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Should You Get a Videographer for Your Wedding? Here’s Everything You Need to Know!

There’s a lot of debate whether a couple should hire a videographer for their wedding or not, and I figured the best way to get the dirt on videographers would be to interview one!

Meet Reed with Reed Shepherd Films based in Des Moines, Iowa. I sat down with Reed and had a long chat, not only about Reed and his company, but about the wide range of wedding videographers that are out there. In this article, you'll learn everything about hiring a videographer for your big day, from questions to ask a videographer before you hire them, to red flags to look out for in a videographer. This is your one stop shop for all things wedding film.

Highlight Film Example: By Reed Shepherd Films

About Reed Shepherd

Ever since I was little, I have always been someone who likes to capture and preserve my own memories through photos and videos, so I can look back at them one day and remember the good times I had. Then when I realized I could do that for other people on one of the most special days of their lives, I was hooked! Being able to capture and create something for my couples that they will cherish forever is what makes me so passionate about filming weddings. Every single couple is special and unique in their own way, and how cool is it that I get to be the one to capture that.

Some Fun Fact's About Me:

1. I am red/green colorblind which always makes people surprised since I am in the creative industry!

2. I love music. Listening, playing, recording, all of it. I have been playing guitar since I was about 8 years old and can dabble around on a few other instruments!

3. I have a podcast! Ben Libby with Graphic Formations and Myself started a podcast called 'CreativeKrunch' where we talk about all things creative and bring on guests from all sorts of industries and careers!

4. I love the outdoors, anytime I have free time you can find me hiking, golfing, skateboarding, camping, snowboarding, anything. I just love to be outside and in nature!

5. I have a tattoo of my puppy Wrigley, who I had to put down last April, I know it's very sad and not a super fun fact, but it taught me such a valuable lesson in life. The tattoo reminds me to take in and cherish every moment of my life and helps remind me to take a step back and be grateful for everything I have!

Reed's Film Editing Process:
  • First I go through all the audio, and pick out the 'good stuff', things that will tell a good story

  • From the audio I pick out, I then organize it to tell the story of your special day

  • Next up is picking music- which is a very long process. It typically takes me several hours to find the right song to fit the vibe and aesthetic of the couple

  • Then I mix the audio & music together, tidying it all up

  • After that I go through all the video footage of the day, picking out clips I want to use

  • Next I tidy up the video to make it flow nicely

  • Then comes color grading and sound design

  • Then viola! I send the finished video to you

See How Reed Prepares for a Wedding
Video Provided By: Reed Shepherd Films

How Much on Average Does a Videographer Cost?

Pricing for videographers range drastically, but if you’re looking for a good videographer with experience and one who knows their way around a camera, you’re looking to pay a minimum of at least $3,000. That doesn’t mean a videographer who charges less than that is bad, but they may just be starting out and are still trying to gain experience.

Your videographer will charge you what they think they're worth, so if you're paying a minimum of $3,000+, your videographer should:

  • Know their way around a camera & their audio equipment

  • Have audio recording equipment

  • Have multiple cameras

  • Shoot good quality video

  • Shoot lots of coverage for your day

Check Out Why Video Quality and Color Grading are so Important
Video Provided By: Reed Shepherd Films

What Kind of Videography Styles are There?

There are so many different types of videography styles out there! Each videographer will have their own style, so before you book, you’ll first need to do some research and find out what style best suits you and your vision. To narrow it down, here’s the main 3 types of videography styles:

  • Slow, dreamy, romantic

  • Fun, upbeat

  • A mixture of both dreamy and upbeat

Reed says the best way to truly understand a videographer's style, is to stalk their social media. Go through their YouTube Channel, Facebook Page, Instagram, etc. to find their previous work and examples of videos they've done that you like. You can find examples of slow romantic films a videographer has done, or fast and upbeat films, to show them exactly the kind of feel you're going for in your video!

Full film Video Example: By Reed Shepherd Films

"As Soon As You Click Play, You Can Relive Your Entire Day"
- Reed Shepherd

What are the Benefits of Having a Videographer?

