Are you making common album design mistakes? That’s something you may want to ask yourself when working on wedding albums for your clients. When you think about how to make a wedding album, there are several steps to follow. As one of the areas of your post-wedding workflow that takes a lot of time, it is important your album design process is streamlined and efficient.
How to Make a Wedding Album
Here at ShootDotEdit, we know there are various elements you need to work on to help your photography business run properly. In addition to providing photography editing services to photographers, we love to share tips and tricks to help you work faster. To help you identify and eliminate mistakes in your album design workflow, we connected with Andrew Funderburg, founder of Fundy Software, to gain his album design tips for photographers. Below, he shares how to make a photo album, plus common album design mistakes you might be making (and how to fix them!).
Albums are probably the most complex product that photographers offer, but they are also the most profitable when you have a fast workflow and avoid costly mistakes. In this blog post, we’ll cover some do’s and don’ts with your bleed and cut lines, and some steps that can help speed up your album design time. Keep reading for wedding album design tips.
How Albums Are Made
Why This is Important
Ever wonder how album companies get all the pages to line up perfectly when they bind their books? The simple answer is that they don’t. It’s impossible to get pages to line up with each other, especially when they’ve been folded in half and glued together.
After gluing all of the pages together, and before putting on the cover, album companies use a large guillotine cutter to lop off the rough edges. This is where the guidelines come in. Album companies tell you, “If you keep your photos inside of this line, they won’t be lopped off.” Here are some tips for what that means when you are designing.
1. Never line a photo up right on the line
Album makers can’t guarantee where the cut will be. They can only guarantee that it will be somewhere between the edge of the paper and the guideline.
2. Never go just over the line
If you think you’ll be safe by going just over the line, you are wrong. You could still end up with a strange white edge because the album company cut just before the edge of the photo.
3. Stay out of no man’s land
This is a dangerous area. Keep your images away from the middle of the cut line and the safe zone.
1. Stay inside of the safe zone
White space is your friend. Stay well within the safe zone and let your photos breathe a bit.
2. Go all the way to the edge of the page
Or go all the way to the edge, so you are 100% sure the image will be cut into. This works well with larger, wider shots where it doesn’t matter if you lose some of the background.
3. Adjust your guide if necessary
If you’re using Fundy Designer, we have the cut lines and safe zones encoded for many of the larger labs. For all other labs we set a default of 1/8″ and 1/2″. You can change this in your album settings if needed.
4. Be aware of the page buffer
The page buffer is the distance between the cut line and the safe zone. You have complete control over this, and it is basically the distance your images will be from the edge of the page after the album is cut.
Bonus Workflow Tip
Make sure to properly cull your images.
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). 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.
It’s extremely important that you get a good handle on cut lines, safe zones, and page buffers. Spend some time on the websites of your album companies learning their recommendations. However, if you’re using Fundy Designer, you can rest assured we load all the album sizes in there not just for every company, but for each album or book line that company offers.
Andrew provided great tips on how to make a wedding photo album! After reading through the post, are you making any of these common album mistakes? Take the time to eliminate these issues in your process, so you can be as efficient as possible when working on photo album design for clients. This applies across your business, especially in regard to your processes and systems. How can you continue to speed up your workflow? Click the banner below to download our free Guide, 27 Ridiculously Simple Hacks to Transform Your Wedding Photography Business, to discover perfect ways to save time, starting now!