Congratulations, you’ve made it this far! You’ve locked down a venue and maybe even a photographer. Now you’ve decided that video is also a priority to you because you want to remember the day in all it’s emotional glory with sound and speeches and vows. And maybe your mother has offered to help pay. So you start reaching out to video companies but you’re not really sure what to ask them because they’re the professionals, right? Wrong. Not everyone advertising their video services is, in fact, a professional. Sometimes it’s up to you to suss out who is a real expert and who is a weekend warrior with a consumer grade camera and price isn’t the only factor to consider. Here are some questions that will help you parse out the amateurs from the pros:
How many shooters are included in your package?
You want to make sure there will be at least two videographers shooting your wedding so that they don’t miss anything crucial. It’s nice to have multiple angles during the important moments (ie first look, ceremony, toasts, cake cutting, dances, etc.) as this creates a more dynamic edit. Three cameras during the ceremony will give the editor more angles to cut to but often this can usually be done with two videographers and a tripod.
Where can I read your reviews?
Reviews are a great indicator of how this company or solopreneur has performed in the past. Were people satisfied with their work? An established company will usually have at least 5 positive reviews from previous clients.
What kind of cameras do you shoot on?
I could write an entire paper on this but in a nutshell companies that have updated cameras to 3 years max. Every company should update their cameras every 3 years. New technology comes out every year with better looking picture quality and definition. Ask companies what model camera they use and then look up what that year is from. Cameras that shoot in 4k are the current industry standard.
What is your sound setup?
During a wedding, you want to make sure there are multiple failsafes in case the DJ’s setup glitches or one of the microphones cuts out. Ask your wedding videographer what their plan is if one of the audio setups fail.
How long have you been shooting weddings?
I hate to break this to you all but any recent college grad can sign up for a WeddingWire account. You want to make sure the person or people shooting your wedding have at least 10 to 15 weddings under their belt and are done making rookie mistakes.
What kind of edits will I will receive?
Sometimes the cheaper companies will only provide you with a highlight reel or short video edit. Maybe that’s all your want! But most people like to have longer edits of the ceremony and reception. Sometimes it’s worth it to pay a little more to get longer, more thorough videos. At the end of the day, your video and photos are all you have to remember the event!
How do you choose the music?
Editors should always take the couples taste into account when choosing music. Ask your video professional if they’re willing to collaborate with you. Also make sure that they have access to uncopyrighted music if you plan to share your video to Youtube or social media. Most sites have cracked down on the use of copyrighted music, even for personal content like wedding videos.
What is your turnaround time?
Did you know that some companies take 8 to 12 months to get your video back to you? In the age of instantaneous posting, that seems awfully long right? Ask your video professional what their turnaround time is and make sure that it suits your needs. Good editing does take time, but it shouldn’t take more than 5 months.
Do you use lighting?
This is especially important if you plan on getting married indoors. Lighting the toasts and the dances can make the difference between bleak and bland or bright and vibrant. Sometimes the photographer can light for both photo and video but it’s good to make sure your videographer has a backup.
What’s the process to book?
A true professional will have steps laid out to book their services. If your videographer hesitates at this question or doesn’t have a process for booking new clients, it’s probably a sign that they’re not a true professional. Most companies will at least a contract and require a deposit.
For more tips and tricks on wedding videos, visit https://www.candyglassproductions.com/blog. Candy Glass Productions is a wedding video company that specializes in cinematic, documentary-style wedding videos based in Portland, Oregon.