Monthly Archives: September 2017

What To Look For In A Wedding Videographer? Here’s His Explanation

Recently, my cousin became engaged, and I will be his best man. Naturally, the subject of who will be his wedding videographer came up. His answer was simple: what should I look for in a wedding videographer? Being in the business myself, I would like to shed some light on the subject.

Experience

When you look for a wedding videographer, look for someone who is constantly shooting weddings. On average, a busy wedding cinematographer will record about 20-35 weddings per year. Above 35 weddings could be overkill.

First of all, make sure that your videographer has done more than thirty weddings. If s/he has done more than fifty wedding, it could be easily considered an experienced videographer.

I wouldn’t really put much weight if the videographer says that he or she has two, three or five years of experience. It does not really matter. What matters is how many wedding he or she has done. The more the merrier.

Why is experience so important to me? Because in DSLR video, focusing is extremely important and difficult, and practice makes master. Unless your taste is for video that goes in and out of focus, you should look for a videographer what will keep your video in focus.

One vs Multiple videographers

Ask if the videographer can show you videos that he or she has done alone in a wedding. And then work that they have done with 2 or 3 videographers. This is really important.

Depending on your budget you may want to go with only one wedding videographer instead of multiple ones. Watch samples of his or her work while shooting a wedding video alone. Ask what is the best position he or she adopts during the ceremony and the reception.

Ask to see work while working with several videographers as well. How they position each camera during the ceremony and reception.

Ask to watch excerpts of a wedding video more than a highlight. Many wedding videographers emphasize in the highlight more than the wedding video itself. I have seen videographers missing important parts of the ceremony because they are working to get an exotic angle down from the aisle floor or with the slider. They do this just to create more production value to their highlight to show future clients.

DSLR

Another important matter to discuss is their equipment. If you are paying a wedding videographer, let say more than 2000 dollars, check that they are using DSLR cameras, preferably canon cameras.

There are many, but many videographers still using regular HD cameras, which give you acceptable image, but not cinematic look like DSLR cameras would give you.

Lights

Ask about lighting. Discuss about the lighting at the ceremony. Churches usually have good lighting, but if the church it not well illuminated, ask the wedding videographer how they deal with low light situations.

It’s really important to ask about lighting for the reception. How do they plan to use them and what type of lighting equipment they use?

Reception halls are usually very dark, which makes wedding videography very challenging because you have to manage good lighting while not killing the mood. Confirm that your wedding videographer will have enough lighting for introductions, first dance, dance with parents, speeches, cutting the cake – the all the important moments of the reception.

Ask about lighting while dancing. Check that they do not use too much lighting that could kill the mood of the reception, or the lighting the dj or lighting specialist are using for your wedding. But, make sure they use a good source of lighting to illuminate your guests dancing.

Sound

Image quality is just half of your wedding video, sound is the other half.

A wedding video with bad sound could damage the quality of the video.

Ask the wedding cinematographer how they capture sound during the ceremony and reception, specially if you are getting married at a church, which has a lot a reverberation. Just make sure they mic the officiant or officiants, the groom and podium. They should be able to capture good sound from anywhere people will be talking or singing.

Make certain that they put a microphone on the singer, or at least put a recording equipment close to them if they do not have more lavaliere microphones or there are more than one singer.

Sound at the reception hall:

The reception is very noisy. People cheering, talking, etc. Talk to your videographer and make sure they get the sound from different sources like plugging their recording device right from the dj or band. Wedding videographers must also capture ambiance sound (ambience sound is important to get reactions from your guests)

Being unobtrusive

One important matter to discuss is how they work. I have seen videographers who are very obtrusive, so much, that they have 2 or 3 videographers very close to the bride and groom while doing the first dance or when they are dancing with their parents. They are very obtrusive in a way that it is impossible for the wedding photographers to capture a decent picture of the couple. Many videographers, trying to capture exotic angles or images for their highlights, become noisy and noticeable during the wedding ceremony and during the reception. Make sure they are respectful, unobtrusive and share a good working relationship with the photographers or any other vendor.

