Why Video is the Future for the Wedding Industry: A Guest Post by Victoria Grech

In January last year I made a somewhat controversial decision for a stills photographer – to venture over to the ‘dark side’. Yes, I wanted to see what film was all about and how I could use it to improve my wedding photography business. I had heard a lot of hype about DSLR cameras being able to record HD video and that had piqued my interest. With the two technologies being used side by side, was I missing a trick by not learning how to use film alongside stills?

Around this time a photography magazine, Photo Professional, released a mini magazine entitled ‘HDSLR Movie Maker’. The editor, Terry Hope, spoke about when photography moved from film to digital and how this shift was a huge change for businesses everywhere, as visual content became more accessible to everyone. Given the meteoric rise of digital photography, it goes without saying that many photographers who dismissed digital cameras as a fad and didn’t adapt were left on the shelf. Also in the article, Terry implied that we’re now at a similar point with the integration of film into photography. Photographers need to embrace the change or get left behind.

The timing of the article couldn’t have been better for me and I knew this was something I wanted to start thinking about seriously. I started playing around with filming in March of 2011 and I was very quickly hooked on the world of video.

Every wedding company should embrace video

In today’s fast moving and highly competitive digital marketplace, it is more important than ever that you and your brand make a good first impression on a potential client. It’s still true that nothing quite sells like a real person, so I started to think about how I could put the ‘real’ me across online. The answer was simple – video. If used properly, it creates a much more personal connection with your clients. Customers, particularly in the wedding industry, generally prefer to get a sense of who you are, as well as what you’re selling them. And instead of relying on a forced and formal ‘about me page’ or a faceless contact form, video can go a long way to make them feel like they know you before they get in touch.

Unless you’re a fantastic writer, it can be difficult to convey the feeling of your business with text alone. Copywriters can be great, but in an industry where being personable and authentic is so important, having someone else write about you will never be the same as you speaking to your clients directly. This is where video is irreplaceable in conveying who you are. They say that the actual worlds you say are not the most vital part of communication – body language, tone of voice and inflection are just as, if not often more, important.

Still not convinced? Here’s a few statistics to back up my theory that using video will revolutionise the way you do business online:

♥ Only 20% of web visitors will sit and read the majority of the text on a website, but 80% will sit and watch the same content when presented in the form of a short video. Forrester Research

♥ Adding video to your website makes your site six times more likely to convert a ‘browser’ into a paying customer. Forrester Research

♥ Video currently accounts for a third of all web traffic, and by 2013 it will be 90%. YouTube

So why aren’t all wedding businesses harnessing the power of video? In a nutshell, it’s scary. The idea of getting dressed up and talking to camera can be terrifying. Video is still unchartered waters for many, they have had no experience of it, and that can leave people with the idea that it is inaccessible to them. However these days, broadcast quality video is achievable without a huge or extraordinary investment. Even newer web-cams and mobile phones now offer (what I like to call) ‘scarily good’ quality video capture – certainly high quality enough to put up on your website or blog. There is also a plethora of free or very cheap video editing software available.

What should your videos cover?

As a wedding supplier you should want to quickly and easily tell potential clients about yourself. Therefore I would say an introductory video on your homepage or ‘about me’ section is a great place to start. If we look over to our industry colleagues in the US, many of them have taken it a step further with the introduction of their use of video blogs (or ‘vlogs’) within their blog posts. I have to say I personally get much more addicted to watching these short videos than I do to reading the text in an article.

Another great thing to use video for is to use it to help others or pass on knowledge. Mini tutorials that show off your expertise but also help brides are a great way to use video on your site. Hairdressers for example could show basic tips and tricks in video snippets. Florists could explain flowers in season and the preparation that goes into the flowers before and during the creation of their work. Stylists could demonstrate how to lay out a table for a wedding. The possibilities are as limitless as your creativity and imagination.

Is video the future for wedding photographers?

As a sideways thought to the idea of using video to showcase your personality online, I also truly believe that the quick accessibility of film to wedding photographers could transform many of their businesses. We have already seen that the emergence of digital photography has produced a trend for clients to purchase digital photographic files over prints and albums. Many photographers complain about this, however I think it’s something that’s going to keep happening, so we should move with the times and see what else we can offer them. What could that be? Well, video of course!

The digital age actually creates a golden opportunity for stills and video to be integrated. If you’re a photographer you might start to think about incorporating film in to your packages or working closely with a preferred videographer to give clients a monetary inventive if they book you both. This will also change the way you can share your weddings online afterwards and potentially tap into a whole new demographic of client.

With social media dominating the way we buy, sell and interact, it seems we’ve come full circle. For a long time, the absence of personal contact was considered a serious down side to the otherwise amazing ability to communicate instantly with anyone in the world. Video is a way to get back to basics while still keeping that immediate contact we’ve become so used to.

Using video to talk to your customers gives them (and you) the best of both worlds. It also attracts the kind of customer who’s going to like you and what you do, as they’ve already had a feel for who you really are before they decided to get in touch. And if they liked you in your video, they’re far more likely to be ready to book you by the time they’ve picked up the phone or sent you an email. So I’d encourage anyone who’s hesitant to confront your camera phobia and put yourself out there. I guarantee you’ll never look back!

About the Author

Victoria Grech is a professional photographer and cinematographer based in London. She is the first female photographer to offer her clients a combination of wedding photography and cinematography as part of her service offerings, pioneering the way new technologies are used to produce high-end wedding films. Victoria has been selected by the panel from SWPP to speak at their annual conference in January 2013. For enquiries or bookings email Victoria on info@victoriagrech.com or call 02085296715.

