We would like to introduce you to Jessica Clater! Jessica has been working at AHP as our 2nd event photographer for almost 10 years. She now is excited to be a contributing writer for the blog, when she isn't soaking up all the joys of life as a wife to Phil and mother to daughter, Eliana! We hope you enjoy her perspective as much as we do!
Yep, I’m one of those people. I don’t have a wedding album, just a proof album.
My wedding day was one of the most amazing days of my life! I love my husband like crazy to this day and yet, I never ordered a wedding album. In fact, it was probably three years before I even had a portrait on my wall from that day. And even though, through a set of circumstances, I ended up with all the negatives from my wedding, I still haven’t designed and printed my own album…and I’m in the business. You know, the plumber has leaky faucets in his house, the accountant is late with his taxes, and I, a photographer, don’t have a wedding album.
I really don’t have an excuse. I’ve been married for twelve years to the love of my life and I’ve been a photographer for the majority of that time. But, life got busy and there were other priorities with my time and money that always seemed to pop up.
Which brings me to the topic of this post – the “Images on CD only” packages that many brides are requesting. In today’s digital photography world, many brides are opting to pay only for the photographer’s time and travel and then a CD of images. This type of pricing is a huge leap from the days of package pricing that included a designed wedding album and other tangible values like framed and matted wall prints. This cost-cutting mindset may sound great at the outset to a bride who is trying to keep to a budget. However, the problem comes when the happy couple steps out of the car or off the plane or boat from their honeymoon and into…life (which may include an adorable baby, or two, much sooner than anticipated).
With the entire process of not only narrowing down and choosing images, but also designing pages and choosing covers, styles and a place to print their album, there’s a possibility that a bride may not get around to having a finished album in hand for years, if ever.
The wedding album, wall portraits, parent albums, thank you cards…all of these are the final, finished, beautiful product of beautifully produced images. These precious memories, captured on one of the most special days of a couple’s life are meant to be touched and seen often, daily. They should be there over the mantle or on the table, beautifully displayed for friends, family and guests to see. They should be there when that first child is born – a daily reminder of the love that brought them into the world.
As photographers, our images are a form of art. The final piece is not just the image itself sitting somewhere on a CD or on a flash drive or on a facebook page. The finished piece of art includes the presentation: the carefully chosen mat and frame that perfectly complement and display the portrait of the bride, glowing as she waits to walk down the aisle. The full page spread in the album depicting each precious moment captured during the first dance, each image carefully placed and enhanced by design details on the page.
When a client pays a photographer for their services, they’re not just paying for pictures. Because, you see, photographers aren’t just, well, photographers! They’re artists, designers, dreamers. The final, finished product should be a true work of art and design. When a client who isn’t a photographer chooses to quickly print a few images from their CD at the local drugstore, so much of the purity and beauty of an image can be lost.
So, trust us. The extra expense of having a finished album and wall portrait from your wedding will be well worth it.
Yep, I’m one of those people. Someday I’ll have a wedding album, maybe after my daughter goes to college. That’s not that far away…I mean, she just turned 18 months old.