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Wedding Compositions

Wedding Compositions - Having a wedding album which tells a story is very popular at the moment and here Patricia Fenn shows us how to create one.

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Album by Patricia FennMagazine style is currently very popular for wedding albums. So what is it? Well it's a series of images telling the wedding story which are arranged and organised together to fill the pages of an album.

Most photographers develop their own style and the client decides if your style is for them. The trick is to practice what you like and when you have a successful formula make it your trademark.

Here's one of mine:
When I vist the venue usually a week before the wedding, I take some shots inside of the church as well as the bride's hotel or home and the reception area.  I then save them in a file called wedding backgrounds.

After the wedding day I submit the wedding shots (from the shot-list I provided and the bride filled in) to the bride so she can choose the images she wants in her album.

In the wedding backgrounds folder I make 11 subfolders: bride prep, bridesmaids prep, bride ready, bridesmaids ready, groom prep, groom ready, outside church, the ceremony, formal, reception and evening candids. I then put all the relevant shots in each folder.

Album page by Patricia FennHow to make a page for an album:
Pick a background shot; consider its focal point and how many images you have to go on the page; and of course the style and colour theme of the bride.

In this case the wedding colours where deep peach and ivory so I chose a soft beige for the background.

The next thing to consider is the size of the album page, in this case 33.5 x 27.5, and the colour of the album itself. In this case the album was black leather.

Keep a notebook and pen close to hand so you can make sure each page has the same boarders and all the pages are uniform, and also that your drop shadow is the same colour and density.

Open the background image as a tiff in Photoshop and edit in your usual manner. I resized to 29.95 x 25cm to fit my canvas. Image>Image size, uncheck ‘Scale Styles' and ‘Constrain Proportion' and put in the width and height for the background. Don't sharpen the image too much, as its job is to support the main photographs - not to battle for attention.

Image one from Patricia Fenn's wedding album tutorial
Step two in Patricia Fenn's tutorial
 Image opened in Photoshop.  After chaning the width and height.

When the image is ready, click Filter>Other>High pass, and put in radius 150 >OK.  Changing the colour of an image

Don't worry about the strange appearance of the image.  Then click Image> Adjustment> Hue >Colorize. 

In this case I chose Hue 36, Saturation 25, Lightness 30, but you should go for any pale subtle tone that compliments the wedding colours.

Now the background is ready for its images so I made the canvas 33.5 x 27.5, black, to match the album colour and page size.

Give your background a name and save it.

Changing the hue, saturation and lightness of an image
Adding a canvas to an image
Changing the hue, saturation and lightness of the image.
 The black canvas to match the album.

Now open the main images that are to go on this page. Give each it's individual name (File>Save as>Bride1>tiff) and edit them. When you are satisfied with an edit define the edge by increasing the canvas size by 0.1 centimetres, Image>Canvas size.

Save the images, File>Save.

When all the images are ready and saved, open the main one, Select>All. Under ‘Edit' click Copy. Close the image. 

Open the background page and click ‘Edit', then ‘Paste'.Scale and sharpening an image

Go to Edit>Transform>Scale. On the top menu bar you will see width 100% and height 100%, change these to 70% or less, or whatever works well for the page, and drag the image into position by holding down the left mouse button. When you are happy with its size and position click the check mark at the top right of the menu bar. You will see this has made a new layer in the layers pallet. Check if the image needs a little Smart Sharpen after being resized.

Drop Shadow:
On the menu bar click Layer>Layer Style>Drop Shadow.

Choose the colour you want for your shadow by clicking on the sample. An eyedropper will appear and in this case I chose a dark beige from the background.

I used:

  • Blend mode: Multiply.
  • Opacity: 87
  • Angle: 40
  • Distance: 55
  • Spread: 21
  • Size: 27

Continue adding the rest of the images by repeating the process. Overlapping images can be moved above or below their neighbour by dragging them up or down in the layers pallet.

When you are completely happy with the page, go to Layer>Flatten Image, then File>Save as> Album page 1

If the wedding album has a window you can use the same principle at the appropriate size for a title image, and resize it to slot in the CD case.

Final page

 The final page.

Words by Patricia Fenn.

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16 Feb 2009 1:57AM
I am a slow computer tech learner and am gradually coming to grips with the after-shoot affairs. Your article is simple and very well planned. I shall surely try out and see if I can produce something worth while.

Thanks........................ nitin

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