Although this guide focuses on how to choose the best wedding videographer, it applies to any type of wedding vendor. Booking vendors for your wedding can be stressful, especially if you don’t know what to look for. I hope to make this a little easier for you.
There are many routes on how to choose the best wedding videographer, but there’s one that stands out among the pack. This is word of mouth. You generally choose a restaurant to eat at or a movie to watch based on the recommendations of people whose opinions you trust. A referral from a friend or family member who has worked with a certain videographer will carry the most weight. If they have a great experience then there’s a good chance you will, too. However, there exists the possibility that the videographer isn’t available on your wedding date.
If you don’t have a backup referral, but you have a wedding planner, ask them about their preferred vendor list. A planner isn’t as close as a friend or family member, but they only pick the cream of the crop to be on their list. Even still, you’ll want to do your due diligence. The next paragraph explains why.
Some wedding companies have a team, or set of teams. This means on any given date they can shoot multiple weddings. The main problem with this is that you don’t know who you’re getting. You might hit it off with your point of contact, but you don’t know who will actually shoot your wedding. I have freelanced in the past with some big wedding video companies that employed hundreds of shooters around the country.
One in particular had amazing ratings on Wedding Wire and The Knot, and was on several planners’ preferred vendors lists. Unbeknownst to me or the planners, however, was that they were secretly scamming customers. They weren’t paying their shooters, and they weren’t delivering brides their films. The company had numerous positive reviews, but it turns out these were fake reviews written by people they paid to write them. They ended up shutting down and running off with a lot of peoples’ money. All this was detailed on a local news report here: Bride and Gloom. I blogged a wedding I filmed while working under this company that goes into more detail: Kaitlin + Mark.
This is why it’s so important to meet with your potential videographer. If meeting in person isn’t feasible due to distance or time conflicts, at least chat with them via Skype or FaceTime. Rather than a phone call, have a face to face to build trust and see if there’s chemistry. You should always meet with your videographer before the wedding anyway to go over the details of the wedding. The more you plan, the better your film will turn out.
Get to know the style of shooting the videographer does. Are they a fly on the wall or do they get up close and personal? The type of videographer that shoots from a distance will give you a documentary style of film that lets the day play out as-is. To get an emotional story that grips you and makes you feel something will require the videographer to be more intrusive. They will have you redo certain moves and have you stand where the light is best. They’ll get closeup shots and unique angles that puts them right where the action is.
One of the most important aspects, which I briefly touched on already, is that you have a good chemistry and rapport with the videographer. You’re going to spend an entire day with them and then you’ll be in contact as they work on and deliver your film. You want to work with someone who gets you and has a personality that meshes well with yours, otherwise they may add unneeded stress. Find someone who’s fun and has a passion for what they’re doing.
Lastly, and this should go without saying, check out some of their previous work. The best wedding videographers will have a style of filmmaking as opposed to a cookie cutter paint by numbers approach. Make sure you like what they do. If you like elegant and classy, but their style is light and airy, then as good as they may be, they might not fit well with your vision. I hope this helps you in your search on how to choose the best wedding videographer.
Like this blog post? Check out some of my other favorites!