WEDDING ALBUMS vs DIGITAL FILES

Nowadays couples are very undecided about whether they should have just the digital files of their wedding day or a proper wedding album. In this post I’m going to try to explain the pros and cons of ordering your wedding album and the same for just having the digital files of your big day.

First of all, I want to say that I’m the most digital person you will ever know. My entire life is surrounded with mobile devices, digital cameras, computers, etc… but If we are speaking about books, things are different. In fact, I’m fanatical about photography, fashion, exhibitions and art books & catalogues. So, do you think that I have the digital versions of them? No I do not! I need to see the pictures in the same way the artist wants me to see them, with the same colour, contrast and luminosity of the final version that the artist puts out.

The feeling you have when you see photographs in a proper book is not the same as when you see them on a screen. By the way, a wedding album tell us a story: the story of your wedding day, from the beginning to the end, and to reproduce that with digital files is quite difficult.

I’m going to give you an example: which would you prefer to have? A Picasso’s original painting or a digital version of the picture? You’re thinking of the first choice, aren’t you? And why is that? Probably because of the sentimental value that the painting has. An artist has made the piece to enjoy for the rest of our lives. With the original, you can appreciate the textures, the colours, the material… but what about the digital version? Well, here there are several factors that can change the whole picture, such as the TV, monitor, mobile device or computer where you are watching it. For example, are you aware of colour calibrating? colour profiles? If your computer is not calibrated the same way as the artist’s canvas, you are going to see different colours, saturation and luminosity. Probably you are not aware of this terminology, but I’ll try to make things clear later.

I know this is an exaggerated example, but I hope this helps you to understand what I’m trying to say. So, let’s try to break down all the things that you must bear in mind:

PROS OF HAVING A WEDDING ALBUM

YOUR WEDDING ALBUM WILL ENDURE FOR A LIFETIME

This is a fact. Your wedding album will endure for the rest of your life. You will be able to share it with your family and friends whenever you want to, and you will love to remember time and again every moment of your “Big Day”.

Your photographer must offer you a high-end quality album to ensure its durability. I don’t recommend press-book albums for weddings due to its paper type and thin pages, because it compromises the durability and the quality of the final product.

A WEDDING ALBUM TELLS THE STORY OF YOUR BIG DAY

Your wedding album tell the story of your Big Day, from the beginning to the end. Therefore, every time you browse through it, the great memories of your wedding will come up again and again.

IT’S NOT JUST A BOOK, IT’S THE PROOF OF THE BEGINNING OF YOUR NEW LIFE

That’s true. A new stage of your life has come and you will love to share it with your family, friends and, who knows? with your children? Showing them your wedding album will be the best way to experience your wedding day again, telling your story step by step. This is not just a simple book, it is an album that contains your best memories and experiences, and obviously you will keep it and cherish it.

YOU WILL BE ABLE TO SEE YOUR PICTURES LIKE THE PHOTOGRAPHER WANTS YOU TO SEE THEM

When photographers work on your pictures, they use the lab’s colour profile, to ensure that the colour quality of the edited pictures they send to the laboratory to print is exactly what you get.
The great thing about a wedding album is that you can look at it as the photographer made it for you, and also, that you can physically touch it.

IN THE FUTURE YOU COULD REGRET NOT HAVING A PROPER WEDDING ALBUM

That could happen. In the future, if you don’t have your wedding album you could regret it. Why? Because as I explained above, just having the digital files is not the same as having the story of your Big Day contained in a wedding album.

DISADVANTAGES OF HAVING A WEDDING ALBUM

I’ve just found one disadvantages of having your wedding album: the price. But before I start explaining this point think about something: How much will you spend on flowers for your wedding? They will wither in just a couple days but, your wedding album will endure for the rest of your life.

Ordering your wedding album is indeed not a cheap option, but I swear it’s worth it. You have to bear in mind that the materials and the photographic paper used in wedding albums are of high quality, to ensure that your album endures for a lifetime. Some of them are also handcrafted, like ©Queensberry albums, so the care put into them is priceless.

