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Album Design

Lesson 43 from: Wedding Photography Bootcamp

Sal Cincotta

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Lesson Info

43. Album Design


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


Introduction to Sal Cincotta Studio


The State of the Wedding Industry


Legal Entities


The Business Plan


Marketing Plans


How Brides Find Photographers


Lesson Info

Album Design

so let's talk a little bit about albums this is kind of you know from day one we've been hitting you guys over the head's talking about albums albums albums how there's such a key and strategic part two are up selling how they're so strategic to our packaging and branding and really a way of differentiation so hopefully out there you guys are getting the gist we've got to offer these products to be successful so you know we design one of two ways we use templates and templates don't have to be a dirty four letter word right because you know I run into photographers all the time you know like you know I designed my albums and illustrator each one is completely custom completely unique and I always ask this question and it might sound almost rhetorical in a sense but I have never had two clients compare their wedding albums to each other you know and I don't know if out there you've had two clients actually compared their wedding albums I doubt you have but in that in the spirit of that ...

who would care if you literally designed every wedding album the same who would know I don't think anybody would know not that I'm advocating that by the way I'm just trying to give you some perspective we obsess over the pixels and and all these different sizes and yes I get it we're artists and we want teo produce the best piece of our possible but we have to balance that with a return on investment we have to think and use our time wisely that being said we like to start from a template base when we're designing our albums proofing we use a site called album exposure I don't know if any of you are using album exposure we've been using them for probably three and a half years now to proof and host our albums and I'll show you their interface really really powerful it allows us to share the album with the family track views document client feedback and of course it's a branded experience but so let's just really I want to give you a sense of how easy it is to design albums first and foremost the forms will come in or not the forms will come in bear with me guys we are having directory problems all right so here is a blank album selection so our clients will select um and I believe you're getting this with the course our clients will come in and there's going to be a worksheet for them to fill out and so if you guys can see this here okay this is what they're going to fill out their last name wedding date we're giving them instruction here on the right bridal prep group perhaps ceremony creatives reception we're telling them what images who select okay then this is what we would work off of so this is one that's been filled out they're telling us what their cover images what the date is with their last name is what images from each part of the day this is very very important for us to figure out because this is how we're going to start building our albums I'm not going back and forth through a million e mails I can print this out I can sit there and look at this and cue up all the images that's the most important piece when you're building albums are you just strolling up and down a directory looking for different images in the directory how much time are you losing their this allows us to get everything cued up and just sit there and design and design the album and so with that being said let's go to an actual album template so we've got all sorts of templates that we use okay well let's start here here's all the cute up images from the from the wedding yesterday right so we just grabbed a bunch of images for their album obviously they didn't pick images for their album I'm just trying to give you a sense of what we have here okay and then I've got now my template so I've got a host of templates square calendar style vertical case let's say they're going with a square album ten by ten we've got a host of designs right we can have some that are a little bit more ornate and they're all custom colors could be changed actually let's open up this one and here's what I like about this by the way if I know I'm going to use this design I can actually look at these dumb nails and quickly see how many images rights if I know I want you know what for the first opening spread I want to just use a single image or I want to use three images I can start selecting different layouts based on how many images I know I want to use for a specific spread that is saving me time and energy on making visual decisions first doing everything from scratch but now is I get this in the photo shop okay let's say I wanted to use three images you can see all I'm doing is dropping images into this layout so now let's just say for argument's sake that I am going to do the bridal prep and I think we got some images out of sync here so I know I want it let's bring that ring in so I just drag and drop that in the photo shop okay hit enter and I know I wanted to be behind the number one so I'm going to drag this below number one so I'm just dragging and dropping these images and putting them I can resize the image if I want okay and I'm just adjusting this to fit that space and these air smart are objects so they can totally be resized ana just where we're putting them well now I know I've got a vertical and somewhat of a square image so you know what why don't I just grab wanna grab this image of her case in concept let's shrink this a little bit and I don't know about you guys but this is relatively quick and designing an album and you could see I need this below two so I'm gonna drop this here who above this layer sorry I should try reading okay and what I'm gonna do here is I'm quickly just gonna start moving images around I'm gonna grab image number three what would I want to put there and now my bride would typically have selected these images of course beforehand and all I want you to see here is how how little time I'm spending working images in designing an album and so honestly this kind of stuff cannot take forever as you're designing arms this is I think a waste of time um for you let's go here and now I just move this around in here right and now I'm working this the other cool part about this is let's say for argument's sake these were not your bride's colors well guess what you can actually customize this and we can adjust