Are wedding albums environmentally unfriendly or a waste of time?
Love to hear your views!
Love to hear your views!
Yes, serious question!
Doing some market research I came across a wedding photographer that doesn’t offer wedding albums (as standard) and their website indicated that it was because wedding albums were “unfriendly” in some way.
Well, in my 26 years of photography I’ve not been bitten by a wedding album nor had one steal my car parking space so the only thing I can imagine about a wedding album being unfriendly is the environmental impact.
Sure, the process of some wedding album printing can be seen as ‘unfriendly’ because of the chemicals that are used, but those are for the more old-fashioned type of albums. My current wedding album company uses some of the most environmentally friendly printers in the business – Canon DreamLabo 500. These have been designed to be as safe to the environment as possible.
Remember 5 1/4″ floppy disks? Or even 31/2″ floppy disks? How about Tape drives? USB 1.0? CD’s or DVD’s included in all computers?
It all changes. It all moves on. Technology moves on. The printed book won’t. The wedding album won’t. I’ve STILL got my mum’s wedding album. Perfectly printed wedding photographs from over 50 years ago. And you could say these are vintage photographs – that looking nothing like the “vintage” photoshop actions so beloved of the hundreds, possibly thousands of wedding photographers today.
15th Century Guttenberg Bible is still around. Made in the 1600’s. 400 years ago. Still going strong and still readable. 51/4 floppy disks went out of fashion in the 1980’s, a mere 40 years ago.
The Etruscan Gold Book. A mere 2,673 years old.
Protecting the environment.
All that cloud storage. You know how much power that takes? How many hard drives, with all the precious metals inside. Precious metals that have been mined, cleaned, refined, shipped, manufactured, shipped again.
Printing chemicals (where used) can be used multiple times before you need to refresh them.
When was the last time a book failed on you? As in wouldn’t open at all. You couldn’t get anything from it, read no words, see no pictures? If you haven’t had a hard drive failure in your lifetime you are one heck of a lucky person and I’d like you to pick my lottery numbers.
When was the last time you got really looked at the photographs, all the photographs, on your hard drives? Heck, I’m a photographer and if it’s on a computer I don’t! If it’s in an album I do. I know a little old 72-year-old lady who has a cheap point and shoot digital camera. she prints EVERY photograph on that memory card at 6″x4″ and buys those cheap insert albums and puts those photographs in.
What an amazing archive! She, in my opinion, is way more of a photographer than those who professionals who refuse to offer albums or use excuses for not offering them.
Why don’t photographers offer albums? Lots of reasons. Mainly though I think it boils down to either laziness or money.
Laziness – it’s time-consuming to design, edit, print, ship albums. It costs money. (Actually, if you price yourself correctly it doesn’t cost.)
Money – They make, or think they make, a bigger profit margin by giving you a crystal encrusted USB drive.
They use the excuse that people don’t have wedding albums in the 21st C. Really??!!! Look at the number of companies offering albums and you can see that is just a plain lie.
They use the excuse of “it’s environmentally unfriendly” – see above. Plain lie.
They use the excuse of “you won’t look at it” – When I look at my mum’s 50+-year-old album and see the people who I only vaguely remember as a child it brings back floods of memories. Many of my clients get the albums out and show the kids who was there, people who are no longer with us. So again, that excuse is a plain lie. When was the last time you got a USB out, hooked it up and looked through the contents? DO you even know where the USB is?!
Some quotes from real photographers offering albums –
“My bride and grooms buy into that family heirloom. That they have something to physically hold and look at and their kids can show their kids etc.”
“Albums last longer and costs less resources than producing electronics (servers, usb, clouds, computers)”
“With all the mining of precious metals, plastic and general manufacturing that’s involved in making anything digital I’m surprised that someone could think printing an album has more of an environmental footprint.”
“Q: What’s one of the first things that come out when someone is no longer with us?
A: The old photos.”
“An album isn’t storage, it’s a visual and tactile memory of an amazing experience.”
Every single wedding photography collection I offer has an album included. Every single one. You want digital only – find another (usually more expensive) photographer.
Andrew Miller Photography
andrew [at] andrew-miller.co.uk
01633 400 051
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