Should I Ask My Wedding Videographer for RAW Footage?
3 things to consider and know about RAW footage before asking for it
What is RAW footage?
The technical definition of RAW Footage according to Techopedia is the crude output of a video or still camera recording. It is the unprocessed data from a camera’s image sensor. Since it is raw or unrefined, the footage remains as it was captured.
Basically, RAW footage is the video straight from the videographer’s camera. It is not just one video of the entire day and is not a substitute for a fully edited video. Every time the videographer starts and stops recording, a new video clip is created which could result in hundreds of clips.
The result for you would be to receive hundreds, if not thousands of gigabytes of data that most computers aren’t able to open without further processing which is why a professional editing software is so critical for taking the RAW files and creating usable footage.
What does RAW footage look like?
RAW footage generally looks dull. Dull in terms of color and style. This isn’t to intentionally prevent the couple from wanting the RAW Footage files but to provide flexibility in editing for the Videographer to produce a desired result.
The audio is typically recorded separately on an audio recorder which means that the RAW footage from the camera would not capture the audio used in the final video. This might seem silly but the reason for this is because the camera is usually too far away from the people talking to be heard well. This is why a videographer uses a lavalier mic and recorder to record audio separately.
These audio files are separate from the video files and are synchronized by the videographer while editing the final video. So if you are just watching each RAW video, it will either not include audio or it would sound too distant to hear.
Do I really need the raw footage from my wedding?
The question to ask yourself is, “What are we going to do with the RAW footage?” There are only two reasons that I could think of to ask for RAW footage. Either you have plans to edit the files or you want to archive them.
If you’re wondering why they aren’t included automatically from your videographer, a good analogy is to think of a chef that has just cooked your meal. They wouldn’t serve your fully prepared meal and then also hand customers a bag of uncooked ingredients and utensils. At times though, there are special moments that were captured on the wedding day that didn’t make it into the final video due to the video being out of focus, not framed well, or didn’t fit the story of the final product.