Wedding photo albums are timeless photo books that allow your couples to look back on their images and are a great way to increase your profit. And when it comes to wedding album design - it’s all about setting up systems that allow you to create the most impressive albums - without spending too much of your time. In this blog, we take you through the ins and outs of wedding photo album design and share wedding album design tips that could help you establish a wedding album design plan that works for you and your clients. Alternatively, if you are too occupied with all the other tasks that come with being a wedding photographer, you could also outsource this part of the post-wedding workflow to expert design services.
Creating A Wedding Album Design Workflow
Effectively selling albums to your clients helps you showcase your creativity and assists you in increasing your profit. We mentioned it above and we will say it again – creating these photo books is time-consuming, especially if you don’t have a wedding album template. To help speed up the process even more, we put together a few useful ways to help you create a simple album workflow.
1. Select Images For Clients
From the months leading up to the wedding right up to the D-day, the bride and groom have made countless vital decisions to make their special day memorable. But even though they know about all the moments that they hold close to their hearts, when it comes to the wedding album, you can take the responsibility off of your clients’ shoulders and choose the images yourself. Of course, in order to pick the right images, you have to know exactly what your clients want, so have this discussion with them. As a photographer and storyteller, you know what story you want to tell through the images and which are the best to use.
The biggest advantage you get out of this is the time you will save. Allowing clients to pick their images can take a long time - even if you give them a deadline. They get preoccupied with other areas of their life, and they may also underestimate how long it takes to select images for an album. As they try reviewing the images you returned to them, too many options can leave the clients overwhelmed, and they could have a tough time narrowing it down.
2. Pre-Design Albums
While albums are a part of the post-wedding workflow, it’s never too early to start talking about them with your clients. When you have the first meeting with your clients, bring a sample album to give them an idea of what your albums look like. Presenting your clients with design templates of their potential wedding album will allow you to minimize the options, which makes the decision-making process easier for them. Have a couple of pre-designed album templates, and stick to those.
By standardizing your wedding album design templates, you will save time for each album by reducing the design and image selection time since you know exactly what the spreads are going to look like. You are also creating a unique style for yourself with your albums as a whole, which will make your business stand out.
Related Read: Top 6 Ways To Boost Your Wedding Photography Sales
3. Limit Changes
As soon as the couple makes the decision to work with you, they are giving you creative control of their wedding images and albums. As conversations take place about the album design, ensure that you set expectations on how the revision process works.
Your couple might have several wedding album design ideas, but it is important to manage their expectations about the album design process right from the start so they don’t assume that they can ask for an unlimited number of changes to their album. Inform your clients that you will allow them to make a few changes to their album design, and set your conditions to what will be the most time-efficient. Even if you are offering custom wedding photo albums, try to limit the changes your clients can ask for.
When you give clients too much power to change things, the process might get delayed by months. Limit them to two-three rounds of revisions to the album design, and if they want to make more, consider charging them for the extra revisions. This will also help clients to take the revision process seriously and only ask for changes that are really important to them.
Even though you are a photographer who wants happy customers (that should totally be your priority), you are also a business owner who needs to continue to meet goals, book clients, and make a profit. So instead of waiting for a later stage, it’s better to set expectations right from the beginning. Once you have implemented these strategies to simplify your album workflow, you will see an increase in your productivity, which will lead to an increase in your profit.
How To Quickly Select Images For Albums
When it comes to selecting images for the wedding photo album, it can sometimes turn out to be the step that takes the most time. It can’t be easy to select the best from the hundreds of photos you’ve taken at your couple’s wedding. So what can you do to speed up the process and include images your clients will love? Here are some suggestions to help you quickly select images for albums.
1. Keep Images Organized
Once a wedding is over, make it a post-wedding workflow goal to filter through all of the images as few times as possible. Between culling the images and reviewing the color correction from a photo editing service or doing it yourself, you look at the same set of images several times. Rather than making another pass through the images to find the ones you want for the album, include this early on in the post-production process.
For example, as you review the color correction on your images, create a Collection in Lightroom to place the images you want to include in the wedding album design. As you are scanning through the images, you can quickly add images into this collection. This will keep them organized and easy to view.
Related Read: How To Organize Photos In Lightroom
2. Be Selective
Just as it is important to be selective during the culling process, the same applies for wedding albums! Be selective and choose images that highlight the most important moments of your couple’s big day. An average size album can include 100-120 images, so the selection process is crucial to master wedding album design.
