A 4×6 Brag Book – It’s a Thing!

My partner MaryLee went to Cincinnati for her niece’s wedding and took along a small Olympus XA2 35mm film camera loaded with a single roll of Ilford HP5+ Black and White Film. Good setup if you have decent light–the camera sports a 35mm f3.5 lens.

She photographed some of the behind-the-scenes that she had access to before the wedding, before the wedding photographer arrived. Photos of moments like the bride and her Mom getting their hair done. Some moments together. Some alone. Showing her Dad her dress for the first time. A wonderful mix of photographs, all black and white, all rich in their tone. And of course, photographing pretty people in pretty settings, it’s sort of a perfect subject.

There are three manually-set focus settings on the camera, for near, normal and far distances. Fortunately, most of her subjects were over 6-feet away, in the normal range, as she forgot all about that switch.

Found on Amazon, about $6.50 each.

When she got home, I developed the film and we made prints of about a dozen images. 12 black and white prints that she put in small inexpensive photo albums, but they were decent quality.

When the photos were added, they had just enough heft to feel like they were substantial, but were still lightweight.

She made up three copies of the album, one for the bride, her sister and her mother. Three small “brag books”. I didn’t know they were called that. But apparently it’s a thing. And it’s a bit of a prestigious thing to bring out at dinners and gatherings, to show off some photographs as real pictures, not on a phone.

It’s big enough that two or three people can view them at the same time. It’s not a thousand photos. There are no email notifications popping up. There is no need to pinch and zoom. The photos are the perfect size for viewing and showing a few moments. Not the whole day, front to back, 1000 photos. Just 12.

Rustico Leather Albums that look nice: $40-45.

Twelve pictures that are really special. Maybe because they are 12, and not 1000. Who has time for that many photos, anyway? Or cares enough to keep swiping?

I found a company online that makes up leather albums for a bit more cost, but very nice presentation.

Talk about a step toward the retro. Certainly, most people aren’t printing their photos much today, and certainly not placing them in photo albums.

Can you imagine how many people will get to see these special moments from that wedding around lunch and dinner tables, across pub two-tops and at home visits for dinner?

It’s a thing. What a wonderful thing. For photographers looking for a subject to photograph, set a goal of making a dozen photos from an event and printing them into a small brag book. See what they think when they see what you’ve made.

Real photographs.

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