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How to Choose a Professional Videographer

 

Videography is a great way to re-experience the love, the elegance, and the fun that transpired on one of the most important days of your life. Through your professionally edited video you can see your vail being lifted from your cheek, revisit your wedding vows, and hear the roar of the limousine's engine as it whisks you and your new life's partner into the magic of the night. See...Hear...Remember.

Now that you have decided to a hire a videographer, keep these questions in mind...
What types of video cameras are being used. Does your prospective company posess digital 3-chip technology such as DV, DVcam, mini-DV, digital-8, etc, or analog systems that utilize VHS, SVHS, Hi-8, and 8? Why is this important? Digital media used to capture the event can be imported into a non-linear editing system, and then delivered onto a DVD with virtually no quality loss.

Do the video cameras being used to capture the event yield a high quality image in low light situations?
This is extremely important when shooting in dimly-lit ceremony and reception locations.

Lighting - What types and during which portions of the day is it used?
Some professionals bring studio lights on stands to light up the rooms while others use on-camera lights with diffusers to light only the subject. Be aware if you care.

How many cameras and/or camera operators will be used to capture your ceremony?
The more cameras the greater the variation of viewpoints. If there are more than one, make sure you know if they are static-on-tripod (less camera-operator movement), or roaming-with-handheld (more camera-operator movement).

Will the groom or officiate be wearing a wireless transmitter so that the vows can be heard on the video?
Will there be a microphone placed on the podium so that readings are also crisp and clear? Audio is as equally important as video, especially during the ceremony.

Will back-up equipment be available in the case of malfunction?

What style of videography will be used to document your event - Cinematic? Artistic? Documentary/Photojournalistic?
There are many types; choose the one that suites your particular taste and/or budget.

How polished is the edited version of the video?
Is minimal or extensive editing utilized? Artistic or reality-tv? Are titles added? Music? Transitions?

Compare apples to apples...

Make sure you take the time to view your potential videographer's work. Do not rely on demonstration videos; always make sure to ask to view a copy (or portions thereof) of a wedding video actually received by a bride and groom. Remember, demos can be misleading - most often they made up of "the best of the best". You want to make sure the same amount of time, effort, and creativity is being spent on your own wedding video.

When watching actual weddings, look for and compare these elements:
lighting - too bright, too dark, or just right,
colors - are whites white, and blacks black,
movement - shaky and choppy or steady and smooth,
audio quality- especially during vows, readings, and reception toasts,
transitions - some editors rely on flashy graphics, others on cuts and dissolves,
editing style - artistic and cinematic or in-camera documentary style,
total run time - how much time do you have to set aside to view your video,
emotional impact - what feelings were evoked? Did the video represent the elegance of the day?

once again, remember...
Not all videographers are obtrusive...
Not all videos are long and boring...

Event videography is evolving, there now exists a new breed of videographer, and a new era of video, don't miss this opportunity, see what's out there...

See what's in store for you!

 

For more information on the value of wedding and event videography, follow this link to WEVA's bride's guide.
Article courtesy Silhouette - Art on Video