Friday, July 8, 2011
Step 88 - Create your Wedding Photo Album
Your wedding album is one of the most important keepsakes you will ever have. If your home ever gets hit by a natural disaster (i.e., a flood or other natural disaster) and you only have a moment's notice to collect a few precious things, your wedding album is always near the top of the list of things that a couple wants saved. The wedding album keeps the memory and tells the story of the biggest day of your life which of course is your wedding day and often includes photos of most of the important people in your life.
The wedding album brings you back to that special day as if you were there, it's created to reminisce with family and friends and after many years it also is a reminder of past family and friends that were part of your life and to share your wedding story with future generations, your children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
In many weddings, professional wedding photographers include the creation of a wedding album as part of the wedding photography packages that is offered to the couple. Often couples, use a wedding photographer to take pictures of the wedding and then purchase the photographs from the photographer and create the wedding album themselves to help cut down on wedding costs. What some couples like, they have more control on the design of the wedding album, they can create the wedding album to match their style.
Basically there are three options when it comes to creating a wedding album. Let the wedding photographer create the wedding album, allow the wedding photographer create the wedding album per your instructions, or have a professional wedding photographer take the pictures and purchase all the high resolution digital photos from him or her and create your wedding album yourselves.
One thing is certain for your wedding, you can't have this biggest day of your life with photos taken by an amateur. You either must have your wedding day photos taken by a professional wedding photographer or if the pictures are taken by someone you trust who you are absolutely positive can take great photographs.
Only a great photographer can get pictures centered perfectly, uses steady hands, gets the colorization adjusted, gets the subjects with the right pose and make cropping adjustments of photos if necessary. The photos for your photo album, not only have to look good but need to look as good many years from now. If should you decide to create your own pictures you need to concern yourself with four main things, create good pictures, get good photo paper, get good ink, and print them off a good printer and have a good integrated system.
If you are creating the photo album yourselves, you will either want to purchase all the photos from your wedding and have them downloaded to a computer album type package that is available on your personal computer or have the pictures put on a CD. Currently there are dozens of album sharing packages that are available that you can put on your PC and manage your pictures into categories. Some of the more popular online wedding album packages are listed below (Please note, Picasa is expected to be renamed "Google Photo" in August of 2011).
Online Wedding Software Packages
Ideally, if you can afford it, you should use two printers for printing needs, Inkjet printers work best for creating photos, laser toners are faster and sharper for printing text such as for creating invitations, wedding programs, and seating charts.
Highly Recommended Printers for Wedding Photography
Epson B-510DN Business Color Inkjet Printer
HP OfficeJet Pro 8000 Wireless Printer
HP OfficeJet 6000 Wireless
Canon Pixma IP4820
The professional's recommend that you get yourselves a good-quality printer that has individual ink cartridges rather than a single color cartridge printer, as for photo paper you want a premium acid-free photo paper that is made to control ink absorption and produces a moisture barrier that preserves your paper. Photo glossy paper works best, which reflects the most light and interacts well with the inkjet process.
Before placing photo paper in your printer, fan your stack of photo paper to insure there is no dust or humidity on it's surface. After printing, wait for the ink to completely dry before moving onto the next step such as mounting, framing, storing, or shipping. Make sure you store images and photo paper in a cool, humid-free, acid-free, sunlight free environment for protection and minimize chances of fading. If you stack prints, use protective tissue paper or blank paper to prevent rubbing or paper sticking especially if the paper is stacked for a period of time. Try to avoid touching, folding, creasing, smudging, scraping and especially avoid touching the prints with your fingers.
Lastly, you want to purchase a high quality wedding album to place all your important pictures in and design it to your liking, one that is a high quality and sturdy that will last many years. What type of material do you want for your wedding album, should it be leather, canvas, faux leather, suede, or something other. Be sure the wedding album has protective sleeves or some type of covering for all the pictures. Also, do you create one that lays out on a coffee table or one that is stored and pulled out for special occasions.
As you begin the transformation of the wedding album into your personal wedding album, you should begin with a hot glue gun, lace or other embellishments and a small light picture frame. It's a good idea to include a photo of you, the wedding couple on the front cover of the wedding album. Maybe include the date of the wedding and the bride's and groom's names along with the words "wedding album".
Cut out a piece of fabric, with a design you love to cover the entire cover. It should be about 1 inch longer and wider than on each side. Next, with the glue gun, cover the back cover with the fabric. Fold the fabric over so the extra fabric sits on the inside all the way around and glue the fabric to the inside cover. Also, using the hot glue, add lace or ribbon that you want to decorate the album around the album's edge, and glue this material to the inside edge.
For the front of the album, add a frame to hold the couple's photo, cover the front with the same fabric you used on the back using the hot glue. Do any writings with fabric pens or with calligraphy pens, add embellishments like rhinestones, lace, pearls, or ribbons with glue. Blank wedding albums from local calligraphers or art & supply studios or from online websites, some of the higher rated websites can be found below.
