A new Align baby + a new general manager!


Hi friends, Denise here! I'm delighted to announce some big changes happening in my life soon ...  
First up, I'm currently 34 weeks pregnant with a baby girl due next month! I'm at the stage of pregnancy where I make an "oof-da" noise every time I stand up (that's my Minnesotan accent coming out), anything that falls on the ground is dead to me, and I love feeling all the baby kicks (although I wish I could reschedule her 4am dance parties). It blows my mind that this little babe is guaranteed to be one of my life's VIPs even though I haven't met her yet. I'm beyond excited for her to make her appearance around Christmastime!  
Then as I take on my new parenting role, I'll also be changing my role within Align by leaving the General Manager position. Don't worry, I'm not disappearing from Align completely! I'll be staying on as a designer after the baby is born (besides a few weeks of unplugged maternity leave), so feel free to request me to be your designer anytime you're missing me! :) You're also welcome to follow me on Instagram @wrathofdenise or email me at denise@alignalbumdesign.com. I'd love to keep in touch! 
I've absolutely loved running Align's day-to-day project management and customer service over my past 5 years as General Manager. I've especially enjoyed being able to help the businesses (and sanity!) of so many photographers, many of whom I now consider to be friends. However this new life stage feels like a natural transition point in which to leave this role and pass on the torch.  
I'm thrilled to introduce you to Align's NEW General Manager, Alaine Sepulveda! Some of you may recognize her as the rockstar office manager of Melissa Jill Photography, so she's already fully immersed in the world of wedding photography and album sales. She's also resourceful, detail-oriented, and an excellent communicator - so I feel very confident that Align will be in great hands. We'll be sharing the job (and the info@alignalbumdesign.com inbox) for the next month and then she'll be taking it from there!

Hi everyone, Alaine here! Thank you so much for welcoming me to the team, Denise!  
My background is in writing and communication, so photography was a whole new world to me before I started with Melissa Jill Photography in 2014! Since then, I've loved learning about the industry and meeting the talented people in it. Working for Align's founder Melissa in her photography business has been all about multi-tasking, which I know will serve me well as I step into this new position with Align! Luckily, Denise is the BEST at documenting tasks, responsibilities and helpful suggestions, and Melissa is always ready to provide support and advice!  
Align is part of such a great photography community -- it's so inspiring to see professionals lifting one another up and sharing their knowledge! Behind the scenes, I've been helping to run Align's Instagram account for a while now, and I'm looking forward to connecting more directly with our clients, and with the larger community.  
A few fun facts about me: I'm a self-confessed nerd who has attended academic conferences, comics conventions AND Doctor Who conventions. I love to do nail art, so you will rarely see me with naked fingertips. I work from the office space in Melissa's home, so I get to pet her dog Dixie aaaallll the time! :) 
Denise is leaving big shoes to fill, but I'm excited to step into them!  
Click here to visit our About Page to meet the rest of our amazing team.
Blog post written by: Denise
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Charming Wedding Album Design for Tasha Brady Photography

Album Designs
The beautiful album design we're sharing today is full of charm, beauty, and so much love. It features top-notch photography by Tasha Brady, a film photographer based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Whenever we work with Tasha, she requests our Simple Design Style which typically has a maximum of 4 images per spread (it's perfect for portrait albums!). However she communicates to us that the 4 image limit isn't mandatory. So as you flip through this design, you'll see some beautiful spreads with 5 images on them and then the fun reception spreads are a definite departure from our Simple Style. And we love customizing this design style for Tasha! So if you're struggling to decide which album design style you should choose on your Align order form, just remember that you're welcome to communicate any special requests to your designer. We're a small team -- you're not locked into a corporate-generated checkbox! 
Here are some of our favorite spreads from this design:

To flip through the whole design, click through the slideshow below: 
Design by: Andrea (View More) // Design style: Simple (View More) // Blog post written by: Denise
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Align Legacy Book -- Photography by Bow Tie Collaborative

Album Designs, Align Legacy Books

It's an Align Legacy Book day on our blog today! Yay! That means that not only did one of our designers use images from Bow Tie Collaborative to create beautiful layouts for the interior spreads, but Align was ALSO responsible for the printing & binding of this heirloom album. We love being a one-stop shop for busy photographers! 
Learn all about Align Legacy Books over on this page! 
The wedding ceremony in this album took place at the ruins of a 1730's house in Virginia -- and we're obsessed with its beauty and uniqueness! It was a joy to work with Ashley Maton of Bow Tie Collaborative's gorgeous photography as we created this album. Ashley is a talented natural light wedding & portrait photographer based in Raleigh, NC.  
The following are Ashley's photographs of the finished 10x10 Align Legacy Book which contains 15 spreads of our thick-page paper with a cover in our Carob colored distressed leather. Enjoy!

