Fairytale DC Wedding Album Design for Katelyn James Photography

Album Designs
Here at Align, we save all of our clients' design preferences on file so that their needs are met no matter which designer they work with. But if you happen to fall in love with one of us (which happens all the time!) we are happy to pair you up with that preferred designer whenever their availability permits! For example, Virginia-based photographer and educator Katelyn James loves working with Kari as her album designer. After dozens of designs together, Kari has Katelyn's style down pat!  
 
Today's featured album design is a perfect example of Katelyn's album design preferences: classic and airy, with lots of white space on the page but thin spacing between images. It is full of beautiful photos of a fairytale-perfect wedding in the historic Mayflower in the heart of DC.  
 
Here are a few of our favorite spreads:






To see some other designs we've made for Katelyn, click here! 
 
And to view today's album design in its entirety, click through the slideshow below: 
 
 
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Design by: Kari (View More) // Design style: Classic (View More) // Blog post written by: Alaine
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How outsourcing helps you make MORE money in your business

Tips & Tricks
A wedding album designed by Align Album Design with photography by Erin Lindsey

photo by Erin Lindsey 
 
 
Who wants to make more money in their business?  
 
Dumb question, right? Who DOESN'T want to increase their profit? 
 
Hey guys -- Melissa Jill here! I'm a pro wedding photographer myself who also started Align Album Design years ago to help photographers do just this! We all want to make more money without having to necessarily work more hours. But how do you do that when you are just trying to keep up with delivering on the promises you've made to the clients you already have?

So many small business owners I know have a saving-on-costs mentality. They figure if they can do it themselves, they should, because then they increase their profit-margin by not having additional overhead costs. And while there is some merit to being conscious of your costs, I believe this mind-set is not an optimal perspective for a successful entrepreneur who wants to grow their business and make more money.  
 
Let me share a story from outside the business world by way of example. I have a friend named Kathleen. She is single and owns a home in a beautiful neighborhood with grass and big trees (these are few and far between in Arizona!). She is an elementary teacher, so she works long hours for little pay. She wanted to take on some additional after-hours tutoring jobs to try to make more money, but she struggled to find the time to do so with everything that is on her plate. She works all week long and on the weekend, she has to take care of the house and yard and do all the grocery shopping. She also loves to run, stay in shape, and go out with friends. It seems that there is little wiggle-room and give in her schedule and responsibilities. She doesn't mind doing the yard work -- it's nice to be outside -- but it's hard to keep up with, and she occasionally gets nasty notes from her HOA about how she needs to keep her grass trimmed better. One day she saw a neighbor boy who is in high school mowing a lawn down the street. She knew she didn't really have the additional money to outsource her yard work -- she's an underpaid teacher for goodness sakes -- but she got an idea. She walked down to chat with the boy and offered to pay him minimum wage to do yard work for her every-other-week. With the time she saved on doing the work herself, she picked up some tutoring jobs that pay $50/hour. No more nasty HOA notes AND she has increased her income. Win-win!  
 
This is a great example of the fundamental concept of how outsourcing can help businesses grow and make more money. So often business owners get stuck thinking that outsourcing is only a good option for people who are rolling in money. But that's not the case. It makes perfect sense for people who are tight on money and time, but who have ideas for how they can increase their profit by spending time working on tasks that will GROW their business. In addition, businesses that outsource to experts with fast turn-around times do a better job keeping their clients happy because they are able to offer a better SERVICE. Kathleen stopped getting nasty HOA letters; you can cut down on disgruntled clients who are waiting much longer than they'd like for their products.  
 
Outsourcing portions of your workflow that bog down your TO DO list and your time is just a smart business decision, regardless of how much money you have. If you want to grow your business and your bottom line, free yourself up to be an entrepreneur. Use your time to grow your business and implement your ideas, rather than to merely serve your current clients. It's the only way to grow. 
 
----------> If you have never tried outsourcing your album design, why not give it a try today and see if it does free you up to make more money in your business? Click here to sign up for an account with Align, and when you do so, we'll send you a free welcome gift -- our "Top 10 Most Popular Album Companies" Resource List. That way you can find out which album printing & binding companies are the most popular among photographers who use Align, and more importantly, WHY.

How to leverage your greatest resource -- time -- to increase your business profit
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Blog post written by: Melissa Jill
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Align Legacy Book -- Photography by Anna Lowe Photography

Album Designs

Today we have such a special album to share with you! Not only is it an Align Legacy Book (which always makes us happy), but it was also our first design ever for Anna Lowe Photography. Anna is a Maryland-based wedding & portrait photographer with an artistic eye and a talent for capturing real, emotional moments. She shared some comments about the album design process that touched our hearts! 
 

 
"Maryana & David were sooo grateful for all of their photos, but seeing them in print, well that is a whole other experience!  
 
We worked with Align designer, Andrea, and she made our vision come to life! I am a designer myself, so it was nice to have someone I trusted working on this. It took maybe two days to get the first design back, and I kid you not, I had almost no revisions. Once I sent it to Maryana, I received a text saying "I keep looking at the proof but can't find anything wrong! I LOVE IT!" Made my heart melt.  
 
