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30 Days of Wedding Photography

Lesson 68 of 76

The Album Process

 

30 Days of Wedding Photography

Lesson 68 of 76

The Album Process

 

Lesson Info

The Album Process

so the obvious next place to go from here is to talk about actually designing the albums. And I am a huge Fundy software lover. He's a fantastic man who runs a fantastic company. But when it comes right down to it, I really feel like nobody could teach you to use the software better than the man who actually made it happen himself. So without further ado, we do have Andrew Funderburg here from Fundy Software to teach for me because he's better at this than I am. So come on out. I'm gonna give you big, huh? Have a seat. And really, this is this is honestly im twofold for me here because while he is here to teach you how to design albums, I brought an album that I haven't designed myself. Eso I'm cheating and I'm gonna let him take care of this workflow for me today. So while he gets himself set up, gets the Internet or rolling Um, this is what he's doing now is amazing. Funding software used to be something I had to run through photo shop. And now it is a stand alone, and it's so extrao...

rdinarily robust that I couldn't even in any way possibly articulate its functionality. So how did we How'd you get here? How did you get to a standalone software besides the fact that it's awesome? So we, uh, we started in 2008. Um, and I think I was too stupid to realize that it was really hard to start a software company. Uh, and, you know, I started with the grand sum of $2000 had an idea, and we cobbled something together in a photo shop and from the beginning. And your photographer yourself, I to quote Susan, not bad for a software guy. Not bad for us. That's so, uh, yes. So I was shooting weddings, and I I actually started got started in Japan. I lived in Japan for 13 years and and shot weddings in Japan. And I had one weekend where had three weddings in one weekend and the turnaround in Japan. I mean, as you can imagine, the fast paced side, like I had to just turn it around, right. And then I also had another two weddings the following weekend. So, you know, you're, like on And what was available then was template based software, right? And so, you know, the first wedding is awesome. Cool. Okay, I'm done next. Leading. It's like, you know, you've seen the same template, like, 84 times. And you just ready Teoh and stuff that I was using back there, the stuff to do custom stuff was weighing more time consuming and frustrating than it was even worth like. I could have drawn the album myself before I got on with a Sharpie and then glued stuff. Yes. So the problem for me was just either. You were stuck with pre made templates, which, to me, is the same. Is designing a man a dabble in the old school way? Remember the old school way you order the mats, and then you know you have to print the map the map with, you know, 25 by seven verticals, and then you go to slide him in your like, I have a shorter days. Have this, and it's like this. You know, you had to take your five by seven. But it wasn't a five by seven. It was like a 4.93 by and then you had to crop them and then you had to cut them, thanks to him, Um, and side note, you'll be able to use this design. The Renaissance Man, it albums. Will you really Sorry. Basically audio. I just banged the table out of excitement, but I still keep a $500 surcharge. Sure, sure, there's no clients are watching this. It's true. So, uh, so the whole idea was to get that barrier between templates. And so the only choice was templates or free design and Photoshopped, which I actually was doing in photo shop because I just it was it was too painful to do the template. It was just too, like it was too mentally painful. I just like I couldn't do it again. I couldn't do it anymore. So So the concept was So the approach I took is like it's it's not rocket science were just lining up groups of photos with all the edges lined up That's over. That's the whole goal. And so just backward. Engineering that concept and created an empire. And so well, hopefully a little mini little mini empire were starting were storming the castle. Portland Empire little Portland empire. So, um, just to give, I just kind of pulled up some stuff here and I'll just throw. We're gonna go into our way. Yeah, So I can go like that and flash everybody back in the office watching, Probably with beer. And well, it's Portland. It is Portland. So let me just grab through. This isn't Photoshopped anymore. This is now it's own standalone. Just dragging and dropping. Yeah, just drag and drop. So here's I'm just gonna open this up to kind of just give you an idea of of the concept. So we've gotten started by choosing your album size through the album company that you're going to work with and literally dumping your images in there. So we're gonna well designed and well designed album pretty soon, but this is why we he means he's going to design an album pretty well. Design it together. I will stay here in awe, basically. So the the whole concept between behind how everything works is what we're calling image drop zones. And so I have a bunch of images and one dropped on drops of that little blue squiggly line. Okay, but this is this is the magic. All right, so that's so this is this is like. I mean, if you told me this was possible, like five or six years ago, I'd be like, and then so So, you know, we're just using really, really complicated math that I don't really know how cheetah life is the hire smart people on and then so So, you know, you can see the edges all lining up. But if you know if if I swap these two images like that makes sense, right, because the top of a lot of light dragon dropping swapping, even if you're it's adjusting the aspect ratios of everything around it. So what will drop a vertical horizontal watch when we do this? Right, It just auto adjusts. And if I take a vertical on top of vertical, you'll see the whole thing A just because it has to compensate for that. So s so That's kind of the behind the scenes, how how it works. And then, uh, you know, as we as we start designing, let's kind of play around with everything. Uh, we have what this is called the design view. And I use that for more of a free design. Look, and then we have the planter view, which is you could do like, 7% of the album right here, ones that I've done in this new version. I think I went into the actual