During wedding planning you might ask yourself, what does the average wedding videographer cost? You will likely find a large range in prices! In Alberta, wedding videographers will charge, on average, between $2500 and $5000 for a full day of coverage. Pricing is based upon several important factors. Talent and ability might be the most obvious ones, but let's take a look at what else should be taken into consideration when choosing this very important vendor.
It goes without saying that the more weddings you shoot, the more seasoned of a professional you are. Experience does not just mean experience filming couples, ceremonies, receptions, it means experience dealing with the stress and unpredictability of a wedding day. We know how to deal with unexpected weather, changes to timelines, bad lighting etc. No matter how much planning and preparation goes into a wedding day, ultimately it is always a live event that cannot be fully controlled. An experienced videographer will be cool and collected in any given situation and be able to deliver the same level of quality every time. This simply cannot be achieved as a novice, because filming a wedding will be overwhelming enough by itself.
Gear is everything, or gear doesn't matter? I can assure you that for your wedding day, having a videographer with the latest gear is a good thing, but more importantly is a videographer who knows exactly how to use it and can tell you exactly why they have the gear that they do. An expert filmmaker will know which tools to use to enhance and benefit their unique style. The gear we use will also make a difference to our final deliverables and what we can offer you as products. If having 4K video is important to you, communicate with your videographer about whether they have the means to shoot and deliver in 4K. If having full length videos is important to you, ask how your videographer films the ceremony and reception. It is almost always required to have a second shooter with a minimum of a three camera setup. This is inevitably going to cost more than having one videographer, but it greatly increases the quality of the deliverables and preserves more moments from your wedding.
I personally believe artistry to be the most important factor in a videographer's pricing. I cannot encourage couples enough to book the wedding videographer whose work resonates with them, even if they are more expensive than others in the market. We are artists and all have unique talents, styles and abilities. Crafting wedding films requires great creativity, attention to detail and emotional sensitivity. An artist's time is extremely valuable as we give our heart and soul to the work we produce. Having a videographer with the right eye and the right vision for your wedding should never be overlooked.
Your wedding videographer should be a consummate professional. We don't draw our emotions into the wedding day and we work seamlessly with your other vendors - especially your photographer. We are punctual, we dress professionally and we always put your needs at the forefront of the day.
This is probably a quality that is easily underestimated, but being able to communicate clearly with clients is a very important part of being a good videographer. You will likely be viewing brochures from multiple companies when making a decision on which videographer to book and you will see a variety of deliverables. It can be especially confusing when we use the same words as each other, but the deliverables are different. For example, it is very common to see 'documentary edit' as a deliverable. For some companies, this may be 20 minutes long, for others it may be 1-2 hours. Clear definitions and transparency are very important.
Another often overlooked factor you should be asking your wedding videographer, is how many weddings they shoot per year and if they film back to back weddings. As a rule, which has only occasional exceptions, we do not book more than one wedding per weekend. The energy exerted and the detailed focus throughout the day leaves us fully spent and we need a day or two to recover. We also try to limit the number of overall bookings we take on per year, so each film can receive the time and attention it deserves.
VIDEOGRAPHER, CINEMATOGRAPHER OR FILMMAKER?
You might see the words used interchangeably in your search for a wedding videographer. We call ourselves wedding filmmakers, but we also market ourselves as videographers simply because it is the most commonly used term in the wedding industry and what people search for. The word film resonates more with us than the word video, because we have a cinematic and story driven approach to our work. The experience from beginning to end should draw you in and take you on a journey.
On top of all the above considerations, we also have to account for taxes in our pricing and business operating costs - of which there are a surprising number. We have to pay for a business license, liability insurance, health insurance, business vehicle insurance, filming permits, music licensing, advertising and marketing, website, branding and more. All of these expenses have to be taken into consideration when we create our packages and pricing.
At the end of the day, you have to find a videographer who fits into your budget. Money doesn't grow on trees, as wonderful as that would be! But I do hope it has been helpful describing how we value ourselves and how you should value us. Bear in mind these are just the average prices, some wedding filmmakers will charge upwards of $10,000 for their work.
Your wedding video is going to be with you and your families for the rest of time and it is a story worth being told masterfully!