Details: Instant Gratification

How digital photography can capture your Big Day—and share it right away.

WHEN VICKI GRANT WAS PLANNING her wedding in Cambridge last year, she didn’t want the typical wedding photos. Instead, the bride-to-be wanted every aspect of the day to be captured, from her mother’s house to the hotel where her fiance was getting dressed.

“I wanted the prep of the groom well-documented,” says Grant. “The men are a lot more sentimental about these things than they let on.” Grant says a picture of her fiance, Chris, laughing as he attempted to knot his son’s tie around his own neck first is one of the most treasured photos of the wedding. She believes photographers can capture these moments thanks, in part, to digital photography—and being able to see what’s being shot when it’s being shot.

“Weeks later, I got the CD with all the pictures on it, and about 10 photos in,” says Grant, “I was sobbing out of control. It was because I had a chance to experience my wedding day all over again.” The bride credits her photographers, Jill Person and Lauren Killian, owners of Person + Killian Photography in Boston, for being able to not only expertly capture her Big Day, but also for getting the pictures to the happy couple so quickly.

Quantity and Quality

“WE LIKE TO HAVE THE PICTURES waiting in the mailbox [for the couple] when they get home from their honeymoon,” says Person, who’s been shooting in digital for several years, thanks to its quick turnaround and easy editing process. “We provide a CD and a web gallery,” she says. From these pictures, couples are able to choose the images to be included in their albums. “They can copy the pictures and give them to their parents,” says Person. “They can send links to everyone who was at the wedding.” They can even send the link to anyone who missed the wedding.

And one of the most fun possibilities of digital images? Seeing your images before the day’s even over. While Person and Killian both say showing photos at the reception isn’t something they’ve delved into just yet, they’ve certainly begun to consider it. “Most venues have projectors,” says Person. “And we have laptops.” She says being able to show even 20 pictures from the ceremony definitely is a “wow factor” at the reception.

Seeing Is Believing

TIFFANY WHITE AND LAURA PINEDA, owners of Alternate Angles in Boston and Newport, show a short slideshow of about 30 images at their clients’ receptions, but because these images don’t reflect their complete, finished work, they’ve come up with an additional way to show couples the majority of their photos for the first time.

“They come to our gallery in Newport about three to four weeks following the wedding,” says Pineda. The gallery has a large movie screen where they pro-
ject a slideshow of about 200-300 favorite images set to music. “We tell them to bring their whole family and they have a glass of wine or champagne. We make it a big party,” she says. “Right after that, they see their album.”

Pineda says being able to show these images so quickly (it could take months with film) and having creative control over what gets turned into black-and-white or sepia is a huge advantage to shooting digital. “We can immediately see if we’ve nailed the shot,” says Pineda. “It allows for more creativity, which the couples love.”

Paige Brown, owner of Paige Brown Photography in Milford, also shoots weddings in digital. “I upload everything to the website,” she says. “And the bride, groom, family and friends have access to the website.” During the reception, Brown passes out cards with the Internet log-in information specific to the newly married couple. “The couples like it,” she says, “because it takes them out of the mix. They can be sure family and friends see all the photos.” People also can order prints directly from the site or ask the photographer any questions about the proofs.

Brown says she used to go the more traditional route and print all the proofs. “A lot of my packages still have them included,” she says. But most couples prefer photos that are linked online. They like that they can select the images and preview the album design. Some opt for even more control: “I had a bride last summer who is a graphic designer,” says Brown. “She wanted to create the album herself.” Overall, she says, the turnaround time is faster than ever.

“For Boston,” says Person, “the style tends to have an art twist. We have highly educated clients who are looking for something on the photojournalistic side with emotion in it.” The best way she’s able to meet these requests is by shooting digital and giving couples the option to choose which photos they want printed and included in the wedding album. Often, couples leave the layout up to the photographer, which means less time sending files to a lab.

“The turnaround time was wonderful,” says Grant. “There are so many more options with digital. You can make a color photo black-and-white. You don’t have to buy it without seeing it first.” Grant gave her matron of honor a framed photo of her and her husband dancing. “They have loving, tender looks on their faces,” says Grant. “They didn’t even know the moment had taken place.” She says seeing the prints so quickly helped her choose gifts earlier than if she would have had to wait weeks for proofs.

Of course, with the saturation of digital photographers, Grant says her decision to choose a photographer for her own Big Day came down to how well they understood the art form. “Moments you may not even remember become so poignant captured in a photo,” says the new bride. “The cake might end up being lousy, but the photos are the only things you’ll have with you the rest of your life. Photos are forever.”

Even digital ones.