close up view like, two or three times. And it was really just to look at super close ups. Yeah, so just like, Oh, yeah, that works on. Then you know one thing when you're doing formals and stuff, if you just double click on a thumbnail or anything, todo pops up so you can see it close up. So when you're you know, when you have those those shots that are very similar and you're like, Oh, which one was this? I don't remember. Is this the groom's family or the bride's family? Exact Putting them together? Exactly. Exactly. So you've gotten started. You dumped your images in there you picked. So you pick your album company you're working with you pick the album size that you want, and then it leads you to this screen and then you start going to town. And if you pick the wrong album size, you can go back later and change it and it will autumn or if everything for you. So if I have done like a nine by 12 for the bride and groom her parents wanted five by seven. It's not the same aspect ratio, right? So if I go in and pick five by seven, it will automatically just gently kind of retweet the design because it's because it's it's everything's fitting within the drop zone. And so if it slightly changes, that drop zone changes the aspect ratio and the images fit within that. So we have to do is move that outer edge. And then the images will auto adapt. So which is kind of fun. This is when the disco ball should come down and all the dancing. I wanted to have a dance off, but it wasn't approved. Creativelive. It's just doesn't prove it. We were dancing before you missed. So now when you're sitting, you're prepped up, you're ready to go. You got your images in there. What are your options? Actually, how do you actually get started doing a design? Like if you've never used this before? How do you start? Just so, uh, going to play interview, which is what it says and start dragging groups of images that are similar on two different pages. So is that how you would recommend getting started like figuring out before you even start laying the design of each page? You should just dump them in chunks on each page in the way that you want to do. Exactly, because I remember the way your old version worked as we would go in bridge and we would literally group the pages together. You're just saying dragon drop. And so the bonus here is as you drag and drop, it chooses a design for you, which you can adjust on the fly. So, for example, like these these fight do we want these all on the same page detail, images? So let's just drop those there, and then it goes through a nano design and you can if you this this is the I'm really lazy and have no idea what I'm doing. Button, they use a lot. And so you just be like to do to do Oh, I like Oh, I like that one. And then and then, uh, this this shuffles the images within that design. Oh, I like that design, but I don't like the way the images were laid out. Instead of dragging and dropping move. You can just click that. And then these images air live within that image. Just like a matted album where the images behind the mats you can move the image around with Within that, Matt, can you zoom in the image in or out? Yes. So all you do is you double click to go toe Teoh Design view and Zoom Zoom. We can't show clients this because we're gonna know that it takes us two seconds now. So you know what's gonna be really fun when the updates coming out in this in the spring is we're gonna have a client view mode. So I'm on my computer, I see everything. The client is only going to see the white page with the images. No, I designs in person with your clients. They will be able to see, but they won't be able to see that. It's really, really They'll think you're really, really awesome. They'll be like making the minority minority report with Tom Cruise. That's and that's the version coming out in the fall where you just touch the air. Yes, this is you just shuffle things around here, so yeah, lets you know, and then you can. So So you move around. You know, I think, uh, yeah, so do we want to. So, you know, I feel like the top left in the bottom, right? Are similar images. So a little bit of separation, Uh, and that's exactly what I dio go into the planter view. And then so, you know, I'm a big fan. If I don't do a lot of mix and match between black and white color on the page, there are some people that do it wonderfully. I am just really bad at it. Can't make it work. And so drop there. You know, actually, kind of like that design for that. I like that. Yeah, that's really good. So your options already either drag and drop and move them Or to just click that little circular button, which will you shuffles? You haven't even seen the, uh, So let's drop that one. And any time you drop one image and it goes full bleed because Wow, that's what you're gonna do. I like that. Let's do that. And then So here. So then you have what we call our quick design view where you just pop it up and then you have a bunch of different options. And what's cool about that is if you shuffle so it keeps those layouts. But it shuffles pages. Yeah, or you can flip them. Right? So you just look around and you're like, Wow, I really like that one. Okay, now, you don't actually really like that one. Well, yeah, but you know, things like you just move around here. So what if you're doing a page and you have a specific layout in mind? Like I want one image like, I want this image on the left to be a full page, but then the one on the right, I wanted to be by itself, but I don't want to be a full page. Don't have the option to customize things instead of just letting think for you. So 11 of the things we've done backwards engineered, it's like, I just I'll just after wpp I finishes. I just go and secretly peek at all the winning albums. So eso here is, uh right. This is the design. That's what you described, right? You know, I would maybe swap it right? I would swap them and then if your space barred, flips the design. So that's a remember in your old version. You had rows and columns And what not? Do you Can you break down the functionality that way? So let's go in. Let's do a really custom designed. This is a perfect chance for that. I'm gonna get these these on the bricks here, and then let's go in and let's choose this layout here. So here. So here we have basically a road, right? Yeah, but we can go in and we can control, you know, Do we want just one Rule one rule. Do we want one row of images? So under that pencil there? Yep. Or