What is Raw Footage

How Raw is Raw Footage, Really?

The blogs say you need it. It sounds like you should have it. So…what is it exactly? 


This is a conversation we found ourselves having pretty regularly. With the question came a lot of assumption about what raw footage actually was! I’ve found that many have a completely different impression on what they’ll be receiving and how they can watch or use it.


SO HERE IT IS! The be all to end all conversation about what you can expect when you receive or do not receive raw footage from your videographer. But first, a little history.


Most videographers will not give you the raw footage for your wedding day. Some may sell it to you as an “add-on.” It’s a personal choice that most creative film makers (wedding or otherwise) make before anything is shot. Typically, in the world of production, this footage can be bought or licensed at a cost outside of the production that the videographer was hired to shoot. The agreed upon service is often a finished product and the rights of the footage itself legally belongs to the person who “pulled the trigger” unless otherwise signed away in an agreement. The contractor or vendor is free to use it, sell it, or delete it according to how they see fit. It’s similar to the world of photography where a photographer will deliver the finished edit but almost never the CR2 or “raw” unedited files associated with each image.


So, what is it?


The days of tape and film are long gone. The current world of professional videography requires many film makers to shoot on digital cards or mini hard drives. Every time we push start and stop on the camera it creates it’s own unique “file.” For us, this file can be a 7 second dress shot or a 28 minute shot from your ceremony. We’ll often shoot creative shots multiple times to allow us more options when in the edit bay. For example, we’ll film a close up shot of a dress in addition to a couple wider moving shots in order to cut between the two in the final edit. More than likely, a lot of these shots will be cut out or “left on the cutting room floor” for the creative edit. These shots almost never include us setting up a camera in the corner of a room and pushing play because well…that’s bad filming. The number of “shots” or “files” can completely depend on the day as well as the number of shooters working on a wedding day however, our packages usually deliver in the realm of 350-600 shots depending on the amount of videographers on-site.


At the end of the day, the raw footage is really for an editor to upload the footage into a software and edit. It’s also a great archive in case you decide to have something put together at a later date. We’ve constructed all of our packages in a way that allow for a couple to decide to have “linear edits” done at a later date. This can mean 2-3 camera angles of a full ceremony, toast, or other reception “event” from the day.


The raw footage is also what it states…raw. This means no color correction, no audio enhancing, and no editing whatsoever. It’s delivered exactly the way it comes out of the camera.

Raw Footage at a glance.

What it is not.


Just because you receive the raw footage of your wedding day DOES NOT mean you’ll have a full length ceremony angle. We at StopGoLove like our backups. When we shoot our recap video with one shooter we’ll often set up a wide camera on a tripod as a cutaway shot to give us options to edit the recap video. However! Because this camera is unmanned, guests will often stand in from of it, kick the tripod legs, or Hulk Hogan body slam this camera onto the ground. Because of the risks, we cannot guarantee a full length camera angle of any event on the day unless a second videographer is on-site (which we can do if interested!)


The raw footage is also something that is not watchable as a stand alone item. Don’t get me wrong, you can watch each individual clip but in the way the raw footage is delivered, you cannot just watch the clips as one, long video.


So why do we like it? 


Trust me, it’s a lot easier to say “no” and let it be that. We do however, think there is value in delivering the raw files to all of our couples. Mainly, I think people value having all assets shot on their wedding day. It becomes incredibly valuable when a family member passes and there are a couple unused shots that can be found in the raw footage. This would be lost otherwise.


We also know that this footage is only going to be used personally. With StopGoLove’s Raw footage deliver unlimited use, non-commercial, unedited, high definition footage. The property is still owned by StopGoLove but you are free to use it for almost anything except resale.


At the end of the day, like anything, it’s important to decide what’s important to you! Hopefully this clears up some confusion when it comes to acquiring raw footage of your wedding day. Any more questions can always be asked through our contact form by clicking here!


Jared is the Director and Co-Founder of StopGoLove.