Album Design Preferences

© Jasmine Star. This post cannot be republished without permission. Stealing makes me sad.
When I meet prospective clients, I feel it’s important to discuss their first family heirloom: The wedding album.

I am extraordinarily particular about album designs, so my clients will never see drop-shadows, faded images, layering, or funky background colors in my albums. I want the albums to stand the test of time so when my clients look back at their album, it won’t look dated or downright silly. Just think back to the 1980s when photographers framed one picture of a child in the upper right corner of the image looking in one direction, and another picture in the lower left corner of the same child looking in another direction. Two floating heads looking east and west. Ugh. I’m sure it was cool back then, but I’m SO glad my parents saved me from that torture! ;)

Because I work with Albumesque--an exclusive album designer--I explain in great detail what I envision for my albums, and Amy just gets it. Big images, clean layouts, negative space, just a few images on each spread. I think the exact verbiage I told Amy was to design my albums like it was a magazine spread…

Here are a few spreads from my most recent album design from Shelley and Brett’s wedding

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someone somewhere - I love your comment that a wedding album is the family's first family heirloom.  04.24.08 - 7:51pm
Katie Beverley - Love the designs Jasmine! I loove clean and simple designs--these look great.  04.22.08 - 8:54pm
New York City Wedding Photographer - I am a fan of the design you are showing in this album. Thanks for sharing!  04.20.08 - 11:29am
New York City Wedding Photographer - Album design so important. I tend to explore many different approaches to design, however, I am starting to whole-heartedly embrace the "less is more" approach to design.   04.20.08 - 11:25am
Ryel j - I love how creative you are!! Such an inspiration to me and so many!!!  04.18.08 - 1:33pm
DrewB - What's wrong with floating heads? All my albums have floating heads. They're SO in right now!  04.17.08 - 9:10pm
Stacy Cross - I love them and I love Amy! :) She's the best!  04.17.08 - 6:07pm
Gena McMillan - Thanks for answering my question Jasmine!  04.17.08 - 5:12pm
Shelley - Thank you for capturing such amazing images of our day. We loved the album draft you sent us, and appreciated being able to put our input into the image selection, with your help. So excited to get it in the mail soon...  04.17.08 - 4:04pm
Ashley - These album layouts are gorgeous but I think it's your photography that will stand the test of time! Thanks for all the advice, Jasmine.  04.17.08 - 11:50am
Bliss - It sure helped!, Thanks a lot Jasmine ;-)  04.17.08 - 11:17am
Shawn Kloster - Sweet! I've been looking at album design solutions lately. I think I may have found what I'm looking for in Albumesque! Thanks!!  04.17.08 - 11:07am
Simply Modern Weddings - very classic designs! Why are you hating on the cool 80's floating heads photos? I LOVED those. (I even have one with my mom's floating head and my floating baby face!) haha..  04.17.08 - 10:59am
Desiree Hayes - Gorgeous. I totally agree about simple, clean lines. Timeless!   04.17.08 - 10:39am
rowena - Less is more! It was nice seeing you again yesterday. Gooday!  04.17.08 - 10:31am
wvanessa H - great it flow really great!!!  04.17.08 - 9:59am
Navy Sou - I have to tell you this, because in all honesty, it really did happen! Why was I late this morning to work??? Reason being~I overslept because I dreamt that I was second shooting for you!!!! I know, I know...embarrassing!!! (But I couldn't resist telling you...LOL)  04.17.08 - 9:51am
monique - i like it simple as well. however, you gotta give the client their wish. after all, it is their album. you cannot impose your will on them. it is better to be flexible. i am a big believer of giving the client what they pay for. everything will be dated in the future, but that is part of their memory.  04.17.08 - 9:38am
Rachel Dallaire - Love it. I love simplicity and clean graphic design. Thanks for sharing!!!  04.17.08 - 9:28am
carrie@urbanbaby - i couldn't agree more! i love to keep mine nice and simple also ;). -c  04.17.08 - 9:16am
Jenny H. - Andrew and I just got our Engagement album in the mail and we LOVE it! Can't wait to see what the wedding album will look like!  04.17.08 - 9:13am
david & kimi b - ah man, i was wanting to bring the floating heads back!loved that sweet profile action! jk ;) i agree with swan, gotta have the rockin images first!   04.17.08 - 8:47am
Jasmine* - @Bartek: All of these spreads span two pages. @Mallory: No, my clients never see unedited pictures. They've all been raw processed before uploaded to their proofing gallery. @Gina: I'm feeling sick today, but if I get some time, I'll take a picture and post it. However, I have my Leather Craftsmen album split down the middle. I don't like creasing the images and the split preserves the life of the album. @Bliss: Most my wedding albums contain between 15pages/3o sides to 20pages/40 sides. Hope this helps! :)  04.17.08 - 8:44am