these colors to whatever we want and now by adjusting that the template is automatically adjusted and colorized force and this is this is where I'm spending my time this should not take you more than an hour to an hour and a half to design these albums and you might not like the elements which by the way I don't particularly care for I just wanted to show you that um what I tend to do is work on clean black clean wide and then I'm controlling some of the background elements so right if we wanted to take some of those other pictures right I can see what this spreads gonna look like I know I got two images double click on that and again I'm just gonna do the same thing and I hope I'm making it look over simplified because that is exactly how I want it to be I'm just looking for you guys to get a sense of this is not where I want to see you spend a whole lot of time uh designing your images girls out here what are you doing to design your images uh today photoshopped from scratch and how long is that taking you don't ask that's what I like to hear all of you what are you doing today to design your images your albums for how long you spending per album about forty five hours forty five hours that is absolutely brutal man right from start to finish yeah yeah start to finish we can't lose time they're doing that stuff what what do you feel is taking you so long t get there like looking a spread like this I'm talking you and it took me less than four minutes so what's taking you so long what do you obsessing about don't use the right words you did obsessing like it's the layout in which picture goes with which and how to tie it together so here's just so you understand my work full once my bride groom pick out their image is right I'm going to come in whether it's in finder or something like that and I'm gonna go okay here's some images of the groom getting ready and I know I've got a staple image like this that I want to have dominance on the page on then I've got some maybe detailed images that I want in the page so I could see easily right let's just say for argument's sake right I've got three images that I want to use for his album don't worry about the coloring right now the toning or any of that stuff that's that's how we're talking about here we're going to make this page look good and that might take us a little bit more time but you know what if my clients want to mix ah cool tone image with a warm tone image it's their fricking book let it be their book and I am okay because they're the ones who have to look at it and enjoy it if I think it doesn't look good there's times where if I have a texture on one image I might texturizing every image on their asses we start pushing towards more of a fine art piece fine art album fine art kind yes I want every image to be edited in toned identical but I'm not gonna obsess when I don't have to esso let's say these are the three images I want to use so I know I've got two horizontal and one vertical maybe one square so what I will do now is I'll go in here and look through my templates to see right do I have anything that matches that and if I don't write I could grab something like this there there's a perfect example I can open up this template here okay and I can now because this is completely customized I could just turn that off I could turn that layer off I can take this layer right and maybe resize that later so I can I can tweet this just because we're using templates as a starting point doesn't mean that that's our ending point but it is definitely something that I want to use it as a launch point same for the background what if I want to change the color of the background I can change that color um so let's go back to this and then I want to move on this is not what I want to spend a lot of time okay I can take something like this drag it in here I can put this on the background now actually it's a perfect way to customize it handle that turnoff layers two and three right so I can now take this layer and start turning off ah some of the various elements on this on this layer right and just have this showcase there so now I'm still starting from a template but I'm tweaking this as I as I need to I don't want to see you spend four five six hours or possibly mohr obsessing over your book not that books aren't important I've already told you this is staple for our company but that doesn't mean this part of the process has to be complex weaken definitely simplify this by using template I don't care if they're my temple it's somebody else's template psychic paralyzed but there's nothing wrong with using templates as a launch point for your album so too easy too simple to do you're like I can't imagine doing this and selling it for money while we're doing it and we sell it for money and so I don't think my client cares how long I'm spending designing their album when there's to pick an image and a half to two images per page and let's take this a step further once the album's designed okay if we go hear this is what we're using to prove our album so this is album exposure and you can tell guys I'm not kidding you look at all these albums that are sitting in here and this is way archive albums to sew these air just kind of active somewhat active albums that are sitting out here on you can actually archive your album's a cz well so with that being said let's go in here and we could look at ah recent wedding okay have one of our clients so there's an indian wedding that we had photographed well and it's been archived all right so we can go here and now here's the dashboard for this particular wedding on what I can see now here is I can look at my comments so I'm looking at all the spreads all the comments that have come through on this album this is right so I can see here there's a number one whatever picture you think is best between the one let me zoom in for you guys between this one and six eighty five I would liketo have in here it is hard for me to say because I can't see everyone close after that I'm good to go to print so this is my bride telling me look I love my album I'm not sure if I want to use this group shot or another one she picked it she just doesn't over everyone's eyes are open or something like that that's great that's kind of feedback we get from our clients I'll tell you the kind of feedback we don't get move this image one pixel to the left swap this we don't pre design I'm not a believer in pre designing I think pre designing is a sketchy sales process you know you and what pre designing is is your client bought an album with twenty pages and now you show them an album with forty pages fifty pages sixty pages first of all it's a lot of extra work for you and it's