Ordering an Album: A Step by Step Guide

Example from a large 8500 style album: cream mats & black outlines. Pages are about 12 x 12″. Photos are about 7 x 10″.

Album details can be entered on my Album Order Form, or sent by email or regular mail.  Please contact me to request the current Album Order Form.

For All Album Styles

Step 1. Select Photos for Your Album

Albums are priced based on the style and the number of photos. You can narrow down your selections by picking a few photos to represent each part of the day.  For a wedding album, the selections might look something like this:

    • getting ready:  2-4 photos
    • ceremony:  2-4 photos
    • bride & groom portraits:  2-6 photos
    • family & wedding party portraits:  4-10 photos
    • setting / flowers / other details:  2-4 photos
    • first dance:  1-2 photos
    • parent dances:  2 photos
    • speeches:  2-4 photos
    • dancing:  2-8 photos
    • cake:  1 photo
    • cake cutting:  1 photo
    • other (important people, bouquet toss, departure, etc.):  3-4 photos

If you follow the above list, you will have selected about 24 to 50 photos. That covers the key people and events, and is within the number of album photos usually prepaid in event photography contracts.  You’re welcome to choose more, of course! I’ve created albums with over 100 photos. Please inquire about pricing for extra photos.

You can specify the order of the photos, but don’t worry about the layout.  If the album will have one photo per side, then there is really no layout to prepare.  If it will have more than one photo per side, then I’ll draft a layout and email it to you for review.  Large albums with 34 or fewer photos usually have one large (7×10″ or 8×10″) photo per side.  Large albums with 35 or more photos usually have some sides with two or more photos.  Medium albums have one photo per side, usually 6×8″ in size. (Photos in matted albums get trimmed a bit by the album maker.)


Step 2. Select Your Album Style

There are three styles:  the 3500 Coffee Table Album, the 800 Traditional Matted Album and the 8500 Signature Album.

See all of the album styles at this link: Album Styles

Here is a summary of the key differences:

Style: 3500 Coffee Table 800 Matted 8500 Signature
Matting & Outlines: No Yes Yes
Binding Area: Narrow Wide Narrow
Corners: Square Rounded Square
Spine: Square Slightly Rounded Square
Clone Album Option: Yes No No
Cost: ** Standard ***  Higher *** Higher

The 3500 Coffee Table Album is the standard album in my current agreements / price lists.  This style has no matting, so the photo can be as big as the page (and thus bigger than in a matted album).  It has square corners and a more square spine, and it has a narrow binding that is suited to double-page panoramas.

In the 800 Traditional Matted Album, each photo is permanently mounted onto a matted page with a recessed outline. It has rounded corners and a slightly rounded spine, and it has a linen binding that lays flat.  

The 8500 Signature Album is a kind of hybrid of the other two:  it has individually matted photos like the 800 Traditional Matted album, but it has a narrow binding, square spine and square corners like the 3500 Coffee Table album.  Most clients quickly gravitate to one of these styles. They are all great choices!

Album pricing is based on your original price list if the album is ordered within one year of your event.  After one year it is based on my then current pricing. If your price list has a Clone Album option, this refers to a smaller copy of the main album.  It has all of the same photos in the same layout, but in a smaller, less costly size — a good option for parent albums.


Step 3. Select the Cover

You can choose from a wide range of leather and fabric colors.  This choice comes down to personal preference. If unsure, I recommend the Euro Black leather.

See all of the cover options at this link: Album Cover Swatches

The above are just nine examples. Click through to see many more.


Step 4. Select Text for the Cover

The cover text is usually just first names one one line and the date on a second line. The text can be printed in the center or the lower right of the front cover. It can be in one of four fonts and it can be imprinted in a color or branded without any color. I recommend the Block font (which is smaller) or the Modern font (which is bigger) and making the cover text the same color as your gilding or simply “branded” without color. You can also choose printing on the album’s spine. The available cover text imprinting styles are:


Step 5. Select Gilding Color — Optional

Gilding is smooth coating applied to the page edges; the color is visible when the page edges are viewed from the side. Choose from black, copper, silver, red or gold. There is also an option to have no gilding; this means that the pages will have plain edges. I recommend the silver, black or gold gilding.  The available gilding colors are:


Step 6. Select Mat & Outline Colors — for Matted Albums Only (800 or 8500)

(Skip this for 3500 Style)

In matted albums, the mat is the page color around the photos. The outline is the thin, slightly recessed border between the photo and the mat. The mat and outline are usually in contrasting colors to give a better framing effect for the photo.

Mat Colors for 800 Style Mat Colors for 8500 Style
Black Black
White White
Brown Cream


Outline Colors for 800 Style Outline Colors for 8500 Style
Silver Black
Ebony White
White Red
Premium Black* Copper
Premium Brown*  
Premium Charcoal*  
Premium Cream*  
Premium White*  
*premium makes pages 15% thicker  

As with the cover, choosing mat and outline colors comes down to personal preference. If unsure, I recommend a light mat (cream or white) and dark outlines (charcoal or black). See: See more mat and outline colors on this page: Album Mat and Outline Colors. Here are two examples:

Charcoal mat with silver outline

Cream mat with black outline


Step 7. Select Any Other Customizations / Upgrades — Optional & Extra Cost

There several more ways to customize your album, including cover photos, split tone covers, photo plate covers, and slipcases.  These options have an added cost; please contact me for a quote if interested.  One exception: an invitation page can be added to matted albums at no extra cost (yes free!).  For some customization ideas, please browse through my album maker’s Pinterest boards at this link. If unsure, I recommend skipping extra customization. Here are links to examples of customization options on my album maker’s Pinterest page:

  1. Cover Photos
  2. Photo Plate Covers
  3. Split Tone Covers
  4. Custom Endpapers
  5. Slipcases


Last Step …

Step 8. Send in Your Album Order (Enclose a 50% Deposit if not Prepaid)

Please send me your selections for the above details by mailing the Album Order Form or by email.  A 50% deposit is required for albums that were not prepaid with the contract. The deposit can be paid by check, credit card or Paypal.   Feel free to email me to confirm the deposit amount.

Thank you for your album order!