Choosing the right videographer for your Cheshire wedding can be tricky.
Cheshire is a fairly large county, and borders Greater Manchester, Liverpool, the Wirral as well as several other counties, this means that there is a very wide range of videographers available to you. So to go about narrowing down your choice?
One option many people think of is going to wedding fairs, unfortunately they are mistaken. From the videographers perspective, wedding fairs in this area are very expensive and time-consuming and don’t result in gaining many new clients. As a result, most local videographers avoid them these days, and concentrate their marketing efforts on having a great website full of video samples that potential clients can view at their leisure. The videographers who still attend the fairs tend to be the folks who haven’t really got to grips with the internet yet, and you may find the style of their films to be of a similar old fashioned style.
A much better place to start is online. A simple search for ‘wedding video Cheshire’, ‘wedding video Wirral’ or ‘wedding video Liverpool’ for example brings up several pages of local videographers to choose from. Simply by scanning through a few wedding videographer’s websites you can soon see that there are huge variations in style, quality and price. Look a little further and you will find more variations such as coverage, options such as diary rooms and same day edits etc.
The first thing to consider when you look at these website is what types of videos are viewable on them. There may be a show reel, which includes clips from several different weddings, or short highlights from various weddings. You may also be able to view entire wedding videos online. Of these, the show reel will be the most eye-catching but least representative. A full video will obviously be less flashy, but much more representative of what you are likely to receive in the final product.
With this in mind, take a look at least 5 or six of the websites, and decide which ones you like, and what their packages/costs are. You are probably best discarding at this stage any suppliers that do not display their costs on the website, or who do not display their work.
You may already have a budget in mind. Most videographers in the Cheshire area fall into one of the following 4 groups (for a full day package, please note that prices in other parts of the country may vary significantly):
Up to £500 – This is an unsustainable price for a wedding video. The videographer is probably either very new to the industry and is trying to get established and build a portfolio, or alternatively, very poor in their camerawork and editing. Lets face it, if they could charge more, they would. The likelihood is that they are using inferior consumer camcorders and sound equipment. Think twice!
£500 to £800 – Cheap no-frills video. The video will probably be quite simple, and maybe a little boring to watch, but for this price you should expect a competent job. Make sure you check their work and watch several full wedding films before booking so that you are sure you like their work.
£800 to £1500 – Mid Range. For this price you should be getting a more interesting video. The videographer is likely to be using more equipment to achieve a greater variety of shots. This will be visible to you in the style of the films.
Over £1500 – High end. For this price you should be getting a film with a distinctive style and a consistent high quality finish. If you watch a film on their website your reaction should be ‘wow’, so pick the one which wows you the most.
So, hopefully by this stage you have at least one (and possibly several) potential wedding video suppliers shortlisted.
The next stage, of course, is to get in touch with them, check availability, and arrange to meet so that you can find out more about them, and they can find out what they need to know about you wedding. If you want to book them, it is usual that you will be required to pay some kind of deposit, and that the final payment will be made shortly before the wedding.
Finally, here are a few things that might be useful to you when choosing a videographer.
DSLRs -DSLRs are stills cameras, but recently models have been released that can also film video. These give a really nice film-like look to the footage and are the new big thing in wedding videography, and TV/video in general for that matter. They are difficult to use, and have many drawbacks compared to a professional camcorder, but they also have this unique look, which is why they are so popular. Many videographers now will use a combination of camcorders and DSLRs to achieve the best overall effect.
2 Cameramen/2 Cameras – Having 2 or more cameras is a definite advantage at a wedding for obvious reasons. However, this can be achieved with only one cameraman using tripods etc. Having a second cameraman is only useful if he is skilled and experienced and cares about what he is doing.
Diary Room/Guest Interviews -These can be a great way of getting your wedding guests into the video and are always very popular.
HD – HD equipment has been the standard in the industry for some time now. Even if you only want the final product on DVD, filming it in HD will result in a better picture quality. If a videographer is not using HD equipment make sure that you are happy with their images before booking. They might look ok on a little web video, but not so good on a 40 inch Plasma screen!