It’s time to “wake up and smell the coffee”! Coffee table photo books, that is!
This article’s purpose is to help dispel some confusion regarding the newest product to hit the wedding photo album industry since the advent of photography, the Custom Digital Wedding Photo Book. A few points may apply to photographers, but well worth a Bride or Groom’s reading.
Your wedding day will probably be the most glamorous day of your life. Have you ever wondered what it might be like to be featured in a glamour magazine, and be the subject of those beautifully artistic photos that leap out at you while you’re reading? When we refer to “Magazine Style Photo Books” we are not referring to the construction of the book, but how the layout of the book is actually designed – with elegance and glamour in mind. The only way to obtain this uniquely creative look is to use a custom digital photo book publisher.
The old days of having your photographer help you choose selected lab prints and place them artfully in an album is passé. It’s time to wake up and smell the “coffee” — coffee table wedding photo books, that is. With the advent of digital technology, many photographers are shooting with high-end digital cameras, or having their best negatives scanned into high resolution digital images for inclusion into a digital wedding photo album, which is then “printed” and professionally bound into a book.
Remember: Your digital wedding photo book should be a reflection of you, rather than the publisher. It should emphasize who YOU are and give YOU the glory. On the couple’s wedding day, the Bride and Groom should be featured as the “Princess” and the “Prince”, and receive the adulation they deserve. Years from that special moment, you will want to be able to reflect and realize that you fulfilled your dreams by creating an heirloom fit for royalty. Not all of us can present ourselves the way we wish we could be. A custom publisher can help give you that special reflection that you desire. When shopping for a publisher, choose one that will bring out the best in you both, by making your
book unique and “one of a kind”. If they can’t accommodate, find one that will.
Choose a photo book publisher that:
Can truly customize designs around YOUR captured moments and desires.
Has strong graphic design experience, which should be reflected in their online galleries or provided samples. These companies, which use graphic design techniques, allow you more flexibility when you desire both traditional and photo journalistic styles of photography. They also help bring out the best in your photographer.
Provides personalized coordinating and consulting services, and is flexible to your time schedule and needs. Check to see if they are willing to call you, rather than you calling them.
Can provide professional writing services, so you can receive the benefit of professional annotation, poetry, or essay writing as needed. This is essential if you want to “write” your own love story, but would like the assistance of a professional writer to smooth the edges. Or if you’
re planning to write your Memoirs – “How I survived preparing for my wedding!”.
Respects the professional photographers’ work and insists on receiving a signed release from them prior to any work being done.
When a Professional Photographer’s work is being used, provides a Professional Photographer Referral Program, which ensures they will get credit for their work. This type of program often provides a photographer greater participation flexibility, as well as needed marketing and customer service support.
Not all photographers shoot the same. Many have spent years learning and perfecting their craft. Use their experience to help make your dream book a reality.
Each imbues his or her talent and “eye for creativity” and “part of their soul” directly into each photo taken.
Many photographers’ work is so good as to be considered an art form, and this is why they zealously guard their “art” from duplication. They have a legitimate concern with the advent of digital publishing, especially now that negatives and photos can be so easily scanned and duplicated. So, please give credit where credit’s due.
How can I tell if the publishing company can provide what I want and need?
Some offer only “finishing” services, such as printing and binding only.
Some offer print only services on their selected paper, but require minimum print runs because of the cost to set up and prepare for the job.
Some provide a few layout choices to drop your photos into, as well as several print mediums, from archival papers that are acid free, to Lab prints and metallic prints.
Some offer complete design services that utilize the images provided to digitally produce artistically elegant layouts that greatly enhance and complement the photographer’s specific style, as well as the image’s subject matter. They also offer choices of print medium, from archival papers to metallic prints.
It’s okay to choose a custom photo book publishing company that works with both individuals and photographers, as long as they treat their photographers and brides fairly.
Some publishers choose to work solely through photographers, and all the control is in the hands of the publisher. These publishers are not set up to handle brides and grooms. Although photographers and their couples may have ideas and a vision of what they want, few publishing companies are willing to consider their suggestions and incorporate them accordingly.
Others work with both the couple and professional photographer. They tend to provide the same standard arrangement to BOTH, whereby they’ve established a certain “look and feel” to the product that they offer. Sadly, this type of arrangement does not allow much input from the bride and groom, and limits choices.
Then there are the custom design digital photo book publishing companies that provide extensive custom design services. Since the books are custom designed from start to finish, and the design process is not even begun until all the elements of the book are considered, ALL parties are assured their book will be unique and one of a kind. This type of company often provide not only scanning of photo and negative services, but color correction, image repair, black and white colorization, extensive image enhancing and manipulation, graphic design incorporating the images submitted, and original writing services for inclusion in the book.
What are some other reasons I should choose a custom design photo book publishing company?
The finished product provided by a custom photo book limited edition publisher allows photographers and couples to present vastly different examples of their work or favorite photos. No longer are couples or photographers creatively restricted.
Once a book is produced, should a photographer desire, they can request that specific stylized design be utilized for all future clients. Combined with the consistent creative look of a photographer’s images, this can help establish a “design signature” and help make his or her work more recognizable.
Often, a custom graphic design publisher works so closely with photographers and their couples, that it frees up busy photographers to allow them to do what they do best….photography!
From a bride and groom’s standpoint, there are so many benefits to working with a custom digital photo book publisher, as they specialize in personalization and provide high creativity which greatly complements a photographer’s work. The couple receives the benefit of working closely with a designer consultant who listens to their wants and desires, which helps determine the visual or emotional feel of the book. Will the book consist solely of imagery to evoke the emotion? Or will words be used to help bring out the design’s subtle meaning or add a touch of history or romance?
Society has come a long way from the days when the first Professional Cave Artists painstakingly drew their wedding couples’ images on the rocky walls of their galleries by the light of their fires. The future is looking much brighter with the advent of the digital wedding photo book albums being designed today. The good news for brides and grooms is that now there is a choice.