A Happy Anniversary – Making my Blurb Wedding Photobook
My husband, Andrew, and I got married exactly one year ago today! It really was a JOYFUL day! Everything I had imagined came together beautifully thanks to so many blessed vendors, friends, and family members. So when it came to making my wedding album, I knew it had to be good! I also had the added pressure that I am a graphic designer, so I felt like not only did it have to be good, it had to be REALLY good! So several months after the wedding, I began the quest of designing the perfect wedding album.
I know making your own photobooks can be an overwhelming project and if you don’t have a good plan in place, it may feel impossible. With a photobook class at my local community college under my belt, I felt up to the challenge. So if you are a do-it-yourself type person like I am, I’m sharing my process to help you successfully create your own book (by the way, you definitely don’t have to take a photobook class).
First, I had to do some research.
What photobook company would I use?
Where would I get it printed?
What do other photographers use?
What are good programs to use?
What are good layouts?
There were so many questions.
So after a long while of exploring different ideas and options, I finally decided to use Blurb and design the book myself using their Adobe InDesign Plugin.
So I began what felt like a HUGE project!
I had to decide on which photos to use. There was no shortage of good photos. There were too many in fact – but not every one of them would be included. So I sifted through the 2,500 photos, bringing it down to 300. Then I made an outline of the events of the day and I arranged each of the photos accordingly. To avoid surprises, I printed all of my selected photos at Costco to ensure good quality upon possible enlargement. Once that was done, I finally felt ready to construct the pages. I needed this structure because looking at our wedding as a whole was just too overwhelming.
I worked on our album for the next few months focusing on one event at a time. I didn’t want to rush or hurry myself to get it done because I wanted to feel good about every detail. Every once in awhile, I would get an idea to incorporate something special and unique – for example, our engagement story is what opens the book. I feel like these additional details helped make our book unique and capture the tiny details that made our day so special.
As I came close to the end of designing everything, I started to think about how it would be printed. Blurb provides swatches of their papers for $7.95. The great thing about these swatches is that they really allow you to make an educated decision on which paper you should use and then if you buy a book later, Blurb reimburses you the cost of the swatches on your next book. So I ordered the swatches and after mulling over them awhile and finally deciding to use the ProLine Pearl Photo paper, I finally was ready to print.
I knew that I would be getting several photobooks (one for me and some additional ones for family) so I wanted my first purchase to be my test book. That way I could see how everything translated to paper and then fix anything if I did not like it. This proved to be a very useful exercise. Overall, I really liked the test book but there were minor things I wanted to fix. So after making a few corrections, I was FINALLY ready to print the final photobook!
When I received the finalized wedding photobook, I was sooooooooooo happy! All the research, planning and time I put into it had paid off! I LOVE the final result and am so happy to have something beautiful to show off our amazing wedding. I would definitely recommend a similar process for brides who might want to design their own photobook too. Blurb did an excellent job printing it and their InDesign plug-in was really easy to use. If you don’t want to design your own, Blurb has a template software called BookSmart which you can download and this makes things pretty easy.
One last feature that I really like about Blurb is that you can post your book online and share it via Facebook or e-mail with friends and family. They can see your entire book or just a sample of it – depending on how you set your settings. And the really cool thing is that if anyone wants to buy the book, they can do that directly from Blurb’s website instead of having to go through you.
Yay! I got my wedding album done at last and am so happy with the results! In celebration of it’s completion, I wanted to share some of the spreads with you!
To see the full book on Blurb’s website, visit: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/3474292
Thanks to so many amazing friends, family and vendors for making our wedding day so wonderful! Thanks especially to: Wendy Harrop Events, Poplar Photography, Broadway Booths, Honeysuckle Catering, Fotomokio, Ainsley House Gardens, Sonoma Chicken Coop in Campbell, Nancy Schlink for such an awesome cake, Jason & Jamie Seeba for the great music, Christa Koelewyn for the amazing hair and makeup, and Craig Brown & Cindy Wood for the dance lessons!
Thanks to the following for such amazing photos: Michelle & Tyler Bengtson, Emily & Jeremy Cross, & Scott Orehek.
– Naphtalie Joy Joiner
andrewSeptember 10, 2012
Good work love!
NaphySeptember 10, 2012
Thanks Hubby! Thanks for marrying me =)
courtneySeptember 10, 2012
ooh, thanks for this post, naphy! my co-worker recommended blurb and it’s on my to do list to design our own wedding album, but i haven’t even thought about how to begin since it’s such a huge project! your book looks amazing!!!
NaphySeptember 11, 2012
Hi Courtney! YES – I totally want to encourage you to do it! It’s so nice to get done and then you can enjoy your wedding photos more! If you have any questions about it, please let me know =) Thanks Courtney!