The artistry of albums, wedding storybooks, photo books and other collections
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what kind of tale will your wedding photos tell? If you want a storybook ending and imagery that will withstand the test of time, have your photographer create a professionally designed photo book for you.
You’ve hired your photographer to capture the moments, now allow them to capture the memories and creatively weave them into your personal and unique artwork.
For the best results, hire a professional photographer. A professional will come prepared with the proper cameras, lenses, lighting and if you’ve done your homework and hired someone highly recommended and with a portfolio that showcases work that you like, he or she will also provide you with an amazing and memorable collection of photos. Most wedding photographers have an eye for both the traditional portrait images as well as posed shots and candids. A good photographer will also have the best eye for laying out the images and artfully telling your story in an album or photo book.
Wedding albums -vs- photo books?
Today, there are many options available. The standard, a traditional wedding album with photos organized and inserted in protective album pages; a photo book album which is a bound book with images press printed on the page like an illustrated book; and a do it yourself photo book with the images printed by an inkjet printer on paper.
According to Larry Crandall of Lawrence Crandall Photography, “…the book in demand today is one where the images are press printed on the pages, not an album where photos are inserted into sleeves in the page.” But a printed photo book album.
In a press printed photo book album, images are grouped in a variety of formats and styles. Some pages may feature a singular image, while others feature groups of four images per page or a collection of collaged images. Pages may include a panoramic image for a two page spread with three or four smaller, related photos perhaps printed along one side of the two page image. Crandall also states, there is an “….art to designing multiple images into an effective and pleasing double page spread.”
A photo journey…your big day in pictures!
When certain images are combined, they tell a story, they take the viewer on a photo journey. Michael Erdkamp, from Michael Jonathan Studios thinks of it this way, “A professional photo book is a photo essay or photo documentary of the day, and generally it’s more artsy than a standard checklist.” He continues to say that a checklist of all the typical photos required, may sometimes cramp the style or ability of a photographer who is spending time making sure he has gotten all of the required shots, rather than the more organic moments occurring around him. The same is true when designing a book. Sometime’s the more artistic images are those that are captured outside of those requested on a list.
Photo books make a beautiful keepsake. They are more sleek and easier to manage, than the bulkier traditional binder styled albums, and they make a lovely coffee table book or conversation piece. Those who love the thick, wedding albums filled with actual photographs often state that they feel these albums make a statement and the photos protected within, look as new as the day they were shot. With either option, or even both, those viewing the photographs will be transported back to the memories of the day, so it is important that your story be told beautifully.
Ellie Blomgren a wedding photographer with 1 Look Back Photography, says “..the wedding album tells a story, from the beginning of the day when everyone is getting ready, to the final dance.” Professional photographs capture the essence of your wedding, the joyful celebrations, and the people who helped make it special.
Professional photo books – more creative options
Why is it important to have a photographer help in the creation of your book rather than a DIY project online? For starters, your photographer has an eye for the best images. His trained eye and experience will more organically determine which images best tell a story and work on a page together. But let’s break this down.
Of the albums and photo books available today, why are press printed books better than perhaps creating your own with an online template? First, it’s being stuck with a template. An online template locks you in to a cookie-cutter design, or a specific style or arrangement. And even though some online companies allow for some custom creation, a photographer with photo shop and retouching capabilities will enhance and clean up any errors in the images and create custom pages and layouts specific to the story.
Second, the protective measures and quality of craftsmanship, as well as many products and tools used to create your bound, printed, and seamless album are only available to professional photographers and are not available from online photo book creation sites. Third, the quality of the layout when done professionally is more artistic. Photographers have the advantage of editing and creating a beautiful art piece, rather than selecting images based on the emotional connection the subject in the photo may have to the bride or groom. A nice shot of Aunt Mary wiping a tear of joy with her handkerchief may seem like it should be included, but a beautiful silhouette of the couple embracing at sunset may be the shot that makes a lasting impression and a more artistic choice. Photographer Ellie Blomgren tells her clients, “Your wedding photo album is usually passed down from one generation to the next. It is a keepsake and needs to endure. Do it yourself digital prints will deteriorate over time, but the tools available to professional photographers will ensure the quality and craftsmanship of your wedding images will withstand the test of time”.
You may wonder why your wedding photographer’s professionally created photo book is more costly than making one yourself. There are many reasons for this, and wedding photographer Michael Erdkamp shared some with us.
Creating a photo book is time consuming and often takes twenty hours or more. A professional photographer will spend time retouching, cleaning, or enhancing images and then create custom combinations unique to the story-line he or she is creating.
A professional photographer’s artistic vision is not dictated by a template, but rather by their own custom design.
Online versions of printed books are created and printed by machine while professional photographer’s books are handmade and printed professionally in a lab. Machine printed books do not provide the same level of craftsmanship as a handmade photo book.
Machines do not guarantee aligned images when dealing with a panoramic two-page image. A pro will ensure that every page is centered properly and aligned as it should be.
Most online versions offer basic printing, possibly some color correction, such as red eye removal, but these are only minor enhancements. A pro and a professional photography lab will color correct all files. Corrections and enhancements will look natural and seamlessly cohesive.
Your professionally created photo book will last longer. Paper quality is important, and an online book will often use archival-quality, acid-free paper, however, a photographer will print your images on photo board or a specific substrate to give the images the aesthetic quality desired. Whether the look is glossy, fibrous, or even metallic, the paper or substrate used not only enhances the look, it will usually also help prevent damage like creases or bending of your photo pages.
Other features offered by the professional photographer is the addition of coating each page with a light lacquer that protects your images from fingerprints, oils, dirt, and normal wear and tear. Machine made books do not offer these same protections as it is a time consuming process. Having this coating offers durability not found in online versions.
Photo books can be themed to match your wedding style, your lifestyle, or even a favorite textile. Covers can be bound in a variety of materials such as leather, velvet, satin, printed fabrics, wood, bamboo, or this new favorite — especially for contemporary or urban themed weddings — metal. You can now have a favorite photo printed directly on metal to create an interesting finish and unique and personal piece of art.
“I think the term photo book can cover a large spectrum, it could be anything from a hard cover book with thin pages to a leather bound flush mounted book…. I approach each book/album with blank photo shop canvases. I want each page to be unique…. I feel a wedding book or album is the window into one of the most important days in a couples life,” says photographer Joel Austell, of Joel Austell Photography. You work so hard to create the most beautiful and memorable wedding… be sure the memories captured are preserved just as beautifully for you, for years to come.
A treasure trove of photo memories….
All of the photographers featured in this article and on this website are able to provide artistic images showcasing your special occasion. Each offer their own unique photographic styles, and creative artistry when it comes to the design of your photographs, and your photo book or album. From inception to completion, a photographer will provide more options, as well as a variety of styles when it comes to creating your photo book, album, guest sign in book, or other photographic keepsakes. The photographer’s photo artwork captured on your special day, will culminate with his artistic vision as it translates into a magnificent coffee table masterpiece showcasing you in a unique personal work of art.
Images Provided by:
1 Look Back Photography
Joel Austell Studios
Lawrence Crandall Photography
Michael Jonathan Studios
Michael Segal Weddings