How many images should I choose?

This is going to mainly depend on your pictures, and your budget. To get started, I recommend going through all your pictures and picking your favorites, then look at your budget, and cut down (or not) accordingly.

Most wedding albums will be between 4 and 8 dozen images. The more people were at your event, the more hours of ceremony and reception there were, the more images are usually needed to do your story justice and including all the important people.

For most of the albums I offer, a good design will average between 1-3 images per page; higher than that is possible but only works well in certain circumstances. If you are wanting to put 4 dozen images in a 20 page book, I will work with you to see if that is going to be appropriate — or look like a stamp collection.

The most popular sets are 100 images/40 pages, 72 images/30 pages, 120 images/50 pages and 48 images/20 pages.

How do I pick the right images for my wedding album?

To start, just pick your favorite images, the ones you know you’re going to want to look at again and again. But there are a few things to think about that will help us construct the best story:

1. What were the most important moments of the day for you? For example: “the kiss”, dancing with your parents, a flowergirl dropping her basket of petals, lighting a unity candle, your best friend helping you get ready, your grandmother weeping with joy, your uncle’s toast, the best man getting thrown into a fountain…

2. Formal portraits. These can range from none to lots; it really depends on your personal style. Think about whether for a particular grouping you would rather have that image in your album, or in a frame on your desk/coffeetable/refrigerator? Also, if you are getting a fairly small (in page size) album and have a group shot with lots and lots of people, it may be best to get a larger print of it instead where you can actually see peoples faces! Also, in most situations, you want to strive for balance between the families/friends coming together — even if only one of you is doing the work of picking images for the album, do you really want to have your mother-in-law ask at Christmas why their family isn’t in the book?

3. Classic ceremony shots: this is, again, a personal style question; I personally like to see a lot of the ceremony, because I remember at my own wedding how much time we had put into its important details — and how much of a blur it slipped by in! — but I don’t think you are required to put in images of every single couple in the wedding party recessing, especially if you have a fun group shot of the wedding party. And your day may be different — for one of my favorite albums, the couple picked only one shot of the ceremony, because what was really important to them was all the people at the reception who had traveled from far away to be with them.

4. Atmosphere — photos of the details and setting really can add a lot of depth to the album, but this is also one of the easiest places to start cutting for most couples.

5. Similars – in general, when you have images that are a lot alike, you can just pick one — for example, a far away AND a zoomed in shot of the wedding couple listening to the officiant, or two different shots of a bride applying makeup, is usually repetitive. The exception is usually when there is a significant or fun sequence – for example, three dancing shots progressing from the beginning to a twirl to a dramatic dip.

6. Quality – if some of the images you are choosing aren’t coming from a professional photographer, size can be an issue. While it certainly is possible to include a shot from your aunt’s cameraphone in your album, it will probably be small. If it isn’t at least 800×600 pixels (and that’s going to be really small in your album), don’t send it. Also, if the image is significantly blurry, blown out, strangely colored or dark, I may not be able to make it printable or I may have to charge a retouching fee. (I will always get your approval before doing retouching.) Some cameraphones produce images that have a lot of pixels, but are difficult to print other than small because of the lower quality of the lens optics.

If you really don’t like the picture, it probably shouldn’t be in your album. Admittedly, sometimes there just isn’t a good picture of someone really important that needs to go in there — let me know in cases like this if you want me to get a little more artistic on an image to try and “save” it.


Can you work from film negatives?

Yes, although if it is possible, I recommend getting your film scanned locally, rather than risking them to the mail. If I scan your film, there will be an additional $3/image charge for the scans and cleanup; you will receive high-resolution files for every image scanned.

Can I have you use my Fedex/UPS account for shipping?


Do you ship outside the U.S.?

Yes. I will need your shipping address to estimate shipping cost; any customs charges will be your responsibility but I will attempt to predict them in my shipping estimate.

Do you do books for non-traditional families/events?

Oh course! With great joy. Pagan handfastings, same-gender couples, poly families, collaring ceremonies, Civil War Re-enactor betrothals, whatever your celebration, I just want to help you remember it fondly. (And Hello to those of you visiting from Poly-Friendly Professionals, Offbeat Families, Offbeat Bride, So You’re EnGAYged and GayWeddings.com!)

I want to do a boudoir album for my sweetie, but I’m concerned about privacy….

I have special privacy options for boudoir albums.

Are these scrapbooks?

No.  All my book and albums are designed in InDesign and Photoshop, professionally printed and bound at trade-only bookbinders.  I do offer a wide range of DIY assistance services for scrapbookers/makers/crafters and am happy to make recommendations for really excellent, archival and lovely scrapbook bases.

What does “high resolution” mean?

A high resolution file is big enough to make a nice print from, and is usually the file straight from the camera. Low-resolution files are great for the web.

For instance, to make a nice 8×10 print, ideally you want a file that is 2000×3000 pixels; in JPG form that’s usually at least 1 MB for color photos. In terms of how they market cameras, in general a file from 2 or 3 megapixel camera (2000 pixels on the longest side) will be happiest printed 8×10 inches or less. More megapixels (resolution) usually translates into both higher quality and larger possible prints, though the quality of the lens plays a role as well; I’d rather work with a 4 megapixel image from a dSLR than an 8 megapixel image from a point and shoot camera with a small sensor and plastic lens, all else being equal.

What’s a giclee?

Giclee prints are archival pigment prints, created with professional quality inkjets with pigmented inks; they are more archival than traditional chemical photographic prints, and can be created on a variety of surfaces, including a fine art paper surface, photo luster style surface, canvas, etc. Most of A La Carte’s giclee prints are created in-house, not sent to a lab. You can opt for in-house giclee prints for Chunky Basic Flush Albums or Matted albums. You can also get the Deluxe Flush and Deluxe Hybrid (finao artONE and nextONE) made with lovely giclees on etching paper, but those prints are done at the album-makers, not in my studio.