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How to Choose a Wedding Videographer

Why not have Uncle Harry be your wedding videographer? After all he just bought a new digital camcorder with all the latest features and he’ll do it for free. The short answer is, “you get what you pay for”.

This is one of the most important events in your life, so a video of the occasion is going to be viewed many times, perhaps by several generations of family and friends. The key to getting a quality video is the level of experience of the person behind the camera, even more than the quality of the camera (though that is not to be underestimated).

When searching for an experienced videographer, don’t be shy about asking questions. It’s very important that you like the person who’ll be mingling with your guests and working closely on this emotionally charged day. The way he or she answers your questions will tell you a lot about their personality.

Now, what questions need to be asked? First ask how long they’ve been in business and how long they’ve been working in video or film. Will the person you’re talking to be the camera person and if not, how experienced is the person who will actually be your wedding videographer?

What kind of cameras do they use? What’s called a three chip digital camera, either mini-DV or DV format has become pretty much the standard of the industry these days. One chip cameras can still provide a good image, but not as good. S-VHS or Hi8 were once the format of choice for weddings and even local news stations, but they are not easily compatible with digital editing. More on that later. If the company is using VHS (the same tape you put in your home player) politely say goodbye.

Ensuring Your Audio Video Quality

The audio on your wedding video is crucially important. If you can’t understand what’s being said, it doesn’t matter how smooth the camera moves are. At least one wireless lavaliere microphone should be used and two is better; one for the minister and one on the groom. They should be professional grade UHF, especially outdoors as UHF is less susceptible to interference.

Lighting may be a consideration, but unless the event is at night or in a very dim church, the latest three chip cameras work surprisingly well in low light situations.

Ask what kind of editing system will be used to make the final product. Nonlinear editing basically means editing on a computer. This is the best way to go, because the image on the completed edit will be just as crisp as the tape from the camera. The alternative is a tape to tape copying method causing your video to lose a bit of quality with each “generation”.

When the edit is done, have them put it on DVD even if you don’t have a DVD player. It may cost an extra hundred dollars or so, but it will last longer than your tape copy.
So you can let Uncle Harry have fun with his new camera, but a professional wedding videographer will make your memories come alive for years to come.

About the Author

Curtis McCoscoCurtis McCosco lives on the island of Kauai, Hawaii with his wife of over 20 years, KatRama Brooks. Together they own and operate Rainbow Weddings on Kauai. A professional wedding photographer for over 15 years, he is also a video documentarian, writer, and masseur. A practicing Buddhist, he also does Qigong on a daily basis.View all posts by Curtis McCosco

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