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nj wedding videographer danny morales

What to look for in a wedding videographer?

Recently, my cousin became engaged, and I will be his best man. Naturally, the subject of who will be his wedding videographer came up. His answer was simple: what should I look for in a wedding videographer? I had to think a little bit before answering. I mean, I never really thought about it from a client’s perspective, and I realized that this must be what many couples go through when choosing a wedding videographer. So I would like to shed some light on the subject.

What to look for in a wedding videographer?

…from a videographer’s perspective!

Experience

When I was looking for a doctor, a good friend of mine, who is an excellent surgeon, told me: “If you have to select a doctor, would you go with the one that does one or two operations a month, or the one that does three surgeries a week?” I did not have to think twice. The answer was obvious, the one who does three operations a week. Why is that? That doctor who does more surgeries is obviously more experienced.

When you look for a wedding videographer, that same remains true. On average, a busy wedding videographer will record about 20-35 weddings per year. Above 35 weddings could be overkill.

First of all, make sure that your wedding videographer has done more than thirty weddings. A wedding videographer that has done more than fifty wedding could be easily considered an experienced videographer.

I wouldn’t really put much weight if the wedding videographer says that he or she has two, three or five years of experience. It does not really matter.  What matters is how many wedding he or she has done. The more the merrier.

Why is experience so important to me ? Because in DSLR video, focusing is extremely important and difficult, and practice makes master. Unless your taste is for video that goes in and out of focus, you should look for a videographer what will keep your video in focus.

One vs Multiple videographers

Ask if the videographer can show you videos that he or she has done alone in a wedding. And then work that they have done with 2 or 3 videographers. This is really important.

Depending on your budget you may want to go with only one wedding videographer instead of multiple wedding videographers. Watch samples of his or her work while shooting a wedding video alone. Ask what is the best position he or she adopts during the ceremony and the reception.

Ask to see work while working with several videographers as well. How they position each camera during the ceremony and reception.

Ask to watch excerpts of a wedding video more than a highlight. Many wedding videographers emphasize in the highlight more than the wedding video itself. I have seen wedding videographers missing important parts of the ceremony because they are working to get an exotic angle down from the aisle floor or with the slider. They do this just to create more production value to their highlight to show future clients.

DSLR

Another important matter to discuss is their equipment. If you are paying a wedding videographer, let say more than 2000 dollars, check that they are using DSLR cameras, preferably canon cameras.

There are many, but many wedding videographers still using regular HD cameras, which give you acceptable image, but not cinematic look like DSLR cameras would give you.

Lights

Ask about lighting. Discuss about the lighting at the ceremony. Churches usually have good lighting, but if the church it not well illuminated, ask the wedding videographer how they deal with low light situations.

It’s really important to ask about lighting for the reception. How do they plan to use them and what type of lighting equipment they use?

Reception halls are usually very dark, which makes wedding videography very challenging because you have to manage good lighting while not killing the mood. Confirm that your wedding videographer will have enough lighting for introductions, first dance, dance with parents, speeches, cutting the cake – the all the important moments of the reception.

Ask about lighting while dancing. Check that they do not use too much lighting that could kill the mood of the reception, or the lighting the dj or lighting specialist are using for your wedding. But, make sure they use a good source of lighting to illuminate your guests dancing.

Sound

Image quality is just half of your wedding video, sound is the other half.

A wedding video with bad sound could damage the quality of the video.

Ask the wedding videographer how they capture sound during the ceremony and reception, specially if you are getting married at a church, which has a lot a reverberation. Just make sure your wedding videographer mics the officiant or officiants, the groom and podium. They should be able to capture good sound from anywhere people will be talking or singing.

Make certain that they put a microphone on the singer, or at least put a recording equipment close to them if they do not have more lavaliere microphones or there are more than one singer.

