Hiring Videographers: 7 Things to Look Out For


Before you hire a videographer, there are seven things you should keep in mind so that you are not cheated of your money and experience.

Is Your Videographer a “Pro”?

With all the recent developments in technology, editing software and camera equipment are not easily available and affordable. As a result, there are many videographers out there who call themselves “pro” editors and cameramen. However, they are merely amateurs who own some software and a camera.

So, how do you make out the difference between the real deal and the fake ones? Look out for the experience on their resumes. An ideal cameraman should have sufficient experience with documentaries, weddings and live television. They should know the concept of “anticipate and respond”, which is extremely crucial to your wedding, as nothing will repeat itself twice. If you want to capture all the perfect moments, you need someone who has had experience doing so in the past.

Since editing and shooting require two separate skills, ensure that the company that is covering your video is proficient at both.

Is the Camera Proper?

The cameras that you see in local electronics stores for consumer use are usually “single chip” camcorders. They are easily portable and small. You can capture satisfactory vacation and home video footage with them. However, if you want to shoot your wedding, you need a “three chip” camera, which is also called a “three CCD”.

With three chips, your camera produces better footage that has sharper colours even if the lighting is not adequate. Also, make sure that the person you hire will be equipped with a light that is camera-mounted, a lavaliere wireless microphone, a few extra lights and a monopod or a tripod.

Almost all professionals these days use digital tape (DVCam or mini DV). They can, thus, edit digitally, which is also referred to as “non-linear editing”. They can then output this digitally on DVD. By keeping the entire process digital, they ensure that there is no loss of quality to the footage. So, make sure that the person you hire is in touch with digital technology, so that you can take the benefits of their expertise.

Are Multiple Camera Shoots Possible?

If your budget can stretch enough to include a set up involving two cameras, by all means, go for it. You will have a much more complete coverage of your wedding. Your cameraman can also cut between the shoots to provide a more complete and dynamic video of your wedding.

However, before you decide to use this set up, make sure that both the cameras are three chip cameras, and that there will be two separate people handling the two cameras. If any camera is left unattended at any point during the wedding, the results could be quite disappointing.

Are the Lights Appropriate?

If your videographers uses bright and glaring lights after all the effort you have put into your wedding decor, it probably would not be the best scenario for your wedding. The equipment brought in by the camera man should, in no way, ruin your wedding decor.

What you need your videographer to use is a camera-mounted light. This way, it will move around as the cameraman moves, and the cameraman can then follow the couple unobtrusively. The light need not be used at all times, and when it is used, the intensity should be soft, rather than bright. You can judge potential cameramen on this criterion by going through their previous footage and looking out for any unpleasantly shocked reactions from the people due to the harsh lights. Look for cameramen who can shoot so unobtrusively that the people in the wedding do not even realize he is capturing them.

How is their Sound Quality?

When you are focussing on getting the best video for your wedding, it is very easy to completely forget about the right kind of sound. Make sure that your videographer brings along wireless microphones, which will pick up all the right details, such as your wedding vows.

What About Their Editing Style?

This question is very important as the final wedding video will highly depend on it. You must ensure that your aesthetic senses are pleased by your videographer’s editing style. If you go for dazzles and animations, you might not be as pleased a few years down the line, as it can tend to look cheesy and overdone. Focus on some classic simplicity to keep a wedding video that you can proudly show off to your grandchildren.

Can They Show You a Demo DVD?

If they do not have any demo DVDs to show you, you should probably steer clear of them. When you are looking at the video, make sure that they do not only show you parts of various scenes that are edited in with some music in the background, as this is a sure winner for anybody. Ask to see some complete wedding videos, or clips that incorporate natural movement and sounds with light music in the background to really gauge their quality.

When you are looking through the wedding videos, also look out for an artistic camera composition, natural and clean sound, bright and clear pictures even if the lighting is dim, dynamic and seamless editing, non-jerky and smooth camera movement, consistent and audible audio levels, a relaxed party with guests who do not seem to realize that they are being caught on film.

Above all else, make sure you ask yourself if the video conveys the magic of the special day. Do you feel like a story is unfolding before your eyes as you watch the wedding video? You should look out for a videographer who makes you a wedding video that becomes more special as time passes. It should be true to your tastes and to your personalities, rather than a form of torture for you and your guests. With an excellent wedding video, you will be able to relive one among the most special days in your life.