Over the last couple of months I’ve talked to all walks of life here at McElroy Weddings Studio in Burlington, MA. Couples ranging from, “I’m not sure I want a videographer” to “I know I want you as my videographer!”
If you’re still contemplating videography you should ask yourself a few questions.
1. What experience does that videographer have?
2. Does he own the company? Or is he an associate videographer?
3. Where is my vendor’s place of business?
4. What are previous clients saying about their work? Both owner and associate videographers?
5. What does my money really get me?
6. When I’m comparing videographers am I really comparing apples to apples?
We’ll touch on each one of theses points in this blog entry.
Firstly, we need to know about their experience. What background and education does this vendor and associates have? If their day job is a technical engineer and he’s trying to make a few bucks on the weekend. Is that a good fit for you? Would you like it if your doctor likes to make some cool cash on the weekends? And his real job was a videographer? It’s probably a bad sign if the vendor you’re interested in doesn’t live and breath video day in and day out.
Secondly, Who will be shooting for you? Will it be the owner of the videography firm? Or a freelancer/associate? We have nothing against this per say.. Just make sure you know who you’re getting. Make sure that the videographers you’re getting shoots video on a regular basis and has a background in video.
Third, Where does your vendor operate their business? Is it at their house or a condo? You might want to re-consider a vendor if you’re sitting in their living room a few doors from their bedroom. Home offices are great and save on costs. However, look for the firms with a professional office. While at their business ask to see samples both in DVD and Blu-ray. Having a professional look and business tells a lot about a vendor and how committed they are to their profession.
Fourth, What are people saying about them on the web? They’re numerous places on the web where you can find feedback on a vendor. A good place to start is on TheKnot.com or WeddingWire.com. Perform a search on the vendor and make sure there is positive feedback on them. Ask questions, such as, “Has anyone has used them?” and “What was your experience like working with them?” Also, Check out BBB.org. That’s the Better Business Bureau, if they’re not listed ask the vendor why? This site also gives information if there has been any cases against them for bad business and if it was resolved or not.
Fifth, What does the bottom line dollar amount get you? How many hours of coverage, videographers, DVDs and editing? Make sure this is spelled out and written on the invoice and contract. Make sure they match as well. $2,000 for a wedding may seem high to some people or it may seem low. Just inquire about what that money actually gets.
Lastly, When comparing videography vendors. Make sure you come armed to the table with questions. If you’re considering a few vendors ask the same questions to each one. Re-ask the question to see if you can yield the same answers. Sometime potential clients don’t book. The most common reason why is because they went to another videographer because they were less expensive. The questions that come to our minds are:
1. Who are they and what kind of experience do they have?
2. Do they have a day job? Or are they full time at videography?
3. Do they have a professional Studio/office?
4. We’re they offering the exact same quality and editing that we offer? With Professional HD cameras, wireless mics, sliders and glidecams? Who’s editing their video? It probably isn’t edited by award-winning editors like us!
Bottom Line, You can get a cheap videographer from Craig’s list any day of the week. Do you really want to leave your precious day to someone who isn’t qualified? Do you want to trust all your memories to him with a low end camera and limited amount of editing experience?
You have one shot to get it right.. Hire a professional and spend a little money. You won’t kick yourself later with a professional DVD of your wedding day 10-15 years down the road. You’ll thank yourself you spent a few extra bucks.
Give us a call at the studio if you have further questions. Or book an appointment to come down and meet us in person and see samples.