Behind the Scenes: Miller’s Signature Album

6.10.15BLOG > Featured

Special thanks to McClanahan Studio for helping us capture the in-lab photography and to Nicki Hufford Photography for the use of her album.

When we began the brainstorming process for the Miller’s Signature Album back in 2011, we had one clear goal in mind. We wanted to engineer an album with innovative options and simplicity to serve the changing needs of the modern photographer. After nearly two years of research and development (with loads of new additions), we released an album that is a true representation of the heart and soul of Miller’s Lab.

Miller's Signature Album checking

The process begins as soon as the photographer submits their album files to the lab. From there, we print the images and use a creaser to create a fold for the album. Once that step is complete, the layout of the album goes through an extensive checking process where specialists carefully inspect that the border, text, and design elements will display correctly within the album. If we catch something that doesn’t quite look right, we contact the photographer or make a quick adjustment before the creation process moves to the next phase. From papers and printers to inks and chemical solutions, every single element of the process is hand-tested daily for consistency and accuracy. We take great pride in the quality of each album that comes into the lab and it is important that everything we do surpasses the expectations of the photographer and the end customer.

Miller's Signature Album creasing

Miller's Signature Album inspection

Once the layout has been approved and the interior paper type has been attached, we create what we call the “album block” by shaping the current object into a square block. After this stage has been completed, the album block is baked and then pressed with a special machine that applies loads of pressure so the album lays flat. The baking and pressing phase can take anywhere from 30-45 minutes. While this journey might sound like some type of assembly line operation, you would be amazed at the small team of artisans that are solely dedicated to this specialty product. Typically a single album is touched by no more than 3 or 4 sets of hands before the creation is completed.

Miller's Signature Album construction

Miller's Signature Album block

After the album block has been baked and pressed, it goes through another vigorous inspection by our album team. If the block is up to our standards, it is hand-cut to the desired size and cleaned. For the final step in the process, the album moves to the Covers department where the photographer has their choice of stunning options including Leathers, Linens, Custom Covers, Metal, Acrylic or Wood.

Miller's Signature Album second inspection

The Miller’s Signature Album is truly a labor of love. Could we find processes to cut down production costs or speed up the process even more? Perhaps we could, but that simply isn’t the point. There is an intrinsic beauty in transforming a group of images into a timeless creation through a combination of teamwork and handcrafted precision. We fell in love with the process of making something great and that spirit has guided us since our humble beginnings in downtown Pittsburg, KS.

Take a peek at a few extra snaps from the Albums department in Columbia, MO.

Miller's Signature Albums being produced in lab

Miller's Signature Albums are carefully inspected numerous times during the production process

Miller's techs have eyes on your order all the way through the lab

Miller's Signature Albums being baked and pressed

The interior of this Miller's Signature Album is nearly finished

Finishing the inspection process of a Miller's Signature Album

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36 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes: Miller’s Signature Album

Thanks for sharing these great behind the scenes photos. We just recently toured the Columbia lab as we passed through on our way to Florida and I was thinking that everyone that uses Millers needs to see this. It is great to see how much work truly goes into making our works of art. And a special thanks to Tracy for taking time out of her busy schedule to give me and my family our tour (on a Monday even).

Russell @ Sage Studios

Miller's Support says:

Thanks for stopping by the lab Russell, we loved having you!

Amelia Moore says:

Thanks for sharing this. I LOVE Millers albums and LOVE the customer service and now appreciate the process a little more. THANK YOU!

Miller's Support says:

Thanks so much Amelia!


Thank you.

Please keep doing this kinda stuff.

Marwan Dauleh says:

That is why I use Millers

Miller's Support says:

Thanks Mort, we love the feedback!

Awesome! This is why I love the signature albums!

This is so cool to see the complexity of your lab. (my lab! – Millers! – top notch)

Miller's Support says:

Thanks Brent!

Miller's Support says:

We appreciate it, Sharon!

Denyce says:

This album makes our studio stand out from the others! I love you MILLERS!

Loved the behind the scenes. I had many wonderful albums made by the Miller team. High quality albums. Thank you!

Shelly Beck says:

Thanks for showing us how careful and caring you are with our orders! Good job y’all!

Melissa says:

That is awesome!! Thank you for sharing these images!!

Beautifully done presentation! Thanks for all the great work you all have done over the years! So pleased!!

VERY nice to see the craftsmanship and care in producing albums!

Holly Brown says:

What a great share! Absolutely love your signature albums, so it’s very neat to get a glimpse into the process.

Kimberly says:

This was so fun to read! Thank you for sharing a little glimpse of the awesome people behind the scenes.

Nena Metcalf says:

This was so great! Thank you for sharing the behind the scenes of one of my (and my clients) favorite products! Such an amazing album and an equally amazing turn around time! You’re the best!

Clarence "Duke" Doughty says:

I retired and closed my studio in 2010 after 55 years in the business. Loved this presentation. Millers continues to amaze me and create all kinds of goodies. It is a shame I am not younger, I would really enjoy working with Millers
to create memories for our customers.

Joseph says:

I love seeing the behind the stuff photos and reading how your awesome team brings our images to life! You guys are truly the best!

Nata says:

I switched to Millers within the last year because of their excellent turnaround times along with great quality. I wondered about the making-of more than once and was tickled to see this video. I plan to continue to be a customer for a long time to come.

Thanks for posting these interesting behind-the-scenes photos of your facility. I enjoyed seeing what goes into making a professional album. I like the lava lamp on the desk of the Albums Department. Looks like a cool crew working at Millers! I love the quality of your wedding albums.

This article gives a fabulous insight how the quality Signature Album is made. Thanks for sharing and I’ve always enjoyed making albums through Miller’s!

Thank you for this great behind the scenes look! While I have not yet ordered a signature album after seeing this process and all the care that goes into what really is a timeless classic I am eager to get one started! Have been in love with Miller’s since day 1. This is just one more way I can assure my clients they are getting the best.

Miller's Support says:

Thanks so much for the kind words Lynn, we can’t wait to see your order come through the lab!

These signature albums are our favorite Miller’s product. We have always wondered what the process is for producing them. So it is so nice to see this behind the scenes. We love getting the previews for each album. The anticipation is a little like Christmas. The artists who do the designs are incredible. The quality is beyond compare.

Miller's Support says:

Thanks so much for the kind words, Margaret!

This was really neat to see how you guys put things together. I am really impressed. I am looking for another place to print my pictures. thank you so much

You are very welcome! Thank you!

Jennifer Shoemate says:

I love the behind the scenes! And can I add that I love the person that has a lava lamp at their work station?

Patricia McDowell says:

I love Millers….anythhing looks wrong or spelled wrong they will call and ask to do over..I love how the y edit, your work..quality.

Miller's Support says:

Thanks so much Patricia!

Hank Photo says:

At age 47 I decided to take the plunge into serious study, practice and creative labor……after two years i’m closer than ever to striking out on my own. I’m moving to Washington state and starting new…as part of my research in finding an album source, I came upon your fine company. You can be sure that when I take my first order for an album, it will be for one that you help me create….I’m looking forward to offering your products and collaborating to create art together.

Miller's Support says:

Thanks so much for the kind words, Hank. Best of luck on your new adventure!

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