Is Raw Wedding Footage Worth the Cost?

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Is Raw Wedding Footage Worth the Cost?

So, many wedding videographers offer what’s called “raw footage” as an upsell within the wedding video services that they provide, I myself, offer this footage to couples that might want to get a copy of everything of the wedding day.

Today, I want to better explain what couples are getting when they purchase it and give you my thoughts on even purchasing it.

What Raw Footage is

First, raw footage, well what is it? A lot of couples believe that what they are getting in a complete file from start to finish and it includes everything of the wedding day. Well, that’s not the case, perhaps when we still had videotape from about 15-20 years ago.

Today, when we record a clip, it could be just a few seconds long, like a clip of your wedding rings, maybe the bride doing her hair, or it could be 30 minutes long like a wide angle shot of the ceremony. Depending on how many videographers or filmmakers you hire, the number of cameras they use and how much stuff goes on during the wedding, you could see 300-500+ clips easy.

Raw footage is literally a copy of what each camera, drone, audio recorder and microphone recorded throughout the day. When you get raw footage, you must clip on each file to open it up and watch it.

Many times, we may gather a couple from different angles or different passes for various reasons, maybe its too dark, maybe its out of focus and the like, but they could be shots that you simply don’t see.

You in theory could watch the ceremony from one of the many camera angles, although you won’t get a clean audio feed most times and you’ll also see parts where cameras are out of focus, moving to frame shots, etc.

What Raw Footage is Not

Raw Footage is not a separate video, rather that collection of videos we talked about. It’s everything unedited, the good, the bad and the ugly too.

Some videographers will offer it for a charge, sometimes ranging in the $500-$1,000 range. I myself offer raw footage but for just $105, enough to cover a drive and my time. Some companies won’t even sell you the footage no matter what, it’s just a personal preference honestly.

Don’t expect to sit at the computer or TV with a bowl of popcorn and expect to be entertained honestly. Perhaps the best way to think of raw footage it much like baking a cake. You can purchase all the ingredients to make the cake, but until it’s put together and cooked, it doesn’t appeal to your stomach let alone to look at much on the counter.

Well raw footage is the same, it’s the raw ingredients that help build that ceremony video or feature film.

So, do a lot of people purchase raw footage?

Not normally, no. I myself will hold onto the footage for 90 days before removing it from my system. Most times it’s a family member, like mom that want all the footage. I’d say each year, I may sell one, perhaps two copies of the raw footage.

Some couples that get a ceremony video and a reception video may want raw footage also, but honestly, they’re already getting 95% of everything anyway, that other 5% is just footage where nothing happens of as I said before, bad clips that are not usable.

Basically, if you purchase raw footage, don’t expect it to be anything like a feature film or ceremony edit. It’s just a bunch of clips recorded that are used to create the videos that friends, family and loved ones will see.

In my opinion, raw footage is not worth the added costs most times.