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In Focus: Wedding Videography Buzzwords Explained

Updated: Jun 2

bride and groom posing against brick wall

From "cinematic" to "4K", we break down some of the most common videography buzzwords you may come across when searching for a wedding videographer for your special day.

The search for a wedding videographer can often feel like navigating a maze of buzzwords and confusing industry jargon, leaving couples feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. To add to the confusion, every wedding videographer has their own unique style and approach to capturing and editing wedding films. What one videographer describes as "cinematic" may differ significantly from another's interpretation of the term. That's where we come in. With over 10 years experience in the world of wedding videography, I've seen trends change and buzzwords come and go. So, I'm here to help break down some of the most common videography terms you'll come across to help empower you to make an informed decision that aligns with your vision for your wedding day!

bride and groom posing in garden
Ceci n'est pas une "cinema" (image courtesy of Reggio Productions)


Oh boy. You've definitely seen this one used everywhere. I admit, I'm also guilty of peppering it in to my website and package offerings. Let's be real, it just sounds cool. But beyond it sounding cool, the term "cinematic" actually does serve a valuable purpose when describing a videographer's films and style.

When a videographer describes their style as "cinematic" they are typically referring to a style that mimics the look and feel of a movie. Your videographer will take artistic liberties, using creative editing techniques that focus on storytelling. Now, every videographer's approach will be different. So, it's important to take a look at their films and portfolio to see if their style matches your vibe. When chatting a prospective videographer, be sure to ask questions, and describe what makes you as a couple special and unique. This will provide them with all the information they need to create a cinematic film that reflects who you are as a couple.


A.k.a the "Justin Porter" specialty. A "documentary-style" approach to wedding videography aims to capture the day as it unfolds naturally, without much intervention from the videographer. Resulting in a more chronological film, with a "reality TV" type feel. The focus is on candid moments and authentic emotions, creating a more unscripted and spontaneous feel.

Depending on the videographer, their can be some overlap in "documentary-style" vs "cinematic" styles. You can have a more natural, candid day shot "cinematically" or a day where there is some direction and posing still result in a more "documentary-style" film. That's why it's important to dig into your videographer's portfolio. If you like what you see, don't worry about what they call it! Just know that you'll be in good hands, and trust them to bring your vision to life!


See also HD, UHD, 1080p, 4K, 5K, 6K, etc. All of these words refer to the resolution of your video. If you've been TV shopping lately you've definitely seen these terms as well. We may know that "4K" means better quality video, but why is that? In a technical sense, that is because 4K video resolution is four times higher than standard high definition (HD) resolution. In terms of pixels, 4K video has a resolution of approximately 3840 pixels wide by 2160 pixels tall, giving it a total of over 8 million pixels. This results in incredibly sharp and detailed footage, with more clarity and definition than traditional HD video. Practically all professional wedding videographers in today's day in age will be filming and delivering your wedding in 4K, but if you don't see it listed on their site it doesn't hurt to ask!

Drone footage of Oheka Castle
Drone Footage of Oheka Castle in Huntington, NY Image courtesy of Reggio Productions

"Drone Footage"

Another popular option that most videographers nowadays will offer. "Drone footage" refers to aerial shots captured using unmanned aerial vehicles (drones). This allows videographers to capture sweeping vistas, stunning landscapes, and unique perspectives that wouldn't be possible with traditional cameras. With drones becoming more and more prevalent in today's video landscape, it is important to make sure your videographer has all the necessary certifications and insurance to operate their drone safely and effectively on your wedding day. I have a Part 107 Small UAS drone certification from the FAA that allows me to fly safely and according to FAA guidelines and restrictions. You'll want to make sure your videographer has the same.

"Raw Footage"

"Raw footage" is a hot button topic in the wedding videography world. Some videographers, like myself will offer raw footage with all their packages. Others will recoil at the idea of delivering unedited videos to their clients. Before we dive into that, let's explain what "raw footage" really means. "Raw footage" refers to unedited, unprocessed video clips captured throughout the day. These clips are delivered exactly how they were shot, with no post-processing, audio equalizing, or color-grading applied. Some couples opt to receive raw footage along with their edited film, giving them the option to revisit moments that may not have made it into the final cut. That is the reason why I choose to deliver raw footage with all of my edited videos. There will undoubtedly be fun moments from your day that don't make it into your final edited film, and I want to make sure you are able to go back and watch these moments, even if they are "raw" and unedited.


By breaking down videography terminology, explaining different styles and approaches, and offering insights into what to look for in a wedding videographer, my aim is empower couples to make informed decisions that align with their vision for their wedding day. What other buzzwords have you heard lately? Drop us a comment and we'll dig into it on our next post! One word that just popped into my mind, "content creation"... That one is going to need a whole post to unpack.

Whether you're looking for a cinematic masterpiece, a candid documentary-style film, or something in between, we're here to help you find the perfect fit for capturing your love story on film. Feel free to hit me up with any questions you may have, I'd love to be your guide as you embark on this exciting journey to find the wedding videographer of your dreams!


About Me

cameraman showing bride image on camera

Joe Reggio is the owner and lead cinematographer of Reggio Productions, an award-winning videography company providing stunning films for hundreds of married couples over the past seven years.

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