I suggest you check out the wedding albums your professional photographer is offering. If it’s possible ask for the name of the album’s provider and ensure about the wedding album you’re ordering has the quality you deserve. Just to let you know, in my opinion, in this moment the best wedding album provider is ©Queensberry, based in New Zealand, but there are other good providers such as ©Couture Books.

Don’t trust the photographers offering you bargains, a press-book wedding album and also those who don’t let you see a sample album. You should touch and feel how your wedding album will be before ordering it.

To save money, take advantage of the packages the photographers are offering. They usually include quality wedding albums in their middle of high packages range. Without a shadow of a doubt it is the best way to have your perfect wedding album.

DIGITAL NEGATIVES

WHAT IS A DIGITAL NEGATIVE?

If we look back years ago, when digital photography was not available yet, all photographers were using film negatives. Those dark and tiny strips we all remember, don’t you? Well, digital negatives are more or less the same. In brief they are unedited jpg versions of the original camera files (raw format). And what does it mean? Let’s try to find out!

Raw image format images contains all the data from the camera image sensor, and they need to be processed later with software to achieve the final image. As this kind of file can’t be seen without the correct software and, the large space it occupies, photographers usually hand jpg files which are easily manageable.

On the other hand, digital negatives are unedited. I mean, the photographer must hand all the pictures exposed and corrected properly. However, you could’t find signature or artistic edited pictures among the digital negatives because this kind of artwork is created to become a frame, canvas or acrylic to decorate your home.

So, what can you do with the digital negatives of your wedding? Lets’s try to break down the uses your digital negatives would have:

ENJOYING YOUR PHOTOS IN ALL YOUR DEVICES, COMPUTER, TV ETC…

It’s simple, with your digital negatives you will be able to see all your wedding pictures in all your devices, computers, TV etc…

PRINT OUT AS MANY AS YOU WANT

Straight. You can order your prints in your favourite lab or photographic store. You will be able to print out as many as you want. But be aware, some labs could ask for the photographer’s license to print your wedding photographs. Therefore be sure to have a copyright release from your photographer letting you print, post on social networks etc… all your pictures for personal use. Any proper professional photographer will give you this certificate automatically when they give you your pictures.

CREATE YOUR OWN WEDDING ALBUM ONLINE

That’s another option, creating your own wedding album. It’s simple, quick and easy. But remember, a press-book is not the best option for your wedding album. I’ve warned you! Anyway, when you see a Queensberry Album you will never come back 😉.

CREATE YOUR OWN SLIDESHOW

There’re several tools to create a slideshow of your wedding day easily, such as ©Apple’s ©iPhoto, ©iMovie and others over the internet. Spread your creativity!

CONS OF HAVING ONLY THE DIGITAL NEGATIVES

As I explained at the beginning of this post, it’s not the same to see the story of your Big Day told in a wedding album compared with seeing individual photographs contained on your hard disk. Also we have to think of problems that could come up:

DATA LOSS / DISK CORRUPTION / BACKUPS

I don’t know if you have had this horrible problem, but I have. It’s so annoying, overall if you haven’t got any backup. So, could you imagine how you would feel if that happened to you with your wedding photographs? I could, and I swear it is not a very good feeling.
And, what about DVD’s and memory sticks? Exactly the same thing. They could stop working at any time.

Nevertheless, how many of you have a backup? If your answer is: I haven’t, you should consider this point very seriously.

COLOUR, SATURATION AND LUMINOSITY

 

As I explained before, the colour, saturation and luminosity play a fundamental role on photography. Therefore, unless you’d configured your screen with the same colour profile your photographer’s set up, you won’t be able to enjoy your photographs the same way your photographer does. In fact is very difficult to achieve, and no all the screens are able to show the billions of colours a photograph has.


And that’s all. A very long post indeed, but I hope it’s useful enough to help you in preparing your big day as much as I wish. Please, don’t hesitate to post a comment below and feel free to let me know if I’ve missed something in this post.

Thank you very much indeed for reading this and have a nice wedding day!

Learn more about the Hampshire Wedding Photographer on my website or learn more about Queensberry Wedding Albums here.

OR

Apple News Channel of Manu Mendoza Wedding Photography in Hampshire