A couple weeks ago, I wrote a post about 5 questions to ask your photographer. Today, I want to talk about videography. While there are several similarities, videography is a completely different animal. Here are 5 questions to ask your wedding videographer along with some helpful tips on how to find the best videographer for your day.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING MY WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHER?
Much like photographers, videographers have their own styles. When you’re searching through websites, be sure to pay attention to a few key factors:
Audio vs Music Video: You’ll want to look closely at how the videographer incorporates audio. Do they include vows or random dialogues? Is the video set to music? As a wedding videographer, audio is one of the most difficult parts. Videographer who have primarily a music video style might not have the right equipment to include audio. If your focus is on music, this might be a good fit for you. If your focus is on remembering the words, you will want to look for a videographer who includes audio.
Documentary vs Posed: Pay close attention to the shots that are included in the video. Do the scenes look scripted? For instance, does the bride look at the camera at the exact right moment? Or does the videographer act like a fly on the wall and capture all the moments as they happen? Some videographers will have a more active role in the posing of the film while others will follow the photographers lead.
Editing Style: Similar to photographers, videographers also have their own editing style. Do their videos feel upbeat and fun or are they slower and romantic? This can depend a lot on your particular day, but you will want to pay attention to how the videographer edits all the moments together. If you want a fun and lighthearted video, look for a videographer who uses a lot of quick cuts and upbeat music. If you want more romantic and tear-jerking, look for a videographer with slow-motion shots and quieter music.
Color Grading: While photographers call this editing, videographers call this color grading. Do the shots look true to color? Do they have a moodier style? Find a videographer with a style that draws you in!
Lighting: Lighting is much harder to achieve for video because it’s near impossible to set up all the flashes like photographers do, but you’ll want to pay attention to how their reception shots look. Does it look like there’s a spotlight on the action? The videographer probably set up a couple constant lights to give that effect. Do the skin tones match whatever flashy lights the DJ is using? The videographer probably just uses the natural light. Both ways can appeal to your own style, so be sure to check out reception footage to see what gives off the vibe you are looking for.
WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD I ASK MY WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHER?
- Do we get RAW footage? This is a question you definitely should not ask your photographer, but videographers are usually more open about giving out RAW footage. Some charge additional fees, others don’t. If you are looking for complete toasts, vows, etc instead of just snip bits, you might want to ask if it’s possible to get some additional footage that doesn’t make the final video.
- What is your shooting style? If you are working with a videographer who is not part of the same company as your photographer, this is very important to ask. Does the videographer follow the photographer’s lead or do they try to get video-specific shots? If your photographer doesn’t pose with action in mind, your videographer will probably want to take charge at some points of the day. This needs to be factored into your timeline because it will take longer to pose for your photographer and then pose for your videographer.
- What does your audio/video setups look like? Some videographers will use primarily ambient sound while others will have you wear a lapel mic. For best audio, a lapel is always recommended, but if you are opposed to wearing a microphone, you might want to look for a videographer with a music video style or one with other means to getting audio. Along the same lines, how many cameras do they use throughout the day? Will they be using a drone? If you want multiple angles throughout the day, ask about this setup. If you love drone footage, ask if this is a possibility!
- Can we get a full ceremony video? If this isn’t included in your package and you care about seeing your whole ceremony, you might want to ask if you can get this added on. Some videographers will include RAW footage of the ceremony for free, but you’ll have to pay extra for a ceremony edit. Most often, RAW footage is fine if you are okay with only seeing one angle from your ceremony. If you want all the angles, a ceremony edit will be better. Also, be sure to ask if you would like a full edit of the toasts or first dance because usually these moments are only shown in short clips in the highlight video.
- Do we get any revisions? Some videographers will include revisions while others will charge. Unlike with photos where you have thousands of photos to choose from if you don’t like one, videos can only include short clips. Most of the time, you will love the final product, but there is nothing wrong with asking how to go about a revision if there is something you would like changed.
BONUS QUESTION: This isn’t part of the main questions because I want to answer this one for you.
Why do videographers cost so much when we only get a short highlight video? The short answer is videographers still have to be there all day. Since your highlight film will include clips from getting ready through your exit, the videographer needs to be part of all the action. The long answer is video editing is actually way more time consuming than photo editing. While photographers can take the photos and lightly color correct, videographers need to put together an entire story for your day. They have to go through hours of footage to get clips that fit your story and then mix that with hours of audio as well as background music. The clips have to work with the beat of the song and match the feeling you are trying to portray. After the story is developed, the videographer has to color grade each individual clip, add in some transitions, and a title. This editing process can take around 40 hours, not including any revisions. Even if you just want one clip changed, the videographer may need to rework the entire video to get the clip to fit properly.
To summarize, it is important to get to know your videographer exactly how you know your photographer. Be sure to ask these 5 Questions to Your Videographer before moving forward with the booking!