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The Friday Fight-Out: Photography Vs Cinematography

With Dom being a Photographer and myself being a Cinematographer we’ve debated the various merits of our media many times. We both love photography (in fact after being photographed by one of our absolute favourite photographers this week we’re buzzing about it even more!) and we both love wedding films too. We would always suggest to couples to have both, but sometimes that’s just not possible. So we thought, just for today, we’d forget our love for each other’s art forms in order to present the strongest arguments and go head to head in a MASSIVE Friday Fight-Out. It’s time for the big one:


In the Red corner, fighting the good fight on behalf of photography, her love of taking photos started when her grandfather gave her her first Canon A1 aged 14, inspiring her to eventually start her own professional studio aged just 21, it’s Dom “The Tog” Bride

In the Blue Corner, battling for Cinematography, he started filming weddings after realising that they didn’t have to be boring accounts of the day interesting only to the bride and groom but could be exciting and artistic, it’s Matt “The Gormless” Groom

I hope we’re still speaking after this one…



Dom: Photographs have an incredible emotional attachment to them. When you look at a photograph it evokes your own memories, sparks more pictures in your mind. Videos show you the live action rather than letting you re-imagine it and you begin to forget the things you’re not shown and focus only on the action in front of you.

Matt: Video is generally a more interesting medium to look at: would you rather go and watch a film or look at the movie stills? Each frame of a video is a photograph – 24 of them per second – and put together you can make something magical.

Dom: Photography captures perfect moments. People have little insecurities, things they don’t like about themselves. They may not want their voice captured, may hate the way they walk or stand. A video shows everything, flaws and all, whereas well composed photography shows you in the best light possible, the way you want to remember your wedding day.

Matt: The lines between photography and videography are blurring. Videos are no longer flat, boring documentaries of the day and are becoming far more artistic and excitingly shot. Videos can look every bit as beautiful as photographs and evoke just as much emotion.

Dom: You can hang photographs on your wall, put them in an album; tangible memories to have on permanent display for all to see. A video is something you may watch occasionally but they’re hardly something you can use to decorate your home with personal imagery!

Matt: With changing technology it’s actually now perfectly possible to have your video on display if you want to do so! Smart TV’s can look almost like picture frames and be permanently loaded with your wedding video, and with the growing tablet and smartphone market you can watch it at the push of a button. Just like the photos you can also have it stored online to share with your friends, publish on Facebook and show the world!

Dom: With photography you can correct all the little imperfections if you so choose; photoshop out those wrinkles, remove that horrible signpost that’s ruining the shot. It’s much more difficult to correct these things in a video as it has to be corrected in every frame so most videographers won’t bother.

Matt: 50% of what makes a video great is the sound. With video you can hear the speeches, relive to the vows and listen to an emotive soundtrack. With photography half of the story is lost.

Dom: Weddings are very traditional events and the photography has become a part of that tradition. People like to see the photos more than they do videos, they like to compare them with their parents and friends pics, keep that historical link through the ages.

Matt: But once upon a time people would have portraits painted of their wedding. That medium was replaced by photography and the way technology is progressing it could be that video eventually replaces photography. The quality of HD video is so good that video stills can be as good as photographs with the added bonus of being able to capture movement too.

Dom: There’s a lot less competition in the wedding video market than in photography. Videographers don’t have to be as good to survive and it’s harder to find a really great videographer than a decent photographer locally.

Matt: People rarely look for a photographer or videographer in the yellow pages these days. You’re far more likely to do an internet search where you can find any videographer in the country. That way you can look at their work and separate the good from the bad, the ones that shoot in a style you like from the ones you don’t. Most will travel wherever they’re asked so as long as you do your research this isn’t a problem.

Dom: Photographers are generally much more subtle than videographers on the wedding day. They can blend into the background, not be noticed by the guests. Videographers often use big camcorders, tripods, lights, cranes, huge rigs and sound equipment. If you or your guests are self conscious about cameras photography is definitely the way to go!

Matt: Videos can show things photographs can’t. A bride we shot recently had a moment of the most extraordinary mix of emotions that flashed by in an instant and were caught on camera. The moment was also caught in the photos but just didn’t have the same impact as it didn’t have the same context to it. Video captures every moment, not just one.


Dom: Photography is an incredibly artistic medium. It provides perfect moments, insights into your memories. It evokes emotions without dictating the terms and allows you to contemplate the imagery at your own pace. Photography is a long established and ever-lasting medium to cherish your memories for the rest of your lives.

Matt: Video is a fast-growing medium. It can be used as an extension of photography and capture moments and emotions that sometimes photography simply can’t portray. Video records the audio as well as the visuals from the day and provides a soundtrack to help stir memories and emotions. With growing technology video can now be displayed and shared as easily as photographs and be equally as artistic and creative.

Liz & James – Wedding in East Ayton, North Yorkshire from York Place Films on Vimeo.

So there we have it, we’ve presented the arguments but we’d love to hear your thoughts too! Add your voice to the argument via the comments section or tell us your thoughts on Twitter or Facebook!

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  • Mark Cunningham - October 19, 2012 - 9:24 am

    Well gosh. I thought I knew exactly which side I stood on this one but, Dom I’m sorry, Matt has some compelling arguments!

    I say go Harry Potter style. Moving pictures are just cooler.ReplyCancel

  • elaine - October 23, 2012 - 4:45 pm

    I’m with Dom on this. I’m sure u can get some great things with video, but my first thought on the subject is just cheesy, whereas photos are wonderful pieces of classic art.ReplyCancel

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