Align's 2023 Holiday Deadlines


'Tis the season for all things cozy, yuletide cheer ... and the mad dash to get everything done before HOLIDAY DEADLINES! Aren't you happy you're a photographer right about now? :) 
Your clients know that albums make amazing Christmas gifts, but do they know how long the album creation process takes? We want to help YOU help THEM have their albums in hand by the holidays, so here's a refresher on our design turnaround times and an announcement of our holiday print deadlines: 

Turnaround times for DESIGNS:  
Due to the back-and-forth nature of the design and revision process, there is no one-size-fits-all estimate for how long the design process will take from start to finish. Please allow yourself and your client ample design time (multiple weeks) by placing your design order AS SOON as possible. 
Initial designs - Within 4 business days of receiving your order form, deposit, and images  
Revision requests - 2 business days after we've received the comments and any additional images or clarifications needed 
Final file delivery - 1 business day after the album has been approved AND the final balance has been paid (**see note at bottom of this page) 
Our business days for designing are Monday through Friday except for the following holidays: 
Thanksgiving - Thursday, November 23 and Friday, November 24, 2023 
Christmas - Monday, December 25 and Tuesday, December 26, 2023 

Deadlines for PRINTING: 
If you'll also be printing through Align Legacy Books and wish to receive your album in the mail by December 21, 2023, you must send your album to print (i.e. fill out the custom Print Confirmation order form we email you after the design service is paid for) by the following dates: 
Friday, November 17** for standard production turnaround times 
Tuesday, November 28** for rush production turnaround times (extra $100 per album) 
Orders placed before 11:59pm November 17 will ship within 15 business days of the order date 
Orders placed between November 18 - November 28 with a RUSH FEE will ship by December 19 
Orders placed after November 28 will ship within 15 business days of the order date (starting the first week of January) 

**Important Advice Due to the back-and-forth nature of invoicing, please plan for about 48 hours in between when your design is approved and when you will receive your final files (if you are printing elsewhere) or the link to your custom Print Confirmation order form (if you're printing with us). To skip the invoicing steps and speed up the process, you can:
-Authorize us to automatically charge your saved credit card (find this setting at the bottom your Edit Profile page). 
-Or pre-purchase Align Credit (in any amount) on your Account Balance page which will be automatically applied to your balance.
PHEW! That is A LOT of detail! We're SO excited to help you serve your clients well this holiday season!
Blog post written by: Melissa Jill

Hawaii Sunset Elopement Album Design for Dawn Eicher Photography

Album Designs
We have created 15 album designs for Hawaii Wedding photographer Dawn Eicher Photography over the past 4 years. And this one turned out so beautifully that we just had to share! Dawn shot this elopement on the Big Island of Hawaii and shared this with us: 
"They are both from Manhattan Beach, CA, and such quintessential Cali kids! Their wedding almost didn't happen. It had been pouring all day, but right as we were about to begin, the clouds parted and they had the most beautiful light and sunset. They were beaming with love for one another too. Kristin actually runs her own marketing firm in CA, so design was very important to her, as was printing her images and creating an heirloom for their future family." 
We are definitely on board with that! Dawn captured their magical destination elopement so beautifully and it was such a joy for us to lay out her images to tell the story of the day in an album that will be passed down to the generations to come. 
Here are a few of our favorite spreads from this stunning design:

To see the design in full, click through the slideshow: 
Thank you, Dawn, for trusting us to be a part of your team!
Design by: Rachel (View More) // Design style: Classic (View More) // Blog post written by: Melissa Jill

Modern Downtown Pittsburg Wedding Album Design for Lauren Renee Photography

Album Designs
We've been working with Pittsburg-based fine art wedding photographer Lauren RenĂ©e Photography for about two years now and we are smitten with her and her work! Today's featured wedding album design is drop dead gorgeous -- this modern black and white affair is one for the books and Lauren did such a great job capturing every detail and moment! We were honored to help her lay it out to tell the story in a one-of-a-kind custom heirloom album that her clients will no doubt cherish for generations to come! 
Lauren used our Hands-off Service so we communicated directly with her clients throughout the design and revision process that took a little over two months from start to finish. It was fun to work with Lauren and her clients to get this project over the finish line and we are so proud of the resulting design! 
Here are a few of our favorite spreads from this show-stopper:

To see the design in full, click through the slideshow: 
Thank you, Lauren, for trusting us to be a part of your team!
Design by: Kari (View More) // Design style: Classic (View More) // Blog post written by: Melissa Jill

How to cover your album design costs and make a bonus profit!

