Why does wedding videography cost more than wedding photography?

In short, wedding videography requires more creative effort than wedding photography. Producing a 5-minute wedding highlights video requires a lot more work than producing tens or even hundreds of edited wedding photos. Neither job is harder, more important or more creative, it’s just that the process of making a video is longer and requires more creative labour.

At a glance, there are similarities between a videographer’s and photographer’s work. The two professionals will use industry-standard recording equipment (camera, lenses, etc.) of a similar price range. Both will get hired for the entire wedding day, i.e., for the same amount of hours. At work, both will follow the principles of lighting and composition. At home, both will review the material and select the best shots. Both will colour correct and grade the shots to similar rules and methods. Both will deliver digital end products via the web, at the least.

The difference in creative effort becomes clear when comparing the storytelling aspect involved in the two. Although there is a significant amount of storytelling involved in wedding photography, it’s much less than in videography. A videographer is also a video editor who must not only review and colour correct his best shots, but also arrange them in a meaningful way that tells a story. The sequence of shots (approx. 30 shots per minute) must be carefully cut to hand-picked music that the videographer purchased after a few hours of searching. The audio of key soundbites from the ceremony and speeches must also be included, enhanced and mixed with the main soundtrack. All of these require extra time and creative thinking which must be reflected in a videographer’s rates.

Secondly, wedding videographers charge more because their editing computer is more expensive to own or hire. Video editing requires a faster processor and graphics card as well as more RAM and hard disk space than photo editing. The more powerful the computer, the higher its cost. Editing a video on a photography PC is possible but inefficiently slow. Whereas, the opposite (editing photos on a video PC) will be a breeze. To remain productive, wedding videographers must therefore invest more money in computing hardware than photographers need, and subsequently charge more for their services.

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