Why You Should Hire a Wedding Videographer

Hey ya'll!  Are you on the fence about whether or not to hire a videographer to capture your big day?  JDE intern Lauren sat down with Chris Free of Freestyle Media Productions to chat about weddings, walking down the aisle, and the value in hiring someone to capture it all.

Chris Free is a local photographer and videographer with a passion for telling stories through film.  When he's not filming at the Capitol or capturing a couple's beautiful wedding day, Chris enjoys spending time with his wife, Jenna, and taking a good long run down the boardwalk.

Lauren:  Tell me a little bit about yourself and your business.
Chris: My passion for videography and photography started at Ohio University.  I guess you can say I fell into it...a friend of mine from Campus Crusade for Christ taught me the basics.  People started asking me to help with their wedding videography and things really began to take off.  I realized that I loved getting to work with people during the most exciting time of their lives!  For me, filming a wedding is all about a story.  I work hard to make sure the film I create is less about me as the filmmaker and more about telling the story of the couple.  Through Freestyle Media, I get to tell the story of two people coming together to begin a new life.  That is what it's all about!

Lauren: How many couples do you work with in a year?  Have you noticed that couples might be hesitant to hire a videographer?
Chris: Usually, the couples that I see have already made the decision to hire a videographer.  I take no more than 10 couples per year because I also work full time.  I'm not exclusively a wedding videographer, so keeping the load to 10 couples or less allows me to focus on each couple, as well as keep the quality to my standard.

Lauren: Why do you think some couples might be hesitant to hire a videographer for their wedding day?
Chris: I think that there's a perceived value with video....people typically attribute a higher value to photography, even though it's typically more work to make a wedding video.  It's probably one of the first items to go off the budget because there are so many other "musts" on the to-do list.

Lauren: What would you suggest to couples who want to hire a videographer but are working within a budget?
Chris: There are options, even with the tightest of budgets.  You can have a friend or family member to record the ceremony in the back of the venue.  I've also had people hire me to shoot the video, then have someone else edit it together later.  Another option is to hire someone out of film school....they usually have the gear and a smaller skill set, but are able to put everything together.  There are ways to cut corners; I'm always happy to work with couples and cater to their unique situation.  I offer everything from formal ceremony and reception films to short, three minute compilations of the whole day.

Lauren: What are some of the advantages and/or disadvantages of hiring a wedding videographer?
Chris: A videographer's goal is to capture the story without detracting from it.  Couples should understand that every venue has its own constraints that can limit what the videographer can capture.  We have to work around the space while staying in tune with the photographer.  Sometimes, we also have to make decisions for the sake of couple.  For example, one of my brides noticed she didn't have a front shot of her walking down the aisle.  I explained that I had to make a decision...to either have my camera be the first thing she saw coming down the aisle, or sacrifice the shot but save her the experience of seeing her groom for the first time.

Hiring a pro has its advantages though.  Professionals know the story they are telling before they arrive.  They know to scope out the venue, plan the camera angles and how to work with the lighting and time of day.  Videographers know when and what the special moments of a wedding are {for example, weddings of various cultures and religions} and which are moments to capture at each.  They also know how to troubleshoot problems like microphone interference, because they've done it before.  There are a lot of variables, but there is just no substitute for a trained professional.  You do get what you pay for.

Lauren: Why do you think couples should hire someone to film their big day?
Chris: You spend too much money and time creating the perfect day and the perfect memories.  Over time, memories fade and you can forget certain details.  Video allows you to remember and experience the most important day of your life again and again.  It also captures the unplanned moments, like a preacher's story of the bride and groom, that you can't experience in a photo.  It preserves such a meaningful moment in time that otherwise would have been forgotten.

Lauren: What suggestions do you have for a couple who is trying to find the "right" vendor or videographer or is on the fence about hiring one?
Chris: Ask around!  Taking recommendations is the best way to go about it.  If people can recommend someone or have had a good experience with them, that's a good sign!  Consider how long they've been in business, how much experience they have and if you like the work they've done.  Does the work make them seem like a person you can trust with the story you are telling?  Sit down with the videographer, talk with them, find out if they fit with your personality.  You are trusting them to share the story of your life from a third party perspective.  You're looking at the skill of that person, but also the character of that person.

Lauren: Any final thoughts?
Chris: I love to sit down with people and talk about their life and their love story.  There are a lot of different ways that we can tell the story of your wedding day!  It doesn't have to be full ceremony....it can be a 3 minute highlight video for Facebook.  There are creative things we can do to make those memories special if you don't have the budget to do a large production.  I can work with you to make it as custom as you want!

Connect with Chris and Freestyle Media Productions on Facebook or shoot him an email at chris@chris-free.com