As a new feature for 2011, many professional photographers are now offering video as a part of their wedding photography services. This is designed to enhance the slide shows that they already produce for couples with video clips and voiceovers. This is called "video fusion", and it is the wave of the future in wedding photography.
Most newer prosumer and professional digital SLR cameras are now coming equipped with video capabilities, so it only stands to reason that professional photographers are starting to incorporate video into their wedding packages. After all, when a priceless moment happens such as a special toast or a crazy first dance, all of the still images in the world can not compare to the actual video footage complete with sound and movement! While we personally dabbled in it in 2010, we are now more heavily invested in it as a result of our recent trip to San Antonio for the 2011 Imaging USA photographer's convention sponsored by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). Imaging USA is one of the largest photography conventions in the nation, second only to the WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) convention which is held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas every year. These two conventions reveal the latest trends in the professional photography industry, as well as any new gear that is introduced by the major manufacturers for the upcoming year.
Both conventions are the places to be when a photographer wants to keep up with all of the new ideas and technology, and attendance is essential in order to stay ahead of the curve. This January, the talk of the town, so to speak, was all about video fusion photography. There were companies such as Triple Scoop Music which offers licensed music for sale to use in fusion slide shows and webmasters designing streamlined ways to upload and display these shows on web sites. There were companies that offered online services that could create slick Hollywood style fusion slide shows to post on social media networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. From the Nikon and Canon 'gear' booths, to the album companies offering fusion slide shows embedded into the actual covers of their wedding albums, to the software companies offering the latest versions of professional video editing programs, rumors of the death of the traditional videographer was rampant. Although video fusion is not intended to replace traditional videography completely in the wedding industry, it sure will change the way a bride shops for these services. Video fusion is cheaper to produce, in that the same photographer who is documenting a wedding through still images can easily record video clips in the same camera during the wedding. This means that the expense of hiring a separate videography service is no longer needed if the couple would be satisfied with shorter video 'clips' of their wedding instead of a full featured film. The general consensus of opinion regarding this matter is that during these difficult economic times, brides are looking to trim expenses for the nonessential services while trying to find value in the services that they do buy. Video fusion accomplishes this goal. It certainly is a scary time for the traditional videographer, to be sure. Maybe the next trend will be that the professional videographer will begin to incorporate still images into his or her video services, much like the professional photographer has done with the incorporation video fusion into his or her still imagination. One caveat: neither professional photography nor professional videography is an easy skill to acquire. Both involve a steep learning curve. That being said, this video fusion trend is certainly challenging both industries to think outside the box. Coming up with innovative new ways to provide beautiful wedding memories to the bride and groom is the name of the game, so whatever methods professionals come up with to deliver those memories creatively is a good thing.
Hopefully professional videographers will remember one thing: when the switch to digital photography happened years ago, the same predictions about the 'death of professional photography' were prevalent. The industry has had its ups and downs along the way, but it is still thriving. In addition to the trade show aspect of the convention, which always results in thousands of photographers spending way too much money on the latest and greatest equipment, there were countless educational opportunities.