Selecting Your Wedding Videographer


What is most important when choosing a Videographer?
In one word: experience. Too many people in this business get started in video production by doing weddings. Do you want to trust your once in a lifetime moments to someone who is just learning? Making mistakes is inevitable when learning anything new, and it can take years to get it right. Always go with Experience.


Selecting a Videographer and Photographer?
When you have a photographer and a videographer, communication between the two is important. We do not want each other in important shots. Videographers expect that, during the vows and rings ceremony, the photographer stays out of the way and does not stand in front of our aisle camera, blocking the view. Both should be talented professionals that understand these issues and try to accommodate each other because we both want the best for you.


Wedding Photography Vs. Videography
While a photo captures a moment in time, video allows you to record time in motion. A videographer can record sound and voices as well, which include the vows, one of the most special and meaningful moments of the ceremony. A videographer allows you to relive and hold on to the memories of your wedding day forever!
Sometimes, when the wedding budget starts getting high, some choose to settle for one or the other. If having a photo album is your priority, choose to have a basic video package to at least capture the day. You can always have it edited over time.
A video of your wedding day will allow you and your family to relive this moment in time for generations to come. I can still remember the wonderful time that I had at a family get-together watching my daughters wedding video. Priceless!


High Quality Video Equipment
Any of the new single and 3 chip digital cameras offer excellent color quality and low light capabilities that are advantages when bright lighting is not desired. I recommend those using 3 chip digital video cameras first (highest costs), and 1 chip digital cameras second (low to moderate cost). I do not, in this day and age, recommend Super VHS, VHS or 8 mm. With a DVD, you can navigate to any segments you wish, quickly and easily, and they do not wear out.

Shooting and Editing
This is a great question. Sinatra sang, “Love and marriage goes together like a horse and carriage. This I tell you brother, you can’t have one with out the other”. The same is true for videotaping and editing. You cannot edit what was not captured or with poor footage. Positioning, camera angles, lighting and sound all come with experience. Assuming the videographers get adequate footage, I would have to say that editing is more important to the final product. Not all good videographers are good editors, and creative digital editing is what matters most. Today’s software programs are amazing for creating, correcting, and improving digital video but require a lot of time and experience to use.


Multi-camera - does it matter?
The most important decision, if you are serious about getting a truly professional DVD, is to use more than one camera. Using two or more cameras has major advantages. For instance, if an inevitable obstruction or guest gets in the way, the second videographer can capture the moment. Extra points of view can only help to get the polished results you deserve during the editing process. More than two cameras are rarely needed.


What about editing and special effects?
The art of wedding videography can be likened to getting colors on a palette; the editing process is the canvas. Editing can be as simple as removing unnecessary footage, but in the hands of a creative and talented editor your finished wedding video will be a memorable one and something to cherish. There is no substitute for good editing because it is not always what you shoot that counts but how you show it. Digital Editing involves getting digital video from one or more cameras into the computer (Capture & Encode). Then the real fun begins. Generally, 4 hours of editing is required per each attended hour. So a 4-hour schedule will take approximately 20 hours of editing, double that for two cameras. Many Videographers just don’t put that amount of time into it, but it’s that extra time that makes all the difference.


Demo Viewing Tips
It's a good idea to view completed DVDs, not just polished highlights or music video montages. They can be very beautiful, but they only comprise about 5% of your video. What about the other 95%? It’s a good idea to take the time to view a complete wedding video from start to finish. A few minor errors during a long form video are common; so don’t make them an issue.
At the reception, look for good coverage with smooth, steady pans, zooms and edits. How was the lighting? Were backlit windows washing out the faces? How does it sound? Was it chopped up in editing, distorted, or too loud? Look for clean edits that look and sound well. Watch for good color balance and clarity, camera positions and angles that compose well, capturing not just the bride and groom, but the wedding party as well.
During the ceremony look for the classic shots, like the down the aisle facing the altar view, cut to the here comes the bride view, from the altar area. These two views are hard to get with one camera without some fast repositioning. In this case you cannot be in two places at once. The most important of the classic shots are the close ups during the vows. Were there reaction shots shown? Were the cameras steady and the audio clear?


The Bottom-line: Cost
Expect to pay from $1,000 to $10,000 for your wedding day on Video. It has been said “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten”. There are many fine videographers to choose from, and many travel so keep your options open and book early.