Revisiting Wedding Day Memories with Video
By: Kristen Castillo
As with all aspects of wedding planning, once the big day is over, so is the opportunity to re-do things. If you overlook the importance of hiring a videographer for your wedding, you may have second thoughts about your decision.
Video vs. Photography
There shouldn’t be a competition between videography and still photography. The two formats are different and separate, but they complement each other. Many couples book a photographer first and consider videography second or sometimes not at all. But videography has its place. It tells the story of your wedding in a way still photography can’t. Sure you can browse your wedding album and reminisce over your images, but wouldn’t it be amazing to watch the day on video and relive the special moments as they happened?
“It sounds cliché, but long after the wedding dress has been put away, the flowers have wilted and the vows have been recited, the video will be there as a record of the wedding,” says Bob Hoffman of Bob Hoffman Video Productions. “Sometimes I hear from couples that they can only afford still photography. Just as there is no substitute for quality photography, there is no substitute for professional, creative videography.”
Another advantage of video’s quality is the ability to print still pictures shot by a videographer. “The video now is high definition color,” says Wright. “You can print out pictures from video, 30 pictures per second of video.”
These days, your phone has a camera and your camcorder shoots videos you upload to www.youtube.com. Camera technology is improving and is widely available, but that doesn’t mean anyone with a camera is the real deal.
Hoffman says consumers, including brides and grooms are more sophisticated these days and want quality, creativity, and a professional product when they hire a videographer. “Long gone are the days of just having a friend record the wedding,” he says. “Couples have seen what well-meaning amateurs can do. The dark grainy videos that seem to go on forever and the shaky short videos that seem to miss all the important moments. And then there is weak scratchy sound that might capture the minister but misses the bride and groom’s vows altogether.”
You definitely need a professional videographer to document your big day. An amateur may seem like a bargain, but think again. Most amateurs charge cheaper rates because their work is not top notch and their equipment is consumer-grade, not professional-grade. Plus many amateurs shoot weddings as a side job, not as a career.
A true professional videographer will have state of the art equipment, an eye for great video and solid post production skills like editing, sound mixing and special effects. After all, shooting the wedding is just the first part of the job. A videographer spends hours reviewing video and editing it on a computer with cutting edge software.
Wright says he spends two weeks in post production editing a wedding video. “We sit and work on it for 48 to 50 hours,” he says noting turnaround time for a completed video is about one month.
Packages & Pricing
Wedding video packages vary from videographer to videographer. Generally, a basic package offers four to six hours of video coverage of your ceremony and reception with one videographer shooting the event. You’ll get a finished video that lasts anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. Prices range from $1000 to $1800 for this standard package.
Higher end packages usually include two or more videographers and offer coverage up to 10 or 12 hours, including pre-ceremony, ceremony, and reception. You can expect to pay anywhere from $2000 to $4500 for this type of package which typically includes four or more finished DVD’s of the wedding video. Most videographers also offer ala carte options such as video montages of childhood photos or a Q & A video about how you and your groom met. Prices for these extras vary, but usually start around $200 per service.
Wright says his average video length is two hours, but he also gives couples a condensed 30-minute version. “You’ll get the highlights,” he says. Hoffman says the length of wedding videos can vary so he focuses on personalizing each video to the needs of the bride and groom.
“Some people request shorter ‘highlights’ only videos and others prefer ‘feature length’ videos,” he says. “If there is a trend, it is toward getting both: a shorter video for friends and relatives and a more complete video just for the two of them to watch. Whatever a couple requests, we will do our best to give them exactly what they want.” DVD is definitely the preferred format. VHS is available if you want it, but most couples pass on the tape and go for the DVD, which has a much longer shelf life and better quality.
Say Hi to High-Def
High definition is one of the emerging trends in the video industry. The format is all about high resolution video with great clarity and quality.
“More and more couples are starting to request HD and we love offering the upgraded service for a modest additional charge to help defray the cost of more expensive equipment and more involved editing and post production,” says Hoffman.
Not all videographers are shooting in high-def right now, but many are getting ready for the format to revolutionize the wedding video scene. “High definition is definitely here,” says Wright. “We’ve got high definition cameras and we’re starting to shoot in high definition.”
Whether you want high definition or just high style, make sure your magical day is captured forever on video. You and your family will enjoy the video for years to come.