sketchy and let me tell you why it's sketching not could south says so but because my clients have told me so there was a photographer in my area when I got there to st louis he waas the big dog on campus he was everywhere I went everywhere I wanted to be and I started photographing baby clients and I started asking these baby clients who did your wedding that's a natural question for me because we offer klein for life and if your wedding photographer did a good job in theory you should be coming back to them for your family pictures newborn pictures and I'm always curious why you know and so I asked how come your wedding to talk you know who is your wedding photographer and he kept saying this name over and over again he got to the point where I knew what the answer was gonna be okay guys tell me how come you came to me not that I don't want your business I said I'm just always curious you know why you wouldn't go to your wedding photographer and they all said the same thing to me they said south we absolutely loved our wedding photography okay the pictures came out amazing they said but at the end of the day he left us with a bad taste in our mouth and I said well what was that if you don't mind me asking they said well we got this wedding album and only had twenty pages in it and after the wedding we went to a studio and he showed us out wedding album with sixty pages in it and after we saw those sixty pages um he said to us tell us what you don't want in here and how could we pick it was impossible for us to pick so of course we ordered all sixty pages but we would never refer him and we would never use him again this is vour begum from clients now put yourself in the mind to that photographer or in your mind there if you're doing something like this from his perspective success was his the clients are spending money that is a way of measuring success hey if you're spending money this has to be working well what was working from a sales perspective wasn't working from a referral perspective that he was leaving a bad taste in your mouth so I implore you find another way to get your albums to upgrade and keep in mind eighty percent of our clients add more pages to their album and we don't have to stoop to this kind of sales tactic now that being said we're back in this let's look at this album in its entirety okay so I can preview this album and this would be a branded experience that our clients would have right now the first time somebody gets here is actually good the first time somebody gets there it's going to tell them what everything is so it's giving them kind of you know and experience through here and as I click on this what I want to understand is this banner wouldn't be up there this is letting me know I'm logged in as the administrator and your coloring it me zoom out here this is completely branded your logo your coloring and this is what your clients are seeing so now is I flipped through here okay that's their opening spread so they had a leather cover this is there on acrylic cover I'm sorry this is the acrylic cover of their album and now as they go through okay you're seeing this is a really album for our clients built from a template at its base and then customize from there and this is an eleven by fourteen vertical portrait album and so you're seeing on average an image and a half to two images per page we're not cluttering the album thes air pictures our client have picked this is their album this particular couple they added more pages so that they could have in fact uh more family pictures in the album you could see this is a forty page ob this is very traditional this is awesome buddy I didn't even have a plan to show you this album uh these air those alter pictures that I've already told you I hate taking but my clients want them esso I take them but you won't see this on my website you would never see this because that's not the client I'm looking to attract however they still want this in some form or fashion with her to meet by ten for the nightstand or something inside the album beautiful bride and groom right these are the creators we want to create the south plain in the street putting his bride's on rusted train tracks now we get to the reception details this is perfect guys this is all the stuff I was showing you that I was taking yesterday when we were at the wedding and every client's album look different because ultimately it's their pictures in the album and so that's on your client that's on you to figure out how to give them that kind of album uh that's branded too what you want but get meets the client's needs but guess what I'm not spending you know ten hours designing this book so does that process makes sense internet does that process makes sense like everything else I have taught you it is about simplifying the process yet still delivering a high end product high and experience to our clients questions ladies this is it we're coming to an end way are hot first question I'll just ask from kevin maze b what if the client just keeps asking for changes yes great questions these are the kind of questions I was hoping for around the album process we offer our clients pretty much unlimited changes but because we are letting them select their pictures in that spreadsheet I showed you because they're the ones selecting the pictures there's very few changes that are requested you saw this is a real client album and I showed you what they're cool request was it was to swap an image that was it so there was no request ok to start moving images around so normally within usually to revisions ninety eight percent of our clients are happy there are those one offs where I've got to go three to five revisions with them and you know what you gotta take the good with the bath but ninety eight percent of our clients are very happy within one or two revisions of their album because they're the ones who have picked the pictures and they don't have clients who want to tell me how to design albums unless I get those graphic designers then they're driving me bonkers the entire way move this to pixels to the left yeah you get that I do it once in a while you gotta level set with them all right so a question from lauren nicole photo from michigan do you do have ever have clients that request you to previous pre design and say I trust you just make something for me yes and we take we do it where I've got a client who tells me just do it we just the indian wedding I was looking for on I think I was on day one we talked about that wedding I booked it was thirty thousand dollar event for our studio they ordered three albums uh and they said to us do one album for each part of the day we trust you tell our story we trusted