You need these answers to help you make the right decision.
By Rachel Torgerson – Reprinted From The Knot
How long have you been filming weddings? How many do you do per year?
Why You Want to Know: For years to come, you’ll look at this video to remember all your favorite things from your wedding day, so you want someone who will catch every detail. An experienced videographer is one of the best ways to ensure that happens.
Are there any other pros in the area you love to work with?
Why You Want to Know: Videographers in this industry should be pretty well connected. And, if they’ve worked well with someone in the past (like a photographer), you may want to hire that person too. Check to see if they’re members of any industry associations or if they’ve won any recent awards.
How would you describe your style—documentary, cinematic or a mix of both?
Why You Want to Know: Not only do you want to get a sense of the style your videographer uses, but you also want to make sure their version of the style aligns with yours. If you want a romantic video, and you and your videographer don’t have the same idea of what that means, you could end up paying for a video you don’t really like. Asking for samples of their work will give you a sense of how professional your videographer is and the kind of work they do.
What input do you want from us, and what do you prefer to have final say on?
Why You Want to Know: Many videographers view each piece they create as an artistic endeavor, not just the story of your wedding day—so they have a specific vision in mind that could be at odds with yours (you might want a particular song in the video, for example, while they might be against using it). If you trust your videographer completely, this shouldn’t be a problem, but if you have a certain idea of what you want in your wedding video, you may want to talk that over with them before you sign the dotted line.
How does your pricing work?
Why You Want to Know: Videographers typically charge a flat rate based on an amount of time. Others offer preset packages that also include other pieces, like a same-day edit or an extra shooter. Even if you’re just buying a standard package, it’s important to run through what’s included. And if there’s something you’re hoping for—be it a short trailer to share with family or a hard drive with all of the raw footage—ask about it and get any agreements in writing.
Have you ever worked with my photographer? Do you know him or her?
Why You Want to Know: The photographer and videographer will have to work closely throughout your event to capture all of your moments in the best way possible. If they’ve worked together before, they’ll most likely work well again. If they’ve never worked together before, that’s okay, but it’s important they have a chance to meet beforehand to talk about the format and how they want to get it all shot.
Have you shot at my ceremony or reception venue before?
Why You Want to Know: Most videographers know how to find the lighting and angles in a given room, but if they’ve had a client at your venue before, it will come very naturally to them. They’ll already know where to set up the tripod or the best angle during your first dance.
Will you be shooting any other weddings the same weekend? Will you be the one shooting on the day of?
Why You Want to Know: If your videographer has several events to shoot on your wedding day, you’ll want to be sure they have time for your wedding. Ideally, you’ll have your videographer for the entire day, but big studios often schedule and manage multiple weddings per weekend. So in some cases, the person whom you speak with when signing your contract won’t actually be the one shooting your wedding. If that’s the case, schedule a meeting with the assigned videographer to make sure their style meshes with yours.
What does your camera and equipment look like?
Why You Want to Know: Gone are the days of massive camcorders and lighting pieces. Most videographers get the job done with a camera no bigger than your photographer’s. Ask about it either way so you know what to expect. Another good thing to see? The microphone they would use for your ceremony—will it be a handheld or a clip-on?
Will there be a second shooter, a stationary camera or any other backup cameras on hand for our wedding?
Why You Want to Know: Without a second shooter or any other backup, it may be difficult or nearly impossible for your videographer to capture every moment on camera. Many times, a second shooter comes with the videography package, but just in case, it’s good to ask.