Thank you so much for trusting me to capture your wedding memories! I have prepared this guide to help you figure out what the options are for preserving your wedding (or engagement) images in both digital and hard copy form.
Don’t let your photos languish on a hard drive. Receiving your gallery link isn’t the end of the process… It’s just the start!
And hey, as much as I would love to be the one to create beautiful custom art for your home, I totally understand there are other options. There are consumer labs with easy online ordering that are able to keep costs low and fit into your busy schedule.
That’s totally fine! Just please make sure that your photos aren’t stuck forever in the digital realm. Technology changes so quickly, what would happen if in 20 or 50 years the computers you (or your kids!) use no longer open the files we use today?
And good luck finding that Facebook wedding album from 70 years ago!
Make sure you (or we!) create something tangible – your first family heirloom. The best time to do this is right after the wedding (or within a few months!) while excitement is still high. Before it gets so far down the to-do list.
Photos are meant to be a) seen and b) preserved. Let me show you how!
Back up, back up, back up
Be sure to back up your photos in the highest resolution from your online gallery. Do not simply download the web-sized images: they are purely for social media and the web. The files you’ll want to save are the high-resolution digital images.
When you first open your completed wedding gallery, you’ll be presented with a walk-through in the format of a mini tutorial. In case you dismiss that, the downloading info is included here.
Download your high-resolution images from here:
If you have any issues with this, please let me know immediately.
Once you’ve hit the link to download the whole gallery (visibly only from the mosaic view, which is default, homepage view), the next step is choosing what resolution you’d like to download. Note: This option is not available for wedding/ engagement sneak peeks. You’ll only have web-sized resolution possible for those, which will be upgraded once editing is complete.
How to download your wedding photos
Choose all photos or, manually select by tab/folder. On the screenshot above, you’ll see Google Photos is an option to back up to. This is a great way of keeping your images on your phone, but make sure it isn’t the only place your images are stored. Read more below…
The more places your images live, the less likely you are to lose them in the event of one of those sources failing. External drives can be purchased cheaply from Amazon, just make sure you get a reputable brand like Seagate, Sandisk or Western Digital (WD).
Here are a few I recommend (please be aware these are affiliate links – read my affiliate disclosure here, I may receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase):
Simply copy your wedding image files from your local computer drive to a new folder on your external drive. Or you can download the gallery directly to the external hard drive. You can download your wedding gallery as many times as you like, provided it’s still live.
The ‘Zoe’s Faves’ tab
Please be aware that the ‘Zoe’s Faves’ tab are actually duplicates of photos that appear elsewhere in your gallery.
I’ve simply copied a bunch of my favorites so they appear at a glance when you open up your album. So, instead of having to scroll down a hundred ‘getting ready’ photos to see anything from the later part of the day, you’ll be able to see a few best shots of the whole day.
In terms of downloading, this may mean you get that ‘drive already contains a file with that name, replace?’ message on your OS. This is completely normal and you can either ‘skip’ or ‘replace’, the photos from the Zoe’s Faves tab are the same as the files with the same names that appear elsewhere in your collection.
External hard drives & cloud back-up
I recommend using two external hard drives to backup your wedding images. The first: stored locally. The second: stored off-site.
Offsite could mean your car, your parents’ house, your workplace or a friend’s house. This is to minimize the risk that in case of fire, theft or quake, at least this one heirloom can be salvaged from the alternate location.
- Good ideas: Download high res jpegs to your computer hard drive plus and external hard drive plus a secondary hard drive or thumb drive.
- Upload them to a secondary secure cloud storage solution like Dropbox or Google Drive and be sure to have a plan B in case you cancel your cloud subscription or switch providers down the road.
- Not good ideas: Only downloading the ‘web res’ image size; uploading them to Google Photos, which doesn’t preserve the full data of the image; putting off downloading until after the gallery link expires!
Print and enjoy!
It’s so nice to enjoy your wedding photos away from the computer or phone. Eventually, digital jpeg files in the current format we use for storage may well become unreadable which is an inevitable side effect of technological progress.
Printing out your photos – whether by simple 4 X 6 prints, a canvas wall art of up to 16 X 24, a leather-bound wedding album or any other format you choose – is a great way of keeping your memories alive and enjoying your photos every day. Printed items make great gifts too.
For your small prints you can either order them directly through your online gallery or get in touch with me to find out about larger printed wall art I offer – canvases, metal panels, framed prints or something custom.
What size prints?
Please note: the file size of each photo you’ll receive is pretty small. This is because each file is carefully treated using sophisticated compression software that’s available to photographers. This doesn’t mean the print size is small. Keep reading to find out more.
It compresses very high-resolution photographs into small file sizes without compromising quality.
A typical photograph in your wedding gallery may be a much smaller file size than one you take on your phone. That’s because the phone one is filled with unnecessary bloat that creates needlessly heavy files.
