by Gavin Stoker Published 01/02/2012
No one gets a second chance to make that first impression, so when it comes to presenting images to your clients and offering a product that will virtually sell itself, we all want to get it right from the off.
Of course, with any album, the first thing your clients are going to see is the cover. One Vision Imaging is looking to provide social photographers with that immediate 'wow' via its Acrylic 'Ice' Panoramic Albums. These embed impressive sounding 'flame polished' acrylic into the leatherette surface to create a traditional album with a modern feel. One Vision claims that the sharpness of the image reverse mounted onto the acrylic and set against the matted leatherette surface creates the impression that you're looking through a window into the album itself. The Acrylic 'Ice' Panoramic Album is available in a multitude of colours and both portrait and landscape formats, with a choice of sizes from 10x8 inches up to 16x20, and in the following page quantities: 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30.
Those looking for stylish and sophisticated albums are also directed to the Venice Album by Unicolour. Whilst currently little known in the UK, the Venice Album is claimed to be 'taking the market by storm' elsewhere, particularly in the US. "Naturally the quality of their presentation is the key selling point", claims UK representative and wedding photographer Steve Thirsk.
Pricing for the albums includes colour correction plus laminate sealed pages to ensure longevity. The main albums within the collections are presented in handmade wooden book boxes with a cover design to match the album. There is also the option of an embossed travel case. "What I like about Venice Album is that they listen to the customer," says Steve Thirsk. "At their UK seminars with Trevor and Faye Yerbury, and Vincent O'Byrne, UK photographers expressed a need for simple-to-use lower budget collections to complement their more expensive products and expressed interest in a metal album."
Venice Album's response has been two-fold. It has introduced a Silver Collection to supplement the Gold & Platinum Collections, which includes a smaller album to appeal to the UK market, plus it has launched a metal album claimed to be very multi-functional and to really stand out as totally unique.
Another photographer in-the-know when it comes to striking presentation tools is Malcolm Sales of Buttercross Photography and KiddyPix who utilises the Italian produced Album Epoca storybooks for his top-of-the range wedding albums. Malcolm reveals he uses the Epoca 12x18 for £2,500 and the 8x12 at £1,750. "We're also detecting a move back to the more classical album with overlays, and for these we've chosen the Sigma range from GF Smith," he adds, noting that the GF Smith Expressions digital albums are used for the KiddyPix year books he produces
A rival solution comes in the shape of the double-opening albums range from Avita Albums, which Sales Manager Gary Chauhan claims is unique to Avita and so serves as its business-directing 'USP'. Furthermore its albums are handmade from scratch, with the latest pitch being the company's new range of cover materials. These now include fake fur, plus a 'bubbly' finish sourced from Italy. This represents another exclusive for Avita and a means to further help your product and imagery stand out from the crowd.
London-based theprintspace meanwhile offers a unique take on the traditional photo lab by inviting photographers to come in and produce their own prints with its colour managed automated set-up including Mac Pro systems. A choice is offered of printing on Epson inkjets onto seven different paper types or digital C-types, with four paper types. Bespoke mounting, including acrylic reverse, and handmade framing - virtually any type of frame in any type of finish - are the further services offered. Additionally, theprintspace is the only lab to offer a test strip service; photographers can print a cross-section of their file or of several files onto one long strip, sized at 2x30-inches.
Those looking to go the contemporary photobook route are also directed to Ubyu Books, a new self-publishing book company that has set up its stall as 'the only truly bespoke print on demand company' in the marketplace. Ubyu utilises free to download 'UDesign' software developed in conjunction with professional photographers, artists and designers, and is able to produce books of up to 460 pages. Paper options start at 160gsm and there are three different finishes available: gloss, matt and uncoated. So you can peruse before you buy, a Sourcebook can be ordered online from the company, showcasing the finishes available. Ubyu's prices start at just £11.90 plus postage for a single book with a minimum of 28 pages, and discounts apply for multiple copy runs.
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