When camcorders become affordable for the public, more and more couples had their weddings videoed. Over time, the fad wained but it seems to have picked up again with the emergence of better and more affordable technology. As a wedding photographer, I get asked countless times if I provide video as well. I do, in fact, offer basic video coverage as an add-on to your photography package. I also see multiple brides asking the same question across social media: “Do I really need a videographer?”
First off, let’s talk about how photography and videography differ. With photography, you receive a moment trapped in time. That moment is either printed on paper, canvas, or some other material like wood, metal, or glass. That photo can also be digital, shared on social media, emailed, used as a screen saver or background. You can have those photos on your phone and look at them whenever you desire. They can be saved on your computer hard drive, in the cloud, or on a storage device like a jump-drive, CD/DVD, or external hard drive. The photos you receive from your wedding vary in abundance based on the number of photographers present and how long you had coverage. For me, depending on the factors mentioned, you would receive anywhere between 300-800 photos of your wedding day.
With video, you receive one (or two) completed films. They vary in length based on the package booked. Typically you receive a highlight film that shows various clips from the entire day. Some packages give a complete ceremony film along with a highlight film. There are typically two different styles of wedding videography. The first is basic. There isn’t really that much editing to the video, but it does clearly tell the story of the day. The second type is more cinematic. With these videos, there is more editing to convey more of a movie trailer effect. These videos often use drone videography as well. Videos are typically uploaded to a video hosting site like YouTube, Vimeo, etc. They are also delivered to the client via digital download or external storage device (DVD, Jump Drive, etc.)
To view your video(s), you either watch on your computer or mobile device, or insert your DVD and watch on a TV. The pricing of video is typically based on location, package, style, etc. However, pricing for video tends to be close to the price for photography. If your photographer is around $2,000, then you can expect your videography (if of the same caliber as your photographer) to be $1,500 – $2,500.
Let’s explore purpose of photography and videography. Why has photography stood the test of time over the years and video not?Is one better than the other? Photography has been around since 1826 when Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, a French inventor, successfully captured the view outside his window. Ever since, the world has been enameled with photography. I think what makes photography more popular is the ability to pick and choose moments in time to reflect upon and display. You can print a photo on almost any material and display it. But, photography doesn’t have sound. What make videography appealing is the it not only captures the visual, but also the audio. You can hear what people sound like, what they said. You can see emotions in their entirety. But video is quite difficult to display, and it takes time and preparation to view.
So, do you really need a videographer? It all depends on what your intentions are with the product you receive. If you will only watch the video a handful of times, it might not be the best investment. However, if there is a large percentage of individuals who can’t make it due to one reason or another (as we have seen so much during the COVID-19 pandemic), then investing in a videographer may be wise. Personally, if you have the funds for both, I would recommend having both photography and videography coverage of your wedding day.