Ask the Videographer – Part 2

Yes, we know.  Say “I do”, set the date, and suddenly you’re having more meetings than the Secretary of State.  Meet with the venue. Meet with the caterer. Meet about the dress.  Meet about the OTHER
dresses.  Meet with the florist, meet with the DJ, meet meet meet.  We feel your pain, we really do. We also know that, as we talked about last week, few meetings are more important than meeting with your videographer. First, just MEETING your videographer.

He (or she) has to be the right one for you!  So find one whose style you like or who has been recommended to you, and then set up a brief face-to-face.  We’re giving you six great questions to ask that will help you know whether you’ll want to take the next step and ink that contract for video.

Personal plea here: sign him or her. Or don’t. But sign somebody. We’ve heard from too many new wives who blow off wedding video, then see the bits their friends have Facebooked, and they are soooo sad to not have captured the entire day for themselves.

Most lists of Questions to Ask Your Videographer start with “Is my date open on your calendar?” Duh.

How long have you been shooting weddings? How many have you covered? How many do you shoot a year? Will YOU be the person shooting mine? If not, who will be? (If you hear something like “Oh, my wife fills in when I can’t make it”, run.)

What sort of equipment do you use? (You may find yourself greeted in answer to that with an enthusiastic drone-on of technical jargon that means nothing to you. BUT, if you do, chances are you’ve found someone who keeps up with the ever-changing world of cameras. Your videographer should shoot HD or at least digital. To move things along, try asking about microphones (which will cause the videographer to think, “Say, this woman knows her stuff!”  If you really don’t, it’s OK; listen for the words Sony, Audiotech, Sennheiser – these are good.  The words “I picked it up on sale at Radio Shack” – say your prayers. You can ask about how many cameras and how many videographers for your wedding, but this usually comes later when you are discussing packages and prices. (Yes, so sorry. A minimum of two short meetings is necessary – not just nice but necessary –in the case of video. (More on that second meeting to come.)

How did you get started shooting weddings and what’s your philosophy about it? (Gotta LOVE an open-ended question! Listen closely and you’lll learn worlds about what drives this person – or doesn’t – and how they’ll approach shooting your wedding.)

What parts of a wedding do you usually capture? (Just remember that this will depend, in the end, on what YOU want captured. What you’re going for here is to find out how well-versed the guy or woman is in the elements of a wedding, how thorough he or she is, what he or she considers important and so on.)

What do I get? (Will the finished product  be on DVD, flash drive, or both? How long will it be? Do the videographer and/or editor incorporate voices and natural sound, or create a video with mostly a music background? If music, do you the bride get a say in what that music track will be?

Size of booking deposit and refund and cancellation policies. By now, you know whether this man or woman is the videographer for you. If you walk away both excited and confident, you’ve found them. Because after all, this individual can have their camera turned on you from the moment you start putting on your makeup. For sure you’ll be full in their lens (or should be!) as you appear for the First Look and say your vows, and they’ll be close by throughout your wedding. (Which reminds us – if this videographer seems to want to disappear, mumbles or is shy in person, you may have a hard time noticing them at your wedding: they’ll be the shadow in the far back with their camera glued to one spot, recording only what passes in front of it. Do you want this? No you do not. You want a videographer who is not afraid to move in close for “The Shot”!

Most importantly, you want to like and feel comfortable with them !

Next week, the 2nd meeting and getting down to the nitty-gritty: questions your videographer should be asking you…