I asked a real bride to explain the album process and difference between professional albums and consumer books from her perspective. Kristen Wynn Photography bride and newlywed Ashley Q. had this to say:
“There are many websites out there which allow newlyweds to create photo books of their weddings. However, nothing compares to a professional album created through a photographer. The press printed books that some people make online usually have either a soft paper cover or a hard, glossy cover. The pages are similar to the pages found in most children’s books. However, professional albums’ pages are made out of a thick cardboard. The pictures are imbedded right into the page. There is no seam in the middle, so photos look flawless. The cover is made out of leather. I think press printed books are good for a quick way to show your wedding photos to family, but a professional album is, in my opinion, essential for eternally capturing the memories of a wedding. The album will last forever and can truly become a family heirloom. The process of ordering my wedding album was so easy! I simply chose photos I wanted included in the book and Kristen did the rest! She chose wonderful layouts and background colors and really made the book personal and beautiful. I am extremely happy with my album and I encourage all brides (and grooms, too) to order one through Kristen. She has such an artistic eye and has provided my husband and I with a gorgeous album that will forever allow us to relive the best day of our lives.”
Click here or use the contact link to the left to inquire about working with Kristen Wynn Photography for your wedding day!
If you don’t see the answer to your question, just ask me at email@example.com.
1. How much does an album designed by Kristen Wynn Photography cost?
Please see the “Pricing” tab for specific information or contact me! All orders are subject to sales tax in accordance with Pennsylvania law, as I maintain sales tax licenses in both Pennsylvania and Florida. All albums are subject to an increase in price until the date you are invoiced at the end of the design process.
2. How does the album process work? Do we get to choose the pictures, or do you?
We can do it either way! I recommend starting with me as the photographer picking the images for the best layout and storytelling experience and then you making swaps to those images.
But if you want to be more hands-on, that works as well! I’ve also taken a list of specific photos from a bride, down to her preferences on which image should be larger or smaller. I can work with anything in between as well.
3. Is the album included in a standard wedding collection? Can we just add one on to our wedding collection?
Albums are available as an add-on to the base wedding or portrait collection.
4. Why should every couple consider getting an album?
- An album is your first family heirloom. Albums are something we’ve embraced in this country for over sixty years-it is a tradition. I’ve loved looking at my grandparents, parents, and in-laws albums in a way that isn’t the same as just loose prints. The album protects the prints.
- An album is good for safekeeping. DVD’s won’t be around forever, they wear out, and you may not keep up on transferring the images to new media every three years. With an album, you have your favorites printed as a forever keepsake.
- When I was a girl, I loved looking at my parents’ wedding album. I couldn’t believe how young my mom looked, or how young my grandpa looked! In fifteen years, are you really going to fire up an ancient computer to show your kids your big day on a DVD, if DVD drives still exist? They’ll probably laugh at the old outdated technology. 🙂
5. Can I make my own album with the purchased high-resolution files?
You can certainly make your own albums, but there are only a few companies in the country that sell true flushmount albums direct to the consumer that I know of. (These sites do make a nice book if you like their cover choices, etc, however, they are not that much less expensive than my albums and your time is worth something as well).
Instead, what you are most likely to find through consumer websites is a press-printed book, not an actual album. Press printed books are not heirloom quality, although they are cute and attractive (I make them myself for vacations, snapshots of my family, etc). They may not hold up over the years. They are not as substantial.
If you purchase through me, you receive full retouching on every image in the book – every blemish removed, distracting exit signs removed, I even recently retouched and changed the shape of a veil that was a bit askew during the ceremony.
Your time is valuable and it will slip away from you! After the wedding, you might be honeymooning, moving, buying a home, starting a new job, getting a pet, or having a baby or two or three! While it is on your perpetual list of things to do, before you know it, you’ve been married five years with no album, because you just could never get around to it. Life gets busy-I’m guilty of waiting years to make my own album. I finally had MY photographer make it for me.
Making your own album can be confusing and time-consuming, especially if you don’t have the software to do this or you are not into DIY.
When I polled some recent brides, very few had sat down and actually made their own album. Life got in the way and you have enough on your plate, so if you’d like someone to design your book for you, please contact me.
6. How do we start the album design process? What are the steps in the process?
a. To get started, simply review the pricing information and contact me via email. If you know which size/cover you are considering, let me know that as well.
b. If you’d like to choose your own images, please refer to the images by the number from your DVD’s in the email, or let me know if you’d like me to pick your images.
c. Note which of the images are your favorites or ones you want to appear larger with a * next to them in the email, and give me any notes on retouching if you have a concern (such as “remove blemish” or “change to black and white.”)
d. I will complete a preliminary layout for you. This layout may include additional pages or additional images I really think tell the story artistically. You can note any changes to images, deletions, additions, swapping places, delete pages if you want, change the background color, and/or change the colors of the borders on the images.
e. I’ll complete any changes and release the design to you again. Once we both agree it’s to your satisfaction, I will have you confirm via email that the design is ready to print and invoice you for the cost dependent on style, size, quantity, and number of pages.
f. Once payment is received, the book will be ordered and shipped to the address you provided on your wedding contract (notify me of any changes). I will update you via email as I receive updates from the manufacturer.
g. Receive your book and enjoy! Email me to let me know it was received and that everything is perfect for you!
7. How long will it take to get my album?
The album design process varies widely. It depends on how quickly you approve the book, how many changes you want to make, how much input you want to have, how available you are via email, and how quick you are to make decisions. My average design takes 3 weeks from receiving a list of the images numbers to approval from a couple, but times vary widely due to the individual nature. No book is ordered without receiving a confirmation email from the customer and payment in full.
