Choosing a Videographer

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A wedding DVD should never be considered a substitute for still photographs. However, by virtue of its sound and movement, a DVD can preserve a distinct and important part of your wedding. Imagine being able to see and hear your vows being said, reliving again the emotions of the moment. A DVD of your wedding and the following festivities will capture the “real life” that otherwise goes unobserved, and is a poignant, often humorous, accompaniment to the traditional wedding photographs.

TO FIND A VIDEOGRAPHER, look at his work, and talk with him about his style of taping.

START LOOKING at least four months before your wedding, and reserve a firm date as soon as possible.

FEES WILL GENERALLY DEPEND on the number of cameras, editing time, and special production needs. Although most professionals do total packages, some videographers charge per camera, per hour.

DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT captured. You may want to design your own package to include footage of the rehearsal, the bachelor dinner, a bridal shower, you and your groom in final preparation for the ceremony, interviews with your parents, special guests, activities, and groups of friends at the reception…all captured in sight, sound, and movement for years to come.

HAS THE VIDEO you are viewing been done with more than one camera? Your demon­stration should include examples which help you understand the difference between one- and two-camera coverage. Is the video you are viewing taken by the videographer who would cover your wedding?

OBSERVE HOW THE CAMERA covered the ceremony and reception. Coverage should flow with the proceedings, interacting with guests, not intruding. The technique should be smooth, not jerky – the scenes should not look contrived. Poor scenes should have been edited out.

EXPERIENCE AND TRAINING: Ask how many years this person has been producing videos. How many weddings has he/she done (for payment – not family or friends) in the past year? Does he/she earn a significant portion of his income from this profession?

BE SURE THERE IS A CONTRACT outlining all the responsibilities and costs. It should include, in writing, specific coverage that you want on the video.

ASK WHAT HAPPENS if a personal emergency arises for the videographer you’ve contracted. Most professionals network with others of comparable experience, so they will be able to assure you that their contract will be fulfilled.