Sound at the reception hall:

The reception is very noisy. People cheering, talking, etc. Talk to your wedding videographer and make sure they get the sound from different sources like plugging their recording device right from the dj or band. Wedding videographers must also capture ambiance sound (ambience sound is important to get reactions from your guests)

Being unobtrusive

One important matter to discuss is how they work. I have seen videographers who are very obtrusive, so much, that they have 2 or 3 videographers very close to the bride and groom while doing the first dance or when they are dancing with their parents. They are very obtrusive in a way that it is impossible for the wedding photographers to capture a decent picture of the couple. Many videographers, trying to capture exotic angles or images for their highlights, become noisy and noticeable during the wedding ceremony and during the reception. Make sure they are respectful, unobtrusive and share a good working relationship with the photographers or any other vendor.

Video Length

Ask how long your wedding video will be. I have heard of wedding videographers that charge a great amount of money for their service, but only provide a 5 minute highlight and unedited raw footage. If you pay a couple thousands more, they give you 20 to 30 minutes wedding video. They reason that a video of more than 30 minutes could be boring and people would not enjoy it. I am one of those wedding videographers, who does not believe that. I think that the client could get a nicely edited wedding video of the entire wedding without being boring. If you would like to jump to certain part of the video, there are always the chapters. Just go to the scene selection on your dvd or blu ray and select whatever you would like to watch. Don’t take me wrong, a shorter version of your wedding video is awesome, and we do offer it. In fact, we were one of the first studios to introduce this concept, but I just don’t think that it should replace a long version of your complete wedding video.

Turnaround

Ask about the turnaround of the work. There are many wedding videographers that promise a first draft of your wedding video in five or six months. In my opinion that is too long. I provide a first draft of a wedding video within 2 months from the wedding day, so I can’t really comprehend six months.

Check how the final product is delivered. There are many wedding videographers that are still providing their clients with dvd only, and what good is it to record something in hd if it will be delivered in standard definition. Other wedding videographers will charge extra for blu rays. So make sure you know the final format. Even if you don’t have Blu-ray, make sure you get Blu-rays.

Ask if they provide unlimited access to the video online or the digital copies for your mobile device.

Check if they allow changes to your wedding video and how the terms are for these changes.

A wedding video is one of the best memories you will have from your wedding day. You need to make sure that you will get the best possible wedding video.

Have a happy wedding!

Danny Morales

Wedding Videographer, Best of Weddings in Wedding Videography

The new Light Field Camera from Lytro that promises to change the photography world.

I’m anxious to see the new camera that is promising to change the world of photography. Lytro, a start-up company from Silicon Valley, is scheduled to release a new photographic camera later this year, The Light Field camera. This new camera will let you select focus after the photo has been taken. That’s right, there will be enough data stored in each photo that you can choose a different focus later.

The new light field camera will be marketed to the consumer market just like any other point and shoot camera.

Lytro decided to develop and market this camera and will not be licensing this technology to the big camera makers like Canon or Nikon, so don’t expect your new canon 5D Mark III to have this new and awesome feature.

Play around with the photo, and select your favorite focus point.


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NJ Celebrity Birthday Party Keri Hilson

NJ Hottest 18th Birthday Party – Part II

It’s really hard to top off the previous post full of great details created by Kisha Barner and her Pure Ambiance Event Planning team, but that was just a preview to the awesomeness Kisha concocted for this Barbie themed Birthday party. Just wait until you see the incredible grande entrance, the aerialists, hip hop dancers, celebrity DJs, celebrity tv host and a special celebrity guest.

This barbie theme party wouldn’t be complete without a real life barbie box… right? But Kisha kicked it up another notch, by having Daina inside the barbie box descending from the ceiling to make her grand entrance.

NJ Celebrity Birthday Party Keri Hilson

NJ Celebrity Birthday Party Keri Hilson

This is one of my favorite moments, after Daina made her spectacular entrance, snow started falling and the crowd roared as Daina took the stage. This was the moment she had been waiting for.

