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Top Album Design Tips for Wedding Photographers

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Although this time of year brings the end of busy season, there are still tasks on your plate to complete. Once your images return from a wedding photography post processing company like ShootDotEdit, it’s time to deliver them and create products for your clients. One of the products you will design and deliver to clients are albums. Since album design can be challenging and time-consuming, we partnered with Andrew Funderburg, Founder of Fundy Software, to provide you with his top album design tips.

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It’s album design crunch time, so I’m sharing my top album design tips to help you work smarter, not harder. Once you master these tips, you’ll be designing your albums in a flash.

1. Remember Why You’re Designing

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Image Compliments of Danny Dong Photography

The first tip in album design is to remember why we, as photographers, are designing albums. While there are all the business reasons to design albums (profitability, brandability, etc.), ultimately we are creating albums for the legacy of the family.

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There is no other photography format in the world that lasts longer than albums. Any photo that you hang on a wall – whether it be canvases, long-lasting fine art inkjet or traditional prints behind a frame – they won’t last as long as prints inside a book. Print longevity is all about lightfast and prints in books are protected from light. We are preserving our clients’ legacies – for them, for their children and their grandchildren. With albums, we are preserving their legacy the safest way possible, in a way that will last hundreds of years.

Related: How can you strategically shoot for the wedding day?

2. Know That Less is More

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Image Compliments of Danny Dong Photography

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The number one mistake I see people make when designing an album is simply putting too much into the album. Sometimes this means too many images per page and sometimes this means too much design. Albums don’t need a lot of backgrounds, fades, images as backgrounds, etc.

The design should show off the imagery, not the design. To quote one of my favorite books, “Don’t be afraid of the white space.” Don’t be afraid to let your images breathe on the page. White space on the page simply shows your clients that are you are confident in your imagery.

Related: Are you capturing the most important moments from the wedding day to incorporate into your wedding albums?

3. Have a Solid Workflow

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Image Compliments of Danny Dong Photography

Having worked with thousands of photographers regarding album design, we’re able to see what works and what doesn’t work. One of the worst things you can do is start your album design process with 500-1,000 or more images from a wedding (all of your wedding keepers).

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Regardless of what software you use, it is cognitively impossible to be effective when dealing with so many images. Use a piece of software like Lightroom, Bridge or Photo Mechanic to pare down your album selects to 80-150 images before starting to design.

When choosing my album selects, I target 3-4 images total per page and then end up using about 2.5 images per page. For example, my album selects total about 90-120 images for a 30-page album and then in reality, I end up using about 75 images in a 30-page album. Of course each photographer will differ, but this is a good target to strive for.

4. Focus on Mini Stories

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Image Compliments of Danny Dong Photography

The easiest way to design an album is to view each spread (a left and right page) as one mini story. On each spread you should only place images that were taken during the same moment, have the same basic color palette and are part of the same sequence. When you do this, designing an album becomes simple.

Start at the beginning of the day, select images that are mini stories and place them on spreads. When you are finished placing the mini stories on the spreads, refine the design and you are done. Once you become accustomed to designing with mini stories, you’ll start shooting for these mini stories and cull for them and your album design process will become faster and faster.

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Those are some valuable tips from Andrew, don’t you think? Anything you can do to speed up your workflow and become efficient is beneficial for your business. What are other optimizations you can make for your wedding photography business? Our Wedding Photographer’s Guide to the Off-Season is the perfect resource to help you refine your systems and processes for next year. Grab our free guide today, so you can use it once you deliver all finalized products to your clients!

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