Images on Disc Vs Fine Art Wedding Albums

Wedding Photography in Devon and Cornwall: Digital Images vs Fine Art Albums

Posted on February 18, 2013

If you are looking for Wedding Photography in Devon and Cornwall, be sure to consider the end product carefully before selecting your wedding photographer. Cheap wedding photographers offering large quantities of images on a disc without an album have become common over recent years. Many couples think that more images for less money is a positive thing, and that they can always print their own album at a later date. Unfortunately, this is a popular misconception, and I’ve met many couples who have regretted taking this route.

10 reasons why you should choose a wedding photographer with a high quality printed album as the main product:

1. With digital files many people risk losing the memories of their wedding day should media become corrupted, overwritten, or lost. A photographer has no legal responsibility to maintain a copy of your images once your digital files have been delivered to you.

2. Digital technology is transient. Display screen standards will continue to change and current standards will become obsolete. Digital image products such as slideshows that look OK on today’s devices may not look so great, or be compatible with the devices that will be the standard in 5, 10, 20+ years time. A printed wedding album will remain reassuringly constant and available for generations to come.

3. An excessively high number of images dilutes the viewing experience. Still photography works with similar principles to video in that the end product should be an edited subset of the total footage captured. A selection process is vital to managing quality, directing storytelling, and to limit viewing time to a comfortable length. It’s likely that you wouldn’t want to watch a friend’s unedited wedding video if it contained a full 10+ hours of footage, and similarly your friends will soon lose interest if you try to show them 200-1000 very similar snapshots of your wedding.

4. All professional wedding photographers have finite resources and everything has to be costed. Time is one of the most critical resources. When shooting for a large number of images on a disc, quality will ultimately suffer to deliver quantity as the priority. It’s not just the time on the wedding day either. The more images that a photographer is committed to delivering, then the less time they will have in the days/weeks that follow for performing post production work per image to fulfill their potential.

5. A printed wedding album provides a tangible and tactile experience that you don’t get with digital files. Furthermore, USB sticks and optical data discs don’t have the ability to be displayed on a coffee table for friends and family to enjoy.

6. Print provides a higher definition and more consistent viewing experience. For the same digital file, brightness and colour reproduction will vary greatly across different display screen devices including computer monitors and tablets. Although some televisions are capable of displaying still images, it is not their primary purpose, and the results are very disappointing.

7. An important role of the wedding album is to tell the story of the day. Arranging related images together on the same page can provide a better story-telling experience than viewing them individually via a display screen.

8. “I’ll make the album myself at a later date using an online album printing service”. I’ve known many couples who have had this intention, but many years later they are still without an album. Many people under-estimate the time required, or find the task more complicated than expected. The reality is they will never get around to creating one, or if they do the result is likely to be disappointing. Album design and printing is a skill, and professional photographers will have had training and/or experience which makes them the best person for the job. A good wedding photographer will also be using calibrated and specialised high gamut display screen equipment in a controlled environment for colour and luminance management to ensure accurate ‘screen to print’ reproduction. A photographer will not know what printer or paper you intend to use at a later date and will supply digital files to clients using a generic sRGB colour profile. The use of different printers and paper types may require colour and luminance adjustments to be made to the digital files within photo-editing software for each specific print lab/album supplier and paper type. This is achieved by professional photographers with the aid of printer profiles and a technique called soft-proofing. Most consumer print labs don’t supply printer profiles, and a failed print run can be a costly mistake. The album printing services that are available to consumers are also a very different level of quality to album manufacturers who only allow professional photographers to open accounts with them.

9. If a wedding photographer’s brief is only to fill a compact disc or USB stick with a large number of images, then it is unlikely that they will be thinking about making images that will work together on a page. Photographers who shoot for an album may take this into consideration while capturing your wedding day.

10. Most of the wedding day expenses are for goods/services that can only enjoyed for one day. The wedding album is the one expense from your wedding day that has the potential to be enjoyed for a lifetime and beyond. Consider that you may want to share the experience with people who weren’t present at your wedding, including future children/grand-children and friends you have yet to meet.

Conclusion:

I am not against wedding photographers providing digital image files for use with current technology, as this is something that I do when I supply my clients with a digital copy of the images from their album. My point is that booking a photographer to supply digital files without a printed album as the main product has at least ten disadvantages. My advice is that the priority should be in obtaining a high quality printed wedding album that tells the story of the day with style and longevity. I also believe that when digital images are supplied as a by-product from the ‘shoot for album’ process and workflow, they will also be of a higher quality and value.

Wedding Photography in Devon and Cornwall – Fine Art Albums

When looking for wedding photography in Devon and Cornwall, be sure to check the quality of a wedding photographer’s album products in person, as all album suppliers are not equal in terms of image reproduction, style, and longevity. Following a thorough evaluation of the albums available to professional photographers I selected Folio and Queensberry as my preferred album suppliers. My decision is based on my experiences and their reputation by many photographers as being the best in the world. I have high standards and these are the only albums that I would be truly happy with if I were the client.

Images of Wedding Photography in Devon and Cornwall

10″ Folio Feature Album with Art White Paper and a Frost White Silk Cover


Click here for an overview of my Folio album products.

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Please click here, to read about Engagement Photography in Devon and Cornwall and why you should have an engagement photo-shoot.

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