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Tips on Choosing a Wedding Videographer

©Mark Pommett; all rights reserved

While wedding photographs have a reputation for capturing the precious moments of matrimony, snapshots pale in comparison to reliving the laughter heard during the best man toast, watching the cutting of the cake, and noticing the delicate sway of the bride's dress. All of these lively, memorable flashes are delivered by a videographer, which can be rewound, fast-forwarded, and paused with the simple touch of a television remote. To make sure your memories are preserved with decency and satisfaction, it is important to choose a videographer who possesses both experience and creativity.

When it comes time to choosing a wedding videographer, you should consider the following suggestions:

  • Samples Are Key: In order to make an effective decision on who will successfully produce a video illuminating the overall allure of a wedding, analyzing the previous work of a potential professional is essential. As you view samples, it is important to pay attention to clarity, quality of video, composition, as well as skill in shooting and editing.
  • Know Your Video Formats: There is a wide range of video formats that a videographer may utilize when covering a wedding. To ensure the best quality and results, knowing the different types of options you may select from will help make a decision much easier. Today, the most commonly used approaches include VHS, S-VHS, and DV. VHS and S-VHS produces the lowest quality, while DV (also known as digital video) offers the best in quality, which can be repeatedly recopied without loss of features. For couples looking to receive video with the feel of a major motion picture, DV provides the best display of sound and video that comes in the form of a DVD.
  • Don't Let Fancy Equipment Distract You: Although name brand and flashy equipment is impressive when it comes to creating a video to your liking, if the videographer does not possess the skill, talent, or imagination to put the equipment to good use, it doesn't matter. Simply looking at samples is not enough to ensure competency, ask for a short demonstration on what they can do with their equipment.
  • Ask About Various Videotaping Methods: There are two main approaches towards videotaping a wedding. One option deals with multiple cameras that feed information onto one tape with instant editing (called live switching). The second technique involves multiple cameras that record on their own tape that allows a videographer to make edits within the comfort of his or her studio. It is the latter choice that videographers do not feel rushed to make on-the-spot decisions.
  • Know the Setbacks Associated With Live Switching: Live switching requires a lot of equipment and wires, which may cause a distraction and physical obstacles with the multitude of cords running throughout a wedding scene. One person is responsible for watching all of the cameras on monitors that allows instant editing. This essentially makes a videographer's job much easier, but for the consumer, it is a setback because fine-tuning and follow-up editing does not take place.
  • Request the Highest Level of Sound Quality: Some videographers rely on the built-in mics that camcorders possess, which produces the worst sound quality. Wireless mics follow as another ineffective way to capture sound. The best way to enjoy clear and crisp dialogue, music, and other wedding sounds is to use small digital sound recorders that can be placed in a variety of locations, such as the groom's pocket.

When it comes to creating a wedding memory that will stand the test of time, choosing the right videographer to meet your needs is vital. Overall, factors such as skill, talent, and creativity are quite important, but depending on your requirements and budget, you should also inquire about varying price packages, guarantees and liabilities, written contracts, additional charges, and the cost for multiple copies.

Mark Pommett is an accomplished wedding videographer in Los Angeles, serving Southern California and Las Vegas.

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