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Shelly Pate

Top Questions to Ask Before Choosing Your Wedding Videographer

Couple embraces in front of hedge at Virginia wedding

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from 2020 it’s that video matters. The ability to connect live through video chat and access recordings of events we couldn’t have experienced in person has made all the difference. It became especially important for huge life achievements like graduations, births, and of course, weddings. Keep reading for the top questions to ask a wedding videographer when selecting one for your big day!

Featuring: Paper Boys Films

This is my conversation with Washington, DC wedding videographer friends of mine who I love working with: Paperboys. They are a “boutique wedding film/photo agency” and “collaborative team of filmmakers and photographers who live for making amazing things for the world’s most friggin’ amazing couples.” They shared both their perspective on shooting weddings and best tips for their couples. Use these questions to ask a wedding videographer in your own search!

Couple holds hand in the air while holding bouquet outside wedding venue

Questions to Ask Your Wedding Videographer

What would you say your filming style is?

Our team comprises film school grads who grew up on beautiful French films and cutting their teeth making strange, but nevertheless beautiful short films. What this means for our wedding work is that we’re able to employ awe-inspiring composition and camera movement while capturing those wonderful candid moments of a wedding day. The result is timeless, EPIC, and truly–wait for it…cinematic!

How do you work alongside photographers on a wedding day?

Typically, a photographer will have painstakingly mulled over the day-of timeline with their couple. Maybe they’ve done a walkthrough at the venue to scope out the best spots. Therefore, we approach our photography comrades with a great deal of respect. We operate in partnership with them throughout the day and always hope that by the end of the wedding, we will have found a new friend. Practically speaking, this looks like shooting side-by-side and tag-teaming when it comes to getting closer, more intimate shots. Good communication before and during each movement of the day is key!

Wedding ceremony at Dover Hall Virginia wedding venue

What kind of film experience do you have? How long have you been in the industry?

Most of our production leads have over a decade of video and film experience as well as film production degrees. Those that don’t have a degree in the production realm bring years of production experience to the table. What makes our team strong is being able to learn from one another from the different kinds of experiences we’ve all had in video and film!

What kind of couples do you like working with?

We love working with couples for whom video is important. A couple that is excited to help us make the best wedding film ever! That said, for those couples who don’t ‘get it’ or who pulled the trigger on video at the last minute, it’s only a matter of time before their eyes are opened to the magic of it all!

Couple runs across the grounds of Virginia wedding venue

Any tips for couples who feel nervous with the thought of being filmed?

Just pretend our camera is a giant hoagie and you’ll do fine. In all seriousness, having filmed many weddings, we have found that nervousness is no match for constant encouragement, tact, and self-awareness from a good videographer. The aim is first and foremost to have a fun time together, secondarily to nail the shot list. When the first thing happens, the second thing comes naturally.

Pro Tips From a Wedding Photographer

Couple walks across lawn of wedding venue while being capture by wedding videographer

When you ask these questions of a wedding videographer, you will find that many videographers will respond the same way. It may be hard to distinguish which one is the best! Here’s a checklist that I keep that helps me select the best videographer partnerships.

I love working with videographers who:

  • I vibe creatively with–we literally feed off each other and collaborate for some really cool/out of the box ideas!
  • Encourage movement! 
  • Guide couples do interact naturally instead of posing.
  • Can trade directing the couple’s movement with me.
  • Understand how to stay out of each other’s way while capturing natural moments. Taking turns to get those beautiful close-up shots!  
  • Have invested in their photography gear and have professional experience. (this is SO important and the reason for my own bad experience!)

Want to see how we work together?

Check out their wedding highlight film by Paper Boys:

Bride sits on groom's lap and kisses outside by pool
Couple kisses under twinkle lights at Virginia wedding venue

Find a videographer and photographer who know how to do this together and your wedding video and photos will be magic! Still lost in the maze of choosing a wedding videographer and photographer team? Let’s talk!

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