The Importance of Wedding Albums
By Stewart Ross of Stewart Ross Photography
It’s finally your wedding day! A crazy amount of planning, time, money, and passion has gone into your day, and most importantly, your loved ones are travelling from around the country to celebrate with you. The anticipation and excitement of your wedding coming together is second to none.
Not everything may go quite to plan on your special day, but there are some things you can be absolutely certain of; it will be full of emotion, it will disappear quicker than you can imagine, and it will create some of the best memories of your life – all in an instant!
Capturing these priceless memories is important, but perhaps even more imperative is how your beautifully printed photographs are displayed and preserved until you are old and grey. Personally, I don’t think there’s any better way of doing this than presenting them in a bound wedding album made by a professional. There really is no better quality in craftsmanship.
In my parent’s day (mine being baby-boomers) professional wedding albums did exist, but in the form of vinyl or fake leather style albums. They were made by a professional, filled with professional lab prints, which were covered with plastic and dry mounted to the page. Many albums only had as little as 20 professional images in them…each and every one of them a posed line-up of different family members and friends, with many of the photos not capturing the atmosphere and emotion of the couple’s special day.
My parents have been married for 43 years, and they cringe at the thought of getting their album out, because it doesn’t match the beautiful, but fading memories of their wedding. These days, some couples pass up the option to include a professional album in their wedding photography package. They may do this because of the expense, with the idea of printing the photos themselves to create their own scrapbook or album.
Unfortunately, many couples never actually get around to finishing their album or presenting it the way they had first envisioned. Maybe in the first year, they’ll print some for the mums and dads, and a couple for the office desk or the bedside table. But then, kids come along, and life happens. Houses, holidays, moving, and usually the cuteness of babies, replace the old wedding day photos.
Many couples choose to purchase a disc of images only. With a disc full of hundreds of beautifully finished images of their wedding (hundreds more than my parents ever had) some couples end up printing the photos onto low quality paper that simply won’t stand the test of time. Newlyweds need to ask themselves whether their images will be around for their children and their children’s children to see.
We also need to consider whether CDs or DVDs will be around in the future – we have seen traditional photographic negatives and other technologies phased out. Many computers are already phasing out CD and DVD drives, and perhaps USBs may be next? We also have to face the reality that hard drives may eventually not exist at all, replaced by cloud based storage, which has the potential to be lost or forgotten.
Of course, while we encourage newlyweds to take their disc of wedding day images and back them up and store them correctly, there really is only one option that will last for generations and still look great – and that is quality printed photographs! Not just any 15 cent retail photographs you can print at a local shopping centre, or the digital images on Facebook, or the “photo book” ordered online with a few clicks, (I’ve seen both fade within 5 years) but professionally printed photographs, on archival paper, that will still look good in 100 year’s time.
It may sound like a bold claim, but archival or fine art paper used by professional photographers resists fading and ensures your prints remain vivid and colourful (provided your photos are stored and displayed properly of course!) for many years to come. Your memories are worth more than a cheap print, or no prints. So too is the investment (both monetary and time) you have made on your big day. If you have made the decision to hire a professional photographer to ensure they capture all your precious moments, then follow through with this by also having them design, print, and make a high quality handmade wedding album that will be cherished for generations.
Albums these days are the best they have ever been. Despite the digital age, behind the scenes, professional photographers and album producers have been working hard to advance the humble wedding album, into the beautifully crafted, creatively designed, and gorgeously printed books you see today. An album that will sit proudly on your bookshelf, not hiding in the cupboard like my parent’s album!
If you book a professional photographer, you can view sample albums in person. You can experience firsthand the look, feel and smell of these beautiful albums. The variety of styles, covering materials, and papers will leave you wanting one straight away before you’ve even reached your wedding day.
Yes, albums can be expensive, but with good reason. They are custom designed to your liking, with all your favourite photographs in handmade albums, just for you. But when you consider their lifespan, they are also great value. They are the best way to correctly archive your photographic memories, and hand them down to the next generation.
Images courtesy of Stewart Ross Photography