15 things to know about wedding videography
I know planning a wedding is incredibly daunting, so let me help where I can by telling you a bit about wedding videography and the do's and don't of booking a videographer for the biggest day of your life!
15. SHOULD I HIRE A VIDEOGRAPHER?
We'll start with the big one. Should you hire a videographer. Cynic's will say "But you're a videographer, of course you'll say yes!" and that is true but if you check wedding sites for the results of their yearly wedding surveys you will find that consistently, year on year the biggest regret brides have is not having the biggest day of their lives captured by a videographer.
"We have a great photographer, that's all we need" I'm sure you do, and those photographs will be cherished and will hang on your wall for years to come. I won't knock photography in the slightest! A picture tells a thousand words. But a video tells a story. Your story. The things you didn't see because you were swept up in the moment. Your flower girls playing with your bouquet, your fiance nervously waiting at the top of the aisle. A photo won't record your father's emotional speech or that funny awkward moment when the candle just refused to light at the alter. Only a video can fully help you relive those memories again and again for the rest of your life.
14. "WE WON'T WATCH IT!"
You will! fifteen or twenty years ago when wedding videos were just a three hour long static camera recording, sure that wasn't watched very often. But now, wedding videos are a whole other beast. Videos now are dramatic, cinematic, emotional and above all entertaining. You have short highlight videos that can convey the amazing emotion of the day in a few minutes as well as longer form videos that document the ceremony and speeches. Digital video and the power of the internet means you can share the memories of your special day with friends and family around the world who couldn't be there.
Also, and this is something to remember; your video is not just for you. It's for your parent's and even more importantly, your children. Wouldn't you love to be able to see your parent's or even your grandparent's wedding video? Hear their voices, their laugh, see their smiles? To be able to see what they were like, and how in love they were on the biggest day of their lives. What's the true value of a wedding video? It's priceless.
13. IT'S EXPENSIVE!
Actually, relatively speaking, its not. I get it, you're on a budget and every penny counts but for what is involved and the benefits it brings, a video is worth it. According to the most recent surveys, the average wedding video cost in Ireland is €1200 (and many videographers argue this number is lower than the actual average) Is €1200 a good deal of money? Of course, but given that this is below what most people will pay out on a photographer for their big day it is not overly expensive. Also, keeping in mind that videographers will have far more editing work to do after the event, €1200 is quite reasonable.
While my own packages here in Cork and Munster range from €1199-€1499, not all videographers have packages around that price point. Some videographers packages reach up to €3000/€4000. Like any product you buy, there will be varying video types and styles available at different price points so shop around and see what suits you best!
12. DIFFERENT STYLES
Remember how I said videos had changed? Well now, there are a vast variety of styles and video lengths available. There's no industry standard per say, which can make looking for the right videographer daunting but at its most basic level, there are now three major types of video.
You have documentary, which would be quite a simple basic style, some would call it old fashioned. Nothing is particularly fancy but you get a solid documentary of your day. This style is pretty much dying out.
Next up is Creative Documentary. This would probably be the most popular type of video at the moment. Creative Documentary would share elements of the regular documentary style but would have a more modern look, more music and often is quite creative in how it shows the day. I would fall into this category as a videographer myself. I like the almost "fly on the wall" non invasive style which is quite discreet. There are little to no staged shots in this type of wedding video. Most Creative Documentary videographers will give you a highlights video (though this varies in length) and a longer length video with the ceremony/speeches included. For an idea of what thiis style looks like, check out some of my samples HERE
Finally we have Cinematic. Cinematic is the newest form of style and as the name suggests, the goal of the videographer is to create a video that is as close to a movie as possible. This will generally include staging shots and the movies you receive are mostly short in length. Most Cinematic videographers give a highlights video as their main video and will offer the full speeches as an optional extra.
As I said previously, there are no hard and fast rules. What a videographer classes as his/her own style very much varies and some of the elements I have mentioned for one type often over lap for another. Packages also vary in terms of whats included so always check what exactly you are getting for your money and never presume something is included when it may not be. At the end of the day though, it's about what you like, nothing else. If you like a videographers style and feel that you are getting the package you want, go for it.
11. ALWAYS PAY A DEPOSIT AND GET A RECEIPT
I frequently hear of brides saying, "I thought we had someone booked but now we don't!" Confirm your booking! This goes for every supplier at your big day!
Pay a deposit and ensure that you get a receipt from them within a few days. This helps to show they are serious about their business and gives you some peace of mind that everything is in place. Also, ask that the receipt states the outstanding balance and when the payment is due by. This might sound like an obvious step but in all the planning, it can easily be over looked and will help avoid any misunderstandings.
