• brian wheatley

What to ask a Wedding Videographer

Questions to ask about Wedding Videography


How much do people really understand what a Wedding Videographer does? Do they just stand around pointing that camera thing at people waiting for something funny to upload to their Youtube channel?


Absolutely not! Wedding Videography is about capturing the love and important moments of your day and the small intricate details. And they can do this in so many ways.


Yes, we watch out for people and wait... for that perfect shot of them laughing at a joke. Smiling with you and for you. Celebrating your beautiful, romantic wedding. Tender moments captured on video that will provide memories to cherish in years to come.


So when you're looking for that perfect Wedding Videographer it helps to know what they can provide for you and how they create their work.


Ask them a few questions. Delve into their history. Research their reviews and testimonials.


You may find it helpful to ask your Photographer if they could recommend someone they've worked with before. Many Videographers and Photographers work as teams as this provides confidence with clients. It also makes life easier for these people, as they know how each other works and what shots each professional will need. Wedding Photography is a similar creative art.


Experience counts in any industry and weddings are no different. How many weddings have a Wedding Video Company produced? Have they filmed at your venue before?


Ask to see examples of their past work. Many Videographers have websites that showcase their portfolio. If you see consistency in their film styles, you can pretty much be sure how your Wedding Video will look.


The length of your video is another important question. It’s no good booking a cinematographer with a drone for £2000 if you only get a five-minute movie. It may be a work of art and look stunning but if you wanted the whole of the ceremony and speeches filming, then you may be very disappointed.


Look for balanced coverage. Some people may just want a five-minute video. Others may be looking for a twenty-minute video or longer. Many Wedding Videographers will still provide coverage of the entire day or part day. And prices will differ depending on each company and coverage required.


Now price is a subject that I find fascinating to discuss. What is the correct price for a Wedding Videographer? You're buying a creative piece of work at the end of the day. Whatever style is used. Experience, professionalism and reputation can be a deal maker or breaker. But I'd say steer clear of really cheap deals that sound too good to be true, as they often are! If you have a large budget for a team of Wedding Videographers and Photographers great! You'll get every angle covered and have a fantastic memory of your day. If you aren't a millionaire, there are more reasonable packages available at fair prices which can range between £500 and £2000 depending on where you are in the country.


Consider the experience that your Wedding Videographer has. How long have they been filming and how many Weddings have they covered? What type of weddings do they film? Do they specialise or cover a wider range of cultural and styles of weddings?


Does your Videographer ooze confidence? Both before the wedding day and during? Not too much ooze, though! That could get messy!


Do they make suggestions what would be the best package that would suit your needs or try to just sell you their highest-priced package?


Some brides don't like the idea of a video camera being around them during the morning of their wedding. And that's completely understandable. Others may want every little detail of the preparations recorded. The dress hanging in the window, sunlight shining through the materials onto their wedding jewellery. Beautifully arranged to glitter and bring a tear to the eye.


Bridesmaids and Flower Girls getting ready. Sharing important and cherished moments with you as you prepare to get hitched to the man of your dreams! But don’t fear - life doesn't end after marriage!


And think of the look on your father or mother's face as they see you for the first time in that amazing wedding dress!


Now equipment these days for filming weddings has come a long way. Gone are the days of a guy or gal running around with a great big Sony Beta Broadcast TV Camera on their shoulder. Cameras range from pocket-sized GoPro's to mid-sized 35mm gadgets of wizardry. And if your cameraman is lucky enough to own a RED Dragon or Arri Alexa consider yourself fortunate as these are extremely expensive cameras to buy or rent.


Most Wedding Videographers tend to go with mid-sized cameras or even dslr cameras. Personally, I prefer a camera such as the Canon XF305 or XF405. These cameras have built-in zoom lenses so are able to produce images with a smooth slow zoom in or out. Something that's a bit trickier to do with a dslr. Of course, you can pop a dslr onto a gimbal and walk around whilst filming a wedding, and many Wedding Videographers will do this. Personally, though, I'd find this a bit distracting. You will also get some vertical bounce movement as gimbals can't cure this completely. And having to change lenses and re-balance a gimbal mid-shoot is a nightmare.


I tend to pop my camera onto a tripod for the majority of the day. This provides not only a break for my arms and back but enables me to produce completely still shots with no camera shake. The camera will come off the tripod though for the evening, as I can move about much easier. This also allows me to be more discreet and film people without harassing them. A lot of the time people don't even know they are being filmed – and that’s how you get natural looking footage.


So ask your potential Wedding Videographer how they film and for how long. Will they go armed to the teeth with several cameras and gadgets or keep it loose and just use one camera?


Sound is also a very important issue on a Wedding Video and often overlooked by both wedding couples and new people looking to break into the wedding industry.


How do you capture those vows in a church? What is balanced audio during speeches? Well, it all comes down to what microphones are used and where they are placed.


For the vows, will the Videographer use a tie-clip mic (lavalier) on the groom? This will pick up not only the couple saying their vows, but also the vicar's voice. Sometimes the cameraman is close enough to just use a shotgun microphone. This is especially useful if the church staff are a little wary of clashing radio mic signals. Nobody wants feedback because of a conflicting frequency channel.


Of course using a radio mic may allow the Wedding Cinematographer to be a little more unobtrusive. I've hidden behind pillars and even tucked into a few church choirs!


Speeches are vitally important as well. And if you want them recorded, how will that happen? Will there be multiple cameras from different angles? This also applies to the ceremony. My experience of over 360 weddings tells me that you never relax during the speeches. Sometimes surprises can happen during a speech. Singing waiters, comedy from guests, and unexpected visitors.


Will your videographer be able to film your first dance? Will they need to light the room? And how much of the dance will they capture? All of it or just parts?


Some more practical questions to ask your videographer:


• Will it be them filming or will they send a Freelance Cameraman?

• Do they provide the video editing themselves?

• Will they require a meal and refreshments? (Most do!)

• Are they covered by Public Liability Insurance? (They should be!)

• What are their payment terms and conditions?

• How long will you have to wait before your finished movies are delivered?


I think I could write a book on this whole subject of Wedding Videography! But shh! I won't give any juicy gossip away!


Anyway - I hope that's given you some insight into the weird and wonderful world of Wedding Videography. If you have questions or looking to book a Videographer for your day, you can find my website here www.midlandsweddingvideo.com or you can email me on brian@mmmtv.co.uk.


Whoever you choose to film your incredible day I hope they do a magnificent job and provide you with memories to treasure for years to come.

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