Over the past decade, both photography and videography has been making a digital shift. When digital SLRs first came out, I knew pro photographers that were completely against using them over their film cameras. Now, those same people are taking 1000s of images at a wedding without the worry of running out of storage cause memories cards are so cheap these days. And with video, a similar shift happened. When I first started in this business, I would have 5 pre labeled MiniDV tapes ready to go. Had to manage video time with the tapes and so on. Now, I use 1-2 memory cards per camera to capture hours of video without worry. I have invested rather heavily in hard drives though.
Now that is how the experience of the pro has changed as far as capturing the video and photos. But what about delivery? Let's take a look at the photo side of things. Photogs used to give 4x6 prints of all the photos, then the couple choose what they like for an album and the photog designs an album and has it printed and charge a nice fee for it. Fast forward to now, and I can choose from sites like Pixeset, PASS, and Smugmug, just to name a few, to deliver my photos to my clients. These sites make beautiful galleries, easy sharing options, print options for the clients and their family and friends and so much more. The printing option might be the best because it off loads the print work from the photog to the printer. Even full image delivery is made easier because the entire gallery can be downloaded by the client. No more printing every image, no exporting to a disc or usb drive and mailing. Everything is online, and people love it.
But what about video? Well, for the most part I am still making DVDs. The best thing I did in this regard was to start using a DVD printer to do the finishing after I publish it. Since I started doing that, not one failed disc. But I'm tired of making DVDs. It downgrades the resolution of the video I recorded to SD, and DVDs don't last. DVDs have a shelf life of about 25 years. I want to go completely digital, so what do I do? Yes, YouTube has been around for decade now, but up until recently you could not put long form videos on there. And even then, most clients don't want their wedding day on a public platform used to share cat videos. There are private share options within YouTube, but let's be honest, when a couple spends good money on a professional video, they don't want it delivered on a free streaming service.
For the past couple of years I have been using Vimeo, which is great cause it's more private that YouTube, and I can put a lot of different privacy options on my videos. And I can also allow clients to download the video on their end. Now I have a true delivery system! Except there are couple of things I don't like. I still like having the menu structure of a DVD, giving people the chance to skip around the chapters. The only way to do chapters in Vimeo and YouTube is by putting them in the comments which although does work, I don't think it looks clean.
Well, after this long winded backstory, I am pleased to say I found my answer. And to be honest, I only found this by reading and watching other people's blogs and they have been talking about this. I am talking about MedialZilla. This site will allow me to delivery a rich DVD like experience to clients all on the internet. No DVDs to mail, and lose or get broken. Everything online, and the client can share and download the video. And unlike a video sharing site, there are no distractions or recommended videos when done watching. Today, I will be sending my first ever online DVD to my first wedding couple of 2017. I think that this will be a great experience for all of my future couples and for me as well. Embrace the digital age everyone!