Garden-inspired Jewish Wedding album design for Rebekah J Murray

Album Designs
Virginia-based wedding and editorial photographer Rebekah J Murray is a delight to work with! We have been designing albums for her for 8 years now and her designs have been featured as favorites on our blog here time and time again!  
 
One thing Rebekah has done a great job of is communicating her design preferences. We always keep design preferences for each photographer on file so that we can make sure to nail first drafts no matter which designer is working with them. Rebekah prefers designs that have spreads with lots of negative space balanced by pages with full bleed images...somewhere in between our Classic and Simple design styles.  
 
This particular design was approved with NO REVISIONS and the final files were delivered just 5 days after the order was placed. There were two key things that really facilitated this quick turn-around: 
 
1. Rebekah's communication of her design preferences (see above).  
2. Rebekah selected the 'use all images sent' option on her order form AND she carefully curated the image selection she sent us. Photographers can either select for us to use all the images that are sent in the design OR to have the designer select the best images for the design from a selection of images that are sent. Truthfully either option works great, but in this case, the combo of the "use all" option and the fact that Rebekah selected a good amount of photos & didn't have very many one-off images that didn't flow with the rest made for a quick approval with no revisions needed.  
 
Yay for fast turn-arounds and quick approvals!!  
 
We love how this design turned out! Here are a few of our favorite spreads:






To see the design in full, click through the slideshow: 
 
 
 
Thank you, Rebekah, for allowing us to work with your beautiful images!
-----------
Design by: Kari (View More) // Design style: Classic (View More) // Blog post written by: Melissa Jill
Share This Post:EmailFacebookPinterest
Add a Comment

5 Minute Trick to Ensure Faster Album Finalization

Tips & Tricks
Align Legacy Book

Ok photographer friends -- let's get real. This is a safe place. Our clients don't read this blog. So let's hash it out. What is the longest you've gone between a wedding and placing the album order? Months? Years? 
 
If you've been reading this blog for very long, you know that I am not only the Founder of Align, I'm a wedding photographer as well. And friend -- I'VE BEEN THERE! Boy, have I ever! 
 
I've been shooting weddings for 2 decades, and I've got some stories :). In 2007 I shot a wedding for a sweet couple. He was in the military, she looked like Barbie. The wedding was great and everything went smoothly. But I had a hard time getting ahold of them after the wedding. They had included an album in their package, and by then I was pre-designing. So I sent them a link to the design like I normally do with instructions for revising and approving it. Nothing. No email response. I followed up. Still nothing. Six months went by, I called to leave a voicemail since email was unproductive. The bride's voicemail box was full. A year later I FINALLY received an email from the bride letting me know they'd had some medical issues in the family but that she was committed to finalizing the album in the next week. That's the last time I've heard from her.  
 
It's been 15 years.  
 
This sweet couple never received their wedding album and I'm sad about that. Sometimes life gets crazy and getting back to your photographer after the wedding gets pushed lower and lower on the priority list. If that couple were to come back to me today I would be obligated to produce a wedding album for them. At the time I had nothing in my contract pertaining to this type of situation. But I've learned my lesson. Let's say that couple did come back to me in 2022 and asked me to produce their album. My costs have gone up since then. My album company has raised their prices many times over since 2007. But that wouldn't matter. I would need to fulfill my end of our agreement without any additional charges to cover my costs. 
 
So I'm guessing I have you all beat with this story. But I know it's all too common for photographers to wait on clients for months and even years to be given the thumbs up to order their album. I have one stellar tip for you that will take you 5 minutes to implement and you won't run into this issue ever again. It is a two-step process: 
 
1 -- Add a clause to your contract with these words (feel free to copy and paste -- this is exactly what is in my contract): 
"The client is responsible for finalizing their album design no later than 6 months after their wedding. After 6 months, if the album design is not finalized by the client, the base price of the album will increase by $500. If after one year the album design is not finalized, the base price of the album will increase by another $500." 
 
2 -- Add a task to your calendar to email the client 5 months after the wedding, letting them know they have one month left to finalize their design and referencing this clause.  
 
Done.  
 
The purpose of this clause is not to get more money out of your client. The purpose is to motivate them to finalize their album so you can get it ordered for them in a timely manner. Since I added this clause to my contract years ago I've never once had to charge my client the additional money. But I have had many people go right up to that 6 month deadline. The magical thing is that no one goes over and I have no albums hanging over my head from years past.  
 
It's human nature -- we all operate better with fixed deadlines. Do yourself and your clients a favor -- give them one. Rather than following up endlessly, follow up one time with a deadline that motivates action. Then sit back and experience the freedom and peace of not having album orders hanging endlessly over your head. 
 
 
If you found this post helpful and would like to receive tips like this straight to your inbox, click here to sign up!
5 minute trick to faster album finalization -- no more albums hanging over your head for months and years!
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! 

