I have just celebrated my 13th wedding anniversary which always means a look through the wedding album reminiscing about the big day. Our original wedding photos seemed rather out of date compared to some of the incredible photography now available. They weren't even digital which seems impossible now. Both me and my husband wish we'd had our photography done a bit differently and researched more photographers at the time. When we found someone available, we booked them and it was a tick off the list of things to do.
It was the final presentation of the prints in this hideous black plastic album (that I disliked from the outlook) that was the worst thing. After quite a few years of moaning, feeling frustrated and regretting using this photographer, I decided I would do something about our photos and try and present them in a better, more modern way so we could actually enjoy looking through our wedding album rather than always criticising it!
How you present photos, illustrations and text can make a huge difference to the look and feel anything. Being a graphic designer, it something I am passionate about and when you see something that looks rubbish, it is a real source of irritation!
I finally decided to scrap the entire album and start again. I have the skill, the design experience as well as the software to be able to something about it.
I first had to scan every 'official' photo, all 61 of them to digitalise them. This meant I could then tweak the colours, brightness, retouch photos that needed a blemish removing, crop the photos for a better fit, rotate if a bit wonky and I turned a few into black and white which instantly created a more romantic look. We also had a lot of snaps that friends and family had taken, as well as disposable camera shots which all benefitted from a bit of retouching and cropping (the days before iphones!). The disposable camera ones were as heavily edited as I could get away with to make them look passable as photos to use.
One of the images that benefitted from retouching and editing was the confetti shot. Right inbetween our heads, you could see my friends head which looked like she was coming between us! I edited her out (sorry Nicky!), as well as other heads and the flag pole and also cropped the image so it became a close up of just us. The final image could be better quality but enlarging a scanned image always means the quality will suffer and there is only so much you can do sometimes. Just don't print it too big!A photo of the wedding ceremony. In the background could see the curtains, blue walls and the string quartet which spoiled the feel of the image. With a lot of editing, I removed the candles and musicians (who looked rather bored) and changed the photo into black and white so it focused on us, giving the photo a much more romantic feel in what was a precious moment.How to present our wedding album? I created an A3 photo book, putting every photo we had in it, mixing the 'official' photos with friends and family snaps. I spent a lot of time considering the layout, having some photos large, some small making sure they complimented each other and cropping each image to show them off as best I could. When a photo wasn't such good quality I made it small. The good quality ones could be large which helped to create an impact. I also added images of the wedding invitations and wedding stationery that I designed. The end result looked a million miles away from the hideous plastic album that we started with.
Something else I did was create a photo montage of a few photos which was printed and presented in a simple black frame, now hung in our hallway. A more contemporary idea rather than a generic photo montage frame or a single image.
We are now a lot happier to look at our wedding photos. They are still not perfect but they are presented in a much, much better way and create a flowing record of the day.
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