With our iconic vintage-meets-avant-garde photography style, we are firmly rooted with one foot either side of the past and present. When it comes to choosing products for your wedding photography, we offer two choices set just as parallel in the form of printed albums and digital files.
Just a few years ago, the latter was the top choice amongst a wired generation. It had become the norm for images to languish on our phones and society seemed, in general, to have forgotten the the power of a physical photograph.
But, over the course of the last 18 months or so, and to the delight of photographers up and down the land, we’ve noticed a distinct shift back towards the printed image and, more specifically, photo albums. It seems more and more of us are taking a cue from Ridley Scott’s replicants and we are recognising the importance of tangible photographs once again (for those who don’t appreciate the sci-fi references, don’t worry, they are few and far between!)
For us, as creatives, this rising tide is hugely welcomed, and perhaps not for the reason you might first think. Our love affair with our albums is not a financial one. We make very little profit on our books due to how much they cost us to actually produce.
So why do we do the happy dance each time our clients opt for an album?
One word. Control. Creatives are some of the biggest control-freaks you’ll ever meet. Which is why we love to see our photography through to the finished product. We know exactly how our images are going to look on the specially selected, tactile fine art paper in our books. The way the matte finish showcases our retro style is no coincidence and we can carefully craft the layout of each page so that it tells a unique story. Handing over images solely on a USB is a bit like those ‘choose your own adventure’ type Netflix series, you have no idea how things are going to turn out.
And it’s not just the product itself that can make a difference. Every print company will have its own preferred colour profiles which can affect the hue and saturation of your printed photographs. Without knowing where someone might choose to get their photos printed, it’s impossible to optimise files for every eventuality (for the geeks amongst you we work to sRGB which is the most universally recognised format).
Ultimately, when you choose your photographer you do so because you’re on board with their overall style and vision and that doesn’t stop at the click of a shutter. So why not make the most of their creative expertise, right through to the finished product?
Besides making us super happy by opting for an album with your photography package, there’s also the practical side of things to consider. Being able to touch, hold and even smell your photographs is something that can’t be lost with technological advances.
The DVDs we provided to clients in our early days have already become defunct. USBs are now the favoured digital option, but for how long will they remain functional? Not to mention the high probability of them getting lost or damaged as the years roll into decades.
We’re not discounting the convenience of USBs. They are portable, hard-wearing and, as most photographers provide USBs with full copyright licence, they also offer flexibility when it comes to reprinting your images. This is why we still provide a USB with all of our packages.
But the tide has definitely turned, with 90 per cent of our clients now opting for print products in addition to their digital files. And it’s easy to see why. Some of the fondest childhood memories Mr Twig and I have are those lazy Sunday afternoons spent rummaging through bags of old photos. It wasn’t just the subject of the images that was important, but the entire experience of discovery and that tangible link to the past at our fingertips.
And that is the power of photographs. They are time machines with the ability to take us back to moments before we were born, helping us relive memories we hold dear and bringing us closer to the stories of our loved ones.
In the words of Blade Runner’s Roy Batty, without photographs we risk that someday “all those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain.”
Until next time Branchettes!