Videographer Vs. Photographer

First of all I want to say that the title may be misleading as I don't think you can lump Videography and photography into the same category. It's worth noting that I'm writing this blog because I've seen this discussed in a few wedding groups and I wanted to have my say on the matter. Photography and Videography do have their similarities and I think more so with cinematography which is all about composition, lighting and tone etc... However there are a lot of differences in the two.

There seems to be a lack of understanding how much work a videographer undergoes to get the finished product and therefore I feel as a videographer, we get challenged if our prices are somewhat more than what they're paying for their photographer. Photography, for years, has been a must to document the romantic occasion of two people tying the knot and I agree it should be.

Video however has had its peaks but never seemed to make it until the digital age and the rise of social media. It's now becoming a must for most bride & grooms as it's a great way to share their big day with your friends & relive their favourite moments . Photographs are very personal and although we can share them digitally, most people don't want to sit and click through hundreds of photos, instead they'd rather watch a video that summarises the day perfectly because it's easier and it stimulates more of our senses. My job as a videographer is to capture that emotion of the day and recreate the story for them so it becomes a time machine to go back to that special day. Video essentially creates the ultimate experience to nostalgia. 

Now, there's a lot of reasons that I feel that videographers have to do more work than photographers and why their prices tend to be higher but of course this is subjective to the type of photographer/videographer you book and the experience they have.

1. Video isn't about just capturing what we see, it's about capturing sound too and because of this, we'll often have external sound recorders that we'll have synchronise later in editing. This is not always a simple job. 

 

2. Planning & timing is essential. Of course a photographer has a structure & plan too but there's often more opportunities to save a photo if it goes wrong or arrange to get more photos if it's missed. For example, the vows, since they're not capturing the sound of the vows, they essentially have more time to get the shot they may want. Videographers literally have one shot and if anything goes wrong... "I give you this ri..."*Battery dies*, then the footage is ruined and most likely unusable. This is why multiple cameras are needed with multiple sound sources including external sound recorders as a back up.
 

3. Equipment. Obviously this is subjective to the videographer, as some may do everything handheld & on tripods. However others, like my self, bring things like stabilisers (balancing systems), sliders, cranes, multiple cameras, drones, microphones...
 

4. Movement. It's kind of an obvious one but we have to consider movement. If we're using sliders, balancing systems, cranes or drones, we'll have to consider capturing movement. Are we going to pan? Are we going high to low? Are we going to track? Are we going to pull focus (changing focus from background to foreground).
 

5. Editing. First of all we have to transfer between 50-150gb worth of footage, in some cases more. Then we have to synchronise all the video & sound. This could take 2-3 hours. Then we've got to recreate the story of the day by compiling the footage in the order we want.

Then we have to consider music and if you're anything like me, then this is often the most important part for conveying emotion and trying to fit it with the personality of the couple. We also have to pay and use licensed music if you're doing it properly. Sometimes there's exceptions. Now that everything is in place, we have to colour grade, create a style, balance the colour, add any effects. This is probably the hardest part because we've got to go through all the footage that was recorded at different parts of the day where the light sources have changed and also filming on different cameras even when their settings have been synchronised as close as possible may have a different colour or lighting for many reasons i.e. position of camera for one. Once that's all done, we have to render it, burn it, print onto the dvd, package it nicely and send it off.

For photographers, editing time can be saved dramatically, a lot of photographers, not all as it's subjective but a lot will have profiles or presets that they can copy and paste across the photos and then make minor adjustments, you can't do this with video.  

I don't want to undervalue a photographer as you could have a highly experienced photographer who does a lot of work and you could have an amateur videographer who keeps everything simple. It's all subjective. However my main point is, that they are their own individual categories. I would say most photographers and videographers have took the time to value their work fairly and if you like their work then you should be willing to pay for it and if you can't afford it, then that's just life and you'll have to look around.