Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long have you been in business?
  2. What payments do you accept?
  3. Are you a part time or full time business?
  4. Why should we hire you over someone less expensive?
  5. What primary style do you identify with?
  6. What do your packages include?
  7. What formats can the final video be in?
  8. Do you offer demo DVDs for potential clients to look at?
  9. What types of videography do you offer?
  10. Do you have lighting equipment to accommodate a more dimly-lit event?
  11. How many videographers do you work with?
  12. Does the client get to meet the videographers before the event?
  13. Do you guarantee your presence at the actual event?
  14. Do you book yourselves for more than one event in a day? Weekend?
  15. Do you have a replacement videographer in case you become unavailable on the event day?
  16. What kind of equipment do you typically bring with you on the day of our wedding?
  17. Do you bring backup equipment to the event in case of malfunction?
  18. What is your policy on taking breaks? If you require a meal break do you require that the client provide your meal?
  19. Do you charge overtime?
  20. Do you reserve the right to use the video in the future for promotional purposes?
  21. Is the client involved in the editing process? If so, how much input does the client have in editing?
  22. How long will our DVD be? If you are there for 5 hours will the DVD be 5 hours long?
  23. How long does it take for the client to get the final video?
  24. Do you require a minimum number of hours to book?
  25. What additional types of events do you service?
  26. How do I choose a good videographer so I don’t waste my money?
  27. Have you received any awards for your work?

How long have you been in business?

We are pioneers in the video wedding business, starting in 1982  in Huntington Beach, Calif.  In 1986, after filming almost 300 weddings in one year with a crew of 9 videographers and 6 editors, we realized that Video Weddings were here to stay, and made them our specialty.  We operated Alpha Video Services for 8 years, then sold the business to raise our three children.  In 2010, after raising our children,  we re-opened Alpha Video Services in Spokane, WA.  This year, 2014 is our 13th year in business with 10 of those years with both of us full time.

What payments do you accept?

Cash, Check, Paypal, Mastercard, Visa, Discover, American Express

Are you a part-time or full-time business?

We are full-time.

 Why should we hire you over someone less expensive?

Our clients are serious about high quality work and care about hiring experience & dependability.  You want a Wedding Film that you’ll love to watch over and over again and want to show family & friends.  You don’t want to take the chance that your Wedding Film would be a failure.  With almost 800 weddings  and in our 13th wedding season, you can count on us to deliver quality.  We are also the recipients of the prestigious “BRIDES’ CHOICE AWARD for 2012,  2013 & 2014″ from WeddingWire.  This is a result of the many excellent reviews we’ve received from past brides. Because of this award we are not only the highest-rated & reviewed Spokane Videographer, but it ranks us in the top 5% of all wedding vendors (all categories!) in the USA, Canada, and “abroad”!

Video Weddings are one of the most difficult events to cover.  They are fast-paced and unpredictable with no chance for a second take.   Most wedding videographers are part-timers, doing a very limited number of weddings in a given year, thereby lacking the extensive experience necessary to insure that the job will be done right.

We spend 40 to 50 hours during the assembly process of a “cinematic-style” wedding film.  A crew of two is at your ceremony & reception which is usually 6 to 10 hours, (12 to 20 “man-hours”), depending on your chosen wedding package.  On a large wedding we will most likely spend about 62 man-hours total.  We try to go to every couple’s rehearsal to be aware of, and see all details ahead of time.  The experience, and the care and time we put into your film is what makes it worth every penny.  Eventually, your precious film will become priceless.

We have many wedding samples that demonstrate our consistent quality, in both “Highlights (our short samples), and full-length films.  Done well, video is the best medium available to capture your wedding memories. It will be one that will brings tears and laughter every time you view it. If you take the time to “do your homework”, your end result will be a Wedding Film that you’ll be proud to show your friends and family. To see the real difference in quality between us and the other videographers, we encourage you to see an entire ceremony & reception video of their work vs. ours. 

           The most common things that plague inexperienced videographers;

  • No back-up equipment.  If a piece of equipment fails, you will have no video.  Since there are no second takes, equipment failure is not an option.
  • Improper microphone placement (or no external mics at all) for vows, music, vocalists, toasts during the reception, etc., and the sound quality will be bad or non-existent.
  • Quality of equipment;  A “home video camera” will be poor quality.  (We use High-Definiton/Blu-ray-quality cameras).
  • Not knowing the “flow” of weddings, and how to co-ordinate the activities should there not be a wedding coordinator.  We have almost 800 weddings under our belts.

            Novice videographers;

  • Often haven’t learned “wedding manners”.  They may be obnoxious during the ceremony, distracting the audience by making a spectacle of themselves.  (Our clients say we were “like flies on a wall.”  We’re very conscious of not being a distraction during your special day).
  • They may dress inappropriately for a wedding.
  • They may not care about staying out of  your photographer’s way.  (We are very conscious that you want your formal portraits and fun shots to turn out well.  We honor that). The photographer and the videographer are both being paid. They should be able to work together to give their client a beautiful product.

