To Hire Or Not To Hire? 5 Screening Techniques To Help You Find The Right Wedding Videographer
To hire or not to hire? 5 techniques to screen a wedding videographer Finding a wedding videographer is not that hard. Finding the RIGHT wedding videographer is much tougher because everyone with a camcorder wants to call themselves a “videographer.”
So how do you pick the right videographer to record your wedding?
A couple of years ago, one of the big search engines ran an article titled, “10 businesses you can start this weekend for under $500.” One of the businesses they listed in the article was, unfortunately, the wedding videography business.
Following that article and several other copy-cat articles, the amount of people willing to video weddings literally tripled. Everybody was now a “videographer” and started soliciting unsuspecting brides for business. It would be similar to someone going and buying a bunch of tools and calling themselves a mechanic. The difference is that couples only have one chance to have their weddings filmed correctly while you can take your car back if something goes wrong with the repair.
Videography Truth The truth is that you cannot be a professional videographer this weekend for under $500. As a matter of fact, you probably would have a hard time being a professional videographer for under $5,000 on the low end.
Videography is an art that uses high tech equipment to capture events. Videographers use professional grade cameras, software, computers and sound equipment to get the event on film and ultimately onto DVD. Just like other arts, you cannot just hand someone the tools and expect them to be an artist. Take painting for example. Most people, if handed a paint brush and given a canvas, would have a really difficult time creating anything that anyone would like. The same is true for videography and photography.
That being said, it is difficult to weed through the muck to find a videographer who will create a professional quality wedding video, so here is a checklist to help determine if a person is a qualified, professional wedding videographer or a weekend warrior with a camcorder looking to make a couple of extra bucks.
How to check a potential wedding videographer
- Ask to see a demo. Better yet, ask to see 5 demos. Even better than that, ask if they will bring 5 FULL wedding videos with them to a first meeting. If a videographer cannot bring at least 5 full weddings to the a first meeting, then they probably haven’t even filmed 5 weddings. Ask the videographer if they will bring 5 (or more) full weddings to view. If they refuse or stumble, then don’t meet with them. All true artists and professionals have a portfolio of their work. If they don’t, how can anyone expect to make an educated judgment on whether to hire them?
- Ask to see or read some testimonials from former customers. My experience is that most people will compliment me about my work, but only a few will take the time to write me a letter. If your videographer cannot give you 3-4 REAL testimonials and be willing to share those couples’ contact information, then they probably made up the testimonials to try to boost their image. It happens all the time, so don’t be fooled by the fake testimonials.
- Ask the videographer exactly what kind of cameras they use. Most camcorders are not good enough to professionally capture the day for you. You want them to use broadcast quality video camera with 3 CCD technology. Even the cameras that claim to be “High Definition” do not process the same amount of information unless they are 3CCD or better. If you want the finished video to look sharp on your television, then a broadcast camera is necessary.
- Ask them if they work somewhere besides filming weddings. Most of the people claiming to be “videographers” in many area are really something else during the week and just trying to make an extra buck on the weekends. They simply do not have adequate time to edit a wedding video properly because of their work schedule. It takes 30-50 hours to edit, author, and render DVD’s from footage. Any shortcuts will be cuts in the final quality of the wedding video. If they don’t spend as much time editing, you will end up with a video that is chopped together and lacks that movie-like quality you are expecting.
- Ask them who EXACTLY will be filming and editing the footage. Many larger firms use free-lance camera operators to film the events and then they edit whatever footage they get. For this reason, it is important to see more than one video as mentioned in point number one. Most professionals will personally film each and every wedding and also personally edit them.
Wedding Videos are important If you will follow some of the advice above, you will find yourself in a much better position to booking the RIGHT videographer for your wedding.
Bill Nixon is a Charleston Wedding Videographer providing documentary and cinematic wedding videos to couples in the Low Country of South Carolina.