I love designing wedding albums. It’s extremely time consuming and a bit of a logistical, artistic and mental challenge at times but the satisfaction of creating a beautiful end product is well worth all of the blood, sweat and tears!
I almost, sort of, maybe, just a little bit, shoot with an wedding album design in my mind when I’m at a wedding and for me – seeing my pictures and my vision of the day in an album is the complete and perfect presentation. It’s essentially the very best I can give and a fantastic wedding album will be handed down the generations, treasured for years to come, pored over, chatted over, told stories over and will become part of the fabric of the family.
….and Wow!, it’s an absolute joy to be able to produce something so precious for my clients!
So, having decided that you would like an album how does the whole process work?
Well, the first thing to say is that you can, of course, order an album and pay for it after the wedding. In fact you can do it WAY after the wedding if you would like to and I’ve created albums for clients a year, two years and even (I think the record is…) 4 years after the big day.
I actually think this is rather cool as it allows us to reconnect and I always enjoy going over the pictures again and reliving the day with you!
The whole process begins with your choice of the images that you would like to go into the album. There’s a number of ways of doing this. You can, if you wish, give me complete carte blanche (love that term, it always sounds like a luxuriously sloppy dessert!) and allow me to choose the pictures and proof over the design for you.
What a crazy idea! I have no idea which pictures you prefer and that you don’t want any images of your sister’s ex boyfriend in the album and the funny one of Uncle Dave with food down his front……well maybe.
But, left to my own devices, I can create a much more coherent and flowing whole that reflects the day through my eyes. It will be better balanced and possibly more objective and will be much more of the “artist’s vision” (that sounds well poncy – apologies!). After you have seen the first draft you can of course swap out any pictures you want and tweak it to your heart’s content. It’s also much less time consuming for you than the method below.
The second, and the way that most clients opt for, is to provide me with a list of “yes, no and maybe” pictures and I then use that to create a first draft. This is a little more focussed and gives me a certain amount of creative freedom as well as allowing you to be certain that all of the pictures you love will be given prominence in the first draft.
At this point I start the design process. Depending on the time of year I might be able to start the design straight away or, most likely, I will need to complete one or more designs before yours so there will be a little bit of a wait.
Now, I love to work quickly and efficiently at most things. I aim to have your wedding gallery with you as soon as I realistically can after the wedding and in communication and administration I aim to be as slick and efficient as possible.
Not so with designing an album I’m afraid! It’s a completely different approach and process.
Let me try to explain…….
I’m by nature a bit of a creative sort, I mull things over in my mind, I like to let ideas mature and formulate, I trust my instincts on most things and make a lot of creative decisions after a great deal of rumination and very pleasant consideration.
You can’t rush a fine wine, a mature cheese or the fermentation of a lovely beer. It takes as long as it takes. No more, no less.
And taking as long as it takes is important because of the importance of what I’m creating. Your wedding album will probably be with you for the rest of your lives and maybe your children’s or even their children’s lives and beyond.
It just has to be right. It has to be the best it can be and creating the right design with a perfect sense of balance and pace and poise takes time. It’s impossible to sit down for five hours and just do it from start to finish. I have to ponder, re visit, experiment, ruminate and leave it for a day or so and come back to it with fresh eyes.
If you are interested in the nuts and bolts I use a wonderful piece of software that allows me to literally create whatever I want on every single page. Every page is a blank slate as you can see below.
So, the first draft of the album design is complete and I then export it to a special proofing gallery where you can review it and make suggestions for amendments and alterations. This is quick and easy for you, you can annotate the pages and make suggestions and then click and it gets sent back to me so that I can make the revisions.
This is usually quite quick as a majority of people only want minor changes and they don’t take too long. If you want any major changes I will need to schedule time in my work diary to do them but essentially I send out second draft as soon as I can.
And, this process can go on as long as it takes to get what you want. To get the album exactly as you would like it and until you are completely happy that we have it as good as we can get it. I don’t put any limit on the number of revisions. Getting it right is far too important for that.
Once you have approved the final design we may well need to discuss cover options and finalise details of finish etc before I will ask for payment and then place the order. The album then takes around 4 – 6 weeks to arrive with me as, depending on the album you have specified, they are individually hand made to your order.
Once back with me I allow between 1 and 2 weeks, again depending on the time of year and my work load, to assemble the album which again is done personally by myself. Every page is hand assembled which is a pleasant but time consuming activity!
I prefer albums to be collected in person but if this isn’t possible they are carefully packaged and I generally send them by guaranteed and insured Royal mail Special Delivery along with a guide as to how to care for the album and ensure that it stays looking fabulous for many years to come.