Why You're More Than Just a Wedding Videographer

Make no mistake, I love creating wedding videos. And it just so happens that I do them well. But, I don't consider myself a wedding videographer, and today I want to share with you 3 reasons why you shouldn't call yourself a wedding videographer either if you film weddings for a living.

1. You're downplaying what you have to offer by calling yourself a wedding videographer

Back when I was in film school, the kids I found myself around didn't call themselves "filmmakers". They considered themselves "artists". At the time, it sounded pompous, even down right arrogant. But it stuck with me and now I realize they were right. Here's why.

 
My NYFA Class of '12

My NYFA Class of '12

 

My training in film school allowed me to see the many facets of filmmaking. From mixing sound, fixing lights, running cables, building cameras, editing scripts to a plethora of other things that need to happen in order for a film to be made, New York Film Academy (NYFA) made sure we got a taste of it all.

Suddenly, I found out there's more to being a filmmaker than just grabbing a camera and calling action. I realized that the sound guy is considered a filmmaker too. The gaffer also considers himself a filmmaker. The script supervisor? No doubt. And so is the kid running down the block with the jug of coffee.  Then what's the difference between someone who has a vision/direction for a final product and someone who's writing notes on whether the actor had the cup in his left hand or right hand? The difference is that the one with the vision is the artist.

An artist sees the finished piece well before he/she even makes a single, brush stroke. A camera operator doesn't.

If you just call yourself a wedding videographer, you are actually discounting the amount of work you do as an artist. You're also telling your clients that you don't offer anything more than what's at face value. I'll elaborate more on this in a bit.

"An artist sees the finished piece well before he/she even makes a single brush stroke."

2. Be Weary of those who call themselves a wedding videographer

Type in the words, "Orange County Wedding Videographers" and Google will return over 100,000 search results in a matter of seconds.

As a professional making wedding videos for a living, the most obvious title one could give oneself is obviously the title, wedding videographer. And they would be correct.

The problem is most wedding videographers I've come across show up with a tripod in the back and call it a day. Some of the more decent wedding videographers will film with a separate camera up front as well but nothing that is in the realm of spectacular. Why would anyone be surprised. They're wedding videographers.

You probably want to do so much more than just show up with a tripod or get a close up and go home. This doesn't feed your soul. It doesn't do it for me.

So, if you're anything like me, you're probably meeting with your clients on more than just one occasion, discussing not just a few details of the wedding but really getting to know more about the couple and what truly makes this wedding unique.

We want to tell ourselves that every wedding is special but that couldn't be further from the truth. Most weddings are the same. The difference is an artist can make it more than the sum of its parts.

Here's a small, non-exhaustive list of what an artist does that the wedding videographer does not do.

  • request a copy of the toast from the wedding party
  • request a copy of the vows form the couple
  • pre-interview the parents of the the bride/groom
  • pre-interview the wedding party/close friends
  • location scout
  • tech scout
  • create a shot list
  • draw a floor plan
  • storyboard
  • research temp music
  • shoot location b-roll in advance
  • pre-lighting
  • you get the point

Brides should also be weary of those who call themselves wedding videographers because a wedding videographer won't do all of the above. A wedding videographer also won't go above and beyond what is expected, which brings me to my next point.

3. Your clients don't want you to be a wedding videographer

When you sit down with a potential client for the very first time, chances are they have already seen your work and like what you have to offer. What they're trying to do is get a feel for what it will be like to work with you.

This is your time to show them what you can do for them as an artist and help them solidify their decision to hire you.

Simply explain to them what the difference is between an artist and a wedding videographer and a light bulb will go off in their head. All of a sudden, like the epiphany I had when I realize the difference between a crew member and an artist, they'll understand why your videos are different and why they liked your work.

"Brides take over when they don't have confidence in the person in charge."

As an artist, you're helping them make decisions that they can't make on their own. They'll not only love you for it but they will have all the confidence in you to let you do what you do best,  to be that artist they hired you to be.

There you have it, my top three reasons why you shouldn't label yourself a wedding videographer. If you haven't already, sign up for our email list to keep up on how to become a better artist and follow us on social media to see what we're up to. I promise you won't be disappointed.

-Michael