Reed and I may be biased, but there are a ton of benefits to adding a videographer to your vendor team! Don't just take our word for it though, read through this list to see some of the benefits that come with adding a videographer to your vendor team for your wedding day:

  • You get to relive the entire day, over and over again

  • Not only do you get to look back on your special day, but you get to listen back on it. Hear your dad and best man giving their speeches, listening to your vows over and over again, etc. those things are priceless

  • You get to see lots of different, special moments that take place on your wedding day, and not just from the one perspective you have personally

  • There's so much going on throughout your special day, that there may be moments you miss. You might miss your friends making fools of themselves on the dancefloor, or the kind words your grandma has to say when your videographer asks how she's enjoying the evening, you might even miss your bridal party walking down the aisle. Those are moments your videographer can capture for you, and include in your film

  • You can re-watch your ceremony, listen to your toasts all over again, and watch your special moments like your first dance and walk down the aisle all over again

  • You can show your kids, and even your grandkids your wedding video! It can be passed down through generations

  • You can share your wedding video with the people who were unable to come to your wedding

  • You can watch your wedding video on all your upcoming anniversaries

  • Your special moments are recorded on high tech, rather than a cell phone who's video and audio quality cannot compare (click below to see why audio recording is so important!)

  • Video footage is able to incorporate movement, unlike photos. You can see how your wedding dress was flowing, the way your fiancés eyes light up when they first see you, and so much more

  • You're able to see yourself from a different perspective on the day of the wedding through film

"When I Follow up With Couples After their Wedding Day and Ask What they Wish they Did Differently, they Almost Always Say they Regret NOT Having a Videographer and Budgeting in the Extra Cost." -Elizabeth Bliss Events

What are Some Qualities You Should Look for in a Wedding Videographer?

Take it from Reed, if you're going to hire a videographer, you want one that is truly passionate about weddings and will deliver a high quality wedding video! So how do you find a passionate videographer? You scope them out! Take this list of qualities into consideration when meeting with a potential videographer.

  • Make sure you have good communication with your videographer. You don’t want any of your vendors to take multiple days or weeks to get back to you, right? So why would you hire a videographer that takes forever to respond to you? Make sure your videographer is responsive and is able to get back to you quickly right from the get go.

  • Make sure you can connect with and vibe with your videographer. You should be getting to know all of your vendors before the big day, but it’s important that you vibe with and feel connected to your photographer and videographer. You want to be yourself around them and not feel stiff or awkward, that way your footage shows your true self in your element!

  • Make sure your videographer is in this field because they love it and care about it. If you hire a videographer who is passionate about the industry and what they do, that’s going to show in their work, compared to a videographer who is only interested in the investment side of things.

Reed Shepherd (right) & his Assistant

What are Some Videography Red Flags of a $3,000+ Videographer?

If you’ve hired a videographer that just started out, they may not have multiple cameras or back ups, and that's ok! So long as you understand you are hiring someone who isn’t too experienced (which is perfectly fine, because we all start somewhere, right?). However, when it comes to a videographer who is $3,000+ there are a few red flags you’ll want to be on the look out for before you hire them. These videography red flags may include:

  • They don’t have multiple cameras or back ups

  • They don't have a way to record your audio

  • They are money driven (starts talking about money first before getting to know you as a couple)

  • They don’t make it a point to connect with you, the couple, who's special day it is. You want your videographer to be eager to get to know you, understand what your vision is, and vibe with you and your fiancé

  • Bad communication right off the bat

  • If their turn around time for the finished product is only a few weeks

You may be thinking that if their turn around time for the finished video is only a few weeks rather than months, that's really great! However, Reed shared with me his turn around time, which can be a few months since he spends a minimum of about 40-100 hours of editing just one wedding video. You want a videographer that takes their time and shows care in your video edit, not someone that rushes through it!

Questions to Ask a Videographer Before You Book:

Finding the perfect videographer for you may be a lot of work. The best advice Reed provided when it came to booking a videographer was to dive deep into their social media. "Obviously their best work is going to be on their website, so look on their Facebook or Instagram pages to see the films they don’t show on their site to make sure their work is consistent".

-Reed Shepherd

When you sit down with your potential videographer, here are some questions to ask them:

  • How Would You Describe Your Style?

