Recently I wrote this article for Wedding Venue Map and I wanted to share it here with you since the information is near and dear to my heart!
VHS, Betamax, floppy disks, Zip disks—what do all of these data storage mediums have in common? It’s all but impossible to retrieve data off them today. But at one time, they were the cutting edge way to store data, be it text, photos, or videos.
Now think about your wedding photos and how they’re stored. Are they on a CD or DVD? A USB drive? An external hard drive? The cloud? What’s to guarantee that you’ll be able to access your digital images in five, 10, or 50 years? Many newer computers are doing away with CD/DVD drives and some computers already require adapters to plug in USB drives (I’m looking at you, Apple).
Maybe the Cloud is the solution, but files can also get corrupt, lost, or accidentally deleted. All of this is to say that we have no way of knowing what the future holds, which is why I’m a huge advocate of wedding albums and of printing out your wedding photos.
All photos, really.
Why Wedding Albums are Important
Photographers by nature are storytellers. Wedding photographers spend hours creating images that tell the story of your wedding day. From the early moments of the bride getting ready, to the groom nervously pacing before walking down the aisle, to that stolen moment gazing at the stars during the reception, your wedding day is a story waiting to be told.
Let’s be honest, won’t it be more fun to flip through a physical wedding album to share that story with your future kids or grandkids rather than swiping through images on the Cloud or your tablet?
The tactile experience of flipping through a wedding album is far more satisfying. If your wedding photography package didn’t come with an album, or you chose to omit it because you were watching your budget, consider using some of your wedding gift money to have your photographer create a wedding album for you.
Wedding albums are another way to showcase your personal style. Gone are the days of basic black or white album covers. Photo covers, funky colors, leather (or vegan “leather”), linen, and other materials allow you to create a unique keepsake.
Each photographer handles the wedding album creation process differently, but keep in mind that they create wedding albums on a regular basis. Rely on their knowledge and expertise to help guide the process and you’ll end up with an amazing keepsake that tells the story of your wedding day. Each year on your anniversary, pull out your album and flip through it with your spouse, and be reminded of wedding moments and details that may have faded from your memory over time.
Why You Should Print Your Wedding Photos
You spent a lot of money planning your perfect wedding—from the dress to the details—and you hired a professional photographer to document your day, so clearly, the images are important to you.
Now that all the festivities are said and done, you’re probably left with a USB drive of images sitting in a drawer somewhere. Does looking at that piece of plastic bring back fond memories of the big day? Probably not! So get that drive out of a drawer and have some prints made and display them where you can see them on a regular basis.
Photographer’s packages vary, but if you’ve received a USB drive of photos, odds are good that you’ve also received a release that allows you to have prints made. You’ll need to have that handy to have prints made as photo labs will not allow professional images to be printed without a release.
Now, you could head over to CVS or Walgreens and use their photo machines, but consider using an online lab like Mpix that offers premium quality prints. You’ll pay a few dollars more, but you’ll get better quality paper and techs that ensure you get the best quality prints for your buck.
Now you’re probably thinking, “but I’ve got a home printer that can make photo prints, why should I spend money at a lab?” It comes down to quality and longevity.
Home prints can last anywhere from five to 100 years, depending on the ink and paper combination used. Prints made by a professional photo lab can last 100 years if properly displayed and up to 200 years if correctly stored.
For all photographic prints, fading over time is an issue. You can extend the lifetime of your printed photos by displaying them under glass in an area that’s free of direct sunlight, excessive humidity (no easy feat in Florida), and high temperatures. If your prints aren’t on display, you want to store them in a dark, cool, and dry place to increase their longevity.
There are also a number of fun options out there for displaying your photos. You can have them printed on canvas, wood, or even metal for a unique look that fits your personal style. However, the longevity of these types of prints are variable, so consider them a short-term display solution.
You always hear about the importance of backing up digital files and you absolutely should make a digital backup of your wedding images. In addition to that, consider a wedding album and prints to be a hard copy backup. You won’t regret it.