What do I look for when searching for a wedding videographer?

Videographer filming after the wedding ceremony

"What do I look for when searching for wedding videographers near me?"

As a bride who has decided to have a wedding videographer, there is no doubt that this question will cross your mind, likely sooner than later.

And I am SO glad to have this opportunity to share with you 3 absolute must-have criteria in your search.

Let’s break it down into these three broad categories of quality, reliability and pricing.

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QUALITY

First and most important, is quality, quality, quality. You need to make sure the videographer you hire will be a quality-oriented videographer, meaning the films he or she produces are excellent. They are unique. And they are not cookie-cutter variations of a “wedding template.”

The best way to see this for yourself instead of taking a videographer’s “word” (because anybody can sell themselves nowadays) is to ask to see examples of their films IF they are not readily available. Their previous work will tell you pretty much everything you will need to know about the quality they produce.

When you see their portfolio, here is the criteria to evaluate.

Look at the picture quality.

Are the shots clear and smooth in movement? Are the colors consistent and cinema-like?

A videographer that sends you shaky footage that does not enhance the storyline or inconsistent coloring of your footage is a videographer that is not taking the time to make sure your wedding film is the best it can be. 

Take note of that and assess if you are okay or not with that type of editing in your wedding film.

Furthermore, listen to the audio.

Can you hear the bride, groom, and officiant when they speak? Is there even any vocal audio in the film, or is it just music?

And don’t forget to listen to the background music. Is it cheesy, or unique and fitting to the wedding couple featured in the film? How is the blend between the music and vocal volumes?

When it’s seamless and you find that you are having to actually pay very close attention to pick out these elements in a wedding film, then that should clue you in that this is a quality wedding film.

When you find yourself lost in the love story and watching makes it feel like you are actually there and even watching a small movie… that, my friend, is a quality wedding film.

Those are a just a few examples of what to look for when assessing a potential wedding videographer’s quality of production. But taking the time to assess this can mean everything!

Now let’s discuss reliability.

RELIABILITY

The best way to find out if a videographer is going to be reliable on all fronts, (filming, interactions, timeliness, delivery, so on and so forth) is to see what other people have experienced with them (i.e. testimonials) AND to speak with them.

I personally believe you can get a feel for someone’s authenticity by communication.

I, for one, am not huge about posting my face on the internet, social media, or any other social platforms. But despite my extremely limited personal footage online (thus far), clients have booked with me based on what family, friends, and prior clients have personally said AND what they have seen in my responses and interactions on those same social media platforms.

Groom holding bride pose

“WOW, Ruth and Elaine J. Films FAR exceeded our expectations… As opposed to other vendors we hired, Ruth seemed like she was on OUR team, from beginning to the end, every step of the way… She is kind, hardworking, AMAZING at what she does, and really just a pleasant person to be around altogether. Even my family and the wedding party were so impressed by her and so complementary of her–that says a lot! … I was in TEARS, crying like a baby, watching how Ruth captured the story of our wedding day from beginning to end. Ruth is truly an artist and amazing at what she does.”Allyson B. | Bride

And when I say communication, I do not necessarily mean a direct phone call.

A lot of people nowadays prefer communication via text or email only. I get that. In fact, the most popular response I get in my questionnaire for which is the preferred method of communication between phone call and email, the most common response I receive is email.

But if a videographer is willing to take the time and send you an obvious personally tailored detailed response via email, then that is a videographer worth considering. He or she is taking time out of their busy schedule to answer all your questions or give you further insight into what they can deliver for you without the guarantee of you even booking with them.

That is a huge plus and should put that videographer in your top list of considerations.

And finally, let’s talk PRICING.

This actually goes hand-in-hand with the first point I listed and there is SO much that can be detailed here. For the sake of keeping this on topic, I will keep this short and point you towards another pending blog addressing the highly requested “affordable videographer” option that so many brides (not necessarily grooms) ask for. You can check out this article by The Knot that gives insight into this as well as other wedding videographer selection tips. 

For now, I will say this. I think that if you spend enough time looking for it, you can likely find what you are looking for in the budget that you are willing to spend.

The problem is, do you have the time to search for that?

On the other hand, when it comes to quality, make sure you are paying what a potential film’s quality is worth. This means you do have to be selective. And bottom line is, you will get what you pay for.

Offset this by looking at a videographer’s track record. If they are consistently producing quality wedding films, (look at their social media posts), then they are likely worth what they are charging. If a videographer advertises they are a videographer but has no recent work posted and they do not seem to be putting out ANY consistent quality films, then that is a red flag. I would avoid them.

So, no. A $500 quality wedding film is unlikely to be achievable, probably not impossible, but likely will not be worth your time, effort, money and most importantly, the trust of recording your priceless moments to take the risk.

So, dear bride, DO make room in your budget for a quality videographer.

It WILL be worth it.

In short, it is my honest opinion and advice as a wedding videographer that you keep the quality, reliability and pricing criteria as must-haves when researching who to book as your wedding videographer. If you are going to invest your time and finances, and trust your priceless memories to (most likely) a stranger, you can NOT afford to make a mistake.

And remember, cheap is not always the best way to go.

‘Til next time… cheers,

Ruth Elaine

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