Why you should invest in Professional Wedding Albums and Family Albums
So you had a professional photographer at your wedding (or for a family or newborn session) but you opted for "just digitals" and now you don’t know what to do with them. Chances are, your photographer has plenty of options to help you sort through what would work best for your lifestyle as well as information about properly archiving them. Instead of trying to print your own albums, or frame your own prints, let the actual professional help! You don't go to a fancy restaurant and ask for the ingredients so you can DIY your own plate, right? Don't do that with your favorite chef, and don't do it with your photographer either. You're hiring an artist and an expert, and that goes beyond editing the images, it also includes printing them. Read on to learn why you should entrust the album or print making to your photographer and buy products from them, even though it costs more. This article is written in the wedding context, but it's applies just the same for Family, Newborn, and Pet Portraiture.
DIGITAL IMAGES AREN’T ENOUGH
Most families who decide to get "just the digitals" never get around to actually making that album or framing those prints on their own. In fact, most of the families who come to me for newborn and family portraits tell stories of past photoshoots that are either lost in cyberspace or buried deep on a hard drive somewhere. Even I have to admit that I didn't get around to doing Lily's baby albums until she was 5 - and I was super nervous about loosing them the entire time!
The hassle of uploading and designing your own album can be VERY overwhelming and time consuming, and the amount of choices out there is dizzying. Archival printing and framing takes expertise and proper materials, and store bought frames just won’t do the trick. They also won't last long enough for your grandchildren and great grandchildren to share in your memories. Sure, maybe having access to the digital images for social sharing with out-of-state family or for the peace-of-mind of archiving is important, but that should be your second priority when dealing with important family memories, not the first.
PROFESSIONAL ART IS EASY
Sure, it costs a little more up front to invest in quality art, but you’re paying for the expertise of the photographer, printer and framer – but that also means you're relieving yourself of all of their responsibilities. As a mom, I know the burden of emotional labor and ALL the of decisions that can come with making an album or printing art (the choices of pictures, the layout, design, logistics, etc.); having an expert take something so important off of my to-do list is an amazing feeling. Knowing that a professional understands your needs and can shoulder this whole process is priceless. As the generations change, young families are spending more money on services that give them time back, I hire a maid, for instance, because an extra hour in the evening to spend with my daughter is more important than the cost of her services. Think of photography the same way, you're paying for someone to do something that would take you away from other important things you need to do.
At Elusive Photography, I provide a white-glove experience, which means the album design or framing choices will be completed at the Reveal and Ordering Session. I will help pick out the best cover, box, wood types and any other personalization you want – AND it will be hand delivered and installed! My clients absolutely love that they can continue on with their lives and not worry about a long, photography related to-do list; that's my job.
THE POWER OF PHYSICAL TOUCH
Everyone keeps saying, “You don’t need these albums/prints because you can store them digitally,” but to me, that makes having tangible art MORE important, MORE special. These memories will be forever preserved in something that is real, something that you see every day. You can sit down with loved ones and turn the pages with them, have them point to a picture and tell them stories about that time. Could you imagine how hard that would be to do while scrolling through a phone decades after your portraits were taken? Or how much your elderly family members will prefer a physical book to a hard-to-see tiny phone screen? When you and your kids walk downstairs every day, they can SEE that portrait on the wall, perfectly preserved for generations to come. These are the memories they will recall for the rest of their lives, and they'll have physical items to share with their own kids and grandkids, keeping those memories alive.
Access is another issue that you should consider. If you have kids or know someone who does, then you'll know that they don't have access to phones or Facebook and they definitely don't know how to retrieve folders from your computer - so how are they supposed to enjoy those family photos they participated in? Same thing for elderly family members. Putting these images in your home in ways that the non-digital family members have access to is something a lot of people forget about. Sure, your Facebook profile picture is fun for your other tech-savvy adult friends to see, but don't forget about everyone else.
I touched a bit on this above, but it merits its own discussion. We are living in a digital era, floppy discs, CD’s, and USB’s, have all come and gone, and now most galleries aren’t even on a delivery device; they are on an online gallery! While having a USB for a keepsake is important, it is not the failsafe we would like to believe it is. The internet is not always reliable, and if something were to accidentally be deleted, or if Facebook ended, what would you have for memories? MySpace recently deleted a decade of music on its profiles, and a lot of that was created by its users. What if all the pictures you saved on your computer got deleted because your hard drive failed? I cannot stress the importance of albums and framing for this reason because your portraits could disappear in an instant. An album, on the other hand, will NEVER change or be at risk of being deleted because of a failed computer, and those prints on your walls won’t either!
IT’S YOUR FAMILY LEGACY!
Whether it be Wedding, Newborn, Maternity, or annual Family updates, your family albums will be treasures that your kids will always want and will remember. In fifty years, your children will remember those albums, not the cool(er) new car, or newest iPhone, headphones, other piece of technology, or anything else we buy instead of investing in our memories. After we are gone there is little to remember us by, especially if you don't have a plan for your digital property, so be sure to give them memories in a method they can actually enjoy.
I know it is tempting to do all this by yourself, especially with all the different companies online and all of their sales, but professional quality albums and frames that will withstand the test of time are well worth the extra money. Your photographer has the experience in handling precious memories, and knows what you will need to preserve them. If your photographer doesn't offer products, you might want to consider finding someone new who can provide you with proper heirloom quality pieces.
I would love to hear your thoughts about professional albums or framing. Do you have albums or frames in your house? Did you get them professionally done? What are the experiences in your family or with your kids?