Video Length

Ask how long your wedding video will be. I have heard of wedding cinematographers that charge a great amount of money for their service, but only provide a 5 minute highlight and unedited raw footage. If you pay a couple thousands more, they give you 20 to 30 minutes wedding video. They reason that a video of more than 30 minutes could be boring and people would not enjoy it. I am one of those wedding videographers, who does not believe that. I think that the client could get a nicely edited wedding video of the entire wedding without being boring. If you would like to jump to certain part of the video, there are always the chapters. Just go to the scene selection on your dvd or blu ray and select whatever you would like to watch. Don’t take me wrong, a shorter version of your wedding video is awesome, and we do offer it. In fact, we were one of the first studios to introduce this concept, but I just don’t think that it should replace a long version of your complete wedding video.

Turnaround

Ask about the turnaround of the work. There are many studios that promise a first draft of your wedding video in five or six months. In my opinion that is too long. I provide a first draft of a wedding video within 2 months from the wedding day, so I can’t really comprehend six months.

Check how the final product is delivered. Many companies that are still providing their clients with dvd only, and what good is it to record something in hd if it will be delivered in standard definition. Other wedding videographers will charge extra for blu rays. So make sure you know the final format. Even if you don’t have Blu-ray, make sure you get Blu-rays.

Ask if they provide unlimited access to the video online or the digital copies for your mobile device.

Check if they allow changes to your wedding video and how the terms are for these changes.

A wedding video is one of the best memories you will have from your wedding day. You need to make sure that you will get the best possible wedding video.

The Process of Hiring Your Wedding Photographer

Although most people have attended a wedding, that doesn’t mean that they will know the process when it’s their turn to go down the aisle. Below is a step by step guide on the process of hiring a wedding photographer.

Step One: Hiring a photographer.

This can be a daunting task even for someone who follows hundreds of wedding photographers blogs. It is recommended that you hire someone within the state that you are getting married. Most wedding professionals travel all over and even if they do not live in the area you are getting married they have most likely photographed there before. Ask them to Narrow your search down to five wedding photographers that you really like. They can be in several different price brackets at this point. Begin communicating with them-choose three you want to meet with in person. The in person meeting is huge because the photographer will be with you the entire day and you want someone not only competent in wedding photography but someone you know you can get along with and wont mind having around. After your meetings you can then choose your photographer.

Step Two: Choosing a package

Hopefully you spoke with your photographer at the meeting about what kind of coverage they offer, and what kind of coverage you will need. Let them help with this they shouldn’t sell you more than you need, but they also should be there to cover all the important moments that will happen on your wedding day. Wedding photographer typical day is 8 hours just like any other professionals work day. That said often 10 hours of coverage is needed in order to begin with the bridal prep and end well into the reception. Your wedding photographer should help you decide if you would like a wedding album (recommended so that your memories are secure in print and digitally) and they should talk you through if they give you the rights to the wedding images or if they keep the digital files etc.

Step Three: Deciding how the wedding day works

There are two models for the photographer on wedding day… the first one is traditional, and the second is with a first look. These models are how we structure the time needed and schedule of the day for photographs.

Traditional: Photographer will come and start with the details at the hotel. Dress, shoes, invitation, rings, bridesmaid dresses, perfume, jewelry, and flowers. After those details have been photographed the wedding photographer will turn their attention to the women and their photojournalistic getting ready photos. This is where the wedding photographer begins to capture moments and build the story of the day. After the bride is in her dress an experienced photographer will often have a first look with the parents-so dad and mom will come in and see their baby girl for the first time in her wedding gown. Meanwhile the second photographer is with the men and taking candid shots of them tying their ties and just hanging out being men before the ceremony. As the bride walks down the aisle at the ceremony the second photographer is taking shots of the grooms expression, and the main photographer is photographing the processional with the bridesmaids and the bride walking down the aisle. After the ceremony the wedding photographer will (with help from the appointed family member) gather up the full family for their portraits. The wedding photographer will begin with the brides side of the family and break it down until the smallest family breakdown (mom and bride, dad and bride, siblings and bride) have been photographed. The wedding photographer will then move onto the grooms family and do the same thing starting with the biggest grouping and breaking it down to the smallest groups. When that is finished it is time to photograph the bridal party. An experienced wedding photographer should be able to get three different posed bridal party shots done in 15 minutes. From there the photographer will photograph just the group of men, and then just the group of women. These two groupings should only take 10-15 minutes and the wedding photographer should know exactly how they want each member of the party or grouping to stand. From there the wedding photographer will take a few portraits of the bride, then the groom, and finally finish up (this whole thing from family to finish should take an hour) with the bride and the groom together. At this point the wedding photographer turns everyone over to the coordinator and the band or DJ. They are in charge of how the reception flows. The wedding photographer will photojournalistic capture the moments from this point on. Even the formalities like the first dances, cake cutting, and bouquet throwing are done in a candid style.

