I have experinced the very best of both worlds in photography long before I became a wedding photographer. I grew up seeing Kodak & Fuji papers, of that vintage orange tone, and square prints (if you think Instagram made that up, you’d be mistaken). Every one of my baby pictures are of that nature.
We had 35 mm cameras and drawers of film canisters to develop (and a plethora of empty ones too), and countless stacks of photo albums that we flipped through all the time. No teenager was incomplete without their disposable film cameras when they went to Canada’s Wonderland, which we then would hurry off to develop at Zehrs or Black’s as fast as we could finish all 24 frames.
Then it happened. I got my first digital camera. 3.2 mega pixels, which I quickly learned to transfer images onto my computer, and make CDs which we would take to have printed. This was before the social media age; but my favourite photos would become my desktop wallpaper, if nothing else.
And then the rest happened. Digital SLRs, with huge storage cards, Facebook, amazing smart phones – technology has been incredible to us. When I got my first DLSR I was a scrapbooker. Its what made me want a better camera.. so I could make better prints. Then I fell idol. Photos made it to Facebook but not beyond that for years. For many years my life was documented digitally only. And then one day they were gone. A stack of years, Christmases and birthdays, family gatherings. Gone. Its a tragedy I know wasnt exclusve to me, and really not even the point of my story today.
When I became a professional wedding photographer, I offered digital images only. From what I could tell from my market research is that its all any photographer did anymore, and the ones who did prints were closing their businesses. Digital was fast and easy, no cost to us, no extra turn around time providing a “package”.
It wasnt until my own wedding, also delivered digitally (at my request even) that I knew there was a problem. We talked about doing a nice photobook, and picking prints to frame in a nice home gallery and guess what? They sat on a disc, and on our computer. Oh and facebook – in three separate albums… It wasnt until our first wedding anniversary, that Adam, with the 1st year wedding tradition on “paper” he printed a nice large 11×17 of us in an artful pose at the Gibson Centre. He printed it at Japan Camera, and it’s proudly is dispayed in my home. It looks really great; the skin tones are so rich, and its a conversation piece when people come over. The quality of the paper even, can be seen through the glass – a quality lustre, with almost a metallic finish. Its art.
The moral of my story is this – like I was as a Bride, you might be offered digital images to print elsewhere… your images might sit around for awhile, or forever; regardless of your true intentions. If you purchase a digital package, please educate yourself on the following:
- where you can print with good quality – not all labs are created equal
- how to back up your images (because we do not guarentee a lifetime archival program)
- know that files can corrupt, and hard drives can crash.
- know that if a floppy disc is as extinct as a T.Rex, than your trusted USB with likely suffer a similar fate. Link to Floppy Disc for those who just dont know.
If you are offered the full service of having prints done for you – consider it – actually, jump all over it; from great experience – ignore the wedding photographer in me here, Im speaking as an unbiased consumer – it’s the most rewarding experince to hold a lustrous print, with perfect colour reproduction printed at a professional lab, or a luxurious canvas that becomes an instant statement piece.
I currently offer packages with digital or print, and have some that have both; but I do my best to educate my brides on what to expect with digital; and of course the pros and cons.
Dont get me wrong – I LOVE that I can snap a pretty decent photo on my iphone and have my entire social network aware of it in seconds but there is something about the feel and the weight of a hand made flush mount photo album, artfully telling a story from a special time. Sure beats scrolling forever through facebook albums to find that favourite photo so you can do a #TBT in 5 years.
My fave wedding photo hangs on my wall. Printed at Japan Camera (Sadly the Barrie location closed it’s doors..)
Stack of homeade albums and scrapbooks. Old school 😉
Memories of BB King scrapbooked for all of eternity. RIP BB.
Day at Wasaga Beach about 2009. Good times.
Scrapbook page from a solo trip to The Smokies, Tenessee. If you’ve never traveled alone, you must at least once. Its very great for self reflection.
One of my favourite black and white prints ever 😉 First born’s Ultrasound Photo.
Our engagement book that we used as a signing book…
This page has Adam’s Dad’s message to us: “Remember just like Mum & Dad Forever & Ever Always and Always – Dad”
Thanks for joining this wedding photographer on a Memory Lane Monday.
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