Drones are the latest "Big thing" to hit the videography industry. Used correctly, a drone can add great production value to your video as well as really setting up your video and as such I am frequently asked about them. Drones cannot fly in poor weather so be aware that if you do book someone who offers drone footage as part of their package, that if there are poor weather conditions that they may be unable to fulfil this request. A proper drone operator will be fully insured and registered. Always ask your videographer if they are fully licensed so as to avoid any liability issues should an accident happen.
9. COPYRIGHT MUSIC
I pick the music that goes into all my videos. This way I can ensure that the music I use is fully licensed and cleared for use in my work. Always ask if the videographer you intend to use is only using licensed music. Aside from the obvious legal issues, if a videographer is not using licensed music, the video may well be pulled or banned from sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo etc. Imagine sending your video to friends and family and suddenly discovering the video is unplayable because of licencing issues.
8. DVD IS DEAD!
By default here in Ireland we think of getting our wedding video on DVD disc's as the norm. This is no longer the case though. Every videographer now shoots in High Definition and DVD compresses the whole thing down to a far worse Standard Definition quality. Imagine owning the Mona Lisa but instead of hanging it on your wall you take a picture on an old phone, print it out and then hang that up. You lose so much detail as well as some of the energy of the work. I will be finishing making DVD's for new bookings from August and I know many of my peers are doing likewise.
7. ASK QUESTIONS
Your videographer is there to capture your special day and you should feel at ease. Here at DM Wedding Videos, I communicate with my brides as best I can to gather the information I need to plan my shoot. If my brides have any questions I encourage them to call and ask. Always feel free to talk to your videographer. Communication can make all the difference between a good video and an amazing video!
6. HAVE AN UNPLUGGED WEDDING DAY
I'm sure very videographer and photographer in the world will agree when I say this; have an unplugged wedding! An unplugged wedding is when the bride and groom ask guests to refrain from taking photgraphs and video for the duration of the ceremony. The guests get to live in the moment and enjoy the ceremony with you and the videographer and photographer do not have shots ruined by relatives standing out in front taking pictures with iPads! Sadly I've had more than one experience of having my shot of the bride and groom coming down the aisle ruined by an over zealous aunt who needed a better angle! There is always plenty of time for photos after the ceremony when the hard work is done! I really couldn't recommend this enough!
5. COWBOYS TED!
It's easy to look at the lowest priced packages from cheap videographers in an effort to save money. If a videographer is offering packages for €500, they can't be professional. It's as simple as that. The overheads of running a professionally run, legitimate business would make that impossible.
"What's the worst that can happen?" I hear you say? Well aside from delivering a poor quality finished product, if anything goes wrong on the day, can an amateur adapt to the situation as needed? Will they have spare camera equipment in case of a breakdown? Will they have professional audio equipment and lighting? The old saying is true, you get what you pay for. There is no need to pay an absolute fortune, but go for at least a medium priced professional videographer and you will not regret it.
4. HOW LONG SHOULD IT TAKE?
Editing video can take quite a good bit of time. Ask your videographer of choice what his average turn around time is. This can vary depending on the time of year, how busy the videogrpaher is and the size of their backlog. Again, if you're unsure just ask.
3. DON'T LET UNCLE BOB DO IT!
"We don't need to hire a videographer, my uncle has a camera and says he'll film it!" Again I understand wanting to save where you can, but this idea rarely works out how you hope it will. If your relative or close friend is willing to record for you, its a lovely gesture but they are going to be at your wedding as a guest. It's next to impossible to both enjoy the day as a guest and concentrate sufficiently to film a once in a lifetime event to any decent standard. Let your relatives and friends enjoy the special day fully and leave the hard work to those who can be there especially for that purpose. Make sure the person capturing the most important day of your life is a professional.
2. PLAN EARLY!
If at all possible, try to book your videographer well in advance of your date. Ideally a year or so in advance if you can. This will ensure the videographer you want is available and hasn't already been booked and also give you the time to make sure you have the wedding budget properly planned out and saved for.
1. ENJOY THE DAY!!!
It's the biggest most magical day of your life. The day will go quickly and will be over before you know it. Don't waste time worrying over things on the day, you'll have all your loved ones around you for support. Just enjoy the moment!
Hopefully some of this will help you in your search for the perfect videographer for your big day! If you'd like to check out DM Wedding Videos own packages, you can see what we have to offer HERE.. and of course, feel free to CONTACT US if you have any questions! Happy planning!!
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