In addition to photographing weddings we also offer a wedding album design service.
As a wedding photographer who has been in business for over 25 years, I have seen how brides and grooms expectations and needs have changed over time. Today we live in the digital age when many couples want instant gratification. Today’s brides and grooms often want the flexibility of being able to view and share their photos either on their phones, computers or iPads. There is no question that technology has made sharing and viewing wedding images easier and more convenient. However, with all the advantages of digital photo technology, often clients miss out on one of the most important emotion evoking aspects of wedding photography – the wedding album.
There are many reasons to use our wedding album design service or to include a wedding with your photography coverage. Often brides and grooms don’t realize these reasons exist until many years later when they are living a very different chapter in their lives. Once friends and relatives get older, situations change and wedding photographs take on new and different meanings. This is when the true value of wedding photography becomes clear. The problem with digital photos on a phone or an iPad is based on the fact that these images often and accidentally get erased and lost forever. I recently read that some historians believe that hundreds of years from now this digital period in time will become the least saved record of human history.
The link below is just one example of an important historical event that was digital and is now gone forever.
LINK: Our history is disappearing at an astonishing rate, creating a black hole for future historians.
I could write pages and pages of blog content on the many reasons why all wedding clients should have a wedding album. However, for this post I’m going to focus mostly on the fine points of wedding album design and construction.
Image quality – what looks better? – printed pictures or images on a computer screen?
Nowadays, almost every image looks great when viewed on a smart phone or a iPad, even many computer screens can make photos look better than they really are. However, this isn’t always true. If an image is badly shot, meaning, poor exposures, bad color balance, the photo may look great on a tv or small digital screen. However, when someone tries to print the same poor image, it becomes apparent that the sub-par image file doesn’t hold any quality. Factors such as a poor image file size, missed focus, poor color balance all become apparent when someone takes a digital photo and decides to make a print. I recently had a client e-mail me a potential save the date photo which was taken on vacation by a cruise photographer. She asked me why the photo printed horribly when the photo looked great on her phone. The reality is simply, prints and enlargements require an image with a much higher level of quality images viewed on an iPhone or computer screen.
So, why bother hiring a wedding photographer with the best camera? Once a photographer decides to up the quality of his or her work, the costs to produce higher quality images multiplies. High resolution cameras that shoot higher quality images will require a much faster more expensive computer system to edit the images. Cameras that shoot more advanced file types need the latest software to edit the images. The answer is simple, printed images look better than digital images once printed from a high quality photo file. In my home I have many beautiful wall photos and printed photos. Since these were taken with a really great cameras, the quality of the photos is outstanding. The same is true for wedding albums. An image from a high quality file will look much better when printed larger. This is because of the difference between how the light is viewed by the human eye. Light from a digital screen is known as “translucent.” Light viewed from a wall photo or a wedding album is known as “reflective.” One of the differences in the viewing experience is the fact that images viewed with reflective light will show the surface texture of the printed piece. This makes the experience more rewarding and gives the feeling of having something touchable.
BELOW: Our wedding album design service includes custom album pages. When designing album pages we review all the images that will go on a page, then crop and retouch each image for the best fit.
What is the difference between owning a luxury wedding album versus viewing images on a computer screen or TV?
Think of the comparison this way, an album from a wedding is similar to owning a beautiful crystal vase with flowers versus having a picture of a beautiful vase with flowers. Both are beautiful but one is a totally different experience
If you have decided to make an album from your wedding photos, here are a few things that you should know.
Often couples will confuse the term “pages versus spreads.” This could be a problem when looking at wedding photographers price lists. In a nutshell, here is the difference. When you read a book, each page is numbered 1,2,3 and so on. Each side is a page. Most newer albums have little or no seam between each page. So when the album pages are open and you are looking at 2 pages together you see what is known as a spread. So an album sold with 30 single 12×12 pages will become an album with 15-12×24 spreads. You should keep this in mind because a wedding price list with a 12×12 50 page album sounds much better than 25 spreads.
In addition, some album companies print pages using ink, instead of using photographic paper. Even though one is not necessarily better than the other, there are differences. Ink prints on fine-art paper tend to have a more artsy look and are really vibrant because the image is reproduced with paint. In addition, the fine-art paper spreads if made correctly can be opened and closed without having the seam in the middle splitting. What is really cool about album spreads created with fine-art paper is the fact that the seam between each page side is almost invisible. This allows the album designer the option of making an image run across both pages. Imagine a huge gorgeous 12-24 panoramic photo in the center of your album!
Album pages made with photo prints use chemicals to bring the image to life. In this case the color and image is inside the paper and through chemistry it appears. These photos tend to have a more natural look. Professional photo paper companies such as Fuji or Kodak make paper that can be folded as well. Making 2 pages a panoramic spread can also be done. However, since the album page is made with photo paper there is a more of seam. After many years of opening and closing spreads made with photo paper, I have found that this seam becomes more apparent. Many sample albums made with photo paper have been viewed hundreds and hundreds of times and I have noticed the seam becoming more visible. However, it’s important for me to say that this has never been a problem.
One very important thing couples should know about albums printed with photo paper is the fact that the pages are chemical based and if any liquid finds it way onto the page surface it will become sticky. If the page is then closed the two pages will glue together and when the album is re-opened the image will peel off the page leaving a spot that is not fixable. The solution to this is to have your pages sprayed by the album company with a solution that prevents liquid from soaking into the paper. While this doesn’t happen often, wedding couples should know that they need to be very careful when viewing albums. A small amount of unnoticed spit on a page that is not sprayed could be a problem when the album is opened at a later date. When this happens it looks like the emulsion or page is defective, however the case is really due to liquid which got on the album page. Like I stated earlier, this doesn’t happen often but having your pages sprayed is always a good idea.
Having been a professional wedding photographer for many years I have created and designed many high end wedding albums. My wedding photography skill set includes both taking the photos and also creating albums. Today with digital photography being so popular, I have found that many wedding photographers have decided not to offer albums. This is understandable because shooting weddings and making albums are two different skills. Some photographers in Florida and across the country don’t offer albums or have to skills to create album pages or even offer photo retouching. Because many wedding planners know I offer a wedding album design service they refer me to brides and grooms who have hired a photographer whom doesn’t make or include albums.
After creating thousands of wedding albums, I have found that brides and grooms who want high end albums are really serious about their albums. For these wedding clients, a cheap album made with templates won’t make them happy. Since wedding albums are so personal to high end wedding clients, we provide personalized design service and work with our clients to make sure every album page is visually appealing. Only when the album design is shared and approved by the bride and groom do we make the album.
If you are a bride or groom who has wedding pictures and would like a beautiful custom wedding album designed and created, feel free to call us. Because of offer a complete wedding album design service, we have made many wedding albums for brides who have beautiful photos but no album.
If you would like to read some comments from people who have received their wedding albums click over to our home page and scroll to the bottom where we have client comments. Here is the home page link.
If you would like an album made from you current wedding pictures, call us at (561) 737-5561. We have many album options for you to choose from.