weaken switch two columns. So if you're tweaking around with all of the different layouts and nothing is really completely resonating with you, you can go in and just Or if you have this mental picture of what you want it to look like, you can go in and do it yourself. Exactly. And so one thing I might do here is bring pop this one into that grouping. That's kind of what? Yeah, I like that. That looks great. Right? And then one thing I tried to do, and you can kind of speak to the same thing. Um, one thing an album designed that's really important and we can kind of see with this top right image is that when the bride and groom are facing into the page, it creates comfort. Right When they're pacing out of the page, it creates dissonance. All of those things that you talk about we're talking about composing an image goes into composing a book as well. So, like, you know, uh, waiting for the groom, The bride looking out the window Well, you want are facing off the page because it increases that tension of the moment on. And then when they see each other and they're all happy, you want them facing in the page. Ophelia, that's awesome. So and then here, let's bring these two. So this is really taking the time that it takes you to design an album from what used to be days or even hours. Now we're talking minutes. I mean, even the version that you had that ran through photo shop, I could do a whole 65 image album in like, 15 minutes, and in using this it's even cut that time down even faster. So somebody posted on Facebook. The other she she woke up, designed five albums and two engagement books and Feder Children Breakfast. And she was like, done by night in the morning. She's like, I'm done with work today. I mean, it used to take forever because especially in I mean, I used to use Photo Junction. You would have to put them on the pages and then you would have to line up the sides and I want them lined up by the side, and then I want them lined up by the top, and then I want them bending this way. And then I want them bending that way and this way, you I mean, I feel like a lot of it is the strength of you coming at it as a photographer and knowing what photographers want and then just kind of being smart. And that's what firing Smart's hiring really smart people that can make it happen, like being able to move all the images around. But that's, you know, it's, you know, uh, and also pay attention to you know what? How Cartier Bresson laid out his books, you know, 40 50 years ago and, you know, watch seeing Vogue magazine, Italian Vogue, whatever less is more. And one thing that I, you know, even when I was shooting, I would I would tell the bride and groom is like, You know, someday you're gonna be dead and your grandchildren are gonna find your wedding album in a trump. But it is. They're gonna find your wedding album in a trunk upstairs in the attic, and they're gonna come down. Ask mom and Dad who were, you know, what's this? You know, you don't want a bunch of stuff that, you know, we all remember our high school yearbook. We don't want that way. Used to design were like every background was a different color and every key line around it was a different stroke. And yet there faded out bouquet in the background and you had your scripted vows running across the background. And if my great great grandkids find that album, they would be like, What's wrong with my great great great great grandmother? This is the ugliest thing I've ever seen. Now I just want to make fun of what I'm wearing in the pictures. When a client does come back and they want a really busy album, I do try to steer them towards less is more or less is more. And even if you don't like negative space, even if you want me to make the pictures, Philip almost the entire page. Please let me let the design of the album breathe because it's about the pictures. It's not about the fancy stuff that we can do in photo shop, either to the pictures or to the album. So just chill, bro. Like chill, bro. It's true. But I mean, I'm literally talking to you, and he's designing an album over here. We're almost done. So this is the thing would have been released. A new version. So so? Well, we're gonna go back a couple things to cover like this. This image. I love this image, right? Awesome. But but we have a problem. You're gonna cut his head, I'm gonna cut his head. And how you know. So one way to it, You know, like I was, I was helping out on support one day, and a woman's like, Well, what do I do? Well, the only solution is you have to zoom in on that image to cross a cop and change your crop and bring that in. And she's like, Well, I want the whole image. Well, the laws of physics come into play here, and you can't you know, you can't put it put. Uh, it just you know, it's like trying to explain to a client that you're gonna have to crop there eight by 10 when they order it as an eight by 10. Because it just literally doesn't. Yeah, it won't fit. It's math. It's math on then 11 thing. So So by default, uh, this this drop zone, a drop zone can be set to fit. Or Phil, if you if you fit than it retains the crop, right, You don't lose the crop of the image and the bonuses is on your keyboard. It's just the f key, right? What you did there, right? And so within their up. You can change things to be all square if you want. If actually, it looks kind of nice is very sweet that I just sent out by accident. Good design albums by accident. So, uh, you know, So if if if you don't get the cropping you want. You can just move that around and you can also move stuff around you. If you want to resize things, you know, moving. You don't want them to go talk to bottom on the page. You want to leave a little air around you just squashed down the drop zone. Yeah, you can squashed on the drop zone you can. You can auto little little auto center within the available space. If you want left and right, it's, you know, smart. Centering it. So if you if you sent or something you want to center in, what's what's available, not the actual center of the page, and then you know what we can do. There is, you know, we can draw this out to the edge. I can hit the center to make sure it's centered, top to bottom, left to right. And then I just hit on here in re center that so you can actually pick the layouts. You can pick in between the layouts that you have available, and then you can then further go in and tweak those layouts. If you want, which is, that's how I design. You get