You get what you pay for, I’ll tell you that right now.
In Atlanta, the average cost of a wedding filmmaker is around $3,000, and that can get you about average work. The filmmakers who charge the most are the ones who have been around awhile, shoot with the best cameras and most importantly, know how to treat their clients.
The client experience
The client experience sets the best filmmakers apart. They’re going to be attentive, friendly and enhance your wedding experience. They’re defined by a humble, servant’s attitude, ready to go the extra mile and not only make you happy, but make the other vendors you hire happy as well. That means stopping what they’re doing to help the planner when the rain suddenly starts pouring and your memories table is sitting outside. It means putting aside ego when the portrait session gets cut short. Videographers and photographers often work closely together throughout the day. You’ll want to make sure they gel well before the day even begins.
Yes, gear matters
In the wedding filmmaking world, we often say gear doesn’t matter. But it does. A videographer who’s taken the time to understand the ins and outs of whatever camera they’re shooting on is one you want to have with you on your wedding day. They’re professionals–someone who can answer industry-standard questions when you ask. If they know their stuff, they’ll use a reasonable amount of their business profit to buy the best gear they can afford. 4K video resolution is becoming the industry standard, and it should be something you should ask about during the consultation process. Higher quality equipment sets a foundation an experienced wedding filmmaker will effectively build on.
Older is often wiser
How long a filmmaker has been in business, just like any other profession, can easily speak volumes about how much they will charge. Most filmmakers increase their prices about once a year, and they usually do so by at least a few hundred dollars. So do the math. Wedding films really took off in about 2012, when videographers realized high-quality video was much more achievable. Technology caught up to the demands of couples who wanted their memories preserved in the best way possible. For the last decade or so, more couples have opted to add video to their wedding budget. Filmmakers who have built a solid reputation with wedding venues and wedding planners are always at an advantage, and for good reason. Their experience has proven they’re some of the best in the business.
What about the top of the market?
If you look hard enough, you’ll notice prices from some wedding videography businesses as high as $6,500 to start. That’s because that company is at the top of the Atlanta market, and likely the top of the wedding film industry. For that kind of price, you’ll want to see peer recognition–other filmmakers have recognized that business through awards. It’s kind of like when an actor wins an Oscar–they’re highly coveted because it proves you’ve earned the respect of your peers. They’ll have robust online presence, indicated by a well thought out website and a solid social media following. Under that, spending about $4,000 in Atlanta gets you the combination of client experience, the best equipment and a great reputation in the business.