Websites That Sell Wedding Albums
If a wedding couple is creating a wedding album themselves, they should have reviewed with the photographer what pictures are wanted from the wedding, at least a month before the wedding. The wedding album should be created soon after the wedding while the wedding is still fresh on their minds. The wedding album should be soon after the couple gets back from their honeymoon. First thing the couple should take care of is updating the bride's name change, next take care of thank you cards for the wedding gifts, and then the next focus should be on the creation of the couple's wedding album if the couple is creating the wedding album themselves instead of the wedding photographer.
Nowadays, couples often get digital files of all the photos taken at the wedding. This is an ideal situation for couples, many of the photo's can be included on the couple's website, some of the photo's can be created as a portrait as a gift to parents and grandparents. Others can be placed into an online sharing digital photo system so they can be uploaded onto family and friend's photo albums and can be used for years to come.
After you get the photos or proofs from the wedding photographer or person shooting your wedding, try not to share wedding photographs until after the wedding pictures are reviewed. Your wedding photos need to be in tip top shape, if you get others involved in your photos you may find some of your photos may get lost or damaged. Ideally at first, you want three people involved in the first look of the wedding photos, the bride, the groom, and an independent person you trust, it may be the maid-of-honor, your mother, or a best friend.
Creating your wedding album is a tedious process, but it's also one of the most rewarding parts of planning your own wedding. You are creating one of the most precious things you will ever have in your entire life, a snapshot of your wedding day and you want to create a beautiful album. This album needs to last you a lifetime, your instinct may be to jump right in. You want to slow down, you are creating a keepsake that will be shared with future generations.
Before you begin creating your wedding album, get ideas from other albums on how you want your pictures laid out and how do you want your wedding story told. You should include some comments from your wedding. Years from now some people's names and place's will be forgotten and for others not born at the time of the wedding the album will serve as an introduction to wedding guests your children and grandchildren have heard in stories.
After you figure out the style you want for your pages in the wedding album including the background that surrounds the wedding pictures. Figure out how many pictures will you put on a page is it one, two three, or four. When choosing photos, you should look for a good mix of photojournalism (candid shots) and portraits. You should choose images you enjoy looking at and you should try to include all family and friends that the wedding couple is close to with at least a photo somewhere in the photo album.
As you begin looking through wedding photographs, the bride, the groom and a third party should discuss each of the pictures, which pile should each picture go in, using post-it notes create three piles, create a definite pile, maybe pile, and a no pile, come to a consensus on which pile each photo should go.
Next create a chronological order of your wedding pictures again using post-it notes. Break the piles into piles such as 1)Rehearsal Dinner, 2) Bride and Bridesmaid's Getting Ready, 3) Arriving at the Wedding Ceremony, 4) Wedding Ceremony, 5) Bridal Party Photo-Shoot, 6) Wedding Site Pictures (Longshot of Venues just setup), 7) Candid Cocktail Hour, 8) Best Man Speeches and Toasts, 9) Cake Cutting, 10) Wedding Dance 11) Wedding Guest Candid Shots, 12) Departing to the Honeymoon, 13) Honeymoon Shots, 14) Opening Wedding Gifts.
Now go back and take your time to create each page of the wedding album, brainstorm how you want each page of the wedding album laid out with comments. Don't expect the album to come together quickly, on average, a wedding album takes about 6 hours to create and often even more hours. No one says the album must be created in a day, take a few days to create the wedding album if you must. Remember the wedding album is your beautiful keepsake that should last you a lifetime.
You can include somewhere in your wedding album, momentos from your wedding day such as dried flowers from your wedding, your wedding garter, the wedding program, some even include your marriage certificate in the back of their album. Some include pictures scattered about the wedding including pictures of the wedding cake, food served at the wedding, and musicians who played at the wedding.
Some couples include collage or a scrapbook page in the back of their wedding album either from candid shots or from a photo booth. Also if you have special features at the wedding such as an ice sculpture or candy bar or a coffee bar or something other you want to include photos of those somewhere in the wedding album as well. A picture from the outside of the church, ceremony site, and reception facility should be also be included.
There are talks that soon there will be gadgets such as something like IPad which will offer a wedding album on devices, you may be on the lookout for these type of devices and create a wedding album like product you can take with you. You can also create like a wedding album on your website or even create a wedding album into a slideshow.
Make sure you create a wedding album that is precious to your and your love. Many couples make a tradition of it to look at their wedding album for their anniversary along with watching the videography from their wedding, then exchange an anniversary gift and then go out or make a special dinner and renewing their commitment to each other. Those that create this annual tradition, tend to have stronger marriages!
See you on the other side!