you to photograph it now we trust you to design it and they were busy professionals they didn't have enough time to sit there and pick pictures and they actually made one or two small changes to the album and we're completely happy so read your client if that's what they're asking you do go for it so wild card said what about the photos on the background are those selected by you or the client yes so if you if you remember great question if you remember we hand them those sheets sometimes our clients will pick images that lend themselves to background images and other times they won't and so that's where we'll come in on dh step in the background like this we're using the earrings but will add those images if they didn't select them so you know when taylor and I were talking another she's like forty five pictures I said sixty pictures because we're telling them they can pick around forty five and we're leaving some wiggle room for us to select background images in case they missed anything from that day okay question from derek long island how do you know they will order more pages the client doesn't know how many pages they need or if they won't have enough how do you get them to buy more pages remember when they come in those packages are already all inclusive of adding additional pages after the wedding when they come in the package up there add more pages again it's our whole system don't pick one piece we're doing I just showed them seven hundred fully edited images seven hundred images that they know they love here's what they here's what they may not know how many pages they need here's what they do know they know they can't do it in thirty pages in their head they already have made the decision we need more pages in our album how are we ever going to get all these images in there and that's where we coach him through the process and we say guys and one thing we do recommend is getting those additional uh images for your day question from richard show off and I'm not sure if you said thiss what the average time of proving by the clients the average time the proof of the client meaning of proving that you give them to proof the album the vinyl album yeah so I guess a better way of thinking about this is how long before the clients get their albums I have clients that are three years and still don't have their wedding album here's my here's my philosophy it's not important to you it's not important to me so we send you home without worksheet and we were when you feel that worksheet out and get us your image selection that's when we're going to put your album into production if you don't care about it and I can't spend my resource is chasing you down nagging you I'm going to focus on the clients who did do their homework I've got clients who don't have it for three years I've got clients who have their albums in their hands printed in eight weeks they go home they get a stereo images we turn him around the design in four weeks we turn around the print in four weeks and they and they have their albums in two months so to me I used the client as my driving force for that so so a lot of people would like to know why you haven't shows to do albums in something that is more album specific software album's specific software in design or something like that why d time it's a time thing I mean there's no way dude I would like to have it like a shoot off you know shootout with somebody there's no way if you give me fifty images and you give a designer who's in design and don't forget I have designers who worked for me on the back end they cannot design an album from scratch using indesign or even photoshopped for that matter unless you using some sort of enhancement tool like a funding album builder or something like that and just start from scratch and be done in under an hour and a half to two hours it's not gonna happen and so that's the main reason I don't use those tools is because it's about time I don't want to lose my life in designing an album I mean if I'm putting in a full page image on a page I'm not sure why I have to use indesign or anything like that it's about getting the image full page as quickly as possible all right so if you could one more time clarify when you are saying pages or you're talking about this spread or a page and their two pages within the spread when you're talking about the thirty pages or thirty spread yes for photographers around the world when you go to barnes and noble's and you buy a new book do you buy a book a can I get that stephen king thirty spread book no speak english your clients don't speak in terms of spreads and so if your clients don't speak in terms of spreads we should not speak in terms of spreads when I talk about pages I'm talking just like the page of a book so a thirty page album right fifteen spreads and that's you know that's photographer speak but the end of the day that is not how your clients speak about that stuff so I don't want to confuse my clients and talk about spreads I talk in terms of pages of word and term that they're used to sew right put it in late terms so we have approximately uh ten minutes what do want to do with more questions I say take questions I don't think I have anything else you know aiken overcomplicate the album process on I'd probably let a lot of people down by complicating it because I'm showing you what we do real world it is that simple so we can take questions anything any question you have from the last five days that you feel like maybe didn't get answered let's do it ten minutes round robin let's take questions rapid fire let's start if you don't finish one since I'm just getting doing albums is once you get to this point it's designed it's approved how do you then get it uploaded and get it to your yeah well you're uploading when you use a tool like album exposure you're uploading just the jpeg files that are probably resized for web resolution right they're not gonna be the same files that go to your life you're gonna take all those j peg files and you're going to submit him right like tio signature collection albums you're going to sit him up and upload them all to them and they're going to print these out according to those specs so whatever the specs are d p I that's what you have to design this in o r else we're gonna have some re sizing problems when you go to send it to print but it's relatively easy because the same way you're using a template and designing and you have the templates now they're going to be psd files and all they gotta do is save amount is j pegs on dh you know three hundred d p I and you're going to send them off to the lab or two hundred forty dp I whatever respects our per lab and you're gonna be good to go

