YOUR PHOTOS ARE DONE!!! YAYYYYY!! … okay now what?? Sometimes receiving your wedding gallery can feel so exciting at first but then slightly anti climactic after you view them the first few times. What are you supposed to do with your photos?? What happens next?? There are hundreds of photos from your wedding day in your gallery, how can you take full advantage of them??
I’m here to answer all these questions, and by the end of this blog post you’ll know exactly how you should view your photos when you first receive that email and what to do with them after.
1. Read the Entire Email
Every photographer does delivery a little different but generally there is gonna be some critical information in that delivery email that you will not want to miss. Be sure to read the email in its entirety before scrolling down and clicking the gallery link. Once you click that link you will likely never return.
Some things that are usually in that email that you will definitely want to know are: How long will the gallery be up? How do I share the photos with people? How do I download the photos? Etc. These are all things that you do not want to miss.
2. Make it a Date Night
Getting your gallery email is extremely exciting and it will take all of the self control you have to not click on that link immediately and scroll through to find your favorites. What’s stopping you?? Well, nothing really I guess… but my recommendation is to wait till you and your partner are together and ready to spend time flipping through all the photos.
Make the whole experience a date night! Put on your favorite music in the background, make or order your favorite food, pour yourself a glass of wine… I think you can tell what I’m getting at here. You want the first time you go through your photos to bring back all the feels and the memories. Set yourself up for success. Spend time going through each moment together. Tell the stories that you remember about your favorite moments. Laugh at the things you weren’t able to witness yourself but your photographer was able to capture. Really make that first time you go through it something special. I promise you it will be worth the extra bit of waiting.
3. Download the Full Gallery
This is definitely a must. Download your full gallery as soon as you possibly can. Probably nothing will happen to your photos if you can’t get to it right away but you really don’t want to take your chances. Download your entire gallery all at once in both High Resolution and Web Size. High Resolution are the big files that you will take to the printers to get them printed out and web size are smaller files that are for any sort of digital purposes (posting, phone wall paper, etc.) Make sure to use your computer for this versus a phone since these functions usually are not accessible on portable devices.
4. Send Your Photographer a THANK YOU!
It doesn’t have to be anything long or crazy, but even just a quick text saying you got your photos we really appreciate. We just spent weeks going through every single one of the photos you received and making sure they are edited perfectly. Once we send off your gallery we cannot stop wondering if you love them, if your families love them, and which ones are your favorites. Getting any sort of positive response is like a big, giant hug in our books and goes a really long way.
5. Backup Your Downloaded Galleries
Again, this is a must for safety reasons. You want to make sure your photos are safe and sound forever. The general rule is that you should have one physical copy and one cloud based copy. Go out and purchase a hard drive or thumb drive specifically for your wedding photos. Lock that up in a fireproof safe and you’ll know it will be secure for forever. Upload all your photos to Dropbox, Google Drive, or whatever system you may use. There is a lot that has to happen for you to lose these photos if they are backed up properly.
6. Download the PicTime App
For easy access to your photos, I highly recommend downloading the PicTime app. Instead of having to find your email every time you want to view your photos, you will have quick access to your gallery at all times from your phone. This is specifically for my system, so if you are reading this and you are not my client, check with your photographer if PicTime is the system they use for gallery delivery as well. If so, this will work for you too.
The PicTime app allows you to easily access your gallery at any time, download photos directly to your phone, and even make any print orders you desire. It is so simple to use and great that you have your photos within your fingers’ reach. (wow I feel like I’m trying to sell you something after that 😅 but no, I just really recommend this)
Download the app here: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/pic-time/id1434304532
Other fun thing I just remembered… if you have multiple galleries (ex. engagement session and wedding) whenever you log into the PicTime app, you can see BOTH galleries if they are still online.
7. Share with Friends + Family
Your family and friends want to see your photos too! I cannot tell you how many times at weddings a guest has walked up to me asking “so how can we get these photos??” My answer is always “I will send the gallery to the couple and they will be in charge of distributing it from there.” Whether you want to send the direct gallery link or create a photo album on Facebook, be sure that the people who attended your wedding are able to see the photos as well.
