The beauty of a wedding video is that you’re able to capture the motion and emotion of your big day that you may have otherwise missed. With that said, it’s important to have in mind what you’re looking for in a wedding video, but with so many amazing wedding videographers in the DC area where do you begin!? We’ve talked about how to select a wedding videographer, and today we’re going more in-depth with the selection process. We have Christian Villatoro, a local wedding videographer at Villatoro Productions, to go over the must-ask questions that you need to discuss with your videographer. You can also watch one of his local DC area wedding videos below too! Take it away, Christian…

Video Credits: Villatoro Productions from Talisha + Everett’s wedding

How will you tell our wedding day story?

You’ll have a much better experience if you’ve chosen a videographer [See: List of local DC area wedding videographers] for their style and story telling approach rather than their price. We all have budgets, but when focusing too much on saving every nickel and dime you may end up regretting that later on when you watch a wedding film you aren’t really crazy about. Finding a style you admire and want for your special day is most important. If videography isn’t at the top of your list, then this isn’t an issue, but if you truly want to cherish and relive the moment for years to come, this will avoid remorse in the long run and ensure that you’ll be satisfied with a memory.

Can you tell me more about yourself?

Make sure to meet and connect with your videographer. If you’re only hiring a videographer to document your day, this is not necessary. There are two ways to approach this: you can hire a videographer to shoot and edit. Or you can connect with your videographer, talk about how you and your fiancé met, tell him what music you like, what are the most important aspects of the day — the connection with the people that will be capturing your special day will ensure that they have a better understanding of what to make of your wedding film. Twenty years down the road after being married when you’re still watching your wedding film you’ll realize the true value of a handcrafted memory!

How long is the turnaround time?

Make sure you are clearly aware of the videographer’s turnaround time. Some couples aren’t completely aware that videography is four-times as hard as photography, because a videographer’s process is continuous as opposed to a still shot taken in a split second. There is: Continuous Motion Picture, Continuous Lighting Monitoring (Especially during outdoor events), Stabilization, Audio, Audio synchronization. In the end, all this has to be put together and it requires time and careful attention. The best part is when it’s done and you can’t stop watching it over and over. Turnaround times vary from one videographer to the next, but you’ll decide what’s more important. Either making sure you have a beautiful lifetime memory at the expense of a few months, or trying to receive your product as soon as possible? Keep in mind, your videographer has many other projects on the line as well.

What is your editing style?

There are two popular types of wedding videography editing styles. There is the cinematic style, and there is a documentary style. Documentary style videography is where the camera is basically just documenting your day and the final video is in sequence from beginning to end, there are longer scenes, and the video may last from 45-90 minutes or even longer. The cinematic style is much more complex, but shorter. The story telling approach can vary from one videographer to the next. When you think of cinematic style videography, think of it as a movie. When you watch a motion picture film, you won’t see many single angle shots or scenes that last over 10-15 seconds, pay close attention next time and watch how long it takes to transition to the next scene and so forth. In the end, the entire movie probably lasts around 90 minutes, but the movie itself took about an entire year to film…or more. Wedding videographers only have one day to shoot your entire wedding and make it into a cinematic wedding film. To ask for a 45 minute cinematic video is not realistic. Most true cinematic wedding films last about 10-15 minutes depending on how much coverage the videographer had. I’d highly recommend for couples to do their research and compare the end quality of different cinematic videos, you’ll see the difference. Research and study up, this is your one and only special day and you only have one chance to capture it right!

Do you provide backup audio?

Audio Audio Audio! Would it make much sense to have a high definition video with audio quality from a pocket recorder or cheap wireless mics? Definitely not! Make sure your videographer isn’t relying on the on board camera mics, and especially not relying on your DJ’s equipment for audio, or even worse…no external microphone at all. You are paying the videographer for their services; therefore they should be using the latest audio technology to ensure you can clearly hear the vows, speeches, toasts, songs etc. Depending on who you hire, it’s also a good idea to have backup audio to leave no chance to failure. Sometimes, wireless signals from cell phones and other mics have interfered with my own wireless mics and have ruined the audio for the video, but thanks to backup audio the wedding film turns out excellent! Audio is an essential part of your video, and it needs careful attention! Just ask your videographer if they provide this just in case. If the videographer likes to be a perfectionist they’ll also have a backup to a backup, too. Nothing is too sure in an un-staged environment.

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Wow, tons of advice for choosing a videographer as well as the most important questions to ask! Thank you so much, Christian! If you are looking for a wedding videographer in the Washington DC area, please be sure to check out Villatoro Productions.

And, if you want to start your video search now, be sure to check out some of the local Washington DC area wedding videos that we have featured so far on the blog!

Video Credits: Villatoro Productions

* Villatoro Productions is one of our fabulous sponsors. For more info, please review our editorial policies or consider becoming a sponsor.

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