Your Ultimate Guide to Wedding Videography Terms

Hello everyone! Mandy here today to lay down some knowledge that will help you understand what in the world I, or any other wedding videographer, are talking about. 

I know these terms can be confusing, and it isn’t expected that you understand all of them! After spending thousands of hours working in this world, I know that using this language can overwhelm couples and essentially confuse them into booking things they don’t need or want.

Look over this list, and bookmark it to refer to as you search for the perfect wedding filmmaker. Each person you speak to should be fully knowledgeable on every term on this list and able to explain it to you if you ask.

Adobe After Effects: Adobe After Effects is a powerful software used by videographers to create visual effects, motion graphics, and animations. It allows you to enhance and transform your video footage with various special effects and professional-grade features.

Adobe Audition: Adobe Audition is a versatile audio editing software commonly used in videography. It enables you to edit and enhance audio tracks, remove background noise, adjust volume levels, and apply various audio effects to ensure high-quality sound in your videos.

Ambient sound capture: Ambient sound capture refers to the process of recording the natural background sounds present in a particular environment during video shooting. It adds depth and realism to the audio, capturing the atmosphere and creating a more immersive experience for viewers. Rebecca Ann Aesthetic often does this with birds, laughter and applause during our weddings.

Aperture: Aperture refers to the adjustable opening of a camera lens that controls the amount of light entering the camera. By adjusting the aperture, you can regulate the depth of field and control the amount of focus on the subject, allowing you to create visually appealing shots with a blurred background or a sharp overall image. Generally, we shoot “wide open” – meaning there is a significant amount of blur in the background, which allows us to focus on the subject of the video- you!

Aspect ratio: Aspect ratio is the proportional relationship between the width and height of a video frame. It determines the shape and dimensions of the video. 

Audio recording: Audio recording involves capturing sound using a microphone or audio recording device. It allows you to capture dialogue, ambient sounds, music, or any other audio elements that contribute to the overall audio experience of your video.

Audio synchronization: Audio synchronization is the process of aligning the audio tracks with the corresponding video footage. This basically means that your words line up with the movement of your mouth!

Bitrate: Bitrate refers to the amount of data encoded per second in a video or audio file. It represents the level of compression applied to the file and affects the quality and size of the media. Higher bitrates generally result in better quality but larger file sizes, while lower bitrates may sacrifice quality but reduce file size. We shoot with the highest bitrate available for the current camera settings. 

B-roll footage: B-roll footage refers to supplemental or secondary footage that is intercut with the main footage in a video. It often consists of visually interesting shots, close-ups, or cutaway shots that provide context, enhance storytelling, or add visual variety to the main content. We use your flatlays, drone footage, venue details and close ups of your hands or clothing to do these!

Camera angles: Camera angles refer to the different positions and perspectives from which a video is shot. They determine the viewer’s point of view and can greatly influence the mood, storytelling, and overall impact of a scene. Camera angles can include high angles, low angles, wide shots, close-ups, and various other perspectives.

Camera movement: Camera movement involves physically moving the camera during video recording to create dynamic and visually engaging shots. It can include techniques such as panning (horizontal movement), tilting (vertical movement), tracking (following a subject’s movement), or using specialized tools like gimbal. Camera movement adds energy and fluidity to the video, enhancing the viewer’s experience.

Candid moments: Candid moments are unplanned, spontaneous, and natural moments that are captured authentically on video. These moments often showcase genuine emotions, reactions, or interactions between people, bringing a sense of authenticity and realism to the video.

Cinematic storytelling: Cinematic storytelling refers to the art of telling a compelling narrative through the visual medium of film or video. It involves combining various elements such as camera work, composition, editing, sound design, and pacing to create a cohesive and immersive storytelling experience that engages and captivates the viewer. This is different from documentary style where you just plant a camera and document what happens. To qualify as a cinematic film you need to weave art and creativity together. 

Cinematic techniques: Cinematic techniques are creative and technical methods employed in filmmaking and videography to enhance the visual impact and storytelling of a video. These techniques can include but are not limited to composition, lighting, color grading, use of depth of field, slow-motion, time-lapse, visual effects, and creative editing styles. They contribute to the overall cinematic quality and aesthetic of a video production

Cinematic wedding video: A cinematic wedding video is a professionally crafted wedding video that emulates the style and aesthetics of a cinematic film. It involves using creative cinematography techniques, such as dynamic camera movements, shallow depth of field, careful framing, and artistic editing, to create a visually stunning and emotionally engaging representation of the couple’s wedding day.

Cinematography: Cinematography refers to the art and technique of capturing moving images on film or digital media. It encompasses various aspects, including camera operation, lighting, composition, and camera movement. Cinematographers utilize their expertise to visually translate the director’s vision, enhancing the storytelling and creating the desired mood and atmosphere.

