5 Questions to Ask Your Videographer

Katie Ann and Micheal Dyrland shooting Wedding

Your wedding may be the first time in your life you've had to organize an event of such a magnitude with so many moving parts.  When talking with vendors, it can be difficult to know the right questions to ask.  One resource that has been super handy for me during my own wedding planning has been the Bridechilla Field Guide - a filloutable planner that contains all kinds of useful information including budget spreadsheets, timelines and good questions to ask your vendors in a fun and colorful way!  I can't speak for other vendors, but I can lend you a little insight into the photography and videography world of wedding planning:

1. Ask for examples of a variety of work.
Just because a videographer killed at your best friend's sister's wedding under perfect shooting conditions doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't dig a little deeper into their portfolio.  Be sure to see examples of a variety of their work (inside, outside, windy on a beach, you name it.) Weddings can be unpredictable but you want your videographer to be able to handle whatever the day throws at them, capturing clean audio and consistent lighting.

2. Can we customize a package based on our needs?
No two weddings are the same, so why should two wedding videos be? While some couples want the all-inclusive, cookie cutter package that comes with the built-in officiant, two orchid lei, a 15 minute ceremony highlight, yada yada, others want a package that is uniquely built around them, their day and their wants.  What coverage or style is important to you?  Express your needs and if they can't be met, find someone who can meet them!  

3. Is the videographer we are meeting with the same person who will be filming at our wedding?
Most people aren't naturally comfortable in front of a camera.  I know I'm not!  The first step in feeling more comfortable and genuine on camera is by getting to know the person behind the camera ahead of time.  So you can imagine how meeting an absolute stranger the morning of your wedding might cause a bit of unease, especially when you were expecting to see Jane, who you got to know over coffee and scones last weekend and expressed your video needs to, but you got Paul asking your bridesmaid "so you're the bride?"

4. Do you use additional lights during during the reception?
Sometimes on a dark dance floor, a few video lights in the corners can really help the video to pop!  However, they might also cramp your style on the dance floor or conflict with the lighting scheme you had planned.  Lighting plays an important role in the feel of the room.  Whatever your concerns are, be sure to discuss them with your videographer and explore your options!

5. What type of equipment do you use?
While I wholeheartedly believe that it is a videographer and not a camera that makes amazing videos, it can be fun to do a little research into the gear!...or maybe not - maybe I'm just a gear head.  I will say though to make extra sure your videographer is working with Wireless LAVs and not in-camera or hot shoe mounted mics.  This is very important to the quality of the audio!

There are many other questions to be asked, most of which should be explained in a contract (Do you have backup equipment incase of equipment failure?  Can we make changes to the video after receiving a draft? etc.) Don't be afraid to ask your videographer questions.  If they are passionate and knowledgable, they should be happy to answer them honestly and fully.  And if you get any sketchy feelings about their answers, run the other way and find someone you are comfortable with.  It's your day, your way!