Picking Professionals: Video & Cinematography

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In my first post about picking professionals, I explained the importance of falling in love with your wedding photographer's work, not just their price tag. This time around, the topic is wedding videography/cinematography.

Tim & Amanda by Shark Pig - Amanda happens to be the co-creator of 100 Layer Cake

Right off the bat I'll acknowledge that not everyone will want video of their wedding day. That's totally fine.

If you would rather allocate the money elsewhere in your budget, go for it. 

Since photography costs thousands of dollars, I can understand the hesitation to pay that much for video as well. Aren't they pretty much the same thing? Not exactly. Photography captures the moments, yes. But consider having those moments on video, with sound, to relive again and again. Photos of your partner getting ready with friends while you were across town doing the same, it gives you an even better peek in to their morning. How much fun would it be to watch the video and really be a fly on the wall?

Okay. I get it. It's a lot of money. So let's address cost. Like photography, there's expensive professional quality equipment and software. Just because your uncle, or family friend, or that person you found on a classified ad site has a fancy digital camera (video or photo) that doesn't qualify them for the job. Professionals invest a lot of money in their equipment and costly education to use all those gadgets. This is not a hobby, it's a career. You're not paying for just one day of work either, a lot of time and talent is involved for the post-production to edit all that footage in to a film that will bring tears to your eyes for years to come.

You get what you pay for. Hire a professional.

DIY options are budget friendly but they can often turn out to be disappointing. And there's no second chances.

Hey, I'll admit it, I had considered WedIt for our upcoming wedding. It was easy on the budget, high-definition cameras sounded good, and the editing was left up to professionals. As I explained what a fabulous concept this was to family and friends, they were brutally honest with me: you're really at the mercy of the people you hand the cameras to. Crossing your fingers that they will capture all the moments you wanted, steadily (aka "sober"), with out leaving the lens cap on for the entire evening. Also, I would like everyone to enjoy the ceremony and reception, with out a camera glued to their face or feeling like a hired-hand. I decided to find a professional wedding cinematographer instead. (And by the way, I later met a bride who did use WedIt. While I'm sure some people have a great experience with them, she was disappointed with the footage, significant moments were missed all together, and so she never bothered to have their footage edited.)

Once I decided cinematography was a must, I began hunting for a company with the style I like. Sound familiar? Don't limit yourself to bargain-basement pricing or the same vendor your cousin's cousin used. It might have been a good fit for them, but one-size does not fit all.

Not everyone needs an epic crane shot on the dance floor or a same day edit. '70s style super 8 film or black and white scenes aren't for everyone. Don't expect these professionals to adjust their style for you, trust your planner to help you find the right fit, for the right price.

I tear up every time I watch a wedding cinematography video. 
Even if I don't know the couple.

Professional cinematographers are just that good! While we'll have beautiful photos of our wedding day, I know that it will be gone in the blink of an eye. I will be so overwhelmed most of the day, I'm going to miss things. Or forget things. Like our engagement, I can hardly remember what David said. Being able to relive all those moments, like our vows, or speeches, that is priceless to me.

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