 

What primary style do you identify with?

Cinematic, Documentary, Storytelling, Traditional

 

What do your packages include?

We have packages that have minimal to maximum coverage, plus Ala Carte choices.

Ceremony, Edited Video, High Definition Video,  Slideshows with music – Childhood /Dating, or Honeymoon picture/video Slideshow with music, Wedding Highlights, Multiple Cameras, Multiple Videographers, Online Highlight Films, First-look, Pre-Ceremony, Reception, Rehearsal Dinner, & Same Day Edit Film.

 

What formats can the final video be in?

Blu-ray, DVD and any other format desired.

 

Do you offer demo DVDs for potential clients to look at?

Yes!

MAKE SURE that you view an ENTIRE “FINISHED PRODUCT” of anyone you think you might hire. That is where you will SEE THE DIFFERENCE IN QUALITY between one company and another.   It takes more time to compare this way, but will assure your satisfaction in the end. You will be taking a big chance of wasting your money and being disappointed in the quality if you don’t take that time. (Any videographer can take a few good shots, edit them into a short sample, add music, and have it look good). We give sample DVD’s, and have many short samples on our website called “highlights & trailers”.  If you like those, then look at some of the full ceremony/receptions we have on the tab with that description.

 

What types of videography do you offer?

Depending on your budget, we have two types. “Cinematic-style” Wedding Films are Edited/assembled with your choice of music added along with special effects to make it smooth and interesting to watch. This takes about 40 to 50 hours of work after your wedding.  Also, you may choose from the following “A La Carte” items; Wedding Day “Highlights”, Love Story/Engagement videos, Childhood/Dating Slideshow, & Honeymoon Slideshow.

 

Do you have lighting equipment to accommodate a more dimly-lit event?

Yes.  We also have low-light cameras.

 

How many videographers do you work with?

Depending on the size, length and budget of your wedding day, we use one to three videographers.

 

Does the client get to meet the videographers before the event?

Absolutely. We always encourage that.  If you have hired us from out of state, we encourage meeting on Skype.

 

Do you guarantee your presence at the actual event?

We are a husband and wife team. Depending on the number of weddings there are on a particular day, either one of us or both of us will be present.

 

Do you book yourselves for more than one event in a day? Weekend?

Yes. We are able to shoot 2 separate weddings, with a crew of  one or two depending on the size, length and budget of your wedding day.

 

Do you have a replacement videographer in case you become unavailable on the event day?

Yes.

 

What kind of equipment do you typically bring with you on the day of our wedding?

High Definition cameras, fluid-head tripods, mics for every sound need at the wedding, camera stablizers for steady shots, light for darker situations at the reception, extra batteries, memory cards. We bring back-up equipment for every piece of equipment that can break down.

 

Do you bring backup equipment to the event in case of malfunction?

Yes.  Every piece of equipment we use has back-up.

 

What is your policy on taking breaks?  If you require a meal break, do you require that the client provide your meal?

There is no need to order a meal for us, but if it’s a full day of shooting, we ask that we may be able to sit down and eat quickly while everyone else is eating. In the almost 800 weddings we’ve shot, there has been only one time that every guest showed up and no meals were available for us to eat!
 

Do you charge overtime?

Yes.

 

Do you reserve the right to use the video in the future for promotional purposes?

We do ask the client if we may use their finished video as a sample to show other prospective clients.  A waiver is signed for the use of the footage.  If you say “no”, we honor that very strictly.

 

Is the client involved in the editing process? If so, how much input does the client have in editing?

It takes about 40 to 50 hours to edit a full wedding and reception. Having a client in to add input would make the process much longer. We have done almost 800 weddings. We are very aware of what most couples like & we take time at the consultation to find out who and what are most important to you, and hope that you will trust our professional abilities. Customer service is important, so if there is something you don’t like, we bend over backwards to make it right.

 

How long will our DVD be?  Example; If you are there for 7 hours, will our DVD be 7 hrs. long?

This is a VERY important question. No.  The camera does not run for 7 hours continuously.  Length depends on many situations at the wedding, including how many hours we are hired to shoot, the length of the ceremony, size of the wedding party, the number of guests, amount and length of activities at the reception. The finished film, on the AVERAGE runs about 60 to 90 minutes.

One important thing to consider: When choosing a videographer, ask if they produce “Short Form” or “Long Form”. Many videographers are now only giving a 10 to 20 minute “Short-Form” video to their clients. We have chosen not to do this because your wedding day has the most important people in your life celebrating with you. Couples who have chosen (or didn’t know about) the “Short-Form” video later say that it was too short. Many of the guest shots are left out in order to keep it short. These “Short-Forms” show only parts of the ceremony and short clips of the important activities of your day, but the couple ends up short-changed and disappointed, even if the video is done well. These last 4 years, we’ve surveyed brides about these things. Not once have we had a couple say that they’d prefer to have had a “short-form” video instead.  Each couple has said that they enjoyed the length;  “It was just the right length”, because it was their video, their friends & family. Our “Long-Form” videos have a menu that allows you to skip to different chapters, such as Pre-ceremony/first look, ceremony, post ceremony, grand entrance, 1st dance, toasts, etc.

