Learn the steps needed to put your wedding day in motion.
Your nuptials will be one of most important days in your life as a couple. It’s an occasion brimming with excitement and emotion – and it flashes by in an instant. Traditionally, brides and grooms rely on photography to summon treasured memories. Lately, hiring a videographer – or filmmaker – is taking more precedence with couples as a way to record those fleeting moments. Video has the ability to take you back to that day in a uniquely special way. You can hear the voices of loved ones and witness emotions as they move across faces; it’s a kind of time travel. With a beautifully crafted wedding video, you can experience again and again those ephemeral events that occur once in a lifetime.
CHOOSING YOUR FILMMAKER
Selecting the right person to record your day can be overwhelming. As the industry grows, there is more talent to choose from, making it difficult to focus. Below, we share some insider tips to make the selection process a bit easier.
Research. Before meeting with a videographer, look through their portfolio. Watch their wedding videos from start to finish and make note of the spirit of their work. Keep in mind that what you see from a filmmaker is what you’ll get! If you love their vision and the work they’ve done, you’re sure to like what they’ll create for you.
Look for an artist. Without a creative vision, your wedding film may amount to hours of footage that lack artistic value. Search for someone who can capture the essential and expected events of the day (the ceremony, speeches, etc.), but who also has an eye for emotion and beauty. A great videographer can balance the technicalities while capturing real moments. Equally as crucial is choosing someone who has the experience to expect what can’t be planned for – such as when Dad sees you as a bride for the first time. Those moments happen only once and pass quickly.
Meeting a filmmaker before hiring them is important. This person will be present for some of the most intimate moments of your day. You’ll want to have a comfortable rapport and trust them completely.
Have a reasonable budget. Keep in mind that videography generally involves much more post-production than photography, and therefore has more overhead. If you’re looking for a high-quality film, prepare to invest in it. Be honest about your limits so your filmmaker can give you clear feedback about what is possible within your spending limit.
Bring examples. Filmmaker Adrian Toto stresses having an open dialogue: “Reviewing examples you like in the meeting is a great idea!” Sharing samples of the videographer’s work that you love, as well as the work of others, is extremely valuable. This will help to organize concepts on how you want your day to be captured. It’s also a very useful way to clearly illustrate what you want from your filmmaker. Explain specifically what you admire about each example, and how you’d like it translated into your own wedding video.
TALK IT OUT
Making a beautiful wedding film boils down to more than aesthetics. Discussing personal style, as well as other necessary details, will assist you in choosing the right person for the job.
Make it personal. Describing the ethos you share as a couple will give your videographer a good sense of how they should create your film. In post-production, everything from music selection to scene transitions will affect its character. While recording the key moments of your day is a priority, reflecting your personality in the wedding video should be equally important.
Consider logistics. The physical presence your videographer has throughout your wedding is vital to address. Ask how big their crew is and how much equipment they’ll bring so that you have a sense of how visible they’ll be. Also consider how discreetly they can blend in. Make sure your video team knows what you expect of their attire. Filmmaker Reuben Hernandez notes, “It looks pretty bad when vendors are dressed unprofessionally – especially photographers and/or filmmakers.” He cautions that large teams with a lot of equipment can be a distracting presence, taking away from the entire experience.
When it comes to picture-making of any kind, lighting is everything. Inform your filmmaker about lighting conditions in your venue. Your videographer can bring what's needed to ensure crucial moments aren’t lost in the dark.
A less obvious question: How will your photographer work with the video team? Both sets of professionals have the ability to either help or hinder each other. Photographers might want to be close to you at all times, meaning they may appear in the video. Has your videographer worked with your photographer before? How do they both get along?
LET THEM DO THEIR THING
Finally, give your videographer the freedom to do what they do best. Since you’ve communicated all of your desires clearly, you can have faith that they'll create something that reflects the sweetness, depth, and fun of your day.
Opening photo by Ira Lippke Studios