Monday, December 6, 2010

Wedding Albums: Expert Photo Selection Tips (Part One)

Whether professionally made or DIY, a well-designed photo album is an absolute must when it comes to forever preserving your wedding memories. And the first step to creating a beautiful album is choosing just the right pictures to include.

Here to offer advice on how to do that is wedding photographer Daniel Marks of Richmond's dmfoto. Enjoy, and feel free to share your questions and comments!

When choosing photos for our professional album, my husband and I loved so many of the over 700 amazing shots we received that we had a hard time narrowing it down to just the top 100. Do many couples face this issue, and what's your best advice on how they can make the selection process easier?

In today's digital market of photography, photographers are definitely showing more photos to couples than ever before. I think this is something that definitely makes the album decision a lot harder, especially if the bride and groom select the photographs. The best advice I can give is to try to plan out a story with each page.

I always start my albums with a single photo of the bride and groom, and from there try to build a story that tells how the whole day has gone. I believe that less is definitely more when it comes to a photo album, and I try to use only three or four photos on each page. When you start to add too many photos, the album can become cluttered, and the story can easily be lost.

Highlight the most important parts of the particular story you are trying to tell, and keep them as sequential as possible. For example, when choosing ceremony photos, try to  include only one or two photos each of the ring exchange, the vows and the kiss. Other important photos from the ceremony may capture expressions or emotions from the bride and groom, their parents, or wedding party members, such as the best man, who passes off the rings.

Another good example, this one from the reception, is the toasting and cake cutting. Try to include only one photo showing each of the most important parts of that story, such as the cake alone, people toasting the bride and groom, and the bride and groom cutting the cake. If you are allowed to use a background image, try to tie it into the story with an option like champagne being poured into a glass.

Do you feel it's important to carefully balance the number of album images in different styles, such as black and white, sepia, fisheye, and so on? What about choosing shots chronologically?

I think it’s extremely important to keep a uniform look to all images on an album page. If I have one image on a page that is black and white, they are all black and white. I feel the same way with color and sepia-toned images, too. I think telling a story in a chronological order makes a lot of sense, and I feel a story is what makes an album so special. Just having a book full of random photos without any order is strange to me. When I look at albums, I want each page to lead me to the next.

What are your plans for a wedding album? Will yours be professional or DIY, and what types of shots do you hope to include?

(Photo Credits: dmfoto)


  1. I wish I did professional , but mine is DIY and crappy lol , at least I have my faves all in there! haha

  2. We will be DIYing our album and narrowing down over 4,000 images, so I'm definitely scared. These are great tips, though, and I think limiting the album to about 100 photos makes a ton of sense. It will be difficult to do since we had two ceremonies, but too many pictures will be overwhelming at the same time. Thanks for this post!

  3. I DIY'd my album using Shutterfly and I love it. I loved having control over the layout and the pictures used and I was able to use as many or as few as I wanted.

    I also set mine up so it goes chronologicallly. My MIL made an album for herself and all the pictures are random and I think it looks confusing.

  4. I used out photos to make albums myself with shutterfly. It worked out really really well. I had the same problem though, it is so hard to narrow it down

  5. Great tips! A professional album is included in our photo package and our photographer said that she would help us narrow down and select the best photographs. I'm glad and relieved that I won't have to worry about that process too much.

  6. Nice tips! We're getting one professional album for ourselves and then making DIY albums for our parents. We're in the process of narrowing down the 900+ photos to 90 and it's hard, considering how many good ones there are! Our plan is to put our absolute fave photos in the pro-album (showing each step of the day) and then get a regular photo album that holds 500 photos so we can have every picture in there, for those days when I'm nostalgic and want to look through every photo. :)

  7. I think I would like to get a pro album but it will depend on what we can find. Its so much harder to get decent DIY options here. We shall see. Great tips btw!

  8. Great questions for a guest post! And great answers too! Thats great advice on how to tell a story with your photos and not clutter each page.