A wedding album is an ideal way to display and protect your photographs for years to come.
Albums come in all shapes and sizes and most wedding photographers offer couples the option to buy an album. This can be either as a standalone purchase or sometimes bundled into the wedding package.
So, What Is A Wedding Album?
This seems like a dumb question… but bear with me!
Modern wedding albums have come on a long way and are now mainly digitally printed. This means the images are embedded in the paper itself. This creates a luxurious finish and rich, long-lasting colours. An alternative is a matted album where the printed image is held in a mount on each page.
There are many album manufacturers used by wedding photographers. These include Graphistudio, NPhoto, Folio, QTAlbums, Loxley and more. The quality and price of wedding albums vary of course but these are all well established professional printers who will provide a quality product.
The following features exist in what I would consider to be a ‘real’ wedding album
- High-quality digital printing
- Hardcover with a fabric/textile outer
- Longlasting ‘ archival’ ink to reduce fading
- Extra heavyweight rigid pages (800g paper for instance)
- Professional binding
However, some photographers advertise a wedding album in a package which turns out to be a coffee table book. These books have printed, cardboard covers and thin pages (like a book or magazine). These books are not as long lasting and the pages are easily damaged compared to a real wedding album. They cost the photographer a lot less to produce than a ‘real’ wedding album. That might be what you are wanting and it may fit better with your budget but my advice is to check what kind of album is being included in your package before you commit to booking your photographer.
Albums come in many sizes from a very small 6×6″/15x15cm up to an extra large 18×12″ (and larger with some printers). A typical album size would be a 10×10″/25x25cm album or perhaps a larger 12×12″/30x30cm version. Albums can be square or rectangular (portrait or landscape). Square albums have become popular in recent years and are seen by some as a more contemporary format.
The number of pages in your album should be made clear in the package you are buying. Albums can start with 20 pages which equates to 10 double page spreads and can go up to 100 pages depending on the album manufacturer and type. In my experience, 30-50 pages is a typical range. This is important if you buy a package which a smaller number of pages and want to increase at a later date. My recommendation is to have 2-3 images for each page. That means a 30-page album would accommodate 60-90 images in total as a guide.
Depending on how your photographer works, the choice of images might be solely yours or with guidance from the professional. I would say that certain images are more suitable for albums and make for a better flow through the album. The idea, for me at least, is the tell the story of the day by choosing particular moments and shots. Often less is more and it is worth having a minimal number of impactful images than to try to cram too many onto each page. The online gallery is the best places for displaying all images (which will be hundreds when finally edited).
A presentation box is a good idea to have to protect the album. These are often bundled in with the album package or can be purchased as an optional extra. As with all books/paper-based products, it is advisable to keep albums away from sources of moisture to avoid damage/mildew etc. If you look after your wedding album, it should be something that will be a record of your family history for generations to come.
Many wedding albums can be personalised – with a photo on the cover, embossing, laser etching as well as multiple cover materials and colours. If you have a specific colour scheme for your wedding or would like to include a particular message inside the album it’s worth asking your photographer about what the options could be.
As well as the main album, it is normally an option to purchase smaller duplicate ‘parent’ albums. These are identical to the primary album but in a smaller size – typically a 6×6″ or 8×8″ size for instance. These can be an ideal gift for parents, grandparents or other family members.
In summary, whilst digital images are great there is something about seeing wedding photos in print. I just think they look more special. The wedding album is a beautiful way to display the images and tell the story of your special day. A wedding album is also a physical way to protect and preserve your images for years to come. I always love putting together albums and seeing the reaction from couples when they see their album for the first time.
I hope this has helped to answer some questions about wedding albums – but let me know if you have any questions. If you’d like to know more about the albums that are included in my own packages then please visit the wedding albums page on my website.