Something that is very important to me with my wedding photography is that each couple gets to truly enjoy their photos!
Digital Photo Frame
When my wife and I were married I purchased a digital photo frame and loaded our wedding photos onto the frame. We kept the frame in our dining room and I cannot tell you how many aspects of our day we remembered and enjoyed discussing as a result of that photo frame. While we also printed a wedding album, we got far more enjoyment out of our photos as a result of that photo frame. The album was great because it was a way that we could show our photos to family and friends who were visiting our home, but as far as personal enjoyment: that digital photo frame in the dining room, day after day, brought many wonderful memories of our wedding day back to mind for us to reminisce about and enjoy discussing!
That’s why I now include a digital photo frame loaded with the wedding photos.
Digital Photos for Sharing Online
I also want my couples to be able to share their wedding photos online: whether on Instagram, Facebook, or wherever! On the wedding photo DVD I send after the wedding, I include a folder with medium-resolution images that are optimized for sharing online. These photos have an unobtrusive watermark in the lower right-hand corner: similar to the watermark I use on my site. When photos are shared online it’s great when couples link back to my site.
High Resolution Images and a Print Release
The wedding photo DVD also includes a set of high resolution images. These images are JPG’s that are about 3000 pixels x 5000 pixels at 72 dpi – although the resolution can vary based on the camera that was used, the cropping of the photo during post-processing, and can even vary slightly based on how many photos need to fit onto the DVD (too many photos results in a 2nd DVD).
When I first began shooting digital around the year 2000, the files could be used to make good-looking prints up to 8” x 10” and even larger. With the camera I’m primarily shooting with now you can making even-better looking prints at even larger sizes!
I include a printed copy of a print release along with the wedding DVD (and I also include a PDF copy of the print release on the actual DVD itself). The print release allows unlimited personal reprints and makes it such that you don’t have to worry about copyright issues when you get prints made.
Getting Your Own Prints: Quality + Affordability
I want my couples to be able to affordably get high-quality prints and enlargements of their wedding photos. If I were to handle those prints, the cost would be much higher than when they can get prints from Amazon, Shutterfly, Snapfish, Costco, Walmart (with Walmart the quality can vary significantly from store to store), etc.
A friend of mine who got married before I was photographing weddings hired a wedding photographer who didn’t typically include the master digital files – but made an exception for my friend and allowed them to have the digital files. Later on they ran $100 worth of prints at Sams Club; if they had run the order through their wedding photographer it would have cost more than $7,000! While I’m sure the photos would have looked a bit better had the photographer run the prints at their professional lab, when I reviewed the photo prints the results were what I would consider to be professional caliber.
A Wedding Album
At this time I am not including a wedding album in my photography package. I might at some point in the future, but creating an album is time-intensive and I would have to charge a fair amount of the album.
There are now many amazing options readily available online to help couples create and print photo books. You can often get a high-quality photo book published for about $30! We used MyPublisher (now a part of Shutterfly) to create and print our wedding album and were thrilled with the way it turned out. Not only that, but many of the online retail photo book printers targeted to consumers (rather than working photo professionals) have regular specials and sales. For example, if you start working on your album at Shutterfly you can sign up to their email list to be notified of specials and sales. If you are patient, over the course of a few months you’ll find out when their best sales/specials are and can get your wedding album printed for a very low price.