Vital questions to ask your wedding videographer
Wedding videography is a big investment, and the last thing you want is for that investment to not be worth it. A videographer's style, personality, and price are probably the main reasons you book with them, but these are some technical questions to ask to make sure you're in safe hands!
Topic 1: Delivery
Question: When was the wedding you're currently editing?
Reason: It's easy to say you'll deliver a video within a certain timeframe, but that's unfortunately not the case. I've heard lots of stories about people waiting over a YEAR to get their videos back, and it's a terrible situation to be in. Asking when the wedding they're currently working on actually happened, you'll hopefully get a real-time look at how long it'll take to get your video back.
My answer: I'm writing this on December 19, and Alexis and Logan's wedding was on October 14, so 9 weeks ago.
Question: How will you deliver our videos?
Reason: Once you get your videos, you want them to be easy to watch, easy to share, and easy to download. Check what their delivery process is, and if you think it's going to be a hassle to watch your films, maybe ask if they have alternative ways to deliver it.
My answer: I upload your videos to YouTube, as well as send you a DropBox link to download the files. I always recommend downloading your photos and videos and keeping them on a hard drive.
Question: How long will you k
eep the videos for?
Reason: My main reason for making wedding videos is that they'll last a lifetime. If you accidentally lose the link after a few years, it would be helpful if the videographer still had your video 10 years later.
My answer: I keep them indefinitely, but your dropbox link will only work for 3 years. Again, I recommend downloading and keeping a copy of your own.
Topic 2: Money
Question: Aside from the obvious cost, are there any extra fees?
Reason: it would suck to get an unexpected bill from your videographer when it comes time to pay, so be sure you know the total amount you'll be paying.
My answer: I charge travel fees, and include those in the contract. I include sales tax in the prices listed on my website, so there are no additional fees. However, if I'm asked to do extra hours on the day, I do charge an extra $250 per hour that will be billed after the wedding.
Question: How do you deal with travel costs and sales taxes?
Reason: This is an important question for the same reason as above. Tip: if they don't charge sales taxes (in Iowa, and this is not legal advice) they're probably not a registered business.
My answer: same as above!
Question: How do you take payments?
Reason: a major red flag for me is people taking payments to personal accounts, or taking payments through sketchy methods.
My answer: I take all payments through Square Inc. or through checks if you're more comfortable with that.
Topic 3: Security
Question: What's your worst-case scenario, and how would you handle it?
Reason: it's good to know what your videographer might be thinking in tough situations, and that they have processes and plans in place to deal with hard things.
My answer: My worst-case scenario would be being unable to make it to the wedding on time, for example if I had car complications. While this isn't really something I can "solve," I would do everything I could to remedy any missed moments by staying later in the day, and working with the photographer and planner to try and make up for any important missed moments.
Question: Do you have equipment and storage backups?
Reason: If your videographer's camera stops working or is having issues, making sure they'll still be able to capture your day i
s an important thing to consider. Similarly, if your wedding was a month ago, and their hard drive they have all the footage on suddenly breaks, it's good to know that doesn't mean all your wedding footage and audio will be gone for good.
My answer: I have 3 cameras at every wedding day, as well as up to 7 microphones. All of my cameras record to two memory cards at the same time, meaning if one fails, I still have all the footage. I have two identical copies of my editing hard drive stored in separate locations, as well as online backups. I also have over 100 Terabytes of archive space with online backups, meaning once I'm done with your film I'll have copies of it forever.
Question: What happens if you get sick the week of the wedding?
Reason: this is something you should be able to find in your contract, but it's good to talk about with them anyway. This is a terrible scenario, but one we all become acutely aware of during covid. It's also a good question to ask all your vendors!
My answer: If I get sick the week of the wedding, I will do everything I can to find someone to replace me for capturing your day, but still do all of the editing myself. If I can't find a replacement, I will refund you all of your money, including the non-refundable deposit.
These are technical and tough questions, but if you're wanting to be absolutely sure you'll get the best for what you're investing in a wedding film, I think they're important to ask!