Do I or Don't I: Week Three

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I’m sorry to say that we missed out on posting a blog last week, but today we continue with all things wedding videography and the possible services each videographer offers. Two weeks ago we discussed the potential need for multiple camera operators, and the week before that we discussed the pros and cons of the full wedding video. We’ve been saying the whole time that wedding videography is a service that often slips through the budget, which is what has prompted this particular blog series. We think that it’s important to break down some of the services and terms that you find in the wedding videography world with the hope that readers will better understand which wedding videography services best suit their big day.

This week we are tackling the request for the raw, unedited wedding footage. This is exactly what it sounds like; this is the footage without any color corrections, sound enhancements, etc. This is usually something you won’t see listed on any packages, but it is a question that we find ourselves asked from time to time.  

The Pros:

Seeing The Real Thing

While I am going to talk about the realities of raw, unedited footage below, I will admit that it is nice to see the real thing before clips are bladed and pieced together. If you are the kind of person who relishes in an authentic feeling, then you will probably enjoy seeing the raw, unedited footage, even with all of its quirks. Most people enjoy seeing the polished product with music and all the bells and whistles, but there is a certain appeal to seeing it just as it was.  

Ability to Craft Your Own Memory

I think it would be all too easy to dismiss the idea of asking for the raw, unedited footage. However, I will admit that if you work in a field involving video or have someone close to you who cannot be there that day but works in that field, the raw, unedited footage might be worth your time. It gives you the ability to craft your own memory, and if you have an editing skill set, I completely understand why the raw footage is wanted.

The Cons:

Sometimes Difficult to Obtain

So, while you might feel like you are paying your videographer just to capture the day, the truth is that you’re paying for more than that. You’re also paying for that videographer to put their sensibilities to work. Anyone can put a camera on a tripod, but you’re asking someone to capture every moment from the day and piece it together in a way that tells your story. For that reason, you might find a lot of videographers do not want you to have the raw, unedited footage from your day. They are your own personal storytellers in this sense, and they have an idea of what footage they are using as the day progresses. Editing these videos is part of their job, so don’t be surprised if they do not offer raw, unedited footage as an option.

Everything is Unrefined

So, as someone who edits video often, I can say that raw, unedited wedding footage may not be as exciting or glamorous as you would imagine. There is a reason we have an editing process. Excessive sunlight can make for some weird coloring. Night shots can make faces and expressions hard to discern. Voices are nearly impossible to hear until additional recordings are implemented. Someone tall can make a certain shot unusable unless we shift it and zoom in. The bottom line is that sometimes things just do not look as good without a little help, and unless you have someone who knows what they are doing with the footage, the raw footage may not be all it is cracked up to be.  

An Additional Cost

If you are able to find a videographer who does not mind giving you the raw footage, then I would guess there is an additional cost. The only way this would not exist is if you are only asking for raw footage without any further reels or polished videos. If that is the case, then I would try to find a highly qualified friend to help you out.

The Verdict:

So, is receiving the raw, unedited footage a “Do I” or “Don’t I”?

For the most part, receiving the raw, unedited footage is not really worth your time. It might be difficult to find someone willing to only give you the raw footage, and to be perfectly honest, you want someone experienced piecing together the footage for the most meaningful memento of your special day. However, if you work in video editing, then maybe you can strike a deal with someone.


Next week we’ll tackle one last common component of wedding videography, but if you have any questions about wedding videography, feel free to check out our website or email us at questions@thedigitalshore.com.

Mollie BeachComment