Moving Pictures

Moving Pictures | How to find the right videographer with the least amount of static.
Not so long ago, wedding videos tended towards the tacky, with shaky camcorder footage showing every stray strand of hair and wayward wrinkle. But as digital technology becomes more portable and less expensive, you can get a slick, cinematic record of your wedding day even on a tight budget—as long as you know where to look. Are They Experienced? In an age when anyone with a handycam and a laptop can call themselves a one-man production company, it’s best to choose a videographer who knows the difference between a crane shot and a crank handle. “Go with someone who’s been in the industry for a while,” says Robert Smith of Weddings By RS. With basic video equipment covering such a broad spectrum, an inexperienced cameraman can easily get out of his depth on a hectic wedding day. Reality or Fantasy? Find out exactly what the filmmaker’s fee covers and whether or not that meets your needs. “Get a consultation, so the videographer can learn exactly what you want,” says Smith. “Ask him what kind of cameras he’ll use—professionals are just making the leap to high-def—and whether he has a back-up camera, in case one goes down.” Decide whether you want a totally candid record of the wedding with a few basic camera angles, or a short movie (which requires more editing). Bear in mind that not everyone will want to watch a feature-length epic of your event. Play It Safe Don’t forget to ask how many copies you’ll receive; companies can charge up to $45 for extras. If you’d like a record of the event on DVD, make sure the discs will play in any machine. “A properly authored DVD should play on everything,” says Smith, “not just a computer or one kind of DVD player.” Try Something Different Videos offer a great way to relive your day, but they’re not your only option. Brides often weep with joy over Kevin Harrison’s one-of-a-kind slide shows. “I hand-edit personalized videos of stills that I shot,” says Harrison, an acclaimed artist and photographer. “I add music and effects, with a big screen premiere for every single wedding couple. My brides say that it’s an incredible experience.”