A magical wedding video is a wonderful way to look back on the memories of your special day in years to come.
So, the last thing you want in your film is awkward angles, poor audio recordings or unflattering lighting. It pays to carefully sift through all the videographers out there to find gold, says Michael Zhao, videographer at Sydney-based Splendid Photos and Videos.
“Sometimes people want to just make a quick and easy decision and not spend too much time looking for the right videographer for their wedding. If you don’t look around properly, you won’t be happy with the final result and you’ll be stuck with a bad wedding video.”
Your decision shouldn’t always be about about costs either, advises Michael, who has been shooting videos for almost 10 years and worked at more than 100 weddings during that time.
“You need to find an experienced videographer whose style you like, who knows how to manage his or her time effectively and has great people skills,” he recommends.
But how can you tell the difference between a ‘blah’ videographer and a brilliant one? Here are Mike’s tips on how to spot the right guy for you.
Their video style reflects what you want
Have a think about the kind of video you’d like to have created for your wedding and how it will reflect yours and your loved one’s personalities. Maybe you’d like something quite dramatic and glamorous, or perhaps you’d prefer something quite soft and romantic.
Spend the time checking out different videographers’ film reels online and look for one whose style resonates with you, suggests Michael, who describes his own work as having a “natural storytelling style”.
You feel comfortable with them
From the moment you get your hair and make-up done with your bridesmaids to the minute that you disappear into the night with your new spouse, your videographer will spend a large chunk of the day with you.
“It’s really important that you’ve got a good rapport with the videographer. The more relaxed you feel with him or her, the more that will show in the final result,” says Michael.
If it’s possible, it’s ideal if you can meet a few videographers before you make any decision, so you can gauge how you feel about them.
Look for a professional…
“Believe it or not, there’s more to being a professional videographer than simply knowing how to use the equipment well and shoot a great film,” says Michael.
An experienced videographer who has shot at many weddings will know how to manage their time effectively on the day, how to get your wallflower best mate in front of the video, how to gently lead you and your guests on the day and how to work with your other vendors.
Did you hire any furniture or styling props for your wedding?
So, resist the urge to simply whack a camera in a friend’s hand and ask them to do the honours and be sure to at least investigate hiring a professional. It’ll save you a lot of heartache.
There’s attention to detail
Of course, capturing the moment you and the love of your life exchange vows is important, but so is recording that time your best man hit the dance floor or when your flower girl smeared cake all over her face. The devil is, indeed, in the detail and all those moments can make the difference between your average video and a spectacular one.
“A good videographer will not sacrifice those little moments just to cover the major events on the day,” says Michael. “Ask your videographer what they usually shoot during the wedding and the order in which they take place. The more detail they give you, the more confidence you’ll have in them.”
They know how to work a crowd
From your sulky teenage cousins and your sister’s three-year-old twins to your bumbling old great uncle and your party animal workmates, a decent videographer needs to know how to round everyone up and control them on the day, says Michael.
“This is especially important after the ceremony and you’ve left the church,” he adds.
“Your videographer needs to know who and what to shoot as a priority while making it look natural. Often, we shoot big group videos, then family video shots and then move onto the couple. It’s the videographer’s job to know how to juggle all of that,” he explains.
If they’re not able to handle different situations and get the attention of people, your loved ones won’t listen to them and they’ll miss shooting some great moments on the day.
They co-ordinate with other vendors
On the day of your wedding, you’ll be surrounded by an army of great vendors to help make your day special, from the hair and make-up artist and the florist to the stylist, the event manager and your emcee. So, a professional videographer needs to know how to work with your team and not get in their way, while still getting great footage.
Michael recommends asking your videographer to explain what his or her general workflow is like on the day.
“The videographer needs to be able to co-ordinate with them and not get in their way or slow them down, while still getting great footage,” explains Mike. “For example, in the ceremony in the church (if that’s where you’re having your wedding), he or she needs to know how to talk to the priest about where he’ll be standing so he can shoot from a good angle and record great audio, too.”
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