THE PROS AND CONS OF PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ALBUMS
So what’s the truth about professional albums?
Are they really better than the do-it-yourself type albums? Are they worth the price? And by the way, what is up with the price of those albums?!? Are photographers just secretly mean and want to squeeze new couples for every last possible penny? While any good magician never reveals how the tricks are done; a good wedding photographer should be able to speak openly and candidly about their products and discuss pros and cons.
Price – What are you really paying for?
The first thing people think of after hearing the term “Professional Photo Album ” is price since pro albums have a reputation for being notoriously expensive. I can’t count the times I’ve heard people say “So, why should I buy a pro album when I can make one myself from Pikto and save 75% of the cost?” and I cringe every time. Answering this question is not simple! In order to properly answer this question, you have to open a flood gate worth of information about albums, paper types, ink types, quality, layout, formatting, etc.
When you pay for a professional book, you are paying for 2 things in particular: the cost the photographer incurs to print the book (materials) and the cost of having the photographer design the book (design).
Materials – How much does paper really cost?
Big secret #1 … wedding photographers do not print their own books. The technology required to not only print books but bind them goes far beyond the capabilities of any normal studio. There are a handful of companies throughout the world that the pro photographer will belong to who print and bind the books that the photographer designs.
The paper that professional quality albums are printed on is top-quality paper, specially coated with a protective UV spray to ensure that your colours stay true and vibrant for years to come. And speaking of colour…
Design – Good design & consistent style
When you were looking for a wedding photographer, I bet you chose the one whose style you liked the best. Afterall, photography is an art – and like any artist, each photographer has their own style. So let me ask you this… why would you hire a photographer, whose style you adore, to shoot your wedding, but then attempt to design your own book with a layout and style that some random website gives you? Seems silly to me. It’s like cooking a five-star meal and serving it on old paper plates.
Albums can take upwards of 20 to 30 hours to design the first draft, depending on the number of pages required. A good photographer will also include one or two complimentary revisions where the client can swap around some photos or try some different layouts. This way, clients still have some control over the album that they are paying for, but they are working with the talent of their photographer to ensure that their visions come to life in a well-thought-out and breathtaking design.
As I mentioned, the cost of the book is basically materials + time needed to design. So what’s up with thse $3,000-$5,000 albums that you see being offered by some photographers? Are they made from gold? Did they take 200 hours to design? What could possibly justify a price like that?
Unfortunately, like some vendors in the wedding industry, some photographers have absolutely unreasonable markups on their albums that can’t be justified by the amount of materials or design time that have gone into the album. These photographers are the reason that people automatically roll their eyes at the idea of professional albums – because of the reputation of the albums being extraordinarily expensive.
Ask your photographer where they get their albums from. If they refuse to tell you which company, don’t buy the album. There… I said it.
As I mentioned above, there are a handful of printing and binding companies in the world that are of professional quality. These companies only service truly professional photographers – they will only register you once you provide your business ID, tax #’s, your website, etc. They charge high prices for their materials, but they are worth every penny because they are the best possible quality. There are some other printing services; however, that claim to be professional – but when you compare their products to a truly professional product, the difference is obvious. Their prices, though, are a fraction of what a professional printing house will charge.
So what am I trying to get at? If your wedding photographer won’t tell you where the albums come from, it might be because they aren’t using a truly professional service! Maybe they’re using a do-it-yourself site, too! Afterall, those sites charge less which means your photographer would make more.
Book Now and maybe add an Album to your package
Your Toronto Wedding Photographer