Post # 1
So our wedding photographer is providing our wedding album and it’s pretty expensive. Of course we are paying for her time and for her to make the album cohesive and like a story of our day. However I know there are cheaper options out there so I was just wondering what other Bee’s have done (gone with photographer, did it yourself), where, and for how much?
Post # 2
I made ours myself. I think it was $50 from Shutterfly. I love it, I spent a lot of time on it and it’s exactly what I want. I’m sure our photographer could have done a good job but I wanted to have more control over what the album would look like/include.
Post # 3
drabbee : yeah, I am making mine and it’s really quite hard if you want it to look lovely and cohesive. I have to add that I am a graphic designer, so I am being pretty picky because I don’t want my album to look like I don’t know what I am doing hahaha. (I am also doing the color-grading again on the photography, which is maybe why I am feeling a little overwelmed)
I guess I am just saying: it’s a ton of work and if I had someone I trusted to do it, I totally would and think it’s worth the money. I have so much more respect for folks who make lovely albums now that I am making mine. Can you ask your photographer if they have some album pages from other clients to preview and see if you like the work? That way you can guage if this is going to be slapped together or made with thoughtfulness and care.
If you make your own you have 100% control over what pictures are featured. I notice my photographer and I did have quite different “favorites” and it would have bothered me to see some of them (which I found unflattering) in the album.
If you decide to make your own, you will be be so proud of yourself. You really get to enjoy the whole day again and again by looking at every single picture and arranging everything. That truly is fun and enjoyable even if it can be a lot of work. If you decide to have your album made by your photographer, you might be happy to save yourself that work. If it’s put together well it was a lot of work and deserving of the cost imo.
Post # 4
Our photographers album is, I’m sure beautiful, but so expensive. We definitely won’t be ordering it right away, if we ever do.
Also interested to see what other Bees have done to make up their own.
Post # 5
I made my own and used a groupon deal that I found which made them cheaper than going directly to the website. I use shutterfly and photobook america. It was very easy to use. I added my photos and allowed the site to autofill my book. The auto fill did a good job feeling the pages based on the (picture #). I didn’t really have to do a lot of moving pictures around or anything. It also autofilled words and different things. I did add a few captions to some pictures but no a lot. They turned out great. I paid roughly $35 for 3 photobooks from photobook america that were image wrapped covers. The $35 included shipping. I was happy with my choice. I was pleased with the quality of work.
Post # 6
drabbee : Darling Husband wanted the album our photographer provided but we haven’t got it back yet. It is much cheaper buying it up front than adding it at a later date. We’ll be doing our parents albums online using shutterfly or similar.
Post # 7
That’s a good point! I didn’t think about how different my favorites from my photographers could be… It apparently took my photographer 3 years to finalize her own just because of how many decisions and options there were and she wanted it to be perfect. Don’t wanna end up like that!
Post # 8
do you have the legal right to your photos? may photographers do not give you the right to make your own albums and you have to order directly from them. I would make sure what your contract says before you make plans.
Post # 9
i waited for a shutterfly 50% off sale. I got the most expensive wedding album option (leather cover embossed, lay flat thick pages, largest album (70 pages)). It was $450 after the discount which was about half the price for a way better album that my wedding photog offered. it turned out SO good. I would highly recommend, and you don’t have to spend as much you could easily do one for under $100.
Post # 10
drabbee : OMG, I totally understand her needing years! 😂
I have been working on mine on and off for about a 6 weeks and I am about a quarter of the way through. Everytime I look at it again, I want to change things up. It’s never ending, lol. But I think I am being waaaay too picky.
beverly579 : autofill sounds like a godsend! Do you have maybe a screen capture of a page or two? I am so curious as to how good that works. I am kinda getting sick of my project at this point and maybe I should consider this route too? (Only if you don’t mind sharing)
Post # 11
I put ours together ourselves (we made sure to select a photographer that would give us the digital files, and the rights to print the images). We used Adorama Pixs to create a layflat, flush, hard page style album, and it turned out beautifully. It was about $400 on sale (regular price was probably closer to $500). Similar albums through a photographer would have easily been $2000+.
It did take a lot of time though to put it together. Minor tweak after minor tweak – it took me a full year before I was ready to hit the order button!
Post # 12
Shesaidyes : I can message you and send them when I get home. I recommend that option if your photographer took pictures in order from getting ready to the reception and they are numbered in order on the disc. I just selected the photos I wanted to include in my book and once they uploaded I clicked on the autofill button. It was a lot quicker. The only thing I had to do was maybe center a few of them in the image box.
Post # 13
Honestly this is a loaded question because it’s all subjective baesd on how picky you are about design and quality. There is no substitution for a professionally designed and printed album. There just isn’t. Are their nice album companies that anyone can buy from? Yes of course BUT it doesn’t matter how great the quality of the album is – the printing is only half the battle. 😉
Full disclosure, I’m a wedding photographer so I obviously have a very different approach to it. I’ve seen A LOT of DIY albums posted on the Bee over the years, most of them I wouldn’t be happy with personally. It’s not for lack of using a quality printer but rather lack of expereience and knowledge when it comes to design. I prefer a very modern, clean design and most people DIYing it (despite using templates from the album company) just can’t achieve that look.
At the end of the day it just boils down to what you will be happy with. Plenty of people DIY their own album and love it, and that’s totally great for them. Quality is subjective and just because I look at someone’s DIY design and think it’s not that great doesn’t mean it’s not perfect for them.
One thing that I will add, is there is a common misconception about your photographer designing your album. People often think “there’s no way we’d pick/love the same images” and so they automatically think DIYing it is the better option. That is 100% not the case. Most of us, myself included, have our clients favorite what they’d like to see in the album. I tell my clients to choose their favorite 30-40 images and I let them know that sometimes I might not include them all and there will be times I pull in some they didn’t favorite, but they always get to review and make changes before we print. In the 10+ years I’ve been doing this I’ve only ever had to change an album layout after I’ve designed….maybe 4 times? The reason being is most people just can’t visualize how an album should lay out for flow, but this is something we do every day!
Post # 14
beverly579 : Thanks so much! I sent you a DM to make thing easier 🙂
Post # 15
When we were searching for a photographer and I first saw how expensive albums were, I thought no way – I can do this myself! I have put together lots of photo album books over the years pretty easily. However, once I started looking into it more I got nervous about the quality of one I could get myself vs from a professional. We are spending a lot of money on the photographer herself, so we wanted those photos to be displayed in the best quality possible. Plus, if we would have decided to add one on from our photographer at a later point it would have been even more expensive then just including it in our package up front so we decided to move forward with it. However, we skipped adding on parent albums and decided we will make those on our own as gifts afterwards.