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Here is a nearly complete example of a deluxe wedding package by the inimitable Captain Howie,
shot in January 2014, using two cameras and one camera operator.

When choosing an event videographer, questions of style very important, and more so than with photography. This is mostly because of how dramatically editing can change the look, sound, and feel of a video. There are two main styles, with variations.

Some videographers use a mostly "documentary" style, mostly staying locked down on a tripod and not moving the camera very much. In editing few fancy transitions and effects are used, and not much is cut out.

Others mostly use a more "cinematic" style, in which while shooting they do things like moving the camera a lot during shots, using unusual camera angles, and having people "act" for the camera. In editing they will use a lot of music, elaborate transitions between shots, slow motion, and special effects like sepia, and they may have a lot of scenes out of chronological sequence and cut out a lot things.

I like to use both of these styles, depending on the situation.

Another Captain Howie beach wedding, from 2014, complete.

If the event is just someone giving a speech, for example, a documentary style makes sense, while with a wedding and reception different styles could be used for different segments. During a ceremony I tend to use a documentary style, but during formals I use a more cinematic style. I also try to make it look like there are at least two camera operators, although it's usually just me! You can see both styles on display on the videos on this page.

Always make sure to see examples of video of entire events (such as the one just above) rather than just highlights, and ask what is typically included in the final, edited video.

A First Birthday Celebration, October 5, 2013.

The type of equipment used is also more important with video than with photography, because different types of cameras have very different looks. While most videographers use either camcorders or DSLRs, I'm one of a growing number who use the new "mirrorless" cameras. In my opinion it is easily the best of the three types of cameras for video, being almost as easy to use as the camcorders, while, at least in the case of the Panasonic cameras I use, it produces a better image than either of the other types.

However, if smooth, long zooms are important to you, a camcorder could be best for you, and if you want a dreamy soft focus look, a DSLR could be what you want. Go to the articles page for an in-depth look at the three camera types.

I now have three cameras that shoot ultra-high definition 4K video. Two mirrorless cameras, and one action cam that is like the GoPro but better quality. I now mostly shoot in 4K because, even though most people are still going to want their finished product in HD, 4K shooting still offers many advantages. Chief among these are that the HD scaled down from 4K still looks better than if you shoot in HD, you can do more manipulation and corrections in editing without losing quality, and you can extract photos from your footage that are almost as good as regular still photos, and suitable for enlargements. And of course if you do have a 4K TV and can view a 4K finished product, the quality is awesome. More details on the packages page.

Other equipment considerations to consider are drones, gimbals, lighting and microphones. Here is some info on each of these items:

Drones certainly are fun and add a point of view you can't get in any other way, but they require a separate operator and add a lot to your budget. Not many videographers offer using a drone, but I will get one this year and offer that option.

Gimbals allow the camera operator to get really nice, smooth shots while walking with the camera. I have one but they are a bit of a hassle to use so I haven't used it much. This year, 2017, I plan to make my use of a gimbal routine on most gigs. When used well they really can add a lot of cinematic flair to your video. To see an example of a video shoot where I used a gimbal, click here.

Lighting: a BIG disadvantage of camcorders compared to mirrorless or DSLRs is that they require more light, so that in a reception for example, you could have big floodlights shining in people's eyes. A small LED light panel mounted on the camera is usually enough for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, and that's what I use, and only if I absolutely have to.

There are two basic types of microphones. One type, mostly used with DSLRs and mirrorless cameras like mine, is the wired microphone. One disadvantage with this type is that the person being recorded needs to wear both the mike and a small recorder attached to it, and that can be a bit bulky. Another disadvantage is that you can't monitor the sound while recording, because the camera is not recording the sound. But the big advantage is very clean sound, which is important! The other type of microphone, mostly used with camcorders, is wireless, with a receiver connected to the camera. The sound is recorded in the camera together with the video. It has the advantages of being a little less bulky for the subject to wear and the sound being easy for the videographer to monitor, but the big disadvantage is that you can have dropouts and interference. If a videographer says they only use the on-camera mike, beware! You'll get horrible sound.

Another nearly complete example of a wedding and reception shot in August 2013. Two cameras, one cameraman,
except for the shots of the bride getting ready, shot by a second cameraman with a third camera.