Codec: A codec is a software or hardware algorithm used to compress and decompress digital media files. It determines how data is encoded and stored, impacting file size, quality, and compatibility. Common video codecs include H.264, H.265 (iPhone usually), and ProRes, which are widely used for video compression and playback on different devices and platforms.

Color correction: Color correction is the process of adjusting and balancing the colors in a video to achieve a desired visual appearance. It involves correcting any color imbalances, adjusting brightness and contrast, and ensuring consistency across different shots or scenes. Color correction aims to enhance the overall visual appeal and ensure accurate representation of colors in the video.

Color grading: Color grading is an artistic process that involves enhancing and stylizing the colors in a video to create a specific look or mood. It goes beyond color correction and involves creative manipulation of color tones, hues, and saturation levels. At RAA our color grading style is defined as “fine art”. The more commonly used term would be “light and airy”- but technically they are not the same. Fine art grading involves true blacks, a reduction in the brightness of whites, and a crushed green. 

Composition: Composition in videography refers to the arrangement and placement of visual elements within the frame. It involves considering factors such as framing, balance, symmetry, leading lines, and the rule of thirds to create visually appealing and balanced shots. Effective composition helps guide the viewer’s attention and adds visual interest to the video.

Creative direction: Creative direction refers to the overall vision and artistic guidance provided to shape the visual style and narrative of a video project. It involves making decisions about the concept, aesthetics, storytelling techniques, and the overall look and feel of the video. Basically, this refers to all the silly things we ask you to do the day of your wedding- like Bay Watch running in a field or making ultra dramatic movement with your dress. We know ahead of time what we will use those shots for- and how we will edit them.

Creative transitions: Creative transitions are unique and visually engaging techniques used to transition between different shots or scenes in a video. These transitions can include fade-ins, fade-outs, wipes, dissolves, and other creative effects that add interest and smoothness to the visual flow of the video.

Depth of field: Depth of field refers to the range of distance in a scene that appears in sharp focus in a video. It is controlled by adjusting the aperture setting on the camera. A shallow depth of field creates a blurred background, emphasizing the subject, while a deep depth of field keeps most elements in focus, providing a greater sense of depth and clarity.

Drone videography: Drone videography involves capturing video footage using unmanned aerial vehicles (drones). It allows for unique and stunning aerial perspectives, sweeping panoramic shots, and dynamic camera movements that add a cinematic and expansive feel to the video.

Establishing shots: Establishing shots are wide-angle shots used at the beginning of a scene or sequence to establish the location, context, or atmosphere. They provide the viewer with a sense of the environment and help orient them to the upcoming action or events in the video.

Exporting: Exporting refers to the process of saving and converting a video project into a specific file format. It involves rendering the final edited video with all the applied effects, transitions, and adjustments, ensuring it is ready for distribution or further post-processing. Fun fact: exporting your wedding film can take several hours or more!

Export settings: Export settings are the customizable parameters and options used when exporting a video. These settings include choosing the desired file format, resolution, aspect ratio, codec, bitrate, and other specific requirements based on the intended use or distribution platform.These settings are the reason your film takes so long to export- we use the highest quality bitrates, resolutions and formats to ensure that your final film is incredibly sharp and will stand the test of time as viewing screens get better and better.

Exposure: Exposure refers to the amount of light that reaches the camera’s image sensor when capturing video. It determines how bright or dark the video appears. Proper exposure is crucial to achieve a balanced and visually pleasing image, avoiding overexposure (too bright) or underexposure (too dark) in the video.

Focus: Focus refers to the clarity and sharpness of the subject in a video. It involves adjusting the camera’s focus to ensure the subject is crisp and well-defined. Accurate focus is essential to maintain visual clarity and draw the viewer’s attention to the intended focal point.

Frame Rate: Frame rate refers to the number of frames captured per second in a video. It determines the smoothness of motion in the footage. Common frame rates include 24fps, 60fps, and even 120fps. Choosing the appropriate frame rate depends on the desired look, intended use, and the desired level of motion fluidity. We use 120fps when we want to later slow the footage down substantially, and 24 or 60 the rest of the time. You can think of frame rate as the number of pictures our camera is taking each second! 

Framing: Framing refers to how the subject or objects are positioned within the frame of the video. It involves selecting the appropriate composition, positioning, and visual arrangement to create visually pleasing and meaningful shots. Framing can include techniques such as close-ups, wide shots, or using natural elements to frame the subject within the scene.

Gimbal: A gimbal is a stabilizing device used in videography to minimize camera shake and ensure smooth and steady footage. It consists of motorized axes that compensate for unwanted camera movements, allowing for smooth camera motions and professional-looking shots, even in dynamic situations.

Highlight reel: A highlight reel is a condensed and curated version of the wedding video that showcases the most significant and memorable moments of the day. It captures the essence and highlights of the event, allowing the couple to relive and share the best parts of their wedding day in a shorter format. These are the most popular way to have your film delivered- and all of our packages include one.

