What you see is what you like – DVD Cases

When I started wedding photography a couple of years ago, the happy couples would get a CD-ROM in a plain jewel case, without booklet or inlay or anything. Just the CD. I thought that the content mattered most to them. Then I thought that the couples might like CD jewel cases with a nice inlay. The feedback was positive.

Evolution did its miracles over the past few years. Today, part of any of my wedding jobs is to design an individual DVD case for each couple. Here is a recent example (front and back, click to enlarge):

DVD Case for Weddingphotos
Mark Zanzig/www.zanzig.com

DVD Case for Weddings
Mark Zanzig/www.zanzig.com

Each DVD contains four directories with images from the wedding in various sizes, so that the burden of downscaling them is not with the couple. They deserve quickest and easiest access to the pictures of their great day:

  • /1024 – for easy emailing, uploading, sharing
  • /2496 – for prints up to 20×30 cm (8″ x 12″)
  • /hires – for anything larger
  • /web – with a web gallery, convenient for watching on a PC

The feedback has been overwhelming so far. Couples positively love this.

I’d be interested to hear how you deliver the shots of your wedding photo jobs? Maybe there is something to learn from and to improve? Also, if you are a couple, what would you like to see on a DVD, and how would you like to have it boxed? Please feel free to comment.

6 Responses to “What you see is what you like – DVD Cases”

  1. Peer says:

    1. Do you include a license which explicitely states that they can use their photos for whatever purpose, worldwide and without attribution?

    2a. What about the DVD type? Photos can be good after 70, 100 years. Not so DVDs and CDs. They may fail after 2, 3 years, or less when treated badly (water, heat, scratches). One type of DVD, DVD-RAM (if I remember correctly, to be confirmed), is made to last 30 years, specially designed for long term archival purposes. Do you use that type? Do you include a notice adressing this problem so they know exactly how to handle the DVD (and to discharge yourself of that responsibility)?

    2b. Do you keep backups anyway, just in case some client(s child) mishandles that media?

    2c. Do you include paper prints (as kind of last-resort “backups”, and for the fun of it, too)?

  2. admin says:

    1 – Couples get a non-exclusive, non-withdrawable licence for unlimited, private, non-commercial use, i.e. they can share as they like with their friends and family, but they may not publish the photos for money, they may not advertise their business using the photos, and they may not claim it’s their work.

    2a – Right now I am using brand DVDs (Memorex, Sony) but will switch to Kodak GOLD Professional DVDs later this year. These are said to be perfect for archiving purposes, lasting about 100 years.

    2b – Yep. I keep an identical copy of the DVD, as well as all the RAW files on a separate disk.

    2c – No, I do not make prints. The couples get all the shots of their wedding that I think are OK, typically between 200 and 1,000 photos, and they’ve got to select the ones they want to print. Obviously, printing and storing up to 1,000 photos is rather costly.

  3. Hey Mark -

    Those cases look great! Did you get them from the place I suggested? I added a new image in my blog of more jewelboxes from a delivery this week…


  4. admin says:


    thanks for your comment. Much appreciated.

    I admit I’ve been inspired by your recent post on jewel cases to also put my DVD cases on display, so that people actually get an impression of what they can expect from me.

    The boxes are plain DVD covers from a retail shop in the neighborhood. I do the layout of the inlays all by myself using Adobe Pagemaker 7. It’s a bit old fashioned, I know, but I’ve been using Pagemaker since c. 1993, and it has grown to a full blown layout software since then. It gives you 100% control over placement and size of elements. And the typography control rocks. Once you have a template ready, e.g. for a jewel box, you can easily exchange the images and texts.

    Anyway, once the final design is ready, I print it on my color printer, crop it to fit the jewel case, and save the file as PDF, so that the couple can also create copies of the DVD on their own, complete with a nice inlay.

    – Mark

  5. Richard Wong says:

    Really great still lifes, Mark. A lot of photographers out here use Pictage for fulfillment. If you shoot wedding regularly then it’s really good for your bottom line.

  6. Dietmar says:

    Hi Mark,

    I have just got the latest C’t Magazine. They have an article about DVDs for long term archiving. Actually it’s a test of several DVD brands. Kodak is not getting much applause there. So check this out before perhaps investing in the wrong brand.

    – Dietmar