 

How long does it take for the client to get the final video?

Usually 6 to 8 weeks during off-season, (Nov. thru May), sometimes sooner.  Brides with wedding dates in June, through October will take longer to deliver; sometimes up to 12 weeks. We always keep in touch with our couples to let them know when we are close to working on their wedding.

 

Do you require a minimum number of hours to book?

It depends on the day of the week and time of year. In off-season (late Oct. thru May), we are able to be more flexible with our hours.  We have, through our surveys, determined that couples who hired us for a short time at their wedding are always disappointed that they didn’t hire us for longer. Our packages are based around the usual time most ceremony and receptions last. Give us a call and we can discuss your plans.  We can tell how much time will be needed to capture what you are wanting to see on your Wedding Film.

What additional types of events do you service?
We have chosen to specialize in Weddings because we love weddings, and there are so few companies that can do a wedding well, but we can do anything;
Anniversaries,  Baby Showers,   Bar/Bat Mitzvahs,  Birth Stories,  Birthdays, Bridal Showers,  Christenings,  Debutante Balls,  Engagement Parties, Graduations,  Holiday Parties,  Memorials,  Milestones,  Proms, Quinceaneras, Retirement Parties, Sweet 16s, Corporate Events, Web Promos, Advertising, T.V. Shows, Instructional Videos, Documentaries, funerals, etc.

How do I choose a good videographer so I don’t waste my money?
     MOST IMPORTANT  See a full, finished product of whomever you think you might hire.  Anyone can take some good shots they got, edit them and put them to music and have a nice little sample.  It’s a beautiful sample, but the full video may be far from perfect and not so interesting to watch. By spending the time to watch a finished product of a company’s full, finished wedding, you will get an idea of how your wedding will REALLY look.  This is where you will see the difference in quality between different companies.  There are so many people who call themselves videographers, yet have little-to-no wedding experience.  Don’t waste your money on a novice.  Lots of experience shooting weddings is the key. Even for the most “educated” of videographers, weddings are the most difficult thing to shoot.
Also, consider the usual length of a company’s videos. Many companies are now only providing “Short-Form” wedding films of from 10 to 20 minutes, and nothing else. Because your wedding is such a special day with all of your loved ones and friends celebrating with you, most brides want to see as much as they can (in a fun and smooth-flowing way) of every one and everything that was captured from the camera. The short-form videos are cut very short, with only parts of the ceremony and the most important parts of your reception activities. Be sure to take time to see the difference between the two types and consider the fact that you and your most-loved friends & family will be in your video as you watch these two styles. “Short Form” or “Highlights/Trailers” are great, but not when they’re the only thing you receive to help you remember your day.

            Important questions to ask;

  1. Do they bring back-up equipment?  We can say with almost 800 weddings under our belts that it’s necessary to bring back-up equipment for everything that can break or stop working.
  2. How many weddings have they done? Some only do 1 or 2 a year.  Most likely, hiring an inexperienced videographer will result in a memory of your wedding that you’re embarrassed to show to others, and isn’t enjoyable enough to watch multiple times. Weddings are actually very difficult to pull off well, because they’re “on-the-fly” shooting (with no second takes). If you want a job well-done, hire someone with more experience. It will cost more, but the end result and memories are well worth the extra money.
  3. Do they use steady-cam equipment or stabilizers? Shots will be very shaky without the use of stabilizing equipment, which isn’t enjoyable to watch.  If that’s the case, you won’t watch it much or be proud to show it to family & friends.
  4.    A professional will place mikes at each sound situation.   How do they capture your vows, the singers, musicians, and readers?
  5. How long are your wedding films, typically? See section; “How to Choose a Good Videographer”, (above).

Do a little homework and if you choose correctly, you will find that a wedding film will be your best medium to capture all of the emotions, personalities, and excitement of your special day.  You do want your still photos for your formal pictures, but nothing can evoke tears and laughter each time you view it, like a wedding film can. You will remember little that day, and a well-produced film will bring it all back to you; all that happened, all of your loved ones, all of the things you spent your money on, and the results of all of that hard planning.

Have you received any awards for your work?

We’ve received the prestigious “BRIDES’ CHOICE AWARD” from WeddingWire for 2012, 2013, and 2014 from the many great reviews received from past brides. This is a very coveted award and we’re very proud to have it! Weddingwire allows brides in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean to review every vendor used for their wedding, and only the top 5% of the best rated vendors receive the award.