Is your knowledge of video limited to clunky cameras and blinding bright lights? Like sequins, ruffles, and big hair, this part of the wedding process has also evolved. Today's wedding videos are shot with lightweight, high-tech digital cameras that require less artificial light sources, making them less obtrusive and more mobile. The editing process is also more streamlined, allowing videographers to turn out a wedding video that flows like a feature film. To find the "director" for your wedding story, heed these tips:
- Get suggestions from already-married friends with impressive videos.
- Get recommendations from wedding photographers, caterers, florists, or consultants. (Be sure to ask if such referrals are based on a commission being paid. If that is the case, the referral is not unbiased.)
Are the transitions and special effects smooth? Do they enhance or clutter
- Check wedding sections in regional or city newspapers and magazines. Be sure to check with the Better Business Bureau before contracting with an unknown videographer.
The Interview Process
Once you've found two or three promising prospects, set up appointments to meet each of them face to face. To stay organized, keep a record of videographers' names, addresses, phone numbers, price estimates, and who referred them.
- Be sure you're looking at footage that the videographer who will be shooting your wedding shot, not that of other professionals who work at the same studio.
- When reviewing demo tapes or DVDs, be sure the images are clear and that the lighting is not too dim or harsh.
- Listen closely: How is the sound quality? Can you understand what everyone is saying? Does the music compliment or overwhelm the visuals? How extensive is the videographer's library of musical selections?
- Are the transitions and special effects smooth? Do they enhance or clutter the story?
- Note your chemistry with the videographer: Does he or she make you feel at ease? (Exceptional people skills are a must in this profession since videographers work very closely with you and your guests.) Is he or she receptive to your specific vision of your day? Do you like the videographer's personality but not their work? (Keep in mind that what you see is what you'll get, so don't be swayed by a person's charm.)
- After you leave the studio, call references and ask: Did the videographer capture the most important aspects of the wedding? Was he or she a positive presence throughout the day? Overall, were they happy with the final tape?
- Find out if the studio you are interviewing is a member of any professional associations, or otherwise keeps up with the latest trends in the industry.
And the Winner is...
Once you're sold, agree to a contract and start practicing your dramatic pauses!
Resources: WEVA Wedding and Event Videographers Association, www.weva.com
See More: Wedding Photo + Wedding Video