Since the photographs and video are the most visual, lasting elements of the wedding, find a professional who exhibits the creative skills and techniques essential to capturing the beauty and joy of your wedding day.
Today, stolen, intimate moments such as a bride in her dressing room are as much a part of the wedding album and video as the shot of the groomsmen, who are just as likely to be cavorting by the cars in the parking lot, being ‘just the guys’ for the camera.
When choosing a photographer and videographer, remember that your relationship with them is going to be a long one, from the engagement photos where most will see who you are as a couple, to the proofs, albums and edited video after the wedding. Make sure you meet the people who will actually be shooting your wedding.
When selecting a photographer and videographer one of the most important things to be aware of is their personality. Does their temperament complement yours? Are they more laid back and calm or do they take charge and command the situation? They will be with you for most of your wedding day and being posed by someone that you are not comfortable around will inevitably end with awkward wedding photos.
Two main questions to ask yourself after the meeting are:
• Do I like this person? Can I see myself spending the whole day with them and enjoying myself?
• Do I like their work as a wedding photo/videographer? How is the lighting? Do they frame their work in a way that is appealing to me?
Experienced photographers and videographers develop their own unique style over time. Ask them about their approach and what makes them different from others in the field. Flexibility and sensitivity should be an important consideration. Since your photographer and videographer will be on a first-name basis with your family, be sure to brief him or her about family dynamics (divorces, separations, or other changes) in order to dispel any potential awkwardness on the wedding day.
Aside from the wedding portraits, the wedding video serves as the most enduring visual memory of your wedding day, telling the story and preserving it forever on DVD. Videography captures the poignancy and drama of your wedding, allowing you and your loved ones the chance to relive your happiest moments again and again. Ask to view sample tapes of their work, especially weddings that are similar to your own; if it’s outside, for example, or by candlelight. If the videographer has previously filmed at the site of your wedding, ask to see those samples.
While reviewing the sample tapes, pay attention to colors, camera angles and clarity of sound. You want images that are bright and clear, sharp music and voices that are audible. Look for smooth and steady panoramas, detailed close-ups, and an absence of jarring jumps from one scene to another or scenes that linger too long.
A good videographer will unobtrusively record your day while still getting the essential shots and capturing you and your guests at their best.
Videographers tend to work in two styles: documentary and straight-cut. The documentary style video will capture the entire event, then edit it down to about an hour in length—a mini-movie of your wedding, told from the videographer’s point of view. Innovative and stylistic, this format, while taking more time and fees to prepare, offers a modern choice for couples looking for a unique way to tell the story of their wedding.
Video reflection can also be created, which provides guests at the rehearsal dinner and/or reception an entertaining visual history of your journey as a couple. You may choose to include baby pictures, or use photographs to tell the story of when you met or got engaged.