Cinematographer vs. Videographer – Understanding the difference

Posted on Jan 28, 2016 in Cinematography, Corporate Video Production

If you are looking to engage the best video production company for your business, we believe there are two roles you should understand: cinematographer vs. videographer.

Understanding the difference between these two roles is important. The choice you make here will impact the picture-quality, and the potential impact, of your video. Ask yourself… if a picture paints a thousand words, what do you want the pictures associated with your brand to say?


Cinematographer vs videographer - Camera, light, lens and frame are just some of the tools that make the difference

A cinematographer is a craftsperson who creates meaningful images.

Cinematographers (also known as DP’s or DOP’s) understand that as much meaning is created by how something is filmed as what is filmed. Even for a corporate video or educational film, a hundred choices need to be made to ensure the pictures elicit the desired emotional response from an audience. Consider the framing of a subject and their surroundings. Do we set the camera high (to diminish / subjugate them), low (to make them seem powerful or imposing), close (to create intimacy) or far away (to be distanced).  Does the camera move and, if so, how? The quality, intensity and direction of light on a subject represent another series of choices. Will we create a soft, flattering light that enhances or a harsh, directional light that hides the subject in shadow? The choice of lens and depth of focus also have an impact. These tools do more than enable us to see a subject clearly. They can be used creatively to focus an audience’s attention on what is important.

These choices have a huge impact on the way an audience interprets an image and story – for better or worse. Knowing that each decision has to be motivated by the bigger picture, a cinematographer uses these tools with care. They will ask thought-provoking questions such as “I understand what the shot needs to include but how do you want the audience to feel?” Such considerations help produce meaningful, motivated images that work together towards an intended goal.

Strong images that support your message are the foundations of a good story. They can reenforce your message (rather than undermine it) and allow an effective film (TV commercial, promotional video or training series) to be created for your brand. We believe that having emotional intelligence behind your images, your branded film / corporate video is the key to inspiring and connecting with your audience.

Videographers are hired to capture events such as conferences and weddings.

A videographer is a one-person-band who has the skills to operate a camera and record limited sound, independently. Think of them generally as the news camera people of the corporate video world. They are usually hired to film an event – be it a conference or wedding. We have met many skilled and passionate videographers with a love for the moving image. In fact, most cinematographers either started out as camera assistants or videographers.

Unlike a cinematographer, the focus of a videographer is usually to make sure they capture the important moments of what is going on. During events where there is little control there is rarely time to discuss or implement style or an elaborate creative direction. Sometimes your company may need to document an event. You may need the product captured right then-and-there for social media or archival purposes. On such occasions, we recommend the services of a videographer. The question we always ask, however, is: What will these images say about your brand?Cinematographer vs. Videographer - beautiful, emotive, motivated images vs. documenting a moment

Cinematographer vs. videographer – how to enhance your brand

Getting the attention of media-saturated audiences is becoming more challenging. For the most part, presenting your product or service is not enough. This is where the choice of cinematographer vs. videographer becomes so important. 

Audiences today are extremely savvy. They want to be moved: moved to laugh, to cry, to be happy, surprised or excited. If you want to connect with your audience, you need to move them. Moving them means involving them with motivated, emotive imagery.

Good Eye Deer were asked to create a 60-second film to promote a series of council owned caravan parks in the Coffs Harbour area. The video we made does not promote the facilities and amenities of the caravan parks, as one might expect. Instead, the film engages the audience with beautiful, emotive images of children and families absorbed in-the-moment and at play.

This aspirational, online commercial / promotional video was shot by our very own, award-winning cinematographer. As such, the images are all motivated. More than showing, it aims to capture what being on holiday with your family feels like: a mix of freedom, fun and togetherness. The film is designed to connect with the audience on an emotional level by sparking memories of their own past holidays. And it encourages them to create new memories by booking a holiday of their own. This style of promotion is considered high concept and soft-sell. We like to call it the human connection approach to advertising.

Quality video production that deliver results

The focus of each film we create at Good Eye Deer is to emotionally inspire your target audience. To reach this goal, we recommend choosing a cinematographer vs. videographer – that way you have quality, thought-provoking images (that paint the right words for your brand!)  in your TV commercial, promotional video or educational film.

To find out more please contact us to discuss your next project.