How To Select Your Event Videographer
Hiring a professional videographer: considerations and questions
Why Should I Hire a Videographer?
Sure, most people can hold a video camera, press record, and keep their subject in the frame. But portraying a specific message, evoking a strong emotion, and creating stunning clips from ordinary settings is what sets seasoned professionals apart from amateur videographers.
A seasoned videographer is a veteran, who has worked in the trenches, honed their skills through trial and error, and approaches their work as their craft; as an art. Here’s how to identify a time-tested videographer:
- Preparation: A professional videographer shows up for a shoot with the right equipment. She has all the necessary gear and the back-up gear, just in case. Light bulb burns out? No sweat, the professional videographer is ready to go with an extra bulb. She’s also researched the topic, understands the story, and arrives on location with a game plan, along with provisional plans in case the first option falls through.
- Anticipation: The professional videographer has seen virtually every story (or some variation of it) many times over. This invaluable experience enables the pro to anticipate. She can anticipate circumstances, “can’t miss” sound bites, and once-in-a-lifetime shots before they occur. She also anticipates what video needs to be shot at what point to help the post-production process go smoothly. It’s often said, some of the best shooters can edit as they shoot. This is largely due to the fact they can anticipate what shots will be needed at what point during the shoot.
- Adaptability: A professional videographer can adapt on the fly. Changing lighting conditions? No problem. Interviews postponed? Go get some extra b-roll. Last minute edit changes? Been there, done that. The professional videographer is used to adjusting and modifying the game plan to make sure the project is completed as promised and on deadline – with a smile.
Key Considerations Before You Hire a Professional Videographer
- Have you watched more than the sizzle reel?
Videographers call these sizzle reels for a reasons. These are flashy, fast-paced videos that feature the most beautiful, well-crafted shots that can be found in their whole library. Make sure that you don’t get blinded by the quick cuts and upbeat music.
Look for full-length video examples that you can watch to get a feel of what a project looks like from start to finish. When you get to the point of having a few companies in mind, make sure to have them send other videos that are similar to your project.
- How will this company/video help you tell a story?
Storytelling is a difficult craft. Finding a company that can shoot beautiful looking footage is easy, but finding a company that will help you identify your compelling stories isn’t quite as simple. Look for a company that has a proven track record of telling really compelling stories.
Ask them if they have a process to help you identify the best stories and take note of how stories are presented in the videos you watch on their site.
- Is this company a good fit for my project?
There are a lot of different kinds of professional videographers. Some focus on full length movies, some shorter stories, some explainer videos, some documentaries. Some produce commercials and product videos, while others shoot movies. Yet they are all (accurately) called “videographers.”
It’s important to identify a company that has a proven track record creating the kind of video you are looking to create. We’ve created a video production scorecard that will help vet potential companies to identify which one is the best for you. Download it now!
- Do I know what I want and need from this video?
It’s important to take a quick inventory of what you are looking to do with a video
Remember to ask questions
When hiring an events videographer, make sure to ask as many questions as you need, even a little more than that. Sure, there will always be fine print to read but what follows is a few simple tips and examples on what kind of questions you should probably ask your event videographer.
First things first, how long has this person been shooting in the photography/videography business and what is his/her experience level? This can easily tell you whether they are qualified as a skilled photographer or just someone who is looking to make quick cash through a hobby. Knowing whether there will be multiple people involved in shooting the event, is essential. This will affect your budget as expenses could get steep, depending on the extent and duration of the event. Sometimes the videographer, or the person you hired, can do a one-man job but in most cases there will be a co-videographer, associate or even a sound engineer. Together with extra people on the video crew is more equipment needs. However, even a singular videographer can have some pretty sweet gear used in your favour to produce a higher quality video. How many events like yours have they shot in the last few months and is that what you had in mind for your business brand?
Lastly, remember to ask, or even better – set a date – for when you will receive the final production. Will it be delivered? In what format will it be given to you email, PDF presentation, USB or hard copy prints? What would work best for you as the client and for the videographer you hired?
The photographer should ask questions too
When you hire the photographer/videographer be sure to inform them on what exactly it is that you need from their service. Be sure to make time for a proper briefing session to avoid any miscommunications and errors. Sit down with them for a discussion over coffee. Tell them exactly what you want in term of the basic details of the project including what they need to shoot, what kind of event it is, what time it starts and till when it carries on. Things like time and date are essential details and almost the most important agreement in hiring a videographer. Some videographers and photographers charge by the hour so be sure to get the timing right and prepare for things to change as the event carries through. Sometimes things get delayed without any control over the circumstances. But a delay is preferable to not having your videographer pitch up at all due to miscommunication of time and dates. Ensure that the photographer/videographer knows what to do and when to show before you even pay the deposit since double bookings are easy mistakes.
What is the process of organising an Event Video?
To start the process, after the call or email asking for availability, there should certainly be a briefing to discuss every detail and question. This can happen anywhere from the client’s office to the photographer’s studio or simply at a coffeeshop in the area between. Again, get solid time and dates. This is important for you, the client, to get exactly what you need from the videographer’s service also so that the videographer understands your objectives.
On the day of the event and its filming, it is essential for the videographer to be at the venue beforehand – at least an hour to two hours early. This is necessary to get into the job and work on capturing all the necessary footage. There should also be a time gap for after the event, incase it runs after discussed hours. This will obviously be billed but better that then having the videographer pack up and leave to a different engagement – while you’re left with a video of half an event. Be prepared for anything to happen.
Now that the footage is captured and the event was a success, it’s time to make magic happen as the editing and assembly of the video is included in the works. This shouldn’t take more than a week to edit but the delivery date should be discussed at the meeting prior to the engagement of the project.
The final product delivery
The video is now ready for final showcasing and to be launched online or to be used in a company presentation. Just prior to launch, a first draft should be sent to the client for approval just to make sure they are happy with the product they paid for. Based on the subsequent feedback, any necessary nips, tucks and trims will be made to accomodate the client’s preferences.
Finally, when the client and videographer are both happy with the final cut and that the video meets all the set criterias and objectives, it is time to deliver. With a number of options available on request, the client and videographer should have disclosed on a way to deliver the final goods.
Here are some of the best ways to find the right videography package for your budget:
Ask a Friend When it comes to finding a professional wedding videographer for your wedding, your best resource is your married friends. Utilizing your network of friends who have already been through this process is a great way to skip the hassle of trying to weed out applicants. If your friends had a videographer they loved, reach out to discuss cost.
Ask Work Colleagues Lots of videographers who shoot weddings do so as a side gig. This means that someone you work with may have connections to a videographer that specializes in corporate projects, who may be able to shoot your wedding on the cheap. If you’re in search of the cheapest wedding videographer with experience, you may be in luck in certain circumstances.
Search Online You’ll need to do your due diligence when hiring a videographer you found online, but often this is where you can find the best deals. Try searching message boards for film students, as they’re usually eager to practice their skills and could use some extra cash. Fair warning, you get what you pay for.
Talk to Your Venue Preferred vendors are a staple for the vast majority of wedding venues. The wedding industry is a tightly woven community of expert professionals who thrive on having good relationships with one another. As a result, it’s almost certain that your wedding venue has a trusted videographer who they work with almost exclusively. While preferred vendors aren’t always a good fit, they’re an excellent place to begin your search, especially for something as specific as wedding videography.