Questions you would generally ask:
1. What kind of equipment do you use? Videographers who have heavily invested in equipment want you to know they have the latest and greatest. Also ask why he likes this particular equipment; you’ll get a sense of whether he sounds knowledgeable about his trade.
2. How do you handle lighting? Lighting should be contained in the camera and shouldn’t require an outlet, a sign of outdated equipment.
3. How do you handle sound? Good sound during the ceremony is critical so you can hear the vows. Most videographers put a microphone on the groom, but some work in creative ways like hiding a microphone in the alter flowers. If there’s no microphone within three feet of you, you’re not going to hear the vows.
4. What form of editing do you use? In-camera editing is usually the province of amateurs - it’s essentially the footage as it was shot and involves little postproduction work. It’s the least expensive option and will give you a rudimentary video. Professionals use editing software such as Avid, Premiere, or Final Cut Pro.
5. In what format will my final video be? Will there be a way to share videos online?
6. Do you provide an early, rough version of the video? Some videographers are able to have a rough video uploaded to your iPod in time for the day-after-brunch.
7. Who is responsible for getting the videography guidelines from the church or synagogue?
8. How long have you been doing weddings, and how many have you done?
9. Have you worked in my ceremony and reception locations before? If so, do you have suggestions for how to get the best result? If he hasn’t, will he visit the site in advance? He should know ahead of time where he is going to set up for the ceremony and how he is going to mike it.
10. If he shoots file, ask what type of film and why he likes that format. Super 8 is the norm, but some filmmakers work in 16mm as well.
11. Is an assistant necessary? What does the assistant do? If the assistant is shooting part of the wedding, ask to see samples of his footage.
12. Can I be involved in the editing process? Do I get to choose the background music used in the video?
13. Ask him what special effects he uses and who chooses them. This is a good time to talk about what you specifically liked and disliked in the demos you viewed.
14. If it’s a package, go over exactly what you get for the fee. How many hours of filming, whether there’s a limit on the number of tapes he’ll shoot, if there will be an assistant, how many copies you’ll receive of the video, and the video’s finished length. How much are extra copies of the DVD? Can you keep the raw footage? Two two of you may enjoy watching parts that ended up on the cutting room floor.
15. How long does it take for you to edit and finish the video?
16. Go over his attire. If he’s going to wear sneakers, request that he wear black, which will blend in better with the look of the guest.
17. How much of a deposit is required to hold the date? When is balance due? What is the cancellation policy?
18. Are references available? Get a few names of recently married couples.
19. Who owns the copyright to the video? It’s typically the videographer so if that’s the case, ask what kind of usage rights you have.
20. Discuss the general structure of the video. Will it open with a montage of photos, will it be broken into chapters, will it be chronological or will it jump around?