“Photography does a beautiful job of capturing a moment in time, but videography captures the sight, the sound, the motion, and the emotion,” states Aaron Bernier, owner of Desert View Productions. “There’s nothing like that moment when a bride comes down the stairs and her father sees her in her wedding gown for the first time. There’s no value that can be placed on that moment.”
Each art form has its merits, but when it comes to your special day, it might be best to hire both a photographer and a videographer. “They are not competing media, they are complimentary art forms and you really want to have both,” states Bernier. “When you put the two together at a wedding, it paints a more complete picture from start to finish.”
Finding the Right Videographer
If considering a video, the first thing to do is get referrals from recently married couples or vendors you’re working with. Couples should view at least two or three sample videos taken from more than one wedding; but they should also see work from delivered wedding videos as the client received it. “Look at their wedding DVDs and see if it’s the style you’re looking for,” states Stepheny Keith, owner, Black Sheep Video. Today’s videos are finely crafted films available in a variety of styles such as candids, documentaries, and movies. “It’s important to ask what the videographer’s shooting style is,” says Keith, “and if they are open to your style and your ideas, because every wedding is different.”
Also, choose a style that five, ten, twenty years down the line won’t look dated and doesn’t have special effects that look like a 1970s rerun of Star Trek. “When it comes to special effects,” states Bernier, “there’s a vast range available in wedding videos today. We see everything from simple black-and-white videos—which can be very elegant—to fake rose petals falling from the sky. In a number of years, because technology will no doubt improve, that’s going to look fake and very hokey.
“Look for stable, not shaky footage, and beware of excessive use of black-and-white and sepia, which is often used to hide poor exposure. And skin color should look natural,” continues Bernier. “The videographer has to have the expertise to know how to set the camera in different situations—shade, direct sunlight, etc.—for the skin tones to be correct.” Don’t be afraid to ask technical questions such as, what type of camera is being used and how many? “A videographer should be using professional, state-of-the-art, broadcast quality, digital equipment (3-chip digital camera) and not outdated analog equipment,” states Bernier. “They should also be using a non-linear editing system, and everything needs to be delivered on DVDs,” adds Keith, “because they’re going to last forever.”