To view the whole album design, you can click through the slideshow below: 
Design by: Andrea (View More) // Design style: Classic (View More) // Blog post written by: Denise
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Timeless Raleigh Wedding Album Design for Megan Travis Photography

Album Designs
Everything about this album design and Megan Travis's photographs inside of it scream crisp, clean, and classic! This album will surely pass the test of time -- which we strongly believe is the way a family heirloom should be!  
Megan is a natural light wedding photographer based in North Carolina. She photographed this particular wedding in downtown Raleigh, and her images were an absolute dream to work with! 
Here are some of our favorite spreads from this design...

For the full album design, click through the slideshow below: 
Design by: Denise (View More) // Design style: Classic (View More) // Blog post written by: Denise
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The #1 Key to Selling Albums

Tips & Tricks
the #1 key to selling more wedding albums

The number one rule in album sales is:
the number one rule in wedding album sales

If you want to sell albums, you have to show clients physical studio samples. This can be a tough pill to swallow when albums run anywhere from $300 - $1,200 in costs for the photographer. And that's just the printing and binding. That doesn't take into consideration the costs and time investment in getting it designed and ordered. Yes, studio sample albums are an investment. But they are an investment that will pay off. 
A few years ago I decided to start offering Queensberry Duo albums as an option for my high end clients. These albums are gorgeous -- high end mat paper surrounds images that are inset in the pages, and images can even be mounted flush to the edge of the page. So it is a more contemporary version of a matted album combining both matted and flush-mount features into a high end custom product. The album I chose to offer is 18x10 inches horizontal with a dark brown micro-leather fabric. The cover material is so soft, I am tempted to use it as a pillow. The album is INCREDIBLE. But it's not cheap. The studio sample I wanted to get was over $1,000. Yikes! Not only does that money come out of my bank account, but that means I have to charge my clients $3,500 for an album of its kind. All sorts of fears went through my head. What if no one else loves it as much as I do? What if my clients don't see the value and aren't willing to pay the high price tag?

I swallowed my fears and took the leap. I ordered my studio sample and said a prayer right before my first client meeting in which it rested on the ottoman in my office. Kari, the bride, came in and we started out the meeting chatting about her upcoming wedding. When it came time to share my two album options, I showed her the standard, lower-priced album that comes in all of my packages, then I showed her the Duo. I explained its features and told her the price. She fell in love with it as she turned each of the textured mat pages and felt the micro-leather. At the end of the meeting she told me that she didn't have the budget for the Duo but that she wanted to see if she could move some things around to be able to increase her photography budget and include it in her package. And that's just what she did.  
The expensive Duo is not for everyone, but it does appeal to a certain segment of my clientele. And if they see it and love it, they are often willing to increase their budget, even though they never intended to spend $3K on a wedding album when they first walked into my office.  
You can't sell it if you don't show it. But if you DO show it, you might be able to sell something that your clients didn't even realize they couldn't live without until they touched it. That's the power of a studio sample album. 
Not sure where to start with creating a sample album? Read up on 5 features that should be included in every sample album in order to win the hearts of your clients and get them to say YES to their very own album! 
To help even further with your sample album needs, we've created this Resource List for the Top 10 Most Popular Album Companies used by Align clients, along with testimonials from photographers who use each of them. Also included on the list is a general idea of what each company charges for a standard 10x10 album. You can download it for FREE today by clicking here and signing up for an account with Align -- no order necessary! Or if you already have an existing Align account and want a copy of this resource guide, you're welcome to email us for a copy.
the top 10 best album companies for printing and binding wedding albums

Take the leap. Invest in sample albums. Make them beautiful, unique, and exactly what you would want if you were a bride or groom. Then show them to your potential clients and see the investment pay off.
The #1 key to selling more albums
Blog post written by: Melissa Jill
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