We are Cleveland wedding photographers for the couple that values legacy and authentic moments captured. We love telling wedding stories in a way even your grandchildren will feel like they experienced your day with you. We also photography a select number of senior pictures and information can be found on our SENIOR PHOTO page here. Dragonfly Photography is based in Cleveland, Ohio with destinations world wide.
Albums Matter & Prints Feel Like Home
The thing that interests me the most about your wedding isn’t actually your wedding day itself, it’s the story behind the day. Weddings are, simply put, a cultural ritual where two people commit to each other for the rest of their lives. All while their family and friends look on. They’re pretty amazing, and something that I get pretty excited about. There is so much love and creativity blended into the most amazing and beautiful ceremonies and receptions. The emotions that people experience and share with each other are genuinely stunning and something that is unique only to that day, which is why I so LOVE photographing weddings and have done it for so long.
All that said, the reality is to get to that day, and to get from that day requires so much more. This is where the beauty of legacy comes in. You’ve probably heard us refer to legacy around here on a regular basis and that’s not on accident, it’s an extremely important word to me because it paints a picture of what’s actually happening on your wedding day. The truth is that you don’t just show up and get married, you build a story together, and you choose to get married when you decide that story is ready for the next chapter. You want to build a life together, to start a legacy, and that’s what I love to photograph.
Your wedding day isn’t about one image, one picture, it’s about a lifetime of moments that you’ve shared and will share for a lifetime longer. Here is where I jump on my soapbox for a moment, the idea that something that precious would live on a link, or on a USB drive something, that you would need to search for in an email… and not something you hold in your hands on a regular basis, is absolutely unacceptable to me.
Your wedding images are made to be interacted with.
Think about it, have you ever really felt at home in a hotel? Probably not, and that’s not because the hotel wasn’t beautiful, it’s because it didn’t represent YOU or the people you love. You generally feel at home when you are surrounded by what you love, by seeing your photographs and memories hanging on the walls surrounding you. You shouldn’t have to guess when you’ve arrived at home and neither should anyone else. Now if your wedding is one of the most important moments of your life so far, and the beginning of this new legacy, shouldn’t you walk into those images on your walls? Your wedding images should be displayed as artwork in your home because that’s what it is… artwork of the most valuable moments you’ve shared, with the most valuable person in your life. Don’t shove that on a USB somewhere. Please.
Can a Wedding Album Save Your Marriage?
Dramatic? Perhaps, but here is another important thought, marriage isn’t always easy. I tell my couples to plan on making a tradition of celebrating their anniversary by cuddling up with their wedding album and remembering. Pop some champagne or sparkling cider and flip through the pages, touch the memories, laugh together, see the looks in each other’s eyes, and go back to what it was like the very moment you said I do. Every year.
The reality is this, you should be able to interact with your wedding images OFTEN. There will be times when you don’t love how your spouse is acting, that’s a part of marriage. But I promise you if you can train yourself to walk to your coffee table and open your wedding album, filled with all those perfect brand new feelings before you say whatever it is you feel needs to be said in response… it’s going to remind you why you got married in the first place. It’s going to give you perspective on the whole picture of your love story, and not just what happened that ticked you off that morning. How do I know this? Because I’ve done it (and so have lots of our past couples)! I mean, I still like my husband a whole lot, which is kinda the point. 😉
It’s a Different Experience
There is nothing like holding a physical photograph in your hand. A printed image, a wedding album, a canvas on your wall. Each one of those is an experience, how it looks, feels, and smells engages your senses (and as a result, your memories are that much more vivid) in a way that viewing something on a screen never could.
In the midst of digital at our fingertips, I believe it’s easy to lose sight of quality tangible things. At times I’ve had couples that were so focused on “getting the digitals” (probably from a checklist they read online) that they were stumped when I told them, of course, but then asked what they were going to actually do with them. I often say an image is only as beautiful as its final print. Images from your most important moments aren’t not meant to live anywhere but in a place that you can interact with them often.
For our couples, the design of your wedding album is done for you and it’s done to err on the side of not leaving anything out of your story. We don’t want to make the final call on your most important moments so we design big and narrow down from there. The album design is based on moments throughout your day. What I mean by that is, things like the bride getting her dress on, both of you reading notes from each other (in different locations but at the same time – this looks AMAZING in an album), your eyes meeting down the aisle, that sort of thing.
Then we’ll sit down together once the heavy lifting of the design work has been done for you. At that point we begin the hard work of removing anything you don’t want to be included in your album, it’s tough but so important! You want your album to be EXACTLY the story you want to tell. I usually advise couples to approach this process with a big-scale perspective in mind. If you choose to have children, what are the memories you’d like to share with them? With your grandchildren? Those are the ones to include in these album spreads.
Most of our collections come with a highlight wedding album included, for some couples, this is exactly how they want to show their day. But most of our couples usually add spreads into their albums that they can tell more of the detail of their story. The important thing is that it ends up being precisely what you want, and in a way that tells your story beautifully.
None of this process is left for you to figure out on your own, honestly, it would just be far too overwhelming. I also want to get this album in your hands as soon as I possibly can after your wedding day. That’s why we sit together, usually over coffee, and always with a lot of laughs, to make sure everything is perfect.
Not a Yearbook
An important thing to note here is that these albums are not yearbooks. Obvious? Yes, I know. But occasionally I hear questions like, “how many pictures per spread can we use?”, I explain that what we’re creating here is truly a piece of art that you’re going to display in your home. If you think about it, your wedding album is the one thing (other than your amazing marriage) that you’re taking away from your wedding day. The kind of attention to detail you gave to the gorgeous decore your wedding is the kind of attention to detail our team is going to be giving to what we’re creating now.
We would never design by “number of photos” because sometimes a spread is going to look stunning with a single breathtaking image on it. Our primary focus is telling the story of the two of you, and that will probably look different on each page of the album.
Our Albums – Best in the World
The last thing I’ll say is this. My grandmother passed away a number of years ago now. I’ve had the opportunity many times to sift through boxes of images of her life and the people she loved. She was a photographer and we loved looking through pictures together, usually while drinking tea. I bought her a mug that said Amazing Grace (her name was Grace, I thought it was quite cute and “punny”) and it was her favorite to drink tea from. 🙂 I learned so much about her through listening to her stories sparked by a photograph she held in her hand. Her images have always been precious to me, but after she passed away, the value I had on them went much, much higher.
I’ve read articles calling this generation the “forgotten generation” in the photography world. Because even though this is BY FAR the most photographed generation, it’s also BY FAR the least printed generation.
I cringe to think about the future generations looking through hard drives and trying to get dated technology to work to find images of the people they care about. I know the value of holding images of moments that matter to me because I’ve lived them. And that’s why I’m passionate about serving my couples well in this area.
If you have questions, an idea, or are wondering if we can create something for you, we’re here to help. Just reach out. If you’re not our couple and you’re realizing your photography team didn’t serve you well with a wedding album reach back out to them and see if they offer an album that you could order. If they can’t help you at all, plan for a really great anniversary session and start the tradition from here on out.