What are things I need to look for when booking a wedding videographer?

I woke up today with 3 emails, all 3 emails I had weddings on which is bitter sweet.  However, all 3 of them asked me for referrals and what they needed to look for.  So I thought this would be a great question to answer and give some feedback for when this happens again to me, and to others.  So here we go!  This is the top 5 things you need to look for when choosing your videographer, obviously some people will charge $300 to $10,000 dollars per wedding, so the budget will play a pretty big role in this.

1.  How is your potential videographers sound?  Are you able to hear dads toasts talking about his daughter being the apple of his eye, and she has a new man in her life?  Or the maid of honor crying saying the bride has been with her through the bad times and the good times?  Or how about when grandpa decides to speak and praise his grand daughter on everything shes accomplished in life, and of course the playful best man roasting the groom on how he was "smitten" when the couple first met.  Sound is going to play a HUGE role in wedding videos.  This is the number 1 thing that we need.  Now I get it, sometimes our sound will take a hit, an officiant will refuse to wear a microphone, a DJ will say no to plugging into his soundboard, a groom may talk too low, there could be a crazy windstorm happening during vows...etc, but there's always ways to fix this if you decided to go the extra step.....

2.  How is your videographers lighting setup?  Can they match the tempo of your wedding?  I get asked a lot about my lighting, and some brides don't want any lighting at all (these are not my types of brides, and that's okay, I can refer them to others who are more that style). Lighting is crucial to every aspect of the wedding day, where she puts on her make (say no to poorly lit bathrooms, brides will look orange and kind of green, plus their eyes won't do any justice). Can they work well in natural light, can they make the first dance have that "notebook romantic feeling" Bad light will simply ruin a wedding film, I see so many wedding videos where everything was 10/10 but the lighting just wasn't there...dull flat images with no emotion...make sure you ask them about proper lighting setups, imagine your photographer not using a flash, or off camera flash. 

3. Do their video's speak to you?  Do their videos give you "the feels" Is there a real guideline to what you're watching?  A lot of videographers will just use the trendy pop song of the summer and set random clips to music (not my preference) so if you're a bride who wants dad pouring his heart over the microphone to you, set to taylor swift shake it off...I'm probably not the right fit :) 

4. I get asked a lot of I have a drone, yes I do...I actually have 2 because let's face it...there is a lovely palm tree just waiting for me to crash into it lol.  You don't need fancy toys to make a compelling wedding film and the stock of Kleenex to shoot up.  If you have great tripods, sound and the eye for unique "sexy shots" you're way ahead of the game.  I see a lot of new companies where 50% of their highlights are just drone, I see people speaking but I just hear music with lyrics under the video - what is the groom saying holding his letter during vows?  The night they first kissed, the night he said I love you, the day at college he knew she was the one, the first time he embarrassed himself? Bottom line, just because someone has a drone, doesn't mean they are "the best"  I'll be the first to admit I don't have the latest cameras or gear by any means, but I know how to use them and I know how to build light into the wedding and my composition and tripods are great.

5. Make sure they are the right fit.  What I mean by this - I may have brides write me and say I love your work, and your style...how much do you charge for a 30 minute ceremony only.  I just cant book this wedding - this just isn't my style.  If you like someones work take the time to watch a few different things they offer, do they film just a basic wide shot ceremony?  If they do, are there several to watch?  I've had brides ask me to film just the ceremony only, and then they want a short film - this just isn't possible...so make sure they are the right fit for you!

If you want some more insight and tips subscribe to the newsletter below, I have a lot of questions I could answer - at the end of the day I think we all want what's best of our brides, even if we know we aren't the right fit.  I always refer couples to those who I think would do a better job for specific clients.

I hope everyone took a little away from this :)