At the weekend I had a delivery I had been eagerly awaiting, my custom made branded USB Sticks.
All my wedding photography packages are digital based packages. There has been a large shift in recent years with the advancement of digital cameras. Todays couples require digital copies of their photos to share on Facebook & Twitter to keep friends and family updated. I think this is a positive thing as only 3 -4 years ago guests would come to the wedding then rarely see the photos from the day. This is a change I have embraced, other photographers have been more reluctant. Perhaps coming from the days of film when a photographer would never part with their negatives. They feel the digital files are very much the same, and therefore don’t want to be handing them over as reprints are a big part of their income post wedding. What I don’t agree with but have reluctantly come to accept is, people thinking a digital copy is a replacement for a print or an album. The reprint side of the industry has all but died. Which is a shame as the professional printers I’m able to access are far far better than all the supermarket and popular online printers. With better colour replication and a much higher standard of printing. They are made to last hundreds of years and don’t fade after a few, once they have been placed in a sunny spot. Also a professional printer will make the adjustment needed to get the best from the picture, with regards to brightness and contrast. All printers differ slightly, either being a bit green, blue, bright, darker etc. A online printer will just hit print then send it off missing that all important personal touch and often resulting in disappointing results. Its yet another skilled industry that is being lost due to Supermarkets low pricing and consumers acceptance of low quality in favour of low a price. Couples invest several thousand pounds in their wedding photography then skimp on prints and albums or worse never even have prints done as the disk goes in the drawer.
I still meet couples who have large misconceptions with regards to albums. Gone are the days when you received a collection of staged photos slipped into an Ivory padded album with gold trim and tissue paper between the pages. Todays albums are state of the art. I use Folio Fine Art Albums (click for examples) printed on Fine art paper, 100% British, designed to last generations. All made from sustainable sources at the highest resolution print quality available and the design and quality is quite spectacular. There is also a trend of ‘I’ll do my own book’. A good option to save money, however every album I design takes around 2 days to complete. I have had professional tuition on how to get the best from the professional design software I use in the design process. Things like images resizing, cropping and photos resolution is a complicated part of the design and something most people don’t know about or understand the importance of. The web books are very low print quality, with glitchy software, template layouts and at best magazine grade paper. Not worthy of displaying your most important day that you have just spent in excess of £12000.00 on. Yes my books are expensive but for the work that goes into them they are cheap. You can buy all the ingredients to Michelin Star meal but it wouldn’t make you a chef. Why do the same with your photos. Spend a few more hundred pounds and get a professional to make your book to show your Grandchildren. Please don’t just hand them a CD.
Going back to the original point of the post, I have had these custom USB sticks made which i’m really pleased with. I feel gives the product I hand to my couples a more professional look which is something i’m always trying to improve. Does it replace a Fine Art Wedding Album or a professionally framed print, no, but it does enable people to share their photos which is a positive thing. Now i’ve just got to convince them to buy and album as well 🙂