10 Questions to Ask Your Videographer (Before You Book)
Once you’ve found your potential videographer, schedule a time to meet and don’t leave that meeting until you’ve asked all of these questions. The answers will help you make the right decision.
These will guide you, but are not comprehensive, so make sure you add your own!
1. How long have you been filming weddings? And how many do you do per year?
Why should You ask: 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.
2. Are there any other pros in the area you love to work with?
Why should You ask: 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.
3. How would you describe your style -- more documentary, cinematic or a mix of both?
Why should You ask: 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 want. Asking for samples of their work will give you a sense of how professional your videographer is and the kind of work they do. We're always delighted to showcase our work.
4. What input do you want from us, and what do you prefer to have final say on?
Why should You ask: 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 particular idea of what you want in your wedding video, you may want to talk that over with them before you sign on the dotted line. Your music selection is important as it'll be with you forever.
5. How does your pricing work?
Why should You ask: Videographers typically charge a flat rate based on an amount of time. Others offer preset packages that also include other pieces, like 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 message booth – ask about it and get any agreements in writing.
6. Have you ever worked with my photographer? Do you know him/her?
Why should You ask: 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. We tend to let the photographer take the lead for the majority of the day and let them know when we've something coming up that needs done!
7. Have you shot my ceremony or reception venue before?
Why should You ask: 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. If not, it's no big deal, but ask them to agree to scout the venues beforehand so they'll have some idea of what is needed. There are a lot of venues out there and it is possible, even for experienced people to travel somehwere new.
8. Will you be shooting any other weddings the weekend of my wedding? Will you be the one shooting on the day of?
Why should You ask: If your videographer has several events to shoot on your wedding day, you'll want to be sure that they have time for your wedding. Ideally, you'll have your videographer for the entire day, but big businesses often schedule and manage multiple weddings per weekend. So in some cases, the person who 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.
9. What does your camera and equipment look like?
Why should You ask: 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 that 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?
This is more important than you might realise. If you're not keen on cameras, this might be off putting on the day. Ability to stay back a little with a long reach lens is much more comfortable for all.
10. Will there be a second shooter, a stationary camera or any other backup cameras on hand for our wedding?
Why should You ask: 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. Spend a little extra at the time of booking and get a much more slick product. Remember in a service industry like this, getting the cheapest out there doesn't equate to getting the best. Unfortunately to get a feature film productio, you have to spend feature film budget figures. Affordable is great. As usual, if it seems too cheap to be true, well your inquisitive side should kick in.
11. Will you spend much time editing/preparing our video or is that not the important bit?
Why should You ask: Your videographer might spend anything up to 10 - 12 hours with you on your wedding day, so if it's a budget version you've opted for you won't expect them to spend a great deal of time creating a masterpiece, but they should give it the same care and attention. An all day wedding coverage could have 3- 6 hours of footage per camera and sound as well - and maybe up to 8. That takes a lot of time to sort through, backup, archive, label and prepare for editing. It might take between 40 and 60 hours to edit through this, colour, adjust sound etc. Factor in the cost of professional equipment, travel, insurance etc. and then allow for a wage (remember this is where most independant and professional videographers earn their wages from). 40 hours is a normal working week, so if the price is less than that of an average two week wage, you have to ask why.
If they answer, that most of the important time is with you on the day, then you have your answer right there! It's very very important, YES, but giving you a memory to share and treasue, is every bit as important.