pro versus amateur

            When hiring a videographer and photographer you should understand the difference between a professional and an amateur.  These days anyone can pick up a camera and market themselves as a professional.  So, how do you know you are getting the real deal?  We will give you several things to look for when choosing the best videographer and photographer for you.  Whether you choose us for your special day or not, we genuinely want you to have your precious memories preserved for a lifetime in the best way.  We'll also be glad to give you names of other professionals in the field that we highly recommend.

  1. EDUCATION:  Videography and photography are no different than any other profession.  You HAVE to be educated in the field to acheive excellent results with any consistency. Anyone can take a good photograph or run a video camera.  But, are you confident that all of your images are going to be excellent?  There are so many technical aspects of videography/photography that if you do not understand them and are unable to operate your camera like a professional pianist plays his piano it is inevitable that shots will be missed or not executed perfectly.  You may come away with documentation of they day, but the beauty will not shine through.  It is not just about f-stops and frame rates.  It is about knowing how to use different lighting equipment and combine natural and artificial lighting.  It is about design elements and composition, depth of field, white balance and an endless number of other things that you cannot learn just by picking up a camera one day and deciding to start shooting.  A videographer's movements need to be beautiful and steady, and they need to have the equipment to accomplish that. Also, for video, be sure to ask to see several videography trailers, a ceremony video, and reception video. For photography, ask to see several weddings from beginning to end and see if they are consistent.  Ask them where and how they learned to shoot.  

  2. EQUIPMENT:  Find out what type of equipment they are using.  The digital world is still very young and without proper equipment, it does not matter if they know what they are doing.  For videography, High Definition is a MUST.  In low light situations, video tends to get "grainy" and light will be hard to pick up. This is the nature of video, and since video cameras don't have a "flash", your videographer needs to have professinal "3CCD"cameras that will pick up as much light and detail as possible. There are no consumer video cameras on the market that will do a good job, and even professional Standard Definition cameras will not give you a clear picture. To preserve your imagery in perfect clarity they should be using cameras that are several thousand dollars.  The same applies to photography.  Ask the exact name of the camera and go home and look it up.  Most people assume if they are charging professional prices they are using professional equipment, but that is not always the case.  In low lighting situations (which are often the case with weddings) you must have the equipment and know how to use it. 

  3. CUSTOMER SERVICE:  Knowing how to use a camera is only half the battle.  To be a great wedding videographer/photographer they have to be good with people and have the ability to put people at ease in front of a camera.  Make sure you like the personality of your photographer and videographer and meet with them long enough to get to know them.  You will work more closely with your photographer and videographer on your wedding day than anyone else.  You want to know that they are going to make it fun and memorable in a positive way.  Ask them why they shoot weddings and listen for a genuine answer. You want to have confidence that they got the shot, and you want your team to truly love what they do.

  4. PRODUCTION TIME:  Ask your videographer and photographer how long it will take to get your images and footage back and then make sure you have that in your contract in writing.  You do not want to wait six months to a year to get to see your wedding.   We guarantee in writing that your images and footage will back to you within 2-4 weeks after your wedding.  You will then be able to look it over and see if you'd like any changes made. In addition to the turnaround time, ask them how they edit their images.  Amateur videographers will spend less than 10 hours on your wedding by making general colore corrections and minor edits to your video.  A professional videographer will spend individualized time on each shot to make it perfect and unique and will know how to do that. That is something you will see in their existing work.  A professional videographer will know how to edit an overview of your day (a trailer if you will) with perfection to the perfect song. We spend between 30-100hrs on all of our videos.

  5. CONTINUING EDUCATION:  What are they doing all year long to continue to learn more about their field?  It is just like a physician that's required to stay up to date on the current medical advancements.  Artists should be constantly learning about how to do things differently and better.  If anyone says they know all there is to know about Photoshop or Final Cut Pro, they probably do not know enough to know that is not realistically possible. 

In the end, you may want to pay half the price and hire an amateur videographer or photographer, but even if you pay half price and do not get any imagery that you love you have still spent way too much. You will always have your memories, but as time goes by, and the little details of what happened that day begin to fade, you will have a great wedding video and great photography to look back on to refresh you. We pour 110% of ourselves into making your day perfect and so does everyone that we recommend.