Photo Albums and Prints: Daily Physical Reminders of who we love and why we love them.
Your family probably has at least one photo album filled with treasured memories. Maybe as a kid you spent time looking through the aged family photo albums and asking your parents who so-and-so was and what relation were they to you.
Maybe your parents’ wedding album is a treasured possession that holds a place of honor in your home. When people are asked what they would grab on their way out if their home was on fire, their wedding album is commonly the answer.
Why are Photo Albums and Prints so Special?
What is it that so strongly draws us to capture moments and store them physically in books or hang them on our walls?
It makes perfect sense, really. Photos are often the only tangible things that truly last after an event. After a wedding the flowers fade away, the cake disappears (yum!) and the only thing that’s left are the sweet memories you made.
As humans, even our memories begin to fade with time and the best way to preserve them is with a properly printed photo album or print that will last for years and years. The memories stored there will not fade away and you can relive that special day much more clearly.
A good wedding photographer will capture not only events but also emotions and stories. Sit down to look through a wedding album and you walk with the protagonists through all the joy and special moments that made up their memorable day.
Though you and your special someone are the stars, your whole family and your closest friends show up in your wedding album. As the years pass, people move away and you don’t get to see them as often. To others you may have to whisper a permanent farewell.
Your wedding album preserves some of your most special moments with your favorite people. Your memory fades, but your photos vibrantly tell the story to keep those moments fresh.
When you share that story with other family members they will be reminded of their own stories from that day. Some of them you may never have even heard. You’ll hear a new perspective about your wedding day prompted by the picture story in your wedding album.
Display Your Special Moments
Your most favorite moments from the day can be printed and displayed proudly on the walls of your home. Those moments were the beginning of your lifelong adventure. You don’t want to hide them away on a hard drive.
This, too, helps to keep the memories active. Photos hanging on the wall are a daily reminder of your favorite moments. Your wedding album resting on the coffee table offers a perfect opportunity to flip through the pages during a quiet moment. It’s a constant visual reminder of your love and the reasons you chose to spend your life with your spouse.
In today’s digital world it can feel like physical photo albums and prints are falling by the wayside. It used to be that when someone wanted to show off photos of their kids or grandkids to their friends they would whip out a wallet full of their favorite prints.
Now, people are firing up their smartphones and flipping through 40 outtakes of the same photo. By the 10th photo, the friend has begun to regret asking to see a photo.
People also have much more ready access to a camera as most people carry one around with them on their smartphone. So that means that the possibilities for filling up that digital camera roll are endless and frequent.
The great thing about this is that no one misses a photo op for lack of a camera. The downside is they end up with an overwhelming amount of strikingly similar photos.
Digital Photo Storage
USB drives or CD’s may be convenient ways to store large numbers of photos, but whenever you store photos digitally you run the risk of the files getting corrupted for whatever reason and lost forever. If it hasn’t happened to you, everyone at least knows someone who has had a devastating loss of photos when their hard drive crashed.
Another unfortunate side effect of the rapidly changing world of technology is that hardware is always changing. Imagine carefully storing an external disk filled with these priceless moments and a few years from now you get the disk out to relive that special day…and the input for your new computer is different. Now you’ll have to jump through a bunch of hoops to access your photos whereas looking through an album is as easy as pulling a book off a shelf.
The Beauty of Photo Albums
Photo albums are not quite so easy to destroy. Plus, they help avoid the trap of seeing so many similar photos. When you sit down to make or design a photo album, you tend to pick out only the best pictures to include. A beautiful story begins to take shape as you carefully curate and choose only the best/most treasured photos to include in your album.
The Popularity of Photo Albums
This is why the popularity of photo albums has held strong even through all the technological changes. Many people still print all their favorite photos, sit down with their kids and carefully arrange them exactly how they want them in a store-bought album.
As we’ve moved into the digital age companies offering print-your-own photo books have become increasingly popular. If you’re not the crafty type their software will help you design an album just the way you want it.
It has become easier than ever to create beautiful albums that you can hold in your hands and have sitting on your coffee table to peruse whenever you want or to show to guests. There’s just something about sitting down and thumbing through a physical album full of memories that is so much more special than swiping through photos on a phone.
Do-It-Yourself Vs. Professional Albums
A very important thing to keep in mind is that there is a definite quality difference between those print-your-own photo books and professionally crafted photo albums. Virtually all companies that offer do-it-yourself photo book service use plain old inkjet printers and stock paper to create what is referred to as press printed books.
If you are not looking for a photo album that will last for years and years than these albums may be the route for you. However, most folks want their wedding album to be something special, something that will last as long as their marriage and the life they are planning to nurture together.
Benefits of a Professionally Printed Album
Professionally done, flush mount photo books are beautiful works of art that will preserve your memories long enough so that your great-grandchildren will be able to enjoy seeing the photos and hearing the stories that go with them.
One more thing to note about DIY albums. Press printed books are printed using a method of printing that is referred to as CMYK halftoning. Instead of a smooth print, the technique uses tiny dots to create the image. This inevitably adds a bit of grainy noise to the photo.
A professional album, however, uses the same chemical process that photographers have been using for over a hundred years to create beautiful, seamless images that seem to just come alive right in front of you.
Wedding albums arguably contain the most important memories of your life. We’ve mentioned the seeming convenience of digital storage, but there’s also the risks that go along with it. A physical wedding album, however, won’t get corrupted or outdated. Photos that have been printed using a professional process will last virtually forever.
Special Moments with the Kids
Couples may also be thinking about the future and what it will be like to share the photos of their special day with their kids. Do they want to gather around the computer and click through all the photos? Or would they prefer to snuggle on the couch with a physical album in their hands and flip through the pages, reliving one of the most special days of their lives with their child(ren).
The Preference for a Tangible Item
When talking to couples that have already made their purchase it is found that there is overwhelmingly a preference for purchasing a tangible item rather than just some digital files.
Imagine having friends over for coffee after your wedding. Maybe they were unable to attend the big day and so they want you to relive it with them. You’re not going to want to gather around your office computer to browse photos on Facebook. Rather, you’ll want to kick back on your couch, pass around the wedding album and swap stories about the day.
Technology is nice and the digital world has changed the way we do photography, but printed images that you can hang on your wall or enjoy in a book are always going to win. Just think about the last time you held an old family photograph in your hands and how it made you feel.
Photo albums and printed photos will always tug at the emotional side of us. A tangible item is, and always will be, so much more special than a digital file.
Check out my Ultimate Guide for Getting Married in Costa Rica for more tips on getting hitched in this amazing country!