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

The Business Blueprint.pdf
The Business Blueprint.doc
cL Sal Cincotta Wedding Bootcamp Keynote.pdf
creativeLIVE Sal Cincotta Bonus
SCP Wedding Contract.pdf
SCP Copyright Release.doc
SCP Copyright Release.pdf
SCP Wedding Copyright Release.doc
SCP Wedding Copyright Release.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Carlos Rosa

This class is Gold!!! This class is a must, I have purchased around 20 CreativeLive classes, I'm building my own curriculum, but I did purchase this class because of Sal Cincotta's name, little I knew how good it is, it's a mind blowing and it contains so much key information to be a successful photographer. I was still a little "afraid" to start my business, but after this class, I feel confident because it was like put the puzzle together. Yes, Sal really insist in his blue print, how he calls, to implement in your business and you will be successful, and I do believe that. However, I can't do that at moment, because I'll need more money then I have, but I do believe I can implement the idea and slowly works towards implement all his system. Yes, in this class you'll have all, from engagement section, to bride reception, to SEO, everything you need. Sal is a Genius, an amazing mind, I truly admire him as a person, artist/photographer, amazing Educator, but man, as a business man, he is just a mind blowing, I mean, look at him, he had practically built an Empire in only 10 years and that's enough for me to listen to this guy. With all he has, he could just quit photography for good, he totally don't need, but he is still behind the camera, and that shows how much he really love photography. Totally recommend this class, it will change your life, and I mean it. I just wish CreativeLive would do some update, even if is just in pdf, because a lot of recommendation he does in the course does not apply anymore, website does not exist, the iPhone app does not exist, etc... just an update it would be truly appreciated. And that goes for all classes, you guys could just contact the educators and ask them for an update in those areas, that's all.

KR Productions

In 2016, I decided to try and start photographing weddings. I've been a wedding videographer for 16 years now, and have consistently been asked to do this, but never have. Last year, the number of requests was unusually high, and so I decided to explore what all is involved in doing wedding photography. I actually bought Sal's 30 day photo business class here first. Watched it over and over. There were principles in that class I was able to apply to video. Great! I then decided to buy this class to get the actual "day of" mechanics down. I've watched this over and over as well and started wading slowly into the wedding photo waters. I have the benefit that my second shooter, is actually a photographer and has been shooting all his life. So, having him to back me up with his already trained and creative eye is a huge benefit on the day. (We do the one camera has a wide angle, one camera has a telephoto technique like Sal discusses, and it works amazing) So far in 2016, I've shot one wedding for $350, the next one for $1,000, and now I'm up to $2,000 on my third for just basic stuff. Incredible. Working on moving into IPS, but right now I'm focused on making sure we're capturing the right shots and doing great impressive edits for marketing , and that's already paying off. I had 4 requests yesterday! Thanks to Sal and CL for helping jump start me on this amazing journey!

Paul Marcus

Once again.....Sal proves he's the man! Wow. What a great wealth of knowledge. I wish I had seen this a few years ago when it was fresh. It makes me cringe at all the money I have left on the table. Thanks to Sal and Taylor for being so open and sharing their business model with us. I hope to have great report to share with you in 2019 as I put a lot of this class to work in my business.

Student Work