It was an incredible first experience with Align. I have already told so many photographer friends about it. :) I already have a second album being printed, and am about to submit another!"
 
 
      --Anna of Anna Lowe Photography
 

 
 
Learn more about Align Legacy Books over on this page! 
 
This wedding took place in the heart of Baltimore City, and Anna did an incredible job of capturing the energy of the city! We're so grateful that Anna sent us photos of the finished 12x12 Align Legacy Book which contains 25 spreads of our thick-page paper with a cover in our Parchment colored linen.



To view the full album design, click through the slideshow below: 
 
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Design by: Andrea (View More) // Design style: Classic (View More) // Blog post written by: Alaine
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Regal Alabama Wedding Album Design for Erin Lindsey Images

Album Designs

When we design album after album for a client, we grow to feel like a true part of their team. We celebrate every time they order another album design! Erin Lindsey Images is one of those amazing, beloved photographers with whom we get to work regularly. She's a destination wedding photographer based in North Alabama. We've designed 37 albums for Erin so far, and featured several of her album designs on our blog (click that link to do a search). We hope she NEVER stops asking us to design for her!  
 
Today we're featuring our favorite album spreads of a truly regal wedding that Erin photographed in Huntsville, Alabama. It's such an elegant, beautiful wedding, and Erin captured every lovely detail! We're so glad that Erin shared photos of the finished WHCC premium lustre album so that we can show them off!  
 
Here are a few of our favorite spreads:




To view the full album design, click through the slideshow below: 
 
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Design by: Kari (View More) // Design style: Classic (View More) // Blog post written by: Alaine
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10 Tips for Shooting with the Album in Mind

Tips & Tricks
wedding album design example and tips

above photos by Caroline Logan Photography / Click here to view full design. 
 
 
The longer I'm a photographer, the more I realize that shooting for the album is where it's at. Not only am I the founder of Align, I'm also a Phoenix-based wedding photographer, and through both my experience as a photographer, and our experience here at Align designing thousands of albums, I've learned that shooting with the end product in mind is just plain smart. It makes our albums SO much prettier AND helps us as artists to better tell a cohesive, powerful story. Today I thought I'd share 10 tips for how to shoot with the album in mind. Some of these tips will only apply to wedding photographers, but most of them will also translate well for portrait photographers. The more we can keep these principles top of mind during a shoot or wedding day, the happier we will be with our albums, and the more they will sell themselves.  
 
1 -- Shoot both horizontal and vertical in each setting 
This is as basic as you get, but it's EXTREMELY helpful when you sit down to design an album or you order a design from Align. A combination of horizontal and vertical images from each setting will provide more possibilities and variety for each spread while keeping the design cohesive. I know for most photographers -- myself included -- we either favor horizontal or vertical images heavily (I end up shooting WAY more verticals), so if that's you, just make a conscious effort to ensure that you take a few of the other orientation at each location. Above and below are some examples from our clients of spreads that came together REALLY well as a result of this practice.
wedding album design example and tips

above photos by Angela Newton Roy Photography / Click here to view full design.
wedding album design example and tips

above photos by Caroline Logan Photography / Click here to view full design. 
 
 
2 -- Take scene-setting photos of the location 
This is the #1 thing that helps fill out the story of a design, but that most photographers neglect to do. We take detail photos of bouquets, place settings, bridal details, but we forget to take detail photos of the location. And this is something EVERY photographer can do regardless of how high-end or detail-heavy the wedding you are shooting is. Since wedding days are usually a whirlwind of events, one thing that works well for me is to arrive a half hour early to the venue. As I scout for first look and portrait locations, I take my camera with me and take 10-15 scene-setting details that capture the aesthetic of the venue. These can include a wide shot of the building, a sign, close ups of the foliage, architecture, etc. The client picked their venue for a reason, and so it only makes sense to capture a few photos to show off what makes it unique. And these images really come in handy when filling out the story of a wedding day. Here are a few spreads that are great examples of this idea:
wedding album design example and tips

above photos by Abby Grace Photography / Click here to view full design.
wedding album design example and tips

above photos by Leezett Photography / Click here to view full design.
wedding album design example and tips

above photos by Tori Watson Photography / Click here to view full design. 
 
 
3 -- Tell a color story when styling the bridal details 
We all love photographing the dress, shoes, rings and jewelry. Bridal details are a must-have for any wedding album design. These images usually appear early-on in a design, so it's a good idea to think of them as a first act -- a taste of what is to come. In order to keep a spread with bridal details cohesive in itself AND with the rest of the album, it's helpful to style them using consistent backgrounds and to keep in mind the color-story of the wedding. One easy way to do this is to use a bridesmaid dress as a shooting surface for smaller details. That way you are able to bring the wedding colors into the album early on. These next two spreads are a good example of superb bridal detail styling:
wedding album design example and tips

above photos by Allison Mannella Photography / Click here to view full design.
wedding album design example and tips

above photos by Anna Shackleford Photography / Click here to view full design. 
 
