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GUIDE: How to choose your Wedding Videographer

For quite some time now, the idea of crafting a guide to help couples select the ideal wedding videographer has been bouncing in my mind. As I gathered my thoughts and notes, a realization dawned upon me – I’ve accumulated a wealth of insights and perspectives that I’m eager to share. This collection of ideas, now numbering 9 key points, reflects not just professional knowledge but a journey into the artistry of wedding videography.

What you’re about to read is deeply personal and inherently subjective – after all, isn’t that the essence of art? I believe in embracing diverse perspectives and am always open to understanding and appreciating views that differ from my own, especially when they’re thoughtfully presented.

If my approach and insights resonate with you, then there’s a good chance we’re a great match to work together on capturing the magic of your special love party. I hope it enlightens, inspires, and helps guide you in choosing a videographer who will bring your wedding day memories to life in the most beautiful way possible. Enjoy the reading!

Cinematic Wedding Videography: More Than Just a Trend

Ever wondered what transforms a simple video into a cinematic masterpiece? Why is there such a buzz around CINEMATIC wedding videography? Let’s dive into this fascinating world together!

My journey into the realm of videography began with our first drone purchase back in 2016. Those initial steps were eye-opening, leading me to dive deeply into the art of video recording and editing not only in the air but on land. I was fortunate to learn from the best offline and online, but the more insides I got after immersing myself in countless books on professional film-making. A common thread in all these learning experiences is the term ‘cinematic’ – a term often used, perhaps overused, by many to market their services.

To better grasp what ‘cinematic’ truly means, I invite you to check out one of my favorite Youtube video, which explains this concept in a way that resonates with my personal understanding. Professional movies captivate us with their cinematic quality, where every scene is meticulously balanced and lit, with nuanced accents that highlight specific meanings or emotions. This is a stark contrast to wedding videos, where we adapt to the surroundings and focus on storytelling through visuals because there’s no way we can stage 30 different locations with professional light.

It’s crucial to understand that while the term “CINEMATIC VIDEO” might originate from another industry, for a Wedding Videographer, the heart and soul of our craft lie in STORYTELLING. We don’t just capture moments. We weave them into a narrative that echoes the unique journey of each couple.

So, let’s look beyond the hype and explore the true essence of what makes wedding videography genuinely memorable – it’s all about telling your story, your way.

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The True Test of a Wedding Video’s Storytelling

Want to know a secret about spotting a great story in a wedding video? Try this: watch it with the sound off. You might be surprised how much music and voice-overs influence your feelings when watching a wedding video. We’ll dive more into that soon!

So, give it a go – mute the video. If you’re not bored after a minute, if you can still feel the emotions, the energy, and the vibe, then you’ve got something special. Now, you can turn the sound back on. This simple test can reveal if your wedding videographer has truly captured a story, or if it’s just a series of clips set to music = the slideshow your photographer can offer for free.

Remember, you’re hiring a videographer to capture YOUR day, your joyous celebration. Can you see the love and happiness? Every moment of your wedding is a chapter of your love story, and it should be captured in a way that shows both the action and the reaction. That’s the heart of great wedding videography.

The Magic of Music in Wedding Videos

Have you ever noticed how some songs make you want to dance like Shakira, while others give you a sense of soaring wings? That’s the power of music – it creates a unique blend of emotions. In serious film productions, soundtracks are chosen with great care, always before the shooting day. Sound, after all, is incredibly powerful and can be used to manipulate emotions. The same video clips set to different music can evoke vastly different feelings.

A happy, joyful track can make your wedding video radiate happiness. Switch it to something epic or dramatic, and it’s like watching a completely different story. One of the most common questions I get from couples is, “Can we use the music we like?” But when I ask which song they have in mind, many don’t have an answer. Here’s a little secret – I don’t know which music would work well in your wedding video until we film it. It really depends on the vibe of your day!

Choosing the right music is one of the most challenging parts of film editing. It’s the core that should complement the visuals, not overpower them. After watching the films in our portfolio, ask yourself: What music did you just hear? If you can’t recall immediately, that’s a good sign. The music shouldn’t be the center of attention. It should intensify what’s already there in the footage and speeches.

If your wedding day is dynamic, slow-paced music might dampen the energy. Conversely, if your wedding is slow and thoughtful, overly dramatic and fast-paced music can make it feel inauthentic. The right music selection enhances the true spirit of your special day without altering its essence.

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The Truth About Slow Motion in Wedding Videos

Slow motion in wedding videography has become a topic of heated debate. As filmmakers, we use slow motion to elongate a moment, allowing us to savor an action or emotion for just a bit longer. But why do so many wedding videographers overuse it? I’ll give you my candid take, even if it stirs some controversy among my peers.

The truth? It’s about convenience. Slow motion is often used to stabilize shaky handheld footage, to create an illusion that every clip is extraordinary, or to speed up the editing process by filling the film with fewer, longer clips.

But think about it – does it make sense to have a slow-motion wedding film filled with static scenes? Picture this: a couple standing motionless, smiling for the photographer, and the videographer captures this still moment, only to present it to you at half speed. It’s odd, to put it mildly. Why pay for a videographer who essentially delivers a slideshow? Why hire someone who can’t differentiate between the essence of photography and videography? Why pay more for what essentially amounts to the same stillness your photographer captures?

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not against slow motion. Used wisely, it’s a fantastic tool that can elevate those breathtaking moments. But turning to slow motion for 90% of a film has become a crutch in the industry, a shortcut to fabricate drama. In reality, it’s just lazy filmmaking.

