The Power of a Great Wedding Album
by Storey Wilkins
The Power of Print
I believe in the power of print. Every time I walk into my home I am greeting by the warmth and love of my family’s smiling faces, in both the framed prints on my walls and in the timeless albums I have made over the years. This would not be possible if I had left my most important photographs on hard drives.
I believe that everyone has a great story and that stories deserve to be preserved in print. As a Toronto wedding photographer I have a wonderful opportunity to capture not only the most epic moments of my clients' lives but also to approach those moments with the skill of a storyteller.
A photographic album is something that will be handed down to children and grandchildren. I believe, strongly, that the story of a wedding belongs in a beautiful album (or coffee table book or any other bound medium), and not on a USB stick.
Begin with the End in Mind
It is during that tense few hours before a wedding when I am in my “focus zone” that I start thinking about the album. I set an intention to make an album with a great story, their story, in fact the best version of their story. It means I am on the hunt for not only the who…but the where when why and how as well. If I only shoot to make a few awe inspiring images to satisfy their social media needs, it would be a very short (and less interesting) story.
So what makes a great story? Most certainly I believe that equal amounts of ‘asked for’ portraits, moments, and the documentation of ritual are essential. It is one that mimics the flow of the wedding day itself. This includes the four main elements of getting ready, the ceremony, portraits, and the reception.
It is where the characters are made familiar, the emotional variants are revealed, and the plot moves quickly with a few unique twists until the end when you are left feeling connected to the couple and their loved ones in an unforgettable way.
It is not enough to fill a wedding album with wonderful photographs. It also needs to be designed with great care and finesse so that the right images are used in the right place and presented in the right way.
The transitions between the scenes must be clear and the album as a whole must appear cohesive. This is done by careful use of color and tone, lighting, focal length, locations, emotions, characters and details and story line.
Also, I have certain no-no's in album design, such as no key lines, no drop shadows, no funky borders, no tilted images and no distracting "scrapbook" like effects. They key is to make every spread clean, elegant and timeless so that the images leap off the page, not the effects. I never want the clients’ grand kids to look at the album in future and say, "whoa this is SO 2020!” I want the album to feel timeless.
Great Album = Great Photographer
A great wedding photographer stands apart from the crowd by not only capturing lovely storytelling images, but by shooting for the big picture and then funneling that story into print in a timeless elegant and very well-crafted (ideally locally created) wedding album…in essence by telling the BEST version of a story. It is essential to limit the number of photographs in an album to the very best (or most treasured). Less is more here.
Make it Easy for the Client
The wedding album image selection and design process can be a little challenging for busy couples, so I provide full album services from image selection to design to cover selection to ease the pain.