Hey Gang!

We really hope this finds you all managing the many changes we are all facing in the industry at the moment.

Some of them have been, well…not cool. At all.

BUT, on the positive side it has also presented (forced) us to take time to re-group, organise and hustle! I know personally it’s been a great time to smash out a whole bunch of album designs from the backlog of the past wedding season (when we actually got to shoot some weddings)

On the subject of change and the hustle, one company that always seems to be intent and dedicated to improving and being ahead of the game is Pixellu. SmartAlbums 2020 is hands down a game-changer for many wedding photography businesses who took the leap from the days of using Adobe Indesign or similar for our Album Design, to create our own templates….and then we had to find a streamlined way to share the design with our clients for review. It was a ball-ache..but to the defence of all the proficient designers out there, I was pretty awful with my Indesign skills.

Each year the Pixellu programmers seemed to have listened to our feedback, tweaked and adjusted the interface of  SmartAlbums 2020. A while back (was it 2018?) some of our feathers were ruffled when the Smartlabums business model went from a standalone, one-time purchase to a monthly or annual subscription. But it’s the way of the world nowadays and explains how they’ve been able to pump some of those monthly funds back into R&D.

My feathers aren’t ruffled anymore…I think this is one program that’s actually proved itself worthy of this subscription model. Subscription software models involve an ongoing commitment from us, so it’s only fair and reasonable to expect that some of the funds we are spending should go towards research and development of the product. Am I right? Adobe are having a laugh. While Lightroom and Photoshop are functional and useful, there’s so much feedback out there with suggestions of interface changes and functionality issues that rarely, if ever gets actioned. They have us bent over a barrel, for the time being anyway.

Auto Pilot Function. Does it fly?

My (pilot’s) hat is off to the Pixellu team. While the layouts and designs still need tweaking afterwards, the Auto Build feature is pretty intuitive overall and is going to be a big time saver. Being able to set the spread parameters and group images based on time vs tones and the regularity with which the same layouts are re-used is just superb.

The Pattern Browser allows you to customise patters from the included library of designs, incorporating them into selected areas or entire spreads of your album designs. I’m going to need more time to mess about with this function as I’m not the most creative of beings when it comes to design, but it’s easy to see that in the right hands this function is going to allow folk to really set their album designs apart from other photographers.

I’d planned for this to be a really short post, so excuse my ramblings, but I think the whole subscriptions thing is worthy of our thoughts but I know one thing….I wont be thinking twice about paying my subscription for my Smartalbums 2020 upgrade.

Right, for me it’s time to get back to designing some wedding albums!

(And by the way, did you know there’s an Album Design Category within the Awards?

There’s more than $2,000 in cash and prizes (including the All-Apps Bundle – SmartAlbums, Smartslides and Cloud Proofing) for the winning design too, so if you haven’t tried SmartAlbums, but want to enter a few album designs, get onto their 14 day free trial here and enter some..if you win you wont even have to pay to own a copy for the next 12 months. Win win. Enter now, right here.