Why is Wedding videography so expensive?

is wedding media worth

In micropolitan and rural areas like southwest Montana, wedding videography is still a fresh market. There are only a handful of professional Montana videographers who specialize in weddings; they vary widely in what they charge and what couples receive when the weddings video(s) are finished. Looking for the ultimate Wedding Reception Venue in Melbourne? Look no further, Vines of the Yarra Valley is here.

 

Brock-heads-together many couples expect a beautiful wedding video that captures their day to be around $1,000 since the videographer simply presses record and then creates a disc or streaming video in the weeks following the wedding. Wedding videos that tell a story are much more involved. They require a careful, trained eye to capture the emotions of the day artfully, tell the story with personal interviews, and edit the video in a thoughtful way that speaks personally to the bride and groom’s story.

 

A professional wedding videographer needs about twice as much gear as a wedding photographer and their editing workstations have to be very powerful to edit HD or UltraHD video quickly. Videographers also fill up hard drives rapidly and cannot readily backup to the cloud yet because of massive file sizes and the speed limitations of most internet connections.

 

Videography has quickly become a staple in documenting a wedding along with photography. But many couples who consider having a video of their wedding still find the cost quite expensive for something that seems rather simple to them. The truth is, wedding videography is not simple. It’s not just your uncle’s recording your wedding in a camcorder; it’s a complex process that needs to have a good investment to produce quality output.

 

When you understand what wedding videography really is from your photographer or videographer’s perspective, you will appreciate the value of your money. And then it wouldn’t be expensive for you anymore, but just reasonably priced.

 

It happens almost every day. BOOP my phone notifies me that someone is interested in a wedding videographer in my area. A surge of excitement hits me as I whip out my phone. I read the request diligently. They want a wedding video production crew, the job will last 8-10 hours, they want a fully edited video lasting 30 minutes in length, their wedding will be 200-300 people, They would prefer two cameramen be present, and lastly they would like to pay less than $500

My heart sinks, less than $500? You can’t hire a photographer for less than $500.

I decline the request and put my phone away, “Why doesn’t anyone want to pay what a person is worth these days?” I think to myself.

 

wedding videos camera

The Cowboy Factor

Filming is not photography. There are a host of factors that need to be taken into account filming a live event that just isn’t there when taking photographs – from the 180-degree rule to a choice of recording codec, from handing aperture changes in motion to dealing with interference from the refresh rates of lighting. Filming isn’t 24 times harder than taking a photograph, but it is significantly more difficult.

 

Think of it like this – imagine you’re asked to take a photo of a friend. Now imagine there’s only one shot left in the camera, and they’re moving, and the light is changing, and this picture is important to them – maybe it’s capturing the most important moment of their lives. Now repeat this one hundred times, and you’ve got some idea what it’s like to make an event video.

 

Note – this isn’t to denigrate the artistry or complexity of photography. The best photographs are as complicated to set up and certainly as artful as any film shoot. It’s just that when it comes to capturing real-time events, in varying conditions, with high expectations, there are more factors to be juggled when shooting video.

 

When you’re filming on your phone, or in the automatic mode on your camera, or just in great lighting – many of these problems disappear, often at the cost of the quality of your final image. Need a Wedding Video Company for your special day? Look no further, Vines of the Yarra Valley have you covered. 

 

Editing software

Another important investment for the job is editing software. Just because you can’t see this, doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable. Professional videography needs the latest editing software that does more than just cutting video clips and splicing them together; it can also add and adjust sound, create stunning effects, heathen pictures quality and much more. An entire editing suite can also cost thousands of dollars that includes premium editing software and a Mac, for example, or the latest computer and monitor. All these contribute greatly to the actual output of your wedding video.

 

Editing Time

When you’re hiring someone to make you a video, much of the work they do is invisible. This can include, but is not limited to – equipment assembly and disassembly, logging footage (loading it into the computer, labelling and checking each file, backing up etc.), reviewing clips, editing, re-editing, colour grading, rendering (squeezing out a final file), and reviewing the export.

 

Anyone of these steps can go wrong in a hundred ways. Rendering alone can take hours on a complicated project, even on a fast computer. There is no such thing as a ‘quick edit’, or a ‘small change’, since changing one element of a video requires re-rendering, then checking over every other element of the newly exported video. Counterintuitively, a short video (say a 30-second advert) can take MUCH longer to make than a long video (for example a single shot of an event).

 

I could write an entire article listing the intricacies of editing – which depending on the specifics required by the project (the number of clips, number and type of cameras, whether takes are mixed, the different kinds of media involved, synching speech, cutting to music etc.) can be enormously involved and time-consuming. This is why videos produced by friends or ‘for free’, can take months to appear, never get finished at all or be very disappointing when they do finally get done.

