After a potential bride has visited with you, what will they remember about you and how will they compare you against other photographers with whom they have met? Chances are, your studio sample albums will become the measuring stick. With this in mind, we are going to discuss the importance of producing unforgettable studio sample wedding albums in this article.
The old saying "Don't judge a book by its cover" may apply to many things, but not necessarily to wedding albums! In fact, the wedding album cover is the FIRST thing that your potential bride sees - so use that to your advantage to make a good first impression. Chances are, your bride had already seen dozens of traditional, plain, black wedding albums. But even if that's what she may eventually end up ordering, it helps to have some eye-catching album covers to stand out from your competitors. We take this one step further with our Luxe Albums by offering unique inside fabrics to accentuate the album!
Once your bride opens your sample album, it's going to be all about the album design. And that's an area where we happen to know A LOT about!
To begin, you should understand that your studio sample wedding album has only ONE goal - to catch the attention of the bride! With that said, you should not include any of the typical "boring" family/group photos that are usually found in actual wedding albums. Focus on your KILLER images.
We find many photographers replying, "But what if we don't have that many fantasic images from a single wedding??" To that, we suggest creating a "Best Of" studio sample album, whereby you submit your best images from several weddings and we will create a compilation wedding design from those images. Eventually, you will have great images from a single wedding....but if it is a choice between many mediocre images from a single wedding vs. great images from several weddings - we will always suggest the latter as a studio sample album.
We always take pride in creating studio sample albums for wedding photographers because these will be used as marketing tools for them to book future weddings. And we are usually given more creative freedom since these are not bound by the restrictions of any particular bride.
Let's take a close look at sample albums from three photography studios and examine how they utilize their studio sample designs to convey their photography style and market themselves to their potential clients.
Our first design comes from Julian Moniz of Julian Moniz Photographer. Based in Canada, Julian has been a long-time customer of ours. His images truly stand out with their ability to capture the subject's raw personality and expressions. You won't see a bride and groom forcefully smiling into the camera; instead, you will find subtle smirks, grins, and other elusive expressions which would have never been caught. When it came to designing Julian's sample album, it was obvious that the images should speak for themselves. The design should only provide a framework for the images to tell their story. As you can see below, we used our "Clean & Modern" design style. With only black & white images in the design, it becomes even more impactful.
Our next sample comes from Richard Santini of RHS Photo. Richard chose our "Boutique" design style which incorporates embellishments, sloppy borders, and other design elements to enhance the layout and images. This design style is actually quite popular in Europe, but less so in the United States. However, by offering this design style, Richard is able to set his studio apart from all the others that show regular "standard" album layouts. And this is really the purpose of your studio sample albums!
Lastly, we have a "Best Of" album from Mariann Szucs of Blue Daisy Weddings. Every year, Mariann collects her favorite images from all her weddings and engagements and gives them to us to produce a "best of" album. We think this is a terrific idea and again, something that sets her apart from other studios. These best-of albums also allow potential clients to see the wide variety of venues, poses, shooting styles, etc. in a single book.