5 Steps to Choosing The Right Wedding Cinematographer

by | Cinematography Wisdom, Wisdom, Wise Words

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bright Day Films
Find me on Ms Polka Dot's Directory
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Image by Theodore Halacas – Loco Photography via Lucy & Adam’s Yarra Valley Garden Wedding

Your wedding day is one of the most special days of your life so it’s important to choose the right wedding cinematographer to suit your needs.

At Bright Day Films, we know it takes so much time to plan and organise a wedding and then when the day finally comes around, it can feel like it’s over in a flash! Most couples book a photographer to help them preserve their day with photos and many also hire a cinematographer (or ‘videographer’) to capture their day on film so they can relive the moments.

There are a lot of wedding cinematographers out there, so how do you choose the right one and what are some things to look for?

Step 1 – Don’t Ask Uncle Joe!

The first step in choosing the right videographer is to not ask Uncle Joe simply because he’s family and he’s happy to do it for free! Sure, he may have a camcorder, perhaps also a tripod, he might even have done photography in high school, but it doesn’t matter. There’s a lot that goes into producing a professional wedding film and you don’t want to miss capturing crucial parts of your day or end up with amateur or shaky footage.

A professional wedding cinematographer will know how to get the best shots, choose the best angles, will use equipment that stabilises the image (preventing shakes), and will professionally edit and colour-grade your footage. It’s worthwhile to pay for a professional, let all your guests enjoy the day and have the peace of mind of knowing you’re going to get a great-looking film to share with others and re-watch for years to come.

Step 2 – Do Your Research

Research and shop around. Don’t just pick the first cinematographer you find on the Internet. It’s also a good idea to ask friends who have recently been married about who they chose to film their wedding. Make a list of five reputable-looking film businesses and compare them on their style and cost and what they include in their wedding packages.

Step 3 – Choose Your Style

Next, ask yourself what style is your wedding? Is your wedding going to be classical and luxurious? Will it be a traditional or a modern wedding? Are you getting married on the beach or in a garden? Are you getting married in a town hall? Will it be funky, lively, retro or vintage?

Like wedding venues, cinematographers also have a certain style to them; we certainly do! Try to choose a cinematographer who matches the style and vibe of your wedding. You can get an idea of their vibe by watching a few of their past weddings films.

Step 4 – Decide On A Budget

Decide how much you’re prepared to pay. Wedding cinematographers don’t come cheap, but you still don’t have to pay top dollar to get what you need. Some cinematographers choose to film the weddings by themselves, others tend to operate with a partner or in a team of three. Rule of thumb is, the less camera operators at your wedding, the cheaper it will be.

You can find reasonably priced packages with a single operator for around $3000-$4000. For two or three cinematographers, you might expect to pay somewhere between $4000 and $10,000. It all comes down to what you want and how important cinematography is to your wedding day.

Step 5 – Meet Them In Person

You should feel comfortable with your cinematographer. Once you have picked someone with a style that suits you, ask to meet with them in person. Weddings are intimate affairs, and having the right personality fit is just as important as having someone with the right skills.

When you meet, ask about their style, how much they charge, what kind of equipment they use and how long the editing process takes. Do they come across as friendly and relaxed? Do they sound professional? This is important to consider, because the last thing you want is a cinematographer who is bossy, hard to deal with or is rude to your guests!

Choosing a wedding cinematographer is an exciting part of the planning process. Ask your friends for advice and get recommendations from those who’ve been through the process already – that’s what friends are for! These five steps are not the entire story but hopefully they will provide you some things to consider when choosing a wedding cinematographer for your big day!

 

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Thanks for the very helpful advice; deciding on a budget is so important – and yes, a big tip, don’t ask Uncle Joe!

About Bright Day Films: Hi, I’m Jesse from Bright Day Films. It’s incredibly rewarding to get to know the couples I work with and to bring them so much joy. In my spare time, I love to surf on Sydney’s northern beaches, watch movies with my wife Em, play guitar and dream up crazy ways to help make the world a better place.

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