Do Wedding Videographers Provide Raw Footage?

Choosing the perfect wedding videography package can be a daunting task. Most videographers won't provide you with the raw images of your wedding day, but some may offer it as an “add-on”. In the world of production, these images can be purchased or licensed at a cost other than the production for which the cameraman was hired to film. The agreed service is usually a finished product and the rights to the images themselves legally belong to the person who “pulled the trigger”, unless otherwise signed in an agreement.

DVDs are still a popular method for delivering wedding videos, but most videographers now also offer HD digital movie files on USB sticks. It's perfectly fine to take raw images of your day and edit them later, but raw images are no substitute for a fully edited video. It becomes incredibly valuable when a family member dies and there are a couple of unused photos that can be found in the unprocessed images. If you're going to dedicate part of your photography budget to videography, you don't want your wedding video to sit on a shelf collecting dust.

Some brides come to me a year after their wedding and ask if I can create a featured video just of their reception, something that wasn't included in the package they chose. Lately I get a lot more requests for raw material, and that makes me really happy because I think it's a really smart decision for a bride. If you're going to invest in a cameraman to cover your entire wedding, you'll have enough material to condense it into a 20- to 30-minute film, so spend your time (and your money) on a skillfully edited video that your friends and family won't mind watching (and you'll have time to watch it over and over again).

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