Album design....what a NIGHTMARE!!

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by rob_ricci, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. Hi everybody,
    I`m a pro photographer in NYC and I shoot about 30-40 wedding per year.
    Most of my clients get an album too which I usually print either from Graphi or Asuka.
    The problem is that I spend sooooo much time designing the layout for these albums that I feel I`m becoming a
    graphic designer.
    I know that many companies offer layout design but that`s an average of $300 per album or more that I have to spend!
    I can`t afford to hire somebody just to design albums.
    I`m trapped! It takes me with Photoshop 4-5 days to design a 60 sides album...now multiply that for 30-40
    weddings and you`ll realize why I call album design a NIGHTMARE!

    Anybody out there found a better solution?

    Take care,

    Bob
     
  2. If you want to speed it up, leave the same creative freedom as from-scratch Photoshop...and still do it yourself, try FotoFusion Extreme Edition. We design lots of albums for photographers and have found it a real help. It's not template software, just makes you more efficient at doing the same layouts you would do in Photoshop.
     
  3. Just left this post on another thread: Lumapix pro version - saved my life! They do not offer a mac version so I keep a pc just to run this program. Yeah.. it's that good. Makes it feasible to do custom designs for each client and save designs as templates to tweak later for favorite spreads etc. Very sophisticated yet short learning curve. Found nothing that compares so far. You can be doing simple in a few minutes and anything you can do in photoshop in a day or two. Then take your designs into photoshop for any further desired use of actions etc. This is the same software mentioned by John Givens above. (Not sure about versions but same company)
    00RDV7-80475884.jpg
     
  4. I've started using YSI and am very happy with it. The first time, it takes a little while because you end up making custom templates. But after that, I was able to cut the design time down to around 1.5 hours. I have it set up to match Asuka (the large EX book). I still have to use PS to make the cover (the 0000.psd) page, but that's no time, so... It is/was definitely worth the $500...
     
  5. I bought FotoFusion pro last year, and it has saved me an enormous amount of time without sacrificing all of the creativity I want to put into the books. I highly recommend it!
     
  6. Thanks for the infos.
    Hooman how many sides you do in 1.5 hours?
     
  7. I'm another FotoFusion user, and LOVE it! It's SOOOOOO much faster and easier that action-based products and plain Photoshop itself.

    The cool thing is you can try it for free, even the extreme version.

    Also, they do provide a design service, and you should be able to get the pricing per page from their website/trade area and figure it up, based on how many pages the album will ultimately cost.

    Their design service will typically build in 1 to 3 images per page, and will create it based on several different layout "styles" they offer, samples of which can be downloaded as PDFs from your trade area on their website. These sample style PDFs will show you what a typical finished layout style would look like. The design fee for a 40 page side album would cost roughly $150 or less on an 8 x 12 album.

    You could also advertise on Craigslist for some graphic designers/students to handle the design for you, and pay them $10 an hour or so. Then, you could get back to shooting and marketing, and running your business.
     
  8. don't know if you have the whole suite, but InDesign will do it for you. You can create your own master pages and then drag and drop your files into place.
     
  9. After years of using PS for albums, I just started using Fotofusion and while its only for PC (sucks), it is much faster and more intuitive than PS.

    So far I have done a few "test" spreads/books. Each one with 10 spreads. Time so far (after some learning time) on each is around 4-5 hours. I expect with some use I can shave at least 10-20% from that as I get used to where it all is.

    Another vote for fotofusion (esp. WHEN they make it MAC).

    Best, D.
     
  10. In my post above, when I said, "Also, they do provide a design service..." I meant Graphi-Studio offers that service. It was late, sorry.
     
  11. Hi Rob -
    Yeah, I literally had the same problem you have expressed about 2 months ago - it was just taking TOO long to make the Asuka Book - (which is awesome). I usually try to work in about 125-145 photos per book, on the 80 page EX 12.5 x 11 book. In photoshop, it just takes too long. The recommended place that Asuka has for Album layouts (i can't recall the name) worked out to around $1,000 - which is insane. With YSI, the first layout took me about 6 hours - which included learning the software, deleting things and starting over, and making about 16 custom layouts specifically for the Asuka. Once I had it all set up, the second layout took me around 2 - 2.5 hours or so, which again, included making a few more layouts to match some things I needed.

    The layout design tool is very easy. You can duplicate layouts you have made, or that exist, and modify to make new ones, which saves time. You can use the built in tool, or you can design layouts in the PS. Once you have the layout set, the "boxes" where the photos go are labeled as "A', "B", "C", etc.. and you click the box, then click the photo you want in the box it its there - its really that simple. You can add strokes, etc... to the boxes, either in layout design or when you are in album design mode.

    If you want, send me a PM, and I'll send you the october newsletter I just got for more info. Also, the tech support is very good and they answered all my questions within 24-48 hours. There are also a few tricks for the Asuka, and I'll tell you about that...
     
  12. We explain to our B&G how it would be beneficial for them to design their own albums. Our last wedding album was in the early 90's...........for fun, personal albums> we use the Blurb product.
     
  13. I use Yerants Page Gallery software for album design. It cut down my design times from 5 days to one. Many album companies offer their own software but may be limited with regards to templates. Page gallery is not cheap but it's defintely worth the investment once you realize the time you save.
     
  14. C Jo, I can see why you don't do many albums. And perhaps you're happy that way?
     
  15. Rich, you mentioned that you can use InDesign. In what format would you export the file for printing?

    Thanks.
     
  16. I'm new to this forum and just now posted my first post to see if there is potential audience for a new venture I'm trying out - looks like there could well be! I'm a freelance graphic designer who wants to specialise in the design of wedding albums! This is a shameful plug - but any further feedback would be much appreciated!
    http://www.stuart-hodgson.com/wedding-photo-book.html
     

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