Wedding Cinematography Explained

You’ve probably noticed the term Cinematographer on some websites.  We tend to call ourselves Cinematographers too.  So what is the difference between a Cinematographer and a Videographer and why does it matter to you?

According to the dictionary, a cin·e·ma·tog·ra·pher the person who is responsible for all operations concerning camera work and lighting during the production of a film.  A videographer by contrast is defined more simply as the profession of making videos, generally by yourself using a video camera.

In our own words – we think it comes down to how we approach filming an event, the story-telling aspect of our job, the equipment we use and of course what you receive in the end. There are plenty of people who will tell you to stay away from a videographer (cheesy, annoying, creepy, lazy, awkward – we hear these from people often).  Here’s a little excerpt we found from WikiPedia:

“The early days of professional wedding videography were primitive, with the equipment generally reproducing low image quality. Cameras required bright lights, had fuzzy pictures, poor color saturation and single-channel, poor quality audio. The cameras were bulky with a separate unit that connected to the video recorder via a cable, severely limiting the videographer’s movement. In post-production many wedding videos weren’t edited. Generation loss was also a limiting factor because of the nature of analog video tape.

From its earliest days and through the 1980s Wedding Videography developed a negative reputation of being an interference on the festivities, it was meant to document. The bright lights required to produce a quality image were damaging to the atmosphere many brides and grooms wanted to create. As the market expanded, it was flooded by many individuals who had little experience and technical knowledge, which left the consumer with fallen expectations. Consumer technology available to the wedding videographer could not equal broadcast quality of the time.” (reference)

The other thing is the actual finished product of a traditional videographer is usually not any better than something home-made.  The shots are usually very stagnant and drawn out.  The audio is usually muffled and unless they were using really bright lights, the footage would be grainy as the camera would have a hard time seeing in the dark.

So fast-forward to today.  People have probably warned you – stay away from ‘videographers’.  We read it in bridal magazines and in blogs all the time.  And it’s probably fair to say that some videographers are still doing some of the above things that brought on the reputation.With a reputation like that – why would anyone want to start a ‘videography’ business.

Well – times have changed, technology has improved dramatically.  New styles of film-making have basically been born and the term videographer just doesn’t fit anymore.  Gone are the days of big bulky equipment and 1000 watt lights that blind everything. Instead of 4 VHS tapes for your wedding totally 8 hours of straight footage – we know make you a 20-minute short-form edit that tells the story of your wedding day using voice-overs and music and non-linear styles of editing that help us to weave together a story.

Hope that helps you in your planning.

Beautiful Bride on her wedding day

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