Hiring a Videographer – Tips for Success

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No matter if it’s for a business or personal endeavor, choosing to take on some sort of video production project can be exciting as well as challenging.  For those with little to no experience the challenge of such an undertaking can be quite overwhelming.  Striking out on your own is all well and good, but sometimes it really is best to turn to a team of professionals instead.  Projects like commercials or other marketing films/shorts, videos for your business, or important personal videos like those for weddings are ones that you don’t want to take on as a novice.  Hiring a good team of professionals will ultimately lead to an easier process and a more professional product, but how does one go about picking the right videographer or production team for the job?  Compiled here are several tips to make this task far more manageable.

Form a Plan:

Before you start your search for a quality videographer you need to take some time to brainstorm.  Create a clear outline of what it is you’re trying to accomplish, both in practical as well as aesthetic terms.  Come up with a timeline that makes it clear about the sort of window you have to get the project done.  Figuring these things out at the beginning allows for several different things.  Firstly, when you have a clearer idea about the sort of work you need done you’ll also have a clearer idea about the sort of videographer you want to hire.  Is your project serious and professional, or is it quirky and creative?  Knowing these things better ensures that you pick someone that fits the bill.  Apart from this, having as detailed a plan as possible in the beginning also makes it easier for the videographer to determine precisely what will be required in order to complete your project.  This not only makes the process a bit easier and faster, but also means that you’re likely to get a clearer quote on the price.  If they have a better idea up front about the equipment and people they’ll need then you’re less likely to run into surprise costs down the road as ideas unfold.

Be Clear About Costs:

Once you figure out the particulars of your project try to set a practical budget that reflects the amount of work likely to go into creating your video.  Admittedly it’s not always easy to anticipate costs when you don’t have a lot of insight into the world of videography and what all goes into the process, but this is where a little bit of research comes in handy.  Look around and request quotes from various videographers.  Explain the different things you’d like to accomplish and see what each one says about the kind of effort that will have to go into making it all happen – and the price tag that goes along with it.  Getting different quotes will help narrow down your options as well as possibly give you a bit of wiggle room.  By pointing out the lower estimates of other videographers you may be able to get the price down on the one you’re particularly interested in.  Keep in mind that, as with virtually any project, costs can still pop up later down the road, especially if someone comes up with a good idea that you feel will enhance the project.  When forming your budget allot a certain amount of money for additional costs, thus giving yourself flexibility in options later down the road.

Look for Samples:

Most videography and production studios will already provide examples of their work on their website, but if not then it’s always a good idea to request samples of past projects from teams you’ve taken an interest in.  Going through these sample projects will give you a better idea for the quality of their work as well as the creative ingenuity displayed.  You’ll get a better feel for the sort of tone they might be able to create for your own project and whether or not they can provide certain editing services that will enhance your project.  When viewing their work, analyze how flexible and versatile they seem.  Any project has the potential to come with obstacles or certain opportunities that can be used to take it to the next level, but you’ll need someone that has the versatility and innovative mindset to accomplish this.

Do You Mesh?

Technical skills and creative ingenuity are important in videography, but so too are interpersonal skills.  Try to get some valuable contact with the videographer, either speaking with them over the phone or in person instead of predominately via email.  This will make it easier for you to evaluate how well their ideas and their overall manner meshes with your own.  If you’re going to be investing time and money into something then you want to be sure that the process will be as smooth and drama free as possible, and this all begins with picking someone that you feel you could easily work with.  Pay attention to how they respond to your ideas and your overall project.  Do they seem as passionate about it as you do?  Do they seem as if they’ll be as personally invested in the process as you’ll be?  You want someone who genuinely comes off as interested in your business or personal endeavor, the type of person that you feel will really give it their all and then some.  Pick someone that not only takes what they do seriously but also has the ability to bring an element of fun to the table.

Can They Do It All?

