You spent a lot of time and money on your wedding. You also spent time researching and finding the best wedding photographer you could afford. Your photographs along with your dress and rings will probably be the only tangible things remaining from your wedding. So rather than your USB of images sat in a draw collecting dust why don’t you print them out and display them around your home?
A photograph is a physical medium
The experience of holding and viewing a photographic print is much more emotionally involving than staring at a screen. There really is no comparison. People are a tactile bunch. On an emotional level we feel a deeper connection to objects we can feel and hold in our hands. That is the reason why Vinyl records are having resurgence. Remember getting the family photographs out as a kid? The act of touching and handling a photographic print amplifies the emotional experience tenfold. In this new digital age I think we are all guilty of taking zillions of digital photographs and not printing many of them.
Problems with digital storage
Other than aesthetic reasons to get your photos printed, there are technical reasons too. I offer a USB of photographs with all of my packages although I would recommend you back them up on at least two hard drives. Without trying to scare you, drives can fail, and if your precious images are not backed up without physical prints you could lose your precious memories.
We also have no way of knowing if the .jpg format will be universally compatible in 50 years. We might need conversion software to convert into the current format, although this will probably degrade the quality even further.
Where to start? It might seem self -serving of me to suggest you use your wedding photographer to print your images, but it’s a fact we use the best printers in the business. A photographer will use professional labs that will match what they see on screen so will translate 100% their vision. This will be the most expensive option although I can guarantee prints will last up to 100 years displayed and 200 years stored properly.
The next best thing is to source a professional lab yourself. You will get the same longevity, although the colours might not be a perfect match! A quick online search will get results. A lot of photography blogs will also compare the best online printers.
Stay away from your high street printer, or those found in supermarkets, which might be cheap, but are staffed by inexperienced staff and the quality is average at best. You might be tempted to print your own on the family printer but be aware that cheaper printers use dye based ink that will fade within a few years. You might also be surprised that a print from your humble home printer can be pricier than a professional lab!!
Most photographs (including mine) are shot in a ratio of 3:2 what this means is a rectangle image which is longer on one side by 1 part. So a print like 6×4 or 12×8 will print fully.as they are in the exact same ratio. Other common print sizes are 10×8”, 8×6” and 7×5”. The 7×5” print does feel a lot bigger than 6×4” which is why most people opt for this option in the high street labs. It is also the least destructive crop as a little bit of the longer edge is cropped. This should not be a problem unless there is important information on the edge of the long side. If you were planning on printing 8×6” or 10×8” I would seriously consider asking your photographer to crop them for you. Although there are great free online editors available like https://pixlr.com/x/ so you can crop the images yourself.
I love mounted prints. A black frame with an off white mount is the gallery standard and for good reason. They look cool and timeless, and black and white goes with any colour you decorate your home. I would stay clear of coloured frames to match your décor. You are stuck when you next come to decorate!!
A great way to show your images is to create a gallery wall. The best way to do this is to choose the size of your prints and then talk to your framer to get the exact size of the framed print. Next cut out paper templates of the framed prints and arrange them on your wall with the desired gaps.
A box and prints/mounted prints
A nice wooden box with 50 or 100 prints is another excellent way to keep your images around for a long time. There are loads of great companies like Wooden Banana https://www.woodenbanana.com/ or sites like Etsy https://www.etsy.com/uk/market/wood_photo_box will have a lot of choice too.
This is the ultimate way to display and show your images to friends and family for generations to come. If it’s something that is not affordable when you get married, it could be an idea for a wedding anniversary or even a future Christmas present to yourselves? You could also use some of your wedding gift money to purchase an album after the wedding. Most photographers will be happy to supply you an album after your wedding. I get a lot of clients who decide to buy an album up to two years after the wedding!
Printing your photographs will elevate the experience of viewing your photographs to a new level. Whichever way you do it they all beat looking at a screen!
If you found this article useful you might want to read why you should get a wedding album
I also have a great guide on how to choose your images for your album