Couples getting married today will find that computers have really changed wedding photography for the better, from the way we capture the images to the retouching of them, even the way some wedding albums are designed. One of the best methods in which computers have changed wedding photography is the ability to share your images via the Internet. This exciting new option allows your family and friends to view your wedding pictures no matter where they live in the world, making a lot of your loved ones happy and taking some pressure off of yourselves.
Having your wedding images viewable online is as simple as speaking to your photographer. Just as each photographer has a preference of camera equipment, he or she most certainly has a preferred online proofing company. There are several companies who cater to professional photographers and make online proofing available to today’s couples. One of the largest companies is Pictage.com; another great company is Eventpix.com as well as Collages.net. Almost all of the online proofing companies make it possible for people to not only view but to purchase images from your wedding as well. This is a great option for both the bride and groom and the photographer. Your guests can view and order pictures from your wedding with very little effort on your part. In most cases all you have to do is supply your photographer with a list of email address of your family and friends. Most of the hosting companies have a utility built into their software, usually called a guest book. This software stores the names of your loved ones and then generates an email to each of them once the event photos are released for viewing.
During the months preceding your wedding, your guests can even plan ahead for photo purchases by registering either on the hosting site directly, or via a link on your photographer’s site. Registration consists of a guest entering their name and email address to be added to the guest book. One benefit of pre-registration is that you can view your guest book in the days leading up to your wedding, to see who will get an email when the pictures are ready. This allows you to police your site to make sure you eliminate unwanted viewers. In the event that there is a name in your guest book you do not recognize, you can remove them from the guest book before the email notification goes out. Another security measure is to require a password in order to access your images, and only the people in your guest book, who you recognize, will get an email with the password.
By giving the guests access to your images not only can they buy the prints they want, you save time and money by not having to show your proofs around or buy pictures for family and friends.
Your photographer benefits from online proofing, too, by increasing the number of people who see your images, which can lead to future work as well extra orders they might receive from the people who in the past would have never had a chance to see the pictures of the wedding.
Finding an image among the hundreds of shots you have is easy, too. Your photographer, making it easy to go right to the image or images you or your guest may be looking for, will divide all your images into categories. The categories are set by your photographer and can vary, but some examples of typical categories are Preparation, Bride, Groom, Family Groups, Bridal Party, Ceremony, Cocktail Hour and Reception.
Some programs have other bonuses as well, such as giving you the ability to create your own personal categories, such as your favorite images, which will be included on your home pages alongside the other categories previously created, making it easier to share your favorites with your friends. Another plus is the ability to easily share your favorite images via email. Many companies even offer great gift items such as albums, holiday cards, DVDs of your favorite images put to music and even the ability for your family and friends to buy gift certificates as wedding presents, just as they would buy from your registry.
As you can see, the benefits of online proofing are abundant. Make sure to take advantage of this great function available to today’s bride and groom, and remember: SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!
Opening photograph by Susan Bordelon