5 Things to bear in mind when hiring a wedding videographer
1) Are the videographers recommended by a trustable source?
Some of the main concerns when hiring a videographer are that you won't get on well with them during the day, perhaps the footage they have on their website or social media is not their own, or potentially you will hire someone who then sub hires some one else less competent. Unfortunately online reviews can also be manipulated quite easily these days as well which makes things less clear. Hiring someone that is recommended by a friend will put most of these issues to rest, and perhaps even better is to hire someone recommended by a venue.
Generally someone recommended by a venue will have a lot of experience at that establishment, and be able to smoothly pick all the best shots, be aware of location specific information such as drone flying laws, and be more relaxed and competent on the day. A venue's recommended suppliers represent them as a business so they will only select the very best to make sure their clientelle is happy.
2) Are you hiring from an agency or individual?
You may have come across some videography businesses that hire videographers on your behalf. I would be a bit careful of this approach as you have no idea what experience the team they put together for you has. They will likely also provide equipment to this team, but the team may be inexperienced with that equipment. Just because you see some great looking sample footage from an agencies websites doesn't mean they will be using the same people or same cameras.
3) How many videographers with how many cameras will you be hiring?
For a nice smooth video you will generally need at least 2 cameras filming an event, so in the editing process the editor can switch views at least once especially if someone gets in the way. Having more camera angles will make for a more interesting video, for example in the ceremony, it is nice to have cameras pointing at the bride and groom and also at the audience to capture the emotions of the family etc. I would normally use 3 cameras for a ceremony.
Videography tends to be a more complex job than photography, with more equipment being involved. Weddings can be a fast paced event, for instance a videographer can have several cameras setup on tripods for a ceremony, then very quickly need to mount a camera on a gimbal (a stabiliser) for a confetti shot, and then a drone may need to be in the air for a group shot, all within half an hour, so where possible I would recommend taking 2 videographers to really make sure all the best shots get taken.
Also bear in mind that videographers and photographers should be communicating and working together to avoid getting in each others way, so they should be put in touch before the event.
Me and my wife offer a service of 2 videographers, or one videographer and one photographer working together as a team that supports each other.
4) What sort of equipment will they be using?
Are your videographers equipt to handle filming in the rain if that happens? Can their cameras operate well in low light conditions? Can they provide high quality slow motion footage, drone footage and gimbal stabilised footage?
If your videographer is recommended by a friend or venue you can check their footage and be fairly certain to receive something of a similar standard, so these questions are not so important. If you are not sure, you can ask if they can provide 4k (cinema quality) recordings, have weather sealed cameras, and have approrpiatley 'fast' lenses for low light conditions, these lenses have larger holes or 'apertures' that allow more light in to allow high quality images at night.
5) Have you seen their sample footage?
It goes without saying to check the videographers sample footage to see if you like their style, but again be aware that it is not necessarily uncommon for people or businesses to steal footage from other professionals, so do some thorough background checking.
If you are buying a package with full ceremony and speeches be sure to check one sample of a full length video to check the quality is the same as the shorter highlights, and check the audio quality with good headphones. You can ask what audio recording equipment they use. 'In camera' audio is the worst, lapel microphones and XLR microphones are best. Ideally ceremonys should be recorded with a few audio options incase one doesnt work.
We record with a mixture of lapel and XLR microphones. Please feel free to ask for a sample of a full length video.
Bradley Jadir and his wife Anastassia provide a bespoke and customisable wedding videography service in around Berkshire,
and are also available to travel across the UK. Please check out a few of our videos here if you are interested.