Choosing the right wedding album can seem like a minefield of options. Landscape, portrait, leather, acrylic, matted, metallic, textured, spreads etc etc. This blog will hopefully shed some light on the various options enabling you to decide which album would suit you best. Before we cover the various options, lets look at why I think albums are so important in this digital age, I mean everyone has an iPad or phone they can view images on don’t they? Well, yes this maybe true but showing off your beautiful wedding photography on a tiny phone screen or the super bright display of an iPad probably isn’t ideal though. You probably spent allot of time selecting you're wedding photographer and lets not forget money because you loved their photos, to then show them on a device isn’t in all likelihood going to show them off to their full potential.
There is also the tactile aspect, turning the pages on a wedding album with beautifully thick pages that just encourage your eyes to look into and around each image just can’t be replicated in a digital format. We are so used to looking at photos and media on a digital device, I think allot of us have forgotten how pleasurable looking through an album actually is!
Now in an age where the majority of bride and grooms receive their images in the JPEG format and some only electing to have them on a CD, I have a big worry. That worry is that these photos will never ever see an album, the reason for this is pretty straight forward. With the hectic lifestyles most of us lead now, getting the time to sit down and view the images properly could be slightly problematic. Finding the time to sit down, view them, select your favourites and then get them in an album is something that allot of couples just can’t find the time to do and in allot of cases never do.
So what happens? Well, nothing, the CD will be left in a draw somewhere safe in a house and maybe be brought out on the odd special occasion. But then the p
roblem of how to show friends and family these very special memories raises it head. All huddle round a laptop or maybe pass the laptop around like a peace pipe? You could connect the laptop to the TV but don’t forget the CD of images may well have 100’s of photos on it, will everyone want to sit through a couple of hours staring at the TV?
Its also worth remembering that albums will never get corrupted, need software to view or left in a CD tray on a friends computer. Digital media technology is moving at a phenomenal speed, the same as we moved from video to DVD to Blue-ray there will soon be a replacement for JPEG. This could mean that in the future media players only support whatever the next filetype is. With a wedding album you protect yourselves, your family, your grandchildren and even you great grandchildren from you're wedding photos becoming corrupted or even worse obsolete.
Anyhow, enough of the small talk, lets get down to the different types of album that are popular at the moment.
Landscape or portrait? This really is a personal choice, do you prefer the vertical or horizontal orientation? Just to add another option here as well, maybe consider at a square album?
Storybook style - This is where the images are printed onto photographic paper and then stuck to a rigid material like PVC. This is probably the most popular type of album at the moment and can look amazing. They also are very durable which is essential for a wedding album.
Matted album - This is a blend of the old and new really. It looks like a traditional album with cutouts, probably similar to the album your parents have. But the modern matted albums utilise the latest printing methods and the card is laser cut to exact dimensions and locations. What you end up with is a traditional looking modern album! This are typically slightly more expensive than the storybook albums.
Album finish - Leather is always very popular but other materials are also available. Acrylic can add a touch of style to the front of your album or even aluminium!
Number of pages - Two pages equal one spread so photographers may ask how many pages or they may ask how many spreads. As a rule I tend to offer 30 and 60 page options, both are manageable when in A3 size and are not too unwieldily.
Number of photos - As an average we work to 3 images per page, this enable latitude so some pages may have 5 or 6 and some may only have 2. A 60 page album would happily accomodate around 180 photos.
Print finish - This falls into three categories really. A photographic finish, a textured finish and a metallic. For the most part my clients elect for a photographic finish with those wanting a little more wow factor going for the metallic. The textured pages are very rarely selected by my clients. This doesn’t mean it's a bad finish, I think it just doesn’t lend itself to my style of photography. The photographic finish is shown on the left with heh metallic on the right.
Cost - Dependent on where the albums are sourced and the size/number of pages, the price can be anything from £600 to £2500. We use a UK based company for all of our albums for a couple of reasons. The workmanship seems more consistent than suppliers we tried based overseas and the turn around time is allot less. The difference in some cases being 2-3 weeks versus 3-4 months! Using UK suppliers also means in the unlikely event that the album needs to be returned it's a very quick process using Royal Mail as opposed to air mailing it and having to wait weeks for it to arrive let alone be returned.
Well, I hope thats helped you in your journey to finding the right album for your needs.
Thanks for dropping by!