First Look: The Wedding photographer will still meet you at hair and makeup and do the detail shots first. But after the bride is ready the wedding photographer has scheduled the day so that there is an hour and a half of photo time before the ceremony. It begins with a private viewing of the bride from her parents, and then the photographer has chosen an intimate spot with good light for the groom to see his bride for the first time in her dress. The wedding photographer will tell the bride and the groom how to walk to each other before so that they can be in the wings with their long lens getting great emotional moments. After this (generally 15 minutes) the bridal party will be gathered for the bridal party pictures, the women, and the men pictures. This will be about 30 minutes. Finally about 45 minutes before the ceremony the family will be photographed. The bridal party and bride and groom should be finished 30 minutes before the ceremony with all pictures as guests begin to arrive and often the bride doesn’t want to be where she can be seen by everyone. After the ceremony the bride and the groom can take a few moments to be husband and wife and the photographer can take pictures with little to no direction. Then the bride and the groom are able to go to cocktail hour with their bridal party and talk to all of their guests. It is recommended that in the traditional line up of a day there is a receiving line so that you meet all of your guests and don’t have to do it at dinner time. In the first look scenario you can do that at cocktail hour. Again the reception is photojournalistic and candid based for all events.

Step Four: What happens after the wedding

The wedding photographer hopefully explained how they work already in a meeting or in an email. After the wedding many wedding photographers will edit a photographers favorites set within several days and send you an email as well as post them to their blog/FB sites. If the wedding photographer is very busy make sure to ask what their turn around time for all of the wedding photos are. Often times a month is a reasonable amount of time. Also chat with them about their process for culling down the set of final images. It is very important part of a wedding photographers job to edit through and choose the best photos as we have the ability to process thousands of high-resolution images but it is often overwhelming for you the bride to process through that many which is why it is important that we are presenting only the best one of each of the images we take on the wedding day. That will be more than enough wedding images. Talk to your wedding photographer about how they send you the final set of images is it via web or is it via hard drive.

Step Five: The wedding album

If applicable one of the last formal business interactions (as hopefully you are friends at this point) is the wedding album design. Most wedding photographers will begin by creating a version for you telling your wedding story. Then from there you can make changes, edit it, and perfect it to be your favorite images. The wedding album is to take your readers in 10-40 years through your wedding day, so it is often best if you do not choose the images if you let the photographer choose the images to work from. Then as said you can make changes to the album. Wedding photographers are storytellers and this is where their final vision and style can be really seen. In your initial meeting with wedding photographers you saw their album style and hopefully choose someone whose design elements you liked and whose overall feel of the wedding day story through the albums you related too.

That is a summary of the involvement of the wedding photographer, and the process in which the wedding photographer evaluates your day. Each photographer will look for different things on a wedding day, and each wedding photographer will have a unique style but we all will follow a professional and meticulous formula for getting the wedding photos.

Kivalo Photography believes in love and the importance of photos to remember moments in time. Specializing in wedding photography Kivalo photographs weddings throughout Maine and all of the New England states. Kivalo Photography is largely photojournalistic but endeavors to capture not only the special wedding day moments but also the wedding details.