Hyperlapse: Hyperlapse is a time-lapse technique that involves capturing footage while moving the camera over longer distances. It creates a visually striking effect where time appears to be accelerated, resulting in a fast-paced and dynamic sequence of events.

ISO: ISO refers to the sensitivity of the camera’s image sensor to light. It determines how well the camera can capture details in low-light conditions. A higher ISO setting increases the sensor’s sensitivity, allowing for brighter exposures, but it can introduce digital noise or graininess to the image. We keep our ISO as low as possible- but do have Sony cameras that lead the industry in their low light performance- meaning we can have much higher ISO ratings (and thus shoot in much darker spaces) without introducing noise.

Keyframe: In video editing and animation, a keyframe is a marker that represents a specific point in time where a change or transformation occurs. It allows for precise control over parameters such as position, scale, opacity, or effects. Keyframes define the starting and ending points of an animation or an effect’s progression over time.

Lighting setup: Lighting setup refers to the arrangement and configuration of lighting equipment for capturing video footage. It involves positioning and adjusting different light sources, such as studio lights, reflectors, or modifiers, to create the desired lighting conditions and ambiance for a scene or subject. We generally introduce stage lighting for special moments- but avoid using it when we can. Bringing in lots of extra lighting can ruin the mood of a reception specifically- so we only use them if we absolutely need to.

Location scouting: Location scouting is the process of searching and selecting suitable locations for filming. Availability of light and visual interest are our top concerns- and dictate where and how we film on your wedding day.

Log profile: A log profile is a flat or low-contrast color profile used in videography to capture a wide dynamic range of the scene. It preserves more details in the shadows and highlights, providing flexibility for color grading and post-processing during the editing stage.

LUT (Look-Up Table): A LUT, or Look-Up Table, is a file containing color and tonal adjustments used to apply specific color grading looks or transformations to video footage. It is used in post-production to achieve desired color and visual styles and maintain consistency across different shots or scenes. You can think of this sort of like a filter- but instead of sitting on top of the footage, it actually alters the footage from the inside. 

Multi-camera setup: A multi-camera setup involves using multiple cameras simultaneously to capture different angles and perspectives of a scene or event. It allows for more comprehensive coverage, providing different vantage points and facilitating dynamic editing options during post-production. This is done for your ceremony, first look and various other parts of the day where we need to be looking in multiple places at the same time. A multicam set up also allows us the option to use footage of the same moment from different cameras in case something goes wrong. 

Music licensing: Music licensing refers to obtaining legal permission to use copyrighted music in a video project. It involves securing the necessary rights from the music’s copyright holder, usually through licensing platforms or agencies, to ensure compliance with intellectual property laws and avoid copyright infringement. We generally cannot use “radio” music- the licensing fees can be in the tens of thousands. Instead, we use a service called MusicBed that allows us to use music from independent sources for a much more reasonable cost.

Narrative structure: Narrative structure refers to the organization and arrangement of the storytelling elements in a video to create a coherent and engaging narrative. It includes the introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution, ensuring that the story unfolds in a compelling and meaningful way.

Overexposure: Overexposure occurs when the camera captures too much light, resulting in an excessively bright or washed-out image. It can lead to loss of details in highlights and a loss of contrast in the footage. We avoid this at all costs. 

Pan: A pan is a camera movement technique where the camera rotates horizontally from a fixed position, capturing a panoramic view of the scene. It can be used to follow action, reveal new elements, or establish the relationship between different subjects or elements within the frame.

Premiere Pro: Premiere Pro is a professional video editing software developed by Adobe. It offers a wide range of editing tools, effects, and features for post-production, including video trimming, color correction, audio editing, and multi-camera editing capabilities.

Rack focus: Rack focus is a focus technique where the camera shifts focus between foreground and background subjects within a single shot. It is used to direct the viewer’s attention and create visual interest by selectively highlighting different elements in the frame.

RAW footage: RAW footage refers to the unprocessed and uncompressed video data directly captured by the camera’s image sensor. It retains the highest quality and provides greater flexibility for post-processing, allowing for more extensive adjustments in color grading, exposure, and other parameters. Occasionally couples ask us for the RAW footage- and we do not give this out. The RAW footage is not going to be viewable to you without specific (expensive) programs, and will not be reflective of what your final film looks like. 

Reaction shots: Reaction shots capture the responses, emotions, or expressions of individuals in response to a specific event, action, or dialogue. Think grooms reaction to the bride for the first time, audience reactions during the ceremony, etc.

Resolution: Resolution refers to the level of detail and sharpness in a video image. It is defined by the number of pixels displayed horizontally and vertically, such as 1080p (Full HD) or 4K (Ultra HD). Higher resolutions offer more clarity and detail in the footage. We ONLY shoot and deliver in 4k.

