As the advancements in technology continues to grow, the demand for quality camera operators increases. In this social media age we are living in, people want to capture unique moments more often in the most stylistic way possible. From films all the way to your child’s 3rd-year birthday party, videographers are in high demand and you need to make sure you are booking the right one.
Here’s a quick guide to booking a good camera operator;
HAVE A LOOK AT THE VIDEOGRAPHERS PREVIOUS WORK
Before you contact anyone, go online and have a look at their previous work. It’s easy. We now have a thing called google (hint hint). You can research a camera operator if you quite simply search their name and click on their website, vimeo or youtube account.
Most camera operators usually have a thing called a ‘Showreel’. This usually displays their BEST work. No-one is going to put out their worst work on their highlight reel, so be wary and research the name of the project they have worked on to see if the quality remains consistent all the way through.
ASK FOR REFERENCES FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE WORKED WITH THEM BEFORE
This is a very important one. Ask at least 3 people who may have collaborated with them a few open-ended questions. For example, how was it working with John Doe? What did you think about their service?
This way you can receive an unbiased response from someone who worked with the videographer in person first hand.
KNOW YOUR BUDGET BUT REMEMBER EVERYTHING IN LIFE IS NEGOTIABLE
The average rate for a quality DOP is around £350 per day. Some camera operators are open to negotiation depending on the scale of the budget or they might just like you and believe in the project you are doing.
Always ask what equipment they have in possession. A videographer without a camera is like a builder without his tools… it doesn’t make sense and you’ll have to ask yourself ‘Are they serious?’. Most Videographers will charge extra for the use of their equipment, alternatively, they may discount their rate if they are provided with equipment to use i.e a camera, tripod or a rig.
Most of us probably know of instances where a videographer has come under scrutiny on social media for not adhering to their end of the deal.. and believe it, we have seen many cases this year already. As a videographer, word of mouth is the most powerful tool to help you and your brand grow. A few bad reviews can have your career in tatters… at least in the short-term.
To conclude, these steps are not fool-proof but will definitely help filter out the bad and the good. It’s important to spend your capital wisely, when paying for a service that potentially possesses a high risk. There are some fantastic DOP’s/Videographers/Cinematographers who take pride in their work and deliver great results frequently. Hopefully you can connect and work with them!