Picking up my first MILK (Moments Intimacy Laughter and Kinship) book over 10 years ago I remember thinking to myself that one day I would love to have one of my images in one of their books. The stories, told through images and beautiful quotes, were captivating. The layout, the cover, the paper stock, the name – every element of these books was what photography to me was all about: capturing and preserving memories.
Since then my obsession with photo books has grown and as my photography business (Sadie & Co.) expands and changes with demand, trends and time I find my creative needs and my clients’ needs moving in and out of alignment. Having spent two seasons offering digital packages to our clients, to satisfy their need for having high resolution digital files and being able to share them online, we really feel that our business is missing one of the key things that photography, for me, was all about: preservation.
Yes, you can store your images ‘in the cloud’ or have five backups of every photo you’ve ever taken, but what about preservation after you’re gone? Do you hand your laptops down to your grandchildren to store away in a memory box and power up when they’re feeling nostalgic? That is, of course, if you remember to include all your passwords in your last will and testament!
What’s missing is that tangible experience. That heirloom or special keepsake that will bring back memories or tell your story. Eventually technology will surpass us and our files will disappear into the ether, leaving no trace of us ever really living, ever getting married, having children, turning 80 or passing away.
As photographers we want to capture and preserve our clients’ memories. A wedding book or album isn’t an investment in an item, it’s an investment in your existence, your memory, your story, future children, grandchildren and every generation that follows after that. It is because of this (and if I’m honest, my desire to see my images in a MILK Book) that we’ve recently decided to offer MILK Photo Books and Albums to our clients.
The selection of books and albums they have allows our clients to tell their story in a way that suits them perfectly. Like any good story, every album needs to have a start, middle and an end. Whether we are sitting with clients or they are choosing on their own we encourage them select the images that perfectly reflect the theme or overall feeling of their day. Putting together an album isn’t about vanity or picking the images of your best side, it’s about choosing images that will take people on a real journey, regardless of whether or not they were there on the day or have ever even met you.
A casual beach wedding, for example, comes to life in a linen-covered photo album where the layout complements images of all the little details from the couple getting ready and highlights key moments like the bride arriving, the first kiss and speeches. Perfectly bound and presented in a matching box, the photo album invites people to flick through like a picture book, running their hands over the images and taking it all in. Pages are filled with candid images of their guests and in some cases quotes or excerpts of wedding vows for a real personal touch.
For more traditional couples, the CREAM album offers us an opportunity to create a timeless and classic keepsake for our clients. From the leather cover to the thick card pages, every ounce of their album has opulence and charm. With fewer images and a real focus on the formal photographs, we’re able to portray the importance of family. Family photographs are included to show history and lineage, and images of the rings, something blue or any heirlooms further enhance the importance of tradition.
With such a wide selection of books and albums we’re able to meet the needs of almost any client, even those who don’t necessarily want a full-on keepsake for themselves. Bespoke books are a gorgeous gift for parents, which you can fill with all the images you know they will love from your big day. Or they’re an even more casual way of having just a few of your favourite images printed in a smaller, coffee-table-style book.
Regardless of your taste and level of desire to share your images with future generations, there is something in the MILK Photo Books and Albums range for you. And the best part is, just like with your high-resolution digital files, you have complete control of the process and ultimately the outcome. Your story is told exactly the way you want it to be and that, for us as photographers, is almost as good as capturing the memories for you in the first place.