DIY Your Wedding Prints? What You Need to Know
In this next installment to the series: Four Questions to Ask Yourself Before Looking for a Wedding Photographer, we’ll look at how you’d like to view your wedding photos on your 20th anniversary. But wait, I just got engaged! Why are you talking about my 20th anniversary?!
Prior to hiring a wedding photographer, especially before setting a budget for a wedding photographer, you need to think about how you’re going to want to look at your wedding photos in 20 years. If you want to actually look at photos, rather than a round piece of metal (CD or DVD), you may want to consider budgeting for professional prints.
CD only please
What if you there are no CD drives in 20 years? You decided to save money by “only getting the disc”. You thought you’d get them printed, even design your album, but those things stayed on your to-do list. So, here you are 20 years later with a disc and no wedding photos. That’s what’s called an orphan bride; more about that in a future post.
Are you a DIY queen? Are you on top of all those projects? If so, perhaps you will take on the task of designing your album. You still want to watch where you get the album printed, as well as all the photo prints.
When your photographer saves the photos to the CD, they generally save them as one particular size (4×6, 5×7, etc.). Well, you can’t simply take a 4×6 image and blow it up to a wall print; the shapes are slightly different. You’ll need to crop it slightly. If it’s a portrait, this may not be an issue. But what if it’s that cool jump shot of your wedding party? Oops, had to cut out a few bride’s maids!
And when you blow up that 4×6 digital negative to a much larger size, you’ll notice something else – the pixels. Or, let’s say your photographer included high resolution images on your disc. A wall size will print quite nicely, but now you’ll have to do quite a bit of creative cropping and scaling to get a 4×6.
Lastly, there are the subtleties of the contrast, hue, saturation, etc. in your photo. Your photographer uses a professional lab, like White House Custom Color; where they know how to correctly print the photos. Photos with subtle highlights and shadows may wind up printed with overexposed areas next to deep shadows if you print at a drugstore.
You Get What You Pay For
In some respects, it may seem a bit crazy to pay for a wall print and album from your big day. Heck, those items alone can cost upwards of $1500. When you consider the photographer’s time to optimize the photos and get quality prints that will last over 50 years, you may decide that it’s worth the money. Either way, it makes sense to weigh out the alternatives prior to setting a budget.
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