-----------
Blog post written by: Melissa Jill
Share This Post:EmailFacebookPinterest
Add a Comment  (3)

New Jersey Christmastime Wedding Album design for Alaina Elizabeth

Album Designs

Look at this pretty album we have to show off to you today! This is the very FIRST of what we hope are many albums that we had the pleasure of designing for New Jersey-based wedding photographer Alaina Elizabeth! Alaina is an adventure-loving, risk-taking photographer who loves to get to know her clients along the way. Her images are fresh and fun and we so enjoyed working with them to lay out the story of this wedding day.  
 
Alaina used Miller's Lab to print and bind this album and she was so kind to send us a photo of the finished album. Wow! So stunning!! Also of note -- this album design was completed in 10 days flat -- from the time the order was placed to delivery of files. It's always a victory when we can help photographers revise and turn-around their albums that quickly! 
 
Here are a few of our favorite images from this album design:






To see the design in full, click through the slideshow: 
 
 
 
Thank you, Alaina, for allowing us to work with your beautiful images!
-----------
Design by: Denise (View More) // Design style: Classic (View More) // Blog post written by: Melissa Jill
Share This Post:EmailFacebookPinterest
Add a Comment

Elegant Downtown Detroit Wedding Album design for Niki Marie

Album Designs
Classic and romantic wedding photos that will stand the test of time are what Detroit-based wedding photographer Niki Marie is known for. AND her iconic black and white images! They often stop us mid-scroll on Instagram. And when she sends us images for a new album design, we always get SO excited because we know the resulting design will end up being a favorite! 
 
Niki is a long-time client. We've been working with her for 7 years now and on top of her incredible talent, she is one of the kindest humans. We are so blessed to get to work with her and just like with all of the incredible photographers we work with -- we feel so honored to be a part of her team! 
 
Today's album design features a high-end wedding in a historical church in the heart of Detroit. Here are a few of our favorite spreads from this beautiful design: 
 






To see the album design in full, click through the slideshow: 
 
 
 
Thank you, Niki, for allowing us to work with your beautiful images!
-----------
Design by: Denise (View More) // Design style: Classic (View More) // Blog post written by: Melissa Jill
Share This Post:EmailFacebookPinterest
Add a Comment

Using Incentives & Deadlines to Close the Sale

Tips & Tricks

Hey guys! Melissa Jill -- pro wedding photographer and owner of Align -- here again to continue my series on efficient and profitable album design and sales. I've talked a lot in this series about up-selling -- offering your clients the option to add spreads to their album after the wedding by showing them an ideal design they won't be able to live without. As I've mentioned in past posts, there is a RIGHT and a WRONG way to do this. This post isn't going to make a lot of sense if you aren't caught up on the other posts where I discussed this concept of up-selling and how to do it well. So make sure you get caught up here before reading on: 
 
WHY UP-SELLING ALBUMS SERVES OUR CLIENTS 
3 TIPS FOR UP-SELLING YOUR ALBUMS THE RIGHT WAY 
HOW TO COVER YOUR ALBUM DESIGN COSTS AND MAKE A BONUS PROFIT! 
 
Once you present an opportunity to your client to upgrade their album, it is wise to entice them with some incentives for choosing to do so in a timely manner. They are sure to love the ideal album design you send them and want the whole thing. But if they put off the decision to upgrade and the initial excitement wears off, it is unlikely they will decide to do so. They will instead, more than likely, find another place to spend their money.  
 
When I send an email to my clients with instructions for how to revise their initial album design, I include information on my incentives and deadlines:

I spell out the costs and the deadlines explicitly in an email so they know exactly what their options are. For example:  
 
"I wanted to give you some info on how to proceed with finalizing your album design. The album you ordered includes 17 spreads. The one I designed you has 30. I did this because you guys had so many great photos and I wanted to show you what your album COULD be. So you can either choose to narrow down the layouts to 17 or upgrade your album by purchasing more layout spreads at $120/spread. If you wanted to purchase the album as it is now, it would cost an additional $1,689.48 (this includes tax). 
 
I would really love for you guys to have the full album I designed for you, so if you place your order for the full 30 spreads within one month (by May 7th) I'll give you 20% off the cost of upgrading (total due would be $1,351.58). If you place your order for the full 30 spreads within 2 months (by June 7th) I'll give you 10% off the cost of upgrading (total due would be $1,520.53)." 
 
These incentives and deadlines encourage clients to make a decision quickly, while their excitement for their wedding is still running high. AND they help speed up the decision making process to keep your album turn-around times short. It's a win-win: savings for your clients, and for you: no more albums hanging indefinitely over your head.
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! 

-----------
Blog post written by: Melissa Jill
Share This Post:EmailFacebookPinterest
Add a Comment
1 of 100Older Posts