Okay, so this is my edited version of an incredibly catchy Madonna hit! I probably shouldn't be telling you this, but, hell... here it is:
To-date, I have yet to print any of my wedding images. I insisted on paying "more" for digital negatives when I got married. Most of my clients, still many years later, are still following this trend. While I completely agree with obtaining rights to your images, I do not agree with leaving an album out of the mix. When I talk to my clients about albums, I usually hear a loud "ewww", "ugh" or "nah". And, they often say, "I don't want one." I just about scream WHAT!?
Let's think about this for a moment....
When you hire a photographer, you hire them based on quality, creativity, or from a referral. When my clients hire me, they are also getting someone who knows the business, is offering the highest quality products, and someone who really cares about them. As you know, I am sentimental. This emotion, simply stated, doesn't come from a disc of images. It comes from a collection or a story. (This is where I convince you to buy an album : ) In all seriousness, albums are the way your friends and family can relive your day over and over again. What's shocking to me, is that at an expo people want to hold an album or book. Something substantial that you can show off, flip-through, etc. But when it comes to your own images, you want just a disc.
Again, on a personal note, I took my discs of images after my wedding and (attempted) to catalog the 500 images. It was an extremely long process finding images that I wanted to use for my thank you cards. I was really confused as to the order and how my photographer named the files. The times have changed a bit, so discs hold hundreds of images now, but back then, I received 12 discs! Talk about frustrating. Anyway...... I got so annoyed with the process that I ended up picking just one image and sending it out. I think I even used a pre made template at Walgreens (I still cringe). After that, I decided I wanted to make my own album. I didn't want to pay anyone to make something that I could easily do myself. I thought I was pretty creative - yes, even before pinterest! I used a company called Shutterfly. Again, I spent hours attempting to upload my images. I can't even pretend to tell you how many times my dial-up internet failed and I had to refresh, and start ALL OVER. (Again, totally dating myself with the dial-up!) Never the less, it was such a pain, I never did complete it. I had always hoped to "find the time" to get one done.... But, sooner than I expected, I was expecting. 9 months of baby stuff followed by 6 months of sleep depravation didn't really give me any free time. So here I am, many years later, and two wonderful kids, with 12 discs of images that sit in a box. I have a few prints, that were included in my collection, still in frames around the house. My three year old daughter looks at them daily and tells everyone, "my daddy was a prince and my mama was a princess." My heart melts! Someday, it is my goal to take those lousy 12 discs and convert them to something else. My biggest fear is their shelf life will expire and the discs will not work when I finally get around to using them.
The moral of the story, there is a huge disadvantage of digital. If I had just taken my photographer's advice, I would be snuggled up on my couch with my sweet little Olivia showing her all the fabulous images of her 'prince and princess' parents.
Someday, I hope to give Olivia an album. One that sits on her coffee table. One that she can snuggle on the couch with her darling children and share. One day she will have a copy of our love story.... the one that ends with, "and they lived happily ever after"