This winter has been great for my business. Not because I’m shooting a lot of weddings, but because I have been spending nearly all of my time creating materials for my clients. One of my goals for 2014 is to do a better job educating my clients, assisting them, and overall improve my customer service. For so long I have been so busy, and have really just maintained things so that my business ran smoothly and my clients were satisfied. But just being satisfied isn’t enough any longer. I want my clients to be thrilled with their experiences. Some of the ways that I can better the client experience is to help educate all of my clients, so that they are prepared for their session/wedding as well as afterwards when ordering products and albums.
This post is dedicated to album design. Many of my wedding clients are from out of state, and aren’t able to visit the studio to view sample albums. Therefore, I am posting an album entirely online! So, how does one go about ordering their wedding album?
1). The first step would be to choose the style of album you’d like. There are many different kinds. This album is a flush mount album. In a flush mount album, the images are adhered to card stock. They are thick, but page thickness does vary from company to company. The album also lays flat when open, unlike a photo book. It is more durable and less fragile.
You’ll also want to decide on the number of pages and cover material. Most album companies have swatches so that you can see the different cover materials. This album is from Red Tree Albums. They have a variety of leathers, silks, and fabrics. You can either have your names debossed on the cover, or have a cameo (small image).
2). Next, you’ll want to decide who chooses the photos. Many of my couples choose the photos on their own, but I recommend letting your photographer choose them, and then doing an image swap during the revision if one of your favorites is missing. Designing an album is an art, and while you may not think to choose photos such as reception table details, they really enhance the album, and are needed to help tell the story of your wedding day. Not to mention, it’s really, really hard to choose the photos for the album! It’s much easier for a photographer to choose them, since they design albums often, and know what will look great. Keep in mind, the more pages an album has, the more you can include. This album has 20 pages, and I included getting ready photos, the ceremony, bridal party portraits, bride/groom portraits, and the reception. If the album were 30 pages, I would have also included all of the family formal pictures. If the album had 40 pictures, much more of the reception would be included. See the design below:
Getting ready photos are the perfect way to open the album. It starts the album off with excitement and anticipation. It also provides close up details shots of everything the bride is wearing, from her jewelry, to the shoes, to the dress and veil.
Depending on how long the ceremony lasts (some ceremonies are 10 minutes, and some are one hour), the ceremony pages can vary, from two pages for a short ceremony to approximately 6-8 pages for a long ceremony. Ceremony and church details are also included here for both the story and for important details to remember. The iconic shot of the bride walking down the aisle, as well as the first kiss and grand exit are included in my albums as well.
Bride and groom and wedding party photos are must haves in the album. I also like including details of the bouquets, and details of attire. They are items that can be forgotten, so it’s important to include them….not to mention they look beautiful!
These are the kind of shots a couple might forget to choose if they were picking their own photos. The shots of the venue and reception details are the little things that you forget, especially because the day goes by so quickly. But they are oh so important- just think how much time you spent planning them (and how much money you spent on them!). Not to mention, they are part of the story of the day.
I love this series! This is the part of the album where I include the guests. Photos of the guests dancing and enjoying themselves at the reception are always the perfect ending to the story of the wedding day.
I often like to finish the album with either a night shot, or one of my favorite portraits of the bride/groom.
3). After the images have been chosen, and the album has been designed, the couple is allowed to make one revision to swap out any photos that they’ve missed. After the last proof, the album is sent to print! Album production can take quite a bit of time, since your album is hand made to order just for you. It’s also another reason why albums are so expensive. Bookbinding in itself is an art, and these artists are making a specialty product just for you. It’s also a beautiful, archival product that can be passed down to your children and grandchildren. For this reason, I recommend every couple have a high quality wedding album.