What is your level of experience?
Although many may disagree, experience is important, but not critical. You should always ask this question but not be put off if someone says they are a novice to the market – everyone has to start somewhere, and you will often find better value and more openness to ideas from those less experienced cameramen. Of course, to temper that, others would argue that you cannot put a price on experience!
The most important thing to determine is whether they are current members of a professional organisation – the IOV (Institute of Videographers) and APV (Association of Professional Videomakers) are the two leading bodies - membership does not guarantee a perfect end product, but it does give you some back-up in case of a dispute. Finally, you may also want to ask if they have picked up any awards recently – again, this does not mean that your video will win an Oscar, but it at least let’s you know that they are rated highly by independent and qualified organisations.
Are you familiar with our location?
Whilst ‘yes’ is not an essential answer, it would be useful. Knowing the best angles, lighting, microphone locations, nooks and crannies etc. can be a huge advantage, but if they have never even heard of the venue, don’t panic. Any good videographer should either suggest meeting up at the location before the date, go there themselves (although don’t take their word on this!), or arrive early enough on the day to take in their surroundings before starting (the least preferable of the options due to light variations and acoustic changes as the day goes on and the venue gets full). Our best advice is to steer clear of a videographer who has never filmed at your location and can’t be bothered to check it out in some way or another beforehand but tells you that it doesn’t matter - they are lying!