Southern Plantation Wedding Album Design for Kaitlyn Phipps Photography

Album Designs
We've had the pleasure of designing albums for Kaitlyn Phipps for 4 years now. And it's such a pleasure working with her and her beautiful images! Kaitlyn is based in the beautiful state of Virginia and guys -- this southern wedding we get to share with you today was SO FULL OF JOY!! I dare you to look through this album design without smiling ear to ear! 
 
Here are a few of our favorite spreads:






To see the design in its entirety, click through the slideshow: 
 
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Design by: Andrea (View More) // Design style: Classic (View More) // Blog post written by: Melissa Jill
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Systematized Solutions: How to Solve Business Problems Wisely

Tips & Tricks

Hey guys! Melissa Jill here! I've recently shared some of my strategies for solving common album workflow problems. But there are sure to be others that you've experienced that I haven't covered. No matter how hard I work on my photography business, problems inevitably arise. Welcome to being a business owner :). But the secret to really succeeding long-term in business is not just found in solving individual problems, but in systematizing solutions to each problem that arises so that you prevent it from happening again. That's how a business becomes more profitable and efficient over time. 
 
Think for a minute about an issue that you've recently dealt with in your business. Has a client been unhappy about something? Have you been frustrated that someone didn't understand how things worked or didn't get back to you in a timely fashion? Do you have that issue in mind? Good! I'm going to try to help you today to systematize a solution to it so you never have to go through something similar again. 
 
There's an analogy I like to use to help me explain systematizing a business, and help paint a picture of this effort as an ongoing process. I like to call it The Principle of Plugging Leaks. Let's say for some reason that you are in a dry river bed (just go with me on this). You know the water is coming, and you want to build a dam to help stop the water and protect something valuable to you on the other side. So you gather rocks and debris -- anything you can find around you -- to set up a sturdy dam. When you're done, you step back and admire your work. You look at it from every angle, trying to access where the holes might be. You do your best to build the dam well, but you don't really know how it will hold up until the water comes. You might even feel a little over-confident that it will be impenetrable. "No water is getting through this thing!" But when the water comes gushing through the river bed, you instantly see where the weaknesses are, because little streams of water are coming out the other side. For the most part, the dam holds up, but you are left plugging leaks. Occasionally another leak will crop up and you will need to plug that one, trying to make sure it holds up over time.  
 
Since this isn't a remarkably sophisticated analogy, you've probably figured out that the dam is the system you build for your business. Plugging the leaks will be an ongoing process -- we will never be completely done solving problems as business owners. But the goal should be to plug each leak or solve each problem by tweaking the system so that that specific issue does not arise again. 
 
Here are some of the common album-related issues that I myself have experienced and heard are common to other photographers: 
- Waiting forever for clients to pick their images 
- The client doesn't love the initial design and wants too many changes 
- The client wants to cram as many images as possible onto each spread, resulting in a cluttered design. 
- The client makes endless numbers of changes to the initial design. 
- The client is unresponsive and doesn't finalize their album in a timely manner. 
- The client is surprised or frustrated that the photographer designed their album larger than what they ordered and is trying to sell them additional pages. 
- After delivering a larger album design with the option to upgrade, the client doesn't respond quickly and ends up deciding against upgrading. 
 
If you continue to experience one of these issues, click on it and you will find another article with a solution I have systematized that has effectively solved it and removed this pain point from my workflow. If you don't see your issue above, or if you run into other non-album-related issues in your workflow, try to strategize a way that you can tweak what you do to prevent that same issue from happening again.  
 
1 -- Could you create a template email that you send out to your client at a certain point in their experience (or a .pdf you share with clients in your initial meeting) to better educate them and help you achieve the optimum result you desire? 
2 -- Could you create some type of incentive or deadline to help move things along and motivate your client? 
3 -- Could you change your contract to make something that a client has misunderstood more explicit so that expectations are better managed?  
 
Hopefully this gives you some ideas about how to systematize a solution to the specific issue you recently experienced. And next time a problem arises (and we all know it will), rather than beating yourself up or playing the blame game by being frustrated at your client or another vendor, you can use your energy to pre-empt that problem in the future by tweaking your system. 
 
Thanks for reading today! I hope you found something helpful here! As always -- this is a community and we love to hear from you and share a dialogue in the comments below. Have you had issues you've found creative solutions for? Share a comment so we can all benefit from your amazing wisdom!
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How to solve business problems by creating smart, systematized solutions
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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Modern Downtown Fort Worth Wedding Album Design for Lucille Photo

Album Designs
 
 
Well this blog post marks a couple of firsts!! This is the first design we were honored to create for Lucy Struve -- an Austin-based wedding photographer with over 150 weddings under her belt. AND this is the first time a photographer has sent us a VIDEO of the finished album for us to share on the blog! Videos are such a fun medium for showing off albums, donchathink?  
 