get 90% of their with a click of the button, and then we do a little tweaking and you know, it might spend an extra two minutes on your your album design. That's ridiculous. And I mean ridiculous in a good way. So this is how I mean, this is sort of how I used to design albums. I would take my images in a catalog, and I would group them together as to what goes on each page. And so in this one, what makes it easy as you can literally just grab those images and then just dump them on the pages. Once you've got all the images set out onto whatever pages you want them to be on, then you go back to page one and then you start refining the design. And is this auto saving as you go along? Yeah, when we were talking into the little auto save, So one thing that's really good to is azure. It actually just did it. What one thing is you're going on that I didn't know you can drag between pages. Oh, wow. So you know your yes, So then So it's very fluid in how it's approached and then also your You know, you could drag your pages around, too, which is a bonus for designing. And it also seems like it will be really easy for client revisions as well. If they come back and they want something different and literally just stop it, exactly. So one of the you know, one of the problems with, uh, thats would be a good example is here we have these images over here. Well, what if a client says, Oh, I want to add image X to that group of images and for me that that's where I That's the part of album designs I hate. I've got this design. I've got it out in the world. It looks really good. And then the next thing I know Oh, can we put one more vertical on that page? And I'm like God, Now I have to go back to clear that page after pull those images again after re imagine that page. But I'm guessing you've tradition of that. Well, that's easy. So you literally just throw a new image on the pain and then so it auto configures within the drop zone. Right? So you can add as many as you want and or if they say conversely, though, I don't like that image. And then you done you want to fill the area with that kind of actually really sweet. Well done. OK, I think you owe me a beer for this. It's probably true, since you brought doughnuts for all of creative live. Now I have to do something nice. If you ever need to bribe people, you don't doughnuts. Doughnuts will do it. Um, so this let's actually I'm not So this looks like a really cool image that will be nice by itself. I don't know if you plan that to be that, why not? And so every time you drop images onto that, plus, it's literally you're just making me pages like you just keep on keeping whenever you're just so you know, this this is this that plus pages, a ghost page. So that's every time you put images on there, just creates more pages, and then let me see. So we have some of the dancing here, and so I'm a big How I design is one of things I kind of like is that I keep my thumbnails really smokes, like, really can't see what the images are. I just grabbed images that are in the same total range. Yeah, that's all they do, right? And so as you go through the album, you just see everything's just within the same tonal range. It's flowing right, which, which, when you're shooting, all that means is that I took these photos in the same place with the same light. That's all that all it is, which it means that your story is gonna go in chronological order and and the bonuses. Everything's gonna look nice because it's in the same tonal range. So, you know, one thing you do not want to do is try to overthink it. Don't over think that's where photographers we've talked about this the whole way here. That's where photographers get stopped is they try to overthink the cooling process. They try to overthink the workflow process. They try to overthink their packages. It's and I'm not saying by saying, Just do it. I'm not saying don't care. It's just you guys don't have to make it this hard. Sometimes this simple option is the best one. Did you tell the story about how you spent a lot of time on that custom design and the clients didn't like it. They like the auto version. It was a good story. No, but it's a good story. Go ahead. You spend that this meant a ton of time like tinkering and picking and tinkering at a custom design. And they were like, you know, I don't know. I mean, it's just not really working for us. Can we try a new design? And I was like, Fine, Full auto. And it was like did the whole book for me. And I was like, Hate that you're gonna hate this, Not that flippantly. I was never that read with my clients. But if you're feeling it, it had taken me hours to put together this custom album design and they weren't feeling it. So finally, I was like, page, group, age, group page, you will find full auto and I sent it and they're like, That's amazing. And I was like, You have got to be kidding me. This other one took me six hours. This one took me 15 minutes, and this is the one that you like. So if we're looking at which version of those album designs is going to make you more money. It's going to be the one that took me 15 minutes because I didn't eat up all of my time and all of my profit. That a ways it's sadly, it's It's the simple ones that Yes, sir, please. While he's just designing thesis question, doesn't Madeira have a 40 spread limit? They do have a 40 spread limit. They can tweets that a little bit for you. We're on 40 pages, though not 40 spreads. Right, so 40 spreads would be 80 pages, so we're only halfway to their limit. See pages 41 42. That's one spread. I don't know what it is with photographers, and I do it to. The difference between pages and spreads drives me absolutely insane. The spread is the sum of the two pages, right? So if you ever forget, just remember that you've read a book before and there's always a page one and Page. You know this page to page three page for page five, so you have to get up to pages like 80. So the limit the limit at and everyone's in a while, they'll sneak in an extra. I went to the one time and I said, Listen, I have a like, 60 spread book and they're like, That's getting a little bit But I was like, I have a 45 spread book and we could do that. And the reason they do that One thing I've been, really. I have educated myself on how books are bound, finding all of that stuff and actually bought all the equipment and bound books, just like, uh, like all theft. John Michael Cooper and I use this method where you you you make the book