Should I Hire a Videographer, Video Production Company or Cinematographer?

Videos are making waves like never before. YouTube alone has 2.5 billion users. And trying to keep up with influential TikTokers and Instagrammers can feel like facing a tidal wave.

To stay on top, companies and marketers are using video at an unprecedented rate to compete for attention – and profits.

Staying abreast of the terminology and trends in video marketing can feel intimidating. But I’m here to break down the basics.

So, what’s the difference between videography, video production and cinematography? Let’s dive into it…

B2B Testimonial Video, featuring Allbirds championing the company Zipline.

What is a Videographer? 

  • A videographer is often an individual (usually a freelancer) who is hired for smaller video projects with smaller budgets. They usually work alone or sometimes with one or two other people. Typically the videographer films and documents events like weddings, conferences, corporate events, social gatherings, interviews and testimonials. These projects don’t generally involve much storytelling or marketing strategy.
  • A videographer is often a “one-person-band” who handles everything like lighting, sound, filming, editing and graphics (especially the skilled ones who are masters of many trades). A videographer can also capture raw footage and the person/company who hires them will handle the editing on their end.
  • Videographers tend to work for an hourly or day rate. If your budget is on the smaller size and/or you need a relatively simple video, a videographer is a great choice. The turnaround time for these projects is pretty quick as well.

However, if you want a next-level video that better addresses your marketing goals, it’s beneficial to hire a video production company.

What is a Video Production Company?

  • A video production company includes a team / crew of experts with training and experience in: lighting, sound, casting, location scouting, video editing, graphics, marketing and in some cases, video distribution (check out my article on Where to Post Videos for ideas). Some companies also specialize in niches like animated videos, drone videos, explainer videos, and heartwarming documentary-style videos (the list goes on!).
  • Video production involves larger projects that may involve higher levels of pre-production, production and post-production, i.e. creating a concept / direction for the video.
  • Types of videos range from commercials, corporate overviews, documentaries to web series and more. Projects may include scriptwriting, hiring actors and voice talent, directing talent, and coordinating logistics for strategy meetings and filming shoots.
  • Some videos also require multiple camera set-ups and complicated sound and lighting technology, which may be overwhelming or impossible for one person to tackle.
  • It’s useful to hire a video production company when you need specialists who understand video strategy. They know how to use videos to fulfill your specific goals and reach your target audience.
  • This route is more expensive than hiring a videographer. However, it’s an investment that reaps rewards. Research shows that videos have the power to increase sales, website traffic / rankings, audience understanding and trust, and brand visibility (check out our post 10 Ways that Videos Boost Business and Profits).

What is Cinematography?

  • A cinematographer is acreative professional who orchestrates the visuals of a film, commercial, TV series or video project. They oversee the artistic and technical operation of the project, including the cameras, lenses, lighting, framing, angles, exposure and more.
  • Cinematographers interpret the director’s vision and capture moving images that engage viewers. A great cinematographer is an artist who helps the viewer connect with the story on a deeper level through beautiful / powerful framing, lighting and focus (among many elements).
  • A cinematographer is hired to lead a crew of technicians and usually works with a video production company or film studio.
  • Many cinematographers work on cinematic projects like films and documentaries, whereas videographers and video production companies typically work with more businesses, corporations, marketing agencies and nonprofits.
  • There’s a lot of crossover though. Bia Production’s founder, Beka Virtue, is a cinematographer and director of photography — terms that are sometimes used interchangeably. While filming, he infuses artistic elements and style into the videos he creates for businesses (pictured above).

I hope this article was helpful by illuminating the differences between videography, video production companies and cinematography.

I also hope you enjoy the ride as you delve into this field and create videos that you love!

If you have any questions or feedback, I’d love to hear from you. Reach me at [email protected]. And if you have a video you want to create, we’d love to hear about it and bring your vision to life!

About Bia Production:

Bia Production is a full-service video production company in NYC. We create first-rate videos for businessescorporate clientsnonprofits and artists — that are also budget-friendly. We don’t stop there, however. We also film movies, shows, web series, and documentaries. We’re located in Brooklyn, New York, although we provide our video and filming services throughout the Northeast.

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Also reach us via: [email protected] 347 309 8959