A wedding proof album is a way of showing you a ‘rough version’ of your wedding photos.
The term ‘proof photos’ comes from the days of film. Proof prints were made by printing photos without doing any extra work to them in the darkroom.
You would choose which photos you were going to order from the proofs, then they would be re-printed with extra care and attention to enhance the quality of each picture.
With digital photography ‘proof photos’ usually means images straight out of the camera, so they wouldn’t have had any editing done to them.
Proof photos may also have a copyright watermark on them.
As a side note – all digital photos require some degree of post-processing in a photo-editing program. Even though a photo may look OK straight out of the camera, a couple of simple enhancements can make it infinitely better!
Having this first draft lets you pass around your wedding photos without worrying too much about them getting damaged.
It also lets your friends and family order prints from the photographer.
The main thing you need to know from your photographer is whether you get to keep the proof album or if you have to hand it back after a certain an amount of time. Also, what the style of album will be.
Traditionally proof albums consisted of large prints fastened into plastic wallets, which in turn were fastened into an album. This was a security measure so people couldn’t make illegal copies of prints.
What’s popular now are digital proof albums. Multiple photos are printed directly onto a magazine-style page, with a reference number underneath.
In the digital age the wedding proof album could become a thing of the past, which would be sad because they give you a record of every photograph from your wedding.
(You may only have 60-100 photos in your album, out of the hundreds that were taken).
But, so you don’t miss out on having proofs, more and more photographers are turning to digital proofing methods. These take the form of DVD’s or online galleries.
Online galleries are great because all your friends and family can see them, as well as your cousins in Australia that weren’t able to come to the wedding! Galleries can also give the option of visitors buying prints online, so you don’t have to worry about showing an album around and collecting orders.
Here’s a list of things to ask your photographer when it comes to proofing:
- Can I keep the album? If not, how long can I keep it for?
- Will the photos be watermarked?
- Is the album traditional or digital?
- Will I have an online gallery?
- Is it password-protected?
- Can people buy prints online?