WEDDINGS
08/14/2013 11:56 am ET

Wedding Videography: 5 Questions To Consider Before Booking A Videographer

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This article originally appeared on A Peachy Life Productions' blog

The intention of this blog isn’t to communicate that videography is necessary.Videography is popular enough so an argument centered on it needing to be a part of a wedding is useless. The point here is to communicate to those who are on the borderline and perhaps are still unfamiliar with what videography is or what the benefits are.

Finding a photographer or a videographer that fits your needs and your budget is no easy task. Like all things involving your wedding, it takes a lot of work. It is obvious that you care a great deal about your wedding and you want it to be special and you want something that will help you commemorate the day, but it just doesn’t fall into your lap.

It is unfortunate that many people look only at the $$$ and pay little attention to the character or response of a videographer or photographer when an inquiry is made. Budget, of course, takes priority over most things, but you never really know what can be achieved if you just reach out and contact someone.

How do you choose the right videographer? What is a videographer for anyway?

Here are five things to think about when considering investing in a wedding film.

1. Why do I want my wedding filmed?

Wedding films date back to before the 1980s, but it was that decade that saw the birth of the first consumer camcorder. Back then it was more of a hassle as it often took away from the aesthetic of the wedding since there was so much equipment required to make it work. Today’s industry still sees a good deal of technology at work, but technology has allowed videographers more freedom in movement and it has become less necessary to use static light stands and such which can distract from the real purpose of the day: the wedding.

Today, videographers are as agile and fluid as any photographer. Their ability to squeeze into impossibly tight areas and come away with elegant shots and flattering angles has catapulted the concept of a wedding film to astronomic heights. DSLRs have now standardized high definition film, bringing Hollywood-quality filmmaking into the hands of amateurs and semi-pros. This is something a number of people still have no idea about.

Take a look at some portfolio work by videographers and see how much more you can get out of a wedding film when in the hands of a videographer, rather than a family member filming from one spot.

2. How much should I spend?

This question probably carries the most weight. There’s a lot of consideration that goes into selecting a price for services by videographers as well as photographers. The prices generally have a lot to do with what is included in the packages that are offered. The hours provided usually make the biggest difference, but you have to think carefully about how many hours you need or would like to have filmed. Some couples want to have everything from start to finish, but this requires going towards longer hours which will mean more money.

It is also imperative to look at what is included in each package. People tend to make the mistake of thinking that videographers will only provide a DVD with one highlights trailer that appears online, or oftentimes in their portfolio. But many companies have so much more to offer. These features, while they add more cost to your package, are usually designed to make remembering your wedding day an even more unique experience.

The lowest-priced packages generally only offer a certain amount of coverage and are tailored towards jouranalizing the wedding experience, rather than capturing special moments that will tell a compelling story. There’s nothing wrong with taking this route, but if you want more bang for your buck, ask the videographer about what other features they have besides the highlights trailer.

It’s pivotal to be in constant communication with your videographer. If they care at all, they will do their best to get to know you as the more comfortable you both feel before the wedding, the easier it will be to film.

It is also worth asking if packages can be customized. Perhaps you don't want your pre-ceremony prep work filmed, can you add more time for cocktail hour? Can you add a Save the Date video or an engagement video and take off a couple of hours of the wedding?

3. What is the difference between videographers?

The answer to this question leads to another obvious question, "Which videographer is best?" To put it simply, it is just a matter of taste when it comes to which videographer is best. All videographers are in the business because they have talent to film. The spectrum can divide the n00bs from the Pros, but that gap is not as large as one might think. This is becoming more and more apparent with photographers as well. I'm not really involved in that industry at all, but it does seem like it is becoming harder and harder to break away from the pack and get your stuff recognized.

Rather than depending on the quality of your work, there is so much that goes into how you advertise your product. Some argue that it is best to advertise only what YOU love to do and the type of weddings only YOU want to shoot. The flip side is to advertise a variety in your portfolio in order to attract a wide range of clients.

Like the aforementioned, videographers have styles of their own. Some like to stay back and journalize the wedding experience, while others like to get in real close and create cinematic pieces of work that may ignore some of the conventional strategies of capturing every moment of the wedding. The best way to tell the difference is to watch their videos. If that doesn't do it for you, then looking at how they sell their product and their correspondence with you is the next best thing.

4. How can I be sure I’m going to be happy with what I get?

No one can be completely certain of anything in this life. If you do your research and actually watch the body of work of your videographer, you can make an educated guess at how your video will turn out. If the videographer is receptive to your ideas and wants to implement them, you can be sure to be even happier with the end result. If you see a great video by another videographer, don't be afraid to share that with them. Seeing fresh ideas will only help increase the quality of your video.

5. What is the point of having my wedding filmed when I already have a photographer?

There’s nothing to take away from photographers or a beautiful photograph, but there are things that a wedding film can provide that a photograph simply cannot (and vice versa). Besides the obvious moving pictures, a wedding film adds the dimension of audio to your wedding experience. Now, in years to come, you’ll be able to hear the sounds of your wedding. Remember what you sounded like when you gave your vows, remember the toast by your father, your mother or other close relatives and friends.

After all the glitz and glamour of the day has dispersed, how would you like to remember everything? It is likely, as bride and groom, that you will miss some moments of your wedding because you’ll be so busy with a million other things (like dancing, greeting guests, cutting the cake, etc). Your memory will serve as your only source aside from pictures, but how will you remember movement and sounds?

The only way to preserve these precious memories is by capturing it on film. Film can capture the moment in real time and preserve it for generations to come. It will outlast you and it will inform future generations of how you approached love.

You'll also get a unique view of your wedding, a view that no spectator can capture, a view that not even the bride and groom can see.

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