Wedding Cinematography

Like no other you captured her heart; and like no other we’ll capture it on film™

It may be the only time in your life where you have this many friends and family all in one place for you.  It’s a day you’ve spent months if not years planning for.  And when the cake has been eaten, the last candle has gone out, and the guests have all gone home, you’re left with the person you’ve chosen to spend the rest of your life with.  And if you’re lucky… it was all captured on film – in the same breathtaking way.

At Imagination Designers, our award-winning cinematic wedding films not only capture every moment, but capture the beauty, emotion, and excitement of the day in an artistic story-telling experience.  We draw upon our vast filmmaking experience outside the genre of just weddings; infusing creativity and a fresh perspective.  Our international cinematography journeys have helped us to better understand different cultures and become better storytellers.  Our music degrees make us extra sensitive to the power of the soundtrack and even allows us to score it from within using our own Hollywood credited composer.  Our award-winning audio mastering assures you that the audio we get is polished and clear as it can be.  But most importantly, it is our passion for people and the important trust that they have in us to tell their story that drives us everyday.  We love to make films, and we love to hear how couples and all their friends and family feel after they watch them.  So take a look at some samples in our latest blog posts.  And ask yourself how you feel afterwards.  What is Cinematography?  We’re pretty sure you’ll feel it when you see it, but we’ll take a “shot” at it and make some important distinctions along the way in explaining what it is that we do.

Photography vs. Cinematography

This is not a segment about which one you should choose.  There shouldn’t be a vs. here, just an and.  Think about it, the two things that are yours after the wedding are your photos and your video.  For most couples starting their wedding planning journey, many times video is low on the priority list; but we’ve never met a couple that didn’t have it right at the top afterwards.  It’s an investment for a lifetime, not one day, and that’s how we treat it.  And if it’s done right, it’ll be something you’ll be proud and excited to share with everyone in your life over and over again for years to come.

The Cinematographer and the Photographer approach shooting on the wedding day very similarly, especially if the Photographer shoots in a photojournalistic style.  They might even have similar lenses.  But that’s usually where the similarities end.  Cinematographers are also concerned about audio, and constantly thinking about piecing things together shooting for a cinematic story, not just documenting a day.  Hiring a professional photographer that fits your style is very important, but it should not stop there.  Imagine a book without words, a “picture only” book of the most important day of your life.  For a great photographer, a picture truly can say 1000 words, but obviously there are no stories, no conversations, no blessings, no jokes, no running tears, no cheers, no motion, and no emotion of the sounds of vows being exchanged.  When you look back, how will you want to remember the best experience of your life?

Videography vs. Cinematography

One catches Grandma on tape, the other “somehow” captures the twinkle in her eye and the resulting tear in yours in the way it’s put together.  One of them you’ll watch many years later when you play it a second time; the other will be played, shared, and enjoyed by friends and family, over and over again – all before the first anniversary.

Why?  The journey to these two completely different places is the accumulation of literally a thousand different moves and choices added up throughout your day and throughout the months it’s edited.  All professional videographers with a lot of experience in shooting weddings are able to think on their feet, anticipate events, and be at the right place at the right time, but these differences go way beyond that.

We believe there are a lot of misconceptions out there in terms of what you’re getting when you hire a video professional for your day.  It’s easy to compare price, coverage, and how many DVDs you get, but much harder to compare the more subjective items (ultimately what you are really paying for).

The easiest classification and distinction in the wedding industry to see and understand is the difference between Videography (a historical time-lined documentation of your day) and Cinematography (an artistic story-based movie-going experience).  Many people immediately think the differences are solely in the shot making, after all the award category for this is indeed called Cinematography at the Oscars, Golden Globes, etc…  So most of us (rightfully so) think of breathtaking, beautiful shots when we think of Cinematography; but Cinematography as a high-end wedding genre of filmmaking is so much more than sweeping shots and artistic camera angles.  With that being said, we would be remiss if we didn’t talk about the differences in the shooting and the equipment.

The Cinematographer has a lot more tools in their “shooting” toolbox than the trusty tripod or the “Swiss Army Knife” camera. For example, instead of using that camera with the “one size fits all” lens, a Cinematographer typically will use a “cinematic” camera and may easily have 10 or more high quality cinematic lenses on hand to shoot a wedding, all with a special purpose to better bring out certain nuances and subtleties within the story.  The Cinematographer also has extra tools in the toolbox such as jibs, dollies, and steadicams, etc.  But with all the extra choice comes exponentially more options, so experience and planning ahead is so crucial here.  It can be paralysis by analysis really fast at a live event where “extra time” doesn’t exist.  A good videographer who offers videography keeps it simple for a good reason.  They are paid to show up and document the day.  There’s an old saying in sports (and perhaps in life), play within yourself.  So while Cinematography may cost more overall, behind the scenes it easily makes sense “why” on the day of the wedding.  But the “day of” for a Cinematographer is all about the preparation beforehand.  And preparation is certainly not limited to equipment, but getting to know who the couples really are.  After all, if you’re putting together a movie, doesn’t the Director need to know who the “Characters” are beforehand?

With Cinematography, the amount of time spent after the wedding in post-production can be astronomical.  Whether it’s signal processing equipment to polish things on the audio side or color correction and grading on the visual side, these things support what may be the most challenging of all – creating a great story from everything that was planned and captured.  A Videographer puts all the main events on a timeline as they happened, so they’re not paid to be a storyteller.  Good Cinematographers, on the other hand, use their artistic liberty to create impact and are not bound by the timeline but find ways to better use it.  In fact, they are story finders that create wall-to-wall interest throughout; perhaps discovering new angles, moments, and depth to be shared in a rich and dynamic motion picture.

If Videography and Cinematography are both important to you, in other words, and you want the artistic and need the historical, the good news is that there are companies (like us) that offer both.  After all, both styles serve a purpose.

Cinematography vs. Cinematography

There is no rating agency, or standardized way to compare wedding film companies.  Even awards can be misleading for some people because often they are based on how satisfied the clients are afterward.  A couple with a $5,000 product does not have the same expectations as the $500 product, rather both know what they are getting beforehand, and were pleased with the outcome afterward.

Between Videography and Cinematography lies the vast gray area in-between.  Some call this the “Storytelling” genre; others may call it confusing since there’s a lot of mixing of the two.  There are also a lot of buzzwords thrown around that may or may not truly reflect the end product.

Let the work tell you what it is.

For example, you might come across a wedding film with great looking visuals but there’s nothing that’s captivating beyond that.  We believe that true Cinematography is not something captured on a camera and simply set to music – rather, that’s called a “montage”.  In contrast you may run across a good story that you may feel lacks the shot making to support it.  And although we wouldn’t call this Cinematography either, there are a lot of styles out there that can fit for certain people… and there’s no one company that fits perfectly for everyone.  So the important thing to do is watch a lot of examples of the short AND longer-form videos (feature films) to figure out what style you enjoy the most.  And if documentary edits are part of the package, watch those too!

The best Cinematographers put it all together, from getting to know you in the beginning of the process, to being easy-going, unobtrusive and fun on the big day, to creatively challenging themselves in post production.  As a result, it shows up in all of their work.  It’s no accident like dropping a song into a timeline over footage and hoping for the best.  Its a thousand different moves all added together and the end result is unmistakable.  The end result is a timeless work of art.

Packages start at $2,000. Custom packages are available, contact us for more information.