So, you want a wedding video but don’t know how to pick a wedding videographer?
There are probably more than 100 decisions to be made before the big day. Choosing a videographer can be difficult for couples who haven’t thought about it before. Everyone has a different style and quality varies – so does price.
The best way to judge a wedding videographer is to look at their samples. Just like a photograph or a song, you’ll usually know what you like fairly fast.
It really only comes down to three things:
- Do you like their samples
- Can you afford them
- Are they available
If you just wanted a pointer, stop reading now. However, if you want to make a more informed decision read on;
1. Traditional or cinematic
Do you they provide a traditional approach or a more cinematic product.
- Traditional: Think long cuts of all the guests arriving and leaving, much longer video, lots of zooms and pans to capture all the day as it happens and cheaper in price (usually).
- Cinematic: Usually shorter, more artistic and more expensive.
Learn more about the difference between traditional and cinematic weddings >
2. Samples available online
It might seem obvious, but check their sample videos. If you like their sample videos you’re probably good to go from a creative perspective. If they have very limited, or no footage available online that should be a red flag.
However, if they are just starting out, that’s fine and their prices will usually reflect this. Everyone starts from somewhere but they should at least have some sample clips, even if not from a wedding. An established wedding videographer should have footage easily available online, no excuses. If they don’t it should be an immediate red flag.
3. Budget offers
Some do wedding videos very cheap and that can be great, weddings are expensive. Just like anything, you can trim costs by having less coverage/videographers, cheaper equipment and not licensing music.
That being said, some people do it as a hobby and have full time jobs during the week, meaning they can usually be a bit cheaper as it’s not their primary source of income. A high price doesn’t necessarily mean high quality so shop around if budget is a concern.
4. Hard selling
‘The biggest regret we hear from brides is they wish they got a wedding video’ – This type of hard selling and fear of loss tactics is unfair and unethical. Generally, people choose not to get a videographer because they either didn’t want one to start with or can’t afford it. If you’re in the latter category, it’s totally unfair to try to convince you to to pay for something that’s beyond your budget.
5. How many videographers will be there
If there will be more than one, they will usually tell you early on, as it’s seen as a major selling point. It’s not impossible to do a really good job with a single videographer but there is added flexibility on the day with two or more.
6. SD, HD or 4k
Without getting too technical, do they shoot and deliver the final product in a format that you want? If it’s a DVD it’s standard definition, even if they shoot in HD. Some now shoot in 4k and then deliver in HD. Read more about the difference between SD, HD and 4k >
This is always a funny one. The length of a video is not an indication of quality. It’s down to personal taste but quality should be more important than quantity. Some couples want an extended hour + video of the day and some only want the highlight.
If you consider ceremony and speeches alone that’s likely more than an hour. It’s down to personal taste, some never want to see the full ceremony and some want to see every bit of footage that came out of the camera on the day. It’s up to you to decide what you want.
What music is used in their sample footage? If you hear Bruno Mars then it’s likely unlicensed. A lot of videographers seem to be slow to move away from this practice. It’s illegal to use unlicensed music in a wedding video.
9. Image quality
A wedding day is high stress, nobody can get a beautiful shot 100% of the time. But, look out for overly shaky footage. Is it grainy, are their strange parallel lines when someone is moving in the frame?
Watch out for black and white clips. There are legitimate reasons to use black and white in a video, but it is also a last resort if the footage is not properly exposed or their camera is bad in low light.
10. Audio quality
Can you clearly hear people speaking? Video quality is very important, but it could be argued that audio is even more so. Audio on a wedding day comes from multiple sources. Think, choir, couple, crowd, priest/officiant, DJ, multiple people at speeches. One microphone on top of a single camera would have a very hard time picking up clean audio from all of these sources.
11. Colour correction
This is a little bit of a technical one, but in simple terms; are the colours consistent throughout the video. Do skin tones look natural? Are the blacks in the image black? Does everything have a green tint? Colour correction is an art. There can be stylistic merit to altering the colour of a video clip to convey emotion or emphasise a mood. But badly used it can look cheap and tasteless.
Are there vignettes in the corners of the video, this can be caused by poor quality lenses or added by the editor on purpose. If there are lens flares, are they natural or fake, are there any special effects or transitions you don’t like.
13. Are they discreet
I’m not sure there are any non-discrete videographers out there. It’s something you’ll see on every supplier’s website and even our own and it’s one of the reasons couples don’t consider a videographer. Most, if not all, videographers are totally discrete. When the camera is rolling, it’s in our interest to keep out of the way and not to speak because we’re also recording audio.
14. Website/social media
Generally, a website is the first port of call when looking for a wedding supplier. A tasteful consistent website is generally a good sign. If they have social media, are they managed professionally?
Reviews can be a great indication of previous couples experience. However, most suppliers will have close to 100% reviews, no matter the quality of their product. There is also the danger of fake reviews, but in almost all cases they will be legitimate.
There are lots of wedding awards, some more prestigious than others. It’s up to you to decide if you believe the value of these awards. Every second supplier seems to have one.
17. Photo and video together
Some suppliers shoot photo and video. It can obviously be very handy to have one supplier do both. If you like their sample footage and photos then it’s great. Just make sure the quality is consistent in video and photos. Photography and videography are similar but not entirely the same.