to find photographers in your area who offer video services. You will need to compile a list of a few possible professionals who you will want to interview later. Before beginning the interview process, run the list of names past the event planner at the venue you have hired for your wedding or reception. Professional event planners work with photographers and videographers on a regular basis, and will be able to make suggestions that will help you find the best service possible.
Once you have compiled a short list of potential videographers it’s time to conduct some interviews. Don’t leave this to the last minute. Give yourselves plenty of time to compare services so you can be sure you are getting the best. Again, there will be no second chances, and you need to be sure your videographer is up to the task of capturing your wedding day in full. Ask to see samples of their work, and ask them to provide referrals and recommendations from satisfied clients. Explain what you expect from the finished product, and if you feel they can not meet your expectations don’t hesitate to turn them down and move on to the next name on your list.
Keep the following list of questions in mind when interviewing potential wedding videographers:
- How long have they been in business?
- Do they have examples of their work that you can review?
- Can they provide testimonials from satisfied clients?
- How many photographers will they provide on the day to capture the proceedings from multiple angles?
- Do the do all of their own editing, and will you receive all of the raw footage or only the finished product?
- How much input will you have in the editing process, and in choosing music and effects?
- Are there any hidden fees or expenses for which you will be responsible?
- What will be the format of the finished product? Will you receive a DVD, videotape, or data file?
Coordinate with Your Hired Venue
Finally, once you have chosen a video service, give them all the pertinent information regarding the venue you have chosen for your wedding and reception. Give them the contact information for the event planner, so that they can arrange a time to set up their equipment and make any preparations to ensure that filming goes smoothly on the day.
Wedding videos have become the new photographic staple of wedding ceremonies and receptions. Choosing the right wedding videographer is easy if you plan early, and allow yourselves plenty of time to interview prospective photographers until you find the service that best suits your needs.