Up till now I have more or less been a “shoot and burn” photographer, well times are changing and so is my business. So what is a “shoot and burn” photographer? It is someone who takes the photos, edits them at a high quality professional level and then hands the CD over to the client. I have always offered my A La Carte prices, which contain prints, canvases and albums, but many times I have been asked, “Why should I pay top dollar for a professional print when I can get the digital file and print it at the drug store for 12 cents? “Honestly some times it makes the most economical sense, I understand that. Believe me, putting prices together has always and will be the hardest part of my job as being a photographer. But many times I want to ask, where are your photos now?
I just wanted to throw together some thoughts not only as a photographer but as a consumer and someone who loves to document her family. Right now I have 7 terabytes full of photos, do you want to guess how many photos that is, well it’s approximately 3,863,174 images (depending on files size), plus I have tons of CD’s and printed photographs. When I was in University my laptop hard drive crashed as well as an external hard drive. Thankfully I was able to recover all my files off of my laptop, but I was not so lucky with the hard drive. I lost over a year of family photos on that hard drive, some of the photos were our family vacation to Indonesia, a whole month in Indonesia just gone like that. Thankfully we had more than my camera so we still had some photos, but I was heart broken. I had just never gotten around to printing any out or making an album of my own. So there, we all have to learn from our mistakes. Since then I have slowly started making albums of my own life so I will be able to sit down on the couch with a cup of coffee and relive those cherished memories. That being said I absolutely love all 7 Terabytes of photos I have stored away, but I couldn’t tell you the last time I booted up my computer just too take a stroll down memory lane and look at images from a family vacation.
Thankfully now, I’m super careful about it and have back ups in multiple places! But I have discs from other photographers that I have yet to make any prints. It’s not that I didn’t like the photos, I loved them — that’s a main reason I wanted the disc in the first place. No, it’s more just that I got busy and let it slip by. We all have very busy lives and I personally have thought, “I’ll get to it… eventually.” How easy would it have been to order a few of my favorite prints or canvases and have them get delivered to my house from the photographer? But instead they are sitting in a case on a shelf getting dusty… I’m sure I’ll get to it, right?
This leads me to discuss professional prints vs drugstore prints. This subject has been discussed 1000’s of times so I am not going to talk about it too long. Many ask is there a difference between your professional photos and the photos at walmart? And the answer is yes, there is a huge difference. There are many variables that affect the quality of print. Just because the digital file looks fantastic does not mean a 12 cent print is going to look fantastic. Some of the variables are the software they use, the age of their equipment, digital vs. press, even the brand of their ink all these can all lead to different results. When I started my own business I searched high and low and tested my digital files with many different print labs. The labs I currently work with use the best archival inks and papers — meaning the prints you get from me will last decades without fading or peeling, and the colors and contrasts are exactly what I planned for them to be. Drugstore or Big Box photo labs just don’t care. They won’t call to tell you if your cropping or contrast doesn’t look right. Mine does. Bottom line — your photos will look good printed no matter cause well they are not in your drawer anymore, but they will look outstanding professionally printed and as your photographer envisioned them to be printed.
Well now that we have some photos on the wall that’s a good start, what about the rest of them? We can’t always rely on technology; CD’s get scratched, hard drives die, computers crash, etc. Think of getting that CD of all your wedding photos and getting a few printed maybe one to hang on the wall, a few to give to your parents and that’s it. What about the other 1000 photos that tell the story, that show emotion and details. That look of your dad giving you away, or the look on your face when you see your bride for the first time, those are the moments that mean the most, those are the moments you want to cherish. What about when you have kids and they are ask you to see wedding photos and you have nothing but a CD to show them, which by then might be too scratched to view or we might not even have the technology to view it. Think about it….do we use floppy discs any more? How easy is it for you to play your old VHS collection. Why are JPEG files and CD’s/DVD’s/USB’s going to be any different? By the same token, when I go to my Grandparents house I can still grab their wedding album from 50 years ago and flip through their memories and their story. My cousin who got married a few years ago well it’s not the same I have only seen two of my cousin’s wedding photos, cause they are sitting away on a CD somewhere.
Hopefully you’re starting to see why I believe wedding albums are as important today as they ever have been. Here at Kristilee Parish Photography, I record your day with artistry and mastery. We take the photos that tell the story. I create imagery that stands out from the crowd. And I believe that you should be proud to display and show these photos off through quality custom-designed albums.
Now spin the clock forward 20 years. Your children come to you and ask: “Mom, Dad, what was your wedding day like?”, and you are able to take them into the living room, sit them down on the big comfy couch, and show them a beautiful book that contains your wedding day, memories in all their beautiful glory. As they turn the pages and become mesmerized by how stunning you looked, and the story that is unfolding before their eyes, you too are transported back to one of the happiest days of your life, surrounded by your closest friends and family.
Having the ability to do that is priceless. And that is why I believe wedding albums are so important, and as relevant today as they were and possibly always will be. I want to be able to tell your story for decades to come.
Here are some quick photos I snapped of one of my albums. They are all uniquely designed by me. Each and every client I had one of these over to are usually in shock. It’s amazing to relive your day through an album.
All I know is when I choose my wedding photographer, an album will be on the MUST HAVE list!
Okay I am done for today - I know this post is a lot to take in on a Saturday! But if you have any comments or anything please let me know! I would love to hear from you!