When you are hiring a professional photographer one of the big questions to ask yourself, especially if you are getting married, is “where are your photos going to end up?”. Most people now a days want the all mighty “files” and even discard photographers based on weather they give them or not. But let’s put it in perspective. We’ve all seen photos of our grand parents’ or great grand parents’ wedding, have you ever wondered if they got “the negatives”? I bet the answer is “no”. It’s simple, we’ve seen prints or albums. Maybe a few of you have or have seen the negatives, and if that’s the case, even a smaller number of you have ever used them. The truth is that the most likely product to beat time are still paper based. Yes, now a days Facebook is important, but have you considered what will happen to your photos in 10, 20 maybe 50 years if all you care about is Facebook? or if you get a DVD with your all your files? Again, the answer is simple, technology will change and your files will end up collecting dust in some obscure drawer in your house.
So what’s the best thing to do then? Well, there are a lot of different answers, but my suggestion is: Sure, get the files for Facebook, get tons of likes, but make sure you have a long lasting product too, such as prints, a canvas, frames and a high quality album.
A good size canvas or frame will most likely hang in a wall for a long time. An album will allow you to tell the complete story of the day. If you notice in the previous paragraph I said “and” when I mentioned these two products. I think that the combination is what will give you the best long lasting memory. However, I want to focus on the benefits of an album for the rest of the post since the canvas and frames are easier to understand.
There are a lot of options for wedding albums. So first, you want to make sure that you get something that will stand the test of time. And second, the focus should be on telling the story of the day, not on the number of photos in the album. To guarantee quality, I use Graphistudio, an italian based company with the reputation of being one of the best in the world. The difference is notorious. It’s as simple as holding one of these albums in your hands to understand. There are only a few more companies out there that “match” their quality, but no matter who your photographer is, or what company they use, make sure that you’re getting a good book.
The book shown is a Graphistudio 16×12 inch Wedding Book. Crystal Glance cover,
black leatherette spine and back, thick photographic laminated paper and Art Box.
In terms of photos, you don’t want to get so many that no one pays attention to any page and just browses through them to get to the end. You want everyone that sees your album to enjoy the best moments and have enough detail at the same time. I “shoot for the album”. From when I pick my camera up, I focus on how I’m going to tell your story. That allows me to create a stress free environment. It doesn’t mean that I will only take a few photos, it means that I can focus on the quality instead of the quantity. We won’t be rushing so I can meet a quota of X number of images. But whichever the style, don’t expect your album to contain all your photos, let your photographer select the best ones and design something a little more eye pleasing than having to jam a ton of tiny photos in every page.
Lastly, if budget is an issue, ask your photographer for options. Reconsider where you are cutting costs. Believe me, I’m not the only photographer that hears this all the time “I should’ve spent the extra $$ on my photos”. Sure food and decor are important, but no one will remember that in 10 years, and you will for sure remember not having good photos. Since you are making a big investment, make the extra effort to ensure your money doesn’t end up in a drawer. It’s like buying a car, if you want to drive it, you still have to pay for registration and insurance, otherwise it will end up in your garage, right? I include one Wedding Book in all my packages to make sure my clients get it, but the wedding albums can’t be designed until after your wedding day, so I’m sure most photographers would be open to let you order it and pay for it after the event.