Nowadays so many of my wedding clients seem obsessed with getting a high resolution disc of their wedding photography. But my question to them is always what are you going to do with it afterwards? So many people still have their lovely images on a disc lying at the bottom of a forgotten drawer never to be seen. The motivation after the wedding to do something with the images is always high but then work gets busier, kids come along etc., etc. and somehow it gets pushed back and back and then several years on apart from the lone 5×7 print in a frame on the mantelpiece the rest of the images get forgotten.

You have probably paid your photographer a considerable sum to take the photos that tell the story and create imagery that stands out from the crowd. Fast forward 20 years on. Your kids come to you and ask: “Mum, Dad, what was your wedding day like?” and you wish you had something you could get out to sit down and show them on the sofa together, something they can touch and feel that doesn’t rely on electricity, batteries or Wi-Fi.

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My own parents got married in 1948 and when I put a family book together for them for their Diamond Wedding anniversary I asked to borrow their wedding album. What amazing memories it brought back to everyone, seeing family members long since passed and although it wasn’t an expensive album it has stood the test of time with its stuck in black & white prints. I remember how much time me and my 4 brothers and sisters spent looking at it over the years when we were growing up.

Having a high resolution disc as a form of backup is a great idea, but I certainly don’t think it should be the final product. Some clients who have purchased only high resolution discs have then gone on to get some very average, flat looking prints from their local Boots or Snappy Snaps and some have even designed their own wedding photo book over the web. Unfortunately when the image files do not perfectly match the calibration of the labs colour profiles the clients can end up disappointed with the results and these modern photo books are not designed the way to last a lifetime that a properly bound professionally designed wedding album is.

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One of my album suppliers is actually a one-off book publisher specialising in hand-crafted, books where the pages are stitched in and lovingly hand bound in a traditional bindery with not a scrap of modern machinery. The other the famous Queensberry Albums of New Zealand is the world’s highest quality manufacturer of classic and modern matted wedding albums deigned to outlast the people that own them!

Leaving images in a digital format on a high resolution disc is also not very sensible. Life is busy, be cautious to make choices you won’t regret later. Far too often digital files get forgotten or misplaced. Or laptops and hard-drives fail. The long-term compatibility of the files or the disc is certainly not guaranteed. Ever had your favourite CD get scratched? By the same token, 62 years on I am still able be captivated by my parents’ 1948 wedding album.

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Types and Styles of wedding albums

I suppose broadly modern wedding albums fall into 2 main categories. They are either albums where the images are printed directly onto the page itself often known as “coffee table books” or “flush-mount albums” or the type where actual photographic prints are set into apertures with bevel cut mounts (matts) on the page known as “matted albums”. Queensberry albums of New Zealand are the undisputed “Rolls Royce” of wedding albums specialising in the matted style of album with a unique product called the DUO album http://www.queensberry.com/duo which is a stunning product which enables you to combine Matted and Flush-mount pages in the same album, and to bleed images out to the edge of matted pages on one or more sides.

Which style you choose will depend on the style you prefer, with coffee table books there are more funky design options including layering images and also reducing the opacity/transparency of certain images on the page that some people like. A word of warning however, remember the simpler and less flashy the design the less your album will date in the future. I cringe sometimes looking at some coffee table book designs 10 years old that now look quite dated. However some coffee-table book album companies now have some very sexy products coming onto the market including rigid pages and a mix of paper finished from high-gloss HD paper through to completely matt heavyweight “fine art” paper with an incredible tonal range.
For me, and it is totally personal taste but also feedback from my wedding clients, a well-designed matted classic wedding album will be something that stands the test of time and is well worth the investment.
One of the advantages of getting your professional photographer to design your wedding album is the access to album companies that deal exclusively with professional photographers and a high quality range of products not available to the consumer.

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Further websites to visit for more information and inspiration:

http://www.queensberry.com/
http://www.jorgensenalbums.com/
http://www.albumsaustralia.com.au/
http://www.bookedimages.com/
http://www.graphistudio.com/en_GB/home
http://www.folioalbums.com/
https://www.loxleycolour.com/albumsbooks.aspx
http://www.albumepoca.com/en
Your wedding day is one of the most important days in your life and that is why I believe wedding albums are so important, and as relevant today as they were and possibly always will be.

By David Bostock Photography www.thebridalphotographer.co.uk

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