Getting your wedding album right is pretty important and just as important as being the photographer at your wedding. Many clients ask me how to go about picking their photos and how to get it just right for them. So I’ve written this page for you, the now married, Bride and Groom, as a point of reference and also a guide to how the process works.
Step 1 : Choose Your Photos
One of the biggest problems I hear is how hard it can be to whittle down hundreds of photos to 60, 80, or 100. I do like my clients to pick their images, it means that you get the photos in your album that you like! If you like, I can do this phase for you after you’ve chosen your album then you can make adjustments later on in the design process.
How many photos to choose is an interesting question. I talk a lot about “readability” when I sit down and go through the albums with people. A great book should be easily readable and your album is no different. Pages with too many pictures or pictures that don’t make sense in the flow of the story reduce the readability of a wedding album and make the reader enjoy it less …. which of course is not good. Getting the design, density, spacing, pace and flow is essential and when I do your design I’ll be thinking about these.
As a guide I recommend an AVERAGE of 2-4 images per page (a single side), some will have more, some will have less but this means for a 20 page (10 double page spread album) you will want to choose around 60 images. If you don’t mind adding extra spreads this means you can get more in and still have a longer but very enjoyable and readable album. The best way to select your favourites is using the online PhotoSite you get after the wedding, I can log, see your favourites from behind the scenes and use them to compose your wedding album.
Step 2 : Choose Your Album
I’d totally recommend coming over to look at my samples, but if you’re a bit further afield I can run through all of the options on a Skype or Facetime call too. This stage of the process is mega important, every album is designed differently and as such this has to be decided on before any mock designs can be done, as well as working out which size you would like, any duplicate copies and also to make sure you know of any costs that are outside of your package. No one likes surprises and I like to make sure you know exactly where you stand and keep my up to date album prices online :-)
Theres so many options available I like to try and get as much info from you at this point as possible for example, cover material, colour, size, cover debossing text, delivery address etc etc. It makes Step 6 much easier!
Step 3 : The Design
Either you’ve asked me choose your images or you’ve selected your favourites online, at this point I’ll take your chosen album size and images and construct your story through the album. I try to get this done within one to two weeks of getting the go ahead. If I choose your images, I wont be thinking about the number of pages, I’ll be thinking about make it flow and being fabulous, so do let me know if keeping it to the minimum number of spreads is important.
Step 4 : Proofing your Design
Once I’ve prepared your first draft I’ll upload it to my amazing album proofing website and send you the link! You jump on there and go through each of the pages, look at the layouts and make any changes by simply putting in comments on any spreads which need a change! Take a look at the terminology at the bottom of the page for idea on how to communicate this.
Step 5 : Rounds of Changes
Once you let me know of any changes I’ll get on them as soon as possible, the quicker you do it after the first design the better as I’ll remember more about your album and the thought process behind it. After I’ve made your changes I’ll let you know and again you can jump on there and as in step 4, proof your design!
I include two round of changes with every wedding album and for most couples this is more than enough, but, its got to be right for you guys and if you need 3 or more rounds of changes I’m more than happy to make this happen for you but its worth remembering that each extra round after the first two does have a small cost of £15 per round of changes.
Step 6 : Approve your design!
When you’re happy with the design, theres a button on there for you to tell me you’re happy for it to go to print.
I’ll get an email saying you’ve approved your album and can get to work on getting things organised and making sure I have all the right info and I’ll let you know the cost (if any) out standing on any upgrades, extra spreads, duplicates/parent albums etc and once its paid I’ll order it immediately with your Album maker!
Step 7 : Making your Wedding Album
Your design is ready, you’ve chosen your options and its all ordered. Usually they take around 4-6 weeks to arrive, sometimes less depending on the time year. Each one is hand made using the most fabulous binding techniques according to the build of your album to make sure it lasts a lifetime and more. Through the process, all of the album makers have the most incredibly strict quality checks and procedures to make sure your album is quite simply perfect.
Step 8 : Delivery
I can get your album delivered to the best address for you guys to receive it, this might be work or your parents house or where ever you like. There’s nothing worse than missing a delivery …. especially when you’re so excited to get it! After that it’s time to show that beauty off!
During the design process when we’re making rounds of changes it can get a bit confusing trying to understand what each of us is trying to say, so here’s some terminology to make the communication process a little easier:
“Spread” – Two pages side by side in the album e.g. a double page spread
“Page” – One single printed page/side of the album
“BW” – Black and White
“Frame” – The area in which the photo resides
“Add” – Place another photo on the spread and redesign if necessary
“Replace” – Directly replace one image with another (and keep layout the same if possible) e.g. “replace image 2 with pre ceremony 30”
“Swap” – Directly swap two photos that already exist on the current design from one image frame to the other e.g. “swap image 1 and 3”
“Remove” – Take the photo out of the spread and redesign if necessary e.g. “remove image 2”
“Hero” – Make an image the largest image on the spread and redesign if necessary e.g. “hero image 1”