Choosing a Wedding Videographer Company VS Individual/Team
Updated: Jan 14
What are some things to keep in mind when hiring a wedding / event videographer ? Or for that matter, photographer as well, which allot of the same principles discussed in post could apply to.
From my experience shooting for the past 15 years, I’ve realized the many difference and levels of companies offering what I offer in the industry.
You have to ask yourself, who do you want to hire? Do you want to hire a company ? Or an individual ? The difference may be pretty significant. And each are going to have their pros and cons .
Here are some of the pros to hiring a large company. First , good customer service (at least most of the time). More than likely if you have a question about your video , a revision , a change in time line , an emergency number etc, they can very well be more attentive to issues provided they have an office and a team ready to go. It's just like buying from amazon, new egg or mono price as opposed to buying from Mom and Pops down the street. You are indeed dealing with a corporate entity rather than just one person.
Another good thing about hiring a larger company is the fact that they will probably have a back up plan in case something goes wrong, such as an on call videographer the day of , heaven forbid there is an accident or bad circumstances (This has not happened to me yet fingers crossed)
Now, for the cons of hiring a large company.
You see, I am sure as a bride or groom you’ve done your research on catering halls, especially ones who hold many weddings at a time vs ones that hold only one at a time. Well, the same things could be said for companies that shoot MANY weddings at a time like catering halls that hold many weddings at a time. All in all, you are going get less attention paid to detail, and more attention paid to marketing as well as cookie cutter formulas used pump out wedding your wedding video in a timely fashion. In addition (and this goes without saying) big companies simply don’t pay as much to their shooters. That isn’t to say that you’re not going to get a shooter who’s talented , gives 100% to their job and does pay attention to detail, but just keep in mind the facts about the situation.
When it comes to how much large companies charge, more than likely they are indeed charging allot less than an individual niche artist offering the same kind of service. The typical large studio company , depending on just how many cities they service, could be charging anywhere from 1500 to 2500 for a standard package. That means it’s not the most basic package but not the highest either. Those are numbers based off moderate packages that come with the little bit of the bells and whistles, such as a full edit and highlight edit.
Now for the individual, or a “team” if you may. (Some are siblings, friends duo, husband and wife) The sole creator of your wedding film. Who should they be? How much should they be charging you? Why them and not a conglomerate ?
First and foremost , is experience. How much experience does your videographer in the industry? Another good question to ask is what have they done with that experience? Have they spent their entire time shooting? Or are they leaning towards becoming the big company and over seeing everything rather than still shooting.
My estimate would be that if you’re serious about your video and want someone to do a primo job, then you want to hire someone with at least 5 years experience.
First the pros. Number one of course is personal attention. Most individual videographers will work with you more closely on the details of your day, some may even go as far as visiting the location first before they shoot your wedding. They should be up front about your timeline of the day, and what they have time to do for your budget and if they are a right fit . We will also go more into your wedding timeline a bit later.
Another pro to hiring an individual or team company, is over all quality. I’ve seen many companies that are well versed and experienced in film, pay attention to detail and are extremely high end. The work they do could be award winning. Being featured on such sites and magazines as “People” and “Martha Stewart Weddings” . One example I can think of on the top of my head is “@Happy Camper Films”. They are a husband and wife team, traveling in a camper throughout the United States, filming weddings and doing a damn good job at it. You might be thinking “Why would you promote another company in your e-book?” Well, like i said, this is purely informational and not meant to be sales pitch.
Now for the cons, and there’s mainly only two. One being the price. These companies charge thousands. Some even up to $5000 just for video. If you want the best you’re going to pay for the best.
The second is this, you’re hiring specifically that ONE team, or individual. If something goes wrong, well, they may have a back up for the day, they may not. But aren’t you hiring that team specifically for THEIR work? If a back up shows up you may not have that same level of quality. Of course I would assume that if something did happen, they would cut down on the end price, but you never know.
Now this can go for large companies as well. Let’s say you pick out a specific shooter from that company, and they have an emergency and can’t show up for your wedding. Then you’ll get the back up for the day. Yes, this is true, however, chances are if you’ve hired a large discount company, you’re not paying even close to $4000 - $5000 for a high end artistic wedding film, but rather something more simple and economic. Your back up shooter for the day will probably be just as qualified as the last one.
Whether you choose me and your filmmaker or not, I hope this helps your wedding video buying experience!