After the order is sent to the lab, it typically takes one month to ship.
If you have a specific deadline you need to meet, such as the holidays or anniversary, please notify me upon first email and I will let you know if that is possible.
8. Can I order an album from a portrait session, not a wedding?
Absolutely you can! The process is very similar to the above.
9. Can I pick my background color, the color of the keylines, or the photos used as background images?
Yes, you can. I’ll give my technical and artistic recommendation when I do the first layout, but ultimately, the choice is yours on the book – I want you to love it.
10. Can I make changes to the book after ordering?
After placing the order, there is no way for you or me to make changes to it, but both you and I will review the layout several times to make sure there are no mistakes prior to submitting.
11. Are there any refunds if I don’t like the book?
I hope you love your book! Due to the custom nature of photography, there are no refunds once the book has been ordered, but should there be any mistakes or damage, notify me immediately upon receiving the book so we can rectifty this for you. Please save all packing materials and contact me right away.
12. Can I get a discount?
Out of fairness to all customers, I can’t offer unadvertised discounts or asked for discounts. If I offer a discount on albums, I’ll be sure to announce it publicly on my blog, Twitter, or Facebook accounts, so please follow me on those networking sites!
13. How many pages are in each book?
Each book has a minimum of 20 pages (10 spreads). The maximum amount of pages is 80 (40 spreads). The amount can be anywhere in between there.
14. How many pages will I need?
It depends on the size and complexity of your images, the layout look you prefer, the size of the book you choose, and the number of images you select.
15. How many photos can I include? How many do most people pick?
It’s up to you! Go through and find your absolute favorites. The most images I’ve ever had selected was 196 for an eighty-page book. The least number I’ve ever had selected was 15 for a smaller book with larger images inside. Most couples seems to find that 60-80 images is a good range.
16. Why can’t I buy Parent Albums on their own?
Parent Albums are created from the design for large books and considered an add-on.
17. What are the colors of the covers offered?
We have so many new cover color choices! I’d love to send them to you via email or have you over to our meetings space.
18. What are the book style/cover style choices?
We have numerous covers and styles to choose from – I’d be happy to have you over to the meeting space or to send you some visual examples via email!
19. What are the book sizes and which one is the best choice for me?
The most popular album sizes are 8×8,” 10×10,” or 12×12.” I personally have a 12×12″ for my wedding album and, when it is opened, the book spans two feet – so I like a larger book. They are all beautiful though. Parent albums are available in smaller sizes once a larger book has been purchased as a great add-on.
20. What choices do I need to make in this process?
I know that starting the album process was very confusing for me as a bride a few years ago, so i procrastinated. I try to keep things super simple for you! You have to decide the following as we go through the process:
a. Decide to make an album with Kristen Wynn Photography.
b. Choose images if desired and indicate any favorites/special requests.
c. Choose book style, cover, and page type – I will help you with this.
d. Make any changes to the design if you’d like, then approve and receive!
21. Will the albums hold up over time?
The manufacturer I use guarantees no manufacturer or material defects for the lifetime of the book. Please contact me if you have any problems.
22. How do I care for my book?
I recommend keeping your book inside the included dust cover or box. Store it where there is not a lot of moisture. Make sure you have clean hands when you look through it and touching the pages by the sides as you flip through is recommended. If your book has many pages, I recommend storing it flat as much as possible to preserve the binding rather than upright. Keep your book out of reach of any small children or pets. Care instruction slips are included in your shipment as well.
23. What does flush-mount in terms of albums mean?
Flushmount refers to the way the photos are mounted to the page. The photos are printed on true photographic paper which is then mounted invisibly to thicker substrate to make a thick, nonbendable page that has a fold instead of a cut in the middle of the book.
24. What are parent albums? Do you do them?
Parent albums are traditionally smaller books given to the bride’s parents and the groom’s parents. These books can be different in design, choosing primarily photos from each side of the family for their own book (one will focus more on the groom for his parents, one on the bride for her parents). I recommend an 8×8″ book to be used as a parent album for my couples.
25. I saw an album my friend has and I wanted something similar – can you do it?
I love the albums I currently offer as they fit my simplistic style, but if you have an idea for something you really love, get in touch with me and I’ll see what I can do! Customer service is my number one priority.
26. Why are the wedding albums so expensive?
Albums are expensive even at my cost direct from the manufacturer – I do understand where you are coming from! The materials are high quality and the books are built to last. Full retouching is done on each and every image, which takes time, as I want you to look and feel your absolute best! This is the lasting product from your wedding day, and the layout is very time-consuming to make sure the story flows and there are no errors that will result in a costly mistake in printing.
27. I got married two years ago. Is it too late to make an album?
It’s not too late at all! The first anniversary is paper for you newlyweds that have an anniversary coming up. I myself waited two years to make my album because time got away from me! But I don’t recommend waiting too long – life gets busy!
28. Can we do an album meeting?
Yes, if you are in my neck of the woods, we absolutely can meet and start the process if you’d like to do in-person ordering and design. Designs can also be done completely over the phone or Internet if you aren’t local – no problem!
29. Can I see some sample album layouts?
To see photos of a delivered album, please look to the tab on the left marked “Samples.” To see layouts, please email me, check my blog, and also see my Facebook business page.
30. Where are your albums made?
Kristen Wynn Photography is proud to offer albums made in the USA.