block and you fold all the pages and do and use this dry tact, and then you clamp everything down, and you literally baked the book in your oven because it's It's the heat activated dry tech, and I baked the book. And the reason there's the limit is that when when you have the book right, all the pages were glued together. If you go be on a certain point, then your spine is just it's weak and it's gonna it's gonna break. It's not gonna break in a year, but in 10 years it's gonna break, and it's just, you know, for the bookbinders. It's pride in them. They don't want to break down. And that's another thing, too, is is don't cheapskate on your costs for books because you're you're binding this album for the clients grandchildren. That's who you're making the album for and you want it to be seen through. Yeah, I would rather charge more money for the books and know that I'm putting something in my client's hands that isn't going to fall apart, then save a couple $100 have to replace that album in two years when the pages fell out or the spine cracked or something happened to it. So is Madeira a little more expensive than most? They are. Do I know that there are books are going to be dug out of someone's basement? You know, 100 years from now, Yeah, they're gonna hold up. That's very pretty. Nice album that took you that took you, like, 25 minutes with talking about Yes. So And we don't normally sit down and say now, self. I'm going to put two images on one page. You just sit down and you just bang it out while you're watching Gossip Girl got game of Thrones or madman I need to redeem. But But the point is, is that that once you get into the system and you just feel it and you choose images based on the tonal range that they're in, then then it starts to flow. And that's when you get your story, right? And so, uh, you know, one thing we can do is is we can go on. We can review the book now and kind of talk about tweaks and add ons. And if you guys have questions and kind of cover mawr some of some of your options and the pros and the cons from a design standpoint, because you know you have things like key lines, you know, people still do that it is. But the thing said, if you do a really, really, really thin key line and gesture, accent images, it can look really nice. Yeah, so it really depends on on your design aesthetic, and you know who you are and where you are. You know, I mean, if you're if you're in Middle America has a very different design aesthetic than the coasts. A lot of time right. And so you have to adapt to that design aesthetic. And so you know, it's not like this is always right, and this is all just like my jersey clients, like different books than my Manhattan clients in my Manhattan clients, like different books in My Long Island, Clinton's and It's you know, sometimes somebody that I think is gonna like a really sleek minimalist book wants me to, like, clutter it up and everyone's got their own kind of. They feel they're feeling feelings about albums and if exactly so, uh, just do a quick save here. And from there you just export correct, correct. It just exports. So you go to export and we have export for Web. Just hand, um, export as splits. Anybody know what that's for? Because something is a pain in the neck. So press books, press books are all you got to submit single pages, right? And so I can't admit is a spread, and everybody's always calling me, Can we? I need to design a single pages. I'm like, No, you don't want to do that because the brain doesn't work and singing pages, designs friends and complement half so cuts cuts everything in half for print export for Web in the export for for album proof for which I have something new for you to try out at the end of the year beginning of next year. Are you really? Yes. So you even gonna tell us what it is? You just can't tell you what it was so so within funding designer, we have, uh, everything's a project. So, you know, the Johnson wedding, whatever on, then, within that project, designed as many albums is you want blood collage? Got not just album building your above and beyond. You got all kinds of different crazy stuff. Exactly. So, like gallery designer. So you could design this with, you know, four canvases on the wall on. And then once the client approves it, you hit. Go, and then it's gonna crop everything and send it off to the lab to get printed up. Uh, you know eso Yeah, yeah, yeah. So you'll be able to you'll be able to just click a button and off they go to put a program will show your image finder. Oh, Image finder. So, when I was talking earlier, this is a no go for it. But when I was complaining about how I like to get my images through Zin Folio because what would happen was clients used to just send me like a big long list of files and you have to go in that folder. You're like, OK, image one drag and drop image three. Dragon job Somebody and saved us from all of that. So yes, so Image Finder. You just select the list of images because it kicks out of CSP file copy and then paste into Image Finder and you just tell it where the parent folder is and hit. Go and find them all and then you say, Copy the assault to my albums. Lex folder. Super. If you don't use in Folio, If somebody does just email you a list of 01039 Copy Paste Find Root folder. It'll find the images and you copy it into a different location. Done. No more hunting and pecking, and it's free for albums like it's but the bonuses that come spring we have Image Finder built into the funding designer, so you paste it in there and then it just imports all of those images Of course it will. So what, We're coming in the 14 4015 is a whole new proofing ecosystem. So you bring the entire wedding in? Yeah, uh, designing album designed, whatever you want, Click proof and you can proof the whole project. So all of the images, so they could go choose their favorites. And then you just go back into their project and say show client favorites and it's gonna sink with the web and only show you those which is gonna really cool. So But then on top of it, then you say, then then you design the album. You proof the whole thing. And then, you know, let's say they click on this image and they're like, Oh, I want to change this image. And then it pops up all of their menus and choose which one they want to change it to tags it. Then you get notification, you go in, there's a little note you click on the note says, Hey, they like to change this. Divert the image for three