Image: Matt Elliott Photography

While our treasured wedding memories are lovingly stored in our hearts and minds, there is something so special about turning the pages of your tangible and beautifully made custom wedding album and being able to show it to your family and friends for generations to come. Right? Then again, should we just get with the times by giving them, and ourselves, a USB? Dare I say, a Dropbox link? As the world becomes increasingly digital and technology is forever advancing, is the classic printed wedding album still worth the energy and time you need to put it together? Or the dollars you need to part with to have your photographer expertly make one for you?

To answer these questions and to talk all things wedding albums, we sat down with four of the best memory capturing maestros in the biz: the incredibly talented Lowina of Black Avenue Productions, Sarah of De Lumiere Photography, Matt of Matt Elliott Photography and David from Society Photography.

Why have your photographer make your wedding album rather than undertake a DIY project?
Sarah of De Lumiere Photography: A professional photographer has loads of experience telling stories and knows how to lay out your story artistically using your gorgeous images.

Image: De Lumiere Photography

Matt of Matt Elliott Photography: Photographers are adept at the storytelling process. Laying out an album from this point of view is crucial to creating an emotional experience as our couples flip through the pages.

David of Society Photography: Most people, if left to their own devices, will never find the time to do it themselves so it becomes a chore hanging over their head rather than something done efficiently and enjoyably. We design wedding albums with clients every week. Just as you entrust the capture of your memories to a professional, it makes sense to continue that trust, and utilise their skills to the full in order to tell the best story of your wedding.

Let’s be honest… Professionally made and printed albums are not cheap. Why is that?

Lowina of Black Avenue Productions: You are paying for your photographer’s time as well as a team of professional album crafters who print and bind the customised album. We carefully select professional quality lay flat creations that won’t be your typical photo book that you can buy online. And the professionals use archival quality paper and ink that is meant to last for 100 years!

Images: Black Avenue Productions

Sarah of De Lumiere Photography: Many hours of work! A gorgeous lay flat album is usually handmade, with each page being individually printed and hand mounted onto each spread, and the images retouched to ensure that everyone looks their best.

Image: De Lumiere Photography

Matt of Matt Elliott Photography: Professional albums are handmade and the quality of printing is high-end museum-grade, which has a far superior lifespan to the standard photo books. There are also lots of options for cover materials and finishing options for foiling and embossing.

Image: Matt Elliott Photography

David of Society Photography: We have access to album manufacturers that only sell to professional photographers and not to the public. The quality difference can be massive between a cheap online album and a professionally sourced album. You are also paying for the design skills of your photographer, as well as the time spent drafting, creating and perfecting the album.

Image: Society Photography

When would you recommend getting your album made?
Lowina of Black Avenue Productions: We recommend getting your album ASAP so you can show it off soon!
Sarah from De Lumiere: Many of our couples produce their albums for their first anniversary (first anniversary is paper), others are super keen and start as soon as they receive their gallery.

Matt of Matt Elliott Photography:
Couples will always save some money by committing to an album in the lead up to their day. Otherwise, any time really. I’ve recently finished an album from a wedding I shot five years ago.

David of Society Photography: As soon as possible after the wedding. We always book in the album design session with our couples as soon as we can once they return from their honeymoon. We present them with a beautiful design right off the bat so there isn’t that stress of trying to go through 1000 images and trying to decide themselves.

In a digital age, do we really need a printed album? Is it worth it? Why not just a USB?
Lowina of Black Avenue Productions: There is something special about feeling touching and smelling a printed album. A USB won’t be able to give you this good vibe. You can put it in your hands and share during house party. A picture says a thousand words, having a wedding album is creating your legacy. Imagine using it to tell your wedding story to your children and your grandchildren through images. It’s a visual love story of how your family began.

Image: Black Avenue Productions

Sarah of De Lumiere Photography: Absolutely you need a physical album! Think of your album as a guaranteed backup. There is no guarantee that your digital images will be readable in 100 years, but an album stands the test of time.

Image: De Lumiere Photography

Matt of Matt Elliott Photography: I believe so. Albums aren’t just for the next year, they’re something that you will be handing down to generations to come. I ask my couples to imagine flipping through their great grandparent’s wedding album and how special that might be. This is the feeling they are giving to the next generation. The experience for everyone involved is quite easy, seamless yet still delivers a very high quality outcome.

Image: Matt Elliott Photography

David of Society Photography: Because there is something wonderful about the tactile feeling of turning the pages of a book. A professional album will last for decades to come and, in fact, be more archival than a USB. The quality of a printed photo has so much more depth and texture than looking at a screen, scrolling through hundreds of images. It tells a curated story of your wedding day.

Image: Society Photography

Are there any new or exciting trends with wedding albums ?
Sarah of De Lumiere Photography: Oh yes! We now offer gorgeous velvet covers – totally luxe.

Image: De Lumiere Photography

Matt of Matt Elliott Photography: There’s a lot of different cover materials these days, such as vegan leather and velvet. Combined with foiling and embossing, the outcome is quite unique.

