Thursday, 22 May 2014

The Wedding Photo Album

It seems that these days, with the onslaught of technology, photography has taken on a whole different meaning.  Don't get me wrong, I love the digital photography age, it's quick, easy and cheap when compared to the days of film, but it does have a rather sinister side to it, one that undervalues the true meaning of a photograph.

The much loved photograph
 
French Ice Cream ParlourLet me give an example.  When was the last time you took a good look at a collection of photos, let's say from a holiday a few years ago?  Were you not able to re-live the emotions and memories, maybe even smell the air and taste the food once again?  Photos are great for triggering all of that.
French resort cafe sign

But realistically, how often do we view those precious photos when they are sat on a laptop or hard drive somewhere?  I've heard it said many times from different people that they are concerned over the fact that their computer could crash or a drive fail.  Why?  Because they have "hundreds of photos on there", and when asked "photos of what?" they either don't know or aren't sure.

How does the album compare to digital?

Engagement shoot album
The photographs I take for my clients, especially at their wedding, are designed to capture their day, and I envision they will become treasured memories for years to come.  Digital photography is great, it means that I can capture lots of memories and provide a full story of the day's events.  But the last thing I want is for those photos to be forgotten on a CD or USB stick somewhere in an old drawer or stored on a dusty hard drive sat on a desk in the study or office.  This is where the album comes in.  Photography can move on with its technological advances, and we photographers will fully utilise them, but I also think that the traditional hard copy photo album is here to stay.

Traditional leather bound albumTo actually have an album made of favourite images, covered in fresh smelling real leather, is by far the best way to show them off.  Leave an album out on a table, and almost everyone will want to look at it.  There's also a sense of pride in getting an album out for visitors to have a look at, a feeling that doesn't seem to be there in booting up a laptop or tablet.

And from a photographer's point of view, with the loving attention given to creating a book that is designed to show the pictures off at their best, there is no better way to view them. 

Designed to last forever

Album design and layoutThere is nothing that can compare to the feel of a photograph in the hand, including those in an album.  We have all experienced viewing a photo of a loved one that has stirred up deep emotional feelings, maybe tears even, and we hug the photo or the book as if it is the person themselves.  Tablet computers or phones just don't have the same feel, and you can't really hug a laptop!!

In conclusion, for me, the traditional photo album cannot be replaced.  Many wedding photographers these days seem content to just give away their work on a CD which can contain hundreds of photographs that will be lost into cyberspace.  They may charge less, but are they really giving your photographs the care and attention that they deserve?  A beautifully created album however, contains a choice selection of memories which can truly be treasured forever.

Full spread wedding photo album

Yes, I may be a traditionalist, but what's wrong with that? 
I'd love to hear what you think? Please post your comments below....

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