Help & Advice: How to choose the Photos for your Wedding Album
Here’s a little bit of help from me if you are having trouble narrowing down your favourite pictures for your Wedding Album!
You may also like to see my recent blog post showing my new wedding albums.
1. Enjoy Choosing.
Your Wedding Album is something that is going to be with you for the rest of your life, reminding you of your favourite wedding day memories, so it is absolutely fine to take your time over choosing the pictures you want to have in it. I believe that choosing the pictures should be something enjoyable, as it is another stage of your wedding journey. If you can choose them together over a glass of wine or two and enjoy the experience, rather than getting stressed about it, this will make your album even more meaningful.
2. Tell the Story.
When I design albums, I like the story of the day to flow through them. I arrange the images chronologically, including the key moments from the day, and I like to set the scene so that you have a sense of place. If there is a change of location, I like to include something that indicates travel or a new scene. Finally, I like to start and end the album with an opening and closing shot. So if you can include pictures that help to tell the story in this way, that is really helpful in the design and will make your album flow smoothly, as if you were re-living the day again.
3. Break the Day into Sections.
Your album will flow better if you have a nice balance of pictures from across the different parts of your day. So rather than picking loads from the first part of the day and not much from later on, try to ensure a consistent spread of favourites across the board. Divide your shots up into the various sections and just pick the very best from each bit, keeping the numbers roughly the same. For example, to help you to narrow it down to your key favourites from each part of the day, I would suggest choosing the following:
- One ring shot to open your album
- One or two venue shots to set the scene for the story
- Five getting ready shots for the bride, plus up to five details (dress, shoes, flowers etc)
- Three getting ready shots for the groom, plus a couple of details (if applicable)
- One wide shot of your ceremony room, plus one or two details
- One or two shots of the groom before the ceremony
- One or two shots of the bride arriving and walking up the aisle to the groom
- Up to eight key shots of the marriage ceremony
- One or two shots as you leave the ceremony
- One or two confetti shots (if applicable)
- Up to twelve reception mingling shots
- Up to eight group photographs
- Four or five bride & groom couple shots, including something epic that can be a double page spread
- One full shot of your dining room, plus two or three details shots
- One shot of you entering the room / or sitting at top table
- Up to five other room shots
- Around six shots of the speeches
- One or two shots of the cake and one of the cake cutting
- Two or three shots of the first dance
- Eight to ten shots of the evening fun, dancing etc
- One closing shot such as venue at night.
This makes about 100 photographs and gives the perfect storyline to your day, covering all the key points. You can then add in any extras if you need to, making sure that you are still keeping the balance evenly spread. Don’t choose too many, as the more you choose, the smaller the images will have to become in your album to fit them all in. I like to give your images space to have impact, with full page spreads being a feature, and a clean, uncluttered design.
[Of course, it is very easy for me to say this, but when you are faced with 500+ photos, it can be quite a challenge! If you would prefer me to select all of the photographs for your album, please just let me know and I would be very happy to do this. It is easier for me to choose as I can be objective and I have a lot of design experience so I know what works well. You will be able to proof your album online and make comments for any changes before the album is printed, so this can sometimes be easier to do than choosing them all yourself from scratch.]
An extra note – when choosing photographs, I always find it is easier to select ‘in’ rather than to eliminate ‘out’. You’ll end up with fewer pictures and they will all be the best favourites that way.
4. Include your Must-Haves, not your Should-Haves.
This is YOUR wedding album and it should hold your absolute favourite images from your day. Go with your heart, not with your head – include the photographs that you love. Don’t include images just because you think you ‘should’, or because other people would expect them to be there. You have all the images on your USB and you can always look at them there, or print them out and frame them and give them as gifts to others if you wish. Your album is for the favourites that tell your story, to preserve your favourite memories.
5. Choose a Variety.
An album with plenty of variety in the pictures chosen will be more interesting to look at and will show you all the aspects of your wedding day. If you have selected several pictures of the same thing that are very similar, try to choose the best one out of these to avoid too much repetition in the album design. If you can’t choose between them, leave them all in and allow your photographer to select the best one for the design. I always offer this opportunity to my couples – if you are really struggling to narrow it down to the correct number of pictures for the album, just send me your whole list of favourites, however long it is, and I can choose the best ones out of these for your album design. You get to proof your design online, so you can always swap in any that you really wanted.
6. Colour or Black & White?
I give you every picture in colour and in black & white on your USB, and I’m very happy for you to choose your favourite version for your album. While many couples are happy for me to choose whether the picture is in colour or black & white, sometimes you may have a definite preference, and that’s great. Occasionally I may need to change this to better fit the design, for example if I am designing a page of speeches pictures and they are all in colour except for one, I would probably prefer to have the whole set looking the same, for consistency. But you will be able to proof the design online and you can always change this back before approving it for print, if you wish.
7. Choose as soon as possible, rather than putting it off.
The longer you leave it, the harder it will become to choose your favourites for the album. It is better to choose soon after your wedding, while the memories are still fresh in your mind.
8. Think about getting Parent Gift Albums too.
Parents might really appreciate a mini-replica album to remember your day too – this makes a very special gift and is a lovely idea for Christmas.
9. Display your Album where it can be enjoyed.
When you have your album in your hands, keep it where it can be enjoyed often! Keeping it on your lounge bookshelf or in a drawer in your coffee table will make sure that it is always close at hand to be looked at by yourselves, or to show off when you have guests round.
10. Consider getting some Wall Art.
I am a huge advocate of enjoying your photographs to the full. Maybe there is an epic shot of the two of you that you just have to display on the wall because you love it so much? This is definitely something that I can help you with – just let me know!
Well, I hope that this has been helpful as you choose the pictures for your album! If I can be of any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and I will be more than happy to help.
I’m looking forward to making your album design!
Best wishes x
(If you are looking for a wedding photographer who offers wedding albums, please do take a look at my website and get in touch!)