Now of course, this is a personal choice and if you really don’t want people to see the photos, that is totally fine. But definitely don’t forget this step if you are intending to share them. Some couples accidentally go months without showing other people their photos and you guys are not the only ones who want to relive those moments.
If you do send the gallery link out to your loved ones, be sure to only send the “friends and family link”. There are special features in the PicTime system for clients that the guests don’t have access to. If you’re one of my couples, you can find this link at the bottom of your delivery email. If you are not one of my couples, check your delivery email or ask your photographer if you are unable to find it on your own.
8. Like Your Favorites
Some gallery systems are really interactive and have a lot of cool features. One of my favorites is the ability for anybody to “like” their favorite photos in your gallery. This feature allows you to quickly find your picks so you can download them without having to go through all 1000+ images. Another cool bonus is that the photographer has the ability to see everyone’s “liked” images. This helps us to know what our clients and their families love most about their gallery.
This part isn’t too necessary but is a great feature to take advantage of if you expect you will return to your gallery often.
9. Post your Favorites Online
Just like I said above, people want to see your photos. Post those babies any way you want! Make fun TikToks or Reels, post on your Insta feed, make a Facebook album… I’m sure I’m missing something but I think you get the idea. Have fun with your photos and share them with all your favorite people in creative ways. One thing I have to mention: don’t forget to tag your photographer and any other vendor that might be featured in the photos. They want to see that you’re excited and share in your fun posts as well.
10. Print Out Your Favorites
Don’t let your photos live digitally forever. You invested lots of money into your wedding and specifically wedding photography. Make printing out your photos a priority. If you get nothing else from this post I hope you get this… please please PLEASE print your photos from a professional printing lab. This is so important. Places like Costco, Walgreens, etc are great in a pinch but do not offer quality like the pros. I recommend ordering prints directly via your gallery shop because those orders are specifically from photographer approved printers.
(Little bonus you may like to know: 😉 if you order through your gallery website your photographer earns a commission from your order. This is a great way to make sure your money is going to a small business owned by someone you care about, rather than a big corporation like Walmart. On behalf of all photographers, thank you so much for supporting us! 🧡)
Photos are meant to exist in a physical form, not just digital, so they definitely deserve some of that love and life. You can print photos out to display around your home, make some fun gallery walls, frame on your office desk, there’s really so many things you can do with them. Put your photos somewhere that you will see every day and allow them to remind you of your wedding every time you pass them.
11. Create a Wedding Album
To piggy back off of the last point about printing your photos, a wedding album will allow you to revisit your whole wedding day in a physical form for years. There’s a lot of photos in your gallery that may not quite be worthy as a single print to hang up in your home but they play a significant role in telling the whole wedding story. Photos like details, venue shots, dancing photos, getting ready, the list goes on and on. A wedding album is the perfect place to display those photos and again, experience the story of the entire day.
Wedding albums are also great because they are portable and look so stunning. You can display on your coffee table, bring them to family events, and flip through them every year on your anniversary. They really are the best way to house all of your memories.
I offer a custom wedding album service to all of my couples, but if you are not one of my couples check with your photographer if they have something similar. If you’re interested in seeing more information about the albums I offer, you can check out my albums guide at this link!
12. Print Photos Out for Holiday Gifts
I can never figure out what holiday gifts to give my extended family members every year. My favorite year was the year I got married. That was a very easy year thanks to my wedding photos. All I did was print out the formal family portraits for each family, buy frames, and package them up. Easiest gift of my life. You’re welcome for the idea. 🤪
But no, seriously… family members – especially grandparents – love to display wedding photos in their homes. If you have a favorite photo with someone special like your grandma, or dancing with your favorite aunt, or whatever it may be, take this opportunity to gift it to them. They will love being able to see these photos in their home and appreciate the memory that goes along with it.
13. Continue to Share Anytime You Feel Like It
I think pretty much everyone understands that it’s an unwritten law that you get to share your wedding photos every chance you get. Every anniversary, birthday, milestone, just for funsies, ANYTIME you think “hey, could wedding photo would be great for this” you get to post it! This doesn’t just mean during the first year, share them YEAR AFTER YEAR! I absolutely LOVE seeing my clients from 5 years ago continue to post their photos. It’s a great reminder of what your wedding photos mean to you.