Wedding Albums vs. Digital Files
The digital world is pretty amazing when you think about it. Almost everything we do these days has some sort of app that makes it easier/possible/cheaper.
In terms of wedding photography, you are going to get hundreds and hundreds of photos of one of the most important days of your life, and it’s fantastic! All those little moments that unfolded on the day captured forever in pictures, and some of which you probably weren’t even aware happened! All presented in your digital photo gallery for you to share with family and friends.
But maybe there’s something missing…an actual physical album. I find that most people really love the idea of having a wedding album but maybe wonder if it is worth it. In this short article I’m going to set out the benefits of digital files and printed albums, so that you can decide what’s important to you.
Benefits of Digital files
- Almost all wedding photographers will provide a USB drive so that you have your own copy of your images to keep on your computer, tablet or phone and it feels reassuring to have your own copy of all of your wedding photos.
- Most wedding photographers also provide an online gallery of your images that means they are easily accessible for you, your family and friends. This is really good because it means that they don’t have to come to you to get a copy!
- Maybe you want to be able to email a few images to a family member or a friend on the other side of the world who unfortunately couldn’t make wedding. They will love to share the day with you through the photographs and isn’t it fantastic that it is so easy to do?
Okay, so there are some pretty big benefits to having digital copies of your wedding photos, but while we’re talking about digital files…
Are they permanent? Maybe, if you take care to manage them. Your photographer may save your bacon if you lose your wedding photos (I guarantee to keep a copy for 5 years), but please make more than one copy of your digital files! The iPad that you have now won’t exist in 5-10yrs time. You will need to make sure you always transfer your digital files to the new system – this can be a pain. And do you know what? If you find your wedding photos a pain to manage then you might be less inclined to actually look at them!
Technology is always changing but here’s my current advice – copy your wedding photos from your USB drive to your computer and then put the USB stick in your home safe or in a fire proof box. Also make a copy onto another USB drive and give this to a close friend or family member to keep safe. These USB drives are your fall back if you accidentally have a total computer meltdown. Don’t use the USB drives as the main way to look at your images – the more you use a thumb drive, the more likely it is to fail or become corrupt. Finally, if possible, make another copy of your photos in a cloud storage system like Dropbox or Google Drive, which both have some protection against accidental deletion.
Okay, let’s talk about wedding albums
First and foremost, wedding albums can be really fun to look at for everyone! You, your family and friends alike.
For a lot of couples it is the tangible reminder of the wedding day that they can hold and feel in their hands, the story of the wedding is retold right there on the turning of each page. So let’s ask some questions to know if it’s the right solution for you.
Do any of your friends have a wedding album? Do they enjoy being able to to pop over to the bookshelf and relive their wedding day every so often? Ask yourself how you would feel if you weren’t able to do that. Is it something that’s important to you and your partner?
Do your parents have a wedding album? Do you like to look through it every so often, or if they don’t have one do you wish they did? Does sitting on the sofa looking through the pages of their album give more satisfaction than the scanned version of their photos on a computer screen? Will your future family like to do the same with your wedding album?
If you think in these ways you’re going to know whether or not an album is important to you.
How about creating your own album?
If this is your type of thing and you are the type of couple who loves to make albums and photobooks of their life then it could be a great option for you. Just be aware that higher quality albums can be quite tricky to get right, sometimes with multiple proofs being required. So it’s quite an involved process. Do you need your wedding album to be higher quality than a press-photobook or would that be just fine for you?
Also, something I notice with some of my past clients who didn’t opt for an album, but say they will do it afterwards, is that they never seem to actually get around to doing it. Life moves on and, quite frankly, it gets in the way! Before you know it, months and years have passed and all the while you don’t have that true memento of the wedding day on the bookshelf waiting to be enjoyed at a moments notice. So maybe now is the time to commit to having an album, because then it’s done, it’s ticked off the list and you know it’s going to be a part of your married life, forever.
It’s such a personal decision that no-one can tell you what’s right for you, but hopefully this has helped you to start thinking about what’s important to you.
So you can see that there are great benefits to both digital files and a wedding photo album, and actually it’s not really one or the other. The real question is not about wedding albums vs. digital files, it’s actually:
“Do I want an album?”.