3 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Wedding Videographer
Owner, Unveiled Media
Your wedding day is huge! The days, weeks and months leading up to the ceremony are monumental. When the moment finally comes you want to cherish every second of the once-in-a-lifetime event. It will be a day you never forget, but will it be a day you remember?
From the logistics of the schedule to the details of the ceremony and reception and honeymoon, you’ll have a ton on your mind. When you look back on your memories, they may be fuzzy, clouded with the stress that comes with all the excitement. We often hear from couples after they watch their wedding film how surprised they are with how many of the small details they hadn’t recalled. Photos do a great job capturing the mood of your wedding day, but a well-made wedding film has a way of bringing every aspect to life for years to come.
The last thing you need though, is a heartache six weeks after your big day when your wedding video doesn’t live up to what you had hoped. Asking these 3 questions before you make a hire could be the difference between disappointment and years’ worth of excitement and nostalgia.
1. Let’s start with the most important… Can I see some of your previous work?
If your prospective wedding videographer doesn’t have ample previous work to show off, red flags should go up and sirens should blare. Talented videographers are proud of their stuff and want you to see it. Previous work is the absolute best indicator of future work. If you are in love with a certain video that your cinematographer has previously done, let them know! That being said, each wedding film is individually crafted for the couple. Ideally, your cinematographers will take your input and use their creative vision to make a video that is as unique as you are. So, while previous work should be the number one factor in making your decision, remember that no two videos are created exactly alike.
2. This one isn’t a fun question, but…. Where do you stand on copyright laws?
You may already have the perfect song picked out for your video that will lay the mood to set the tone of the story, but unless you’re willing to pay an ungodly sum of money, you may need to consider a compromise. A popular song by a high-profile artist without proper rights may result in your video not only being taken offline, but also in legal actions taken against your videographer. Almost no videographer is going to want to bring this up, so it’s on you to ask. Provided that you’ve asked question number one, your video is going to be stunning and gorgeous. The last thing you want is unexpected consequences. So, when you ask this question, one of two things will happen. Either there will be an uncomfortable silence and a shift of subject or your prospective videographer will start giving you all the details of the sites that they buy music from (Marmoset, Soundstripe or Premium Beat to name a few.) In a digital age, where content can be shared and spread instantly, this just isn’t an area worth risking.
3. How does your pricing structure work?
Like many of the finer things in life, you get what you pay for. Your slightly inebriated uncle using a camcorder straight out of the 1990s might be cheap, but it certainly won’t make your heart race and emotions fly. Skimping on this portion of the budget may tempting, but if videography is a priority for you, it’s important to dedicate the proper resources. Recently a good friend hired a company called WedReel to document his day. The company used iPhone footage shot by friends and family do tie together a highlight video. It’s an awesome and unique business model that doesn’t break the bank. Unfortunately, the “company” collected the cash and ran. This would have been nearly impossible to predict, but just goes to show that cheaper is not always better. On the flip side of the equation is the phenomenal wedding filmmaker Matt Johnson. His packages start at over $4,000, but his product, knowledge and level of service are second-to-none that we’ve seen. Regardless of how much you’re looking to spend, be sure that you completely understand the pricing structure. What exactly does your dollar get you? Are there any additional charges or fees? Is there any way to customize my product to lower the price?
This list isn’t all encompassing, but it’s a great place to start! Modify these questions to include what is most important to you. You only get one wedding, make sure it’s captured exactly how you have envisioned. Don’t get discouraged if the first videographer you talk to isn’t the perfect fit. Stick with the search until you find the cinematographer who is as passionate about your wedding as you are!