So wedding videos have come a long way in the past five to eight years or so.  A lot of newly engaged couples (including me when we first got engaged!) are surprised at all the options they have! Ceremony only? Cinematography vs documentary style? How many shooters? And what the heck is a highlight reel?

I don’t blame couples for being confused! There’s a lot going on behind the scenes that if you don’t have a background in film or video, you wouldn’t know about.

So with that in mind, I thought I’d take the opportunity to break down the process of creating a high-quality video to help you understand why we charge what we do, and also help you understand the process so you can ask better questions of your videographer.

Here we go:

  • The prep work. A reputable videographer won’t just show up on the day of your wedding and start shooting. As a videographer, the angles we need to capture the action, the lighting, and the sound are all critical. We will touch base with your venue coordinator well in advance of your wedding to ensure we understand the space, and where we will fit into it. We will do a site visit to your ceremony location to look for things like electrical outlets for our lighting, and plan out where we can position ourselves and our cameras to capture all the action with minimal disturbance to you and your guests. And this doesn’t include the time we will spend with you, the couple, learning about what you’re looking for in a wedding video, and talking about how we can use our skills and expertise to make that happen.
  • Sound. Crystal-clear sound quality is one element that plays a key difference between a great video and one that’s so-so. And we only have one chance to get it right, so there’s no room for messing up. To make sure that our sound is quality, we use the best quality lavalier mics (little unobtrusive clip-ons), which start at about $1,000 each. These have to be tuned to a particular frequency, and constantly monitored to make sure nothing is interfering with them, or, for example, that a particularly hearty hug hasn’t dislodged them!)
  • Lighting. We’ve all noticed how much harder it is to take a great photo when the lighting is dim. The same goes for video. When we place our lights at your wedding ceremony, we aren’t just trying to brighten up the area so we have more light for our videography. We’re using our light strategically so as not to change the ambience of your venue, and to make our light as flattering as possible. Depending on the venue and the time of day, we may need to bring several large lights with us. Knowing how to properly light a venue is a skill that takes some practise.
  • The angles. Gone are the days when a wedding videographer would stand in the aisle with a camcorder following the bride and groom around. These days in final videos, you’ll notice that our shots jump around a lot. We’ll get a close-up of the bride, and then that shot will jump to a wide shot that shows the whole room full of guests. Having two skilled videographers on your wedding day makes a world of difference to final quality and ensures nothing is missed. However, it is one more elements that increases the final cost.
  • The gear. This one is probably the most obvious, but yep–camera gear is expensive, as are tripods, lenses, lighting, microphones, headphones, etc. The cost of our video is reflective of how much it costs us to maintain and purchase the gear we need to do our job.
  • The editing. I saved this for last, but camera equipment aside, editing (post-production) is the reason videography costs what it does. For every hour we are shooting at a wedding, we spend two-three hours editing that footage into its final form. This includes choosing what shots we will use, editing out any background noises that may have inadvertently gotten picked up, adjusting the colour to make up for differences in lights, etc. You’ll also notice that in many videos, what’s happening on-screen syncs up perfectly to the rhythm of the music. This step makes a huge difference in the quality of the final video you receive, but it does take a significant amount of time to make sure we get it right! When you look at our final cost, remember that you are also paying for all the hours of editing your videographer will do.

I hope I’ve shed a bit of insight into the world of wedding videography for you! Is there anything I’ve missed? Anything you’re still curious about? I welcome all questions and inquiries!