Wedding albums vs digital files

I am very commonly asked whether I supply digital files of wedding photographs and while I am happy to do this I do wonder what will happen to the images in the future.  Traditionally couples only had prints in an album and this is something that will last forever, but it was unusual for photographers to part with their original images (slides or negatives) Digital photography has allowed for images to be shared more easily through a range of formats – I always supply the images on a DVD with music that can be played on any standard player through a television and Facebook, Flickr etc are very popular ways of sharing images with a wider audience.  However, none of these methods provide a permanent record in the way an album does. 

How many of us have old files stored on media that is no longer usable – floppy discs, mini discs, tape?  No-one yet knows what the storage systems of the future will be and at the rate that technology moves it seems unlikely that DVDs will still be readable in 20 years time.  I understand the view that wedding albums tend to get put on a shelf and rarely looked at after the first year or so, but how would you feel if you were unable to share your wedding photographs with your children because you didn’t have them in a physical form?

There are many places that you can get an album printed and I will discuss the merits of these in a future posting, but the main question is “Will I be able to look at my wedding photographs in 20 years time?”  This is also something to think about when selecting your album, but more on that another time.

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