Bespoke Albums

Today we're venturing away from our more typical blog post format to talk about something very near and dear to our hearts both as a married couple and as business owners....Wedding Albums. Most of what we share here on the blog are our couple's visual wedding stories. While technology makes these stories easy to digest on the internet there is nothing like holding a collection of photos in your hands. Before we dive into the various styles and options of albums that we offer, I wanted to tell you a short story. Last winter we made a trip to the midwest to visit our family, including my Grandfather who is in his eighties. He's a very sharp man who doesn't look a day over 70 but since my Grandmother passed away four years ago he hasn't quite had the same spunk as he always had. I don't blame him. My Grandmother was the most caring, lovely person I've ever known and all of our family feels her absence with great weight. As we were chatting over some coffee and cookies with him we started talking about our work and the pleasure we take in developing relationships with our clients and capturing their love stories. Eventually the conversation shifted to the details of my Grandparents Wedding. After he retold the details of their brief courtship and engagement and the way they celebrated their wedding day we asked him to show us some photos. He ran upstairs and came back down with a very simple wedding album. It didn't have more than a half a dozen posed portraits, but there it was, all wrapped up in a box with portraits of my dashing Grandpa and my beautiful Grandma in their twenties. A whole life filled with five daughters, world travels, fulfilling careers and over 30 grandchildren lay ahead of them.  As we looked at the photos of them and the excited sparkle in their eyes (as all bride and grooms acquire on their wedding day) it was as if they knew the wonderful adventure that lay ahead. We passed the album around the big round table and laughed. We sipped our coffee, ate cookies, marveled at how certain cousins look identical to my Grandpa in his twenties and shed some tears about how lovely my Grandmother was and how much we missed her. I treasure this day in my heart and am so glad to know that those photos will live on beyond the time that my Grandparents were married.

Imagine for a moment, if we had had this same experience around a computer or a digitally rotating picture frame. We might have all hovered over each others shoulders to see the screen and likely someone would have walked out of the room because they were not engaged enough by the screen. The sense of connection and community would be lost. Many people settle with just having a copy of the digital wedding files. They save them on their computers for "someday" and think they'll DIY their own wedding album through Shutterfly (why invest thousands of dollars into wedding photography and then put them in a Shutterfly album?) or print them later on. But do you know what happens? They sit on a hard drive and get viewed maybe once a year.

Enter the Wedding Album. Putting your wedding story images in an album is, without a doubt, the best use of your wedding photos. Matt and I have a very large wedding album (from the same company we offer to our clients) that lives on our coffee table. When guests come over it gets cracked open and enjoyed. We don't keep our album on a shelf because we want to enjoy it on a regular basis (besides, the albums we offer are durable enough to withstand dust, dirt, and the sticky fingerprints of children).

We offer three sizes and three cover choices of professional wedding albums. They come in premium and vegan leather, linen and portrait styles in a 12x12, 10x10 and 8x8 size.  We have a great relationship with our printer in NYC who binds them using all archival materials. They are understated, classic and durable. We searched high and wide for an album company that we'd be proud to display in our own home and we couldn't be happier with the quality and cover selection they offer.

Now for the fun! First up we have the 12x12 Leather Album. The leather cover is buttery and beautiful with the option to have a photo on the front or imprinting on the spine or cover. Here is a 12x12 Navy Leather Album with Cover and Spine Imprinting and a Cover Photo from Charlene and Andrew's wedding last July.

All of the album are what is considered a 'lay flat' binding which enables us to print images across two pages and utilize lots of image layout design possibilities! In addition, they are super easy to turn the pages and allow the book to lie in your lap and turn pages one-handed.

Next up we have the 10x10 Leather in Camel from Kelsey and Danny's Guatemala Wedding. This is a great example of a Leather Album without a photo on the front.

Finally we wrap up the leathers with this example of an 8x8 Olive Leather Album from Ashley and Jamie's Vermont Wedding. We also love the ability to have square orientation images on the front which can be centered or lower right hand justified.

Here are all three leathers together.

Now we move on to the Linens. First up we have the 12x12 Linen Album. We love this album and the ability to imprint on the front or put an image on the cover. Here's a 12x12 album from Melissa and Jonathan's farm wedding:

Here's an example of a 10x10 Linen Album in Smoke. This is our most popular album size and cover choice. This example has a square image on the front with no text. We love the simplicity.

Since all of the albums are 'Lay Flat' you can print one image between two pages. We love having at least one photo in an album like this!

Finally we have an 8x8 Linen Album from Kaitlyn and Ryan's Wedding last summer in New Hampshire. The initials on the front keep it simple and personalized.

Here are all three linens laid out together so you can get an idea of the size difference.

Finally we have the Portrait Album. This album is not availible in 12x12 but we do offer it in 10x10 and 8x8. Check out this 10x10 Portrait from Maggie and Seth's wedding back in 2011.

Our favorite part of the portrait album is that you can use one image to be spread between the front and back cover, as well as personalize any text you'd like.

