Photography week continues today with DIY wedding albums. Whether you hired a professional wedding photographer or solicited the help of trusted friends or family to snap images of your special days, more and more couples are considering creating their own wedding album as way to save on overall photography costs. Jigar Champaneria of Samay Studio Photography is back on TNIB to give his expert photography tips on making your own album! While he advises letting the pros do the job there are some key things to think about if you do it yourself and when you collaborate with your photographer on the final product. The DIY brides are going to love these fabulous suggestions!
TNIB: What options are available to couples who want to create their own wedding albums?
Jigar: Let me first step back and say that making your own elegant wedding album is not as simple a task as you might think. If you choose this route to save money, be ready to spend a LOT of time to get your album looking just like you want. For my clients, I typically use Adobe Photoshop and start from scratch including selecting photos, adding embellishments, backgrounds, and the like, but there are a number of professional-level tools available to ensure the best layouts. If you want to make your own album and you don’t have experience with Photoshop or InDesign, then it’s best to use a bookmaker which offers software to help you layout your photos into pages. Blurb, Shutterfly, and MyPublisher are common consumer options. AdoramaPix (www.andoramapix.com) also offers some options and they print on actual photo paper rather than thinner paper which can easily tear. If you are on a Mac, there are also some tricks to lay out your book using the cool templates found in iPhoto and then saving money by using other vendors like AdoramaPix or Blurb to do the actual printing.
I can’t re-iterate enough though that going this route will require dozens of hours of effort on your part, so be prepared to spend a lot of time in front of your computer!
TNIB: There are so many photos. Where do I begin?
Jigar: If your photographer has not done so already, organize your folders into themes based on your wedding day – getting ready, baraat, entrance, main ceremony, candids, portraits, etc. Once organized, you can review your photos in small chunks rather than having to scroll through 1,000 plus photos every time you want to find a photo.
TNIB: How do I know which photos to pick?
Jigar: Fewer photos are better. Don’t feel bad if you can’t squeeze in a photo of every single uncle, auntie, and cousin into your album. Your wedding album is YOUR album, not theirs.
In terms of selecting specific photos, you should pick what you are most emotionally tied to, but also photos that help tell the story of your wedding day. Pick a few photos of your sari or lengha, a few of your bouquet and decorations, and a mix of candid and posed photos. If you do this, you’ll find that album feels more like a story rather than just a mish-mash of 4×6 photos.
TNIB: How many photos should I pick?
Jigar: A 10×10 album will look cramped if it has, on average, more than four photos per page. A 12×12 album will look cramped with more than five photos per page. That doesn’t sound like much, but from experience, couples are most pleased with no more than three photos per page!
Think of your album in two page spreads. When you open a book, you can see just two pages at a time so select your photos trying to group them based on the two pages together. If you plan to have four photos per page, then a two page spread should have just eight photos based on the themes you created. Pick eight photos from the baraat and no more. If you would like for your ceremony to spread across six pages, then pick twenty-four photos from the ceremony and no more.
TNIB: Final thoughts?
Jigar: Be prepared to spend a LOT of time laying out your album to your liking…WAY more than you expect!
If you missed it, Jigar was featured on TNIB yesterday with tips on how to get the best wedding photographs. Revisit that post at http://thenewindianbride.com/2010/09/14/photography-week-at-tnib/. You can follow him at www.facebook.com/samaystudio or www.twitter.com/jigarchamp or check out his website at www.samaystudio.com.