I take care to remove this bloat so that downloading, transferring and sending the files impressively fast.
The largest download size on your finished gallery prints up conservatively up to 16 X 24 with a close viewing distance. Think that’s kinda big? Well, consider how silly an 8 X 10 looks on the average wall!
Get in touch to discuss custom wall art that will make a statement and I’ll guide you through the options given your home’s decor, available space and your taste & aesthetic. It’s daunting to consider what type of wall art there is out there, especially given the price tag. You don’t want to be stuck with something you’re not crazy about!
So let’s talk budgets and allow me to make suggestions as to what would work in the desired space. Having a professional helping you means you’ll be absolutely sure of what you’re getting.
Don’t want to do one giant print where your face is 3 feet across? No problem! I love creating custom designs with multiple prints. This works well for a variety of home settings.
Plus I’ll even use software to mock up what the finished artwork would look on your wall!
Thank you cards
I also offer thank-you cards that are printed on beautiful pearl press paper with a UV coating in 350gsm cardstock, available with a 26-card minimum in increments of 1. If you allow me to design them for you, letting me know in advance which image you want featured, I can do these simply and for a reasonable price, all done for you, with quick turnaround.
If you want something more customizable for your thank-you cards which also offers a system which address your envelopes for you, I recommend Minted.
Alright… finally the good stuff. Wedding albums are what I’m most passionate about. I believe they should be seen as the culmination of your wedding photography experience.
An album tells the whole story of your day from the nerves of getting ready to the crazy dance moves! The interactivity of flipping through the spreads is so special.
Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll send my album info & pricing guide! Then, we can set up a time for you to come in and view samples.
I do offer different types of albums for City Hall vs full weddings.
Social sharing is most definitely encouraged. I include the ability in your gallery to download images at a more manageable web-resolution.
The only platform I really use a lot is Instagram where you can find me at @zoe.larkin.
Please ‘tag’ me by using the ‘tag people’ function. You should also add in the caption/ comment below ‘Photo by @zoe.larkin’ or words to that effect. Tag at the same time that you post.
I also have accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest at zoelarkinphoto so you can tag me there too.
Please don’t crop or alter the images I’ve supplied. This includes the use of filters and changing the colors, levels, exposure, contrast or any other aspect.
I do try to share galleries with your wedding vendors. This is important so that they can benefit from professional images of their creations!
Relationships are the currency of the wedding industry so it is a super valuable opportunity to make personal connections with wedding vendors.
I also need to run through some guidelines about using my images for commercial use. And lastly, I always give every vendor the complete vendor list so they can all tag accordingly and give credit.
Important note: if you request more photos
As you know images for your finished gallery are selected with the highest level of care and attention.
You can be sure that nothing that would have made a worthy addition to your gallery has been left out.
However if you do make any requests for additional photos (which may come at a fee, but I try to accommodate all reasonable requests!) please do so within 6 weeks of receiving the gallery.
While I endeavor never to delete the files that were used in your final gallery, RAW files that were not chosen will eventually need to be permanently deleted to free up space, keep my costs down and speed up my systems.
If there is anything you are not happy about, please tell me ASAP. I will ‘close your file’ 6 weeks after you receive your final gallery.
Leave 5* reviews for your photographer!
I know everyone says it these days. But for high-touch boutique businesses, where client volumes are low and new customers only find us online, a 5* review is priceless.
I have put together some information to help you write fleshed-out, informative reviews. It’s super easy and shouldn’t take more than 10 mins of your time. Please read my super detailed and actionable guide to writing a review for your wedding photographer.
I’ve compiled a ton of templates to use, questions to can answer and give you tips as to how to create a review that’s really valuable to your wedding photographer, so you’re not left wondering what to write!
There are three places I collect reviews, in order of importance:
Please follow the links above to leave a review, copying and pasting to all the platforms you use. Feel free to add some of your fave pics if you like!
Unlike restaurants and stores which are relatively low-touch, reviews of 4 stars or below can damage reputations of boutique businesses. If you cannot give 5* please get in touch and I will try my best to remedy the issues.
Tell your friends and give a tip!
The best kind of tip is a referral! (though regular tips are great Venmo @zoelarkin) Above is what my Venmo looks like, so you can be absolutely sure you have the right account! Please tell others about my services! I photograph all kinds of weddings all over Northern CA and travel the world for love.
If a tip is not within your budget, don’t worry! Wedding photographers do not expect a tip. I do have some info below however about 17 things you can do to be an awesome wedding photography client!
I hope this helped figure out what to do with your wedding photos! There are so many options, I hope this wasn’t too overwhelming. Do get in touch to discuss informally what options might work for you.
I am also happy to reach back out later after the craziness of this time of your life has subsided. The very best time for me to design is February – April but I do offer all print services year-round. I look forward to hearing about your plans!