Proofs vs. Proof Book
An important matter to take into account when choosing your photographer is whether or not you will receive any hard copy prints, or proofs, from your wedding. Many photographers today have stopped giving you your proofs, or 4x6 prints of the images taken at your wedding. They have been replaced by what have come to be known as proof books.
Proof books tend to be exactly what they sound like, bound books with pages, some double sided others single, with multiple images from your wedding printed on each page so that you can select the images you want to have printed or placed in your album. Some of these books are high quality and others can be downright cheap, falling apart after a few looks through by your friends and relatives. Other photographers, myself included, believe in giving you, the bride, a set of printed proofs, each color corrected and printed on archival photo paper by a professional lab. Some photographers use digital wholesale labs for this, while others, like myself, use professional print labs. These prints can be contained in a proof box or in album pages. Either way, you get your prints and they are yours to hold and look at and make your own mini album with. You can split them into piles and share them with your friends knowing that they cost probably less than 50 cents each, so there is no worry in damaging them, like a book. Another difference is that proofs are just larger than a 2 inch or slightly larger thumbnail image in a proof book. You can see them in greater detail, which I believe is important.
Regardless of proofs or a proof book, most photographers will not want you blowing up the images on the local drug store scanner. There are two reasons for this. One is that the quality of the print is not in the control of the photographer or his preferred lab. Second, photographers generally like to make money on enlargement orders. To solve this many photographers have now begun to lower the price of their digital or film negatives, allowing you to purchase the rights from them and print the images how you choose. Or you can find out ahead of time what the photographers enlargement prices are and factor that into your package price.
So when it comes to choosing your photographer, find out where your images will be after the wedding, how they will be given to you and where he/she prints them. There are night and day differences between images printed at your local drugstore and images printed at a professional lab. It is a good idea know ahead of time where yours will be coming from.
- Joseph Prezioso is with Joseph Prezioso in Middleton, MA, and has been a WedPlan Member since Feb 2006.