Wedding video. Once considered the “runt of the litter” of wedding vendor priority and budgeting. Often being hired last, if even considered at all. If you are the engaged bride to be who is planning a big wedding, but you are “not having video.... but really went all out on a great photographer!”, please read these lingering but no longer relevant conceptions towards modern wedding film.
Misconception #1. Photography is more important
The reason "still photography" is often considered more important than "motion photography" is because of the history of wedding tradition and technology. Professional still photography has been accessible to everyday people for many generations. From the start of the 20th century , the entry of the film SLR in the 1950's to the digital "DSLR" revolution in the early 2000's, the ability to capture weddings at print quality with reasonable prices has woven professional photography into the tradition of a wedding in and of itself.
If you wanted your wedding professionally captured on video and sound you basically had no options until the 1980/90's when the VHS tape camcorder hit the market. The catch? The image quality was so blurry, grainy and dark you could barely make anything out and the sound wasn't any better. Not to mention there was virtually no ability to edit it. Hi production value "motion pictures" were reserved for the movies and television, not weddings. The quality was so bad for the first 25+ years of the "wedding videography" industry as it became known, that it never struck a chord with the market. In fact, it kind of left a bad impression that would later come back to haunt it (hence why I am writing this article!). However, in 2018 this could not be further from the truth.
Misconception #2. Wedding videos are long, boring and low quality
That all started to change in 2009 when the Canon 5d mark ii, the most popular new DSLR for wedding photographers at the time, blew everyone's minds with its HD video. The video image quality available to videographers, indie film-makers and even students suddenly became shockingly better and at a price point that was relatively affordable. The shallow depth of field, large sensor and interchangeable lenses gave a look to the footage that was previously reserved for big budget movies, we called it "digital film".
Enthused by the world of possibilities this new technology was opening, emphasis was put on narrative story telling and movie like production value instead of sterile documentation. "Wedding videography" evolved into what would be more accurately described as "Wedding filmmaking". The difference between a calipiter and a butterfly is the perfect analogy.
As technology increases at an exponential rate we can now pull pictures from the 4K resolution video footage that look similar to professional photos even for larger prints! . (see the sample images below!)
Misconception #3. When will we ever watch it?
This thought use to to be true. When will you ever find time to sit down and pop in a VHS tape (don't forget to rewind first!) . Why would you want to watch a long, low quality and boring 2 hour video of your wedding when you have these large beautiful photos you can print and hand out? You wouldn't. However, now you can watch your film on a computer, tablet or phone everywhere you go! it's not a matter of when you will watch it, but keeping yourself from binge watching it too much!!
Misconception #4. Video will be intrusive
In the old days this was true as well. Video cameras were big, bulky eye sores that required on camera lighting to see anything, very annoying. Not only were the cameras huge but for the most part they were left on wheeled tripods. Today it couldn't be more different. Our cameras are the same size (sometimes smaller) as photographers and the camera body can literally fit in the palm of your hand! We are now essentially like camera ninjas and love hearing "we didn't even notice you were there!"
As far as working with your photographer, true professionals know your wedding day is about you, your family and your friends, not the photos or the video. So naturally they should be on the same team the day of your wedding! It is a matter of sharing the space and time in a way that both get what they need and can even enhance each other's work by collaborating! Hiring a company that offers both services has its advantages!
Misconception #5. Photography should Cost More
Let's consider the differences between the photography workflow and film production.
A. Composition, framing, color, lighting/exposure and the moment captured are the 5 pillars of the artistry of photography. All 5 of these elements are just as integral to the art of "motion photography" except as the name implies, motion of both the subjects and the camera, must also be considered.
B. No individual image can stand alone in film, it needs supporting angles/moments that can develop a sense of continuity and that cuts well together. This becomes especially challenging at weddings because of the lack of control a film maker has vs on a film set.
C. A filmmaker has to have an overall strategy of coverage and see "the big picture" of what he/she is creating in order to tell a story using the day's footage and dialogue. Unlike photography, It is not about capturing hundreds of individual stand alone moments, it is about unifying them to make something new.
D. Good audio is also an enormous responsibility at a wedding. The words spoken by your officiant, by each other, family and friends are just as meaningful as the "image" (moving or still) . Without video production, all of that gets lost in the sands of time.
E. In the edit, professional photos require adjustments in exposure, color and other aspects of the image like sharpening and cropping. For video production, this part of the process is the "cherry on top" that comes after all the hard work of structuring the images and dialogue with music to tell one cohesive story. Frankly, editing a top notch wedding film is much more challenging than editing wedding photos. A wedding film-maker can easily spend 2-3 times the hours producing their final product as their photography counterparts.
F. In order to produce a high quality wedding film vs photos, you need several times the amount of gear at a wedding and much more powerful computers to edit with. We even have flying cameras! This means the expense of keeping up with the wedding film industry is significantly higher than for photographers, who often choose to be minimalist by comparison in their gear choices.
It should be noted that the skill involved in either medium is subjective to the person behind the camera. Some video services choose to keep it simple, however for the reasons aforementioned the public should expect to pay more for excellent film production than for excellent photography while recognizing they are both very important ways of capturing a wedding.
Misconception #6. I can just have my "uncle" record it
This makes as much sense as having your uncle cater the wedding too because he has a stove after all!
Think about it this way, through out our lives there are many opportunities where it makes sense to hire a professional photographer. Family photos, school pictures, team pictures, senior pictures, engagement, weddings, newborn photos, circling back to family. Think about how many thousands pictures you have of your life? How much video footage is there by comparison? That is what I thought. Your wedding is most likely the one opportunity in your lives you will have good reason to hire professional video services for yourselves. Making the best day of your lives into a movie is an opportunity you won't have again and makes it that much more special of a day!
Because of these misconceptions about modern wedding films most couples go by obliviously to what they are missing out on, until years later they see their friend's video on facebook and leave the comment we see so often "Ahh! So amazing! I wish we could watch our own wedding movie!" Roughly 20-30% of weddings hire for professional video services vs 90%+ hiring pro photography. Change in tradition comes gradually, but it is already happening. More and more couples are prioritizing film production as much as photography because they know when it comes to reliving their wedding day and sharing it with others, watching a movie is way more engaging and emotional than manually flipping through hundreds of pictures.
If you think about how much emotion, time, planning and money it takes to make this day happen, preserving the experience in the best way possible, only makes sense.
Now to back up all that we just said, watch some of our films or any talented filmmaker out there!!
Many more of our films and our in house photographer's work can be viewed on our website portfolio!
+ Check out these photos taken right out of the video footage! High enough quality for large prints and more than enough for sharing online!