Your Wedding and Your Wedding Video

I have a confession to make, when it comes to wedding videos, I was never a huge fan. Too many memories of the harsh lighting and awkward cameras and cabling. And who hasn’t had to endure a seemingly endless “moment to moment” wedding video of a family member or friend.  Well, thanks to big changes in the world of video, I have changed my tune. Let’s just say “night and day” doesn’t begin to describe it.  Why is that?

To begin with, the video cameras used today are small and can easily shoot in all different environments: low light, bright sunlight and with a very small crew, often just one clever person.  Even more important, today’s cameras have what is technically known as “narrow field of focus.” In layman’s terms, that means you, the subject, are in perfect focus but the background is out of focus. While film cameras have long had this quality, it’s relatively recent in video.  In the hands of the right videographer, that means your wedding video will have a beautiful, almost cinematic quality.

Obviously, there are many talented videographers out there especially in the New York area, as you will quickly see when you do a search. And I have my favorites.  I suggest reviewing the work they post online, just as you would any photographer, to see if their point of view and style speak to you.  But for the purposes of this blog, I wanted to ask the question, why choose videography at all?

One morning after arriving at my office, I opened up a grateful email from a now happily married bride and groom. They attached their Pratt Mansions wedding video and with trepidation I clicked on it.  Much to my surprise I was blown away.   Here was a 5-minute movie that captured just enough of every moment you wanted to see. The underlying music gave it that professional soundtrack and of course the post-production editing made it all work.  It was over too soon, and I had a lump in my throat.

I had been present at the wedding, supervising things. I saw the bride walk down the aisle, the exchange of rings, the first dance. Now I was seeing all of that again, but this time set to a lovely score and intercut with beautifully shot closeups of the bride and groom, the faces of family and friends, all sharing in the joy of the day.  I realized that while I had seen the wedding, I was now seeing it again in a very different way. It was powerful.  For family and friends who are far away and can’t be present, a wedding video is indispensable.

I’m often asked if using a videographer replaces the need for still photography. In my opinion, no. While with today’s digital cameras, it’s possible to pull pictures out of a video, nothing can replace still photography. Videography is great at capturing the movement and flow of an event. A still photographer captures a beautiful moment in time. One doesn’t replace the other, they are complementary.

If your budget allows, I think videography is something to seriously consider. And I think after you view some of the work of today’s best wedding videographers, you will agree.