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What is a proof? What are the advantages to online proofing?

A proof is a general representation of the final portrait. Back in the days of film all of the negatives were processed the same. No special techniques were used to enhance any one photo. After the proof was selected the photo would be printed from the negative by a skilled lab in the darkroom. Special techniques such as dodging and burning would enhance areas of the photo and the photo would be developed on high quality paper.

With the emergence of digital photography proofing is much the same. The way we view the proofs however, can be very different. Many photographers choose different methods to show a bride and groom their proofs. Some of the options include online proofing, contact sheet proof books, and printed proofs. There are advantages and disadvantages to each proofing system.

Online Wedding Proofing


  • Ease of use
  • Integrated slideshows
  • Sharing with family and friends
  • Online ordering
  • Email files
  • Favorites folders


  • Only live for a period of time
  • Screen resolution
  • May be proof marked


Digital Proofs on CD


  • View on screen
  • E mailable


  • Lower resolution


Proof Books - Contact Sheet Style


  • Printed contact sheets
  • All in one book
  • Labeled with image number


  • Smaller proofs


Printed Proofs - 4x6's


  • Full size prints


  • More costly
  • Have to give back to photographer in some instances

It should be noted that nearly every wedding photographer has a different way of proofing their wedding photos.  


Contributed by Amy Gaerthofner of Ardent Photography in Neenah, Wisconsin. and

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