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Old May 2nd, 2014, 03:40 AM   #1
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Why do brides value photos more than video?

I think we often bemoan the fact that they do, but I don't know if we've ever squarely discussed why they do.

From a videographer perspective, it almost feels absurd. There seem to be lots of brides who wouldn't think twice about dropping 2,500, 3,500, 7,000, even 10,000 on a photography package, but begrudge spending, well, anything at all on video, though the videographer might be using a lot of the same techniques, getting a lot of the same shots, working a lot harder, spending a lot more time in post, spending a lot more money on gear, etc. I was reading a bridal review of an apparently well known photographer from San Francisco named Ben Chrisman, and this bride said she'd shifted the date of her wedding in order to make sure he could be there.

So... why the difference in perception?
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 04:20 AM   #2
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Re: Why do brides value photos more than video?

Its just the way it is Adrian, i think its just tradition that will not go away
Here is one for you!! I sent out 50 emails, 50 txt messages to clients last week, explained who we are and would they like a wedding video! ( If i say wedding video it is a simple saying, if i say wedding feature film/story they go (what??) Confusing yes, anyway.
Out of 100 messages i had at least 70 say! Oh i already have a photographer!! No i said would you like a wedding videographer!! What do you mean half of them said!! Now Adrian you tell me, some of them do not even know what a video o grapher is!!!
That is why on the day photogs get treated like royalty and we are just the VIDEO GUY.... Shucks...
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 05:49 AM   #3
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Re: Why do brides value photos more than video?

Hey Fellow Video Guys!

We are tough and suck it up so we don't mind being video guys! Look at it this way. When video was totally unpractical for weddings because of lighting and the fact you needed a trailer to tote the 1" reel to reel recorder with you, cameras could still do a pretty respectable image on film so they had quite a few years jump on us ... In those days you could ONLY have a photog!! As Steve says it's traditional as it was the only way to record your wedding a few decades ago. By the time VHS/Betamax/SVHS arrived cameras and prints were pretty fancy already (I was shooting 6x7 negs on a Mamiya RB67 camera and the resolution and dynamic range was stunning then, whilst VHS could barely resolve 200 lines on a CRT TV.

We will catch up in the end! I think we need to put our thinking caps on and find a term that brides will instantly recognise as moving pictures with sound rather than "Can you take a photo of us please" "It's a video camera !" I doubt whether many brides could spell videographer and now guys are talking about being cinematographers and producing cinematic wedding films ...no wonder brides have no idea what video is!!

There must be a simpler way to get the message across and start catching up with photogs??

Chris
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 06:04 AM   #4
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Re: Why do brides value photos more than video?

I too shot the RB67...once. It sounded like a cannon going off so I went back to my Graflex XL 6x7 rangefinder for ceremonies. :-)
Anyway I have heard this from brides so many times over the years I lost count..."but when would I watch a video" I am shaking my head even now. with the advent of smart phones, tablets and the small GoPro type camera I think there will be an increase in business but I DON'T think it will ever catch up with photography.
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 08:01 AM   #5
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Re: Why do brides value photos more than video?

Hi Don

I can just see all the young guns here scratching their heads and mumbling "What are these old coots talking about" There was no auto in those days ..on anything and before you took the next shot, yes you had to wind the film forward too!! Actually my very first was a Yashicamat 124G twin lens reflex that did 21/4" square negs and yes we also used black and white film AND we use to process the film (B&W, colour and transparencies) ourselves and print ourselves too!! In those days you worked for your money!!

A lot later I went the easier route and used 2 x 35mm bodies and used to buy bulk film and cram 40 exposures into a 35mm cassette!! That was a long time before digital anything!!!

I think the main issue with video was that it never made a serious dent in the wedding industry sadly and until cameras went full digital you never had a decent looking wedding video that would compare to broadcast TV that brides looked at.

Maybe Peter Riding has the right idea and offer video for free BUT advertise yourself as a photographer so you get in the bride's priority list early and then can do a combo package with both?

Chris
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 08:37 AM   #6
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Re: Why do brides value photos more than video?