Choose a few from each part of the day, giving a good variety and eliminating images that look too similar. Remember to choose quality over quantity. You want to use images that set the tone for the wedding day and show off your best work. The more selective you are on the front end, the less time you will need to spend, reducing your image selection later.
3. Choose Significant Images
One of the great things about wedding albums is that they are physical items clients can put on display and share with family and friends. Because of this, you want the images in the album to highlight the best moments of the wedding day.
Pick images that represent important, emotional moments. Did the bride tear up as her father shared his toast, or did the groom’s grandparents have a proud smile during the ceremony? You spent time during the wedding ensuring you captured these significant moments, so be sure that these make it into the album.
Additionally, detail images are essential for the wedding album. From the dresses and the florals to the cake and the table arrangements, your clients will want to remember the hard work and attention to detail they put into their wedding day.
Quickly selecting the right images for your client’s album is a key step in establishing a workflow that doesn’t take up too much of your time. Turnaround time is important when it comes to wedding albums, and the faster you choose images for an album, the sooner you can share it with clients.
Suggested Read: The Ultimate Wedding Photography Shot List For You
5 Ways To Streamline Wedding Album Design
After the wedding day is over, the bride and groom anxiously await their images from the big day. While providing the bride and groom with the images in an online gallery or DVD is a great way for them to see all of their images, many couples love to have a physical book of their favorite moments of the day.
Creating a wedding album for them to display and share with their friends and family is a great way for them to remember the wedding day. This is also an opportunity for you to further show off your signature style. So how do you design an album that your clients will love and want to share with their friends and family?
1. Create A Strong Story
From the getting ready photos to sparkler exit - a well-designed wedding album will tell the wedding day story flawlessly. Perhaps there was a funny moment that happened during the day that’s just too good to leave out, or you shot little moments throughout the day that harnessed a lot of emotion – those are the moments you want to include in the album for your clients to enjoy. When it comes to placing the photos in an album, consider placing them chronologically to keep the timeline of the day moving forward throughout the book. Highlight certain images that are especially significant to the story by dedicating an entire page to one image.
2. Keep It Simple
As a photographer, you have your own signature style and probably lots of wedding album design ideas - but that doesn’t mean that the wedding design has to be elaborate too. Rather than adding embellishments that will distract from the photos in the album, create a simple design (including the wedding album cover design) that is tasteful and elegant. Think about Leonardo da Vinci’s quote: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
To create albums and cover designs that are simple and elegant, experts recommend using white backgrounds. If you decide to use color in the background, be sure to match the background with the colors in the images. Keep your templates simple and cohesive on each spread - the template should act as an accent to the images and draw the focus to them.
3. Make Your Favorite Images The Focus
While you are shooting the wedding, you will take plenty of stunning images that you should highlight in the album. Not only will your clients love to see their favorite romantic sunset image displayed, but they will be excited to share the album with their family and friends to show off your work! Albums are a great marketing tool for your brand, so you want to ensure that you select images that best represent you and your brand.
4. Less Is More
When it comes to the wedding album design and selecting the photos to use, less is always more. As you choose the images that will be in the album, keep it to the best of the best. The fewer images per spread, the more importance you give each image. Remember, you do not need to fill each page with images to cover the empty space. Sometimes, white space on the page creates a unique style that allows certain images to stand out.
5. Outsource If You Can
Between focusing on shooting and your business, you are not expected to be a pro designer as well! There are experts that offer wedding album design for photographers. Experts you can trust with your album design; experts who will bring your and your clients’ wedding album vision to life. Remember, you want to spend time working on areas of your business that make you money, such as networking, marketing, and shooting more weddings. Outsourcing to album design experts is a great way to free up some additional time to do that or simply dedicate more time to doing things you love.
Shooting For The Wedding Album
One of the easiest ways to design a wedding album and speed up the process of selecting the images is to start visualizing how the album is going to look while you are shooting the wedding. Think about all the people your couple would want in the shot list and the moments that they’d like to relive through your photos and shoot accordingly. It’s not always possible to pause and think during the wedding, so we highly recommend that you construct your shot list in a way that it encompasses all the important people and moments of the wedding day. And that doesn’t mean just focusing on the couple.
1. Remember The Supporting Characters
The first thing to have in mind while shooting a wedding 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 the bridal party. 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 in its entirety 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 - especially for your couple.
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 threes, it is more appealing, effective, and memorable. This also applies to photography and albums, 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. Besides being pleasing to the eye, creating sets of three similar images provides you with enough images to work with, giving consistency throughout the images, and allowing for “micro-storytelling” within the album.