When looking through all that a videographer offers, pay attention to the sort of equipment and manpower they have at their disposal.  It’s best to choose a videographer or production studio, like Trove Studio, that comes with all of its own equipment and has a team of seasoned professionals already in place.  Picking someone that has to rent equipment or hire out additional personnel means that they’re going to have to spend more money to create your video, in turn bringing that cost to you in the final bill for the project.  Apart from the cost, choosing someone who already has all of the equipment and staff necessary for the job means that you don’t have to worry about bringing a third party into the mix.  With just the one team to work with it’s far more likely that things will run more smoothly and that everything will be completed in a far more efficient manner.

Weddings:

Now you may be thinking that you really only need a photographer at your wedding, but it really does pay to invest in a videographer for the big day as well.  There are a lot of moments at a wedding that can’t be fully captured with just photography, such as the vows, the different toasts, and the dances.  This also gives couples the opportunity to bring the day back to life in a more vivid way later on, perhaps with different guests allowed an opportunity to tell various stories and anecdotes about the couple, as well as offer advice and well wishes.  When looking for a videographer to film your wedding the first and most obvious thing to check for is whether or not they’ve tackled weddings before.  Someone with serious videography experience would perhaps be worth a try, but this isn’t something you can do over and it’s always best to err on the side of precaution and pick someone with wedding experience.  See if they’re able to take care of both the videography AND the photography, this way you only have to hire one team and may actually be able to save some money.  Find out if they have any package deals, how they intend to film during the wedding, and how long it will take before you receive the final edit.

Are They Up-To-Date?

A great deal of experience is always something to respect and value, but sometimes that experience can only get you so far if it comes without modern insight into the craft.  When looking for a videographer, pay attention to those that are not only experienced and knowledgeable about their field but that are also up to date on current trends and new advancements in film and editing technology.  This is especially true if you’re approaching a videographer on the basis of a business strategy such as a marketing project.  If you’re trying to appeal to certain audiences it’s likely that you’ll need someone who can tap into those particular cultures and their trends through visual media.  You also want someone who’s able to give the overall production quality of your project a modern, updated feeling.  This can be particularly useful in terms of getting ahead of your business competition or marketing a new image for your company.

Reliability and Overall Service:

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This is an area where looking through available customer reviews really comes in handy.  Try to get as much feedback as possible about the company you’re considering hiring, paying particular attention to the way in which they treat their clients.  When going through reviews and also when discussing your project with them, do they seem reliable, responsible, and respectful?  Are they an established, stable company or do they have a strong, “business in the garage” sort of feel?  Look for a team that seems to be able to handle multiple projects at a time without neglecting one for the other.  Pay attention to how easy it is to contact them and how punctual they are in returning calls and emails.  You really don’t want to hire someone that makes you feel like you’re constantly trying to track them down just to have a simple question answered, and you certainly don’t want to have to deal with something like that in the event that something major happens and you need an immediate answer.  Make sure that whoever you hire can provide updates throughout the process that way you know how everything is progressing and can be assured that any deadline you’ve given them will be met.

Industry Specifics:

If you’re looking to hire someone for business purposes then it would be a good idea to look for someone who has considerable expertise in your particular field of business or someone who specializes in your field.  Those who have worked with others in your industry in the past will likely be able to anticipate your needs and creative desires before you even have to bring them up.  Working with such a team will also likely be easier because they’ll already have some insight into the particulars of your field and will better know how to manage the project as well as avoid any costly and/or aggravating obstacles along the way.  Such a route as this is of particular benefit for those that represent a very competitive field of business.  If you can snag a production team that has experience in your field then they should be better equipped to help you pull out ahead of the competition.

A few final thoughts:

Searching out a worthwhile videographer shouldn’t be a hassle if you keep all of these tips in mind, but also remember to trust your gut when you’re sifting through potential candidates.  Hiring a good team is just as much about getting the right feel as it is about getting the right expertise.

Also, keep in mind your own schedule when you hire a production team.  If you’re very busy and you can’t be as hands on with the project as you might like to be, make sure that whoever you hire can get the job done without any sort of supervision or micromanagement.  In the end, you want to choose someone that you can trust, that can take the initiative to handle things on their own, but that also values your input and puts it to good use.