Chicago Videographers Guide

Getting Your Illinois Wedding on Film

Chicago’s everyone’s kind of town: a jazz town, a food town, a sports town, and, on your wedding day, a beautiful town. To make sure you get the Windy City in focus, follow our videographer tips. The right camera angles can make you two the most romantic couple in America’s heartland.

Start searching for your videographer about 9 months’ prior to your big day, and after you’ve picked the site. When looking, ask friends and relatives, as well as other vendors. Prices vary tremendously, depending on the style and size of your wedding, and the type of film you want. Expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000.

Unlike photographers, who rely on posed shots and periodic candids, videographers film almost continuously. A good Chicago wedding videographer will cover your big day in discreet fashion, so as not to appear “in your face.” Many churches, however, forbid filming during the ceremony (as do some reception sites), so check ahead to avoid surprises.

Before you start interviewing, you should know that there are two general types of wedding videography: Photojournalistic (“documentary”) and Cinematic. The first style presents your day in a news-like fashion, with an un-edited look that can translate to about three hours of film. The second type is more like a motion picture, with heavy editing and more “direction,” and a finished product that’s usually about 30 to 60 minutes in length.

When you’re ready to start interviewing Chicago videographers, visit the Chicago Local Vendor Section for a great list of the best Windy City wedding filmmakers.

When talking to Chicago wedding videographers, ask to see a few DVDs to get a feel for their overall style. Find out what style of videography he prefers, and go over whether you want color or black and white or both. There are many extras videographers provide, like making a montage of “love story” clips from your courtship, piecing together clips from pre-wedding parties, even airing the ceremony at your reception. What you purchase simply depends on your personal style and budget. Always get references, and contact the Better Business Bureau for complaints.

Before signing the contract, make sure the guy you interview is the same one who shows up at your ceremony. Find out if you’ll be charged by the hour or the day, and how intrusive the cameras will be. All extras must be specified, so you don’t get charged for something you assumed was free. Finally, make sure you’re comfortable with the person you hire. He’s going to be a “guest” at your wedding, and it’s going to be much more difficult looking relaxed if you don’t care for the person who’s got a camera focused on you.

-David Toussaint

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