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Figuring out how to hire a videographer can be difficult. Lately we’ve been working with a number of experts who teach live workshops or seminars and want to transition this material to online courses. Part of this process is creating the actual content that people. While the finished course may include quizzes, surveys, downloads, games, case studies or other interactive elements there is often a key component of information delivery. The equivalent of a lecture. This is often in the form of a video. There are a number of ways to create this part of the course including:

  • Adding voice over to power point and publishing it as videos
  • Using pre-recorded materials such as existing webinars
  • filming a live workshop
  • shooting at a professional studio
  • using your webcam and USB Microphone
  • home studio with a camcorder and microphone
  • OR, hiring a videographer to help produce your online courses.

In this post I’ll take a quick look at one of these options. Hiring a videographer.  We’ll look at the following








Where to find videographers to help with online course production

A great place to find them is Craigslist. I’ve found some excellent videographers there. When searching Craigslist – select the “all services” and search for “videographer”. (Click on the image below to enlarge and see how this works) You should find a plethora of videographers for hire.

A look at hiring a videographer on craigslist
Click to enlarge.

Craigslist isn’t the only option. There’s also  for videographer groups or local videographer clubs, but Craigslist works great.

One other I came across recently and have yet to try is Videopixie. You can submit your video ideas and then videographers bid on the project and you can take your pick. From the looks of it this may be a more cost effective route as well.

So now you’ve found them. Probably too many of them. So how to w pick one?

How to choose a videographer – key things to look for

Not all videographers are great at producing online courses. Ideally you want to find one with some experience doing the kind of work you’re looking for. Here’s a few steps to help you find a great videographer for your online course videos:

  1. Ask for sample footage that they have shot  – specifically footage of someone talking right to camera as that’s likely what you’ll be doing.
  2. Ask for some footage that includes voice audio with no background audio e.g. music. Music can be used to hide bad audio quality and you don’t want music running throughout your educational videos. It reduces retention and engagement by learners.
  3. Review the footage
  4. Look for good quality lighting on the subject – no significant shadows on the face or blurriness. See the sample video below for good lighting and audio.
  5. Listen to the audio with the volume up loud. Raising the volume will help you pick out hum or hiss on the microphone or any background noises.
  6. Ask your videographer if they will be using the same equipment (camera, microphone) on your shoot as they did in the sample footage.
  7. Overall quality – if you’re happy with their sample quality it’s probably a good sign that it’s safe to proceed.
  8. Confirm that they provide their own equipment – microphone(s), camera(s), lighting, backgrounds if necessary.
  9. A bonus is if they have a teleprompter so you can refer to your slides

See the sample video below


Cost estimates

Price ranges considerably. I’ve seen videographers work for $15-$20 an hour and others charge thousands per day. Typically you’re looking at $200-500 for a half day and $500-1000 for a full day of filming. They should provide all the equipment (microphone, cameras, lighting).

Then there’s editing the video footage. If you’re just looking to publish the raw video you can often get those files at no cost above the shoot fees. If you’d like some edits and animations added the price can range from $300 to $1500 plus per hour of finished product. Note this is per hour of finished video. The key determinant of price here is how much animation you want to add to the video. Basic transitions, green screening and adding some basic backgrounds should be on the low end of the price range. Inserting some timed images or text to match your speaking brings the rates up to the $500-$1000 per hour of finished product. And finally, motion graphics – true animation – will raise the price considerably and that this point you’re usually looking at hundreds per minute of animated footage.

For most online courses I’d recommend some basic transitions, a lower third which shows your name and the course title, some section titles animated as text, a few images where applicable and some test points to help learners along. Not too much text though only a few words at a time. Much more and people get distracted and actually learn less. The one exception to this is if you really need people to read something, stop the audio and video and just show the text. Better yet, include it as a download or text item only in your online course and keep it separate from the video. Then you can refer to it from the video.

What services you can expect videographers to perform for you.

Videographers can often film and edit your course. You should discuss your needs and expectations in advance as well as the costs. Ideally, you can get a flat rate for the entire process right up to delivery of the finished product. A few things you should expect from a good videographer:

  • prepare you for the shoot – with a little information around what to wear or not wear and how the shoot will work so you’re not scrambling when they arrive
  • provide their own equipment – microphone(s), camera(s), lighting, backgrounds / green screen if necessary
  • teleprompters and green screens are NOT something you should expect unless you have discussed ahead of time
  • filming and some tips and advice while you record
  • post production editing – depending on your arrangement you could hire them for filming only, or filming and post production editing
  • If they edit – then delivering a draft video with some possible edits based on your suggestions and then a finished product that you can upload to your course player