Choosing the Videographer
The best time to start looking for a videographer is about nine to twelve months in advance. Begin with recommendations from family and friends, looking through tapes or DVD's for quality, style and formats that you like. As you view a tape with the videographer, look for pans and zooms. Are they smooth? Does the tape tell a story? Please read the following written by Wedding and Event Videographers Association International (WEVA). After this article you will find a selection of questions you can ask when interviewing for a videographer.
Why Choose Video?
Professional videography saves and protects life's most precious and beautiful moments--as they actually happened. And what is more important to hold precious than the sights and sounds from the most important day of your life--your wedding day! Because the event goes by so quickly, capturing all of the activities, your ceremony and reception, on video will mean your wedding will be preserved for you and your family now, and most importantly...for all the generations ahead.
How important is a professionally-produced wedding video? Suppose a friend told you they had in one hand a book of professional photos of the day your grandparents were married, and in their other hand a professionally-produced video of that same day, in full color, with stereo sound, but that you could only choose one to view and keep as a family heirloom. Which would you choose? Today, thanks to new developments in digital technology and the advanced skills of professional videographers, your choices in professional wedding videography are unlimited!
Only video (and now DVD) will allow everyone to relive your wedding day as it actually happened, to see you walk down the aisle, to hear your voices as you exchange vows and rings, to hear and see the toasts, the music, your first dance at the reception...and the chance to preserve the complete story of your wedding. This wasn't possible in the past.
Even today, you have only one chance to be sure your wedding day is professionally captured....just one chance to be sure all of the emotions, the love and laughter are preserved for you to share again and again. Today professional videographers have become as natural a part of the wedding as the photographer.
New Age of Unobtrusive Coverage
Through new developments in digital technology, camcorders and microphones have grown much smaller than ever before. Old-fashioned bright lights and heavy equipment is no longer necessary. Wireless microphones, for example, are now smaller than an earring!
Many videographers have invested in new digital video editing systems that have revolutionized the artistic expressions found in a finished video. As a result, your wedding video can look and sound as good as any program you may see on broadcast television! Plus, a professionally-produced wedding video can be artistically enhanced with the use of classic effects such as slow-motion, black and white imaging, and dreamy dissolves that make your video flow seamlessly from beginning to end.
New Video Styles
Whether you prefer your video to have a classic, story-telling approach, similar to television programs such as A&E's "Biography" or a fast-paced, highly-stylized "MTV" look, you can find a WEVA International member who will match your taste and style.
Videographers who are members of WEVA can capture the "Story Behind the Story" of your wedding in ways that just weren't possible even two or three years ago. Today, some brides opt for video coverage to begin on the morning of their wedding, while others begin coverage far in advance.
Advance coverage may start with video of the planning stages of your wedding, the story behind your engagement, or your own special music video. You may also want to consider coverage of your rehearsal dinner, where emotional, heartfelt toasts are typically made. Many brides also prefer a special short-form photo/video montage that combines childhood and engagement photos and memories, which is shown at the reception.
From very simple to very complete, your videography options today are exciting, elegant and unlimited! And each can be completely tailored to suit your individual needs and requests. (Article by WEVA)
Here are some questions to ask when interviewing videographers:
What does the video package include?
- Single camera or Multi-camera
- Montage of stills or slow motion scenes.
- Background music
- Close-up shots
- Interviews with family, wedding party, guests
- What style of video you prefer? Video to have a classic, story-telling approach, similar to television programs such as A&E's "Biography" or a fast-paced, highly-stylized "MTV" look?
- Discuss costs. Work out a clear payment schedule.
- Obtain an itemized agreement that lists everything included in the package and the total cost.
- How many DVD's come with the package? What is the cost for extra DVD's?
- How is the DVD packaged professionally? Does it have a case, album, printed labels?
- Is a deposit required? If so, how much?
- How many hours does the price include?
- Can he/she arrive early to capture last-minute preparations, moments with family members and unexpected situations?
- Will the coverage start from getting ready and then ceremony and reception or cover only ceremony and reception?
- How is overtime handled if you do not book an all day coverage?
- Does the videographer maintain the original videotape? If so, how long?
- How far in advance must book your video?
- What is the cancellation policy?
- Can you select the background music, and is there a large selection to choose from?
- Is broadcast-quality editing equipment used?
- What kind of camera equipment will be used? Is it consumer or commercial quality equipment?
- What is the format? Is it 3 CCD digital, High Definition? 1/3-Inch 3-CCD Widescreen?
- Will there be sufficient light available at the time and location of the ceremony?
- Sound: The best videographers are using a wireless microphone or mini disc digital recorder to get clean, clear audio.
- Is the person who is showing you the videos the same person who will be shooting your wedding or at least the person involved in how the videography will be taped at the wedding and how it will be edited?
- Make sure you know who is taping the wedding, and get it in writing.
- Is the videographer familiar with the site you have selected?
- What will the videographer's attire be?
One last note: both of you must feel confident that this videographer will perform professionally and inconspicuously, and deliver a great video. Good luck.
Words from the Wise
If there's one thing newly married women today agree on, it's that future brides should have their weddings videotaped. This is according to a new, one-of-a-kind nationwide survey, commissioned by WEVA and conducted in December 2005, which asked women married in 2005 to weigh in on the value of wedding videos. The results of the survey show:*98 percent of newlyweds recommend brides have their wedding videotaped.
*Brides don't appreciate the value of video until after the wedding: before the wedding, 52 percent of brides consider video a "Top 10" service; after the wedding, 75 percent of brides consider video a "Top 10" service.
*38 percent of brides did not have their wedding videotaped by anyone.
*68 percent now either somewhat or strongly recommend that future brides hire a professional videographer.
*98 percent of brides surveyed used the services of a professional photographer.
*29 percent of brides surveyed used the services of a professional videographer.
Those who used both agreed that video does a better job of
1) capturing the emotions of the day
2) recording the history of the day
3) creating a visual memory that future children will enjoy more.
When asked, "If you had a choice between looking at your grandparent's wedding photos or their wedding video, which would you choose?" 61 percent of brides said they would rather see the video.
Double the Pleasure
The results are quite clear. Video becomes more important to the bride after her wedding - but the challenge most videographers face is getting brides to realize that while they are in the planning stages so they can budget for both a videographer and a photographer. Without both services, it's impossible to fully capture your wedding day. Having one does not preclude having the other.
Is it enough to just have a photo of you and your groom standing at the altar - or would you also like to hear the vows you said to each other and share that with your future children? Is it enough to have a photo of your first dance as a married couple - or would you like to hear the song you danced to and see the results of your ballroom dance lessons? Your wedding video is not "just a video," but a family heirloom that will be cherished for generations to come. If you think about it, video is not expensive, it's priceless!