Image: Matt Elliott Photography

Do you have a signature look or style?
Lowina of Black Avenue Productions: We will design your personalised cover emboss design and you get to choose your material and colour of foil to your liking. The type of paper and ink that we use are archival quality that meant to last for 100 years! 

Image: Black Avenue Productions

Sarah from De Lumiere: Our albums tell your story, hero-ing the gorgeous light soaked images from your wedding day

Matt of Matt Elliott Photography: Yes and no. I try to keep it simple and timeless with my layouts with a ‘less is more’ approach. Flooding an album with too many images can be overwhelming.

David of Society Photography: Our favourite, and therefore perhaps our signature, are those orchestrated epic landscape images that tell the story of the place as well as the people. We do shoot with the album in mind though. We are always looking for different ways to capture the story so that in the album it doesn’t all look the same. We will capture those fun totally unscripted candids, as well as the more formal family photos.

Image: Society Photography

Does the couple choose the images or does the photographer?
Lowina of Black Avenue Productions: Every image that we deliver in the final USB / online gallery has already been selected and edited by us. The couple can choose their top 100 images to put into their album, or we can also choose. It’s a team effort to create your perfect wedding album.

Image: Black Avenue Productions

Sarah of De Lumiere Photography: Our couples choose their favourite images so that they feel intimately connected to their album.

Matt of Matt Elliott Photography: I believe photographers should create the first layout and ask couples to then make any changes. Filling up 40 to 60 pages with images can be difficult for couples, so giving them a starting point is the best idea in my view.

Image: De Lumiere Photography

What is your favourite moment/memory to capture in a wedding and why?
Lowina of Black Avenue Productions: We love to capture the ‘first look’. Not only with the groom, many brides are choosing to have a first look shoot with parents and bridesmaids.

Image: Black Avenue Productions

Matt of Matt Elliott Photography: Mine would have to be that confetti shot after they are announced as a married couple. It’s such a joyful experience for everyone present.

Polka Dot Bride Shop

Image: Shane Shepherd Weddings

When it comes to amazing wedding venues, it’s hard to go past a beautiful country setting… and this week on Behind the Door I’m visiting a truly spectacular venue, EarthHouse in Byron Bay.

Image: Light Pictures Studio

EarthHouse is a purpose built wedding and event space, with boutique accommodation, set on a 110-acre farm in the Byron Bay Hinterland. Sitting high on a ridge in a unique rural setting, this special place offers spectacular views out across the Corndale Valley towards the Nightcap Ranges. Secluded from a tree-lined road, the first glimpse of EarthHouse’s gardens takes your breath away. Manicured lawns sweep down towards the sprawling branches of a 100-year-old fig tree. Jasmine trails beneath stone walls and the scent of Magnolia and Gardenia floats in the air.

Image: Light Pictures Studio

EarthHouse owner, Munro Black, says his family knew they had discovered a very special part of the world when his parents, Alastair and Jackie, moved to the property in 2005. “The Byron Bay Hinterland is one of the best kept secrets around,” says Munro. “Within a 30-minute radius, you can travel from some of the world’s best beaches to the stunningly beautiful countryside, with its rolling hills and farmland, rainforests and waterfalls, and never-ending views of both the mountains and the ocean”. Returning to the area from overseas in 2012, Munro wanted to create a wedding venue that captured the beauty and soul of the landscape, drawing inspiration from the rammed earth homestead and cottage his parents had built. Following two hard years construction, EarthHouse was completed in January 2015.

Image: Van Middleton Photography

The mediterranean inspired event space sits nestled at the bottom of the garden. Its rammed earth building offers a spacious interior room with an open fireplace, polished concrete floor and soaring cathedral ceiling above exposed timber trusses. This opens onto a large veranda that is suspended above the valley, overlooking the beautiful hinterland view. EarthHouse caters for a wide range of events, from intimate elopements and micro weddings to larger weddings of up to 120 seated guests. For ceremonies, there’s the beautiful fig tree overlooking the valley and of course endless amazing photo opportunities throughout the grounds, including stunning shots from the paddocks on sunset.

Images: Carly Tia Photography & Light Pictures Studio

Munro reveals EarthHouse was specifically designed as a blank canvas, so couples could put their own stamp on the venue styling.

“EarthHouse works with the best local suppliers and vendors, including stylists, planners, florists, lighting, and furniture hire, who all bring a couple’s vision for their big day to life,” says Munro. “The venue has been purposed built with this in mind and, in all honesty, you can do as little or as much as you like to it, which is one of the best things about it.” Having said that, EarthHouse has had some amazing styling and spectacular set ups in the building and every week is different, in keeping with the individual style of each couple.

Image: Milk and Honey Creative

EarthHouse also offers boutique accommodation in a rammed earth cottage that features two independent, queen rooms. These thoughtfully appointed living spaces each include an en-suite bathroom, breakfast pantry, walk-in robe and private rear courtyard. There is also a common courtyard, surrounding an open fireplace, that looks out across the valley and mountains. The cottage is a beautiful space for small bridal parties to get ready or the bride and groom to enjoy their first night as newlyweds.

