How to Hire a Videographer for Your YouTube Channel - An In-Depth Guide
At one point or another, successful YouTubers have to decide if – and how – to hire a videographer.
When your channel starts to take off, and you have to up your content production, outsourcing certain tasks is inevitable. Channel management, video editing and content research are obvious candidates.
However, many video creators are reluctant to hand off videography to someone else. Filming is, after all, at the core of what you do as a YouTuber.
Here’s why it might be a good idea to hire a videographer for your YouTube channel, and how to go about it while keeping creative control.
Why Hire a Videographer?
In short, hiring a videographer can help you save time and nerves – particularly if you’re aiming to create more challenging content.
If you’re a vlogger doing fashion reviews, for example, you probably don’t need to hire a complete videography team. Especially if you have a decent camera and equipment for sound and lighting.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to create dynamic outdoor and travel content, aerial shots, or collabs with other creators, professional videographers are invaluable.
Professionals will do their job efficiently and flexibly. They bring along top-notch equipment and extensive experience, which will help you produce outstanding content in a minimum of time. This makes them invaluable team members, and key to the success of the most-subscribed YouTube channels, for instance.
For example, having a camera operator behind the lens lets you make adjustments and improvements immediately, rather than after you review your footage. It also helps you maintain eye contact with your audience, rather than having to squint off-screen every other moment to check your setup.
Plus, professional videography helps you save on editing time and costs. They can make sure to deliver consistently high quality footage in terms of audio and video. You no longer have to worry about lighting and exposure issues, or autofocus issues.
Finally, professional videographers can also help you create content you simply wouldn’t be able to do on your own. This includes drone videography and one-off dynamic event footage from multiple angles.
Autofocus issues are becoming rarer, but having a human behind the lens is still the best option.
How to Hire a Videographer Who Meets Your Needs
As a first step, outline what you’re looking for in a videographer, and how many people you’ll need on your team.
Here are a few questions to get you started: How many angles do you want in your footage? How many subjects will you be filming? Are you going to be shooting inside or outside? On the ground or aerial? Stationary or on the move?
A real estate listing video, for example, might involve almost all of those.
Once you’ve set down these parameters, you can go on the hunt for a professional videographer who fits the bill. A first concern should be that they’re in your area – that will immediately cut down travel expenses.
Start off by asking around your local network for recommendations, and checking local business listings.
Apart from that, hit general-purpose online freelance platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and PeoplePerHour. There are also more specialized (and higher-end) platforms, such as Mandy.
Then, check the websites of any promising candidates, and pay special attention to testimonials and demo reels. Reach out in person to check how efficiently they communicate and how well you click with them on a personal basis. Finally, you can ask if you could do a quick demo shoot before you make your final decision.
If you’re on a tight budget, try local film schools. Many film students will deliver high-quality work at a reduced rate in return for a portfolio piece, though they’ll probably take longer than seasoned pros would.
This is part of the reason why California has so many famous YouTubers – there’s simply so much local know-how around that creators have an easier time assembling a top team.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Videographer: Freelance or Company?
In general, how much outsourcing videography will cost you depends heavily on the experience of the videographer, your area, and the type of shoot you’re aiming for. If you can’t avoid them, you also might have to factor in travel expenses in some cases.
In addition, some videographers also do their own editing, which increases their price. That means you don’t have to deal with it separately, but a dedicated video editor is often a better choice for long-term work such as running a channel.
As a rule of thumb, you can expect freelancers to charge at least $30 an hour, and $50+ if they also edit. Rates above $100/h aren’t uncommon, though.
Professional videography companies will often charge a base rate of $200-300 for 2-4 hours or a “half-day” of filming, with extra hours included in larger packages (“days”) or charged extra at $50+ each.
This probably isn’t worth it for a vlog post – unless you’re filming a bunch of content all at once. An example for this would be vlogmas in December. Shooting some bits in advance can take a lot of stress out of these events.
Project-based pricing, or gig pricing, is widespread. Though: Both the price tag and what’s included vary wildly. Such a package might start at $50, but could easily also run to several hundred dollars.
Reading the fine print is essential here – make sure that you only pay for what you actually need.
The Bottom Line
A professional videographer can help you create outstanding visual content for your channel, whether on a regular basis or as a one-off for a special event. They bring invaluable experience and high-quality equipment to the table.
With a little research to find the right person for the job, the cost is well worth the time and nerves you’ll save, and the boost in your content quality.