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What software to create a digital album?

Andre Reinders , Jan 28, 2008; 07:57 p.m.

I have a potential client asking if I can / will produce a digital (electronic) album. As they also asked about a print album, I assume by digital that they would like a CD that runs and shows them a book style colletion of images from the wedding.

Can someone suggest some options? The only one I found online so far is Flip Album: http://www.flipalbum.com/fahome/

They have a Home and a Pro version. The difference seems to be there are printing features in the Home version, where the Pro version removes the printing features, and adds watermark and other security features.

Thanks.

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Heather Claypool , Jan 28, 2008; 08:11 p.m.

Well, some people refer to flush mount (aka "coffee table") albums as "digital" albums too.

If that's what the client means (and you don't want to design your own pages in photoshop), you might check out zookbinders. They have templates that are pretty straightforward and work with PS. If you want to take it a step further, they partner with a design service too that can do layout and design for you.

Of course, this is only my speculating that this client could mean one of these kinds of albums and not an album on CD as you say...

If I've assumed incorrectly or insterted my nose where it doesn't belong I apologize! :)

Good Luck!

Steve C. , Jan 28, 2008; 08:47 p.m.

Not knowing what your design/graphics skills are, I'd guess you'd be better off to leave this to professionals. There are a number of services out there you can take advantage of. One I am starting to use is Graphi-Studio. They produce really gorgeous albums, the pricing is great, and they offer design services at $3.50/page. That's pretty reasonable, and you'd be really surprised at how sharp and classic their albums are.

http://www.graphistudio.com/usa/index.html

John Givens - Virginia , Jan 28, 2008; 08:48 p.m.

Good point, Heather. Magazine style albums (aka coffee-table albums, flush mount albums, etc) are often referred to as digital albums because they are designed 'digitally' on the computer.

Just ask.

Keith Dunlop , Jan 28, 2008; 11:02 p.m.

Instead of "assuming", you need to ask your client what they mean by "digital album". As other posters have stated, a digital album could mean a flush-mount album that is designed from digital composites. But, since your client also asked about a "print" album, it's hard to know if they want a digital DVD of their wedding pictures plus a printed album, or if they want a Flash slideshow of composite album pages. You need more information from your client.

P.S. It would help to know what type of product you were marketing when you were asked these questions.

Andre Reinders , Jan 29, 2008; 11:06 a.m.

Thanks for the information - I assumed a CD based one - because the client also refered to a print album. This is for a wedding this summer.

I did speak with her last night and she clarified she was not looking for a CD based album. She mentioned something she saw at a trade show from another photographer - and also sent me a link to zookbinders. I am looking at what they offer.

I have shot a few weddings but always provided prints and not an album so this is new territory for me. The client is looking for a leather bound album - that much is for sure.

I was considering working with the clients in putting together a zookbinder album.

What do other photographers do? How much do you charge to put together an album? How much do you work with the clients? Zookbinders doesn't have any pricing info on their website that I can see...I guess I will need to contact them.

Heather Claypool , Jan 29, 2008; 12:22 p.m.

They will e-mail you a pdf version of the catalog if you call. I use them a lot...they do great work and their customer service and turnaround time are pretty good too. I can tell you that for a 10x10 leather bound album with 20 pages, foil stamping of the B&G name and wedding date you're looking at around $285.00 not including shipping of the prints to the company (I'm kind of a control freak and don't want to use their print-to-bind service just in case a page looks too light or too dark to me I can catch it and have it redone if I use a seperate lab and ship the prints to Zookbinders).

This price also doesn't include your time to layout the pages. If you choose to farm that out, you can go with their design service at about $2 per page (I think). You may also check around with a local college or school to see if there is a student who wants to provide this kind of service inexpensively (I see them listed on Craigslist all the time).

As far as what to chage, if you want to figure it out based on what you're worth per hour...my last album took me about 20 hours give or take.

Oh, and as far as how to get them to decide on what prints to use...Again, this is what I do and it may not work for everyone, but I post all their images on collages.net and have them put their "favorites" in a folder. Then I go from there. I'll do a page of the dressing, a page of the bride, one of the groom, the ceremony, etc...you get the idea. Then I e-mail them the pages (in jpeg form) and get them to okay everything before it goes to print.

Sorry for the long winded response, but hopefully it will help!

Andre Reinders , Jan 29, 2008; 05:38 p.m.

Heather - don't apologize - I am looking for this type of information. Thank you.

Andre Reinders , Jan 29, 2008; 06:01 p.m.

Would you mind sharing what you charge for such an album?

Heather Claypool , Jan 30, 2008; 10:30 a.m.

Admittedly, I'm on the low end...I charge $600 for the album right now (that will change as my business grows). I know other photographers charge about $900-1500.


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