8 Questions to Ask Before Booking Your Videographer
Remember, interviewing potential vendors is like going on an awkward first date — you both hope there’s chemistry, but it can be confusing to know exactly what to say. Below are 10 questions to help break the ice and get the right wedding videographer for you.
1. How did you get started filming weddings and how long have you been in the weddings industry?
Weddings are ‘run and gun’ shooting situations with no set-ups or second takes, so you need to make sure your filmmaker is prepared for anything. They must be equipped to handle unforeseen challenges but also anticipate valuable, smaller moments that more inexperienced videographers might miss, like noticing the groom look lovingly at the bride and knowing he’s about to squeeze her hand, so the focus of the camera and it’s timing need to be impeccable.
By knowing a videographer’s backstory you get insight about whether they truly love filming weddings, or if they view it as a way to pay the bills in between other video projects. Also, experience is a baseline requirement (at least 3 years of work) but beyond this baseline the amount of experience a videographer has stops becoming as important as how passionate they are about their craft and their desire to make truly amazing wedding videos.
2. How many videographers will be at my wedding?
In order to produce a beautiful wedding video, you’ll need to have the right amount of personnel for the job. It is important to capture multiple angles and multiple moments all happening at the same time. For truly amazing videos, expect no less than three to four videographers. This will allow simultaneous coverage of everything happening during the wedding. Also, ensure that they work together effectively with your photographers to avoid getting in each other’s way. Typically, this is already considered by the better, more experienced wedding videography studios in the industry.
3. Have you ever worked with my photographer before?
Rather than searching a wedding videographer from the ground up, a more effective approach may be to ask your other vendors for a videographer referrals. The best judge of a potential videographer (or any wedding vendor for that matter) is to hear what their peers have to say about them. Throughout the wedding, your wedding photographer and videographer will be working very closely so it’s in your best interest that their rapport is established beforehand so every moment is beautifully captured in video and photo.
4. How would you describe your production style?
A great videographer should be able to clearly articulate what their video style is. A wedding video with a cinematic style resembles a movie, including a trailer at the beginning and montages set to music, which require heavier editing. Documentary or journalistic videos incorporate more natural sound and the order of the video will mimic the real-life progression of your wedding day. Vintage-style videos may be shot using 8mm tapes or filters in post-production. If a vendor describes their style differently than what you perceive it to be, that may be a problem.
In addition to judging the finished product, it’s important to consider what impact this will have on their shooting style, so that you know what to expect on the wedding day. For example, you might see a ‘directed’ shot in a highlights clip with a close-up of the bride’s feet as she walks across the floor. The cinematographer has to set up the dolly and ask the bride to do that — it wasn’t just captured that way. A videographer with a more journalistic style does the complete opposite: They simply record things as they happen. Decide which approach you and your fiancé prefer.
5. What kind of camera equipment do you use?
You don’t need to go into the details but it’s always good to know that your videographer is equipped with the best tools for your wedding day. Also, gone are the days of videographers showing up to a wedding with big cameras on wheels and obtrusive equipment. Most videographers now use cameras and equipment that are much smaller and very similar to what your photographer will be using. This advancement in technology allows for more creative shots and flexibility in capturing moments. So, it’s good to be aware of these things for a better wedding video.
6. How do you handle the audio for the wedding film?
If the video is the face of your wedding then the audio is her voice. The audio of every wedding video sets the tone for the entire wedding video. Zippy songs with breathtaking harmonics will make your wedding video come to life. Typically, wedding videographers will ask what kind of music you love so trust them as they can fit in your preferences with the story their trying to narrate on video.
7. What types of packages do you offer?
Videographers use either à la carte pricing or all-inclusive packages. Same Day Edits (4–6 minutes) are now norms for most studios. These are fully edited wedding videos shown during the wedding itself. Beyond this, other options include short-form wedding films (10–20 minutes), and feature-length videos (45–90 minutes). When it comes to pricing, your video budget should be similar to what you spent on photography. Remember that if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a thousand pictures.
8. When can I expect to see my wedding video?
Some videographers will deliver a video in as little as 8 weeks, while some will take up to a year. Producing a wedding video is a lengthy process and there are many steps that have to happen before it’s ready for viewing. The editors have to pull and go through all of the footage and then start to piece together the story that will best represent your wedding day. Even after the footage is pieced together in a timeline, there is still music to add, color-correction, post-production, and processing time. For the most part, the wait isn’t that bad especially if your videographer created an amazing same day edit video.