ChristopherHustonPhoto_ALBUM_CH9_5179Jessica and Mike’s 10×10 Leather Craftsmen Layout Album in Euro Black leather with a silver monogram – Classic!

Let me help dispel one of today’s common wedding myths.  You’re not gonna sit down and design your own album.  I’m telling ya – you’re not going to do it!  I sometimes have a hard time getting couples to come back in to make their selections, and they’ve PAID me to do the design.  Oh sure, you might be inclined to drag n drop a bunch of your favs into a shutterfly magazine style book that will fall apart or fade in a couple of years, if not months, but rare is the couple who can actually ‘design” out an album layout and then print and bind it into a lasting family heirloom.  That’s why you hired a true professional.

Now, why would you want an album at all, I sometimes hear from newbies.  Yes, I agree, there’s nothing better than sitting around at a family gathering and passing your little phone left and right while flicking back and forth between menus, pop-ups, blurry-while-refreshing photos, and lost galleries as everyone squints at your tiny pics and you try to explain what each one is.  (I say that sarcastically, of course!)  Well, try to envision this…

Many years ago, I went to a party hosted by a couple who were both news photographers.  They had a great living room, filled with framed photos of them, their adventures, and even some cool moments from their assignments.  They had the coolest glass top coffee table, where underneath on the one shelf, they had their wedding album displayed “under glass.”  I stood and watched from a doorway – everyone who sat on their sofa reached under and pulled out that album!  People sat down and actually “looked” through that album.  They put their drinks down a careful distance from the rich leather, they stopped on each page to take in the photos, they smiled.  They found a photo they liked and looked up to either compliment our hosts, or to show someone else their favorite photo.  Couples looked through that album together, joined at the hip as they carefully flipped through the pages.  THAT, my friends, is what a beautiful album does!!

ChristopherHustonPhoto_ALBUM_CH9_5040Amanda and Nick’s 10×10 Leather Craftsmen Modern Album in Euro Brown leather with a cover image.

I still love albums!  I feel, that for the price you are paying for photography, you should walk away with something – something big!  Something gorgeous.  Something that will last (dare I say, even outlast you!)  A family treasure that you will pass down to your children and grandchildren, and beyond.  That’s what an album is to me.

I have been asking Leather Craftsmen to bind my photos into their albums for years and years.  Their albums have a classic simplicity that helps to highlight my photos, while at the same time guaranteeing that they’ll last for a lifetime.  Leather Craftsmen hand binds their covers on Long Island, New York, using only the finest leathers.  They also happen to be the nicest bunch of people!  Over the years, I’ve gotten to know them all by name, and they’ve gotten to know my preferences and desires.  You couldn’t ask for a more personal company to be involved in such an intimate product.


I put this post together not only to pitch my albums, but to show some of the various cover colors and options available in choosing your album.  A lot of couples have questions about the different design styles, as well.  I’m going to post a bunch of photos below of some recently completed books, and I hope to continue adding to this post as more albums come in.  As always, keep in mind – these are true pieces of art.  Once you give me your selections of photos you’d like to have in your album, I design and layout your album spreads one image at a time, one page at a time.  Each image gets opened in Photoshop, color-corrected, and cropped.  Once those album spreads are completed, we’ll meet so you can see the design and approve it.  Once the album spreads come back to me as wide-format photographs, those photos are off to Leather Craftsmen for them to work their magic!

First things first – design styles.  The two styles I offer are; the Modern album, and the Classic Matted album…ChristopherHustonPhoto_ALBUM_page012-013The MODERN album uses a more simplistic design.  It has a neat and clean look to it.  If I’m doing a flush album, I prefer the look of the Modern Design.  The photos will almost always be center-grouped on the page spread, although not always across the center page split.


ChristopherHustonPhoto_ALBUM_page028-029The CLASSIC album is a return to matted albums.  Each photo is individually matted onto the page.  It used to be that these books were a bit ordinary, but Leather Craftsmen has some great new mat configurations that can really help highlight your photos.  I love the Classic albums.  I love the way we can design according to the emotion and story of the photo, not the photo as it lays out in a spread.  I have a sample Classic album in my office, it’s my all-B&W album, and it is simply a stunner!  The Classic books give you more options with page colors and liner colors.


ChristopherHustonPhoto_ALBUM_Kemner_CHY_2967A new sample for me, this album arrived early-Fall 2015.  A Leather Craftsmen 3500 10×10 album in their new Countryside Book Cloth.  I am really really happy with how great this album and design came together!

ChristopherHustonPhoto_ALBUM_Kemner_CHY_2974I used my Modern Design for this sample.  I also used a lot of film images, like these 2 photos captured with my Hasselblad 501c.

ChristopherHustonPhoto_ALBUM_CH7_0779This was a custom cover I designed for Sarah and John – a 12×10 Layout album with Euro Bayview leather and a White leather cover stripe.  A single “Mc”  monogram was used in gold.


ChristopherHustonPhoto_ALBUM_CH7_0491This Euro Brown Modern album was designed for The Madison as their sample album.  The Madison has a more trendy flair to it, so I used Leather Craftsmen’s modern font for the cover imprint.  The inside looks just as beautiful!


ChristopherHustonPhoto_ALBUM_CHX_9052The corner of Angela and Kevin’s Euro White 300 series album shows the hand-stretched leather.  The 300 series lets you choose a page edge gilding.  In this case, black.


ChristopherHustonPhoto_ALBUM_CH9_3864I call these two books my “twin” albums, although they are anything but!  They arrived together, and are both 12×10 3500 albums with a cover image, but from there these two albums head down different paths.  The Euro Wine album is Judy and Ryan’s Layout style album from their wedding at Smithville.  It’s hard to see in the photos, but their cover image has a slight maroon tint to it to better match the leather color.  The Euro Blue album is Kelsey and Mike’s Modern album from their wedding at Bonnet Island Estate.  These albums were awesome books – I could have used them as bookends!  I was sad to see them both go home.


ChristopherHustonPhoto_ALBUM_CH9_3868Here’s one of the spreads from inside Judy and Ryan’s album.  It shows how the page split falls through the center binder.


ChristopherHustonPhoto_ALBUM_CH9_5062And as a comparison, here’s a detail shot of one of the pages from Laura and Rich’s Classic album.  They chose the Euro White leather cover, black pages, and white liner around the photos.


ChristopherHustonPhoto_ALBUM_CH9_5061The spine detail on Laura and Rich’s Classic album.  Option, options – you always have options!  They chose the Classic album, but with NO gilding and the squared-off page edges.  A little bit of contemporary flair to a classic book.


ChristopherHustonPhoto_ALBUM_CH9_5189This is Michelle and Jason’s Euro Purple album (I’ve been calling it Plum.)  I have ordered so many albums in Leather Craftsmen’s new purple!!  We went with an imprint that I used last year on Lydia and Tom’s Euro Gray album – “Mr. and Mrs.” and the date in a simple format done in modern font.  I love the look of this album and its cool imprint!  I have another album being bound by Leather Craftsmen right now in the same color, with the same imprint (just different date, of course!)





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