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Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
Why do brides value photos more than video?
Because they can look at a photograph anytime they want, anywhere they want, and they can use their imagination to remember that day, that instant, any way they want to. They can take as long with it as they want. And it doesn't take any external equipment, like a TV. IOW, they can romanticize it as much as they want to.

A video requires that they sit down in front of the TV and watch. The video shows them, more or less, the actual events of the day, in the order they actually occurred, with the pacing that actually occurred. IOW, they see what was, not what they remember. And of course, they see it from your perspective, not their perspective.

I've had this discussion with a few brides, and this is the basics of what they told me.
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 09:56 AM   #7
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Re: Why do brides value photos more than video?

Chris,
I swear, I also had a Yashica twin lens, then got a Rolli twin lens cause the glass was superb. I also had my Nikon F's that I bought from the PX when I got to Vietnam and had them shipped home. It wasn't until about 76 or 77 that I started using the Nikons for weddings although I was using them for sports, news etc. I used the Graflex XL (6x7 format) for weddings, the Mamiya RB67 for studio work which I did a lot of, so I thought I had the gear I needed for the work I was doing. I found out I wasn't but I was able to get by.

TriX was my goto black and white film, Koda Color 100 was my goto color negative film and I used both Kodachrome and Ektachrome for transparency work. I would process a lot of the film myself except of course Kodachrome. That had to be sent to Kodak. Man we had some fun back then didn't we.

I too used bulk film loads. I had a auto winder bulk film back for the Nikons. Up to 250 frames. Wow! Almost like shooting video. lol! I used it for sports almost exclusively. I loved those cameras.
I found my old portfolio, not weddings but some other stuff I did.
Maybe one day I'll put some of it up on a site. Maybe! ;-)

Ah, The good old days right?!
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 04:01 PM   #8
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Re: Why do brides value photos more than video?

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Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
Because they can look at a photograph anytime they want, anywhere they want, and they can use their imagination to remember that day, that instant, any way they want to. They can take as long with it as they want. And it doesn't take any external equipment, like a TV. IOW, they can romanticize it as much as they want to.

A video requires that they sit down in front of the TV and watch. The video shows them, more or less, the actual events of the day, in the order they actually occurred, with the pacing that actually occurred. IOW, they see what was, not what they remember. And of course, they see it from your perspective, not their perspective.

I've had this discussion with a few brides, and this is the basics of what they told me.
Funny, I was actually just thinking this. They can pull out their wedding album, and view it for a minute, or 20 minutes. Skip from the Formal, to the bridal party easily. Video requires an hour to watch, FFWD, RWD etc, and its storytelling, not just it.Plus I think couples want the one or two perfect photographs they love that they place in their picture frame and place in the house once or twice. My parents still have theirs.
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 07:56 PM   #9
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Re: Why do brides value photos more than video?

Hi David

With portable media now it IS getting better! You still have to go and find the album, blow off the dust and page thru the sections but yes it is quicker. However in the old days all you had was a VHS tape so that means turning on the TV and VCR and putting in the tape and watching a whole hour, Nowdays with tablets and even photo frames and menu driven wedding videos you can almost access, lets say, the ceremony , on a tablet ... however it's still quicker to look thru 10 album pages with ceremony photos than physically watch a 20 minute ceremony.

Hmm maybe we should start supplying a tablet with a multi menu wedding video already loaded (break down the ceremony into entrance, intro,vows, register, exit) and we almost have an instant wedding view (speed up the video 2X if you really want to)

Seriously guys if people are shying away from video due to the inconvenience of accessing it, an android 10" tablet now days costs less than dinner for two at MacDonalds and would certainly make watching your wedding as easy as looking at your album.

Chris
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 08:14 PM   #10
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Re: Why do brides value photos more than video?

I think ease of access and sharing is definitely one reason brides value photos over video; functionality of displaying on mantelpiece, bedside table, work desk, computer screensaver etc is another.

But I think it's more than just functional, practical considerations. I mean, I personally never look at old photos. Life goes on; who has the time? I like having them; I like the idea that I could look at them if I wanted; but there's always something more interesting in the present to occupy my attention.

