Videography is a lot like photography and other creative pursuits; everyone dabbles in it, but not everyone does it well. If you need to capture high-quality video of your next, a professional event videographer is worth the investment. Read on to discover the benefits of hiring a videographer rather than managing this essential task yourself, and learn what to look for in a pro event videographer.
What is event videography?
Event videography is the process of recording a live-action event on digital media. Videography is similar to cinematography (the movie-making process), but it occurs outside of the motion picture production field.
The person who operates the camera is called a videographer. The videographer records footage of the event and edits the final product to produce a high-quality, engagement video segment. For social events, such as weddings, the video is shared with the couple and guests. For business or educational events, the video is used for websites, social media marketing, or online streaming videos.
Do you need a professional videographer for your event?
You may think an event team member can capture ‘good-enough’ footage of the event on a smartphone. Or, you feel the event doesn’t merit the cost of a professional videographer.
But high-quality video documentation of corporate events, galas, speeches, and company parties is a great way to build your brand awareness and get people interested in what you do. If you plan to show your videos on YouTube (watched by 73 percent of adults in the US) or another social media platform, hiring a videographer is a must. These industry professionals produce polished, in-focus results that are well-framed, accurate representations of the event.
Consider these key reasons to hire a professional event videographer:
1. The people watching your corporate video are learning about your company. Present a video shot on someone’s phone and people might think you’re careless about your business. A professional video demonstrates conscientious output prospective clients will notice.
2. The final video quality is better. If you’re throwing a 25th birthday party for your cousin, you might get away with enlisting friends to capture key moments. If you’re planning a wedding for 250 guests or recording a keynote speaker for your company’s YouTube channel, you want professional, high-quality footage.
3. Professional videographers make themselves ‘invisible.’ They are experts at staying out of the way and recording your event discreetly and without interruption. Without training and experience, the person capturing event footage may frustrate attendees by obstructing views and disrupting activities.
4. Your livestream will run smoothly. Though anyone can set up a livestream these days, a videographer will make sure the shot is set up properly, and troubleshoot glitches during the event.
5. Sometimes, it’s all about the editing. A professional video tells the story of your event, from start to finish, with clarity and accuracy. Though anyone can capture continual video, an event videographer edits artfully to produce a compelling series of scenes.
6. Videographers can add an inspiring soundtrack. You know how to choose the background music for an event. But a good videographer knows how to incorporate music throughout a video to elicit an emotional response from the viewer, such as excitement, inspiration, or joy.
7. You’ll have the finished product when you need it. Set a deadline with your event videographer, and (barring any unexpected setbacks) they’ll meet it. Despite best intentions, volunteer videographers may take too long. Putting footage together in post-production is tricky and technical; it requires experience to manage quickly.
8. There will be backup. Even the most trustworthy volunteer videographer can have a tech blunder. A professional will have a special cloud-based backup system, so if something happens with their equipment, the footage won’t be lost.
How do you choose an event videographer?
Start by browsing sites such as Upwork, GigSalad, or Thumbtack, and seeking recommendations from venue managers and respected industry colleagues. Read customer reviews on the vendor sites, as well as on Yelp and Google Reviews. Pay attention to strengths or weaknesses called out repeatedly—these suggest positive or negative qualities.
Look for videos shot in your preferred style to narrow down your search. A demo reel is a great way to get a feel for a videographer’s work, but it’s only a small sample of their best. Dig deeper to find full videos so you can see the video content they’re capable of producing. Double-check that the work is recent, rather than several years old. Videography styles change rapidly, you want a pro who is on top of the trends.
Don’t select the first videographer you see. Review a few vendors, get a handful of estimates, and compare prices and packages. This helps you determine if you’re getting the best price for your project.
Whether their equipment is comprised of classic standby tech or the flashiest new gear influences the final feel of the video. Ask the videographer what equipment they use, then ask them to explain the benefits of their choices.
Review different videography styles to determine which one you prefer for your event
The purpose of your event will dictate the videography style you choose. A large family reunion calls for a different videography style than an annual company event. Some of the popular event videography styles include:
- Cinematic. In this style, the videographer cuts and edits footage to make your video flow together like a real movie. The scenes aren’t always in sequential order, making it more artistic. This style is good for parties or other celebratory events.
- Classic. A video with classic editing uses footage to set the tone and provide context. Often used for company events, you might see close-up shots of products interspersed with images of VIPs and event attendees.
- Documentary. Common in wedding videos, this style is also referred to as video journalism. It documents the event in chronological order. Editing is straightforward.
- Guerrilla filmmaking. The videographer uses a handheld camera, blending in with the guests to achieve a very natural, realistic feel. The focus is on the people and the emotions of the event with a lot of candid shots.
- Edgy. This style sets an eye-catching, artistic tone from the start. The videographer uses unique angles and stylish editing techniques to create a compelling final product.
Use your event planning software to upload the contact information of each videographer you’re considering for the event into your storage. Include their video style alongside their contact info so you can keep track of their strengths when making your final choice. Soon you’ll have a collection of excellent videographers you can reach out to for every type of event you plan.
Ask your videographer these 7 questions before you seal the deal
By now you’ve read the customer reviews, looked over the references, and gotten a feel for the one or two videographers you plan to interview. Speaking with them in person or even on the phone will give you more insight into the personality and style of the person you hope to hire. Whether you’re hiring for a wedding or corporate event, ask the following questions and decide if the answers are acceptable before making your final choice.
1. What is your videography style?
If you have a classic style in mind, don’t hire a videographer who produces edgy or Avant-Garde work.
2. What is your expertise, and where does your experience lie?
Does their expertise lie in events, meetings, conferences, or social occasions? This helps you narrow down the right videographer for your specific needs.
3. Have you ever shot at the event venue?
If the videographer has not, ask if they will do a site visit with you.
4. How soon you complete editing and send the video?
Editing can take a while, especially for long events like weddings and awards ceremonies. Ask for a clear timeframe.
5. Will you be the professional onsite for the event?
If not, make sure to speak with the videographer who will be there, and request examples of their work.
6. What types of videos do you offer?
Comprehensive, highlight reel, instant replay, live streaming, and trailer are all examples of filming types. Discuss each of the options so that you choose what fits best with your event.
7. Have you worked with my photographer before?
The two will work side-by-side all through the event, so it’s helpful if they’ve collaborated previously. Suggestion: Consider looking into videographer-photographer teams.
According to the statistics on Thumbtack, the average cost of hiring a videographer for your event ranges from $750 to $1,000. This price varies based on the event size and what you require. Complex projects with additional requirements like multiple cameras, lighting, and extra staff are priced higher. Wedding videographers sometimes charge extra when couples have specific and intricate requirements.
Other items that can drive up the cost include:
Travel expenses outside the service range
Events on weekends or holidays
Additional hours of filming
Music overlay or sound effects
Ask your videographer if they have any all-inclusive packages and double-check to make sure those packages include everything. Alternatively, ask if your videographer has a la carte options if you don’t need as many bells and whistles. Ask your event videographer to give you the best estimate possible before you commit.
Now you’re ready to hire the best event videographer!
Whether used in education livestreams or event marketing campaigns meant to draw interest for next year’s event, a professional video is invaluable. Provide your videographer with a copy of the event layout you created with your event planning software and they’ll be sure to capture your event’s good side.
Ready to develop strong relationships with all your vendors? Discover the steps to cross promotion success. Or, explore event floor-plan diagramming tools you can share with your videographer to ensure the perfect camera locations.