If a picture is worth a thousand words…then video is an encyclopedia. They say our most valuable possessions are the memories of our life experiences. Since the beginning of recorded history, the marriage celebration has been the high point of a family’s celebrations. Preserving the memories with motion and sound is one of the wisest investments you can make. Choosing the best videographer is a decision that takes research and careful consideration.
IT’S YOUR WEDDING …DON’T MISS IT A string quartet softly fills the air with classical music. The mothers are wearing elegant gowns. After being escorted to their seats, they light two candles adjoining the unity candle. The man of your dreams walks to the center aisle and takes a deep breath. Your best friends carefully march to the front and await your arrival. Sighs fill the air as your niece, the most adorable flower girl the world has ever seen drops rose petals on a white runner…and you are not even in the room. You are standing in the hall with Dad getting ready to make your entrance. Without a quality wedding video, you will have missed important moments that you have been planning since childhood.
UNOBTRUSIVE Video is naturally less obtrusive than photography. There is no need to pose or arrange people. A video camera is silent and the newer digital cameras work in such low light that rarely is a light needed on the camera. A skilled videographer will be able to catch all the events and the interactions with your guests without you being aware of their presence. When you think about it, all the emotion, drama, suspense and lighter moments are built into the event. There should be no need to perform for the camera. Look for a videographer who will work in the background without becoming the overbearing director of your event.
CALM, CONFIDENT & QUIET Attitudes and emotions are contagious. That is why so many wedding professionals have chosen to be at a wedding event every weekend. The love and excitement that wedding party’s exuberant will leave us feeling truly good about life. In turn, our attitudes and emotions will have an effect on the people with which we are working. Choose wedding professionals who will make you feel both calm and confident.
WOW! THIS LOOKS AND SOUNDS LIKE TV If you are going to watch it on TV, it should be of the same quality as the other programs you watch. In order to have a great quality wedding video you need a videographer who has the right equipment and is skilled in the areas of camera work, sound recording and editing. Make sure the videographers you interview are full-time professionals who use three chip digital cameras for high resolution and great color. Ask if they will attend your rehearsal to properly plan for camera angles and microphone placement. Unless you want to assume the liability for their actions, make sure they carry liability insurance and have a business license.
When you visit, do not be afraid to ask and see proof. Look at sample videos from actual weddings shot by the videographer who will be shooting your wedding and evaluate for smooth and steady camera work. Do the people on the tape look natural or staged? Can you feel the emotion? Listen carefully to the audio from the music, minister, vows, readers, vocalists and the D.J.’s introductions and toasts from the reception. An experienced videographer will have carefully miked all of the above. The on-camera microphone will never produce better than home video sound. Choose a full-time professional with quality equipment, skill and experience.
THE BIG PICTURE The love that a couple feels for each other will be with them for the rest of their life. Getting in touch with these feelings years down the road might be a challenge for some. Having a Love Story produced where the details of your romance are documented may very well be the vehicle that will take you back to the time when your love was new. Many couples will have their video include additional important elements of the wedding process such as obtaining a marriage license, a visit to the site of the first meeting or date, recreating the proposal, final fitting of the dress or a visit to the tuxedo shop. When wedding video is produced to its potential, it will do more than just record what you look like and what you say, it will truly capture all the emotions of planning the biggest day of your life. Choose a videographer who is willing to customize coverage the way you want.
HOW MUCH SHOULD PROFESSIONAL VIDEO COST The going rate for an experienced camera operator who owns Broadcast Quality equipment is between $100 & $150 per hour. When you consider (depending on the coverage you select) the time to plan, shoot and edit a professional wedding video will be anywhere from 15 to 60 hours, you can estimate what the cost should be for a top quality wedding video. You can always find somebody who will do it for less, if you are willing to accept a lower level of skill and quality. Sometimes it is better to spend more than you have planned, instead of less than you should.
THE TRUE VALUE OF VIDEO A young couple in my office was up front about deciding whether to include professional video in their budget. I asked them to picture themselves owning a film of their grandparent’s wedding day and how much it would mean to them. She replied that her grandparents did indeed hire a professional to record a 16mm film of their wedding. I offered to buy it from her and asked her for a price. She said, “I could never part with that film, it’s family history and probably the most important thing I will ever own.” That was precisely the point. Having a professional wedding video produced will provide joy to your family now and for generations to come. Capture the romance by investing in a professionally produced wedding video.
About The Author: John Goolsby has produced over 1500 professional wedding videos working in 14 different states and 9 countries. He is a Certified Professional Videographer and Master of Electronic Imaging and has taught video communication at California Baptist University and the University of California-Riverside. He has won numerous awards including the PROVA award for the best wedding video in the United States three times and is the Past-President and Honorary Lifetime member of Professional Photographers of California and a Wedding Video Hall of Fame Inductee. You can reach him at (800) 495-5530 or www.AmericanVideographer.com