DIY wedding album vs professional wedding album
When asked to choose between hiring a professional and making a DIY wedding album, many couples would opt for hiring a professional. This is for a good reason. Hiring a professional offers several benefits, assures you of quality work while saves you a lot of time. However, this does not mean DIY is a bad option. For those couples who are trying to save money for other purposes, and have time to create their own wedding album, doing it yourself is just the right option.
As much as creating your own album is a tedious process, it is one of the most rewarding parts of a wedding. Doing it yourself will give you a beautiful album full of great memories, and the knowledge that you did it all by yourself will even make the experience better. Here are some tips on how to make your own wedding album:
Do not do it alone
When you look at hundreds of wedding photos on your own, you might find them overwhelming and you might fail to choose which ones to use. It is, therefore, important to sit down with your spouse, a close friend, or your mother to take the first glance at the pictures. However, be careful about whom you choose. Choose someone whose comments will not stress you out or blind you from seeing the facts.
Choose your photos wisely
Trust your instincts on your first look and write down the photos that you like. Avoid overthinking over the shots during the 1st round. Simply select photos that you find amazing. Once you finished selecting, it is time to weed out the “not-so-good” photos from the 1st selection. Those “not-so-good” photos are usually the ones with a similar setting and look.
Group your photos into categories
Once you have chosen, it is time to group your photos into big categories. For example, getting ready, first look, ceremony, details, portraits, reception. Alternatively, you can do this before you choose your photos. Either way, this will help your final photo selection, ensure a good balance between categories. This is why we always group photos into categories for our clients from the beginning.
Keep a reasonable number of photos
This depends on how many pages you want your album to have (as well as the size of the album). I find 2~3 photos per page is the most ideal. For example, if you plan to make a 30-page album, you can keep about 60~90 photos. For a wedding album, sometimes less is more. Give it some white spaces, make room for a pleasant look.
Placement of photos
When you flip an album page, there are the left page and the right page, which I call spread. Don’t use photos from two categories to put into one spread. Only use photos from the same category for one spread. How many spreads do you need? Well, it depends on how many pages you plan to have. If a category has more photos than the other, make one or two extra spreads for that category.
Consider the flow of the events
Pay close attention to the sequence of events and how one leads to another. For example, a picture or two of the couple getting ready can be followed by them entering their vehicles heading to the ceremony, or the father-daughter dance was followed by mother-son dance as the sample below. You can check out the design of our sample album.
Decide on the album cover and page style
This depends on what options your lab offers. Many labs have an extensive choice that you might find confusing, like fabric vs leather, genuine leather vs faux leather, matte vs glossy page, even crystal vs canvas cover, etc. If you are confused, I suggest go with genuine leather and glossy page. They are durable, look great, and have been around for a long time and unlikely to be outdated anytime soon.
Should I include photos of my family, friends or some other candid shots in my wedding album?
It depends on what your priorities are. If family and friends photos are one of your priorities, then only include A FEW of them, ideally within one spread (or two max). You don’t want to turn your wedding into a yearbook. Contemporary album styles focus solely on the couples with few candid shots of the family/guests to support the main story. If you really want to keep those photos in a book, consider making a separate small book only for that.
Should I make a small album (like 8×8) or a big album (like 12×12 or larger)?
In my experience, layout design is pretty limited with small albums, mostly because you cannot stuff more than two photos into one page. Large albums, on the other hand, allow you to have all kinds of layout, although it might not fit on your bookshelf or is too heavy to carry around. Aiming for something like 10×10 or 12×12. They are the most popular and versatile ones.
Should I make a square or rectangle album?
It is a personal choice. In my experience when I was still offering both rectangle and square albums, the majority of my clients choose square albums. Personally, I find it nice and balanced to hold a square album. Also, the layout looks more appealing overall, especially when you have one single photo for an entire spread (panorama style).