by Jon Nunan
While weddings, birthdays, and graduations used to be the forum of the professional photographer, videographers are quickly becoming a popular alternative to traditional still photographers. However, because the easy accessibility and presentation photographs offer make them something few would like to go without. Enter videographer/photographer companies.
Instead of providing you with one or the other, hiring a videographer/photographer is a choice that gives you both professional quality stills and video documentation, all for a single, package price. Generally less expensive (and definitely less of a hassle!) than hiring two separate companies, these professionals are trained in both disciplines, and will save you the trouble of doing two sets of interviews, contacting two lists of references, and (maybe most importantly) paying two separate bills.
Professional Videographer vs. DIY
Since the dawn of the camcorder, we’ve been subjected to shaky, difficult-to-hear, and often plain un-watch-able home videos of nearly every occasion that means something to somebody. The equipment, training, and experience a professional videographer brings to the table puts them well ahead of nearly every well-meaning, camera-equipped friend or family member when it comes to making a video that is worth watching. When you add in the fact that many professional videographers are also seasoned photographers, the only thing that makes anyone opt for do-it-yourself documentation is money.
It’s true that hiring a professional videographer is going to cost more than allowing friends and family to handle your event documentation. However, when you consider how many home videos remain in a box or on a bookshelf for decades at a time and the large number of family or friend-taken photos are full of fuzzy, red-eyed images, the cost of hiring a pro seems a lot more reasonable. Remember: Any investment in a product you are unhappy with or never use is a bad one! By hiring a videographer/photographer, you’re actually investing in a product you’ll want to see again!
Finding a Competent Videographer
The most important thing to consider when hiring a videographer is the previous work of the company. More than anything else, viewing previous work will give you a solid idea of what you can expect when you hire that company. Outfits that don’t have a portfolio to show or lack a video reel should certainly be avoided. The best professionals are happy to show off their work, and want you to know exactly what the money you pay them will give you in return. If you find a low-ball quote from a company who doesn’t have any previous work for you to look over, there’s probably a very good reason their prices are so affordable!
In addition to examining video clips from previous events, you’ll also want to make sure you contact at least 3 videographer companies. Not only will contacting multiple companies be likely to pair you with one that meets all of your style criteria, it will also give you a better idea of what your particular event should and could cost.