There are many uses of videography from marketing content , event coverage, television advertising, social media campaigns and more. In this post we will go over the 3 types of Video Creators, how much they cost and more importantly when to hire which one.
I categorize videographers into 3 tiers: Amateur, Professional & Studio. These classifications aren't always as rigidly defined as you might think and the lines between these can be blurred easily. Time in the industry or developing craft alone isn't a good sole form of measurement to use because some people develop quicker than others.
1. First lets talk about the Amateur. This classification is a tricky one because no one wants to admit when they are in this category but some people when starting out will be clear about their skill level. The terminology alone might give off certain connotations so to clarify an Amateur by my definition is someone who might have some experience in production but is missing a vast amount of knowledge or skill level that may hinder them in certain situations. Not only limited to the technical side, but also when it comes to handling business like interacting with clients, invoicing and communicating with project managers. The only way to know how they will conduct business is from first or second hand experience so its best to speak to a referral if your interested in hiring someone you think might be in this category. Lastly due to the nature of this class being in-experienced, their scope in being able to do different type of work might be limited. They might be skilled with a camera but not so much lights or lack editing finesse and has little no audio recording skills or they are good at highlight videos but lack experience with interviews or story driven content. This won't always be the case but its something to be aware of.
Budget: Under $1,000
Ideal Type of Work: Events & Highlight Videos
2. The "Professional" category is going to be easier to identify and work with. A professional often comes well reviewed and has good branding online through their portfolio, website and social media accounts. They should have several years of experience at minimum but like I said earlier don't use this as your main measurement, it is better to look at who they have worked with. Someone at this level often lands a gig with notable companies or accolades of some type. When you get on set you should feel like you made the right decision all over again to see how they perform and interact with talent and set up lighting, audio and camera equipment. Also a Professional should know the obstacles of a production before they arise and can have team members they hire or generally work with depending on the size of a project, so understand when working at this level sometimes assistance might be necessary. The competing factor in this tier of videographer can often be how they conduct business, teamwork practices and communicate or creativity. I was blinded by my quality for years until a business advisor and other clients all started saying they enjoyed working with me not because of how good their content looked but how creative, responsive and reliable I was.
Ideal Type of Work: Marketing & Advertising Videos and Corporate Videos
3. A "Studio" is basically a company with a staff of people in the "Professional" category. Often they will have a physical location or studio dedicated professionals focused on certain parts of production like a Producer to develop ideas and handle clients, DP or Cinematographer (fancy word for skilled videographer), a Director and a dedicated Editor but some Studios will have less staff and others might have more. The cost of hiring a studio is usually much higher than hiring one professional but having dedicated specialists delegating the work amongst each other can have its benefits.
Budget: $5,000 and above
Ideal Type of Work: Large Brand & Broadcast Commercial Videos
I hope this quick breakdown helped whether you plan on getting best of the best, trying to save money or just getting the right person for the job. When it comes down to it judge the videographer off of their work in their portfolio and how their branding comes across(ie. how they present themselves on their website, linked in or Instagram) Generally from those two judgments and possibly a referral you should be able to make a good decision on how to identify their level of expertise .
If your looking to hire a video professional, check out the Animist Portfolio and feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions about video production or hiring the right video creator!