Archive for December 2013

Last But Not Least.

December 3, 2013

by Roger Resler

I’m not usually a reader of the Huffington Post but an article posted there recently got my attention. In it, Kellee Khalil notes “3 Reasons Your Wedding Budget Should Include A Videographer.” Given the fact that I am a wedding videographer, it’s not terribly surprising that I wholeheartedly agree with Kellee. While we often think of Hollywood movie directors as being well-paid, glamorous and highly sought-after, Kellee hits the nail on the head when she points out that wedding videographers are “often dropped to the bottom of the have-to-have [wedding] vendor totem poll [sic].”  

Having been a wedding videographer for nearly a decade now, I have found that not only is a wedding videographer often relegated to the bottom of the “have to have” vendor totem pole, he or she may not even appear on the pole at all. I have to admit I’ve often wondered why – especially given the fact that I have never heard of a wedding where there was no still photographer. Going back to the Hollywood analogy, while still photos are certainly hot items for magazine articles, news shows and internet blogs; it’s the movie that makes the movie-star. So you’d think couples, who want to preserve memories, would want the same for their wedding. Some do. Many don’t. Why not? So far as I am aware there is no scientific data available to help answer the question, but here’s my somewhat educated guess.

For starters, aesthetics. When a bride… and let’s face it, it’s almost always the bride who’s into making wedding decisions… when a typical bride thinks about her wedding, she thinks about her dress, colors, flower arrangements, a beautiful setting and maybe sweet music playing in the background. She usually already has a fairly detailed image in her mind. That image is always a very beautiful scene that does not include video cameras, cranes, tripods and lights. So the equipment necessary to capture a wedding on video is not conducive to the beautiful image a bride has in mind for her wedding and in fact she may think it detracts from it.

Next: mood killer. Who wants a cameraman with a blinding bright light poking a camera in your face for hours on end on your wedding day?

Next: quality. While there are a number of great examples of really high-quality wedding videos available online these days, the image of the amateurish, shaky, blurry and poorly edited wedding video of bygone years is difficult to dispose of.

And finally: cost. Let’s face it, most wedding budgets are finite. Despite the exorbitant prices couples are paying these days for venues, dresses, catering and other “wedding necessities” budgets are often still tight. While a bride almost never thinks it is acceptable to cut a still photographer from the budget, many brides don’t think twice about cutting a videographer.

So that’s the reality we wedding videographers face. In my experience roughly 50% of couples want and budget for video. About 30% are pre-disposed against it, and the remainder could go either way.

So one might wonder why videographers get booked at all? It’s actually fairly obvious when you think about it. The point of hiring either a still photographer or a videographer is simply to capture memories. Still photos capture brief moments in time. True, they are often very beautiful moments, but they’re moments, nonetheless. When done right, video captures the entire wedding experience. It captures millions of pictures and the sound to go along with them. So you not only see a beautiful moving image of your tears as you were saying your vows, you also hear the sincerity in your spouse’s voice. You see and hear the cheers of your friends, you experience the emotion in your father’s speech and you very often see things you would have missed otherwise.

As Kellee points out in her article, those captured experiences are a time-capsule that can not only be re-experienced by the couple, but can also be enjoyed by family and friends who couldn’t make it to the wedding and even by future generations.

In many ways the analogy of wedding videographer to Hollywood movie director is seriously unfair. Give me a budget of $50,000,000, cast auditions, professional script writers, the perfect venue, ideal shooting conditions, custom wardrobe, months to shoot and two years to edit and I will produce the most amazing wedding video you’ve ever seen. In the real world, wedding videographers have one chance to get everything perfect regardless of whatever conditions we are shooting under. That’s why we do need multiple cameras, several microphones, tri-pods, lights and camera-cranes. We do our best to stay as unobtrusive as possible. And, even if I do say so myself, we often produce a pretty amazing product that  is highly valued by the couple for the rest of their lives and remains a family heirloom for generations to come.

Roger Resler is the founder of Arizona Wedding Video

“Because your wedding is not just another ordinary day.”

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