As a wedding videographer, there are a number of questions that come up when consulting with future brides and grooms. One of the main topics that arises is about raw footage for wedding videography. Do we want it? Do we need it? That’s really all we need, right? My answer to all of those inquiries is usually no. In this post, I’ll cover all things raw footage and why you probably don’t need it.
First, let’s look at what raw footage for wedding videography really is. Basically, raw footage is just as it sounds, “raw.” It is a meal that has not yet been cooked. We always shoot weddings with at least three HD cameras, and the raw footage usually is between 60-80gigs (easily over 5 hours of footage). This footage contains everything from all angles of the ceremony – even those where Uncle Joe stands in front of the un-manned camera in the back – to the many attempts it takes to get the ring to roll just the right direction for the two rings to connect. Raw footage is often shaky because we try not to turn off our cameras when moving from one position to another – mostly so we don’t miss anything. It is not sequential, since we have clips from multiple cameras all capturing the same event. Raw footage is not color corrected, as that is a process that occurs in the editing room. And raw footage does not contain usable audio. To get the best sounding audio from toasts, speeches, vows, etc. we use professional audio recording devices that are completely separate from the video recording. Thus, a big part of the post-wedding editing involves syncing that professional audio with the raw footage. A major feat – but also a necessary one.
Do couples really need raw footage for wedding videography?
Honestly, unless one of them is a professional wedding video editor, I would say the answer is no. I cannot tell you how many times we’ve heard couples assume that the raw footage is simply one long video of the entire event. This is not true with any videography company unless they simply come equipped with one camera, sit in the back, and proceed to record the ceremony from that one position.
With my company, the editing of the videos is half of the art. Just as a chef would never hand customers a bucket of uncooked ingredients, we prefer not to hand our clients uncooked footage. Our editing process is an art form and we are skilled in determining which footage belongs where and how to tie everything together into a beautiful recap of your wedding day.
Overall, when considering a videography package for your wedding day, always trust the videographer to handle the raw footage. It will save you so much time and confusion. Not to mention, the end product will be well worth any extra cost.