Monday, 7 October 2013

How will you capture your wedding day?

A number of years ago, I started doing wedding video with a little company of friends called "CrossWorks Media". We did a great job, but the demand was low and I started taking photos , which people seemed much more interested in. Video formats changed from Standard Definition to High Definition and our video equipment became obsolete. Gary's Lens was born and video took a back seat. I still believe video is important in capturing your special day though, and I hope you will too!

History - Photos have endured

As history began, cave men drew pictures on the walls of their caves because they had no cameras. Were there wedding pictures drawn there as well? Maybe.

Back in the day, there was flash powder, a huge view camera with the big black cloth draped over the photographer as he opened the shutter for what seemed like forever (probably no one alive still remembers that), and no smiles!

Camera technology advanced and photography became an art; much more personal. People started to smile. Wedding photos became more obtainable. Wedding photography became popular.

Along came audio recording technology and people had a recording made of their wedding vows - on reel to reel tape no less - does anyone have one of those any more? 8 Track? Cassette? It is rare to find anyone who can capture or transfer those tapes... In the mean time, we still look at the photographs. Photographers kept right on taking pictures.

CrossWorks video camera - before Gary's LensThen came video. Uncles with massive VHS cameras, then the smaller Hi-8. Those with some dollars (and some sense) hired professionals to do the job with multi-camera angles and full edits... and people still looked at the photos. Photographers were still there taking pictures.

What's next? 3D video of your wedding? Drones flying overhead for an aerial view? All of those will be a new way to record your wedding, but I'll bet people will still pull out the photo album to show their friends. You can bet there will still be wedding photography.

Capturing the day has been happening in one form or another for a very long time, but the one constant has been the photograph. Even in these days of instant access video through YouTube and Facebook, we still see more photos than video on-line. Photos have endured. When anniversaries come, the pictures come out, even on Facebook as people reminisce.

So why Video?

So am I saying don't worry about Video? No, not at all. video simply serves a different purpose from photography. Photos do a great job of capturing moments, can be very creative and are easy to share and hang on your wall. Yet it is much harder to capture the "real" heart and soul of your wedding in still images. The wedding pictures most treasured are often romantic and artistic images, but don't tell the whole story of the events of the day. Video, however, can capture the "action" - the tears and the joys, dated styles and all - and play and replay them back. 

As CrossWorks, we worked very hard not only to make a fantastic reality video of the ceremony and reception, but also to summarize the day in a bite sized portion that could be watched with friends in 3-5 minutes, capturing as much of the emotion and drama of the special day as possible. Those videos could be loaded on cell phones and tablets or streamed on the internet as well as shown on TV's so they could be shared with friends and family at any time.

We made it easier for people to share their video. Why? Because we believed it portrayed more than just the moments, it brought out the emotion of the event. I have even heard of people crying as they watched.

Video can capture the event beautifully in a way that photos can't. Yet, photos are easily shared and portray the romance and beauty of your wedding. 

Both photography and videography have a purpose and having each is the best way to go. If you can do both, do both. If you can only afford a photographer, then have someone set up a video camera somewhere to record your wedding. You may only pull that video out twice in your lifetime, but it's a valuable record.

Be sure to also capture the speeches at your reception - those words will never be spoken again and in some cases will barely be remembered except for the video (especially if everyone was well inebriated).

What to watch for

If you can afford it and can hire a professional to do your video, then make sure: 
    - your videographers will capture the ceremony from multiple angles 
    - the video will be edited into a 3-5 minute highlight video
    - you obtain the video in different formats - like a digital file you can show your friends on your phone, or computer - in a way that as technology changes you can transfer to different media. 
    - only royalty free music or music that has been licensed properly is used - if it does, you can never post it on-line. 
    - you review your videographer's previous work. The only way to be sure they do good work is to see what they have already produced.

Prioritize

If you can only afford to hire one, be sure you hire a professional photographer first, then a professional Videographer. You might regret not hiring both; photos without a video are OK, but it is much harder to seat people down - even with a cell phone - and have them watch your wedding video (even the 5 minute ones). Be sure you have good photos first. 

If your photographer is good, he or she will capture a lot of he emotion. It might not make your mother cry like a video will, but they will capture the day - just at a much slower frame rate!

(c) 2013 Gary Scott - Gary's Lens Photography

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