"Can I just use my own camera, or have a friend film my wedding?"
This is a question that I hear so many times. Of course you can have your friend film your wedding, of course you can ask your friend to film...but what can you expect from the end product, and is it worth the risk?
There are so many wonderful videographers, editors, and cinematographers who have years of training and expertise behind them, and they have chosen wedding filming as their profession...and that's amazing! Seriously, the guys & gals that I know who shoot weddings are some of the most skilled & enthusiastic film makers that you will find in the industry. They are people who could be doing camera work on feature films, or directing for the BBC - but they want to work for YOU. They want to film your love story.
"Should I really be setting aside a big chunk of my wedding budget and prioritising a wedding film?"
This is another question that often creeps into a couples mind before booking their wedding videographer, and rightly so! The reason is usually because they're either unsure of what they're looking for, or they're unsure what their money is actually buying. Let me tell you that in my experience if you ask a married couple what their one regret is after their wedding is over, it's that they didn't have their wedding filmed. The flip side of this is that a great wedding filmmaker will most likely cost the same as a great photographer, but quite honestly the companies charging the higher prices are doing so because they bring so much more to the table, and this is reflected in their reliability, and the sheer quality of their end product, whether they be a venue dresser, a photographer, or a filmmaker.
"So, I shouldn't book a cheap wedding videographer?"
I didn't say that! There are variables to suit all wedding styles & budgets, but it can be said that a videographer charging higher prices takes their business seriously. Believe it or not, these higher end wedding videographers will usually have knowledge of colour science, lighting, audio orchestration, camera operation, video editing, and let's not forget industry standard equipment! These are not the guys looking to make a quick buck, they're the professionals. They're the companies who pride themselves not on the number of bookings they take per year but on the quality of the work that they produce. Most of these companies will tell you that their true reward is the thank you text from the happy couple once they've watched their wedding film.
And finally... personality matters!
I'm a geek, I love talking to potential clients on the phone before they book with me, and I get super-hyped if we get on well and I can tell the bride & groom are excited about the wedding... because that makes me excited to shoot the wedding! If our personalities connect and we get on well, then you'll feel comfortable having me and one of my team there on the big day, and we'll have an amazing time creating your film!
But, if there is one simple piece of advice that I can give when booking your wedding videographer it would be this - Choose the company whose work you fall in love with. Even if it means spending that little bit more. I promise you'll thank me for this advice later. After all, you get to do this once, and only once..and chances are your wedding film will be the most precious memory that you have of your special day.