to Would you like to accept this change? Yes. And it just changes for you because we know where everything is awesome. Is that gonna be? That eliminates the entire wretched phase of things where you have to go hunt and peck and pick for images to swap out? Yes, select is that they want. Are you then seeing how Maney spreads that fills up and then giving them a price of how much the book is gonna cost? Or no, the book is already priced out in there, and I don't do it by spread. So if they bought a 40 image book, they get 40 images. It doesn't matter if it's 20 spreads or 40 spreads, because I'm priced for maximum profitability, even if they want to put one image per page for pages. So they give me their 40 images. I go to town and design a book, whether it's X number of spreads or why number of spreads. Because that's just not how I I can't think in spreads. My brain is just not wired for spreads, so it really doesn't matter. You just go until you're done, which is a really easy way to work. I always used to work in spreads, and it's really kind of a pain because you're trying to force your images. Yeah, you like, Like this one album? Look awesome if I had two more spreads, but they did it to them, or do I make them pay for it? Are so I just stuff it in somewhere where it doesn't work this way. I just have full design freedom, and I know that I can go upto one image per page for 40 pages or pages or whatever. And then I'm still price to make money. So let's kind of go through. I went really fast going through the going through the album Design the album that said, I feel like that's the way you should do it because it's the most profitable. Um, and it's when you start overthinking it, you start making changes that don't mean anything like that Don't matter. Like, Why are you sitting here? You liked your first layout. Why are you now laying it out? 10 different ways. Trying to find a better one. The 1st 1 was great. Stop picking. Move on. Yes, man. Wait for that book, cause I'm just thinking if my wedding package isn't where you're beginning wedding packages, how can I charge appropriately for an album. That wouldn't be more than the cost of me shooting a hours of a wedding. So maybe it is so it's not lopsided or it doesn't matter if it's lopsided. You can't take money out of your pocket just because you don't want things to be a lopsided. So if you're a book like and I'm set now, if you're looking at what you're trying to sell the clients, if you cannot sell in Madeira, book to your clients because you price out all of what it's going to cost, your clients are gonna be able to afford that. Then you have to find another album provider or you have to start limiting them. I haven't eight by 10 album. It has 40 images. It is priced at exactly what it cost me to make it times three, because that's where it's profitable. Maybe I can't do the option of one image per page for pages. Maybe I have to limit them to 15 spreads. Or maybe I have to not include imprinting or a picture on the front, because nowadays when I do it, I'm like, Do you want imprinting or a picture on the front? Great It just is what it is. Maybe I have to strip it down and make it way more basic. And if you want to picture on the front of 25 more dollars, and if you want imprinting, it's $15 per line. But you can't be afraid to charge what the book is worth. I see a lot of people who are like, Yeah, I spend $500 making my book and I charge 7 50 and I'm like You're in singles because you're not making you're not gonna make a dime off I would rather you know, I knew I would rather not offer a book, then offer it at a loss. I would rather try to find a simple or album company or a smaller number of images, or limit the number of spreads that they have. But you still have to be profitable on the book or else there's no point in having been at all do your research. I mean, there, there. One of the things that's changed a lot in the printing industry are These are press albums like he always does. Actually that portrait. It's less expensive, but it's still really good reality, and it used to be, you know, press press printing is like magazine printing, right versus photographic running. And and it used to be that there was this huge discrepancy. But with these new six color presses, there's not that much. And the price difference is pretty big for your cost. You can't sell it like you can sell a leather bound top of the line album, but you can get behind it. You're not giving them crap, and as long as you're designating the difference, you just can't lose money on it. And maybe there any reason. The high end package has the nice leather album in the middle. Package has the press, right, you know, Or maybe you Onley offer press books. Or maybe you only have one package that has an album in it, but it's still can't I mean, like, I know, uh, Cypress makes this top of the line extraordinary book that is incredibly expensive, And Jonathan Penny has started doing these hand printed, handmade hand thorn page, leather bound albums that are, like, more extensive, that car and I'm not. I'm kidding, they're not, but they're blindingly expensive, and I know that at a cost. Times three. I can't sell that to my clients. They're not gonna buy it it. First of all, it's not what they want, and it's not. It's so vastly different from everything else that I offer that it's just in a completely different stratosphere. It doesn't fit with my offerings, so I don't offer it, even though it's nice. I found the right product, that offer that goes in at my price range that is in line with everything else. And then I can also stand behind. So we're Wow. We spent an hour almost an hour talking about albums and about a couple six minutes way should not design a couple maximizing our problem. Exactly takes if you had some work. Wait, do is we can we can We can get a few more questions. After that, we can kind of go over options because basis is I've shown you this the simplest, cleanest, classic design, but show you how you can tweak and maybe get things Teoh something that you know if if you want something different, the easiest way to get there, sure, you do that for a few minutes and then send them on their merry way for the day. Yes, sir. So what companies are you? Is your software currently working with you? Submission Madeira And you mentioned Renaissance like Or is it like it's all of those Because I have a company that I really like their software so difficult and you have