5 mins with… Renee Blake

By January 30, 2020 January 31st, 2020 5 mins with

If you’ve been in the wedding game for a while, this lovely lady needs little introduction. 

We believe that successful album design is achieved through careful selection of imagery and the use of white space. Designing albums for some of the world’s most admired photographers, Renee applies this method to each and every album that she is a part of producing, and we just adore her clean and polished style.

So without further ado, we’re thrilled to chat with design maven, Renee Blake, of Renee Blake Design.

1. How long have you been in the design industry?

I’ve been in the design industry for a while now. I started in design by studying fashion and while I always thought I would be either a fashion designer or stylist I fell into albums and I’ve been designing albums for 7 years now.

2. Why album design and what do you love about laying out an album?

I never thought album design would be a career of mine. But when my sister Samm Blake introduced me to wedding album design, I fell in love with it straight away. I love to see each album as a puzzle that I get to piece together to tell an amazing story of a couple’s special day.

Photography by White Vine | Album design by Renee Blake
10″x10″ wedding studio sample album with ‘Ivory’ fabric cover and deboss

3. How does your process work?

The album design process starts with my clients filling out an online order form with all the album details I need e.g. album company, size, spread amount and if they would like me to design a cover for them. The photographer then sends me a selection of images either they or their client has selected. I look through the images individually and start formulating the stories and themes that will be focused on in each of the album spreads. Once I have the first draft ready I upload the design for review and comments. I use Album Exposure which is a great online proofing programs for albums. Once I get the comments back from the clients I then make any required changes. This process may happen a couple of times before the album design process is complete. When the process is finalised I make sure the design is perfect and send all of the files to the photographer for ordering. The photographer then orders the albums with their chosen album company.

4. Can you share more about designing custom cover artwork for your clients?

I love designing custom covers. I get my clients to ask their couples what they would like on the cover, with that feedback I come up with a font and colours that I think will work best with their wedding album. I also suggest if the couple have an awesome logo designed from their wedding they can get that embossed of the cover.

5. What keeps you inspired?

I love looking through photography and architecture books as well as magazines to get inspired for layout ideas. My partner Wayne and my friends and family are my biggest inspiration though. I like to surround myself with like-minded and creative people that encourage me to try new things.

Photography by Morgan Roberts | Album design by Renee Blake
10″x10″ wedding studio sample album with ‘Azure’ fabric cover and deboss

6. What advice would you give to a photographer when designing an album?

My advice would be to keep the design simple. Don’t overcrowd the album with lots of images. Image selection is the key. If you get your clients to pick the images give them some tips on how to select images. Some tips I give are, you don’t need to show every single moment that happened on the day, or you don’t need every single family group combo. Sample albums are a great way to show your clients how a simple, clean design can be more appealing than an overcrowded one.

Photography by Leo Farrell | Album design by Renee Blake
10″x10″ wedding album with ‘Bluemoon’ leather cover and deboss

7. How can photographers get in touch with you?