And this WEDDING!!!! The ceremony took place in downtown Fort Worth at Robert Karr Chapel and the reception brought the guests to the STAGE of Bass Performance Hall. That's right! They set up all the reception tables on the stage of a huge theater! We just love the vibe of this wedding! It looks so fun!  
 
Here are a few of our favorite spreads from this design:






To see the full design, click through the slideshow: 
 
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Design by: Andrea (View More) // Design style: Classic (View More) // Blog post written by: Melissa Jill
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New Jersey Mansion Wedding Album Design for Scott Clark Photo

Album Designs
We have had the pleasure of designing albums for Scott Clark Photo for 6 years now, and they just keep getting better! Scott is a California-based photographer but he travels worldwide photographing some of the most gorgeous weddings! This one took place at the grand Natirar Mansion in New Jersey and we are currently picking our jaws off the floor it's just so beautiful!!  
 
In addition to ordering this album design for the couple, Scott also ordered two separate parent album designs for this wedding. But rather than spend money on three separate design orders, Scott wisely used the 2nd option for designing parent albums that we share in this blog post and employed his unused revision rounds from the couples' album to make revisions for the parent albums. Scott ended up using a total of 4 rounds of revision to create 3 separate designs and rather than paying for three separate orders at $8/spread (total would have been $480, he paid for one order and one additional round of revisions (three are included in each design) for a total of $210. That's a $270 savings! And each 20-spread design cost just $70! Kind of brilliant.  
 
Ok! On to the beautiful design....these are just a few of our favorite spreads:






To view the design in its entirety, click through the slideshow:  
 
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Design by: Andrea (View More) // Design style: Classic (View More) // Blog post written by: Melissa Jill
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Southern Spring Wedding Album Design for Elizabeth Gelineau

Album Designs
Redtree album designed by Align Album Design for Elizabeth Gelineau

These might be the most beautifully styled wedding album images we've ever received from a photographer! Mobile, Alabama-based photographer Elizabeth Gelineau outdid herself when she photographed this beautiful 10x10 Redtree album and blessed us with images of the finished product! We have a blog post in the works where Elizabeth is going to be sharing about her process for photographing albums and we can't wait to share it with you!  
 
But today, we wanted to show you this stunning design that we had the pleasure of creating for Elizabeth. One thing we've realized over YEARS of working with photographers on creating albums that showcase their work, is that oftentimes it takes some time for photographers to hone in on their album design style preferences. Just as photographers refine their shooting and editing style over time, album design style preferences are no different! Recently Elizabeth included this note on her order form, letting us know more about her preferences:  
 
"I think I have finally figured out the album design look I like. I think what I'm wanting is an in-between of my first few album designs (which were classic) and the album designs I've ordered recently (which were simple). I do love when the initial spread sets the sense of place or features a photo of the bride and groom. If one will fill the whole first spread, I love that look! I also love the look of one large photo filling two thirds of the first spread and then a smaller photo being on the spread as well. I also love when one or two spreads are all black and white images (this is not a must have, but if there are a combination of black and white images that fit well into one spread, I am ok with an all B and W spread). I like the spacing between images to be narrow on an album. I love when the page of details/getting ready has a film strip of all vertical images where possible. I also love when there is one spread that has one full bleed photo (if there is a photo that is suitable for this) at the beginning, end or middle of the album (usually a bride and groom portrait, but doesn't have to be). I like some margin to be around the layout of photos from the edge of the page to where the photos begin, but I don't want the photos to be super small on the page." 
 
These types of very specific preferences are super-helpful to us in nailing the initial design on the first try. We always keep these types of preferences on each photographers' profile so that we're sure to follow them and reference them for EVERY SINGLE ALBUM we design going forward. But like I mentioned above, most photographers take some time to get to a place where they are able to know and communicate their design preferences. And that's ok too! We just love being a part of the process! 
 
Take a look at some of our favorite spreads from this design to see how Elizabeth's preferences translated into finished album-design form. We are in LOVE with the result!!
Redtree album designed by Align Album Design for Elizabeth Gelineau

Redtree album designed by Align Album Design for Elizabeth Gelineau

Redtree album designed by Align Album Design for Elizabeth Gelineau

Redtree album designed by Align Album Design for Elizabeth Gelineau

Redtree album designed by Align Album Design for Elizabeth Gelineau

Redtree album designed by Align Album Design for Elizabeth Gelineau

And here is the full album design! 
 
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Design by: Andrea (View More) // Design style: Classic (View More) // Blog post written by: Melissa Jill
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