Wedding Albums – Past to Present

Your wedding day is the most important day of your life and nothing is more important than capturing all of the memories from that day in a beautiful album. It is essential to be able to look back over the years and reflect on all the precious moments that have since escaped your memory. Your wedding album is meant to preserve your special day for the rest of your life. In years past, newlyweds would expect their wedding album to be a collection of single images, one 10×10 per page, followed by another 10×10. The leather-bound book would be a very stiff and serious depiction of the affair.

Fast forward to present day and couples’ expectations have significantly changed. This change was due to advances in the technology of photography which led to changes in style. First, there was the advent of 35mm photography, which increased the number of shots on a roll of film from only 12 to 36. More recently, digital photography has increased the number of photos even further. This brought on a new trend in photography known today as the “photojournalistic style.” With more emphasis on candid and spontaneous moments and a de-emphasis on static portraiture, there has been an explosion of images.

With these new components in wedding photography, the whole way of styling wedding albums has undergone a massive transformation. Taking their cues from the world of magazine and graphic design, photographers have begun creating albums that express the same level of creativity as the photography itself. The most talented photographers implement graphic design placing multiple images per page and include pictures that are floating over other pictures, turned to sepia or blue, blown-up into giant panoramas, half-panoramas, or even mock-panoramas.

Things can get a little complicated, and it’s good for newlyweds to familiarize themselves with the different types of wedding albums before they begin the daunting but extremely pleasurable task of working with their photographer to create their own unique album.

There are many new design elements that can dramatically increase an album’s ability to tell a story. The best albums contain just the right amount of surprises. An important rule to keep in mind is that a wedding album should not be overly designed. It is sometimes tempting to throw every technique into it. This can turn a beautiful storybook with carefully planned out surprises, into an overly done album crammed with one dramatic effect after another. This dilutes the visual impact of each effect. This is where good taste and artfulness come into play. The sequence of pictures in a book must have the right tempo. Balance is essential. A series of simple, dignified pages sets up a more elaborate “surprise” page. An album with a surprise on every page lacks subtlety and has no sense of timing. It can look tacky and overdone. A talented photographer lets the photographs inspire him or her to create a book that tastefully presents the ambiance of the day, all of the moments and the traditions in a moving, artistic depiction of the wedding day.

The goal in designing a great wedding album is to create a family heirloom that artfully tells the story of an extraordinary day in the life of a couple. The photojournalistic approach now documents the day with the most candid and touching photo record imaginable. Your wedding photographer should smoothly incorporate his or her technique with your style giving you a beautiful album to last a lifetime.

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