NJ Celebrity birthday party

Let’s get this party started with none other than Celebrity DJ, DJ Absolute from Hot 97 who had guests parting all night.

NJ Celebrity Birthday Party Keri Hilson

K. Foxx from Hot 97’s morning show and Terrance J. from BET’s 106 & Park jamming with Daina.

NJ Celebrity Birthday Party Keri Hilson

NJ Celebrity Birthday Party Keri Hilson

NJ Celebrity Birthday Party Keri Hilson

NJ Celebrity Birthday Party Keri Hilson

The cherry on top of this spectacular sundae was the special performance by Ms. Keri “Baby” Hilson. Yes, you are beautiful, and nobody hates you!!

NJ Celebrity Birthday Party Keri Hilson

NJ Celebrity Birthday Party Keri Hilson

NJ Celebrity Birthday Party Keri Hilson

NJ Celebrity Birthday Party Keri Hilson

NJ Celebrity Birthday Party Keri Hilson

NJ Celebrity Birthday Party Keri Hilson

NJ Celebrity Birthday Party Keri Hilson

NJ Celebrity Birthday Party Keri Hilson

NJ Celebrity Birthday Party Keri Hilson

NJ Celebrity Birthday Party Keri Hilson

NJ Celebrity Birthday Party Keri Hilson

More awesomeness… incredible hip hop dancers and aerialists

hip hop dancers on stage

NJ Celebrity Birthday Party Keri Hilson

The million $ shot by Danny… no there was no balcony, and yes the aerialist is flying!

NJ Celebrity Birthday Party Keri Hilson

Aerialist

The stars of the night, Daina and Keri Hilson.

NJ Celebrity Birthday Party Keri Hilson

Tea Party Styled Wedding Photos Published in the The Knotty Bride

Tea Party Styled Shoot Featured in The Knotty Bride

This week has been an incredible week for us, and the good news just keep coming. A couple of weeks ago, I worked with an incredible group of NJ wedding professionals to create a beautiful inspirational wedding shoot. This shoot, which started only with a couple of pearl necklaces, and a tea party length wedding dress, later turned into a wonderful collaboration. I’m beyond happy to see this labor of love published by The Knotty Bride, a wonderful inspirational wedding blog.

Tea Party Styled Wedding Photos Published in the The Knotty Bride

Voted Best of the Knot Weddings 2011, among New Jersey’s Top Ten Wedding Photographers and Wedding Videographers, and recipient of Bride’s Choice Awards 2011. The Wedding Central is a wedding photography and wedding cinematography studio owned by Award Winning Wedding Photographer and Wedding Videographer, Gaby and Danny. The studio is located Northern New Jersey and serving Bergen County, Morris County, NJ, Northern NJ, Central NJ, Jersey Shore and New York City, Rockland and Hudson Valley and Metropolitan area.

Green hot pink peonies spring wedding

Marcela and Eric’s Spring Wedding Featured in Wedding Obsessions

I’m beyond thrilled to see Marcela and Eric’s spring wedding featured again. This time, the beautiful Canadian Wedding Blog, Wedding Obsession published their lovely wedding.

Marcela and Eric had a beautiful wedding at the Reeves-Reed Summit Arboretum in New Jersey. Their spring wedding was filled with colors that featured hot pink peonies and dark greens of the stationary and orquids; this colorful palette blended so well with the gorgeous gardens.

Green hot pink peonies spring wedding

Voted Best of the Knot Weddings 2011, among New Jersey’s Top Ten Wedding Photographers and Wedding Videographers, and recipient of Bride’s Choice Awards 2011. The Wedding Central is a wedding photography and wedding cinematography studio owned by Award Winning Wedding Photographer and Wedding Videographer, Gaby and Danny. The studio is located Northern New Jersey and serving Bergen County, Morris County, NJ, Northern NJ, Central NJ, Jersey Shore and New York City, Rockland and Hudson Valley and Metropolitan area.