There are generally two types of plans available to purchase wedding photography. I refer to them as either the album or àla carte plan. The latter probably has many variations but generally includes a set number of photographs or digital files or all of the digital files for a fixed price. My purpose today is to discuss the advantages of both.
As its name implies the album plan includes a book containing a set number of pages and pictures. It is usually designed by the photographer in conjunction with the bride who usually selects the pictures that go into the book.
These days there are a wide variety of books representing manufacturers as far away as Italy and Australia. These books range from the very popular “coffee table books” to the traditional leather and faux material in 8 x 10 and 10 x 10 styles. A newcomer is the press printed book that seems to be a cross between a fancy magazine and a book.
All of these books are now digitally designed using custom designed pages by the photographer or templates furnished by the album manufacturer. All of the designs can be very creative allowing multiple pictures on a single page in unusual designs or even a panoramic picture across multiple pages.
My experience is that the design of the album usually takes as long as it does to shoot the wedding itself. This is precisely why some photographers sub contract out the album design. Others offer no album at all.
There are many advantages to the album plan. The plan may include smaller books for each parent. For a set price the bride knows exactly how much to budget for her photography services and what she will be receiving. There are very few upgrades to my album plans unless the bride or parent wishes to increase the amount of pictures that come with the album.
Lastly, the album is the final creation from the wedding day and it is comforting to know that it will be available on a timely basis when the bride chooses.
As the name implies the bride selects only those items she wants for her wedding plan. Some àla carte plans include wedding photography for a set number of hours and all digital files. Therein is a major issue that the bride should be aware of.
Because of current photographic technology many sub- professional digital cameras are available that produce good snapshots. This has caused the wedding photography field to become populated with many amateur wedding photographers. This class of individual takes halfway decent photographs without regard to professional level posing and post processing procedures. But these photographers are often lacking in photographic skills and knowledge.
They normally capture the digital files in JPEG mode stead of the preferred raw capture mode. What this means is that those files captured in JPEG mode will suffer some loss of the information or pixels. The additional information contained in the raw capture mode will usually produce a better picture because it can be edited in the processing to allow for variations in exposure, color temperature, and color balance etc.
Naturally all of the àla cart plans that I offer are captured in raw mode and are then post-processed so you can obtain a great print if you use a good color lab.
Normally àla carte plans are less expensive than album plans. They allow for the brides creativity to design her own album using materials available on the open market. Some disadvantages are that the bride may not ultimately achieve the same quality of photograph that the professional photographer can produce. What I have also experienced is that some brides will never get around to producing a complete wedding album due to the time constraints of starting a new family. They may also end up with a variety of unconnected pictures that do not tell the story of their wedding in a cohesive and logical fashion.
Hopefully, you have learned from this discussion to become a more sophisticated consumer of photographic services.