What is RAW Footage and Why You Might Not Want it Like You Think You Do


We get asked if we provide RAW footage (for video) a lot. The short answer is no. But because we don’t want to leave you hanging, we jotted down some notes on why you might not actually want RAW footage like you think you do.

So what exactly is RAW Footage?

A common misconception is that RAW footage is the longer version of the clips in your wedding video — clips that would be fun to sit and watch through. Other times, couples may think it’s a “documentary style edit”, where you can sit and watch the ceremony and reception chronilogically from start to finish.

In reality, it is quite the opposite. Raw footage is exactly how it sounds: RAW. Our best analogy? It’s like a meal that hasn’t yet been cooked.

If you want to get to the nitty gritty of it, then here are some detailed descriptions of what raw footage is. It is unedited clips that aren’t color corrected (we do that in post-production). It is also shaky (we’re probably running from one spot to the next with our cameras on to make sure we don’t miss anything). It also doesn’t have usable audio (this is professionally recorded separately and synced into the video…TA DA! The magic of editing!). Sometimes, we may station a camera and then Uncle Bob unknowingly stands in front of it (totally happens, and is totally okay - we shoot from multiple cameras so we get multiple angles). Raw footage can also include the multiple takes of us moving our camera back and forth, in different styles, to capture just the perfect ring shot.

With all of that combined, it easily comes out to over 6+ hours of footage that you wouldn’t want to sit through.

Do you really want raw footage?

Most likely, you don’t. Unless you are a videographer and you are planning on editing the video yourself. Most video companies do not provide the raw footage, and those who do usually do so at an extra cost. Our honest opinion? We wouldn’t recommend spending that extra $$$ on raw footage.

How we edit our videos is our ART. Storytelling is our joy, which is why we place such an emphasis on getting to know you both beforehand, so that we truly understand your unique love. When you invite us along with you on this journey, we hope that you trust us. We hope that you know we’ll do everything we can to celebrate your love and tell it in a way that you will still make you cry in the years to come. And we promise to not leave anything out that we think you will love. This is why we want to make sure you’ve seen our work and you love our style because a lot of this boils down to trust. If you trust your videographer — and allow them to handle the raw footage — it will save you so much time and money.

SIDE NOTE: we always caution brides who are shopping around to not prioritize raw footage high up on their list. We’ve seen our fair share of couples who have excitedly agreed to hire a videographer who was readily willing to hand over all their raw footage for free (or cheap), only to be disappointed with the overall quality of the actual edited video itself. ALWAYS, always look at their previous work. Ask them questions. Get to know them. Make sure you trust them. That is most important. The final, edited product is what you will hold on to, and look back on in the years to come. You want to make sure you’ll love it.