Before I introduce you to this incredibly gorgeous couple, let’s talk about engagement sessions.
I LOVE engagement sessions. Engagement sessions are the best!
Originally couples had engagement sessions with their wedding photographers so that they’d have a nice photo to send to the newspaper along with their engagement announcement, but there are bunch of other great reasons to consider having an engagement shoot before you get married.
How do you feel about having your photo taken? Most people cringe at the thought – we all have an image in our heads of what we look like, and with cameras everywhere these days often the pictures we suddenly find ourselves tagged in on Facebook at that family barbeque last week don’t match up with that mental picture. “I hate having my picture taken.” You’d be amazed how often I hear that sentence uttered!
Here’s the single greatest thing about engagement sessions – you get used to being photographed before your big day! So when it counts, when your photographer pulls out that big black camera and aims it your way, you won’t panic because you’ve done this before! You also get a feel for how your photographer works and what they’ll be asking you to do on your wedding day, not to mention you all get to know each other better, which is great because it establishes trust between you – and that means way better wedding photos for you!
But that’s not all – if you’re a bit crafty with your scheduling, engagement sessions can give clever brides a chance to try out their makeup and see how it looks photographed. You’ll also end up with a bunch of great photos of the two of you that you can use on save the date cards, invitations, place settings, gifts for your parents, or a super-nifty custom guest book to have all your favourite people sign at your reception.
And there’s one more, super-important reason to have an engagement session. They’re heaps of fun.
Let me introduce you to Dale and Daniel. These guys are getting married on the 2nd of June, and I couldn’t be more excited to photograph their wedding. Despite being easy on the eyes, Daniel isn’t a fan of having his photo taken so their engagement session at the Spit in Southport on a sunny Saturday afternoon was the perfect chance to get him comfortable in front of the camera – and I let him keep his hat or his sunnies on for a few of the shots too, to ease him into it!
(Right after we took this shot a huge wave came up and swept all our stuff up the beach! Luckily Dale had an awesome waterproof beach bag, and it was totally worth the soggy knees to get this photo, anyway.)
If your house was on fire and you had time to grab one thing before you got the heck out of there (and your family/dog/cat/elephant/neighbours were already safe) what would you choose to save?
If your answer is the family photo album, you’re not alone. These little rectangular portals into the past are full of amazing memories, and they come to mean more and more as time passes. Albums have always been a great way to store your memories, but they’ve gotten even greater in recent years!
Modern photo albums are just plain awesome. They’re library-quality books with awesome magazine-style layouts of your awesome photos printed right into the awesome pages in awesome vivid colour or awesome black and white. And they’re awesome. Did I mention they’re awesome?
Here are five reasons for the awesomeness of modern albums.
1. Your album tells your story.
They say a picture says a thousand words, but ten pages of pictures together say a whole lot more – a whole story. And what better way to tell a story than in a book?
Your album tells the story of YOU at the time you were photographed. Not just how you looked, but how you felt. This is particularly true for wedding albums – all the photos work together to tell the story so you don’t just look through your wedding album – you relive your big day every time.
2. Albums LAST.
Do you remember cassette tapes? Kids are wearing them as jewellery these days! What about floppy discs? HD DVDs? Betamax video tapes? How long do you think it will be before CDs and DVDs are obsolete and computers don’t have disc drives anymore? What about the day they start to phase out the jpeg image format in favour of something with better quality and smaller file sizes?
That day will come, and on that day, you’ll be able to scoff about “back in my day”, then turn off your computer and pick up your album from the coffee table and be transported back in time – without ever having to worry if you’ll lose your wedding/family/baby photos because the disc doesn’t work anymore. And one day your children will inherit that album, and they’ll pass it on to their children, and your album will become an heirloom and a piece of family history. How awesome is that?
Plus, all my albums are library-quality books printed on tough but lovely Proline paper – so they’ll be durable when passing through little hands and down through the generations!
3. You can feel the album in your hands.
Computers and the Internet have really changed the way we interact with our photos. We put them on Facebook and email them to family far away, and it’s fantastic that we can keep in touch like that, but most of those pictures never make it to a printed, physical stage. Viewing your images on a screen completely cuts out the sense of touch, which can make the experience a lot less powerful.
Have you ever picked up a photo of someone you love and touched their face with your finger? Now, have you ever navigated to a photo of someone you love on your computer and touched their pixelly face with your finger (and left a big smudge on your screen)? Yeah, that’s what I thought!
My albums are covered in super-lovely high quality linen (in black, grey or oatmeal) which feels beautiful in your hands, and printed on thick, textured paper that feels divine and looks even better. Does that sound better than tiny Facebook photos to you?
4. A custom-designed album means a book you’ll love – instinctually.
These days you can have a photo-book printed at K-Mart on the cheap, or iPhoto can whip you one up in seconds and have it on its way to you and you don’t even have to leave your house. What those books lack is custom design, and that makes all the difference.
I custom-design every single album I deliver, lovingly and by hand. I’ve put the time in to learn about graphic design principles and layout design software to ensure my customers are receiving albums with strong, timeless designs that let the story flow through them.
Have you ever looked at a photo and just loved it right away? You may not know why you like it so much, but you know it’s good. Chances are it was well composed – the photographer used the camera to put everything in just the right spot in the frame to best tell the story. If they’d pointed their camera a little further to the left or just put the subject in the middle of the frame and clicked, it could have been a totally boring shot instead of the spectacular shot you adore, but you didn’t have to know why it was great, you just knew that it was!
Magazine-style albums are just like that – if care isn’t taken in the placement, size and alignment of the images, the whole album won’t feel right. A custom-designed book by someone who’s studied the principles of design means a sleek, smooth album where the story sweeps you along.
5. You don’t have to find the time to put your album together!
I bet you’ve got photos kicking around somewhere that you’ve been meaning to stick in an album for ages. I know I do. I have a shoebox full of them.
Lots of brides and mums plan to make their own photo albums, but life gets in the way and they never get around to it. It’s OK! It happens to all of us. So why not let someone else do it for you? You’ll get all the benefits listed here, you can make changes to the proofs your photographer sends you until it’s exactly how you like it without having to do any of the work, and then you can just kick back and wait for it to arrive! Now that’s handy!
See? Albums are awesome!
So much so that I used the word “awesome” 14 times in this post, but I really believe it. Seriously, you should see my album shelf!
Are you an album-appreciator like me? What do you love about albums? Let me know in a comment! And go give your albums some love.