The Ethical Dilemma of Generative AI in Wedding Videography: Preserving Integrity in Our Craft

Published by Christopher on

Hey there, 

As someone who’s been shooting videos for over 15 years, I’ve got to voice my biggest concern with the rise of generative AI – the temptation it creates for some bad apples in our industry to fabricate fake portfolios and galleries to land clients.

This new AI tech is insanely powerful. With just some text prompts, an AI model like Stable Diffusion or DALL-E can crank out photorealistic wedding scenes that look like they were shot by a seasoned pro. Dramatic emotional moments, dreamy cinematic angles, beautiful golden hour lighting…the AI can basically manufacture an entire “portfolio” from thin air.  Photo quality is already good enough to fake folks on a website.  Add a fake blog article and you can populate a website with dozens of weddings with hundreds of photos in just a few hours.

And it’s not just still images either. There are video generation models now that can piece together short, coherent video clips simply from text scene descriptions. As this tech keeps advancing, I wouldn’t put it past some into assembling entire fake wedding video galleries without ever picking up an actual camera!  That’s crazy.  Will they get exposed when they show up with zero skills it’s likely.  They’ll miss the shot but miss a shot and get a second chance to make it up online.

To me, that’s a terrifying prospect as both a working pro and a potential client. As vendors, our portfolios and galleries are our ultimate proof of credibility and experience. It’s how we showcase our talents and land those big weddings that pay the bills. But now, thanks to AI, any rando off the street could theoretically mock up an incredibly deceptive fake portfolio showcasing skills and footage they’ve never actually created themselves.

Imagine you’re a couple searching for your dream videographer. You stumble across someone’s website with a portfolio that looks positively unreal – epic drone shots, flawless composition, super cinematic edits…the whole nine yards. You’d likely assume this person has decades of elite experience under their belt. But in reality, they could be a total amateur who simply fed a bunch of prompts into an AI and fabricated all those “demo videos” from scratch.

That’s a terrifying breach of trust, not to mention an outright scam stealing money from unsuspecting clients under false pretenses. And it’s already happening – just look at the recent viral examples of AI-generated content being passed off as real photography on social media. It’s a crisis that’s only going to get worse as this tech grows more sophisticated.

So what can we do to fight back and preserve integrity in our field?

For starters, we need to loudly and publicly draw a hard line – generating AI-faked portfolios with the intent to mislead clients is 100% unacceptable and unethical, period. No ifs, ands, or buts. Anyone brazenly hawking AI-generated work as their own should be kicked out of the community.

We’ve also got to get ahead of developing methods to authenticate legitimate work and sniff out AI fakes – watermarking (ick), blockchain certification, forensic detection tools…anything to keep clients confident they’re hiring a real pro with a real body of work.

Ultimately though, it comes down to each of us consistently operating with full transparency about our use of AI. If you want to explore these tools for editing assistance or creative brainstorming, by all means, have at it – but be upfront about it. Never try to pass off AI-generated content as your own unaltered work captured through skill and experience. Overpromising and underdelivering is the quickest way to nuke your reputation.

Because at the end of the day, what we offer as wedding photographers and videographers goes so far beyond just pretty visuals. We’re visual storytellers capturing the authentic, unscripted, once-in-a-lifetime moments and real human connections that make each couple’s wedding unique and sacred. No AI can ever replace the value and meaning we bring to preserving those memories with artistry and care.

Our clients’ trust and our reputations as professionals are simply too precious to compromise over a gimmicky shortcut. The future is coming whether we like it or not, but artists can overcome this disruption.


Christopher lives in Vermont with his wife, twin boys, corgi. He has owned a film production company, sold slot machines, and worked for Tony Robbins. He writes in his magical tiny house and sometimes writes in his blog at