Interview with Jenn Hopkins Photography

A while back (I mean a LONG while back), I had the great idea to interview a few of my favorite clients and get their expert advice on managing the album process.  In this crazy “learn as you go” business, taking a peek other’s workflow can be so valuable.

So I started with sweet Jenn Hopkins.  She was kind enough to answer my questions last June and I am just now getting around to posting them.  Since then, Jenn has brought into the world the cutest, most edible baby with a dimple that is simply to die for.

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I love working with Jenn, and it’s truly been a pleasure to get to know her personally too as we both entered the wild world of motherhood.  All my love to this incredible lady!  Ok, here’s Jenn’s interview!

Where are you located? Jacksonville/North East Florida, but I travel all over Florida and Georgia and beyond!
How long you have been a professional photographer? About 5 years now! Time flies when your having fun!

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Why did you decide to outsource album design? Because, frankly, graphic design is just not my thing. I SO wish it was, because I enjoy beautiful design, but I was finding that no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t lay out my albums the way I envisioned them, or to the standards that I thought Albums Deserved. I purchased tons of “Templates” but nothing compares to a custom layout. So I was so thankful to find KruBooks.

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Best part of working with KruBooks? Katie makes whatever I need happen, happen. My layouts are amazing, she highlights my images in the best way, the albums are clean, and visually stunning. I love that once my Bride sends me her album image selections I can hand everything off to Katie and know she will deliever them an incredible product!!
Who do you use as your print and bind supplier and why? I use Finao. I personally love the choices. I think it gives my Brides something so fun to do, to be apart of the album design process in choosing their leathers and color options. They can go clean and simple or with pops of color. Depnding on their design style.

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Best advice on how to handle the album process with your wedding clients? I went through a few different processes. I personally like my clients to choose their own images. I found when I chose the images and then let them make changes I was making LOTS of changes to the way the album was laid out, etc. and inevitably wasn’t happy with it. As much as I love filling albums with designs and moments, truth be told, Brides still love the filling albums with their posed family portraits, and portraits of friends and family. So, I leave the selection up to them. I do try to provide them with the types of images they should fill their album with, for example, I have them choose images from each part of their day. Getting ready, candids, and formals to make a cohesive album.

I have also decided to require their image choices before shipping out their disc of images. Those image discs are highly coveted and Brides want them right away! So it provides a little incentive for them to work on first choosing their images for their album. I also think it lets them go with their heart and first instinct when choosing images. They are much more decisive right after their gallery posts, then weeks or sometimes months after their gallery post. It also helps keep me moving in a timely fashion, and allows me to wrap up loose items like Bride and Parent albums pretty quickly after finishing up a Brides Gallery.

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Images courtesy of Jenn Hopkins Photography

Cheers to 2013

Another wonderful, happy year for KruBooks.  I truly have the world’s greatest job.  I work with the very best clients and had the opportunity to design some incredible albums this year.  Weddings just keep getting better and better.  I love all the creativity and beauty people pour into their one perfectly planned day.  But most of all, I love opening that image folder and seeing two individuals so madly, insanely in love that they can’t wait to express to the world that this is their soul mate, their other half, their forever partner.

For all you math junkies out there, here are the numbers:

123 albums / (17 photographer clients + 2 brides) + (1 new website – 10 gazillion hours spent figuring out wordpress) + 1 bundle of joy = the best year yet!

Cheers to 2013 and welcome 2014!  Once again, a huge thank you to all my clients who make my work such a joy.  Love you all!

Cameron and Jon

Since a majority of my work is design only for professional photographers, I rarely get to see the final product in its glorious print and bind form.  I was super excited to get these beautiful album pictures from Anne Skidmore Photography.  I had to share!

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Anne created this album as a studio sample to show potential clients.  We ordered a 10×10, 30 page Leather Craftsmen 3500 flush mount.  The split tone cover treatment has a Euro Black Leather spine on a Euro Grey Leather cover.  Anne chose silver modern imprinting for the spine with one space between each letter.  I just love the sleek and classy outcome!