to export the images to a certain file types first and then lay out every single individual image. If I could do this with their books, that's okay. She said, 56 56 album companies And then if they're not in there, you click custom size, and you can put in. And can you change the profile when you export? So So the profile. The profile will export it. Whatever your images are, the color profile. So if your images air adobe rgb, it'll still export is our GP. If your images or s rgb the export, it s hard to be if they're pro photo RGB they'll export is perfect. Like what? You could pick some crazy. It could even be accustomed profile that you've created yourself. Whatever the profile comes in is that's what it will spit up. And in client view, can they move the pictures around Or is it just what you did? They can. I don't I don't I can't do it touching. They can't do it unless they're actually touching, which I would never let a client touch. It is. Then they will then the magic. So if you're doing yourself sessions in person, you can be on your laptop taken. Be seeing it on the screen without your controls. You know, whatever, however you want to hook up. Wow. Do you have any other questions? Do we just break your all of your brains? The brain break potentially, I know. And it's What's so funny about this is it is so deviously simple, like it's just the learning curve is you throw him on there and move them around like it really is just that easy. And that's kind of baffling. Excellent. So something else that you think might some of the options. I don't do that, But if you wanted to, you could go. Everything's fully layered so you can send stuff behind and forward and all of that stuff. But but one thing I couldn't one thing you want, you know, you might want to do this. And this you know, maybe Maybe that's what you want to dio. But you could literally take the four of those and drop them on top of this and reduce the opacity of that. Whatever you do, whatever you want, todo and then just whatever your clients want. Todo whatever. And then to get back where you where. It's just a couple seconds, and then everything's on hot keys, which is nice and just key through. And then you can change everything to square ratio. If you want the original means whatever you cropped it at. So maybe crop something 16 by nine or you know, whatever. And this does not socks. This is all This is a good album right here. Good question. Yes, man. Um, how you said that you wait for your clients for two Revision? Yes, over email. You request for all the provisions to be in one email. I kind of want them and writing. Yes. Awesome. How how did they communicate that? Is that ever difficult? Do you understand what they're asking for? Sometimes I have to pick up the phone and call them because sometimes there's Well, I just want I mean, I just wanted to do whatever, whatever. And I'm like, I have no one deal. What do you mean by that? And it's again. It's like going back to what I was saying about when you're talking to your album designer. If you want something to look elegant, they need to know what that means to you. So if a client tells me Oh, I wanted to look a minimalist and so I designed with a lot of like negative space and and all of that what not? And they're like, Oh, that's not minimalist. I have to go back to them and be like example like I don't I don't get it. Ah, lot of times I just get my revisions from them from album exposure online. They go ahead and type of in, and then I get an email that they're done. But sometimes they'll email me and try to explain. And the explanation is like worse than what they put now. I just have to have. Sometimes I say, Listen, I'm gonna take a stab at what I think you mean, and this isn't gonna count is around of revision, but they just send you one page and you tell me if that's kind of what you're going for, and if not you should be an example of what you're going for. I had a client one time who kept saying that. You know, I want my book to be. I just wanted to be busier. I just want to be busier. And so I just was just continually shoving more images on the pages. And she's like, but that's not what I mean. That's not what I mean. And it meant that she wanted me to get rid of the negative space. She just didn't know how to say it. She was. She just meant fill the page more with the image. That's what she meant. That's what she was. But I thought she meant she wanted every single image that she chose on one layout, and I was getting further from what she wanted. And then I just picked up the phone. I was like, I don't understand what you're talking about and she's like, you know, And then she explained it better, and I was like, Oh, that So sometimes, instead of just emailing back and forth nonstop, you just have to pick up the phone much easier. Thank you. Any other questions before we send it back to get more doughnuts? Oh, there's something else you didn't show us. What is it? What does it do? So you can launch any image into your image editor of choice, And then when you at it, and then when you say that it will auto update back. So if you just if a client is like, can you remove that blemish from my face here, you just pop it open Photoshopped. Course it does. Handy super handles. It does. And then it goes and gets you a unicorn that pours you an espresso on with a rainbow. Yes. So great. That part coming later in 2015. Awesome. Slight extra up charge for the unicorn and the rainbow. So that's amazing. And you explained it better than I ever possibly could. So kind of thank you for coming here. Sure. All right. And if anybody has any questions about funding designer Canadian contact you guys, so just go to the website funding software dot com phone numbers, their support ticket on. Then when going going forward, you'll see we'll have image brander, which I know you use to brand the images and blood collage and then the gallery designer, which, for splits will be great. I'm really excited for splits because that's taking one image and splitting it on multiple campuses and then cropping it and sending off the lab assistants so you could just doesn't matter. Six of mental, just auto crop everything sent it to a lab and you just go have a beer. So this is really just an introduction into the world of funding. So the goal is to drink more beer you hold, go forth into the world, design an album and have a beer. We'll see you again tomorrow way. Love it. Thank you. Thank you, guys.

