• James Toffolo

5 Red Flags To Watch Out For When Hiring Your Wedding Videographer

Updated: Mar 22

When it comes to wedding videographers there can be quite a range in terms of quality. These days there are A LOT of wedding videographers to choose from. Whilst having a lot of options is great, it can also make the process of choosing the right wedding videographer tricky. So here are 5 red flags to be aware of when hiring your wedding videographer:

1. Their prices are so cheap, it seems too good to be true.

I hate to be a downer, but in all likeliness, it IS too good to be true. Low rates are a huge indicator of a videographer’s lack of experience. Most experienced videographers start their basic packages at around £900.

Inexperienced videographers will often set their prices super low, as they’re really just looking to build a portfolio before they eventually increase their own prices. And while everyone needs to start somewhere, inexperienced videographers often don’t produce the best quality videos. This is because they haven’t shot enough weddings to know how to anticipate the best moments, how to capture beautiful footage while staying out of the way, or how to come up with solutions when challenges arise. They’re also prone to technical mistakes like messing up the audio or forgetting additional memory cards. Nothing is worse than finding out after the fact that your videographer missed a key moment, because they left their spare battery at home.

At the end of the day, a wedding video is an investment - and a great one, at that. I highly recommend all couples looking for a wedding video to do their research and choose a reputable videographer that has lots of examples and testimonials on their website. I’m positive you’ll be grateful you spent the extra money on a video you’ll treasure forever.

2. They offer videography and photography.

I totally understand why it may seem appealing to hire someone who offers both services. Afterall, it means one less vendor to deal with. But unfortunately, this really is another red flag.

In the last few years, wedding videos have become increasingly popular. As a result, many photographers have chosen to capitalize on the demand for a wedding video, by adding videography to their packages. They assume that because they know how to use a camera and they understand lighting + composition, that shooting a video will be a piece of cake. In reality, this is not the case.

Videography and photography are two very different art forms. A talented, experienced videographer will produce a wedding video that tells a cinematic and captivating story. For the most part, a photographer’s attempt at a wedding video often resembles a photo album on film. The other major thing to note about someone who claims they can do both, is that they’re only giving each service a certain % of their attention and effort. It is impossible to capture good quality footage while also focusing on taking photos (and vice versa). For example, how will someone film the first kiss while simultaneously taking a photo of the same precious moment? Someone who attempts to do both will only be able to produce 2 half-baked final products.

My recommendation is to hire a professional photographer and a professional videographer, so that both can give their undivided attention to their craft.

3. They brag that they book 60+ weddings in one year.

Whilst this might imply that the videographer is in high demand, it is actually another red flag. This is because it is near impossible for someone to film and edit that many good quality wedding videos in one season. As a result, they’re likely double or triple booking themselves and outsourcing the filming or the editing (sometimes both) to someone far less experienced.

When I first started off in the wedding videography world, I was hired by a big company to film and edit some of their bookings at a very cheap rate. Whilst it was great for me to gain experience, I quickly learned it wasn’t so great for the couples. Each time I turned up to shoot at one of these weddings, I was met with a shocked and confused bride & groom. Afterall, they were expecting the videographer they’d been in contact with when suddenly a complete stranger turned up.

It’s important to ask whoever you end up booking if they’ll be the one to film your day. Your videographer is someone you want to have a good relationship with. Not only will they be capturing some of your most intimate moments, they’ll also be someone you need to communicate with often, even before the big day. Sidenote: I recommend meeting with your videographer ahead of time so you can go over the details of the day to ensure your vision is understood.

It’s also a good idea to clarify who will be the one to edit your video. If you fell in love with a videographer’s previous work, remember it isn’t only the shooting that led to its final result. Editing is a huge part of the process. If you’re looking for a video that matches the same style, make sure your video will be shot and edited by the same person who shot and edited the video(s) you love. Again, this is why someone who takes on an excessive number of bookings isn’t your ideal videographer, as they will more than likely have to outsource a lot of their work.

4. They boast the use of a gimbal/steady cam.

When used correctly, gimbals are an incredible tool for videographers. They allow for stable, smooth, and sleek shots. However, in a lot of ways, gimbals are like training wheels on a bicycle.

The biggest drawback to a gimbal is that it takes away a videographer’s ability to be adaptable. Once a camera is attached to a gimbal, the camera itself is set to Automatic Shooting. This means the camera, rather than the videographer, makes a lot of the decisions. Obviously, this isn’t ideal because the videographer no longer has full control over how their footage will look.

Another potential issue with gimbals is that they can be intrusive. They are essentially a big robotic arm holding a camera. Using one makes it much more difficult for a videographer to blend into the background whilst shooting. It also prevents them from being able to zoom in or out, so if they want to get a close up shot, they have to physically move closer. As you can imagine, this can be quite intimidating for you and your guests.

For both of these reasons listed above, a lot of experienced wedding videographers choose to shoot handheld for the majority of the day. If your videographer does advertise using a gimbal, make sure that they don’t plan to use it the entire time, as this is often an indication that they are inexperienced. I personally shoot the entire day handheld and will have my second shooter use a gimbal for select moments.

5. They promise an exceedingly speedy turnover time.

If your videographer claims they can get your wedding video to you in a matter of days, this is a red flag that they’re cutting corners in the editing process. As previously mentioned, editing plays a huge role in the art of creating a high-quality wedding video. In fact, it’s where a videographer can really get creative. Going through 12 hours of footage, isolating the most beautiful shots, and arranging them in a way that tells a captivating story, is obviously a time-consuming process.

A videographer that offers super quick turnaround times is often someone who is editing to a template. This means your wedding video will look almost the exact same as the last couples’ video they edited.

I personally take the editing process very seriously and take my time to select the right music, sound bites, and footage to create a video that is truly unique and special. This usually takes me around 6 weeks which is fairly standard in the industry. I promise the wait will be worth it, because it means your wedding video will receive the attention to detail it deserves.

I hope these pointers help you choose a great videographer to capture your special day. A wedding video is such an amazing investment – having the right videographer will ensure you end up with a video you’ll cherish for the rest of your life. If you like the sound of my wedding videography approach, click here to chat with me and we can start planning your own wedding video!

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