In your photography workflow, wedding album design is one of the time-consuming areas where you spend much of your time. When you have other priorities on your plate and deadlines to meet, how can you speed up the time it takes to design wedding albums for your clients (and deliver them in a timely manner)? Writer and editor, Hanssie Ho, reached out to ShootDotEdit and Fundy Software Customer, Ben Hartley of Style & Story Creative, to discover his tips to a fast design process. Continue on to read through his tips you can use for your wedding photography album design workflow.
Wedding Album Design
It is the end of a long wedding season and you are looking at a pile of wedding albums waiting for you to design and deliver. Groaning, you resign yourself to the next six highly caffeinated weeks in front of your computer working late into the night to get them all done and delivered by the deadline.
Does that scenario sound familiar to you? If your current wedding album design workflow sounds like what was just described above, there’s a better way. Designing wedding albums does not have to be tedious. Ben Hartley, founder of Style & Story Creative based out of Columbus, Ohio and one of 2017’s top 10 wedding photographers in the country, shares 3 tips on how to design better albums and speed up your album design process. Ben tells us what he looks for while shooting the wedding which helps him quickly design the wedding album afterward in just a few simple steps.
1. Remember the Supporting Characters
The first thing to have in mind while shooting a wedding, Ben says, is to remember the “supporting characters.” Supporting characters are important people to the bride and groom, such as the parents of the couple, the family members, and close friends. To tell a complete story of the wedding day, the album needs to include images of the supporting characters. An album filled with romantic images of only the couple can be beautiful, but it won’t chronicle the day and how it all unfolded.
Encourage your second shooter to also look for those supporting characters, especially when you’re focused on the bride and groom. Many magical moments are missed because everyone’s attention is always on the couple, but if you and your second shooter try to remember the other important people on a wedding day, the wedding album will be more meaningful and complete.
Instruct your second shooter to mostly be shooting the opposite of what you are shooting. They should be trying to get different angles and looking for different opportunities, not trying to get the same shot as you are, over your shoulder. This will give you a wider variety of images to choose from when it comes to designing the album.
2. Follow The Rule of Three
The Rule of Three is a design principle that states that when things are arranged in three’s, it is more appealing, effective, and memorable. This also applies to photography and wedding album design, so train yourself to think in a series of three when shooting. When you are creating a portrait, make sure you create two more images, but with slight variations. When Ben is photographing a couple in a location with the same lighting, he will make sure he captures at least two other similar shots but with different nuances, poses, expressions, etc.
Besides being pleasing to the eye, by creating sets of three similar images, it provides you with enough images to work with, it will give a consistency throughout the images, and it allows for “micro-storytelling” within the album.
3. Keep The Backgrounds Consistent
Another key to better album design is to keep some of the backgrounds consistent while you’re shooting, especially when it comes to details. Wedding photographers love to take the detail shots in various creative spaces and it does make for some very interesting images. Though this may satisfy your need as an artist, photographing various wedding details, such as the shoes, rings, dress, flowers, etc., all in different locations and with a variety of lighting, makes it challenging to tell a cohesive story when it comes to the wedding album.
Instead, when photographing details, Ben suggests that you find one area with good lighting or an interesting space and limit your options of backgrounds. Photograph all the details against this one backdrop. Doing this helps keep the images and lighting consistent in the album spreads.
Designing the Wedding Album in Three Steps
After following the three tips while shooting the wedding, you can then easily design your album in just three steps:
1. Start With the Broom and Finish With The Needle
When you begin to design the wedding album, Ben uses a process he calls, “start with the broom and finish with the needle.” He begins with all the images shot from the wedding (the “broom”) in Lightroom or Photo Mechanic. Starting broad, he begins to narrow down the images until he picks the very best narrative storytelling images (the “needle”).
2. Auto Design
Once Ben has sufficiently narrowed down the images he wants for the album and has them color corrected by a photo editing specialist, he opens them in Fundy Album Designer and uses the Auto Design feature to quickly create a foundation. The Auto Design feature makes designing the album very simple. With one click, Ben has a base to work with in which he can then complete the final step.
Related: Learn more about wedding album companies for photographers to help speed up your workflow, including Fundy Software!
After using the Fundy Auto Design tool, Ben refines each spread and reorganizes the images to tell the story of how the wedding day unfolded. Because he kept the album in mind while he was shooting, the album design takes little time to create. The client will make any final changes before Ben sends it off to print.
In conclusion, don’t spend the next six weeks slogging through your album designs. If you’re struggling with your wedding album workflow, try some of Ben’s tips for better album designs and take the tedium out of your wedding album design process.
When you develop a simple process to create a wedding album, you can speed up your workflow and create memorable albums your clients will love. In addition to wedding album design, what other parts of your workflow can you optimize? Download our Guide: 27 Ridiculously Simple Hacks to Transform Your Wedding Photography Business to find out!