Here’s a recent wedding album design I created for Chris and Krista’s wedding that I’m going to use as one of my 2012 sample albums. Please scroll below the slideshow to read about how the album design process works at GLK Creative.

I think it might be my roots as a magazine editor, but I love the wedding album design process. There’s just something awesome about taking an assortment of digital files and organizing them in a way that creates a true story of the wedding day. I’m also a firm believer in the printed image. To me, a photograph is just binary code until it’s physically printed on paper. The wedding album is a culmination of the entire wedding process, and a final testament and heirloom for the bride and groom to pass on to future generations.

The key to a stress-free design process is workflow. Within two months of a wedding, I post all the proofs on a website that allows the couple to “favorite” the images they want for the album. They can always see thumbnails of all the selections and add or subtract photos accordingly. I can access a list of the images from the backend and then pull the photos from Lightroom.

Every image earmarked for a wedding album is touched up, color corrected, and sharpened for print. I begin designing the album using Fundy’s fantastic Album Builder program in Photoshop CS5. I know some photographers prefer to pre-visualize an album and sort photos by spread beforehand. But I’m just not hardwired that way. I organize the files by the timeline of the wedding and then put them together like a jigsaw puzzle. I think my style is more like a tattoo artist free handing a design rather than stenciling it on the body first.

I also believe in a clean, minimalist approach to layout. My pages focus primarily on the photos and I avoid any cheesy backgrounds, borders, or gimmicky Photoshop designs (remember the portraits in the wine glass photos from the ’70s?)

Once the album is designed, I upload it to Fundy’s Album Proofer or AlbumExposure (depending on the album company I’m using), and e-mail the client a link to their proofs. Clients can then suggest changes, approve the album, or share it with friends. Once approved, I send the files to my album company to print and bind the final product.