Rule of Thirds: The rule of thirds is a composition principle in videography and photography that suggests dividing the frame into a grid of nine equal parts using two horizontal and two vertical lines. It recommends placing key elements or subjects along these lines or at their intersections to create a balanced and visually appealing composition.

Same-day edit: A same-day edit is a video editing technique where the videographer edits and presents a short highlight video of the wedding day on-site during the reception or shortly after the ceremony. RAA does not offer this service- we take a great deal of pride in the extensive editing process we provide and the quality of your final film would not be up to our standards if we were editing it within the wedding day- our typical editing process runs between 30 and 40 hours!

Shot list: A shot list is a detailed list or description of all the planned shots and camera angles that need to be captured during a video shoot. It helps the videographer or cinematographer stay organized, ensuring that all essential shots are captured and providing a reference during the editing process.

Shutter speed: Shutter speed refers to the length of time the camera’s shutter remains open when capturing a frame of video. It affects the amount of motion blur in the footage and controls the exposure. Faster shutter speeds freeze motion, while slower shutter speeds create motion blur.

Slow motion: Slow motion is a video effect achieved by capturing footage at a higher frame rate and playing it back at a standard frame rate. It results in a slowed-down playback speed, emphasizing details, adding drama, and capturing subtle movements that may not be visible at regular speed.

Sound design: Sound design involves the creation, selection, and integration of sound elements in a video to enhance the overall audio experience. It includes adding ambient sound, sound effects, and designing the sonic environment to complement the visuals and evoke specific emotions or moods.

Storyboarding: Storyboarding is the process of creating a visual roadmap for a video project. It involves sketching or illustrating key scenes, shots, and compositions in sequence, helping to plan the visual narrative, camera angles, transitions, and overall visual style before production begins.

Tilt: A tilt is a camera movement technique where the camera rotates vertically on its axis, either upward or downward, to capture a vertical change in perspective. It can be used to reveal tall subjects, emphasize height or depth, or add a dramatic effect to the footage.

Tracking shots: Tracking shots involve moving the camera alongside a moving subject, either horizontally or vertically, to maintain a consistent frame and perspective. It creates a dynamic and immersive effect, following the subject’s movement and capturing the action from a mobile vantage point. This is what we are doing when we’re walking backwards as you come toward us!

Underexposure: Underexposure occurs when the camera captures insufficient light, resulting in a dark or underexposed image. It can lead to loss of details in shadows and reduced visibility in the footage.

Visual effects: Visual effects (VFX) are computer-generated or manipulated elements added to a video during post-production to enhance or alter the visuals. They can include CGI (computer-generated imagery), compositing, green screen effects, motion graphics, and other techniques that enhance the overall visual impact of the footage.

Visual storytelling: Visual storytelling is the art of conveying a narrative or message through visuals, such as composition, cinematography, and editing techniques. It involves using images, sequences, and visual elements to evoke emotions, engage the audience, and communicate a compelling story.

Voice-over narration: Voice-over narration involves recording a spoken commentary or storytelling that accompanies the visuals in a video. It provides additional context, explanations, or insights, enhancing the storytelling and guiding the viewer through the narrative. We use this frequently with the reading of letters, vows or speeches!

Wedding cinematographer: A wedding cinematographer is a professional videographer who specializes in capturing the cinematic and artistic aspects of a wedding. They use their technical skills and creative vision to document and tell the story of the wedding day in a visually stunning and emotionally impactful manner.

Wedding cinematography: Wedding cinematography refers to the art and practice of capturing the wedding day on video in a cinematic and storytelling style. It focuses on creating visually stunning, emotionally engaging, and narrative-driven wedding videos that go beyond traditional wedding videography.

Wedding film: A wedding film is a cinematic and artistic representation of the wedding day, often with a more storytelling-oriented approach. It combines beautiful visuals, audio elements, and editing techniques to create a unique and personalized film that captures the essence and emotions of the wedding.

Wedding teaser: A wedding teaser is a short video preview or trailer that provides a glimpse into the highlights and key moments of the wedding day. It is typically shared on social media, creating anticipation and excitement for the full wedding video.

Wedding videography: Wedding videography refers to the practice of capturing the wedding day on video, documenting the events, emotions, and moments that unfold throughout the celebration. It encompasses the filming, editing, and delivery of a final wedding video that preserves the memories and allows the couple to relive their special day.

White balance: White balance is the adjustment of the camera’s settings to ensure accurate and neutral color reproduction in different lighting conditions. It balances the color temperature of the light source to ensure that white objects appear truly white and that other colors are rendered naturally.Zoom: Zoom refers to the technique of changing the focal length of a zoom lens during shooting, resulting in a change in the magnification and perspective of the scene. It can be used to bring the subject closer or create a sense of depth by zooming in or out, respectively.

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