Here's an 8x8 Portrait Album from Annette and Jason's wedding. This is a fantastic option for people who want to order a parent album since they are bright and eye catching as well as affordable.

There you have it! We love our album offerings and know you will too. Don't hesitate to contact us if you're interested in placing an order OR shooting your wedding to have one of these gorgeous books!

Summer Street Photography Wedding Albums

It's been a little quiet around here lately and if you've been following our Facebook page, you may have seen a few sneak peeks from some photo shoots that we did while we were traveling in Paris last week. Being a wedding photographer means that we often work and live on different hours than traditional jobs. We work almost every weekend during wedding season and can pick up and leave work whenever we'd like since we work at home, which means odd hours and some times with too much to do and others with not enough to do (although we wish there was more time like that!). While students and teachers get summer vacations, we're at our busiest shooting weddings on weekends and editing like machines during the week. This also means that our vacation schedule is slightly different than most, so we took advantage of some inexpensive airfare last week and jetted off to our favorite  destination, Paris! We had an amazing time walking around the city, eating great food and taking in the culture. We worked a little while we were gone as well, which we're excited to show you in the coming weeks. But for now, we're back at work and excited to show you another one of our off-season projects - new sample albums! I'll start by saying that I am a very picky shopper. Put me in a store with no price tags and I'll automatically choose the most expensive item. I have a keen eye for handmade, high quality products (call it a blessing or call it a curse to the wallet!) which is why it's taken us so long to find the right album companies to incorporate into our business. We wanted something that looked and felt really nice. We wanted something that could stand the test of time in design and quality. We wanted something that highlighted the images and showcased them in a beautiful way. We wanted a visual journal that would become an heirloom in our client's lives.

We found three little beauties that we're very excited to offer this year. First off, we'll show you the Standard Album. It's an 8x8 inch layflat album, which means that the pages lay 180 degrees when it is opened. There are dozens of leather cover choices, but for our sample we decided to pick the odd duckling cover choice, a subtle, floral brown velvet.

 You can see the binding has folded pages, meaning there is no break between them. This allows you to print a large composite image across two pages if you wish.

 The Standard album is a popular choice for Parent Albums since it is smaller, lighter and cost effective.

The next album we're offering is what we call our Portrait Album. It's 10x10 and is a layflat album, similar to our Standard Album. Again, this means the pages open to 180 degrees when opened. You get to choose your own photo for the cover, and your own text as well (if you want it). It's heavier than our Standard album but you can easily handle it with one hand. The pages are slightly thicker than the Standard.

 Nice thick pages! We love this album.

 Here's an example of one image printed on the seam. In the above photo, we're holding two pages at a V angle so you can see where the seam is. In the photo below, the book is laid flat.

 Where's the seam!? It disappeared.

 We do all of the album designing and ordering. We try to keep the designs clean and aesthetically pleasing. It's always good to incorporate detail images into albums so you can get a three dimensional perspective of the wedding. You might not print out and hang a photo of your donuts display in your house, but it adds so much to an album.

  The front and back of the book start and end with black end paper.

And finally we introduce our Leather Album! This is the creme de la creme of wedding albums at 12x12 inches an almost nine pounds! It is also a layflat album, but it has split pages so the crease between the pages will never ever wear out. You can customize text imprinting on the front and on the spine if you wish. You can put a matte image plate on the front cover (in many different areas). There are dozens of top grain, premium and vegan leather options available. I literally said, 'ooooooh!' when I held this album for the first time. It is PREMIUM.

 Warning, you might need to do some bicep curls before handling this album. It's 50 thick pages of album goodness.

 And look! A little secret branding mark from us on the inside cover so you'll subtle remember who took your photographs 50 years from now.

 Yep, it was so big when open (24 inches across in fact) that our wide angle lens couldn't fit it all in.

 Gorgeous binding I tell you. Gorgeous.

 Look at those thick pages!

 Close up of the spine imprinting, which we choose the couple's name for this album. A Wedding Date might also be sweet.

On the left and below, one large ceremony image spread across two pages. On the right, a close up of the image plate on the cover. Keep in mind that we used a lens that would focus on the corner of this so the image is a little blurry on purpose. In real life it's very clear.

And there you have it! Our three new additions to Summer Street. We're very excited to be offering such exquisite products and hope many of our clients take advantage of them. For those of you who need a little convincing that an album is a good idea, think back 15 years ago when you inserted a floppy disk into a computer to look at documents. You'd be hard pressed to find a floppy disk in any modern computer today. We do our best to keep up with the latest technology (like delivering our wedding images on adorable custom USB drives that are more sturdy than a disk) but as we all know technology moves faster than the speed of light these days, so having a tangible book of your photos is without a doubt the best way to preserve the memory of your wedding day.

Connect with us if you'd like more information about prices, number of pages, cover options or to set up a time to come see our samples in person. Happy First Day of Spring!