Traditional Wedding Print Albums – The End is Nigh!

With the arrival of the video on a dslr, the fusion between stills & video and getting closer and closer. New software & workflow techniques will need to be looked at to adapt to this changing and very dynamic media. So will this have a big effect on the end products i.e albums, prints, traditional wall frames etc. Well I think so and the change is happening at a fairly frantic pace.A good example is the advertising billboards on buildings, near flyovers, etc. Traditionally we’ll see 2-3 persons plastering the prints and putting the advertising message up on the board. Not any more, I haven’t seen this for quite a while now, specially in London. These billboards are now being replaced with digital billboards. Initially they may cost a bit, however, cheaper to maintain in the long run as the adverts are changed electronically and the long-winded print process is taken out completely. Another great example are the advertising boards at major Premier League Football grounds. Most are now electronic. So why change. Two simple reasons, they are more eye-catching with transitions and movie-like effects and secondly advertisers get the best bang for their bucks.

So why am I talking about these billboards. I see the same going to happen in the social traditional albums market. Specially the portrait & wedding sector is going to see a huge & probably dramatic change very soon. How soon? Your guess is as good as mine. I’ll take one and I think within 2 years, 3 years at the max, the market place will have completely changed. With the launch of the iPad (which I want one BTW), we’ll be seeing more gadgets like this being released, the quality of them improving and the prices going down.Lets take a closer look as to why I would consider something like an iPad (or something similar) as a replacement for a traditional album. You’ve heard this many times before, you’ve got to keep re-inventing yourself and your business. If you are static and don’t change, your business won’t survive for long. I want to offer my clients something different than others are offering. I want to be able to use my both the stills & video capabilities of my ‘hybrid camera’, add music to it and create an unforgettable multi-media experience for my clients. I think I can do this and give something which is a far more interesting product viewable on a plasma TV, laptop, iPhone, iPad, iwhatever…But what about the cost factor? It’s not too bad actually if you look at it. Currently a wedding album may cost anything between £300-£600 depending on the specifications of it from the lab. So replacing the album with a digital album is not going to be that drastic. The clients will love it, they can use it for uploading their own images / movies as well. Plus (this is a big one), as they’ll use it regularly and not put away like a traditional one after the first few weeks of using them, you can brand the digital device with your branding. Keep your name in front of them at all times.

A lot of the photographers have just got to grips with firstly, transition from film to digital, then learning the new workflow techniques and now we need to learn more video editing stuff. The simple answer is, you’ve got to. Initially I wasn’t keen on video on a dslr when they were first introduced in late 2008. However, I’m getting more and more into it and learning new things. I love switching between stills & video and not having to carry two different pieces of equipment.For environmental portrait photographers like me, this is exactly what I need to re-invent my portrait business and I’m really looking forward to a couple of really exciting next few years.