Hey for those of you who already got married and got your video back from your videographer, did they also give you the raw material? Or was it just the edited video that includes only the highlights???
It depends on your contract! In my contract with my videographer, they will provide the raw footage, along with a highlight video and a full length video. If you find a videographer whose videos you like, definitely ask them to include the raw footage! Some will include it free, others will charge you.
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If you want the raw footage and your contract doesn't say anything about the raw footage being included, definitely reach out to the videographer to ask if that can be added! They'd usually be willing to accommodate that request (sometimes at a fee).
Raw footage was an item that we could add on to our package. It was free but we did have to provide a drive with enough storage to cover it. I don’t think most videographers automatically provide it, though.
With that said, we intentionally chose a videographer that provided raw footage. We personally decided to pass on having a full edit since we were able to have the raw footage. We figured we would watch a highlight video a lot more than the wedding in its entirety. At this point I feel like we made the correct call. We have watched the highlight video many, many times but we haven’t even watched our raw footage once. I am glad that we have it, though and I imagine we will watch it at some point. Every couple is different, though…just make sure that all of your “must haves” are covered.
Our contract states that we receive all raw footage. Tbh, I thought it was silly and didn’t even want it, but after hearing others’ experiences here on WW, I decided to go ahead and get it. If you want the raw footage and it is not accounted for in your contract, definitely reach out to your videographer. There may be a small increase in fee to get it, in order to cover the cost of a large memory flash drive, but I wouldn’t think it would be anything significant.
I was told that raw footage isn't really "watchable". It's meant for editing later on if you decide to have someone edit it. Instead of raw footage, my photographer is including edited videos of the ceremony, first look, speeches, first dance and parent dances, cake cutting, and any other major moment that we want captured in full. These are all uploaded with our highlight video into a Google Drive folder that we can download from and share with others. This was something I asked every videographer about because it was more important to me than the highlight video. I reached out to over 25 videographers and had them price that out for me because sometimes it's an extra fee.
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The raw footage is every minute of video they recorded, and none of it is edited or organized. If the camera is recording, that will be included in what they give you for raw footage. So if they were recording for 8 hours at your wedding, you will have 8 hours of raw footage (or possibly up to 16 hours of raw footage, if the videographer is using two video cameras).
My husband's videography business, raw footage is an extra fee. This is primarily for integrity, actually; the charge is to discourage people from wanting it. I will explain why.
You book A Great Video Company for your wedding. You get their edited video, which is of course to their standards, and the raw footage as well. You watch the raw footage and decide that there are clips in there that you want in your video - even though there is probably a reason they weren't included (such as poor exposure, bad angle, shaky, doesn't fit in the edited film, etc.) You figure you're good enough with iMovie, or you have a friend who knows how to drop clips into Adobe Premiere, so you make a new video. You post it on social media. People know you hired A Great Video Company, and will associate this new video - which may not be all that great, even if it makes you happy - with the company.
And even if you have a professional edit it, that person is not someone who filmed it. They know nothing about the source material. Videographers film things in a way that best supports their creative process, and you're going to hand that over to someone with a totally different process. It's like handing someone a half-finished story they didn't initially write and telling them to write the ending. Game of Thrones showed how well that works out.
I, personally, don't think anyone should get raw footage. Your photographer doesn't include every out-of-focus, poorly-framed, or otherwise subpar shot in your wedding album, and you aren't concerned that you're missing out on something because of it. I've also never heard of anyone who wanted every photo a photographer took on their wedding day. It is widely accepted that photographers take a crap ton of photos that are not good, and they leave the subpar ones "on the cutting room floor." Let your videographer do the same. If you want more than the highlight reel, book the edited versions of your full ceremony, speeches, dances, etc. These are still usually not as pretty or polished as the highlight reel, but they will give you everything that matters without the five seconds they were readjusting the camera here and the couple of seconds they were changing focus here and so on.
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You make very valid points about people doing their own editing and posting things! I had never even thought of that before. We are getting the raw footage (at no extra charge) in addition to the short edited highlight video, as well as an edited 60-90 min video. Our videographer offers the raw footage free of charge as just a standard part of all their packages. Tbh, I wasn’t even going to take the raw footage because I didn’t see a point in it. But then I heard so many people say sweet or funny moments were captured on the raw footage that didn’t make the edited video, but meant so much to them. After hearing those stories several times, we decided to take the raw footage after all. I have no interest in editing the original work or adding things in from the raw footage, but definitely wanted to see all those little moments that didn’t make it into the final product. Sometimes it’s the smallest things that mean so much to you, but would never be some thing a videographer would know. For instance, your grandmother “booping” your grandfathers nose. It may seem like nothing to the person taping it, but it could be something very meaningful and special that you will cherish once those people have passed. I recently lost a very close friend, and have come to realize how important even the tiniest (seemingly meaningless things at the time) mean so much once that person is gone.
What you mentioned is exactly why we chose to pay for raw footage with the rest of our package. Honestly, because neither of us care a ton about the social media aspect, we really only cared about getting raw footage because they'll be able to capture small moments that we'll likely miss due to being busy. I don't care if anyone else sees them or if they're not perfectly framed. We collectively lost half of our surviving grandparents in a 6 month period last year, so we've both gotten pretty sentimental over those small things.
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So sorry to hear about your grandparents. I know exactly what you mean though. After losing someone close to me, I have become very sentimental about pictures and videos. And I’ve come to realize that some of the most meaningful ones I have are the unstaged and imperfect ones.
Daughter's videographers included all raw footage and an edited video. Their video is beautiful, but the raw footage is priceless -- to them and us (I cannot imagine anyone else sitting through 6+ hours of raw footage though... ). The raw footage has both video and live audio, so it includes background conversations, the live music during the dancing, etc.; it really provides a "fly on the wall" perspective of the day that is very special. The highlight video includes things like their vows and excerpts from the toasts, but not any other "live" audio -- it's a beautifully EDITED video set to a music track. Both have a lot of value. As a pp mentioned the raw footage takes a LOT of memory.