Should you invest in a printed wedding album? Let’s discuss. Imagine; your wedding has happened. It was beautiful and everything you dreamed it would be. Six blissfully newly wedded weeks go by and you receive the long awaited email from your photographer. Your wedding gallery is complete! You click the link, thoroughly read EVERY instruction (Right? You all read all the instructions right?!) and begin looking through the hundreds of images of your incredible day. After choosing your favourites, you download them all to a safe folder on your hard drive (right??? This was one of the instructions!) You post a bunch of photo dumps on your Instagram and you change your profile pic. Now what?!
Well now is the next fun part! What if you took it a step further and you’d already invested in a family heirloom keepsake that tells the story of the day you began your life together as husband and wife. What if you’d already added a wedding album to your photography package and you knew that a beautifully curated archival quality album would be arriving on your doorstep shortly? As the digital age solidifies itself in its 3rd decade, many have completely forgotten or ignored the quickly disappearing art of printed photographs. Although digital files are incredible for ease of use, it is not the ideal medium to keep the most important photographs of your life as.
My husband and I were married in 2010. Digital photography had probably become the primary mode of photography within the last 5-10 years. Our wedding photographer provided us with 8 hours of coverage and about 1000 photos. We got our photos on 4 (!) CDs. We copied several hundred to our computer at the time, chose a few to print for family members and our own walls and then stuck those CDS in our filing cabinet… for “safe keeping”.
Fast forward to 2020. It’s the middle of a pandemic. There’s nothing to do and our 10 year anniversary is looming, what a great time to do some new wedding prints! Maybe finally make an album for ourselves.. Well… Guess who doesn’t own a single computer with a CD drive in it? So off I go to Amazon and buy myself an external CD drive for $50. Now I can view the images, but they are tough to open and view. Turns out the files need to be viewed in a program that is entirely outdated on current computers!
So only 10 years into our marriage what we thought at the time was a fantastic digital storage method has already become woefully outdated. This made it difficult for us to see our wedding photos and share them with our children! I am not exaggerating when I say the main regret about my wedding day is not having an heirloom album created from our day immediately after our wedding.
So why do I tell you this cautionary tale? To encourage you to print your photos- specifically to create some sort of wedding album! Like ASAP.. Maybe tomorrow?
Now these are not the wedding albums of our parents’ generation. Gone are the days of binders full of plastic sleeves with 100 4×6 photos crammed into them one after the other. The heirloom wedding albums available at Aiden Laurette Photography are called flush mount albums. Meaning the pages are designed on a computer with different layouts of multiple images per page. The design layouts are then sent to a printer and the images are printed directly on the page. The pages are incredibly thick and the binding process allows the books to lay flat when open. The durability of the pages guarantees the lifespan of the album. The substantial weight and size makes them feel amazing to hold and look through. Their lay flat designs also mean we can create beautiful full book wide layouts for your images.
These flush mount albums are my favourite way to showcase any wedding day. They really emphasize the importance of the day with their weight and high end finish. These albums can be ordered in a variety of sizes, however the most popular sizes at Aiden Laurette Photography are a 10×10 square or a 8×8 square. I usually recommend the 10×10 for your own albums, and if you are looking for a gift for mom and dad the 8×8’s are perfect for a parent album.
Additional customizations available for these albums are the cover material and colour. You can choose from a linen or leather cover and then there are over a dozen colour choices for each. Finally you can choose the embossing you wish to have done on the front. I usually recommend your names and wedding date embossed on the front cover. Embossing comes in several fonts and colours as well.
All albums are delivered directly to your door from the printer. They come in a beautiful white box to store your album in to keep it safe from sun discoloration. At Aiden Laurette Photography we work exclusively with a Toronto based printer for all our albums. Their quality is second to none, and we love working with a Canadian company. They are a small family owned lab, and I am always amazed by their commitment to quality and customer care.
Ok so you have read this far, but you are thinking- why not just make an album myself?
There are 2 important reasons to order your wedding album directly from your wedding photographer! Number one is the quality of the album that is provided by professional print labs. Number two is the quality of design created by your photographer. The most important is the quality of the materials used to print the album. SImply put, photographers have access to professional labs that offer a higher level of quality than what is available to average consumers.
High end professional print labs provide archival quality paper and ink for their albums, ensuring they will last for years. Further, by ordering directly through your photographer there is a guarantee that if anything is wrong, your photographer will fix it. The second important benefit to ordering your album from your photographer lies in the design process. Designing a wedding album can be incredibly tedious and overwhelming. You need to take 1000’s of photos and narrow them to a few hundred highlight images and then create layouts that will allow the viewer to follow the story of your day.
Add to that the importance of it being visually appealing to the eye, not too busy and not 500 pages long and suddenly the task can be quite daunting. Further to that, you need a software program of some kind to properly create the designs to ensure they will match the printed product exactly. These programs can be confusing for a first time user and the ones provided online through consumer labs can be clunky and slow due to file sizes.
As a wedding photographer, these designs are part of our weekly task lists, meaning we have a workflow and list that we work through quickly to create a beautiful album that checks all the boxes every time, saving you hours of headaches! As always, I hope I was helpful in answering all your questions! Feel free to leave any comments if you have more questions about wedding albums! Thanks and enjoy your planning!