Image: Light Pictures Studio

What a romantic venue with so much character, such a perfect reflection of the stunning Byron Bay Hinterland surrounds!

Ms Floral Says: How amazing is Byron Bay and the stunning EarthHouse! What a divine venue for those wanting to tie the knot in the Byron Bay Hinterland.

About Amelia Waddell of Moonstruck Bride: I’m a proud bridal store owner with a love of exploring creative spaces. Whether it’s an office, event space, workshop or retail store I love seeing how other wedding businesses create their own special magic. When I’m not fitting brides I love immersing myself in everything wedding, in the name of “research” of course.

Wedding videography is so powerful in the way it brings all those beautiful memories of your wedding day flooding back. There’s nothing like seeing your day in motion and hearing all the joyous moments played back to you. Today, we chat to the talented videography team at Lovereel about why having a videographer on your vendor dream team is oh-so important, and why couples often regret not having one.

Above, they have also shared a stunning short film with us that really shows off how amazing a wedding video is at capturing all the emotions and details of your big day. Sophie and Michael’s wedding day was filled with sunshine and smiles, kind words and honest promises. The two said ‘I do’ in a charming venue in front of Athol Hall overlooking the stunning Sydney skyline, and finding moments of quiet amidst the echo of blissful laughter.

Keep reading to find out more about the magic of wedding videography…

Any wedding videography ideas you would like to share?
We’ve found that quite a few couples were not really aware of the fact that we (the videographer) love to come along to our couples’ photoshoots on their wedding day. Typically, we let the photographer do their thing with our couples whilst we film it all and we try to keep out of the way as much as possible. We often capture some of the most beautiful footage from the day at our couples photoshoots and you can see that it really stands out in our wedding films, and makes our couples wedding films all the more memorable. Some couples also like to have a video specific shoot which we’re more than happy to do. This gives us more flexibility in the shots, i.e. we could have the couples running through fields of long grass towards the video camera with beautiful scenery all around us.

What is something couples should consider when choosing a wedding videographer?
My advice would be just to be cautious when considering a photographer and videographer in one combo. Many are great and experts in both mediums. However, some specialise only in photography, not videography. It is simply an optional extra which they can offer their couples which would appear convenient at the time, typically offering a “discount”  on the videography if the couple book both both services. I believe couples might regret this decision because, if they had just spent a little extra time and a little extra money on finding themselves the perfect wedding videographer, one who specialises in wedding videography, they’d be far more likely to find themselves enjoying their wedding films and actually wanting to watch them back for years to come.

Why is not having a video is a couple’s biggest regret?
This is a couple’s biggest regret simply because it’s often difficult to remember everything that happened on what is a whirlwind of a wedding day. Photos help, but video actually allows you to see and hear everything. But if you are going to hire a wedding videographer for your wedding, make sure you hire one who’s work you’ve looked at thoroughly and absolutely love. You might also want to make sure that they include all the raw footage, so that you can watch back through everything your videographer captured for you on the day, in addition to any edited wedding films. 

Can you tell us a little about the various packages of wedding video options out there? What are the differences?
This is a bit difficult to comment on because every business is different. For us, we include the raw footage for all of our couples, and couples have the option of ordering as many wedding film types as they’d like. Some couples even choose only the raw footage and later request an edited film on a significant anniversary! We have four different film types for couples to choose from and there are examples of each on our website: Teaser Film, Highlight Film, Short Film, Feature Film. Again, different businesses will offer different types of wedding films with different names, and each business will have their own way of editing them, so it’s best to simply watch what each business has to offer and make your decision based on this, and not on who’s the cheapest (you only get one shot at doing things right).

Here’s a brief description of each of our film types anyway, just to give you an idea of some different options.

Teaser Film
A super short trailer-like film showing some highlights of your wedding day, edited to music with no audio narrative, between 30 to 45 seconds in length.

Highlight Film
A short and sweet film showing the absolute best bits of your wedding day, edited to music with no audio narrative, approx. three minutes in length, mostly chronological.

Short Film
A mid-length film telling the story of your wedding day, edited to music with audio narrative, approx. five minutes in length, mostly chronological. Sophie and Michael’s wedding video (at the top of this feature) is an example of a Short Film.

Feature Film
A full presentation of your wedding day with the main focus on the ceremony and reception speeches. Any other important parts of the day will be edited to music with no audio narrative and cut to show only the best bits e.g., preparations, first dance, cake cutting etc. Up to a maximum of two hours in length which is plenty of time for most weddings, mostly chronological.

All images: Creek Street Photography

Ms Floral Says: There’s nothing like revisiting your day over and over again with a gorgeous wedding film! Thank you for the reminder of its importance.

About Lovereel: With various wedding film options to choose from and all the raw footage at your fingertips, Lovereel offer an affordable yet highly professional wedding videography experience.

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