If you're looking for a professional videographer to capture your LIVE ACTION wedding moments, we feel you. It's one thing we've heard is so worth it if you want it and it's within your budget. Our Offbeat Bride Vendor Guide has good options, but what do you ask them once you've narrowed down your choices? Here's a list that you'll want to bring with you to meet with your filmmaking wunderkinds.
Is filming weddings your main business? How long have you been doing it?
Just like with wedding DJs, photographers, and wedding venues, you want to know that you're dealing with a wedding pro who can anticipate wedding-related issues ahead of time. You can pay a lot less for less experience, but make sure you're paying for something worthwhile. Don't just ask them: do your outside research like checking their Vimeo pages and reading online reviews.
Plus videographers, like photographers, often have to handle more unplanned situations than other types of vendors, so you'll want someone who can adjust on the fly.
How many videographers will be filming?
Depending on the package you choose, you may have one or more videographers capturing different angles. You may choose to have your videographer just capture the ceremony or just capture the reception, too. If you're getting one videographer total, see if they'll be willing to set up a stationary camera at your most important location. Pro tip: try to minimize unauthorized amateur uncle videographers if you can to avoid them getting in the way of your professionals.
What parts of the wedding day do you film? What packages do you offer?
If your videographer does packages, they should be clearly defined on the website. Regardless, make sure you're completely clear on what you're purchasing: will they capture both your ceremony and reception including cake-cutting and first dance? Are they including any after-party, cocktail hour, or table visit coverage? How many hours are included in the package your buying?
Have you worked with my photographer before?
If you're having separate photographer and videographer vendors (sometimes they do both), this can be crucial. And sometimes they can provide references for each other if you're missing one or the other. It never hurts to have photographers and videographers who know how the other works. You can also feel free to ask if they'll touch base prior to the wedding to make sure they aren't stepping on each others' toes.
How would you describe your style? Are you journalistic or more cinematic?
What kind of style YOU like is subjective, but you'll want to know what kind of video you'll have produced for you. A cinematic style will usually have be set to music and have heavy editing, almost like a movie trailer. A journalistic style will have a more documentary-like approach that will show the actual timeline of events. Each style requires either more or less involvement from you during the day, so it's important to know what will be expected of you and if you'll want to have less or more interaction with the camera on the day.
Many videographers can produce highlight films (a few minutes long), short-form films (10-20 minutes long), and feature-length videos (50-90 minutes long).
Do you have examples to share?
Ask to see samples of the specific package you're buying so you can have realistic expectations of the final videos produced.
What kind of equipment do you use including audio and backup equipment?
See if your main folks (officiant, couple, etc.) will have wireless microphones for good audio or if they'll be using an on-camera mic. Also see if they'll work with your DJ/band (if you're using one) to capture speech audio at the reception.
Will we have any choice in the music used in the final videos?
This one is usually not an issue, but make sure your videographer knows what kind of music you prefer. They may have some great suggestions based on previous experience, too.
How do you deliver the final product?
What format will the final video be delivered to you? Many videographers use Dropbox these days, but if they choose to deliver via DVD, how many copies will you receive? What steps do they take to preserve footage in case of technical issues or if you want more copies a few years down the road? Is there a web-sized format to share online?
How long will it take to produce the final product?
In a nutshell, when will you get to see dis bish? An honest delivery estimate will reflect the season (videographers are busiest June – October), but generally it should be more than a month (you want them to take their time and do it well!), but less than six months.
Who is going to bite the bullet and nab themselves a videographer? Anyone regret NOT getting one? Dish in the comments!