Thanks for sharing your pictures, Anne!

Welcome Baby Gio

Our firstborn, Giorgio Harris Kruithof, was born July 14 at 12:08 am.  Brent and I are in constant awe of this little baby, our precious son.

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KruBooks is still up and running, but it may take me just a little longer to check emails and respond to requests.  Please forgive the delay, and  thank you so much for your patience!

New Website

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In case it’s been a while since you visited KruBooks.com, we are proudly supporting a new interface!  I decided to move away from my old flash site since I’d had some issues with loading and missing images.  Switching to a new provider and learning design and coding in WordPress gave me a few extremely irritable days (just ask my sweet husband), but I’m super happy with the end result.  And as a bonus, starting from scratch gave me an opportunity to make some other content and process renovations.  I hope you’ll enjoy poking around and checking out the changes.  Here are a few new and improved features:

Online Order Form – This is something I’m actually really excited about.  When photographers use this form for new projects, there’s less need for me to send follow-up emails with questions…everything I need to get started is right there!

– Updated Process and FAQ sections – Our process has been simplified to five quick and easy steps (hallelujah!).  And the FAQ section has new information on selecting and sending images, revisions, and payment.

– Incorporated Blog – Finally the blog and and website are joined under one roof!  I know I’m not the most “aggressive” blogger, but I hope to keep  you more up-to-date with recent projects, interviews from clients, and helpful tips as you embark on your album journey!

The Memento Every Couple Should Have

A friend sent me this article today and I could not agree more!  A few years ago I wrote a post called The Argument for Wedding Albums.  The article in at huffingtonpost.com echoes my exact sentiments:

“Today, a lot of couples think just getting the disc of images is ‘good enough.’ Here’s the problem with that thinking: it’s not true. Not by a long shot….

But of all the things you spend money on for your wedding, your wedding photographs are the ONLY thing that will increase in value over time. As the years pass, you’ll be more and more glad that you have them. Especially, if you can experience looking through them by flipping through a gorgeous custom-designed album instead of sitting in front of your computer and clicking “next” with your mouse.


So, figure out a way to make it happen. Figure out a way to afford that album. Forgo a centerpiece. Cut back on your guest list. Opt out of the vintage car you’ll drive in for all of 20 minutes.


Don’t just do it for you. Do it for your children. Do it for your grandchildren. Because when they root around in your attic in 2075, they will have no idea what do with a USB key anymore than they would with a laser disc player.” Kathleen Trenske, huffingtonpost.com


Figure out a way to get the album, you won’t regret it.  Even if you wait five or ten years to have it made, it’s never too late!  I love it when people contact me while pregnant with their first baby because they know it’s an heirloom they’ll want to pass on.

Kathleen writes, “My parents have exactly 18 professional images from their wedding. Eighteen. I know them inside and out. I could describe each image to you so well that a sketch artist would be able to recreate them.  How do I know them so well? Because I’ve looked at them hundreds of times. I’ve looked at them hundreds of times because they were on display, in an album. An album that was made by a professional, filled with prints made through a professional lab and bound in a book available only to professionals.”

I can certainly relate to that!  I love looking through my parents’ wedding album and even my grandparents’ album.  But it’s not just important for the future generations.  It’s a priceless reminder of the excitement, love and vows you and your spouse shared that day.  And in my opinion, those are things you’ll want to revisit and relive and recommit to every single day.

New Year’s Eve Wedding

What’s better than a winter wedding?  A New Year’s Eve wedding!  Two special occasions on the same day equals twice the reason to celebrate.
These stunning pictures are from the amazingly talented averyhouse team, based out of Chicago.  Every album project with them is pure joy.  Opening their image folder to design is pretty much comparable to Christmas morning around here.

The details for this wedding are a designer’s dream.  Probably the only thing that could make me happier is actually getting to attend the reception!

Counting down to 2013!
Happy New Year!