8 Tips for Choosing the Right Wedding Photography

You want your wedding photographer to capture everything that makes your day special, to capture you at your best, to deliver photographs that live up to your expectations. Here are 10 tips for selecting wedding photography that you can live with throughout your new life together.

1.A reputable wedding photographer should have a physical location. A physical location where you can find them when you need them and where you can meet with them safely is important. Brick and mortar wedding photography studios build trust within the community and with their clients. If your wedding photographer does not have a local address (not a PO Box) that they will share with you, it’s a good reason not to trust them. They might work out of their house, but do you know where that is? A physical office or studio is paramount to them being trustworthy. Would be you be willing to have a random stranger come to your house, or for you to go to their house? It’s safer and more reliable to choose a wedding photographer with a studio or office you can visit and where you can find your photographer.

2.A good wedding photographer should help make your day go more smoothly. Aside from a dedicated wedding planner, your photographer is the only vendor who is going to be spending the entire day with you. A good wedding photographer should make things easier for you. They should solve problems. Your wedding photographer should be flexible. They should be able to adapt and thrive in difficult situations. Find out more about their abilities and ask about a difficult lighting scenario, bad weather, or other catastrophe and find out how they dealt with it in the past.

3.You need your wedding photographer to be focused on you. When you meet with any wedding photographer for the first time, do they ask about you, get to know you, and find out what you want? Or do only they talk about themselves and what they do? Find a photographer who is willing to spend time getting to know you so you know they understand you and your needs. This is the best way to find out if they are a good fit for you.

4.Your wedding photographer should be knowledgeable and helpful. They should offer suggestions about options you have for different things, provide advice on scheduling and setup, be full of ideas, and be ready to make your day and your planning easier. A good photographer is big on planning. Your photographer should work with you before an engagement session to select clothing and location. Your wedding day photography should be scheduled as part of your day rather than as an afterthought. Photography does not have to be inconvenient – it can be a fun and integral part of your day.

5.It might sound strange, but not all wedding photographers are the same and not all photographers are a good fit for every client. If your wedding photographer meets you and finds out about what you are looking for and then tells you that they don’t think they would be a good fit for you, it might be surprising, but it’s nothing personal. Wouldn’t you rather a professional be honest about this than trying to change to meet your needs? Sometimes photographers realize that what they specialize in is not the same thing a client wants. Photographers don’t want to make you unhappy, and if a wedding photographer thinks you might be happier with a different style of photography or with a different situation, we will tell you before you book so you are not disappointed later.

6.Price is NOT the most important factor when choosing a wedding photographer: You definitely get what you pay for. Photography is like anything else in life: You get what you pay for. It is not logical to think you can hire someone for little to no money and get the same results you would get if you had spent twice what you paid. Price is normally a factor when it comes to quality. Photographers who charge more are usually backed by their reputation, their brand, and their experience. You should also understand that your photographs will become the lasting memory of your wedding day. There are two things you should spend money on for your wedding, it should be your venue and your photography. People will probably not remember the food, you will only wear your dress once, and most of the other things are not huge investments anyway (flowers, music, makeup). You will look at your wedding photographs regularly – perhaps even every day – for the rest of your life. Shouldn’t your wedding photos be great?

7.Your wedding photography studio should be insured and licensed as a legal business. Many venues actually require insurance from vendors working there. Camera equipment is expensive and you should make sure your photographer is fully insured by a reputable insurance company to make sure you are protected. Many photographers are just individuals with cameras and maybe a slick website. Make sure your photographer is backed by a legal, legitimate business.

8.Your wedding photographer should have backup equipment and a backup plan. Mandatory: Cameras with two slots for memory cards that can be written to simultaneously in case one card fails, backup cameras and lenses, a data backup plan including offsite backups, and a disaster plan. Protect your investment. If your photographer only has one camera, it’s not enough.

5 Tips to Save the Highest Money for Wedding

These 5 top money-saving tips on cheap wedding venues are the result of extensive research coupled with experiences from couples who have benefited from them. These strategies have helped them spend less on their wedding while still ensuring that they have their dream wedding.

