Often clients ask about whether or not they really need a wedding album. Wedding blogs, and other industry "insiders" often suggesting saving money by foregoing a professionally designed and produced wedding album, instead – opting for a simple disc of images. Which is really better for you – the client?
Isn't a disc all I really need?
First let me say this – all of our clients receive a disc. That's right, you'll receive a disc with the final edit of your images (usually 400-900 images) for archival purposes. With a disc, we provide you with a license to reproduce those images for your personal use. If that's the case, it's fair to ask 'why would you really need anything else?'
I believe so strongly that every single couple should have a high-quality wedding album, that every wedding commission we photograph includes an album credit. Every single client gets an album. It's that important. Here's why:
The art of a print
Your photographs are intended to be presented as professional prints. A print is the end result of a photograph. A digital file is simply a negative. If your photographer shot your wedding on film, you wouldn't be satisfied with just the negatives would you? They wouldn't be especially useful to you.
A print, on the other hand, is a work of art. It's been retouched, enhanced, processed, and essentially "developed." Creating photographic prints is a skill that separates professionals from amateurs. All of our albums are crafted with real photographic prints.
A wedding album will last hundreds of years when cared for properly. It holds its value and is your very first family heirloom. It is meant to be viewed and shared for generations. The quality and craftsmanship of a professional album is meant to be around for far longer than any of us.
Finally, your wedding album tells your wedding story in a way that nothing else can. Loose prints only capture a moment. Your disc with hundreds or thousands of images is simply raw, unedited footage (so to speak), and lacks the storytelling that an album provides.
Looking through that many images is overwhelming. It might be nice to have for your peace of mind, but it lacks the narrative that exists in an album. When created by a professional, a wedding album captures your story so that you can share the emotion, the experience, the memories from your wedding day.
Finally, it's unlikely that in 25 years, you'll even be able to read the DVD or CD those images are on. With the speed that technology changes, it's certain to be a challenge for all of us to back up and maintain files for decades to come. It's great to have access to your digital files, but it requires diligence to be sure you've created a copy every five years on whatever is the most commonly accepted form of storage media.
A wedding album, on the other hand, is timeless. It will never be out of style, and you'll always be able to share your story. And really, the entire purpose of having your wedding photographed- is to share your story.