  • How Long Have You Been Filming Weddings?

  • How Many Hours of the Day do You Cover?

  • Have You Shot at My Venue Before?

  • What Does Your Camera & Equipment Look Like?

  • Will There Be a Second Shooter?

  • Do You Have Backup Cameras?

  • How Many Cameras Do You Bring?

  • How Do You Shoot a Ceremony?

  • Do You Have Audio Equipment?

  • What is the Audio Equipment You Provide?

  • What is Your Turnaround Time?

  • Why Did You Become a Wedding Videographer?

This may be the most important question of all according to Reed. "You want to make sure your videographer is in the industry for the right reasons, not just to make money, but because they love what they do. If you hire a videographer who isn’t passionate about what they do, your wedding video will show that same lack of care."

-Reed Shepherd

If You'd Like to See Why Having the Correct Audio Equipment is so Important, Take a Peek at This Video Clip!
Video Provided By: Graphic Formation Films

Why Should You Book a Videographer for Your Wedding?

Reed and I may be biased when it comes to this question, but that’s because we know how much couples love having a wedding film to look back on! In fact, when I follow up with couples after their wedding day and ask what they wish they did differently, they almost always say they regret not having a videographer. With video, you get the audio of your dad's and best man's speeches, your vows, you get to relive your first looks, and see all of the raw and special moments from your day unfold all over again!

  • It helps you to relive the entire day, over and over again

  • You may think you'll remember your wedding day forever, but what happens years down the road when you start to forget those special moments? With a wedding film, you'll be able to see and remember all the action on your wedding day that you may forget over time

  • Unlike photos, (most) video shots are un-staged, which means you get to see the real and raw clips

  • You can re-watch your ceremony, listen to your toasts all over again, and watch your special moments like your first dance and walk down the aisle all over again

  • You can show your kids, and even your grandkids your wedding video! It can be passed down through generations

  • You can share your wedding video with the people who were unable to come to your wedding

  • You can watch your wedding video on all your upcoming anniversaries

  • After an argument with your spouse, you both can sit down and watch your wedding video, remembering the love you two share, and where that's gotten you both today. (Plus, laughter is the best medicine, and listening to a funny speech your best man gave where you both can't help but crack up, is amazing!)

  • And more!

“I Have Brides From Months Ago Still Message Me and Tell Me They Watch Their Videos Every Day and They Still Love Them”
- Reed Shepherd

Why Should You as a Couple Spend More on a Quality Videographer?

If you're stuck between hiring a $4,500 videographer whose work you absolutely love, vs a $2,000 videographer who's work is ok but is more in your budget, who are you going to end up choosing? I know the decision might seem pretty tough, but Reed had an amazing way of figuring out which option would be the best fit for you! In this scenario, lets say videographer A's investment is $4,500, but videographer B's investment is $2,000. Reed said:

“Try to imagine yourself after your wedding day when you first get the full video sent to you. Imagine watching videographer A’s film and videographer B’s film. Which film are you going to be more happy and satisfied with? What will you cherish more?”
- Reed Shepherd

There's your answer then! If you know you'll cherish a more expensive but amazing wedding video, then take the chance and go for it! But if you know you'll still be happy and satisfied with a more price savvy video, then go with that. At the end of the day, it's whatever will make you happy, that's what weddings are all about!

Are There any Tips/Tricks Couples Should Know When it Comes to Videography?

  • Spend the same on your videographer as you would for your photographer. If you hire your dream photographer for big bucks, but only spend the bare minimum on your videographer, is that really worth it?

  • "You get what you pay for" applies heavily to videography

  • Being comfortable with your videographer is a must! You don't want your video footage to capture you being stiff and awkward right? You want to feel comfortable being your natural silly self, so do that! No one is going to judge you on your wedding day

  • Practice video posing you'd like to incorporate in your film

  • Be yourself, 100% who you are, don’t pretend to be someone you’re not because you'll be able to tell you were acting differently when you get the video footage back

Check Out the Difference Music with SFX Makes
Video Provided By: Reed Shepherd Films

Photo/Video Credits

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