Sarah and Nate's Album, and the advantages of a professional album.
I'm so so so glad that Sarah and Nate ordered an album--for a variety of reasons. First and foremost it just tickles me when clients are so thrilled with their images that they want to have them bound into a professional photographic album. The whole process gives me such satisfaction; from presenting my initial design, to working with them on their customizations to receiving and delivering the final product. Seeing the excitement in my client's eyes and they page through their album makes me so totally happy. I was commissioned to create a body of work, and the album is generally the last step of the creative relationship and seeing a satisfied client is incredibly fulfilling. Secondly it makes me super to know that my clients have a high quality true photogaphic album in which to preserve their wedding images. From the beginning of my career I've been a huge proponent and supporter of providing digital files to the client for weddings (portraiture is a slightly different story)--I think this comes from me getting into wedding photography after the industry had already pretty much switched entirely to digital and the fact that I had recently been married myself, and my photographer provided us with all the images on a disc to do with what we pleased, which as a bride I so greatly appreciated. However, with all that said, the one draw back is that many clients aren't as interested in ordering albums or products through their photographer any more, due in part to lots of online book making sites like SnapFish and Kodak Easy Share. Which is fine--if that's what the client would prefer, I am in no position to judge. Online book designing sites are fun and easy and usually priced pretty well. I think I used Kodak Easy Share to make a book of my sister's wedding pictures a few years back--before I really understood the difference between those books and real photographic albums.
The biggest difference is that these books are made with true photographic prints--as in, these are actual photographs, printed on real Kodak or Fuji paper, whereas the online consumer books are press books. The print quality and longevity of true photographic prints is absolutely incomparable to press books, with the exception of White House Custom Color press products. They are professionally bound and will last a lifetime. The colors will last so much longer and will be smooth and even.
Thirdly--I'm glad that Sarah and Nate ordered an album because it reminded me of everything I have mentioned above. I've been super pumped about my wedding art books lately, which are the books that are included in all my collections, and which I like because they feel like an art book you might pick up in a bookstore--but it had been a while since I had made an album like this, and in handling it, it all came back to me--the weight, the feel of the actual photographic paper in between my fingers, the print quality--as much as I like the overall look and feel of my Art Books, the photographic albums are just in a different league. That's not to say they're better than the art books, or the other way around--it's totally just a matter of personal preference. The art books are also of extremely high quality and excellent binding and will certainly last a long, long time. Either way, art book or album, it's a thrill to create a story in pictures, and have it printed and bound. It feels like such a wonderful final chapter to every wedding I photograph and every creative relationship I have with my clients.
and LASTLY! I made my first album box! I had been wanting to make some kind of case in which to enclose my books but everywhere I looked they were just so darned expensive. I finally found a lab that offered custom image boxes for a GREAT price, and because I love Sarah and Nate so much I decided to surprise them by delivering their album in my first custom-made album box. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. I'm finding a lot of labs have issues with creasing around the spine with custom-image products--but I have to remind myself that this happens with all books and that no matter how much I want it to be--it's not going to be perfect!
So anyway--enough babble--here is Sarah and Nate's 10x10 wedding album, along with the album box!