How to make incredible wedding photobooks, with wedding photographer Lisa Devlin

Bob Books
14th February 2017

Creating a wedding book might well be one of the most difficult challenges a photographer faces. You have to capture everything from the day in a style your couple recognizes as your own. It’s a keepsake, yes. But in many ways it’s a lot more than that. The photo book you present your bride and groom will be pored over and loved and cherished for many years to come.

So how do you go about making sure the book you create is perfect? We spoke to the British Journal of Photography’s 2010 Wedding Photographer of the Year, Lisa Devlin, for her unique take on how to make incredible wedding photo books. Lisa was a music photographer for years before moving into wedding photography. She’s now one of the most sought after wedding photographers in Europe. Here’s Lisa’s guide to creating the perfect wedding photo book.

1. Edit the right pictures

Depending on your workflow, you’ll want to make sure you’ve edited the pictures just right before you go to any bookmaking software. I usually give client’s some guidance as to the images to select and will probably add in a few to make sure their story will come across. I like to use Bob Books 3.0 Pro software because it’s very simple, fast and it allows me to customise layouts. Ultimately it gives me incredible quality books that my couples love.

2. Pace yourself

I design the album in one session as I feel this gives it a consistent design but will then leave it and come back with fresh eyes to see if anything stands out as not right. I try to tell the story of a wedding with a mixture of detail shots, reportage and more formal images all placed together throughout the pages.

3. Allow your best images space to breathe

After designing wedding albums for the past 11 years, I have learnt to keep it simple. Classic clean designs will not go out of fashion. I like a good amount of white space and nothing too busy. I want the images to be the narrative and like some full-page images or a double page of one strong image as Bob Books lay flat so well. It’s tempting to make all your detail shots small as ‘supporting images’ but they can also work well as a large image in a layout.

4. Tell the story

I use a second shooter but rename all our files so they are in order that they were shot on the day. This is easy to do if you make sure your cameras are synced on time. Then it’s straightforward to pick out album images in chronological order. However each double page needs to read as a part of the story so I will not mix Groom getting ready with Bride getting ready but its okay to put table details in with photos of guests at the tables. I do place colour and black and white images together on a spread but will ensure that there is a balance. I like to imagine that if someone wasn’t at that wedding they could still get a good idea of what it was like by looking through the album. A wedding day is a blur for the couple so a lot of their memories will be enhanced by these images and they should be able to look at their album in years to come and remember what they had to eat, the fragrance of the flowers plus all those emotional moments.

5. Get the finish right

Make an impact with the cover so that the book stands out as something special. It might be on a shelf or coffee table but you want to create something that they really want to show off. I like full image covers with some simple text, like their names or the wedding date and sometimes choose an image that fits well across the back cover too. I do the cover at the end so that I can make it look like a good introduction to what is inside.

6. A couple of top tips

After doing all that hard work designing a book, put it in the Bob Books Bookshop for parents or friends to see and you will often get an order for extra copies. Also don’t think of them just for wedding books. We use them as proof books, photo booth books, parent albums, engagement books or signing books at the ceremony.

Check out Lisa's website and blog