Hiring an Amateur Videographer

Everybody has got to start somewhere. Some people are really talented or they have worked in a similar field but I can say confidently that is they have not filmed a wedding before it will be a massive challenge and the end result will be less than professional. But if you know someone who is looking for their big break or aren’t too fussed about the style of the video then hiring someone new to wedding videography might be a good move for you.

Here are a few things they will likely mess up:

  • Time management. budgeting for travel time, assembly of the kit, micing everyone up takes time

  • Fiddling with the camera settings. They will want some bits in 4K, some to be slowmo, changing the white balance. These are all best practice for every other kind of filmmaking but when you have no control over the schedule and you are constantly on the move it’s dangerous.

  • General boundaries like lingering on specific people for too long or blocking someone’s view. A skilled videographer is always reading the room and is a master at staying in the background.

  • Continuity. Moving the camera or changing a setting during the ceremony or speeches means that bit isn’t usable. Hopefully they have 2 cameras so they can cut to the other camera while they make the changes needed.

  • Unfamiliarity with the wedding service. A skilled videographer listens to the cues from the officiant so they know when the rings are about to be exchanged or when the couple are going to kiss for the first time. They can preempt these moves and plan their camera placement accordingly.

  • They probably will not be able to deliver more that 10 minutes of footage. It is a hard day and lots of mistakes will be made. Maybe 20% of their shots will make the edit

Looking back on the first weddings I had ever filmed, I am so so grateful that the couples were willing to book me and that they knew it might not be brilliant. Those weddings taught me fundamental skills that I rely on for every single wedding I film so I am very appreciative. All that said. I don’t include these videos on my website. I don’t even like watching them. But they are a perfect example of what a couple can expect if they are considering hiring a inexperienced wedding videographer.

Rob and Sarah

I worked with Rob and I mentioned how I wanted to start filming weddings and he very graciously gave me my first gig. I was so nervous, I used every lens in my bag, I walked up the aisle mid-ceremony because I didn’t think about how limiting the shot would be from the back and I didn’t drink any water for about 16 hours and nearly fainted. It was a tough one. But I did it. I could officially start calling myself a wedding videographer. There are parts of the video structure that I still employ, I still use a lot of the same equipment and I learned so so much.

Bethan and Victoria

After I filmed Rob and Sarah’s wedding I wanted to film strangers so I put an ad out on Gumtree. I said ‘I would film your wedding for free because I’m so new’. Thankfully Beth and Vic responded, we met for a coffee and they were beyond lovely and they took the risk of hiring me. On the day I was so lucky that their wedding was taking place in such an incredible location. It really makes up for the amateur videography. (It is called Together Travel in the Yorkshire Dales if you are interested https://www.togethertravel.co.uk/destinations/england/yorkshire-dales)  Thankfully they loved their video and although it isn’t my idea of a flawless video, it’s pretty okay.

I hope this helps you decide if hiring a newbie videographer is the right move for you. No matter the history of your videographer, the video will bring up so many happy memories and you wont care too much about a shakey camera or if something is out of focus so if it feels right for you, offer it to someone new. They’ll rise to the challenge and you might be the ones to change their career path like Rob, Sarah, Victoria, and Bethan did for me.

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