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A warning about Photo/Video companies

May 9, 2014

Nowadays many wedding photography companies are also offering videography.

 

While at first glance this might seem like a great option (mainly for it's convenience) statistics show that many couples who choose to go this route end up disappointed with their final video, especially when they realize what they could have had if they had chosen to assign the task to real filmmakers.

 

After hearing quite a few horror stories and a great many complaints about the lack of narrative in the final video, we have put together this list of reasons why you should not be too quick to allow your photo company (or even DJ company) to addon videography.

 

*Please keep in mind that this list is in no way meant to imply or state that every company that offers both videography and photography will do a bad job. 

 

We just want to make sure you have all of the information so you don't make a decision you will regret - and that you understand the advantages of choosing seperate companies for photo and video.

 

REASON #1: Photographers & Videographers have completely different mindsets

 

Many people assume that photography and videography are very close to eachother. This is simply not the case. The purpose of a photo is to capture a single moment in a way that tells the story of that moment. ( ie "a picture is worth a thousand words")

 

The purposes of a film, however, is to tell a story through visuals over time. A film must have both a narrative driving it forward, as well as enough visual detail to establish a "suspension of disbelief." Simply put, when watching a film you should forget you are watching a film.

 

Photographers tend to concentrate more on single moment composition, while filmmakers are always thinking about the big picture. It can be detrimental to the production of a final film to have a video crew that is lead by photographers, as the needs of the photographer will drive them forward.

 

REASON #2: A company that is delivering both products can "get away" with one being less than extraordinary, as long as the other is not.

 

This is a story we've heard a hundred times: The bride gets her photos—she is blown away! They are amazing, more than she could have ever dreamed possible. Then she watches her video; It's not bad. It has a cool song and has some beautiful imagery. No reason to complain—until she sees her friend's wedding film.

 

Her friend's film was done by filmmakers. From the moment it starts, it feels like they are at the wedding again. It's like pressing play on the DVD was activating a time machine. The story of her friend's day is told so beautifully she wan'ts to watch it over and over again.

 

She rewatches her video, and suddenly realizes how similiar it is to the photos. In fact, the video doesn't give her much more than the photos did, except for the fact that now the people in them are moving a bit. Still, she doesn't hate her video, but she only now realizes that she doesn't love it either.

 

REASON #3: A crew always has a leader. And the leader drives the vision of the crew forward.

 

What if the leader of your joint photo/video crew is a photographer (as he or she most likely will be)? How might that affect the direction of the crew's activity throughout the day?

 

When we film a wedding, we are thinking only about filmmaking. We are not worried about portraits. We are not worried about whether or not we are in a good position for a single second to capture the kiss. We are contemplating a plan for how to best move through several positions. Remember, photographers worry about one frame in a second; Filmmakers are worried about 24 frames every second. 

 

REASON #4: A specialist is a specialist for a reason.

 

Would you trust your general practitioner to perfom open heart surgery? If the answer is no, I want you to consider why the answer is no.

 

If your roof collapses, you're not going on google looking for "general construction professionals" you're looking for "roofing specialists." 

 

Years ago there was no such thing as a joint video/photo company. But thanks to recent advances in technology, any ambitious photographer can also shoot HD quality video with the same camera they use for taking photos. 

 

And again, they may do a very nice job on the video. But do keep in mind that this is your wedding day. Don't you want a film that is more than just a nice job? 

 

I'll bet that most if not every other area of your wedding will be handled by specialists. I'll bet your DJ won't also be responsible for the flowers. I'll bet your venue contact won't also provide the dresses and tuxes. I'll bet your limo company won't also be sending the invitations.

 

Photo and video "seem" to be "kind of" the same thing, and so there is this assumption that providing them together just makes sense. I hope that at the very least this article has made you realize that is simply not the case. The rest is up to you :)

 

Whatever you decide, we hope you have a wonderful wedding day, and that it is more than you ever dreamed it could be!

 

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