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Hiring a professional videographer or video production company to create professional videos can be scary, especially if you don't know what to look for. But you don't have to go through the vetting process blind. There are considerations that will help you eliminate companies that don't match your needs.

Don't worry, we've compiled a list of things you need to consider before hiring a professional videographer.

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Why Should I Hire a Videographer?

Sure, most people can hold a video camera, press record, and keep their subject in the frame. But portraying a specific message, evoking a strong emotion, and creating stunning clips from ordinary settings is what sets seasoned professionals apart from amateur videographers.
A seasoned videographer is a veteran, who has worked in the trenches, honed their skills through trial and error, and approaches their work as their craft; as an art. Here's how to identify a time-tested videographer:
  • Preparation:  A professional videographer shows up for a shoot with the right equipment. She has all the necessary gear and the back-up gear, just in case. Light bulb burns out? No sweat, the professional videographer is ready to go with an extra bulb. She's also researched the topic, understands the story, and arrives on location with a game plan, along with provisional plans in case the first option falls through.

  • Anticipation: The professional videographer has seen virtually every story (or some variation of it) many times over. This invaluable experience enables the pro to anticipate. She can anticipate circumstances, "can't miss" sound bites, and once-in-a-lifetime shots before they occur. She also anticipates what video needs to be shot at what point to help the post-production process go smoothly. It's often said, some of the best shooters can edit as they shoot. This is largely due to the fact they can anticipate what shots will be needed at what point during the shoot.
  • Adaptability: A professional videographer can adapt on the fly. Changing lighting conditions? No problem. Interviews postponed? Go get some extra b-roll. Last minute edit changes? Been there, done that. The professional videographer is used to adjusting and modifying the game plan to make sure the project is completed as promised and on deadline - with a smile.

Key Considerations Before You Hire a Professional Videographer

1. Have you watched more than the sizzle reel?

Videographers call these sizzle reels for a reasons. These are flashy, fast-paced videos that feature the most beautiful, well-crafted shots that can be found in their whole library. Make sure that you don't get blinded by the quick cuts and upbeat music.

Look for full-length video examples that you can watch to get a feel of what a project looks like from start to finish. When you get to the point of having a few companies in mind, make sure to have them send other videos that are similar to your project.

2. How will this company/video help you tell a story?

Storytelling is a difficult craft. Finding a company that can shoot beautiful looking footage is easy, but finding a company that will help you identify your compelling stories isn't quite as simple. Look for a company that has a proven track record of telling really compelling stories.

Ask them if they have a process to help you identify the best stories and take note of how stories are presented in the videos you watch on their site.

3. Is this company a good fit for my project?

There are a lot of different kinds of professional videographers. Some focus on full length movies, some shorter stories, some explainer videos, some documentaries. Some produce commercials and product videos, while others shoot movies. Yet they are all (accurately) called "videographers."

It's important to identify a company that has a proven track record creating the kind of video you are looking to create. We've created a video production scorecard that will help vet potential companies to identify which one is the best for you. Download it now!

4. Do I know what I want and need from this video?

It's important to take a quick inventory of what you are looking to do with a video. If you are not sure exactly what you need your final video to do and why, take a few minutes to go through our list of essential video production questions to consider before you start a video project. You'll be glad you did!

We are consuming more video than ever, so it has become an essential part of the marketing toolbox. Hopefully, these considerations will help you create exceptional videos.

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