3 Ways Your Wedding Videographer Will Shape Your Memories
— By Lydia Martin
31 August 2015
Wedding Videographers have a lot of power. Out of the 16+ hours you're awake on your wedding day, your wedding video will capture just a small portion of the event that took place. Just as your brain selectively registers what it sees and hears, your videographer will discern what is important to record on your wedding day and what is not. This is necessary in order to make an interesting and meaningful film that you’ll want to watch over and over again.
What and how they choose to film your wedding day will greatly influence your memories in the years to come.
Below are 3 common approaches that videographers use to determine how and in what way your wedding day will be remembered. Understanding these approaches will not only help you choose a suitable videographer, but also how it will shape your memories of the wedding day itself. So before you give a videographer the power to record your wedding, make sure you understand their style and what they’ll end up creating for you.
1: The Documentary Approach
Documentary wedding videos focus on preserving a record of what your wedding day looked like. They are often the most affordable option for couples who want a wedding video. Essentially, it’s a basic recording of your wedding day as it happens.
Priority is generally given to substance over style. This means you’ll get a full record of everything that happened on your wedding day. Less attention is given to making what happened beautiful on camera.
The final wedding film is normally set to a variety of music tracks. The events are shown in chronological order as they happened on the wedding day.
Common Reaction: "It’s great to have a record of what happened for future generations."
2: The Cinematic Approach
Due to recent developments in camera technology, wedding videographers now have the ability to capture moments in a very cinematic style. Great emphasis is placed on making moments look good, as well as capturing what happened. Videographers will often consider light, lens choice and camera movement to make the final film polished and of a high production value.
These films are usually shorter than a Documentary Video. This allows the videographer to be more creative and focus on the most important parts of the day. Films are not always edited in a chronological manner. This makes the film a little less predictable and more enjoyable to watch.
Due to the cinematic style, films generally focus on Effect over Affect. “Wow" shots are often sought after to give the film greater effect and production value. Focusing on effect will make your film visually stunning, however less attention is given to how the film affects or moves the audience.
Videographers will often have a wide variety of gear to help them create the cinematic look. This might include multiple DSLR style cameras, sliders, glidecams or gimballed stabilisers for dynamic moving shots. Drone helicopters are also becoming more popular to capture epic scenery and establishing shots.
Common Reaction: "Wow, your wedding looked amazing, what a beautiful day."
3: The Storytelling Approach
Storytelling Filmmakers put story first. Although the final film can still look very cinematic, filmmakers are inspired more by the who, rather than the what.
Instead of just recording what the wedding day looked like, real effort is placed on capturing who you are as a couple. This approach ensures every wedding film is truly unique and personal to each couple.
A good storyteller knows how to listen, asks the right questions, and really gets to know you as a couple. They’ll often go the extra mile to knit together a powerful story.
Emphasis is placed on Affect over Effect. The goal of a good story is to affect you in some manner. There is a strong purpose and message within each film. Focusing on affect gives the film greater depth and meaning. Effect (or really awesome shots) are still great to have, as long as they contribute to the story being told.
Like a really good movie, Storytelling Filmmakers are few and far between. However, if you can find one they will be well worth your while.
Common Reaction: "That film spoke to my heart. You are both so perfect for each other."
Since videography is a creative medium there will always be a blur between the approaches defined above. It’s also important to view for consistency within a videographers approach or style as well.
Websites are great for enjoying someone’s best work, but try to find their Vimeo or YouTube page. Look to see how often they post films online and the quality of their week-in, week-out videos. This will give you a true measure of the quality and style you can expect from a videographer at your wedding.
The Wedding Video Industry has matured a lot in the last few years. There are now many options and approaches available to suit every couple. Having a good understanding of what is available will help with your search in finding someone who is right for you.