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Wedding Articles: Choosing a Videographer

Nothing can compare with a professionally produced videotape that captures all of the sights and sounds of your wedding day, an event which will be one of the major social occasions of your life. What better opportunity to capture all of your family and friends and create a quality video memory to be cherished for years to come? Many couples feel that having their cherished memories preserved forever on a videotape is the most important keepsake they have of their wedding day. 

Your videographer should begin your wedding day before the guests and bridal party arrive at the church. Some clients prefer to start taping while the bride and her attendants are getting ready. Most videographers will spend anywhere from 5 to 12 hours covering one wedding, but 7 hours is generally sufficient to get the complete coverage for most.

It is the client's responsibility to find out if there are any restrictions on photography and videography at the event site and to notify the videographer of this well in advance. Many churches and synagogues have guidelines, such as no flash photography and no movement during the ceremony. Understandably, places of worship are not a TV studios. Your videographer should place a camera in a position which affords a clear view of the bride and groom's faces during the ceremony. However, this is not always possible, because some churches restrict all videotaping to specific areas. Be sure to find out what is allowed before you contract with a videographer.

Perhaps you've heard of the horror stories of bright lights during the ceremony and videographers stepping between the minister and the couple during the ceremony. A professional videographer will not do this and the best ones will typically go unnoticed. A good videographer makes every effort to record your wedding unobtrusively and tastefully, using no lights at the ceremony or reception, remaining stationary and silent throughout, and using a documentary style in all of the taping. Besides, artificial lights create an unattractive video image. The new professional-grade digital video cameras have low light capabilities that make artificial lighting obsolete. A professional-grade digital video camera is a must, if you are to attain true broadcast quality.

The editing of the wedding is as important as the taping. Many videographers claim to edit, but merely title the beginning and return all the uncut film. A videographer using the Casablanca Non-Linear Editing System is a plus. This is a digital editing system, which due to it's large cost is not used by many companies. This system offers enhanced picture quality through the digitizing of the footage and reduced loss of resolution. 

Before you book: You should have a meeting with the videographer. Don't hire anyone over the phone, nor should you hire any professional with merely a handshake. Ask that all the terms of your agreement be in a contract. This protects both you and the videographer, and should be simple and clear. When it comes to price, keep the old cliche in mind, "you usually get what you pay for." It is necessary to become informed of what the average price for a quality videographer with years of experience is. Once you determine your spending limit, then you can begin to evaluate the professionals for quality, experience and compatibility. 

Following the above guidelines should insure that you will be smiling throughout your wedding day...and won't that make for some wonderful video!

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