Searching for a Videographer on the Cheap

Last time, I told you about why we wanted a videographer.  But deciding you want one and actually finding one are two totally different situations.  Luckily, we are not nearly as particular about our videographer as we are about our photographer.  Neither of the Blue Whales wants to have a feature film of our wedding.  We just want someone to do a good job of documenting the day with good quality picture and audio.

So a few weeks ago I set out to find a videographer.

The first thing I discovered is that the variety in quality of wedding videos is much more dramatic than the quality of wedding photographs.  Maybe it’s because wedding photography has become such a staple for every wedding that the very low quality photographers have just been pushed out of business.  But I saw some seriously bad wedding video samples.  What really blew my mind is that some people had the worst websites, and yet they’re supposed to be technologically savvy enough to make a great wedding video! I don’t think so.  If your website isn’t up to snuff, ain’t no way I’m trusting you to make my wedding video.

For instance, I don’t know about the quality of this guy’s videos, but if this is the picture you’re using to advertise yourself, I’m definitely not going to visit your site.

But I guess the good news is: if you’re just looking to have someone record your ceremony and you don’t care if it looks like you got married in the 80s, there are plenty of options for you!

Even though the Blue Whales don’t want our wedding video to win any awards, we’d prefer that it not embarrass us.  So as much as I feel like The Knot is not a completely reliable source of good quality vendors, I started looking there when I got too overwhelmed with just using Google.  (I also consulted WeddingWire, but whereas The Knot could benefit from listing a few more people, WeddingWire just lists far too many.  Way too many.)

Rather quickly, I came across two companies that seemed pretty good: The first was Edwin Hammond, who owns Hammond Video Productions, and the second was Duct Tape Productions.  Both are fairly affordable, but the second is a little more expensive.

I actually slightly preferred the videos from Duct Tape Productions.  But I didn’t end up booking them, and it all come down to customer service.

Every time I contacted Edwin Hammond, he replied within one day with a very professional and friendly e-mail.  I asked him soooooooooo many questions, and he was always friendly and appeared happy to answer them.  He even suggested that he send me a copy of a DVD of a recent wedding, so that I could see what kind of product I would get.  And when I asked him questions about changing some of his standard procedure (like putting a mic on our officiant instead of on Mr. Whale), he was more than happy to explain why he does things one way but that he’d be willing to work with us to do it a little differently.

Other the other hand, Duct Tape Productions was slooooow to e-mail me back.  And they never did things that they said they would.  I asked to see a clip of a ceremony, because the only thing on their website was highlight reels.  And they repeatedly said they would post one.  But they didn’t.  And then they said that they did post one.  But it still wasn’t there.  The last straw was when I asked if they could mail me a DVD of a recent wedding video.  I got an enthusiastic e-mail saying they would love to, and they would drop it in the mail the next day.  But they didn’t ask for my address… I didn’t respond to the e-mail with it, because I wanted to see if they would realize they didn’t have it.  I thought they might realize when they went to mail the DVD.  But I never heard from them again.  And after that, I quit trying to make contact… I just checked their vimeo site, and it appears that they are still legit and making wedding videos, but they were just too flaky for me to trust them.

So I booked Edwin! And I’m so pleased.  He films weddings ALL THE TIME, which I can tell because there are constantly updates on his vimeo site.  And he’s been nothing but completely professional.  And he’s affordable.  So many wins!  Here one of his getting ready highlights video.  This one really captures a lot of the reasons I want a videographer.  There are so many emotional moments at the beginning that just truly couldn’t be captured any other way.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/50112147″>Emily & Jason Perez Wedding Video Sneak Peek</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/hammondvideo”>Hammond Video Productions</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

I can’t wait to see how our video turns out.  I think it’s going to be awesome!

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