Sound Design and Voiceovers: Why Capturing Wedding Speeches is Essential

If you’ve ever had a conversation with us at I Love You Films, you’ll know the story that defines our approach to wedding videography. We learned a hard lesson when we failed to properly record our micro elopement. Initially, it seemed like a minor oversight, but as the wedding day euphoria faded, a profound regret set in – we couldn’t hear our vows and ‘I do’s. Don’t make the same mistake we did. It’s crucial to preserve your wedding ceremony and speeches.

I firmly believe that a wedding is a unique celebration where people bare their hearts in wholehearted ways. It’s about promises, gratitude, encouragement, and embracing serious commitments. And trust me, the details of these moments will haze in just a few short months.

This personal experience has led us to center vows and speeches in our wedding films. We don’t need to go out of our way to make your film unique – your words on the day are inherently true and unique to you. Learn from our experience: prioritize wedding videos that capture and share the most intimate stories through your most precious words.

Honest Stories, Captured for a Lifetime

When choosing a wedding videographer, consider how well they balance the coverage of your day. I often see wedding videos, say 5 minutes long, where half the film is just the getting ready phase, focusing extensively on the dress, rings, shoes, and flowers. While these items are important and often expensive, remember, capturing them is primarily the photographer’s role. A video has the unique power to capture something else – real emotions between people.

Think about it: the morning jitters, the excitement of the ceremony, the joyous tears while saying ‘I do.’ These are the moments where video shines, showcasing the emotions that still photos can’t always convey. Our focus is on people – their joy, love, and the celebration of these moments. What’s more compelling than capturing happy, love-struck people, lively guests, a stunning location, beautiful decorations, and the overall festive atmosphere?

When watching a wedding video, you should see these priorities reflected. Choose a videographer whose values align with yours. Ask yourself: do you want a video that simply showcases luxury items, or do you want a film that captures the essence of your special day – the joy, love, and celebration of your union with your loved ones?

Color Grading in Wedding Films: Timeless Elegance vs. Trendy Hues

When it comes to colors in our wedding films, the philosophy at I Love You Films is clear: we strive for natural, timeless elegance, like to what you’d see in Vogue. Color correction is a crucial part of our post-production process, often taking a day or more to color grade a wedding film meticulously.

Looking back over the last century, each decade had its distinct style, whether in fashion, hair, makeup, or color palettes. Imagine carefully selecting every color for your dress, flowers, and table settings, only to have them overshadowed by a trendy color preset in your video. The same consideration applies when choosing your photographer.

We believe in classic elegance that stands the test of time. Our approach is designed to ensure your wedding film looks as beautiful in 20, 30, or 40 years as it does today. Color grading of a video footage, which is the sequence of low quality jpg’s, (unlike working with RAW files in photography) demands skill, a keen eye, and advanced software. Simply applying a LUT or preset for the sake of consistency is a shortcut that compromises true quality.

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Wedding videography is no easy feat. It’s different from photography in that we need hundreds of uninterrupted and unopposed scenes of at least 5 seconds to tell a coherent story. This means navigating around guests moving, blocking shots, or those little moments like scratching or hair-fixing that don’t quite fit the elegant narrative.

Another challenge unique to videography is our commitment to landscape shots. Unlike photographers who can switch to a vertical frame to avoid messy backgrounds, we often have to tidy up the space and move around to maintain a balanced frame and composition – all within the same tight timeframe.

Sure, there are weddings where everything flows seamlessly, almost unbelievably so. Then there are days where we face tough weather, lighting issues, or people who feel uneasy around cameras. It’s tempting for businesses to only showcase the most picturesque, flawless weddings. However, to gauge the true skill of your wedding videographer, look at their last 5-10 projects not just a selection in their portfolio. Despite varying venues, seasons, and styles, you should be able to discern a consistent quality and style.

Be wary of portfolios that lean heavily on styled shoots or are anchored by a few years old ‘lucky’ videos. A reliable indicator of a professional videographer is the variety and authenticity in their recent work. Make sure to examine all inclusions and how they are presented in the final product to ensure you’re choosing a videographer who can beautifully capture the reality of your special day, no matter the circumstances. Check Our Works for all weddings we did with real wedding dates.

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When it comes to wedding videography, the size of the company you choose can have a significant impact. Consider this scenario: a company is urgently seeking a videographer for a wedding at a surprisingly low rate. Would you be comfortable entrusting your special day to someone hired at the last minute, for less than the cost of the equipment hire they’re using? Outsource editing is the same thing – cheap and not reliable in terms of quality.

This is often the reality when dealing with large companies that prioritize quantity over quality. How much responsibility can such a business truly take for your wedding when they’re assigning a stranger to capture your day? While their services might be more affordable – and often, they should be, given their business model – remember that a higher volume of weddings allows them to invest more in marketing rather than in service quality. Companies like these would display a very limited amount of weddings in their portfolio. See previous chapter!

I always advise getting to know the person who will be filming your wedding. Imagine meeting your videographer for the first time on the morning of your wedding, possibly in your most vulnerable state half naked, and they’re holding a recording device. That can be an unsettling experience.

Don’t be swayed solely by glowing reviews or numerous awards. Nowadays, there are businesses that offer different awards at very reasonable cost. Instead, take the time to understand the people behind the business and the lens. Ensure that there’s a genuine connection and trust. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn – I’m always available for a chat and eager to explore how we can ensure your wedding video becomes the best investment in preserving the memories of your special day.

Any questions? Contact Us and I’ll be back with all the answers.

Diana Shypula is the owner of I Love You Films wedding videography business operating in Sydney, Hunter Valley, Blue Mountains and Southern Highland