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To Outsource or not to Outsource

Tips & Tricks
wedding album design outsourcing

This is a question every professional wedding photographer must face -- should I do my album designs myself, or outsource this portion of my workflow to someone else? Obviously, as an album design company, our view at Align is a bit biased. But I'm a professional wedding photographer as well, and I'm running my business out of Phoenix, Arizona. I shoot 10-15 high-end weddings per year and have four associate photographers who shoot another 20-40 weddings per year combined. I've been running this business LONG before I started Align, so I myself had to answer this question early on before I had any idea I would be starting an album design company.  
 
I started my business in 2003 and I designed my first few albums myself. I had no clue what I was doing, but I also had no idea that I could outsource. I was completely and utterly clueless. I quickly realized I couldn't keep up with everything myself and still have time to do the things that would help my business grow. So I brought in some help -- an employee who did color-correction and album design for me. This worked great for years, but as my employee's job description grew to the point where SHE couldn't do it all, we started outsourcing our album design to Align. Utter freedom and bliss ensued.  
 
But outsourcing isn't for everyone. Each business owner has to decide for themselves.  
 
 
 
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reasons to outsource wedding album design

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From my point of view, there are two good reasons to do your album designs in-house
1 -- You have an employee you can pay to handle the initial design work and revisions. 
2 -- You just really LOVE doing album design. Like really love it. 
 
If you're having to do everything yourself AND you don't enjoy designing, better to pass it off and spend your time doing the things you are best at and that fuel your passion. That's how the most successful people in life succeed -- by focusing on their unique strengths and passion.  
 
Businesses that fall into the following categories are ideally suited for outsourcing their album design
1 -- Newer businesses where the photographer is also working another job 
2 -- Businesses with no additional employees beyond the business owner 
3 -- Businesses where the photographer is most passionate about shooting or growing their business in other ways 
4 -- Businesses owned by people who want to have a life outside of work and value family or recreation 
 
 
 
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reasons to outsource wedding album design

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Have you answered this question for yourself? Like I mentioned above, every business is different, so this isn't a one-size-fits-all decision. We would love to hear from you in the comments below! Which variables weighed in when you were considering the options? What was the ultimate deciding factor?  
 
If you fall into the category above that is ideally suited to outsource, why not give it a try to see if it could free you up like it has for me and the other photographers quoted above? 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. 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.
best wedding album companies

In the coming weeks, I will continue to share tips for album workflow that can be applied by photographers who fall into both camps -- those who keep their designs in-house, and those who outsource. Stay tuned!
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Blog post written by: Melissa Jill
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