Related Read: Understanding The Rule Of Thirds In Wedding Photography
3. Keep The Backgrounds Consistent
Another tip for how to design a wedding album is to keep some of the backgrounds consistent while you’re shooting, especially when it comes to details. Wedding photographers love to take 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, try to 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 A Wedding Album in 3 Steps
Like we said, it’s important to use an album design software that helps you create albums without taking too much of your time. But whether you use it or not, designing a wedding album can still be as easy as following three simple steps.
1. Start With The Broom And Finish With The Needle
When you begin the wedding album design, start with uploading the images shot from the wedding (the “broom”) in a photo editing software of your choice. When you start broad, you can narrow down the images until you pick the very best narrative storytelling images (the “needle”).
2. Auto Design
Once you have sufficiently narrowed down the images you want for the album and have them color corrected (either by yourself or by experts like us), you can use the auto design option in software like Fundy Album Designer and quickly create a foundation for your album design. An auto design option saves you a ton of time and gives you a wedding album layout design/base to work with.
If you use the auto design feature in your album design software, you can then refine each spread and reorganize the images to tell the story of how the wedding day unfolded. If you kept the wedding album in mind while shooting the wedding, the wedding album design is not going to take you too long to refine. Once you are done with this step, you can send the album to your clients for a final check. If you’re struggling with your wedding album workflow, these tips could make the process a lot easier and less time-consuming for you.
The Dos And Don’ts Of Designing Wedding Albums
Are you making common album design mistakes? That’s something you may want to ask yourself when working on wedding albums for your clients. Albums are probably one of the most complex products that wedding photographers offer, but they are also the most profitable when you have a fast workflow and avoid costly mistakes.
When you think about how to make high quality wedding albums, 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. 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.
Stay inside the safe zone: White space is your friend. Stay well within the safe zone and let your photos breathe a bit.
- Go all the way to the edge of the page: Or go all the way to the edge, so you are 100% sure how the image will be cut. This works well with larger, wider shots where it doesn’t matter if you lose some of the background.
- 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.
Never line up a photo 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.
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.
Don’t cross the no man’s land: This is a dangerous area. Keep your images away from the middle of the cut line and the safe zone.
How To Increase Wedding Album Sales
If you want to have a successful, thriving wedding photography business, you need to have more than good photos; you need to be good at selling. Now, you may cringe at the word “selling”, thinking of a negative past experience with a pushy salesperson. Without selling, your business won’t be able to sustain itself very long, no matter how terrific your images are. It’s time to banish the idea that selling is a bad thing and begin learning some strategies that will help you increase sales to grow your photography business.
Related Read: Increase Your Revenue With Wedding Album Sales
1. Set The Stage
In-person sales are a powerful way to sell your wedding albums. One of the most organic ways to do this is that when the clients come in, greet them with a gift: A framed and matted print from their wedding or portrait session. If for some reason, the client cannot meet in person, you could mail the framed print with specific instructions not to open the package until their online design consultation. This small, thoughtful gift sets the stage for the rest of the consultation.
2. Present The Images In A Narrative Form
Instead of displaying all the images at once, you could first show the clients their pre-designed wedding album or, if it’s a portrait client, around 20 highlights from the session. When the images are shown individually, they are robbed of the context of the story that they are in. So the first time your clients see the images, it should be a story.
3. Be The Design Expert
Instead of approaching the design consultation with the focus on making the sale, approach the meeting with the mindset that you are providing a service. Design a beautiful, narrative album for your couples. You are the design expert, so help your couples choose what to take out and what to retain. Use the “bigger picture” technique when you are designing the wedding album. In simple words: Try to make sure the album is bigger and better than what the client expected and what is included in their package.
“The sale” is the upsell of the additional album pages or cross-over bundles. For example, your couple has finalized a 40-page 10×10 album, but in the final wedding album design stage, they end up bringing it to a 50-page 10×10 album. This is when you ask them whether they would like to purchase the additional 10 pages. If you’ve done a good job setting the stage, presenting the story of the day in those 50 pages, and have helped them refine the entire story, more often than not, the client will have already fallen in love with your album design and purchase the additional pages.
Perfect Your Wedding Album Design Workflow
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 the help of a photo editing software 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. The ultimate way to create a perfect album design workflow is using a first-class album design software like Fundy or outsourcing this part of your post-wedding workflow to a wedding album design service.
Further Read: How To Edit Wedding Photos Like A Pro
At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about helping you grow your wedding photography business by lessening your post-production workload with our professional photo editing services. To learn more about how we can help your business, check out our pricing plans.