Videography is something we are passionate about. Maybe not filming and editing - but we believe that having a videographer on your day is so important to capture your full day. We understand that this expense isn’t for everyone but we do believe that one day you might regret not having a video of your ceremony, speeches, or first dances. Or maybe your new hubbs got your grandma on the dance floor and photos don’t do the interaction justice. Spending the money on a Videographer for your day may not be something you regret now, but it might have been worth the money in the future. We talked to one of our videography friends and asked their take on the industry and why they think it is important to hire a videographer and what to expect when you do.
ValCinema started in September 2017 by my brother Josh and I. Josh handled most of the editing and creative side of the business, and I handled most of the administrative, sales and marketing side of the business. We got the business name from our last name, Valentin: ValCinema. It all started because my brother and I both wanted to go into business for ourselves. We both had a history in the videography space, so it was naturally a great start. We went all in, and absolutely loved it! Our first year we did everything from wedding videos to commercials, music videos to real estate videography and even produced a full-length feature film all before the first anniversary of ValCinema.
I still remember how exciting the first few months of starting ValCinema were. My brother and I were driving all over the southeast part of the country, sometimes even farther. We were filming any projects that we could find. A normal weekend would literally look like Birmingham, AL for a commercial shoot on Friday, a wedding in Nashville, TN on Saturday, Back to Atlanta, GA for another film on Sunday, then even packing our bags to get on a flight for Vermont to film more commercial footage. We had such a commitment to our film career that we drove downtown Atlanta 5 days straight during the snowstorm in December 2017. All to say, we were loving the film business and our early days to ValCinema. Film was treating us well, and we were doing our best to provide the best quality film we could.
Shawn came on as a new business partner in early 2019 and has been the General Manager of the business for some time now. With a strong passion for helping clients remember their wedding day, we decided to narrow in on just wedding videography and photography. We put all the commercial projects and narrative films to rest, and to this day, we only accept wedding projects. We really believe that marriage is so important and that there’s something so valuable about being able to remember your wedding day. It strengthens the marriage, and we have the opportunity to help our clients through film.
Both Shawn and I are really passionate about business and customer service, and we feel that there is such a large gap in the wedding industry when it comes to wedding videography and photography. Neither of us were able to afford a videographer for our wedding, and we weren’t able to get the greatest photography packages either. We want to help educate customers on why both are important and help provide them with packages that are high quality and affordable at the same time.
We asked Shawn & Ben some basic questions about videography questions that we usually get asked to help better understand the industry & why it is important to hire a videographer for your wedding!
Why is it important to hire a videographer? It’s few and far between that we have couples who hire a videographer for their wedding day. We know it’s the easiest cost to cut (sometimes before a coordinator) because you have a photographer. We wanted to ask Ben & Shawn why they felt it was important: Shawn tells this story to clients all the time - He and his wife did not get a video, and somewhere soon after they got married, they lost their vows. Their photos were great, but there’s no audio. A video helps you remember things about your wedding day that a photo never could, like your vows.
What if I’m feeling anxious about being on video? We often hear that one or both of the people in the relationship aren’t comfortable talking in front of people or are uncomfortable with everyone’s eyes on them. Having a photographer and videographer in the room when they are getting ready, eating, or interacting with others makes them very unsteady. This is a great question! All of our videographers and photographers are aware of this because it’s so common, and are extremely sensitive to the topic! During our initial planning phone call, we ask the client if they’re comfortable with “interview style” film, or if they’d prefer the videographer and photographer to be off to the background just capturing the day. We always cater to their preferences! We’ve actually gotten many reviews that describe us as “A fly on the wall” because the clients hardly noticed that we were there (In a good way of course).
Is it important to hire one company to do both photo and video? Some companies market their business as a husband and wife team and do both photo & video and some are like ValCinema and offer both packages to their clients but most of the time the best way to get photos & video is by hiring two different companies. We wanted to know which option was better for the vendor: Sometimes this isn’t the best option if they do one service great, and the other not so much. But if they do both well, it’s usually better to book both together. It’s much easier to communicate with one company about both services, have both contracted together with the same guarantees and policies, and most of the time you can even get “bundle discounts” included if you book them both together. It’s also great to avoid the “conflict” between photographers and videographers because here they both work for the same company.
What is ValCinema’s video style? We know from your short bio that you offer lots of different styles of video for lots of different sides of the industry. But what about a wedding? Do you stick to a specific side of storytelling for a wedding day or change it based on the couple? Of course! We typically tell our clients that our style is “Cinematic, story-driven filmmaking.” This means that we value the quality side and picture image, while also valuing the client's individual story. We want to capture THEIR story, so our film primarily reflects the client by showing the bride and groom throughout the entire film or photography portfolio.
How long are you usually on-site for wedding day? We’ve seen videographers show up way before photographers and others show up a few hours before the ceremony. We know this based on hours in a package. What does ValCinema offer? And why is it important to get a package with more time in it (or is it important at all)? This is actually entirely customizable for all of our packages! We have three main tiers that most people stick to (6, 8 or 10 hours), but many of our clients will add or remove hours of coverage during the booking process, or even add on hours of coverage as the wedding day gets closer! We always suggest our clients start with what they are confident they will need, and simply add on hours as their schedule grows instead of paying for 10 hours when they only ended up needing 6. This also gives lots of flexibility to the stricter budgets - We’ve been able to get a fantastic highlight film out of a 4-hour package, and it helped a client be able to afford a video when most other companies refused to be flexible with them.
What is the expected turn around for a wedding film? We know every company is different in what they offer. Different packages mean different turnaround times but we wanted to know what the “standard” is & what does ValCinema aims for: This varies greatly! We’ve seen some companies offer 48-hour delivery, and others take more than 12 months to deliver. The industry average is probably 3-6 months for video, a little faster for photos. We contract 90 days or your money back, and always deliver earlier. Never wait more than 90 days, and ensure that this is written in your contract.
How long are your videos normally? Just like a turnaround, each company offers different packages with different lengths of video. And we can’t imagine how hard it must be to sort through hours of video to create a film! What does ValCinema offer for their clients? We offer short 2-6 minute “highlight films” all the way up to 90-minute “documentary edits”. Most of our clients get both a short highlight and a longer edit in addition.
Even though every videographer runs their business in a different way, we think they all are an important vendor to be added to your day. Wedding Day flies by so fast and sometimes pictures don’t do enough to remember your day and all the feelings you had. We are always so excited when our couples hire a videographer because we like reliving their wedding day as well! We understand that when it comes to cutting a budget, videographers are usually the ones that go. We don’t want that to be your only option!
We love the work ValCinema does. Ben & Shawn are very responsive and here to help you with every need you have! They have a lot of insight into the industry (more than just the wedding side) and they love to share their knowledge every chance they get! You can find more of ValCinema’s videography on their YouTube Channel & Instagram. Along with their website by clicking on their logo above!
We hope 2020 brings us more brides with more videographers to capture their very perfect days!