Thursday, February 12, 2015

Tips on Selecting the Perfect Pictures for your Wedding Album

The Wedding is over, and hopefully the day was spectacular. The bride looked stunning, the groom handsome, and your guests had a lovely time. All the while your photographer was busy capturing everything! The photographer is there to record your day, and chances are he took several shots of all your special moments… the bride and groom getting ready, more of the groom and the groomsmen, as well as the bride and her bridesmaids, not to mention the ceremony itself and all the festivities afterwards.

Most photographers will provide a CD of images for the bride and groom as part of their package. This may contain anywhere from 300 to over 1000 images. How do you select the best 100 or so to use in a Wedding album? It may seem like an overwhelming task, and often the couple will set the project aside until they have a bit more time to sort through them. Unfortunately that could turn into months and even years. 

It doesn’t have to be that way.  You want to have a wedding album not only to show off your special day, but also as a way to relive the day and later share it with your children and grandchildren.

The first step in choosing your pictures is to eliminate the images that you don’t like. Most photographers will provide a proof sheet of your images, or you can have one made from your CD. It is easy then to look at all the images and eliminate pictures by drawing a line through them or covering them with a sticker.
How do you know which ones to remove? Start with the ones where your eyes may be closed, or you feel you aren’t looking your best. Remember the idea here is not to use every picture the photographer took, but to select a few of the best images from each moment. 

If you are not sure about removing a picture, leave it in. The initial run through is to remove the pictures you know you are not going to want to see in your album. This part of the selection should go fairly quickly and will remove about 10 to 15% of the pictures.     

Step two is to narrow down the good pictures. Begin at the beginning. Did your photographer photograph you getting ready for the wedding? There may be a lot of images that you are glad to have – but that doesn’t mean you want to showcase them in your album. Most brides will choose a few pictures of them getting into their dress, with the help of their mother or some of the bride’s maids. 

And it is often nice to have a picture of the dress either laid out on the bed, or hanging off the back of a door. A photograph of some important piece of jewelry or accessory, or of the bouquets together is also a nice accent image to use in the album.

Don’t forget about the groom. There may not be quite as many of him getting ready (for some reason guys usually don’t like pictures taken of them putting on their clothes) but a good photographer will capture some of him waiting for the bride.

Do you have formal pictures before the wedding? Try to choose a few nice group shots. If your photographer took pictures of the bride with each of her bride’s maids, and the groom with each of his groomsmen, more than likely he took three or four with each person. Select only the best one of each.

As you work through your wedding day, you may find certain parts, such as the ceremony, difficult to narrow down. Often there are 3 to 5 shots that may look almost identical. Select the best one. If there is a picture of the bride close up during the ceremony, try to also select a similar one of the groom. It will help to balance the design of the album. If you have a group shot with the groom’s family, then you should also have one with the bride’s family.

There are moments of your wedding day that should be fairly easy to narrow down the selection of images. The kiss. Although I have designed a few albums where the bride and groom can’t seem to get enough of it, choose one or two pictures of this moment. Keep It Simple Sweetie! One picture of the kiss, and perhaps one or two just before or just after where you are both looking into each others eyes.

Another moment that can be narrowed down to a few images is the cake cutting and toast. Five to seven pictures should be able to tell that part of the story. It is helpful to have a nice picture of the cake by itself, a picture of the two of you by the cake, and one of your hands together on the knife for the first cut. Most couples will also select a picture or two of the ritual feeding each other the cake. Did you smash it into his face? A cute moment to remember, but choose carefully. The wedding album is a selection of the best images of the day. If you do want one or two of the silliness, try to select the most flattering. You will be seeing them again for years to come.

The reception may be one of the harder areas to narrow down your selection of images. You will want some of your first dance together. I would suggest the best 4 to 8 pictures, as well as another 2 or 3 each of the bride dancing with her father and groom with his mother – if that was a part of your wedding. Try to limit the party afterwards to the best 20 or so pictures. You will want some group shots that show the overall gathering, as well as some of the pictures that show classic moments of the evening.

Step three is to count the number of images you now have. Way too many? See if you can trim out more pictures from each of the stages of your wedding day. If that doesn’t work, you may want to eliminate certain parts of the day from the album. It may not be as important for you to have pictures of your guests arriving at the church as it is to have the exchange of rings.

Do you have it narrowed down to 120 pictures when you were looking to use 100? If you can’t decide which ones to eliminate, you may want to increase the number of images in the album. The larger the wedding party, typically the larger the album. This may mean a little more money, but you want to be satisfied with your album as you will have it for many years to come. 

The final step is having the Wedding Album made. Once you have selected the images you would like to use, you will want to have them designed into an album. You trusted a professional to capture the moments of your day, you should also trust a professional to showcase your pictures. Having a beautifully bound album is a wonderful way to relive the day.

Originally Posted 12/21/11

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