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Making your wedding last a lifetime June 11, 2009

Posted by Damon Taylor in Resources.
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Making your wedding last a lifetime. Bookmark and Share

Before we proceed, let’s get one thing straight.

I am not going to try to tell you how to make your marriage lasts a lifetime.

Perhaps watching a few episodes of Dr. Phill or maybe a visit to your local marriage guidance counsellor might help you in that area, although, I suspect that it’s really a matter of choosing the right person to marry in the first place and then working very hard to make sure that life’s little corrugations don’t rattle loose the nuts and bolts that hold your relationship together.

As a photographer who has been covering weddings for over 25 years, what I can help you with is a few suggestions on how to make sure that you and your family get the most out of those sentimentally precious and often rather expensive images of your wedding day.

Let’s start from the beginning and look at some of the pros and cons that apply to the different media on which you may choose to have your big day recorded.

The first choice for many couples is “should we have still photography or video or both?”

To answer this question let’s look at what’s going to happen to those images over the coming years.

Still photographs can be pasted into an album, made into a coffee table book or enlarged and framed for permanent display on the walls of your house or your office at work.

On the other hand, there is basically only one way that you can view a video, and generally speaking, this has to be done actively (you put the video on, sit down and watch it), whereas a framed photograph hung on a wall is permanently there for all to see and is viewed passively (without any real effort required) whenever you happen to look in it’s direction.

How many times over the next 20 years are you likely to take the time to sit and watch your wedding video?

Compare this to the number of times that you are likely to get that warm fuzzy feeling from glancing at the still photos decorating the walls of your home as you walk down the hall or enter your lounge room?

You can further increase the value you get from your photos by adding them to the My Pictures folder on your computer and then setting your screen saver to run a slideshow of the images in that folder whenever the computer is inactive.

Another factor worth considering is the likelihood of loss or damage and this possibility applies to both your wedding album and the tape or disks containing your wedding video.

You move house, you have kids, you move house again, you renovate, you move house again!

This sums up the progress of the average relationship over 20 years, but some couples manage to cram it all into about the first five or six.

What happens to the things that were in the bottom drawer of the entertainment unit you used to have at the beginning of this process?

If you’re anything like me then the answer is probably “How the hell would I know!” but I do know where the photos that were hanging on the walls of the hallway in our first house are. We decided they looked better in the study of the new house so that’s where they are now. I still get a buzz from how beautiful my wife looks in the shot of her and her bridesmaids coming down the hill to the ceremony.

I think our wedding album is at the in-law’s and the video is in the back of the cabinet with all the other videos that nobody has watched for the last five years. Now that I think of it, they need to be transferred onto DVDs urgently before the last V.C.R. becomes a museum piece.

Despite having the best intentions I have to admit that, like most of us, I have a very busy life and little, personal things have a way of getting pushed into dusty corners to be forgotten or, worse still, slipping through the cracks and disappearing all together.

Wedding albums, video tapes, Photo Discs and DVDs all need protection from their natural enemies. Things like silver fish, moths, mould and moisture will try to destroy your wedding album while you’re not looking so store it carefully in a cool dry place with a moth ball or two for company.

Heat and magnetic fields generated by electrical equipment will slowly degrade video tape even if it doesn’t get chewed by a dodgy V.C.R. and we all know what a little carelessness can do to a DVD so make back up copies and keep them safely tucked away with your important documents or better still at a trustworthy relatives house. If you are unfortunate enough to suffer a house fire or flood at least you won’t have lost the records of your wedding!

I am starting to sound rather pessimistic here but these things do happen to an alarmingly high percentage of us and it makes good sense to insure against such disasters as well as one can.

Framed prints will fade if they are exposed to direct sunlight and are as vulnerable to moisture damage as any other paper based product so put some careful thought into choosing the right hanging location and use a good professional “preservation” framing service to avoid any of the problems that can arise when the wrong materials and adhesives are used in the process.

If you can comfortably afford both video and still photography at your wedding then you don’t have a problem here. You will have the luxury of both forms of recorded media and the security of knowing that if you don’t like the way you look in your still photos at least you will be able to have some fun watching yourself on the video.

If you have to choose one over the other, I would strongly recommend using a professional for your still photography and encouraging your friends and relatives to bring along their digital video cameras.

I would also suggest that you spend at least as much on having your favourite photos enlarged and framed as you do on the album. These are the Images that will decorate your home and be a daily reminder of your wedding and the commitment you and your partner share with each other.

After the first year or two the album will probably spend most of it’s life gathering dust on one of your book shelves and be lucky if it sees the light of day once a year.

As well as being a photographer I am also a photo restorer and I do quite a lot of work restoring wedding photos that have graced the walls of local family’s houses for a century or more.

I am even a little jealous of people who have such lovely reminders of their family history as I have only a few snap shots of my maternal grandmother and no record at all of any of my other grandparents.

It is worth considering the fact that a well framed wedding photo will not only give you a great deal of daily pleasure over many years but to future generations it really can become a treasured family heirloom.

In my next article I’ll take a look at how to choose a photographer and whether that photographer should be using digital or traditional film cameras.

An article by Nick Jenkin

Photographer: Servicing Geelong, Western Victoria & The Great Ocean Road.

To view some of my work or obtain my contact details go to: www.clicknick.com.au

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