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How to Choose Pictures for your Wedding Album

After you’re married and you have hundreds of pictures to look through, picking out images for your wedding album can feel like a mammoth task.  It doesn’t have to be that way if you take a structured approach.  Here’s my guide for choosing pictures for your wedding album.  The way I ask couples to select their album images works well for me, in terms of the way I design their albums, but it’s also a good template if you’re thinking about making your own album or photo book.

My fine art albums

Choosing pictures for your wedding albumI use a the brilliant QT Albums, a bespoke wedding album company for all of my wedding albums.  I design the layouts and then send them off so that they can work their magic.  Their fine art albums are really contemporary and beautiful.  They are hand-bound and they open out flat with an almost invisible crease, to showcase your beautiful wedding photography across two pages.

A wedding album that tells the story of the day

Your wedding album should tell the story of your wedding day, in a balanced way.  Ideally this should include a good mix of documentary images, portraits, details and group shots.  You should also need to make sure the album flows well.

Too much of one thing and not enough of another will leave you with a disjointed album that doesn’t cover all aspects of the day.  I’ve included some guidelines about how to select images below.

When I am working with my couples to create their wedding albums, I ask them to pick images from a number of different categories, to make sure all aspects of the day are covered.

Selecting images for your wedding album

These are the image selections I suggest:

6 – 8 getting ready shots, split between both of them (i.e 4 of one person’s preparations and 4 of the other’s)
3 – 4 shots of guests arriving
Up to 8 ceremony shots
6 – 8 reception shots (candid shots of guests or posed groups)
Up to 6 speech shots
1 or 2 first dance shots
Up to 6 dancing shots
4 couples portrait shots
6 detail shots

Add extra spreads for additional images

If you add additional pages, then you can add extra images.  I often suggest that couples might like to add two extra pages; one for some extra shots of their guests at the reception, and one for some extra shots of the dancing.

Forget about should

Forget about the images you think you ‘should’ include, and instead focus on images that you love.  Your album is for you and it’s something you’ll look at again and again.  Rather than thinking “I should have a picture of x in there”, choose those images that you absolutely adore. That way you’ll be reminded of your wedding day every time you look at your album.

Some design tips for DIY albums

If you’re designing an album yourself, you should keep the following in mind:

Your design will work best in chronological order
Try not mix up events on the same page – i.e you don’t want getting ready pictures on the same page as guests arriving for the ceremony
Leave plenty of white space, so your images can breathe
It’s nice to have a big portrait as your first and last image, as this sets the scene and then punctuates the end of the album.

So that’s that. Album image selection 101. Do let me know if you have any questions. And do check out my other articles about wedding photography and planning here.

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