Wednesday, February 23, 2011

To album or not to album?

Last week I took the time to re-design my blog. What do you think? I think the layout is cleaner, easier to read... of course knowing myself... I will probably redesign it again in another 6 months! Anyone else do that? :)

I thought since I've been making some {Wedding Wednesday} posts - I would try to blog on Wednesdays as well! So today's blog will be about... ALBUMS. To album or not to album - that IS a frequent question with today's brides & grooms! So let me share some thoughts and put out a few questions for you to answer. If you're struggling with this decision yourself, perhaps I can help you make an informed one.

Here are 10 reasons why you should (or shouldn't) purchase an album with your photography package.

1) Your coffee table needs some love. Now that you and your other half are a married couple, it's time to start entertaining other couples in your home! A question that more often than not comes up with new friends "So how long have you been married?". What a great time to say "Our wedding album is right here on the table, why don't you take a look?" Your friends will be impressed. Your wedding album tells a story that words can not.

2) No one wants to sit at your computer and look through 500+ wedding images. Even your tried and true friends and family's eyes will start to water after the first 200. Having a wedding album allows you to pick your favorite images and special moments, and share what's most important to you without boring anyone! Yes, they love you enough to look through all 500+ but let's be honest... there are few that really want to.

3) It's an heirloom. I know personally whenever I see my parents wedding album, I feel like I'm in a time machine. It's such an honor to be viewing the happiest day of their life! Your kids will want to view yours too.

4) Did I really say TEN things? This might be harder than I thought. Which leads me to #4 -- 90% of brides who say they will put together their own album do NOT actually do it. Why? Sometimes things are harder than we think. Leave it to the pros!

5) Something new, something blue, something... tangible! Today's wedding market is so very different than in the past. An album used to be a necessity. Today, it's an add on. While I realize the budget constrictions of the modern bride, it's hurts me to have a bride walk away with nothing more than the high resolution files of her wedding. Why? Because studies have shown (as I sort of alluded to above) that 90% of couples will not DO anything with their photos. This is why I try to include a gallery wrap canvas in every wedding photography package. At the end of the day you may ask yourself "What am I going to walk away with" after spending $$$$ on wedding photography? Wouldn't it be nice to say "a gorgeous custom designed wedding album!".

6) Don't forget your parents. This one is a little trickier. How much will your parents and in-laws value an album? Do they want a mini-me of your album, or one that is tailored to their favorites images instead? Remember, this is one of the happiest days of THEIR lives as well! I've found a DVD slideshow is a nice alternative here, but only if your parents are comfortable with a DVD player and or computer. Another factor to consider of course, is if they are paying for any portion of the wedding.

7) Options options options... Today's modern weddings are all about customization. Your colors, your favors, your music - it's a fun way to show your family and friends what you and your future husband or wife is about! Well creative options abound in wedding albums as well. There are different design styles and cover option that range from gorgeous silk to eco-friendly non-leathers to out-there metallic covers. If you have a secret obsession with Zebra print...

8) You get what you pay for. I'm going to step on my soapbox now. :) It's drives me bonkers when I hear (or see on forums) "well, this photographer can give me an album for $250, why can't you?". There are only two scenarios I can think of where this is possible. A) The photographer is desperate for your business and willing to LOSE money on a sale - or B) the photographer is going to deliver a product that ANY consumer could purchase and probably overcharging you for it. Yes, I know about the sites like Snapfish, and I know that CVS can make you a photo book for $20... but mark my words... those books will make my images look TERRIBLE and also - they will fall apart. If you want archival quality materials and professional design - you pay for it. 'Nuff said.

9) It's all you have. You've heard this said before... after the DJ has packed up, the cake has been eaten, and your guests have gone home... what's left to commemorate all that happened? The photography! It's recommended by many that at least 30% of your budget go to wedding photography. You can talk amongst yourselves. I obviously agree. ;-)

10) Options options options... Wait. Didn't I already use that one? Well this time it's a little different. If you DO decide to make your own album, go ahead and google "wedding albums" and see how many things come up. Slightly overwhelming right? I've done the hard part. I've spent HOURS (if not days) researching the highest quality and most unique professional wedding album companies in the country, and even outside the country. Let me make it easy for you - and save you time - so you can spend it all with your spouse in your new marriage!

Wow! That was a lot for my first wedding Wednesday blog post. Let me wrap it up here. Regardless of whether you decide to go for the wedding album or not, is totally and completely up to you. I will never run through this list at a wedding consultation (I will touch on a few brief points) or pressure you into making an expensive purchase if it's out of your budget. The nice thing about albums is that you can always decide to add them on after the wedding. After all - you're probably going to get a lot of cash!!

I'd love to hear your thoughts, but most of all -- thanks for reading. Please share this post if you think anyone would benefit from it!

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