Tips & Tricks
how to profit from upselling and outsourcing albums

photo credit Melissa Jill Photography 
Hey guys! Melissa Jill -- Align's owner and founder and pro wedding photographer here! We've been talking the last couple weeks about how we as photographers should be up-selling our albums and how to do so well. If you've missed out on these conversations, click below to get caught up!  
A Compelling Reason to Up-sell 
3 Tips for Up-selling Your Albums the Right Way 
Today I'm going to continue this discussion about up-selling to share how I myself, and many of our super-star Align clients, have covered their costs for outsourcing their designs to Align (as well as made some serious profit) -- through up-selling. Up-selling and outsourcing are a match made in heaven. Like peanut butter and chocolate. Jeans and t-shirts. Love and marriage. The internet and cat videos. You get the idea. They go together REALLY WELL.  
Here's how I outsource to Align and cover my costs (feel free to skim, I explain in more detail below):

Now there's a little math involved to take this all in, but I'm going to walk you through it. No calculator necessary. Let's say you include an album in your package that is 20 spreads (40 pages). The client has paid for this up front when they book you. When the wedding is over, you send images off to Align super-fast (because speed is key when you're wanting your clients to fall in love with their images and album design) and on your order form, you say you want a design with 28-30 spreads. Because your images are so incredibly amazing, Align designs you an initial design with 30 spreads, to really tell the story of the day in an ideal way. Whereas you would have paid Align $180 to design a 20 spread album, you pay $90 more to take a risk and attempt to up-sell your clients on a larger album. Follow so far? You are paying an additional $90 up front in hopes that your client will love the ideal design and decide to order the whole thing.  
Let's say they DO love it, but they can't afford to upgrade to the full 30 spread design. You are quoting them $150 per spread for the additional 10 spreads over what was included in their package, so that's a hefty fee. Now some clients WILL upgrade and purchase the full upgrade (about 50% of my clients do), but let's say this client can't afford to, and decides to delete some spreads. But they can't part with all of them, so they decide to upgrade by only one spread, deleting 9 spreads and purchasing a 21 spread album. They pay you $150, and that not only covers your $90 risk on the upgrade, but you make $60! Let's say the client deletes 8 spreads from the design and ends up upgrading by 2 spreads. They pay you $300 -- and look at the number under "design 30 spreads" above! -- the outsourcing cost of the entire 30 spread design that you pay Align is that exact same amount! You cover the cost of outsourcing when clients upgrade by just 2 spreads! 
Is that worth the initial risk? ABSOLUTELY.  
Even if 4 out of 5 clients end up not choosing to upgrade at all, but one upgrades to the full 30 spread album, you've covered the cost of the $90 up-selling risk on all 5 designs and profited $1,050 overall! 
See -- when up-selling and outsourcing get married, beautiful things happen. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below! And if you currently up-sell and outsource, I'd love to hear about your experience there too!
If you found this post helpful and would like to receive tips like this straight to your inbox, click here to sign up!
How to cover your outsourcing costs for album design and make a ton of profit at the same time!
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

New Orleans French Quarter Wedding Album Design for Purposefully Given

Album Designs

Wow! Look at this magnificent custom heirloom album! We feel so honored to have been a part of creating this for Mississippi based wedding photographer Laura of Purposefully Given and her clients! We initially designed this album with 24 spreads, but through the course of two rounds of revisions, Laura's clients asked us to add spreads to the design so they could include more images of their incredible wedding day (and I don't blame them --- Laura knocked this one out of the park!!) and the printed Dekora Album ended up being 34 spreads!  
This design includes plenty of white space and a minimalist style. The setting in the French Quarter of New Orleans -- including a historic hotel and art museum -- provided such a stunning backdrop for this wedding day. Laura was so kind to send us some photos of the printed album:

We had such a hard time narrowing down our favorite spreads to share with you here on the blog. It's definitely worth the time to flip through the slideshow below to see the design in full! 
Thank you, Laura, for trusting us to be a part of your team!
Design by: Shannon (View More) // Design style: Classic (View More) // Blog post written by: Melissa Jill
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