Bartek - Mmm, another fan here of keeping it simple! Btw, is that a one page spread? Or do these span two pages?  04.17.08 - 8:30am
Mallory Goodwin - Jasmine, do you ever give your clients unedited photos?  04.17.08 - 8:24am
Gina - Jasmine~ Just wondering if you have one spread cross over the center of the book? Can you show us a couple of actual snapshots of pages within an album? Thanks, you are the best.  04.17.08 - 8:22am
Chad Morgan - Thank you, thank you, thank you for pushing people into good design. The faded background thing, the layered photoshop layouts. YUCK! I can't stand that stuff. It's and pop'ish. Two cheers for Jazmine!  04.17.08 - 8:03am
Natarsha - Beautiful!  04.17.08 - 8:01am
cassandra m - Sweeeeeeeeet. I love the clean lines and elegance it gives. I think you you were using Leather Craftsmen for wedding and KISS albums for your engagements. Any new album companies that impress you? anyways, BEAUTIFUL work Amy on the design and BEAUTIFUL photos Jaz!   04.17.08 - 7:40am
Erika Gerdemark - I agree with you! Just keep it simple and clean. Love /erika  04.17.08 - 7:29am
Bliss - I totally share your philosopy on album design, I love the sample you show :) Just one simple question: how many pages does your albums usually contain? Thanks!  04.17.08 - 1:28am
Matthew Saville - And by the way, speaking of "sweet and simple", have you tried KISS albums yet?  04.17.08 - 12:32am
Matthew Saville - Wow, beautiful images and beautiful design. BTW I've got a wedding at THAT location in June, any tips? Take care! =Matt=  04.17.08 - 12:28am
nicole green - i'm right with you .. i hate all that cheese! the drop shadows and the faded crap. it should be simple just like this!  04.16.08 - 11:52pm
Wendy - Such a great post Jasmine! I've actually lost potential clients because they were looking for the "layered" look for their album. I felt so much better about standing my ground and not compromising the product after reading your post. Thank you, as always, for being SO WONDERFUL, honest, and true.   04.16.08 - 11:42pm
Albumesque - Jasmine, I feel so fortunate to be working with you. You my dear are amazing! Amy:)  04.16.08 - 10:49pm
joyful weddings and events - Love it! Simple and clean.  04.16.08 - 10:24pm
Melissa Koehler - So awesome. Love the clean lines!  04.16.08 - 10:13pm
Kevin Swan - Simple is HOT! hahah. Love Albumesque. They rock it every time. Of course, starting with gawgeous images doesn't hurt. :) Beautiful.  04.16.08 - 9:59pm
Jasmine* - @Gena: If a client asks for something like faded backgrounds, I explain why it's important to keep the album timeless. Most of the time clients trust my opinion and it doesn't become an issue. I have the BEST clients ever! :) As an unrelated sidenote, I delete anonymous comments. Not that anything is wrong with them, I just don't prefer to host a blog for vague comments. Thanks in advance! :)  04.16.08 - 9:52pm
Mike Allebach - As a full time graphic artist I abhor half the winning album designs I see...they are just bad. Finally someone gets it! Simple is beautiful!!   04.16.08 - 9:43pm
Gabriel Gonzalez - Wedding albums should be about the pictures not the funky designs, also the simpler the album the faster you'll finish. (In my case I still design mine). Sidenote: I also remember this venue... was it from AFV?  04.16.08 - 9:12pm
Yolanda Williams - I concur! I truly believe that less is SO much more! Great layouts! I rarely comment to your blog, but I wanted to take a moment to say... THANK YOU! Thanks for just being you! Have an awesome day!   04.16.08 - 9:11pm
DJ - Love it! Albumesque rocks!   04.16.08 - 9:02pm
Cathy Crawley - I am soooo with you on this one! I love digital albums but I can't stand the look of most of them when they have a background image and then other photos on top of that image.....drives me nuts - especially if they have different angles! I always think, will this look good in 20 years time? That is why I never get super trendy haircuts, or super trendy furniture. I lived through the 80's and I know what it is like to look back and cringe! Classic elegance all the way.  04.16.08 - 8:31pm
Crystal - AMY ROCKS!!!!!! : )  04.16.08 - 6:13pm
Barbara M - I also liked the clean lines but without adding one hundred pages I created my book on my publisher from PPT slides.   04.16.08 - 5:17pm
Jamie Delaine - LOVE the design. Totally agree with your philosophy. :) Keep being awesome.  04.16.08 - 5:01pm
Gena McMillan - I remember that venue! Isn't that where you ran into wall? LoL Thanks for sharing your tips and techniques. What do you do if your client wants the faded image in the background? Do just not give them option?  04.16.08 - 5:00pm
Cindy - It couldn't be more beautiful! Love your work!  04.16.08 - 4:42pm