1. The wedding date

Take some time to choose and agree on a wedding date that falls during the wedding off-season period but still holds special meaning to the both of you. The off-season period may differ depending on the country you are going to celebrate your wedding in. It could mean certain months of the year, certain days of the week or even certain times of the day. You can easily negotiate to secure cheap wedding venues during the off-season period when the business is not as competitive.

2. Number of invited guests

Your wedding is the most important day of your life. You want this to be an unforgettable and memorable event. Of course, it’s your wedding! Both of you will have to agree on who to invite to your wedding. The number of invited guests will decide the choice of cheap wedding venues.

3. Combine the venues of the wedding reception and ceremony

You could save a lot of money if you have your wedding ceremony and reception at the same place. Don’t forget that you have to be mindful of the number of guests invited; especially if the ceremony and reception is held in an enclosed area like a chapel or hall. However, you could always avoid this restriction by having a beach wedding!

4. Cheap wedding venues that are just right for you

Once you have determined your wedding date and the number of guests, you can start looking through a list of cheap wedding venues and pick the one that suits you best. The following cheap wedding venues can offer you a unique and cheap wedding with the right planning:

• At a park – Start from the list of parks you two are familiar with. You would usually have some special romantic memories in one of these parks so it would be especially meaningful to get married here. This option will also save you the expenses of at least the facilities hiring fee.

• By a river – A riverside wedding is quite special and unique. A River Foreshore is so beautiful that your wedding will be romantic for you and enjoyable for your guests. Remember to check with the local council for any restriction to have your wedding at the river foreshore. You can also choose to have your wedding on a River Cruise liner. This unique experience may become the highlight of your town.

• At the beach – Many of you dream of a beach wedding. The crashing waves and sand beneath your feet; everything is just so naturally and amazingly beautiful. The beach is one of the most popular cheap wedding venues. You could make this experience even more memorable by having a sunset beach wedding ceremony followed by a simple wedding reception, which would also definitely cut down your wedding expenses. Keep in mind that getting married at a public beach or a private beach may have different restrictions. Confirm and adhere to these restrictions as part of your wedding ceremony and wedding reception plan. Make sure to include cleaning up after the event as another part of your plan too.

• Your backyard – When you decide to have a private and small wedding, a backyard wedding is at the top of the list. The savings will include wedding venue expenses and also food and beverages. Your backyard would already offer beautiful and natural floral arrangements. All you need to add is a bit of party decor to make it even more beautiful. Your choice of food could be from catering; or you could mix it up and do a wedding barbeque or even a tea party! Of course, having your wedding in your backyard may involve a lot of work. However, with careful planning and a bit of creativity, you can turn your backyard into the fairytale wedding of your dream. It is definitely well worth the effort.

• Local community halls – Another option for cheap wedding venues is the local community halls. These are usually available for hire at a very low rate. Besides, they tend to be equipped with tables and chairs which are available for rent. Inquire about their preferred vendors who give other facilities for any event as you can often get a very special rate if you use their regular vendors. When you need to invite a bigger group of guests, a local community hall would usually be a more affordable option.

• Institution halls – Many universities and colleges have big campus halls which are available for rent to hold the wedding ceremony and reception. Some cities also have city halls which are available for rent. Take some time to check these out. This is definitely another option for a cheap wedding venue that’s worth exploring.

• Churches – Walking down the aisle at the church symbolizes the beginning of a new life with your spouse. This is especially meaningful for Christian couples. There is no specific rental fee if you choose to use a church chapel to carry out your wedding ceremony before proceeding to use the church hall for your wedding reception. However, you should present a voluntary gift to the church for making use of the facilities.

• Any new venues that are less popular – Look for restaurants or hotels that have recently opened. They are usually more open to negotiations and can offer a good discount. This could work out to be a win-win situation for both parties as a perfect wedding reception would help them to promote their future business, and you would reap the benefits of reduced costs without compromising on quality.

5. Work out the total expenses

Decide on your wedding venue option from the list of cheap wedding venues available. Then remember to work out the total expenses required. The expenses may include the rental of tables and chairs, decorations, stage set up etc. You should also consider the type of wedding menu.