Painted Pixels Photography by David & Cheryl Williams
I. Helpful Articles :: Wedding Albums

TRENDS IN WEDDING ALBUMS. Just a few years ago, a newly married couple would expect their wedding album to be the collection of single images, one 10x10 photo on each page of the album. This traditional leather-bound book would be a very serious depiction of the wedding highlights.

DIGITIAL PHOTOGRAPHY has inspired a change from the traditional wedding album to a more artfully designed, contemporary album. It allows the photographer to create a greater number of images at an event. Digital photography has also inspired the trend in photography we know today as the "photojournalistic style", with more emphasis on candid and spontaneous moments and less on static portraiture.

WITH THESE NEW ELEMENTS in the wedding photography mix, the entire way of styling wedding albums has undergone an enormous transformation. Taking our cues from the traditional world of magazine and graphic design, photographers can now create books that express the same level of creativity as the photograph itself. The photographer-designer will now use multiple images on a page and include photos that appear to float over other photos, with tonal variations, or blown-up into giant panoramas, half-panoramas, or even mock-panoramas.

THE ALBUM CHOICES and options are many and this may seem a bit daunting, so it's a good idea for the newly married couple to have some familiarity with the different types of wedding albums before beginning the pleasurable task of working with us to create the unique document of your wedding day.

HERE IS A BRIEF description of some of the options for your wedding album:

CONSIDER THE BINDING. There are several different types of binding which will have an effect on how your images appear in the album. (Please note: the terms used below are descriptive to help you understand the differences, and are not standard book binding terms.)

PINCHED GLUE BINDING. Double sided printing on single pages are stacked together and glued down with one edge creating a "pinched" binding. Parts of the image will disappear into the center of a two-page spread and the book will not lay flat when it is opened. This type of binding is most common with paperback or soft cover books, as the pages need to be glued to the cover to reinforce the strength of the binding. People tend to hold this book in one hand, and then flip through the pages with the other - similar to how they would view a magazine.

STITCHED BOOK BINDING. Most often used with hardcover library books, the stitched binding gathers multiple pages together, (double sided and printed as 2-page spreads) , then stitched with thread to a binding tape. These books will typically lay flat when open, if the cover binding is structured for that use.

FOLDED PAGE BINDING. Pages are printed on a single side as a two-page spread, then folded and bound together by gluing each page to the next. Reinforcement is given to the spine by gluing the spine to a binding tape which gives the pages flexibility to lay flat when opened. These books are often a little too heavy and stiff to simply hold and flip through, so they are often laid out flat and viewed as a full spread.

Magazine Style Album

MAGAZINE STYLE, COFFEE TABLE ALBUMS. If you have chosen a photojournalistic style for your wedding photography, this type of album may be the right choice for you. The Magazine style album offers a different look and feel sought after by many brides who want an alternative to the traditional, leather bound wedding album. Magazine style albums offer a greater opportunity to display several photos in one book. These albums have the images printed directly onto a double sided, flexible, thin page. The binding is either stitch book binding or pinched glue binding.

Magazine Style, Coffee Table Albums can be a more affordable choice. They are lightweight, and the thinner pages allow your album to have a larger number of pages to display many of your beautiful wedding photographs. However, because of the thin pages, this style of album may be less durable over time. Colors may also vary in printing.

Graphi Wedding Book

FLUSH MOUNT COFFEE TABLE ALBUMS. This is somewhat of a hybrid product in that its pages are thinner than a Flush-mount library album, but are thicker than a Magazine style coffee table album. The printing is often done on either true photographic paper or on a dense fine art paper. Each page is printed on one panoramic side, then scored, and glued together to give each page more strength.

These Albums have beautifully accurate photographic colors, medium page thickness for greater durability and yet still thin enough to allow for more pages in your album. One consideration is that the Images may deteriorate over time in the center scored creases of the album.

Leather Craftsman Album

FLUSH MOUNT LIBRARY ALBUMS. A trend that has been sweeping the country is a collage style, flush mount wedding album. This album is a merging of modern technology with the classical elegance of library bookbinding. Various size pages as 10x10, 8x10 or 5x5 are designed in the artist's studio using photos from the wedding. Photos can be used as page backgrounds with other photos then incorporated into the design. A panorama can be created spanning two pages. The creative possibilities for the photographer in the design process are limitless.

Options for the library bound book cover are numerous. A variety of leather, and even wood or metal cover styles are available. The bride and groom will have an album as unique as the couple themselves. This album most often consists of photographic pages which are permanently mounted to a dense cardstock or plastic page, resulting in very thick pages. Photographs can be split in the center of a spread to avoid creasing distortion.

These albums have very durable pages that are more likely to lay flat when open due to the binding that is used. The numbers of pages are often limited because of their thickness, and the weight of the book tends to be heavy.

Traditional Wedding Album

MATTED ALBUMS. Even though we group all matted albums together, there are actually different types of matted albums for you to consider. There's a slip-in matted album which allows you to order your mats to your picture sizes then you simply “slip” your photos into the mats. Another type of matted album will require your photographer to send the finished images, or prints to the album binder, who then mounts the prints into the mats for you, or creates custom mats for your images.

Traditional Leather Bound, Slip-In Wedding Albums are timeless. While contemporary style albums are very trendy and artistic, many brides still prefer to order traditional Leather bound Slip-In wedding albums. Even a bride, who chooses a contemporary style wedding album for herself, may choose a traditional album for her parents, who may appreciate the look and feel of a “traditional wedding book". These albums make great coffee table albums as well. The Slip-in album contains photographs that are taped behind a thin paper matte, and this combination of photo and matte is then slipped into a page. The page itself may be slipped into an album or permanently bound into an album.

THESE NUMEROUS DESIGN OPTIONS can add dramatically to an album's ability to tell a story. The best albums contain surprises . . . the right amount of surprises. Here is an important rule: A wedding album should not be overly designed. It is tempting to throw every technique into it, but instead of being a beautiful storybook with carefully planned out surprises at just the right moments, an overly done album crammed with one dramatic effect after another dilutes the visual impact of each effect. This is where good taste and artfulness come into play. The sequence of pictures in a book must have the right tempo. Balance is essential. A series of simple, dignified pages sets up a more elaborate "surprise" page. An album with a surprise on every page lacks subtlety and has no sense of timing; it is like a musical piece in which every note is played super loud.

WHEN WORKING WITH A COUPLE, we are inspired to create a book that represents all of the unique details that made your day special … the people, the emotions, the rituals, the action and events, creating an exciting, artistic representation of your wedding day. Our goal in designing a great wedding album is to create a document -- a family heirloom really -- that artfully tells the story of this amazing day in your life.

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