These days, many wedding photographers offer a DVD of wedding images, fully retouched and ready to print. It’s exciting, but what does this mean for you?

Naturally you’re going to get your best print quality when printing through your photographer since they’re the ones who shot and edited your images. But if you plan to print on your own, that’s okay. You were given a disc of retouched images because they expect that you will print elsewhere at some point in time!

Keep in mind that you have spent thousands of dollars on wedding photography and it’s important you think wisely about what you do with your disc and how you print your photographs.

Before you print, it’s important to make a copy of the disc and put the original in a safe place. It might sound silly, but a safe deposit box is a great idea for storing your original wedding DVD. You can also leave a copy with a family member for safe keeping. Many people don’t think of a disc as being film negatives – but that’s exactly how you should treat it. These are your wedding memories and once the files have been transferred to you, it’s important that you take good care of them!

When it comes to printing, I advise clients to think carefully about where to bring your DVD. While it might be convenient to drop it off at your local CVS or Costco, keep in mind that photo printing is not the main priority of these establishments and most do not care how your wedding prints actually turn out. I’m certain you researched wedding photographers quite extensively, so why not do the same for printers?

Start by asking your photographer if they can suggest a local printer whom they trust. You’d be surprised how many trustworthy, small business print shops do still exist, especially in Brooklyn! When clients aren’t local, I usually recommend they print through a professional printer, such as Adorama. While they are based in New York City, they offer online printing that makes them available to anyone, anywhere. A company like Adorama will actually look at your digital files before they go to print, color correcting them to match their printing output (ask your photographer if they recommend color correction or not).

They also have more professional options, such as matte or satin papers or the option of adding borders to your photographs. A quality printer will work with you on the print quality of your images and, if you are unhappy with the results, offer a reprint making appropriate adjustments.  So choose wisely, as these are memories you will treasure for a lifetime!