When it comes to weddings, videography is still a new kid on the block. Some wedding traditions have been around for thousands of years. Though wedding videography can be traced to the earliest days of filmmaking, the wedding videography industry didn’t get started until the 1980’s when camcorders became available.
Back in 2006, Wedding & Event Videographers Association International (WEVA) announced a survey of brides. They found out:
- “Ninety-eight percent of surveyed newlyweds recommended that brides have their weddings videotaped.”
- Only “a little more than half of surveyed brides considered wedding video a “Top 10” service in comparison to other wedding-related services. However, after the wedding, that number climbs to 75%.”
- “Of surveyed brides, 38% did not have their weddings videotaped by anyone – amateur or professional…Sixty-three percent of them now either somewhat or strongly recommend that future brides hire a professional videographer.”
Reaching Further Back
It seems as if people have always wanted to document weddings. Historically, that has had a lot to do with political alliances and financial arrangements, so commemoration of a union often took the form of contracts and church records Ironically, as the political and financial need for marriage has lessened and courtship has become more focused on the romantic side of things, people seem more interested than ever in weddings – and in capturing the details of the day.
There was a time when anyone who wanted to capture a wedding visually had to hire an artist to paint, etch or draw it. Since most people didn’t have the financial means to do that, wedding portraiture was pretty much left to royalty and the wealthy, most of whom were royalty or some sort. Then came the camera. Over a relatively short period of time, photography went from obscurity to great accessibility. Modern development of photography began in the 1800’s and by the 1950’s, even if you couldn’t afford a photographer for your big day, you probably knew somebody with a Brownie Hawkeye who could take a snapshot of you.
Fast forward to 2006, WEVA’s 2006 survey says, “Ninety-eight percent of brides surveyed used the services of a professional photographer compared to only 29% for professional video services.” By 2014, Bride’s Magazine says, “If there’s one thing that wedding planners all agree on, it’s this: make sure you capture your big day on video.” The bottom line is that wedding videography is catching up with wedding photography. Furthermore, “As a nation, the U.S. watched, or started to watch, 38.2 billion videos in Q2 2014, that’s an increase of 43% year-on-year,” according to Adobe. That’s market-ese for digital is overtaking all other forms of visual media.
So think about those sepia-toned photos taken of your great (or great-great)grandparents. Aren’t those quaint? Would you consider sitting stone still for several minutes while a primitive camera captured a grim-faced photo of you. The pictures had to be grim-faced, because no one could hold a smile for as long as it took for the picture to develop in the camera.
Twenty years ago, wedding albums were huge leather books with strategically arranged cut-outs into which professional photographers would slide your photos. Now more than likely, a wedding album is a unique digital creation, not a fancy photo album with sterile blanks.
What do you think the future holds? Twenty years from now will people hire photograhers for their wedding? Will the videographer and the photographer be the same guy? Is another technology just around the corner that will make both photography and videography obsolete?
Whatever the technology might be for capturing and recording events, if history is any indicator, weddings are here to stay.