Is Having A Professionally Made & Printed Wedding Album Worth It?

by | Photography Wisdom, Wisdom


Ms Tweed

Image: Matt Elliott Photography

While our treasured wedding memories are lovingly stored in our hearts and minds, there is something so special about turning the pages of your tangible and beautifully made custom wedding album and being able to show it to your family and friends for generations to come. Right? Then again, should we just get with the times by giving them, and ourselves, a USB? Dare I say, a Dropbox link? As the world becomes increasingly digital and technology is forever advancing, is the classic printed wedding album still worth the energy and time you need to put it together? Or the dollars you need to part with to have your photographer expertly make one for you?

To answer these questions and to talk all things wedding albums, we sat down with four of the best memory capturing maestros in the biz: the incredibly talented Lowina of Black Avenue Productions, Sarah of De Lumiere Photography, Matt of Matt Elliott Photography and David from Society Photography.

Why have your photographer make your wedding album rather than undertake a DIY project?
Sarah of De Lumiere Photography: A professional photographer has loads of experience telling stories and knows how to lay out your story artistically using your gorgeous images.

Image: De Lumiere Photography

Matt of Matt Elliott Photography: Photographers are adept at the storytelling process. Laying out an album from this point of view is crucial to creating an emotional experience as our couples flip through the pages.

David of Society Photography: Most people, if left to their own devices, will never find the time to do it themselves so it becomes a chore hanging over their head rather than something done efficiently and enjoyably. We design wedding albums with clients every week. Just as you entrust the capture of your memories to a professional, it makes sense to continue that trust, and utilise their skills to the full in order to tell the best story of your wedding.

Let’s be honest… Professionally made and printed albums are not cheap. Why is that?

Lowina of Black Avenue Productions: You are paying for your photographer’s time as well as a team of professional album crafters who print and bind the customised album. We carefully select professional quality lay flat creations that won’t be your typical photo book that you can buy online. And the professionals use archival quality paper and ink that is meant to last for 100 years!

Images: Black Avenue Productions

Sarah of De Lumiere Photography: Many hours of work! A gorgeous lay flat album is usually handmade, with each page being individually printed and hand mounted onto each spread, and the images retouched to ensure that everyone looks their best.

Image: De Lumiere Photography

Matt of Matt Elliott Photography: Professional albums are handmade and the quality of printing is high-end museum-grade, which has a far superior lifespan to the standard photo books. There are also lots of options for cover materials and finishing options for foiling and embossing.

Image & Video: Matt Elliott Photography

David of Society Photography: We have access to album manufacturers that only sell to professional photographers and not to the public. The quality difference can be massive between a cheap online album and a professionally sourced album. You are also paying for the design skills of your photographer, as well as the time spent drafting, creating and perfecting the album.

Image: Society Photography

When would you recommend getting your album made?
Lowina of Black Avenue Productions: We recommend getting your album ASAP so you can show it off soon!
Sarah from De Lumiere: Many of our couples produce their albums for their first anniversary (first anniversary is paper), others are super keen and start as soon as they receive their gallery.

Matt of Matt Elliott Photography:
Couples will always save some money by committing to an album in the lead up to their day. Otherwise, any time really. I’ve recently finished an album from a wedding I shot five years ago.

David of Society Photography: As soon as possible after the wedding. We always book in the album design session with our couples as soon as we can once they return from their honeymoon. We present them with a beautiful design right off the bat so there isn’t that stress of trying to go through 1000 images and trying to decide themselves.

In a digital age, do we really need a printed album? Is it worth it? Why not just a USB?
Lowina of Black Avenue Productions: There is something special about feeling touching and smelling a printed album. A USB won’t be able to give you this good vibe. You can put it in your hands and share during house party. A picture says a thousand words, having a wedding album is creating your legacy. Imagine using it to tell your wedding story to your children and your grandchildren through images. It’s a visual love story of how your family began.

Image: Black Avenue Productions

Sarah of De Lumiere Photography: Absolutely you need a physical album! Think of your album as a guaranteed backup. There is no guarantee that your digital images will be readable in 100 years, but an album stands the test of time.

Image: De Lumiere Photography

Matt of Matt Elliott Photography: I believe so. Albums aren’t just for the next year, they’re something that you will be handing down to generations to come. I ask my couples to imagine flipping through their great grandparent’s wedding album and how special that might be. This is the feeling they are giving to the next generation. The experience for everyone involved is quite easy, seamless yet still delivers a very high quality outcome.

Image: Matt Elliott Photography

David of Society Photography: Because there is something wonderful about the tactile feeling of turning the pages of a book. A professional album will last for decades to come and, in fact, be more archival than a USB. The quality of a printed photo has so much more depth and texture than looking at a screen, scrolling through hundreds of images. It tells a curated story of your wedding day.

Image: Society Photography

Are there any new or exciting trends with wedding albums ?
Sarah of De Lumiere Photography: Oh yes! We now offer gorgeous velvet covers – totally luxe.

Image: De Lumiere Photography

Matt of Matt Elliott Photography: There’s a lot of different cover materials these days, such as vegan leather and velvet. Combined with foiling and embossing, the outcome is quite unique.

Image: Matt Elliott Photography

Do you have a signature look or style?
Lowina of Black Avenue Productions: We will design your personalised cover emboss design and you get to choose your material and colour of foil to your liking. The type of paper and ink that we use are archival quality that meant to last for 100 years! 

Image: Black Avenue Productions

Sarah from De Lumiere: Our albums tell your story, hero-ing the gorgeous light soaked images from your wedding day

Matt of Matt Elliott Photography: Yes and no. I try to keep it simple and timeless with my layouts with a ‘less is more’ approach. Flooding an album with too many images can be overwhelming.

David of Society Photography: Our favourite, and therefore perhaps our signature, are those orchestrated epic landscape images that tell the story of the place as well as the people. We do shoot with the album in mind though. We are always looking for different ways to capture the story so that in the album it doesn’t all look the same. We will capture those fun totally unscripted candids, as well as the more formal family photos.

Image: Society Photography

Does the couple choose the images or does the photographer?
Lowina of Black Avenue Productions: Every image that we deliver in the final USB / online gallery has already been selected and edited by us. The couple can choose their top 100 images to put into their album, or we can also choose. It’s a team effort to create your perfect wedding album.

Image: Black Avenue Productions

Sarah of De Lumiere Photography: Our couples choose their favourite images so that they feel intimately connected to their album.

Matt of Matt Elliott Photography: I believe photographers should create the first layout and ask couples to then make any changes. Filling up 40 to 60 pages with images can be difficult for couples, so giving them a starting point is the best idea in my view.

Image: De Lumiere Photography

What is your favourite moment/memory to capture in a wedding and why?
Lowina of Black Avenue Productions: We love to capture the ‘first look’. Not only with the groom, many brides are choosing to have a first look shoot with parents and bridesmaids.

Image: Black Avenue Productions

Matt of Matt Elliott Photography: Mine would have to be that confetti shot after they are announced as a married couple. It’s such a joyful experience for everyone present.



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