 
4 -- Don't forget the groom! 
Unfortunately, many times, the groom gets less coverage in the design. As a photographer, I know the timeline doesn't always permit me to capture groom details, but whenever possible, it's a good idea to plan an opportunity to shoot them into the timeline. That way you can produce a spread that shows off the leading man in a way that is comparable in quality to the bride.
wedding album design example and tips

above photos by Persimmon Images / Click here to view full design.
wedding album design example and tips

above photos by Kaitlyn Phipps Photography / Click here to view full design. 
 
 
5 -- Take wide and tight shots in each location 
Album designs are most beautiful when each spread is made up of photos from the same location, with the same colors and lighting. So make sure that you take your time at each spot and change it up! If you are photographing a group portrait of the bridesmaids in their getting-ready robes, make sure that's not the only photo with those robes in it. And when shooting a couple, make sure you get some wide shots in each setting and then get in tight to capture a detail of how they are holding hands, or an accessory the bride is wearing. These close-ups really add variety and interest to portrait spreads and when taken in the same location as the wide shots, they make for beautiful, cohesive spreads that tell a story.
wedding album design example and tips

above photos by Anna Schackleford Photography / Click here to view full design.
wedding album design example and tips

above photos by Leezett Photography / Click here to view full design.
wedding album design example and tips

above photos by Tori Watson Photography / Click here to view full design. 
 
 
6 -- Mind the gutter 
Not all photographers love a powerful spread with one full-bleed horizontal image. But if you're like me and you DO, make sure you are intentional during your portrait time and take a number of wide shots with the couple off to one side so that the gutter won't cut through them in the design. I just love the drama that a spread like this adds to an album design!
wedding album design example and tips

above photo by Caroline Talbot Photography / Click here to view full design.
wedding album design example and tips

above photo by Julie Wilhite Photography / Click here to view full design. 
 
 
7 -- Shoot bridal party portraits and family portraits all in one location. 
Typically bridal party portraits are grouped together in 1-3 spreads in an album design and family portraits take up 1-2 spreads. You don't need to shoot the bridal party in the same location as the family, but it's helpful if you stay in one spot for the entirety of the bridal party photos and then another spot for family. Doing this makes for gorgeous, cohesive spreads like these:
wedding album design example and tips

above photos by Abby Grace Photography / Click here to view full design.
wedding album design example and tips

above photos by Rebekah J Murray Photography / Click here to view full design. 
 
 
8 -- Look for simple backgrounds 
We don't always get the chance to choose our backgrounds as photographers, but when we do, it's helpful to keep them simple. The more images you put on a spread, the busier it becomes. And if you have many photos all with busy backgrounds, it will confuse the viewer's eye and make the spread look messy and muddled. So whenever possible, choose simple over busy. And if you do have a busy background, shoot at a lower aperture whenever possible to blur out the background and allow your subject to pop.
portrait album design example and tips

above photos by Jenny Lee's Photography / Click here to view full design.
wedding album design example and tips

above photo by Anna Shackleford Photography / Click here to view full design. 
 
 
9 -- Shoot for the story 
Each spread in an album design should tell an individual story, much like a chapter in a book. So for example, when you are shooting the toasts during a wedding reception, try to photograph not only the individuals giving the toast, but the reactions on the faces of the bride and groom, reactions from guests, and a close up of clinking glasses. It's a lot to cover, so making a game-plan with your 2nd shooter to decide who is going to cover what ahead of time can be helpful. But having a wide variety of images to tell the story for each part of the day is so powerful when it comes to putting together the album design.
wedding album design example and tips

above photos by Rebekah J Murray Photography / Click here to view full design. 
 
 
10 -- Keep the end in mind 
Every book needs a powerful conclusion -- a cathartic note that wraps everything up and makes you feel that all is right with the world. If your album ends with a single page (or half-spread), it is especially important to think through the ending when you are shooting since you will only have a limited amount of space with which to conclude the story. If you are shooting an exit or fireworks, those are obvious end notes to a wedding day story. But if you aren't staying for the exit, make sure you have a good portrait of the couple with which to end. Portrait images that work well for a last page of an album design include the couple walking away, a silhouette image, or some type of night shot with ambient or back lighting. This is SO crucial because you can have a GORGEOUS design, but if you don't have a powerful image to end with, it can feel unfinished.
wedding album design example and tips

above photo by Erin Wallace Photography / Click here to view full design.
wedding album design example and tips

above photo by Caroline Talbot Photography / Click here to view full design. 
 
 
Approaching your weddings and portrait shoots with the album in mind can take a paradigm shift of sorts, but when you begin to think in these terms, it becomes easier and easier, and soon it's second nature. It is definitely worth the extra effort to implement a few of these tips because the finished albums that result will make you more proud of your finished product, make your clients fall even more in love with you and your work, and serve as powerful examples of the stories you can tell for future clients.
If you found this post helpful and would like to receive tips like this straight to your inbox, click here to sign up!
10 tips for shooting with the album -- your finished product -- in mind
And exciting news! If you're a photographer who wants to start offering albums without investing hours of guesswork and trial and error -- we have a solution for you! Check out the Album Start-Up Kit and start maximizing your profit today! 

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Blog post written by: Melissa Jill
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