Wedding photography is all about storytelling, and the single best way to do that is with an album of beautiful photographs. These days, there are many people getting into photography who have decided to opt out of doing wedding albums because it seems like a time consuming chore and more time sitting in front of a computer. We’re photographers! We should be behind a camera, not at a desk, right? I get it. I don’t want to be in front of the computer any more than you do, and I’m not going to try to convince you why you should include a wedding album in your packaging. But I do want to show you how easy it has become to design one.
I jumped at the chance to try Fundy’s Album Builder software, and I’m so glad I did. After I found my way around the program, watched Fundy’s online tutorials, and read over the helpful manuals, I took it out for a couple of test runs and eventually sat down and timed how long it took me to design an album. I’m only a novice at Album Builder, and it still only took me an hour to design a wedding album with 40 pages (19 spreads with a single front and back page) that contains 68 images. This doesn’t take into account the time I spent selecting the images I wanted to use, 40 of which I asked my client to pick out for me, or the time to perform any color balancing or retouching to the images. But one hour to design a layout is pretty fast and once I get the hang of things, that time could be cut in half.
The first step is to gather your images in a folder and start the pre-design process. I chose to build an album without a cover photo, a single first and last page with 40 pages total. Don’t worry if you don’t know how many pages you’re going to have; you can add or subtract pages later.
Fundy will create page markers that you can use to divide your images up like so. (This took me about 5-10 minutes to organize.)
Then it’s time to choose an album. You can either select an album from many popular companies such as MpixPro, or you can fill in custom dimensions if you use a company that isn’t listed. I decided to design a 10x10 MpixPro album. Guides are set up so you can see where the center and safe zones are located on each page.
After that, it’s time to get creative. One by one, select the page markers in Adobe Bridge, then use Fundy’s Auto Design tab to pick a layout for that spread. The first image in your spread is the main image, and you can choose various placements and formats for that image as well as the other images that follow. Once you do this, the file is labeled “Approved” and will have a green line under it. (This took me about 10-15 minutes once I got the hang of the features.)
Once you’ve set up Auto Design on the all the page markers, click Auto Album and then take a 5-10 minute break. Get up, stretch your legs, pet your dog, kiss your lover… not necessarily in that order.
When you return, you’ll have a wedding album design that is almost complete, and so far, it’s only been about a half hour. Fundy will let you scroll through the pages, one at a time, and you can either make small adjustments with just a click or two in the Enhance control panel. For example, you can chose to Flip Imag
Or, you can Swap Images that might not have been placed exactly where you wanted them to be.
Or, if you don’t like the design at all, you can click Clear Spread and then either use the Auto Design, Quick Design, or Design Clusters control panels to completely redesign the page. Like the way I used Quick Design to rework the right-hand side of this spread.
There are so many features, some of which I haven’t even played with yet, that I can’t go over them all. But the capabilities of Fundy’s Album Builder 5 seem endless. Also, since the software is integrated into Adobe Photoshop, you can go back to the basics and work on the album with the tools you are used to as you go along.
I wanted my image to fade out as it crossed the page, so I applied a layer mask and used the gradient tool to achieve the look I wanted.
However, I’d bet you there’s a way I can do this within Fundy already. Maybe I’ll give tech support a call. Oh, and that’s another great thing about Fundy. I called them and the woman who picked up the phone was able to answer my question without putting me on hold and sending me to some tech support person who was just reading the instructions from a manual.
After I did my final adjustments, the entire album was designed in one hour. Click here to take a look at the final design.
And if you’re not a photographer who wants to sell albums, please read my other post about my recent trip to WPPI on the Road, where I got to listen to Yervant talk about the future of wedding photography.
Blake has known that he wanted to be a photographer since 3rd grade. Growing up with a portrait and wedding shooter as a dad is a good place to start. Over his 9 years in the industry, Blake has created a large and diverse portfolio of stunning images. His ability to truly connect with his subjects comes through in his compelling and unique portraits. Check out his website and online portfolio here: http://www.blakegardner.net/