Fun New Jersey Summer Wedding Album Design for Tori Kelner

Album Designs
We just checked and we've done over FORTY album designs for the fabulous Tori Kelner -- a New Jersey wedding photographer -- in the past 5 years we've had the pleasure of working with her! She is such a kind, upbeat person and her work really captures the essence of her clients. You can see some of the past designs that we've featured of Tori's here and ALSO hear her share her secret for getting albums to her clients within weeks of the wedding! 
Today's featured design flows so well. Tori always supplies us with a great variety of images that allow the design to come together so seamlessly and cohesively. Here are a few of our favorite spreads from this stand-out design:

To see the design in full, click through the slideshow: 
Thank you, Tori, 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

Senior Portrait Album Design for Brooke Elisabeth Photography

Album Designs
Ninety percent of the album designs we do are wedding albums, but we also do all sorts of other genres of album designs: engagement, newborn, family portrait, bar and bat mitzvahs, corporate events, parties, boudoir, and senior portrait albums -- which is what today's featured album design is! And it is GORGEOUS!  
Minnesota based wedding and portrait photographer Brooke Elisabeth is SO talented -- we absolutely ADORE her and her work! We have been working with Brooke since 2020 and have designed over 20 albums for her in that time. She is also one of our beloved Client Advocates who is available to answer any questions regarding her experience working with Align. You can find out more about her and see some of her other designs we've featured by clicking over to her Client Advocate Profile here! 
One of the keys to success for this particular design is that Brooke supplied us with a variety of images that she shot in the same locations. As you can see, each spread is super-cohesive but also interesting because of the variety of images and poses she shot. 
Here are a few of our favorite spreads from this stunning design:

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

4 Steps to Simplified Album Proofing and Revisions

Tips & Tricks

I think we can all agree that the revision process is hands-down the most painful and arduous part of the entire album production process. At least it can be. Occasionally we get a client who loves the initial design and approves it as-is, but more often than not, there is a good deal of back and forth before the design is approved and ready for ordering.  
Not only am I the owner of Align, but I'm also a wedding photographer. And I've been through some very ROUGH album revisions. It can be a total headache and drag on for months or even years. 
There are some things we can do as photographers to speed up the revision process and give our clients the best experience possible. I talk about one of them in this post: Speedy Workflow = Happy Clients + Higher Sales. But here are four more: 
1 -- Online Proofing 
I'm a big believer that online proofing is the way to go. You can bring clients into your office, but that takes up valuable time, and it is much easier for them to deliberate over their changes from the comfort of their own home. It's important to find a clean and simple online proofing solution. We at Align use AlbumExposure -- our partner for album proofing -- and we highly recommend them to you regardless of whether or not you outsource your designs to Align. If you DO outsource to Align, here is an example of what your proofing on AlbumExposure will look like:

When you first get your design from us, it will have our logo at the top. But once you push the "accept" button and accept the design into your own AlbumExposure account to send on to your client, our logo will be replaced with your own:

That way, if you'd like, your client doesn't even need to know that you are outsourcing your designs!  
2 -- Clear & Systematized Email Communication About the Process 
It's important that you are crystal clear in your email communication with your client to make sure they understand how the album process will work. We recommend creating email templates that you can use for every client so that the same information is communicated every time and nothing falls through the cracks. (If you're interested in saving some time creating these, we offer 8 pages of email templates that cover every step of the album design and revision process here!) Since I send my clients an initial album design before sending them a link to their entire gallery of images (see this post for more on why), after I get an initial design from Align and use the first round of revisions to tweak it myself, I send an email to my client with a link to the proof and communicate two very important things at this juncture: 
A -- I remind them that we designed their album larger than what they ordered, so they will have some choices to make. (Part of my workflow is that I up-sell my albums. I make sure to educate my clients on this process up front before they even hire me, but it's important to remind them of this at this juncture. Click here to read more about my up-selling strategy!
B -- I let them know that we are still working on getting their full image gallery online so they don't need to worry about making any changes yet. They can just enjoy the design for now and I will be in touch soon with a link to their online gallery and further instructions on revising their design to make it perfect before we place the order. 
3 -- Simple Revision Instructions 
Once the gallery of images is online and the client has had a chance to look at ALL of their images, I send another template email with revision instructions and upgrade costs. In order to make sure the revision process doesn't drag on forever, I set a limit for my clients -- 2 rounds of revisions are included in the cost of their album. So they can type comments in the comment boxes on every spread of the album if they'd like, but once they push, "send comments," one round of revisions is complete. If they need more than two rounds to make their changes, I charge $50 per additional round. I never need to do this, however, because the boundary helps clients use their revisions wisely and thoughtfully.  
The other thing I ask them to do is to help us maintain the integrity of the design by swapping out vertical for vertical images and horizontal for horizontal. That way we don't need to redesign every page -- just make quick and easy image swaps. Clients don't always follow this instruction, and sometimes pages do need to be reconfigured to accommodate the images they want included, but it doesn't hurt to ask, and oftentimes does help simplify the process. 
4 -- Using Align's Hands-Off Workflow 
I can't help but bring up our Hands-Off Service while we're on the subject of making revision rounds easier! We hear from a lot of photographers that they can easily create initial designs using DIY software, but what really bogs them down is the back-and-forth of revision rounds. Hopefully the 3 tips above make that process a bit smoother for you, but if you'd prefer to simply outsource the revision process completely, our Hands-Off Service is THE way to go. For only $25 extra, your Align designer acts like your in-house designer (your client never sees Align's logo!) who communicates with your client directly and walks them through the whole revision process. Say goodbye to your involvement in lengthy revision rounds and picky client requests! Learn more about our Hands-Off Service here. And, if you are also printing through us, check out our Cover Finalization Service as well! 
And remember -- if you're looking to simplify and streamline your client communication, making the whole album process -- including proofing -- easier on you, you might consider looking into our album workflow email templates. Included are 8 pages worth of email templates for different points throughout your album workflow covering all of the communication mentioned above plus more! They're a huge time-saver and will help you make sure nothing falls through the cracks! 

3 Steps to Simplified Wedding Album Proofing and Revisions
Blog post written by: Melissa Jill

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
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