So I can't help feeling that it's not just functionality -- that it's intangible stuff, like brides valuing the skill of the photographer more, and having more pride in possessing a good wedding photo (regardless of whether they ever actually look at it).

To the extent that that's true, I think maybe video could close the gap a little. After all, there are already cultures and countries (like the Philippines) where video, particularly the showy kind, is more valued, obsessed over, wanted.
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 09:09 PM   #11
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Re: Why do brides value photos more than video?

Over the years one of my mantras and something I asked brides and grooms was this;
"If you could look at your grandparents wedding album or could watch a video of their wedding and could only choose 1...which would YOU choose?"

almost 100% of the time, they would say the video. I would ask why? They would answer, "Because I could hear their vows"

Now that did not translate into signing 100% of the couples I met with but it seems that a lot of people really do want video but come up with all kinds of silly rationals to NOT get it. It's never made sense to me and now that I'm on the outside (retired) it really makes even less sense to me but you will always have those that for reasons only known to them, opt out.

All you can do as a professional in this industry is to continue to try to make the best video you can regardless of whether you do cinematic style or documentary style, short form or long form or any combination, DVDs, Blueray or on their website or tablets. Do you level best each and everytime you shoot a wedding. That's all you can do and for those you pitch to and they don't go along with the program, forget them. Remember some will, some won't so what...who's next!
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 10:45 PM   #12
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Re: Why do brides value photos more than video?

Agreed Oh wise one... that is quite true.

My thinking IF the bride was using the accessibility issue was : With photos, an album is rarely used now, it's more than often a coffee table book, easy to pick up and access and look at without scratching around in the attic for one's wedding album. If the bride was given a tablet (which could also sit on the coffee table) and that held both the wedding video AND if required, the photos then access is just as easy with no turning on the TV and looking for a DVD. One would still obviously give them disks to watch on TV!

I have a mate actually who we are visiting tomorrow, and in his dining room he has a photo frame that he runs almost all the time when he has guests (his has just photos on it) and guests always seem to love it.

I'm sure brides still think in the terms of "if I have to watch my wedding then that means inconvenience and disruption of what the visitors/friends while you set up the TV, dim the lights and all keep quiet"

Surely a self running photoframe or similar would kill all these myths about it being a pain to watch your wedding? Is there anything else I have missed that makes photos in hard copy an easier option?

Chris
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Old May 3rd, 2014, 12:37 AM   #13
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Re: Why do brides value photos more than video?

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Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
Is there anything else I have missed that makes photos in hard copy an easier option?
If I had to guess: Resolution & Permanence
I'll take my beautiful bride in our photo album, or hanging over our fireplace in glorious sharpness and detail over our SD video any day. I can touch it, feel it, hold it, unlike an image on TV.

And when I do want to watch our wedding again, I only need close my eyes and re-play the tape in my head.
(Of course this does no good for anyone else that wants to watch the video) ;-)
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Old May 3rd, 2014, 05:03 AM   #14
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Re: Why do brides value photos more than video?

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I'll take my beautiful bride in our photo album, or hanging over our fireplace in glorious sharpness and detail over our SD video any day. I can touch it, feel it, hold it, unlike an image on TV.
Photo's can be ever present hanging on the wall what you cannot achieve with video, that's a fact but video will add another dimension photo's can never touch, which is sound. A few years back I transfered 18 year old footage from a cassette to my pc when my second daughter was born, that footage had been collecting dust for all that time. My first daughter was 2 at that time and spoke to me off screen while I was shooting her new sister and hearing her speak in my headphone while I was monitoring the audio made the tears run freely, something the pictures from that time could never do. I totally forgot how she sounded at that age, something you can't just recall by closing your eyes and replay a memory in your head.
Real emotion can only be captured on tape, a photo will only be a snapshot where you have to use your own imagination to fill in the blanks, video does that for you, it depends what you find more important.
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Old May 3rd, 2014, 06:31 AM   #15
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Re: Why do brides value photos more than video?

Originally Posted by Don Bloom
Is there anything else I have missed that makes photos in hard copy an easier option?

Vince,

I didn't ask that question. As a former still guy I think I know the answer to that one. At least I think I do.
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