Albums, and printing photographs in general, is a topic that’s very near to my heart. Yes, I am a photographer and so I’m probably a little biased but I’m also a pretty realistic person and truly believe in the importance and the value of print. Good quality printing that is. I still dig up my grandparent’s photos every year and without them, there is so much about my family history I wouldn’t know about! A wedding album is your first family heirloom and it’s an investment in your story and legacy. Whether you DIY (do it yourself) or you purchase an album from your photographer, it’s an investment (in either money, time or both) but it will always be a far better investment if you choose to trust your photographer to create a professional wedding album.
So should you DIY your wedding album? The answer is no. There is really only one benefit to making your own album on sites like Shutterfly or at Costco and that is that…it’s cheaper (but will cost you a lot more time). Here’s why you’ll be much happier after choosing to go with a professional wedding album from your wedding photographer.
Wait wait what?? Yes, most people won’t actually get around to making their album. And when your 90 and your grandkids ask to see it, you’ll likely regret never setting the time aside to get it done. It’s sad but it’s true. After the wedding, there are so many other things you’ll need to do (like send thank you notes, go back to work and ya know, enjoy your honeymoon and newlywed life!) and before you know it, 2 years have passed and you still haven’t made your wedding album. It happens time and time again, even to those for whom a wedding album is incredibly important. By getting your album from your photographer, you know it’ll get done and you’ll have it in your hands in only a couple of months after the wedding.
Maybe this should be number one on the list but simply put, we know what we’re doing when it comes to designing albums. Your photographer will have experience designing album layouts, curating photos that tell your story in the best way possible, and working with you through a revision process to create the album of your dreams. With words like archival, photographic print, glossy or matte, matted, and so on, designing a wedding album can get a little daunting. With a professional photographer, you don’t have to worry about anything except that you love the pages they’ve designed. Meanwhile, your photographer will be able to create a beautiful album that will look perfect for decades and is built of high quality materials that are designed to outlive you (100+ years) without fading, warping or colors changing.
This is worth repeating in more detail. When you DIY your wedding album, you may not have to invest as much in terms of price, but I can promise you that you’ll invest wayyyyyy more time AND it won’t last nearly as long. As professional photographers, we have access to print labs and album manufacturers that don’t sell to the public. These albums are designed and built using paper, ink and cover materials meant specifically to last decades (like, 100 or more years, seriously) without any signs of fading or deterioration. The print quality is always going to be better from a professional photo lab and the colors will be more accurate to the original photo. By choosing a professional album, you know that your album will look just as great 50 years from now as it will when you first get your hands on it.
Designing an album takes hours! From choosing the photos to designing the custom layout to communicating with manufacturing, to proofing and ordering and so on. When you work with a professional, you’ll receive an amazing, beautiful album without having to spend too much effort. You’ll spend enough time and effort that you’ll feel involved on the process as you’ll still make many of the key decisions like choosing the cover material, color and size, and will always be able to offer feedback for revisions before approving the final print, but not so much time that you no longer have time to enjoy your first few months as newlyweds (or worse, that you give up and don’t actually ever make an album in the first place).
After all of the planning, decision-making and umm getting married (!), this huge milestone and celebration in life is always worthy of an investment in a professional wedding album to enjoy and share for generations. For these reasons (and more) it will always be a better decision to get a professional wedding album from your photographer instead of DIYing your wedding album. I know that when I get married, I will probably be getting the biggest wedding album known to mankind from my photographer (yes, even I will get it from my photographer instead of doing it myself) because it’s that important!
And wedding albums are a great gift to add to your registry and family and friends will love to contribute to this heirloom! Did you know you can register for a wedding album with us? Most wedding registry sites, like The Knot and Zola, let you link to outside websites for guests to contribute to. You can read all about registering for a wedding album with us over here!