In a digital era, a lot of couples walk away from their wedding with a download or disc of images and thinking that they will create their own album. I know this, because that was me. My goal was to design an album and give it as Christmas gift to my parents and grandparents. Remember, I was a bride before a wedding photographer. We were married on July 2nd. We went on our honeymoon, moved apartments, Mathias left for Germany, enjoyed holidays with family and I started my photography business. Before I knew it, it was the beginning of December and the only thing I did related to my wedding album was purchase a Groupon from an album company I knew nothing about. I blocked off a Saturday in December to design my album using the album company's software. It took ALL of Saturday and then ALL of Sunday. Between learning the software, organizing and selecting my images, accidentally closing the software and losing what I started, realizing that you can't make a square book design cannot be resized correctly for a rectangle book, it took over 15 hours for me to design my album. Again, bride BEFORE wedding photographer. I was mentally drained by the end of it, but also determined to give our loved ones a beautiful Christmas gift. Upon checkout, my Groupon covered barely 1 of the albums and we needed 7. The albums shipped quickly from Malaysia and I thought they were great. I FIT JUST ABOUT EVERY SINGLE IMAGE FROM MY WEDDING DAY INTO AN 84 PAGE ALBUM! Score! Only took me 2 entire days of me banging my head against the wall to finish it. Why should we have hired someone else to do it?
Attachment to Every Image:
It was our wedding, a wedding we planned meticulously for. Ok, maybe Mathias really only planned meticulously when it involved food, especially chocolate, but he supported every decision made :) He was also on a separate continent for most of the planning period. Back to the point, every image was special to us. How was I just to choose a few images from the reception, when the album software allowed me to squeeze in all the images? Almost to the point where you have to squint to see who is even in the picture.
Wedding photographers and album designers, while some may be attached to those images, their job is to tell the story - and not to fit every image from the wedding day onto a single page. They have experience in telling love stories. Collaborate with them to tell YOUR love story as it should be written in a beautiful book, in this case, an album.
Accessibility to High Quality Albums:
Again, I used a Groupon for our wedding album and had no idea if the album company was any decent. While I love Groupon, there are some things that you shouldn't use it for, unless absolutely necessary. A wedding album is one of them. I should have saved it for an album documenting our honeymoon. After comparing our own wedding album to some of the sample albums from companies that wedding photographers have access to, it was kind of like comparing a cubic zirconia to a diamond. The cut, color and clarity were FAR better.
Wedding photographers have access to a breadth of album companies that are only available to professional photographers. We go to expos, album viewing events and order sample albums to make sure that the albums are great quality and will last for generations to come.
The last thing I expected was to spend two entire days designing my album. I never used the software, was very indecisive when it came to the layout and didn't fully understand the cropping ratio. So much so, that I have alternating black and white backgrounds (kind of psychedelic) and some limbs were cut out of pictures.
Wedding photographers and album designers have this experience with the software, layouts and cropping ratios so that these issues do not come up. Most have multiple reviews with the client to make sure the design exceeds the client's expectation.
I hope my experiences as a bride before a wedding photographer have been somewhat entertaining. If you wanted to know, I do plan on redesigning my album. Especially since my album design experience level went from the pee wee league to the major league. Reach out to your wedding photographer to see what album design and types of albums they offer.
Our album. Our wedding was documented by the fabulous Casey Connell Photography.
Squeezing in as many images that the album company software allowed me to!
An example of a Michelle Lange Photography album spread.