by Neil Swindlehurst Published 01/03/2001
Memory Collections are renowned for their Asian style wedding albums, many in red or burgundy with gold emblems on the front. New on their stand this year were loose-leaf albums with gold and silver-taped leaves available up to size 10"x8" and which could take up to 300 5"x7" prints. They also had on the stand a range of albums from the Netherlands. The manufacturers were a company called Verba.
The albums came in a range of sizes and materials including metal (aluminium and steel), wood and glass as well as various fabrics. If you want something that is totally different from what your colleagues produce and certainly produce a wedding album for your customers that will be totally unique then Verba albums needs your serious consideration. Judy and I were simply gob smacked by the range of possibilities. They had underlays (yes they go under the print), overlays, surround mounts, semitransparent paper (ideal for putting through an inkjet printer to create a frosted image with the 'fuller' version 'underneath' i.e. on the next page. You could tear the underlay however you wanted to give texture and form to the surrounds and to match the features of the print. You could add self-adhesive strips ( a bit like the Mastermount range - I dashed over to Longridge Lines to find with great disappointment that they only a small box of these items left for sale) around the print to create stunning geometrical patterns surrounding the print. I repeat, if different is what you want then with Verka different is what you are going to get. Whether our somewhat reticent British clients will want this is another matter.
Having been used to Paul Taylor extolling the virtues of Campdale Albums, we saw Mr. Hindocha instead. New this year was a range of Ostrich leather albums ( no foot and mouth with these) with their unique patterning available in 5 different colours and 35 cm square (that's about 14" for those still using imperial measures).
Of interest also is the fact that CA also import Dutch albums, Jyden Juka which were worthy of note for their very continental styling.
Campdale, as you know, are very much at the forefront of new technology with inkjet pages and reportage style albums in abundance.
We talked to Matthew Wright, grandson no less of the founder of Dennis Wright albums.
They had on display an extensive range of Nature albums using a sort of hand made floral paper, available form 10x10 to 5x5 inches, with natural colour leaves. Also on display were natural-coloured hessian christening albums.
Continuing the hessian theme was a range of hessian covered albums in 4 different colours: blue, green, violet and natural, again from 10x10 to 5x5 inches. One very special reportage style album was in the shape of a large red heart and it was called ... Heart ! New Preview albums in green blue and burgundy fabric range.
Their Renaissance range were available in duo coloured covers: gold and white, gold and green, duo gold and silver and white.
Middlewall Albums have a number of new introductions to their range. Their Canterbury album is a new reportage 12"x12" available in black, blue, burgundy and green covers with black leaves, while their Rochester is a book bound 'Major' i.e. 10"x8" album with gilt edged leaves and available in 4 colours. They have decided to continue with their gold and silver Chelsea albums available blocked 'Our Wedding'. On the overlays front they have introduced a deckle aperture overlay and can be used in conjunction with their new plain edge leaves or the existing gold taped leaves.
Incidentally I am reassured to hear that they seem to have solved the problem of the gold tape creasing. You may or may not be aware that their Northern Distributors, Pro X Albums have gone into liquidation taking their Northern database with them. If you obtained your Middlewall albums in the North through Pro X, Middlewall are desperate to contact you. Please telephone them on 01322 553616/524515 or Fax on 01322 526998. If you are looking for a cost‑effective Portrait or Parents Album you may wish to consider their Tonbridge range of bonded leather, book bound albums. Available in black, blue, burgundy or green covers with black, gold edged leaves and lined with black silk they are available as 6 or 10 page albums in Petite (5"x5"/5"x4"), Minor (7x5,8x6/8x8) and Major (5x4 through to 10x10) sizes.
Details of the various album manufacturers mentioned in this article are available from Society headquarters. We must apologise to any album manufacturers who were present at Focus but whom were missed on our dash round the stands. If you would care to send The Society some details of your new products, we would be happy to pass that information on to our members in a future edition of The Society Photographer magazine. There again you could always advertise with us!
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