You’ve had the excitement and emotion of your wedding day, you’re back from your honeymoon, you’ve seen the Facebook photos. What you really want now is to see the photographs of your day “in the flesh”, and be able to spend time re-living your day with family and friends through the pages of your album.
But if wedding forums are anything to go by, a common source of frustration for brides is either that it seems to take forever to get a wedding album, or they just aren’t clear how long it should be taking.
It is worth saying here that all photographers are different. We all have different processes, so we can’t assume that everyone will have the same album production time, or even that there is a “standard” timescale. Some photographers design their albums themselves, some hire a third party or let their album company design it for them. No photographer is right or wrong, we just have different methods of creating our work.
What matters is being clear about what those methods are, and how they give you the results you want and have paid for. So here is what we do at Jim Whitham Photography, and why we believe in doing it this way.
Straight after the wedding we understand that brides (and grooms!) are anxious to see their photographs. So within two days we fully process 10-20 of your images as a “quick preview” and post them on Facebook. If you want us to wait until you return from your honeymoon that’s fine, just let us know.
In 2-3 weeks you will have an online gallery to view, so you have something exciting to come back to from your honeymoon! Your gallery is private but you can share it with your family and friends if you wish to. At this stage your photographs will have been edited to make sure that skin tones look good, colours and contrast are just right, and all the exposures are perfect. They won’t yet have had detailed work done in Photoshop – if any is necessary we do this at the album building stage.
We ask you to choose your favourite photos for the album – the number depends on the size of album you have chosen and the number of pages – and once you have shared your choices with us we set to work on your album design. At this stage we will also be fine-tuning the photographs for the album. We like to put Jim’s art background to good use, and design our albums ourselves. That gives us (and you) more control over the creative process, and allows us to build an album that reflects your individual taste and style.
Your wedding album is an investment, part of your inheritance and we want you to love them as much as we do. So before anything is printed you will see a draft of the design, and we are happy to discuss any changes with you. Nothing is sent to the album company until we have your final approval.
The album companies we use are based in Yorkshire (Folio) and New Zealand (Queensberry). We have chosen both for their obsession with quality and attention to detail. Both produce albums that are bespoke and hand made, so clearly take longer in production than a Blurb book! Folio estimate 15-20 days, whilst Queensberry usually take 3-4 weeks. If for any reason this varies (at peak times of the year for example) we will make sure you know about any delay.
So, how long should it take to get a wedding album? Well, the short answer is, it depends! We promise to give you timescales when we start designing and when we send your album for printing, but how long you take to choose your favourite photographs and share them with us, how many changes you want to make to the album design – these factors are in your hands! So our shortest time for a wedding album was two months, but at the other end of the scale we have waited for up to two years for clients to get back to us with their choices! But one thing is certain – whether your album is ready two months or twelve months after the wedding, nothing will beat that moment when you unwrap it from its beautiful packaging and the memories of your wonderful day come flooding back.