Do I really need a wedding videographer?
Sales pitch aside – yes. Wedding videographers have the best camera and sound gear, as well as editing expertise. But if you want to rewatch video from your wedding without hiring a professional, you’ll have to ask your friends to send you their shaky, vertical cellphone videos. Most of them will be some form of a selfie. And that is assuming they weren’t just “stories” that have since been deleted. While your photographer will get beautiful pictures, let’s face it, photos don’t make us relive moments quite like video. Ask any couple that had a videographer; they’ll tell you they watch their wedding film much more often than they look at their photos.
Weddings are expensive, and to some, hiring a videographer may be a low priority. But imagine spending all the money and time planning a wedding, and then not having a great way to look back at it. Even if you decide we’re not for you, we strongly recommend getting a videographer!
Videography prices are all over the place. What gives?
In our humble opinion, there are two types of wedding videography companies; artisanal and volume. Artisanal companies (Sagebrush included) are usually one or two videographers who film, edit, and run their business in a select region. Their goal is to create the best films possible, which means limiting how many clients they can take on, and their prices reflect that.
Volume companies are usually corporations that operate in cities all over the country. They’ll hire expensive freelance videographers to create a single good video, or in some cases, buy an existing video. I’ve even heard of companies that straight up stage a fake wedding. They’ll use this video as an advertisement, then charge a very low rate for wedding packages. But instead of using the same videographers and editors, they’ll hire videographers with little to no experience and outsource the editing to the lowest bidder. What the client ends up with is a video that looks nothing like the advertisement.
We get it, weddings are insanely expensive, and not everyone needs their wedding video to be a cinematic masterpiece. But if you see a price that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you’re unsure, search the company name with the term “jobs”. If the company has an ad out that says “VIDEOGRAPHERS NEEDED ASAP/ NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY”, you can probably guess that the person they send to film your wedding is going to have little to no idea what they’re doing, and your video is going to look very different from what you hoped for.
So, what does my wedding day look like with Sagebrush?
If we’re doing our job right, you’ll never even know we were there. Alright that might be an exaggeration, but seriously, we feel the most beautiful, authentic footage comes naturally. That’s why we specialize in candid videography. Sure, we’ll be around while your photographer is shooting romantics, and we may even suggest a pose or two. We might look for those guests that are the life of the party and ask them to cheers the camera, or go up to the best dressed and ask them to “vogue”. But because most people get a little uncomfortable when they know a camera’s pointed at them, we try to stay as inconspicuous as possible.
And aside from being good with a camera, we pride ourselves on professionalism. That means that we’re on time, we’re not sitting around on our phones, and we’re polite and courteous to all guests and event staff. We’re providing a service, after all. Our goal is to deliver films that clients love, and service that they recommend to their friends and family.
What if I want those epic, cinematic shots I’ve seen in other wedding films?
Rad! Show us the films you like and we’ll do our best to deliver. Whether it’s slow-motion shots of you two looking bravely out at the horizon, or an epic drone shot of you twirling on a cliff by the ocean, we’re here for it! We just like to remind our clients that these shots take a lot of time, meaning you’ll be away from the party for longer. And while they look awesome on video, if you’re camera shy, it can be a little nerve wrecking. But we pride ourselves on good communication before and during the event, and we’re pretty good at reading the room, so we’ll never push you to do something you think is awkward or silly.
How does it all work with my photographer?
We like to contact your photographer prior to the wedding to introduce ourselves, and we work closely with your photographer in terms of coordinating (i.e., “let’s all go to the balcony at golden hour;” or, “you stand to the right and we’ll stand to the left”). However, your photographer will have their vision, and we’ll have ours. Most couples will spend a lot more time with their photographer during family portraits and romantics, and while we’ll be on hand to get the shots you want, we typically look for more candid moments.
Unfortunately, the stereotype that photographers and videographers do not get along does have some merit. In our experience, a lot of it comes from videographers who are only doing weddings as a means to something else, like becoming the next Spielberg. They don’t come into the event with the attitude of “maybe I should be nice and try to help people out.”
Fortunately, that’s not Sagebrush. Aside from our genuine love of making wedding films, we live by the creed “just be nice” (Patrick Swayze, Roadhouse, 1989).
Do I really need two videographers?
Having two videographers will result in better coverage. For instance, a lone videographer will have to choose between getting romantic shots of the couple at sunset, or capturing cocktail hour during the best light. Two videographers can get it all. One videographer can spend 30 minutes filming some mediocre dancing, then go to change a battery and miss an epic dance battle. Two videographers mean that your drunk Aunt Barb will get the proper coverage of her crumping, as she deserves. Having 1 videographer usually leads to a shorter video with more “B-roll” (close-ups on flowers, slow motion walking, etc.), while having two videographers leads to a longer video packed with “A-roll” (the good stuff).
Another big factor to consider when choosing between 1 or 2 videographers is the ceremony coverage. Having two videographers means that one can film the couple while the other is getting shots of the guests. It also means that during the vows, there will be a camera pointed at each fiancé, so when you watch it back, you can see the speaker as well as the other’s reaction. The same is true for the speeches.
Can’t they just put an extra camera on a tripod?
Technically, yes. However, aside from the cost of an extra camera (remember, you are paying not just for the service, but the professional gear as well), a single videographer is going to have a hard time monitoring two cameras. During ceremonies, for instance, all too often we set up the camera on a prior to the couple entering, point it at a location where we believe the couple will be centered, and then when the ceremony begins, we check the camera and the angle is off. Or your six-foot-eight cousin is blocking half of your wedding dress. And because we’re not constantly at the camera, we have to rely on auto-focus and auto-exposure, which even in this day and age is still not as great as good old human eyeballs. And while we’re checking the tripod camera, we’re unable to film the ceremony with our handheld camera.
Bottom line, if you want to watch your ceremony from start to finish without the dizzying footage a videographer running back and forth between the aisle and a tripod, go with two videographers.
How do you pick the music? Can I choose it?
Music is one of the most important parts of a wedding film. It should reflect not only the couple’s taste, but also the vibes of the wedding day. We’d love to hear your input on what music you think should go with the film.
However, we like to remind couples that sometimes their favorite song doesn’t always work best for their wedding film, and we ask that you trust us with the final decision. And then there is the dreaded copyright issue: most music that you know and love is copyright protected or is prohibitively expensive to license. We have access to a variety of music sites that provide great music you may not have heard, and in many cases, we can get limited licenses for music that’s more popular. Long story short, it all depends, so during the consultation and editing phases, we’ll go over what music fits best and what we can use. We strongly encourage all couples to send over some of their Spotify or Apple playlists so we can get a feel for what music we should be on the lookout for.
What’s the turnaround time?
Usually 4-8 weeks, depending on the season.