Savvy couples are always looking at ways to keep their wedding costs down. In recent years with the improvement in video tech and resolution, ‘photos from video’ has sprung up as a service. The idea being that you just hire a videographer to film your wedding, and then in post-production, they export single frames from the video, edit them and present them as your wedding photos.
You may be wondering if this is a good option and what are the pros and cons. Well read on!…
Pros of Photos from Video
1. Save money
Well duh! You don’t have to hire a photographer and that’s going to save you between 1-2k straight off the bat.
2. Save time
If you only have a videographer on your wedding day, then you can spend less time in front of the camera. You don’t need to chop and change between a photographer and a videographer whilst doing group shots and portraits for example. (Much of the rest of the day this wouldn’t make much difference though).
3. Better footage
If the videographer doesn’t have to take turns with a photographer, they can spend more time getting amazing footage of the 2 of you – footage that can also double up as a resource to take stills from.
4. Deal with fewer suppliers
It’s one less thing to think about and organise.
5. Potential for better moments captured
This is going to depend on a number of things, but the potential is there to be able to choose exactly which frame from a video clip is used for a still. When you’re capturing video at 60 frames per second, that’s a LOT of options.
Cons of Photos from Video
1. Lower resolution images
Photographers will typically use cameras with (way) more than 20 megapixels to create your photos. That’s a high resolution that allows for loads of detail. These photos are often also captured in RAW format, which gives them a much greater colour depth. Whilst it’s possible for video to be shot in 6K or 8K and also RAW, it’s still quite rare for videographers to have access to these cameras – and particularly at the higher frame rates they need to make everything look dreamy and gorgeous. Most of the time, you’d be looking at photos from a 4K video which is roughly 1/2 the resolution of a photo you would receive. Many videographers still shoot wedding videos in Full HD (half the size of 4K) so that’s not really suitable for creating wedding photos because of the resolution. Bottom line: photos are usually going to look sharper and more detailed than video stills. The higher resolution of photos means prints can be larger.
2. Motion Blur
In order to make video look natural, videographers use shutter speeds that create the amount of motion blur that our eyes are used to seeing. This can result in a great many of the frames of a video clip containing motion blur, which makes them unusable for photos. It’s true that the shutter speed can be increased to create sharper looking footage, but there’s a trade off – possible jittery looking footage. So at first you’d think that there is higher potential for being able to isolate exactly the moment you want for a still, but in practice motion blur reduces the options considerably.
3. Increased time in post production & therefore higher cost
It may cost less to commission photos from video, but the videographer will still need to spend more time going through all the footage to find suitable still frames to use, then export and edit them. This is a more time consuming process than simply editing photographs. The extra time involved in doing this also means that your video is delayed even more as the stills are prepared. You’ll wait longer for either the photos or the video.
4. Portrait orientation photos are limited
Your videographer is going to shoot everything in landscape orientation which means that they can’t compose portrait orientation images the way a photographer would. They can crop a still into portrait orientation but there are limits placed on this – it doesn’t always work compositionally because of the lenses and framing used.
5. Your videographer isn’t necessarily a photographer
Videographers make different choices to photographers. They don’t have the pressure of making a single frame do all the work. A photographer is going to compose and take better photographs than a videographer is going to capture with a video camera. Not always, but much of the time. Also, a videographer may not be as proficient at editing photos as a photographer is.
Generally, if you want better photos, it’s best to have a photographer. But if budget only permits one, you could go the video + photos from video route, sure!
My opinion is that it’s better when everyone does the job that they’re best at. So photographers for photos and videographers for video. God forbid that you get a photographer who also tries to shoot video at the same time! Why compromise the quality of your most treasured memories? You’re probably never going to get married again (I’ve got all my fingers crossed for you!) so to me, it’s a bit of a risk to go the photos from video route. They’re never going to be as high definition or as well captured as by a photographer, but I do understand the budgetary challenges that arise for couples. Only you can make the decision though. It’s cost vs quality and time.