 

Filming can take several days for commercials and advertisements, or all day for weddings. The more you film, the better the chance you will end up with a product that the client had hoped for. Editing video professionally is a time-consuming process. Even highly experienced professionals spend days or weeks editing a single project before it can be considered finished, there are many moving parts. Even our most simple wedding took roughly two days of editing before it was ready to be looked over by the bride and groom, and then re-edited. If charged by the hour, either the prices would be unreasonably high, or the quality of production would drop dramatically.

 

Editing time for wedding videos varies, but for videographers capturing the wedding day with multiple cameras, there will be a minimum of 20 hours of editing time to create a short story. Documentary wedding videos take 30-60 hours to develop. Videographers that promise wedding videos in a few weeks rather than 2-6 months are likely not telling a story, but merely creating a music video that allows them to cut and paste their favourite visuals from the day quickly. A completed wedding story will have hundreds of clips layered together.

 

The time it can take to edit a 3-5 minute wedding trailer can be anywhere from five or six full days at the editing dock. We don’t let just anyone take a stab. An art school education is necessary to be fully trained in the programs and have the eye for creating a cinematic-style wedding film.

Equipment is expensive

Here is my current filming kit. Here is the gear I intend to buy over the next year. Filming equipment is expensive, really expensive.

 

The camera is in some ways the cheapest (and arguably least important) element of a filming setup. It’s a support system for the lenses, monitor, microphone, and accessories. One that requires lighting, fast media, and a faster computer and external hard drives to edit its output.

 

Right now, my gear is close to the most basic setup with which professional work can be done. It’s my experience and eye that differentiate the final product. Even so, my current setup cost several thousand euro to build up. Each time it’s used, it faces wear and tear, and more than almost any other freelance industry – each year it must be upgraded as standards improve and new equipment becomes available.

 

Videography, like photography, has moved to the digital age, the average joe can now film at a professional level if he has the right equipment. The better the material, the higher quality of the product you will end up with. Here are some of the costs we have to film at our level. With so many Wedding Videographers out there it can be confusing to choose the right one.  Check out our top picks here. 

 

media worth? weddings

Commercials require lighting, actors, props, and even more filming equipment to film quality production. When you hire a video production professional, you are paying for their services and the use of their equipment, and it would cost a fortune if a person bought new equipment every time they wanted a project filmed, and still a lot if they wanted to rent the appropriate equipment for the day.

 

As you have probably already known, the state-of-the-art equipment that the videographer has invested on is, of course, part of his fee. You are also paying for the kind of camera, lighting, tripod, and other necessary gears that will be used to shoot your wedding video. Understand that these gears can cost thousands of dollars. Technology is a primary investment in this business, and it is needed to improve the quality of the product. And for your security, you want a videographer whose equipment is insured. Insurance is another needed expense to make sure that only your videographer’s top-of-the-line equipment is used on your wedding day.

 

Video cameras / lenses / accessories / drones / sliders / hard drives / sound recorders / radio mics / storage & travel boxes / tripods / gimbals – the list goes on and on. And this stuff is EXPENSIVE! A professional camera that can shoot high-quality video will cost no less than £3000, many cost up to £40,000. And the technology doesn’t stay up to date for long. 

 

Music Rights

While photography and videography both require visual skills to capture an event, recording good video also requires sound recording experience. Without a good sound, you may as well hire any Joe off the street to record your wedding with a smartphone.

 

The average cost to obtain the rights to a high-quality song is $60 for weddings and up to $400 for one commercial use. If a client wants a high quality, well-known song for their commercial, they must be prepared to pay a hefty sum. Luckily there are cheaper solutions for commercials, but music is a cost that rises steadily as the songs increase in quality and popularity. This alone is why advertisements cost so much to produce.

 

Another form of security that you want for the production company you’re hiring is one that purchases music licenses. A company that illegally uses songs in their wedding videos can get into the trouble with the law. You want to make sure that the songs used in your own video are not only those that you like but that they have been legally acquired. You can look into the cost of licenses so you can better gauge the rate your videographer is charging. Or better yet ask him if the songs are licensed to be used in your video.

 

Experience

Imagine, you’re on a plane to Thailand. God forbid, as my mum likes to say, you have a heart attack. The call goes out, is there a doctor onboard? A hand is raised in first class. The off duty doctor races back towards the hell that is the economy and begins to [INSERT 7 YEARS OF MEDICAL SCHOOL TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE HERE]. You survive. What saved your life? Was it a stethoscope?

 

It was your doctor’s education and experience. The training (and more importantly, hands-on experience) of a videographer/director of photography, is what makes their work worth paying for. In my case, I’d been filming and editing web and short films for over a decade before I decided to turn professional, and embarked on an expensive masters degree. I’d also been working as a radio producer writing, producing, recording, and editing programmes (many of which are directly transferable to what I do now). It’s the thousands of hours I’ve to spend on and offsets, shooting, rigging, editing, grading, watching tutorials, reading manuals, and generally learning, that you’re paying for when you hire me. Not just my gear.

