Memo to couples about to be wed … understanding wedding videography 101.
Updated: Sep 16
OK, so you are getting married and you're looking for wedding vendors who offer value to service you for your big day! We at MPD Video Productions are here to tell you a little bit about wedding videography services, and why the prices range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. So, what is value? Simply put, you are being provided a level of service and a product that is of monetary worth to you. You may find some video companies who will cover your wedding day for 8 to 10 hours, and will provide you with a 20-minute "feature film" as a final product (and maybe they'll throw in some raw footage). In our opinion, unless you are a video editor and are willing to spend hours and hours editing your footage into a film you can enjoy, the raw footage is of little value. Other companies, like us, will provide you with a 1.5 hour to 2+ hour documentary film of your day PLUS a 5-minute highlight reel you can share online with friends and family. In our experience, once your wedding day is over, you'll want to see ALL of the day again and you can't get enough of reliving your day!
All video services are not the same. Let's start with the people filming your big day. There are many video companies out there. Some perform the service for a living, some do it to supplement income, and others do it as a hobby. Those companies that perform the service for a living are more likely to provide you with a high-quality final product. Why? Because they “have skin in the game”. It's how they make a living, and it's hard to develop a good reputation in the industry, but it's easy to establish a bad one. And with online media spreading the word about your experience with your vendors, everyone will know about your experience in the blink of an eye. And if it's bad, once the word is out, it's hard to repair any damage that is associated with a negative experience.
Next, a quality videographer like MPD Video Productions will bring approximately $20,000 to $30,000 of equipment to your wedding, which includes at least 3 cameras and multiple audio capture devices to cover your big day. Why? Because this equipment is needed to ensure we capture all the key moments of your day, and more often than not, we will encounter obstructions. What are those obstructions? Uncle Joe standing in the aisle when you are about to have your first kiss. Aunt Betty holding up her iPad in front of the primary video camera as you are processing down the aisle. The guest with the iPhone who stands in front of the professional's camera during your formal introduction into your wedding reception. The wedding photographer who is trying to get a key shot, but decides it's OK to block the videographer's camera, who is also trying to capture that same shot. Trust us -- these situations happen all the time, and without multiple cameras and a shot plan, you risk receiving your final video and then questioning why many of your key moments are missing.
Below is a screenshot showing multiple camera angles at a wedding we recently filmed. Although no obstructions existed at this point in the wedding ceremony (luckily!), you can see below the importance of using multiple cameras to capture a wedding ceremony properly. One camera is focused on the bride and groom as a Persian tradition is being performed around them, while at the same time the father of the groom is giving a speech, and the audience is also reacting to the couple and the speech. We'll then select the most appropriate shots during the editing process to represent the full scope of the event from an emotional and visual perspective.
Did I mention a shot plan? A quality video company will attend your wedding rehearsal, develop a camera placement plan and a shot sequence plan, as well as a “what if” plan to ensure that nothing is missed! The company should also visit your wedding venue and coordinate with the venue to ensure they have a full timeline of events for your ceremony and reception. Very few photographers and videographers make this effort. Why do we do this? Because we care. Our goal is to provide you with a beautiful and comprehensive documentary film and highlights film of your day. Our JOB #1 is to please you, the client, and these precious moments can never be captured again! Yes, we expect to get paid, but more often than not, even with all our planning and use of multiple cameras, we may still have to spend more time in editing than we planned. And we do this without you, the client, ever knowing it or being charged extra for it. Producing a quality wedding film here at MPD Video typically takes as much as 80 to 100 hours before the final product is finished and released to you.
With that said, we've been around the industry long enough to know that there are some great vendors and some awful ones. What is awful? A poor final video that is missing key moments, has inaccurate color, shaky footage, poor audio quality, and lots of bad camera movements and obstructions. Typically, it's a video that is filmed by one person, with 1 or 2 cameras, who promises you the world, but in the end only wants to "make a buck" and will deliver you something far less than promised. So here's the lesson we'd like you to take away from Wedding Videography 101: do your homework, read online reviews from sites like The Knot and WeddingWire, view samples, and ask lots of questions! If you don't know what to ask, feel free to contact MPD Video Productions for a list of questions. Call us at 508-266-0054 or email us at email@example.com.
P.S. You will find many video companies shooting in DSLR lately (basically they use a photo camera to capture video), so check our future blog posts for what you need to ask about the equipment a video company uses to capture your special day.