high-end wedding album designs
in three simple steps
Album design can be one of the most time consuming parts of running a wedding photography. “How to design a wedding album,” is often one of the first questions that a beginning a wedding photographer asks. And “how can I design albums better and faster,” is a question that seasoned wedding photographers often ask themselves over and over.
Don’t get me wrong, designing an album will always take a fair amount of time. It is one of the most expensive items in a wedding studio and also is the one that will last the longest. Albums are the single most durable photo product around. Prints in albums last many times longer than prints or canvases hanging on the wall. Every time I see a wedding album I imagine it being found in a trunk 100 years from now by a great great grandchild and the look on their faces as they see their long lost relative. They’ll see how young they look, how vibrant and alive they were and it will spark that moment of seeing themselves as something bigger than just their own life.
It’s evident how important wedding albums are. But, it’s also clear that we can’t, as a business, spend all day designing a wedding album. It just isn’t profitable. We can’t spend hours upon hours designing every album. If we did, we wouldn’t be able to take care of our own families. Let me share with you three easy steps that will help you not only design better albums, but design them faster and design them to stand the test of time.
3 Easy Design Steps
Step 1 – Keep things simple
Simplicity does two things. It sells better for higher prices and it stands the test of time. Look at the best brands in the world: Apple, Tiffany, Mercedes, etc. These are brands that focus on simple elegance. We can do the same.
Step 2 – Showcase shots
We all know the shots. The key shots, the shots where you just killed it. These shots need to be showcased in the album. Showcasing is simple, show these images big and add some accent images next to them or around them.
Step 3 – Balance your album with variety
When first starting out, I wanted to make every single spread different from the rest. This just created chaos. Balance means having a few patterns and repeating those patters. You gain variety but preserve the cohesiveness.
3 Easy Workflow Steps
Over the years, I’ve found three easy workflow steps that help speed up the process. The basic concept is to reduce the number of images being considered for the design. The more images, the harder it is to make decisions and the harder it is to design.
Step 1 – Album Selects
After you’ve narrowed down your keepers from a wedding, it’s time to narrow down further. Take the time to narrow down to about 60-120 images depending on how many pages you design. I like to keep it under 2.5 images per page average. So a 30 page album would have about 75 selects. Feel free to go a bit over, you can always leave out a few in the next step.
Step 2 – Separate by pages
Most people separate a wedding by the time of day: getting ready, formals, dances, etc. This is great for proofs, but for the album, I think narrowing down by pages helps us more. It completely separates the images into the format of the album. So when we start designing we can focus completely on designing and nothing else.
Step 3 – Baby steps, one spread at a time
Now when we are designing we can concentrate on one spread at a time. We don’t need to worry about other images on other pages while we design, we can concentrate on just a few images at a time.
Quick Video Overview With Live Designs in Album Builder