As a Des Moines wedding photographer, one of the most common questions I am asked by couples is who I would recommend for them as a wedding videographer. In the last 4 years, it has become much more common for us to work with videographers at the majority of our weddings.
We love working with talented videographers with as much passion for their craft as us, and we always help recommend some of the best videographers in our area.
Today, I’m going to share our best tips for choosing the RIGHT videographer for your wedding day.
Ask your photographer who they recommend!
For most couples, they are choosing their photographer before they hire a videographer, thus we can’t emphasize enough that you should ask for referrals from your lead photographer. Your wedding photographer likely has a list of their favorite videographers and this is usually the best place to start. (Yes, we have a list – just ask!)
You want a cohesive team that enjoys working together and will serve you best on your wedding day! I’ve had really great experiences with videographers, and some truly awful experiences that have negatively impacted our clients’ wedding day. Thus, I only recommend videographers who are truly going above and beyond for our couples, are professional and respectful, and do beautiful artistic work. You can obviously spot talent when viewing videographer websites, but what is harder to determine is what they are like to work with on the job – this is why recommendations and referrals for your photographer are so invaluable! If your photographer that you already love and trust is recommending someone, more than likely you will love that wedding videographer too!
A quick note about photo-video teams: Do not be deterred by hiring two completely different businesses to handle photo and video – this means you are getting two specialists that really love their craft and are typically the best of the best! While there are some photo-video duos that are great and quite talented, what I’ve seen is that most are subcontracting one-half of the job out, and the quality of work suffers on one or both services.
Watch a variety of their wedding videos
Just like you want to choose a wedding photographer by surveying their portfolio, you want to do the same with a wedding videographer. Make sure you watch both full-length videos and their teaser/highlight videos. Get off instagram and go to their website, and watch every video they have. There are many different approaches to wedding videography, so take note of what you like and don’t like. Here’s some things to consider while watching:
- How do they use audio from speeches or the ceremony in their videos? Is it quality audio?
- Do you connect with the story of the day in the videos you watch? How do the wedding videos make you feel?
- What sort of editing style do you like? Chronological or scattered bits from the day?
- Is the color grade (ie, the color tones) of the video something you love?
- Is there movement and action, or does it feel like lots of stationary moments? Does the videographer include “stolen moments” or just the bride and groom?
- Do you want drone video or is that an option?
- What is the videographers approach to capturing the ceremony? Some videographers are more fly-on-the-wall, and others are right up in the action, with extreme close-ups during pivotal moments that can occasionally disrupt our ability to photograph those same moments. This can be one of those things that is hard to decipher and really has to do with approach and equipment, if you’re not sure – ask us.
- Does the videographer include many of the same staged segments (ie, couple walking through the cheering/dancing tunnel of bridal party members, tossing of the groom, groomsmen roughing up the groom before the first look, etc) and do you want this as part of your video?
Once you start watching enough wedding videos, you’ll start to pick up on the different approaches to telling the story. Some videographers go for more of a music-video-style wedding video – lots of energy comes from the way clips are edited to the music, and there isn’t as much use of the audio from the day to tell the story.
Other videographers make a lot more use of the audio clips from speeches, toasts, or even your first look to put together a narrative of your day. Personally, I LOVE when videographers do this because audio is the ONE thing that we can’t capture as photographers. Listening back to the words people said during your wedding is one of the best parts about hiring a wedding videographer.
Additionally, take note of how videographers tell stories. Are they always starting at the beginning of the day or do they use moments from later on to begin the story in your video? There’s no right or wrong approach here, but you’ll notice some patterns and may find that there’s a storytelling style that you prefer.
Connect with your potential videographer
Just like with choosing a wedding photographer, it’s important that you have a personal connection with your wedding videographer and you feel confident they will tell the story of your wedding day. The single best way to ensure this is to meet with your videographer before hiring them. They will spend a lot of time with you on your wedding day and you want to make sure you enjoy their personality and can envision them spending time with your family and closest friends. Set up a consultation, do a video chat or meet in person – whatever it takes, make sure you meet the actual person who will be present and doing the work on your wedding day!
I will additionally caution here that hiring a franchise company that bundles video alongside things like DJ or photo booths typically means you will not meet your videographer until the wedding day, and more likely than not, you are getting a subcontracted videographer. What this means is you really have no guarantee that your video will look like the videos you have seen on their website. You may get a brand new videographer or someone more experienced – it’s a bit of a roll of the dice. If video is not a big priority on your day, but you still want something, this may be a good option for you. But for those who want higher quality and better experience, I greatly encourage you to hire a local company and meet with your actual videographer – you’ll have a better experience from start to finish, I promise!
We hope you found this post helpful when figuring out how to choose a wedding videographer for your day! Let us know if you have any other questions related to choosing a wedding videographer. And, if you’re interested in our recommended list of wedding videographers, please reach out and we would be happy to share our list of favorites!