- Jorge Bernardes
5 important questions about wedding albums
Many brides and grooms start thinking about their wedding albums when they meet with the first photographer during the selection process for the professional they want to hire and start looking at examples.
At that time, questions start to come up, which I'm going to answer, to help you make a decision.
1. What are digital albums?
I've been asked many times if digital albums aren't printed. Yes, they are. The word digital is there to indicate that the albums are created digitally and the photos are printed directly on the spreads of the album during their production process. Hence the difference between these and traditional albums in which the photos are printed individually and then attached or glued to album spreads.
Most photographers these days create digital albums since they tend to be more durable and simple to create. It is possible to find people that still make quite beautiful traditional albums, but the time investment is larger without a doubt and so their price will probably be higher too.
2. How much do albums cost?
When you speak to several photographers you'll realize that there are several ways of presenting the numbers to the brides and grooms. There are photographers that have some service options that include the album and some without it and others have a number apart from the services for their albums.
No matter how the number is presented, it can certainly vary quite a bit. To compare you should consider the size of the albums and number of spreads, and also if there is a box and/or replicas (or "parent albums") included in the set.
There are also photographers that might show you albums printed on fine-art paper, which generate amazing prints, but they also require a bit more care when you handle them.
It is possible to choose different materials and colors, some can have a photo(s) on the cover or not, which means that there a lot of options to adjust them to each couple's taste.
3. Who chooses the photos for the album?
This is another item where there are several ways of proceeding. There are photographers that leave that task to the bride and groom but personally I'd rather save you that work and give you the option to make adjustments, which is what many of my colleagues do too. So, the photographer, who is used to selecting photos, quickly chooses the essential photographs to tell the story of your day in your album and prepares the initial design. From that first version, revisions and changes can be made, whether that means changing photos or even their layout on the spreads, to ensure that the bride and groom have the pictures they love the most and feel are most important in the album.
Some do this process via email, others in person with a studio visit, personally I do it online through a platform that makes the feedback process easy. This way you can see each spread of the album, make your comments and I get them in my software and I can do the changes quickly.
4. How long does it take for the albums to be ready?
Here there can be a lot of different timelines depending on the work process of each photographer. I usually send the album design to the bride and groom a couple of weeks after they get access to their wedding gallery. This way they have time to see all the photos and then when they look at the album they can see if they're missing any of their favorites and give me that feedback. Of course the time this process takes also depends on the bride and groom during this part but I've had couples that were quite quick and whose album was in production a month after the wedding. :)
5. Is it worth it having albums?
In a world that is more and more ruled by screens, I believe that albums make a difference.
Of course, it is an extra investment but in my opinion, it's an investment that is converted into closeness with the ones we love most.
Compare what you'll possibly invest in albums with what you'll spend on other aspects of your wedding. I'm sure that the things you invest in for your wedding will be there with the objective of making you happier on your wedding day, but your photographs and your albums can make you happy many days after your wedding.
Who doesn't like imagining themselves on the couch with their significant other, with family and who knows even with their children, with the album in their lap reliving the day through the photos?
Not to mention the fact that it is something physical that you keep, even if there is a disaster with the digital (which I recommend always having more than one copy), and that turns into a family jewel because it is the depiction of the beginning of yours.
I hope these topics help you to make a decision! :)