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.
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!
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.
Images courtesy of Jenn Hopkins Photography
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:
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
I’m a midwest girl who grew up with changing seasons, and I truly love what each one has to offer. But after two years of living in Grand Cayman, this Cincinnati winter has been a bit of a reality shock. Then pictures like these come along and remind me just how beautiful this season can be.
Winter has a bad reputation of being dreary, causing depressing, and just generally over-staying its welcome. But man, when that perfect white snow falls and those happy strands of lights twinkle, something truly magical happens.
I actually had a winter wedding myself, and was blessed with probably the warmest, sunniest December 15th Cincinnati can remember. If I could have picked any season, I most likely would have done a fall wedding, but winter is what we ended up with. And it was awesome. Venues were already dressed up for the holidays, so we spent very little on flowers or decorations. The colors of the season – gold, ivory, champagne, silver, and glitter – give your day a natural air of sophistication and elegance.
Winter is generally considered “off-season” for weddings so photographers, venues, and contractors might offer lower rates to fill their calendar. Plus, as a final bonus, family and friends will all cast an envious eye as you whisk away to a sun-filled honeymoon! You can’t beat that!
When I first started KruBooks, I did a lot of research on printing companies and who I wanted to use as my main suppliers. Probably 90% of my business is design only, but I like to offer brides and photographers a “whole package” option as well that covers design, print, and bind. My plan was to keep it simple with two offerings – a premium flush mount album and a more budget-friendly coffeetable style option. I picked industry leaders for both and have been very happy with the finished products I’ve seen through the years. But, as I mentioned in this post from 2009, I’ve continued to keep an eye on other companies and new suppliers as they come up. There’s plenty of new developments in the album industry!
For my premium flush mount albums, I have been using Leather Craftsmen’s 3500 Flush Series. I absolutely love their craftsmanship and customer service. I will continue to offer these albums in 2013, and will blog soon about some new “frills” they have to really make your album stand out from the crowd. I am also happy to announce that there will be no price raise on these albums this year!
BUT the real news is that I will no longer be offering a coffeetable style option in 2013. Shocking, I know. The thing is, while I loved having a less expensive offering for my brides, the simpleness of the album never seemed quite up to par for one of your most treasured heirlooms. I started recommending it for guest books, engagement, vacation, or portrait albums, but steered brides away from using it for their weddings. In 2012, I learned about Finao’s new playBOOK album. The playBOOK is a flush mount with a “skinny” page design…still thicker than a normal art book, but not quite as thick as the premium Leather Craftsmen.
I’m excited to say that I will be replacing my coffeetable album options with these “Skinny” Flush Mount Albums in 2013. Here’s why I love them:
1) No more press printed pages! Coffeetable albums have the designs printed right on the page, usually at much lower quality. Finao’s playBOOK albums are real photographic prints, mounted to thick pages.
2) See ya, gutter! Traditional coffeetable binding causes you to loose a good portion of your design in that annoying center gutter. I hated the discontinuity this brought to the design, and how it limited the panoramic feel of those big gorgeous images. In contrast, the playBOOK has a seamless construction and layflat design.
3) More bang for your buck! The playBOOK has the quality of a flush mount, but is cheaper than the coffeetable! As I looked over the pricing, I couldn’t believe that I could offer this upgrade AND have it be less expensive than my current coffeetable album offerings. The playBOOK has many fun cover options to choose from as well, all PVC free, eco-friendly, non-leather materials.
If you want more information on the pricing for these new “Skinny” Flush Mount Albums, shoot me an email (email@example.com), and I will send the revised 2013 pricing pdf.
I have completely lost all blogging credibility. It’s been seven months since my last post! The truth is, I thought about closing the blog down since I was worried sharing too many design ideas might invite imitators. But I have some fun things in store for 2013 and I don’t want you to miss them! One of the things I am most excited about is mixing up my album offerings. But more to come on that soon!
First, I just wanted to say what an awesome year 2012 has been for KruBooks. Thank you to all the brides, photographers, and etsy clients who helped make it such a success. One reason I truly love my job is that I work with the BEST people. I love my repeat photographers who are sweet, understanding, encouraging, funny, and just truly the most quality people. I can’t wait to continue our friendship in 2013!
2012 was an exciting year for us personally as well. My husband and I finished the last six months of our Grand Cayman adventure, and moved to Cincinnati in July. We are happy to be back in good old America, although we definitely miss our island life and friends. If you want to read more about our Caribbean escape, your can catch up on our Grand Life blog.
Finally, a couple fun stats: In 2012, I had 117 album orders! This is compared with 84 album orders in 2011, and 38 album orders in 2010 (when I was doing KruBooks part time). I also had 108 etsy orders – wahoo! I love staying busy, and now that I no longer have that amazing weather and clear blue sea tempting me, I hope for even more in 2013.
Best wishes to all my friends for the new year! Can’t wait to see what’s in store!