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photographik articles   »  October 2008   »  The 15-minute abs of Wedding Album Design

The 15-minute abs of Wedding Album Design
by: Paul D. Van Hoy II

photography business

Workflow is a topic that I've developed an aversion to along with religion and politics. If you're anything like me, you've already found your groove and established a sound, editing process, and now your attention has turned from learning the basics toward acquiring new tools and techniques that can help reduce precious time from your workflow regiment. Within wedding photography coffee table albums, magazine albums, and flush mount albums are more than just presentational trends, they are the industry mainstays for how we convey our client's stories and represent our artistry. I shoot roughly forty weddings a year and produce albums for ninety percent of my clients, so I am always looking to the horizon for new hardware and software innovations that will help add hours to my day.

I discovered YSI software (you select it) about six months ago and immediately recognized its time and money saving potential. As with any new software my first reaction is skepticism and stubbornness, but YSI is truly one of the most intuitive programs I've used for album design, and the software's ability to work in tandem with Photoshop makes YSI a comprehensive and seamless extension of your workflow. The very first layout I designed using the software was for a 9.5X13, 40 page, vertical album, consisting of 90 images. From start to finish (bear in mind a minor learning curve and a few coffee breaks) my first album using YSI software took only four and a half hours and was a lot of fun to boot!

YSISo let me get down to the nuts and bolts of YSI's robust key features. You select it allows a user to choose from over 2000 templates in vertical, horizontal, square, or panoramic format and, if you don't find any that suit your fancy, you can customize any of the 2000 existing templates or create your very own from scratch. Once you've finished making your edits and you're ready to design an album, you simply create a new job and import the file folder into YSI's light box. From the workspace menu you can select a suitable template and then begin dragging your images into position. YSI has many quick and convenient tools built-in which allow you to select and change the color of the background, border accents, and image strokes. You can also scale, crop, transform, rotate, flip vertical and horizontal, and even change image opacity.

YSIIf you desire a greater range of control or start to feel uncomfortable being out of your Photoshop element, YSI allows you to export the template along with the images into Photoshop as a PSD when a customization calls precision fine-tuning. Oh, I almost forgot to mention… YSI is compatible with both Mac and Windows!

I won't try to reinvent the wheel and attempt to recite information about the software that is already stated so clearly on YSI's web site. I suggest that you visit their site and view the software demonstration and then download a trial version of the software for yourself. ( The software cost is 495.00 USD. I was able to make back my investment after designing two albums with the software and now I save on average, about two hundred dollars on each album I design. Since I bought the software I've been able to stop holding my breath and worrying about how my images will be cropped and arranged by a third party. Not only have I been able to save time and money, but also the overall look of my albums has improved, as I'm once again instrumental in every part of my image making process.



DISCLAIMER : The views expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent the views of photographik or any member of the photographik organization.

contributor details
Kari Kochar
Name: Paul D. Van Hoy II - photographik Directory member
About: Paul D. Van Hoy II resides in Rochester, NY where he received his MFA in Fine Art Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology. In 2007 Paul received worldwide recognition as Microsoft's Pro Photographer for 2007. Also in 2007, Creative Quarterly recognized Paul as their 'Photographer of the Year'. American Photo Magazine recently profiled Paul's MFA Thesis Series 'Bystander'. Paul's work has been widely published in many other photographic magazines, including After Capture, PDN, Digital Photo Pro, CMYK, Photographer's Forum, Professional Photographer, American Photo, Camera Arts, and Creative Quarterly Magazine.

Client List: Forbes, Health and Wellness Magazine, Brides Magazine, Wedding Style, Men's Health Magazine, Food & Wine Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Country Living, DKNY, Jones New York, Fossil Inc., Redmond Publishing Group, Cherbo Publications, AGE Fotostock Inc., Vectren Energy, Sunoco Inc., Old National Bank, Fifth Third Bank, George Eastman House Museum, Tucker Publishing Group, Starmark International, Greater Rochester Visitors Associationn.

Currently, Paul works as a commercial photographer, educator, and exhibiting artist in the Western NY area. His local clients include the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film as well as the GRVA (Greater Rochester Visitors Association).

very usefull!

Posted by: John Ung
TIME POSTED: 01/31/09 03:06 PM [Central Time]


Posted by: ming gang xu
TIME POSTED: 11/06/08 12:28 AM [Central Time]

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