21 comments

  1. Kirsty

    Fantastic post, something we will be using for our new website so great timing x

  2. Bobby

    Good post and I agree with most of it.. Pity though that she doesn’t have examples of her video work on her own website.

  3. I think this is a great idea. I’m personally terrified of the camera but I think it’s a good incentive to get over that and talk to people, especially if it attracts the right kind of readers! xxx

  4. Thank you for your comments. Have to say I hate being in front of the camera soo much that if I can do this then I am sure you can too 🙂

    Hi Bobby, We have a vimeo site at present and transfering over all the video footage on our new site, so apologies for the lack of lovely video.

    Would love to see some of your vlogs – feel free to email me for any help or advice.

    xxx

  5. Very interesting post – it comes at a time when I have been thinking about this….time to take action & step the other side of the lens! Thanks for such a super post x

  6. Thanks Rebecca. I think it will be great had a look at your work and its lovely!

    ps – for us togs its always hard to be in front of the camera. A suggestion would be to film you working with a couple and or alittle interview. That way you will not have to face the camera the whole time 🙂

    xx

  7. Love it, I have had the pleasure of meeting Victoria on several occasions whilst on the circuit. I think its fair to say that we hit it off well. i.e. two photographers exhibiting at the same venue (and it wasn’t a great venue either) actually talking to one another. Victoria really gave my ego a boost at a time when I was just starting out. Glad that she will be speaking at SWPP as she has so much to give.
    I will be getting my new website in the next 6months and will be in front of the camera for my about me page.

  8. Hi Aaron, well im stoked at what lovely comments you have made… big MWAH at ya! More photographers should help each other out as this is a great industry.

    Hope to see you at the SWPP and look forward to your new website
    wishing you every sucess
    xx

  9. Hi, very well written informative post with good evidence to support the views expressed. I believe particularly in the wedding sector clients will seek to have an integrated package and the ability to provide it will set you ahead of your competitors. Stills will continue to be important but perhaps more so in the portrait and commercial sectors.
    I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Victoria on a training course and I believe she will be one of the top wedding photographers in the UK within the next 3 years. She also has a great personality and it is a joy to spend time in her company. I look forward to catching up over lunch the next time I visit England. When she starts delivering training workshops I will be one of the first to sign up.
    Good luke for the future V
    Regards
    Derrick xo

  10. Blown away by your lovely comments Derrick! thank you so much. Your work is truely amazing and cant wait to catch up next time your in London.
    xxx

  11. Paul

    Really interesting article, it’s always been strange that video and photo have been seen as separate entities by some when really they’re completely inseparable. Technology, starting with DSLR’s has brought the two disciplines much closer. I think video is definitely going to grow and grow and probably surpass photography eventually. Especially now that technology is shrinking the gap in quality between the two.

  12. Nicola Tate

    As a future bride I totally agree with what Victoria is saying. It would help so much if photographers would post videos of themselves so that you can get an idea of their personality and to feel like you are getting more of an idea of the style of the photographer. I think it is the way forward for the future and a great way to communicate with clients. I shall be contacting Victoria regarding my wedding next year, it is so refreshing to see new ideas and a different approach to capturing your wedding day.

  13. Paul totally agree and think we are going to see more and more fusion based products in the industry along with more and more video content. thanks for your comments.

    Nicola, thank you for your lovely comments! wishing you all the best with your wedding plans and please do not hesitate to contact us for any further information
    thanks

  14. Christie Wheeler

    We had Victoria as our wedding photographer and videographer. She is amazing. So professional, funny and really puts you at ease. Victoria comes across in the video as friendly but professional but she also brings fun and reassurance. I hate being in front of the camera but on the day it just felt natural. So pleased Victoria talked us into having the video. Everybody loved it and commented it was like watching a film.

  15. Gemma Palmer

    Such an innovative move in wedding photography and what a great idea – think this is the way of the future for all the standard stills photographers out there and well done Vicky for giving it a go. I hope it is very successful for you as it sounds like you deserve it!

  16. @Christie thank you so much for your comments. We had such a great time working with you and glad you love your video and photos xx

  17. ceri

    Brillant and informative post , I agree with paul in that the two disciplines are now becoming so much more interlink that it is driving the industry to expand into video, and this article goes into to great depths on how this is happening and effecting the industry.
    great post victoria x

  18. @ceri Thank you for your comments and glad you see the future that I see 🙂 What will the industry be like in 5 years time…..

  19. Victoria Burton

    I think that using a video like this to allow potential clients to see you and get an understanding of what you are about is a brilliant idea, I hope that photographers and videographers start doing this because at the end of the day it isn’t just about finding someone who has the experience and talent to film your wedding; it is also about finding someone who you instantly click with and who understands your vision for your wedding day.
    My Husband and I have recently got married and we actually booked out wedding date to fit in with Victoria’s busy schedule as we knew the moment we met her, we would not want anyone else to shoot our wedding. Victoria is honest, passionate about what she does and really takes the time to get to know you and what you want from your wedding day. She has become a good friend and I just wish that every professional in her industry has the same determination and passion that she does for her work.
    We now need to think of other reasons to use her again as she is so talented!
    I just can’t wait to see our film and photographs!

  20. Wow wow wow Victoria!! anyone would think I paided you to write. I am honestly speechless.

    Thank you soo much for your comments and its nice to hear a bride wanting to see more of video from the wedding suppliers.

    From me and the whole team its been a true pleasure working with you and Steve and thank you for letting us be part of such an epic wedding :-)xx

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