3 Essential Tips To Shooting and Planning Your Album Design

If you’re new to designing albums, you might find the overall process overwhelming. Some might also believe that the process begins once all of the photos from the event have been shot and edited, and all you have to do now is arrange the photos onto the pages of the album. To tell you the truth, the process of planning your album design begins long before you sit down to edit your images. But don’t worry and read on because we’re here to help make album designing easier for you.

While you’re shooting photographs of a wedding (or any special occasion), the album design should also be on the front of your mind so that you’re capturing all the images that you need. It’s important to shoot with the objective to create a custom wedding album that tells the full story of the day. By doing so, it will ultimately cut down your workload tremendously.

Here are 3 essential things you need to keep in mind when shooting and planning your album design:


1. Becoming the Author

When you begin shooting a wedding, focus on storytelling. Think of yourself being not only the photographer but also the author. The author has the important task of documenting the couple’s story and presenting it to the world.  The essential parts to any story include an introduction, the middle/climax, and the ending. In the introduction, you want to set the stage and present the main characters of the story. In the middle, you want to develop the story of the characters and present the climax. And at the end, you conclude the story by showing the bride and groom departing from the scene to live happily ever after. With all of this in mind, also start thinking about what you would like as your cover image (which ultimately represents the entire story) and the last image of the album to end the story.

2. Capturing The Details of Each Scene of the Story

As you photograph the wedding day, moving from one scene to next, think about what main shot you can take that will introduce (and best represents) each scene. This shot will signal to your album viewers that they are transitioning into the next chapter of the story, such as moving from the scene of the bride and groom getting ready to the actual wedding ceremony. These photos are normally wide-angle shots, typically focusing more on the location of the scene than the people.

Once you have the main shot for a particular scene, instantly think of what supporting shots you can take that will reinforce that main photo. This is the core to album design and storytelling. These supporting shots usually contain the details of the scene, what’s taking place, and the characters that are present. You can follow this same process for each scene of the wedding day. This same technique should also be used when you design each album spread. A main photo is used for each spread and it’s accompanied by accent/supporting images.

Also be aware that the middle section of the album will contain many of those big wedding moments—the bride walking down the aisle, the kiss at the wedding ceremony, the first dance, cake cutting, throwing the bouquet, etc. So don’t forget to work in some needed quiet moments into the story – such as a hug shared by the mother and the bride, a quiet moment between the groom and his father, or other low key, special moments that you might spot throughout the day. You can also pull the bride and groom away any chance you get (such as after the ceremony or during the reception) to shoot some intimate portraits of them together. Take these bride and groom portraits with the goal of using some of them in the middle of the album as well as using one to set the stage of concluding the story.

3. Ending the Story

The last thing to do now is to capture the final shots and ending the story. The ending often shows the wedding guests sending the newly weds off and they are exiting the scene. The last image of the album is typically a pulled-back quiet shot where the only people present are the newly weds. This can be a photo of the couple leaving the scene, and they would only take up a small part of the image. But however you plan to end the story, know that you will need that image for the album and capture it during one of your portrait times with the couple.


Planning your album design doesn’t have to be a hard task. Whenever you set out to shoot with storytelling and the album design in mind, you will find yourself having captured all of the moments that you needed. Doing so will help you simplify the entire project. Once you sit down to put the album together, you’ll find that you did a lot of the work and planning already. It also really shows the difference between storytelling versus just arranging photographs onto the pages of an album. Know that when you design an album well, you are ultimately giving your clients a timeless keepsake that they will cherish forever.

In addition to making custom handcrafted albums, Serendipity Albums also partners with professional album designers and awesome album design software companies. Register on our site to become a Serendipity Albums member and enjoy discounts from our partners. If you need assistance with album design, visit our partners page for more details.