Many of us take on the responsibility of organizing events whether in our work or in our personal life, but photo video coverage is one of those things we usually never think about until it’s almost too late. Chances are we end up getting the cheapest or the first number we see, and it’s rarely the right photo video coverage team we really needed.
In this day and age there’s no reason anymore to have less than a great experience with a professional photo video coverage team. Neither should you leave it to chance because you will give them the responsibility of preserving your memories, and even preserving a milestone in your life.
First and foremost, never pick your team based on cost alone. Although the saying “you get what you pay for” is not in any way absolutely true absolutely all the time, it’s when the thing you buy is particularly important and irreplaceable that this kicks in (at least the cheap and bad half of it). Just as you shouldn’t get the cheapest photo video coverage company to do your event just because they’re cheap, you also shouldn’t get the most expensive, expecting it to guarantee you’ll be satisfied with the results. But you should talk to both companies, and a lot more besides, and see what they all have to offer.
Look at targeted portfolios. If, say, you need a corporate event covered, ask to see samples of their corporate event work. Most companies will have a wide range of subject matter covered in their portfolio, so even if the wedding photos look impressive, keep in mind that taking good photos at a wedding requires a different skill set than in a corporate event. Same goes for video sample reels. Some companies may even give you a free CD or DVD of their work. This can prove useful to you in terms of getting concrete examples of which styles you like and which you think won’t work for your event. Also, ask to see samples of past jobs with a client that’s in the same line you are, and maybe ask them what similar companies they’ve worked for.
Also consider the following:
– The number of hours they will cover your event. If your event is scheduled for, say, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., you would probably want photos of the set-up before the show and photos of happy guests afterwards. So your coverage team should be there by 5:00 or 6:00 p.m. and stay until 11:00p.m. at the least.
– How many cameras are included in the package? A safe formula for a simple event would be: for audience sizes of up to a few hundred, one still camera and two video cameras dedicated to covering the stage, and one each of still and video covering the audience and/or roving throughout the venue to catch “ambient” action. Bigger venues, bigger audiences, more complicated stage setups and performances will require more cameras of course.
– Does the charge include all consumables? Video tapes are sometimes charged extra, or are free up to a certain number of units, with everything beyond that charged extra.
– How many final copies are included and in what format? Do you get a soft copy on DVD and a hard copy photo album (and what does it look like)? As to the photos, are you guaranteed a certain number of keepers? If you are getting some of the photos printed, especially if you want large format prints, how will you pick out the photos? Some services include convenient password-protected online pages where clients can pick from virtual contact prints. Do make sure however that your photos really are secure and can’t be accessed by outsiders. What guarantee do they offer?
– A guarantee that you own all rights to all the photos and videos. They may want to use some of your photos to update their portfolio, you should make it known if you don’t agree to this.
– The payment scheme, and some sort of satisfaction guarantee.
– It’s also worth asking them, at the time you’re checking out the portfolios, if the photographer and videographer who will be assigned to you is the same one whose work appears in the portfolio. If not, then ask for samples from those particular people.
Last and most certainly not the least, make sure it’s all in the contract.
Pick a photo video coverage company with a nice targeted portfolio, a good client list, reasonable prices per package, and that you feel comfortable talking with, and you should get a smooth trouble-free experience.
Erie Capipe is a video and film producer in manila visit her at http://videoproductionphil.blogspot.com.