 

We didn’t even include the years of experience that each one of our wedding videographers has–including filming on movie sets, for the fashion industry and hundreds of other weddings to make sure he or she is a seasoned professional that can handle your wedding day. There is A LOT of pressure on this day because it’s a live event, and anything can happen.

 

Creativity, Skills and Talent

 

Equipment may be the most obvious reason for the high cost of videography. However, more importantly, it is really the creativity, skill, and talent of the videographer that must be given high regard. These are the essential aspects that go into producing your wedding video.

 

Keep in mind that when you hire a professional videographer who has a good work experience and has a number of credible recommendations, a significant portion of the price tag goes to his professionalism and talent. These are indispensable investments for an excellent wedding video. After all, what can top of the line equipment do for you when your videographer has no vision and the capacity to produce that vision?

If you’re looking for the best Video Company in Melbourne then look no further. Check out Vines of the Yarra Valley’s ultimate list. 

 

Freelance work

Videography, sound recording and editing are, for the most part, freelance work. That means that the day rates charged have to support the living expenses of the videographer while they look for work and on the unpaid days that will arise for even the most qualified and popular videographer. Like all freelance work, it’s paid at a slightly higher rate than full-time work, at least in theory. In practice, videographers work for below their official rates all the time – usually for charity campaigns etc. This places additional importance on being appropriately paid for professional work.

 

Is it worth paying for wedding videos

Labor

Producing your wedding video doesn’t begin and end on an actual day. Just as in any video production, there’s pre- and post-prod work that needs to be done to achieve quality output. Part of pre-prod is your initial engagement with your videographer where you discuss your wedding and how you want your video to be. It is basically doing the necessary research needed to prepare the content and look of the video.

 

Post-prod, on the other hand, is the editing work that enhances and weaves the raw footages with music and other effects into the excellent video that your videographer ultimately presents to you. On average, a videographer will spend 14 days to work on your video. So while you may only see your videographer in your initial meeting and the day of the wedding, he will actually be working for you for about two weeks. Your videographer might even need to hire added personnel to assist in shooting your wedding or to assist in the post-prod process.

 

Staff

Being a wedding photographer is relatively straightforward and can be done by one person. Properly capturing footage and sound for a wedding film takes more. At the very least, a wedding videographer will need a team of three people to capture the day properly. Two camera operators to capture the ceremony, speeches, prep and reception from multiple angles and someone to record the sound properly. Ideally, there will be another assistant responsible for carrying equipment and transferring the huge amounts of data from memory cards to hard drives and ensuring the data is backed up and safe. That £2500 looking so expensive now?

 

Additional Expenses

Other things can add to the cost of videography significantly, from additional staff (to provide B roll, sound recording, makeup, etc.), to equipment rental and transport. These costs vary by event, but they can mount up. They’re frequently invisible to the client, as they’re accounted for in the initial quote provided. Sometimes these costs are swallowed in order to help establish a working relationship, or just ease what can be an onerous burden – for example when shooting for artists or charities. In the end they still have to be paid. This may sound obvious – but it bears repeating: You wouldn’t ask a lawyer, builder, plumber or taxi driver to do their job for free. Why would videography be any different?

 

Advertising

A videographer who invests in quality advertising is more reliable than one who just waits for clients to call. When a videographer, or any wedding vendor for that matter, advertises their services, it means that he has faith in his work. The advertisements don’t even have to be in an expensive medium like TV as long as it has good quality. Videographers can post their ads on blogs or websites or also via social networking sites such as Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook.

 

Any of these promotional means require creativity and hard work for consistent presence and visibility to clients and to address inquiries. So look into the advertising channel or method that your videographer uses to help justify the costs. If there weren’t any advertising, you probably wouldn’t be able to contact him or at least consider him for the job in the first place.

 

While videography costs may seem like a large portion of your wedding budget, consider the value of the service and product you’re receiving. The cost of editing alone is more than what you’re spending!

 

Shopping for the best price is important, but as video becomes a more commonplace service, the public needs to know videos value and what goes into video work. Most people who film and edit video professionally are passionate about what they do and are probably not charging what they should as it is.

 

These are the investments you’re paying for in a professionally-produced wedding video. You should be talking to your videographer about these so that you feel secure about what you’re spending for. You can also request for a breakdown of the charge rate so that you know how much goes to what. When you begin to understand what is going to be used for your wedding video, you get an assurance of the value of your every dime.

 

Hopefully, this gives a bit of context to videography pricing – and a hint as to what a great deal you’re getting when a professional does offer you a discount.

Baring in mind all of the above, videography in Ireland is incredible, arguably unsustainable, cheap. 

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