Written by Martin Neeves
One factor in a wedding that often gets forgotten until too late or takes low priority or gets the “saving money” touch is the wedding album. Do not forget that you remember your actual wedding day through your precious photographs. You will want to hold them close to your heart, but get it wrong and you could be filled with regrets later.
I thought it would be helpful if I set put 10 top tips to ensure you have great memories to look back on:
1. Not creating a wedding album. The album is the memory you have of the great day. It is becoming more common for wedding pictures to languish online without proper presentation. Don't make this mistake!
2. Only having a CD of digital files instead of an Album. After all you can print the photos when you want them and “printed albums are so yesterday”. Great idea, but CDs do not last forever. The first CD-R disc produced claimed to last in excess of 40 years. DVDR discs have a claimed life of at least 100 years. The reality is that CDs tend to degrade after 10 to 15 years. Also, you might not be able to read your CD photo album in a few years if technology ceases to be fitted with CD players. Once printed the conventional album is there for life and longer.
3. Making your own wedding album. While top quality albums can only be purchased from professional photographers (as consumers can't buy them directly), some couples say they will buy and design their own album. Although making your own wedding album can save you money, you will likely end up with an inferior product. also, many couples who opt for files-only coverage find that life takes over after their wedding, so they never actually get around to designing their album.
4. Not talking to your photographer about the Album. This is a common mistake. The initial meeting with your photographer to create your wedding pictures is only the first step in the final presentation of your wedding day. You cannot agree totally what photographs will go in your album at this stage because you haven’t seen the final images. So the important final step is to work with your photographer to create an album that will be a family keepsake for generations. Both you and your wedding photographer will have a specific vision of the results and process; make sure that they are aligned otherwise when the photographer shows you the final results they may not match your expectations. The most appropriate presentation of your wedding photographs is a wedding album. Talk to the photographer about the album options and what can be achieved with the different types of album. Discuss with your photographer about creating an album. Remember that each photographer will have their own unique style for designing wedding albums.
5. What style and quality of album? Think about what it is going to look like in 15 to 20 years’ time – or longer. The style will reflect the class of the wedding. The top line albums are library bound to give a better appearance. Are the photographs embedded into the pages using professional print techniques or are they being put in an album under a thin film that keep peeling - peel and stick albums? Why would you want to unpeel the photographs later? – They are a permanent reminder. I have seen albums produced by professional wedding photographers that look like they have been purchased at a department store (or in one case a pound shop) and after 3 or 4 years they look awful – some memory to keep for ever! Ring binder wedding albums or ones with removable pages look cheap. Also the ring binders usually degrade and start releasing the pages, spilling your valuable wedding photographs on the floor in a heap.
6. Attention to detail in album production. I read this comment on an online blog by a lady after her wedding: “I Would Prefer That My Name Be Spelled Correctly On My Wedding Album”. She had seen loads of proofs before the album was produced but nowhere did the cover feature, even though it is an integral part of the album.
7. "My photographer won't let me choose the photos for my wedding album." It is impossible for a photographer to choose which photos are to be included in an album as he or she will choose on photographic merit alone as they will not know the relationships each couple has with their guests. It is therefore important that couples choose which photos go into their album and then let their photographer design the layout for them.
8. Does the photographer have some examples? The photographer wants you to sign up to buy an expensive album, but does not have an example of a finished product. This will allow you to feel the quality, or lack of it.
9. What size and style of photographs will he/she produce? After all you are looking for a bit of a wow factor and if all you are getting is 6 x 4 photos then you could go to Boots and get those. Are they being optimised for print and produced on high quality paper?
10. It’s going to cost me a fortune. It is true that there is a wide range of prices for wedding albums, but it is exactly that – there is a range and you can still get quality for sensible prices. Martin Neeves mainly uses 2 types of album, both of which look amazing. These are Jorgensen Traditional Matted Wedding Albums and Graphistudio Storybook Wedding Albums – take a look at some examples.
If you want to have a look at some sample albums I produce, please give me a call on 01455 271 849 or contact me by email