Class Description

Success as a wedding photographer requires more than just raw talent and the desire to be a professional photographer. To survive in this highly competitive industry, you need strong business skills and a deep understanding of your craft. In this documentary wedding photography experience, Susan Stripling will teach you how to launch and sustain a successful wedding photography business.

During 30 days of step-by-step instruction, Susan will show you how to:

  • Develop your business — everything from honing your creative vision to marketing tactics to studio management
  • Fundamental shooting techniques for every possible wedding scenario by inviting you along to an engagement session and wedding day and with real-life clients — not models! 
  • Post production workflow
  • Marketing and sales
  • Album design
During the start-to-finish documentary coverage of the wedding day, Susan will teach you how she handles each part of the experience, from photographic technique to client care, all with zero re-takes or re-shoots. Susan will wrap up the 30 days with detailed instruction on post-production workflow, post-wedding marketing, album design, post-wedding sales, and much, much more.

By the end of this course, you will have accompanied Susan through every step of a wedding and will have the skills, mindset, and tools needed to make a living — and a name for yourself — as a wedding photographer.

Lessons

  1. Introduction
  2. Evolution of Susan's Style
  3. Branding and Identity
  4. Mistakes Made and Lessons Learned
  1. Introduction to Gear & Equipment
  2. Lenses Part 1
  3. Lenses Part 2
  4. Lighting
  1. Seeing the Scene
  2. Seeing the Scene Q&A
  3. Rhythm and Repetition
  4. Leading Lines and Rule of Thirds
  5. Rule of Odds and Double Exposures
  1. Intro to Business
  1. Financing Your Business
  1. Q&A Days 1-4
  1. Pricing Calculator
  1. Package Pricing
  1. Marketing
  1. Vendor Relationships & Referrals
  1. Marketing w Social Media
  1. Booking the Client
  1. The Pricing Conversation
  1. Turn A Call Into a Meeting
  1. In Person Meeting
  1. Wedding Planning
  1. Actual Client Pre Wedding Sit Down
  1. Engagement Session Details
  1. Engagement Session On Location
  1. Wedding Details & Tips
  1. Detail Photos Reviewed
  1. Bridal Preparation
  1. Bridal Preparation Photo Review
  1. Bridal Prep - What If Scenarios
  1. Q&A Days 5-11
  1. First Look Demo
  1. First Look Examples
  1. Portraits of the Bride
  1. Portraits of the Bride and Groom
  2. Family Portraits Demo
  3. Family Formal Examples
  4. Wedding Ceremony Demo
  1. Wedding Ceremony Examples
  2. Different Traditions and Faiths
  3. Wedding Cocktail Hour and Reception Room Demo
  4. Wedding Cocktail Hour and Reception Room Examples
  5. Wedding Introductions
  6. First Dance
  7. Wedding Toasts
  8. Parent Dances
  9. Wedding Party
  10. Reception Events
  11. Nighttime Portraits
  12. Nighttime Portraits with Found Light
  13. Post Wedding Session Demo
  14. Post Wedding Session Critique
  15. Wedding Day Difficulties
  16. Post Workflow - Backing Up Folder Structure
  17. Post Workflow - Culling Shots
  18. Post Workflow - Outsourcing
  19. Q&A Days 12-23
  20. Post Workflow - Gear
  21. Post Workflow - Lightroom Editing
  22. Managing Your Studio
  23. Post Wedding Marketing
  24. Client Care
  25. Pricing for Add-Ons
  26. The Album Process
  27. Balancing Your Business with Life
  28. Post Wedding Problems
  29. Parent Complaints
  30. Unhappy Customers
  31. Working with an Assistant
  32. Assistant Q&A
  33. Lighting with an Assistant
  34. Q&A Days 24-30

Reviews

Misty Angel
 

oh Susan, you are AWESOME!! I am not a wedding photographer (despite dipping my toe in this intimidating pool for one of my dearest friends), I shoot all forms of portraits and love sports too! Your '30-Days' has been the single most influential and educational moments since I started my venture into photography in 2009! THANK YOU! Your honesty, directness, bluntness, humor and vulnerability makes these 30-Days the most worthwhile time spent away from actual shooting; while simultaneously is the most inspirational motivator to push you out there to practice these ideas/techniques! #SShostestwiththemostest You raise the bar in this industry, not just with wedding photographers, but with all genres of photography! I wanted this course to learn about shooting and thought, great... I'll get a little bit of the business side too... OMG! I got it ALL! I'm dying! What an awesome investment in myself, my business and in YOU! PLEASE keep doing what you are doing! I love your new Dynamic Range, I feel that it is a wonderful extension of the work you do with Creative Live! I watch you EVERY DAY, every morning... I know that I continue absorbing your wisdom through repetition! I don't want to be you, I want to rise to your level! So thank you for the inspiration, motivation and aspiration! Keep on being REAL, its what we love about you! We embrace your Chanel meets Alexander McQueen-ness! :) Thank you for stepping into this educational space and providing us with your lessons learned so we can avoid the negative-time investment making mistakes... we are drinking your virtual lemonade!! HA! Like the others, whatever wisdom you offer in this medium, I will be jumping at the opportunity to learn from you! THANK YOU!

user-59abe9
 

All the positive reviews say it all. When Susan took on the challenge of teaching this course it must of looked like attempting to climb Mount Everest...and she accomplished just that. Susan is a detailed, well-organized photographer and this clearly comes out in her teaching. Using repetition, clear instructions, a logical and well laid out presentation, she answers most any question you might have when it comes to wedding photography. I felt like I was having a private consultation when watching the course. She is real, honest, tactful, funny, and a gift to the photography community. Finally, her photography is professional and inspiring. Thank you Susan for the tremendous amount of work that you put into making this an outstanding Creative Live course for us all.

Tammy Hoherz
 

I am actually a HS science teacher, but also have a small wedding photography business. I bought this class because I looked at her work. I won't buy a class on CL unless the instructor has beautiful work. Of course that doesn't mean a person is a good instructor. Well IMO, Susan is a very good instructor. She doesn't get off on too many tangents and sticks pretty much to the point. As a student, that is key. I also have Roberto Valenzuela's course, and his approach is different. Both of these photographers are great. But Susan's approach to business and shooting and work flow is a nice contrast. I appreciate her information about outsourcing work. This was very helpful to me. Kudos to Susan and her teaching abilities.