25,000 images down to 200 :: my album design story.

post by: holly

[Our blog is linked to facebook. If you are viewing this there, go to www.theGAUPERS.com to view the images larger since facebook makes everything sooo tiny. Thanks!]

{note about first page above: In my moments of exhaustion, Ryan always stops by my office to see how I'm doing and has such a fresh take on things and great ideas! I wanted to do something cool for the first page but was so creatively drained since it was the last page I did. Tiny Mosiac he says.... and... it...was...perfect. I love it.
...and yes, I realize there are duplicates of some of them. It was like 7am, they are so tiny and I was exhausted...It is like where's waldo... so it's fun. :)}

A couple months ago I decided to go through all of our 2009 seniors, pick out my favorite images and design an album of it. I thought it would be something great to do every year to see how much we have grown, how our style changes and just to have memories really. The whole thing took me one day and I super happy with how it turned out.

We are offering albums as part of our packages this year so we have some people who want to actually see the flush mount album and we have no sample of that, so we had to get one made up. Since its the end of the year and all, I thought a 2009 wedding favorites album would be perfect!

I honestly don't remember much of the work we did in 2008 because it feels like it was 10 years ago. So much has happened and our life is so busy that my my memory just gets full and has to push some things to the side to fit more in sometimes. Thus, a favorites album every year for weddings and seniors (our specialities) was just the best idea ever.

Excellent! I'm so excited about this! ...I thought to myself.
Let's get started.

I'm terrible at being harsh with our photos and only picking the best because I like so many of them, so I had Ryan do the first run through. Then, I went through them all seeing what he had picked and picked the ones I thought he missed, ect.

Then we had 1,200.
Oh geez.
You can't fit 1,200 photos in an album.

So I went to Ryan again begging for him to help me narrow them down more which, by the way, is so difficult!
We were able to bring it down to about 300. So I started designing the album around my very favorite ones. When designing these pages though, to make the spread cohesive, it does involve some photos that, on their own, are not our most favorite images. So I had to go back and search for ones to make the spreads complete.

My goal was to get our favorites from every part of the day. Getting Ready, Bridesmaids, Groosmsmen, Ceremony, Kids, Bride and Groom, Wedding Party and Reception. I had a page of family in there but that got cut due to the number of pages. Trying to get each part of the day proved to make it even more difficult because I had to stay within 36 spreads. If I would have done a 2009 bride and groom favorites album, this would have been much easier. A regular wedding album of just one wedding would be a breeze compared to this as well.

So, I ended up with about 14 spreads over the limit (HOW that happened I'm not sure, I must have been in the zone) I was working on this album from the hours of 11pm - 6am for like 4 or 5 days. So having to cut so many pages I worked so hard on was kind of painful but I am still happy with how everything turned out.

What we ended up with: 36 spreads that contain 195 images (not including the first page that has like 300 on it).

We also got a lime green leather cover for it!

Moral of the story: narrowing down 25,000 images to under 200 to fit in 36 spreads is way hard...but certainly worth the work. Is it all of our "best of" images? I'm not really sure because so many things had to be cut and it just became so hard to pick after seeing so many, but we certainly like the ones we picked from each category so we are happy.

At the end of the day, all I ever want is to be happy with the work I have done so I view this past week of working stupidly hard on this to be a success because I think this album is gonna look awesome when its printed.

Things during this process changed for me when I realized that although this is to show our clients what a flush mount book looks like, this is still OUR album (I am going to do a sample book of one whole wedding soon as a sample for brides anyways). These are images that we really enjoy from weddings that fit our style really well. The album does favor 2 weddings, Doug and Gillian Niffinegger and Ryan and Stephanie Hupfer. I would have liked to put more from other weddings but there just were not enough pages and when it came down to it, those were our favorite weddings of the year because they fit our style so well with the very fun vibe and all the bright colors. I think John Paul and Ashley Prebish are in here more a lot as well because that wedding was a bit more traditional but we still love those images so much and it doesn't always have to be all crazy, we love variety. :) I think we would need to do at least a 3 volume series to get all the images I would like...but thats not going to happen, we would go broke. :)

Whew! So that is the story of my week. I put the order in yesterday and they have super fast turn around time so I am hoping to have the book next week.

But for now, here are all the pages!

Last but not least, us! I felt like ending with the goof booth felt right but we had this back half-spread page left so I thought it would be cool to put photos of us at the end of the book every year. That way we can see how we change as the years go on as well as our work. 

Now that I am at the end of this very long post, I thought it might be fun to post the spreads that got cut. I am not sure if I made the right decision in cutting some of them, but I was kind of forced into it. I picked the ones that are in the album as "I can't print this without these" and the rest got cut. So I did not really want to get rid of any of them...but since this post is so long, I'll save the reject spreads for a later post. :)

Thank you to all of our couples this year, we learned so much and had a ton of fun. I am really proud of the work we did this year, even if it didn't make the book. Having a full year of 26 weddings really helped us financially to grow our business as much as we have. We may not have any money for ourselves left over, but we have been so lucky and so blessed to be able to buy all the equipment we need to continue and be even better this year!

The End.

January 23, 2010 - 7:02 pm

Dayle - This is awesome guys. You inspire me. :)

January 23, 2010 - 7:24 pm

Amber - LOVE IT…I would say it was worth a few sleepless nights.

January 24, 2010 - 8:16 am

shaun - Dang, you two. Everytime I drop by your blog, my jaw drops. I love how fresh and fun your imagery is. Keep it up, yo! :)

January 24, 2010 - 1:47 pm

ty - Looks amazing guys. Hope 2010 is even more successful for you!

January 26, 2010 - 12:04 am

gina - You both really inspire me! You just have the most amazingly fresh and pizzazy (yeh, I made that up!) images… jaw dropping is right! Love them all. Good luck to you both!!

January 26, 2010 - 6:24 am

tim - wow, blown away by your talent. first time here. could have commented on any one of your posts. look forward to checking back to see what’s new.

February 2, 2010 - 6:30 pm

crave photography - These images are so fun and fresh! LOVE :)

February 2, 2010 - 7:09 pm

Kellie - Amazing….you have some gorgeous weddings this past year!

February 2, 2010 - 8:17 pm

Jessika Feltz Photography - You guys=AWESOME. Sending blog love from a fellow [b]schooler! <3

June 17, 2010 - 6:21 pm

jennifer - you are guys are so AWESOME! and your design skills blow me away. Where do you guys print your albums?

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