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QTAlbums’ Guide to Choosing the Right Photography Album For Your Business

By October 12, 2021 No Comments

Does the thought of photography album sales and choosing an album vendor make you want to run away screaming? 

Maybe it’s your first time considering offering albums to your photography clients and the sheer choice out there along with all the new terminology you need to familiarize yourself with is seriously overwhelming. 

Maybe you’ve had an album line on your menu for a while now but haven’t really felt excited enough about them to really give them a good go. 

Or maybe you heard you should offer albums, so you put one on the price list, but haven’t really thought about why you chose that type, size, or the number of pages. Perhaps you’re ready for a refresh but you are just so busy these days that you can’t bear the thought of undertaking another project. 

Perhaps you’re afraid of the word “sales” and just the thought of that part of your business induces you to have nightmares where you’re dancing, dressed in a chicken suit, and spinning a sign in front of your storefront while the whole town points at you and laughs. I mean, yeah—we get it—change can be hard. Let’s face it, change can be downright terrifying

We promise you that photography album sales don’t have to be scary. Especially when you’re not alone in the dark…wearing a creepy-ass chicken suit.

Journal artbook photography album on a deep red background with pictures of a couple inside the album.

Journal Artbook by QtAlbums

Why does any of this matter? Simply put: 

Selling printed products are key to creating profit in your business. 

Photography albums are the tried-and-true method of adding tangible value to your packages, increasing your profits, and creating sustainability for your business in an industry where far too many fizzle out in the early stages. 

This is why it’s so important to choose not just the right vendor, but the right partner.

Iwona & Jamie of QTAlbums are your Badass Book BFFs! 

In a world of marketing automation and chatbots, it almost seems impossible that there are real people who want to meet with you and learn about your unique needs to guide you safely through the maze of irrelevant options and arrive at your perfect match. If you’d like, we will virtually grab your hand and show you around the shop. We’ll make you feel welcome to schedule a zoom chat where you can see some samples, share your tastes, and get suggestions tailored specifically to you. Or—if you can’t possibly sit through even one more video meeting—just stalk the QTAlbums Lounge Facebook Group or reach out via email and get a personal answer to your questions.

It’s also worth mentioning that it’s not just about photography albums. QTAlbums is a professional photo lab that offers more than just professional photography albums—we also offer photographic and fine art prints (including hand-torn, deckled-edge prints, print boxes, folio boxes, matted prints, and so much more). So, now you have the comfort of knowing you’ve got options and someone on your team who knows them in and out when the need arises so you don’t have to.

A beige photography album on top of matching beige sheets and plants.

BloomBook by QtAlbums

So, where to start with photography album sales? 

  1. Create your account with QTAlbums (pricing is protected from prying eyes for your privacy.) Mention that this Pepper Blog is where you heard about QT and you might just be in for an extra special treat—even better that it’s the calorie-free kind. 
  2.  Meet your new BFF! Iwona handles the EUR shop and Jamie looks after USD sales. Reach out with your questions or suggest a few time slots for a video call.
  3. Get inspired by the @qtalbums Instagram feed and think about what colours and textures speak to you and your brand. We want you to fall in love with the items you choose rather than just offering a product because you’ve been told you should. It’s a heck of a lot easier to sell a product when you are in love with, and proud of, said product.
  4. Let’s talk QT product samples! Samples convey value. QTAlbums has a simply amazing studio sample program that can be tailored to you. Make more money with less risk by taking advantage of super competitive sample discounts as well as an industry-original trade-in program. Need some sales tips? We can help you there too. 

 

Young woman in a white dress holding a large wedding photography album.

Heirloom Book by QtAlbums

Types of Photography Albums 

Now is the perfect time to start thinking about what types of albums you might choose to provide to your clients. There are a lot of names out there for the different lines and terminology that stems from the bookbinding industry. 

The named album lines from all the vendors are basically set-up as a way to differentiate a specific set of options that are included in a particular package for a given price range. In reality, there are only a few common methods of construction that you’ll see in this slice of the print industry that caters primarily to wedding and portrait photographers. 

Aside from that, it’s mostly the quality of the raw materials, including paper type and printing process, the number of options and customizations that are available, and quality of craftsmanship vs machine made or mass produced, that are the major factors in differentiating album lines from one another. 

We know there is one burning question that is on your mind at this point: What the eff is a Flushmount, anyway?

These are some common terms used for photography albums that you should get familiar with at a very basic level:

Flushmount
Fine art
Layflat/non-layflat
Press printed
Embossing/debossing/imprinting,
Cameo/cutout/keyhole. 

Grey print box with a custom stamp on top of a blue and baby pink background.

Print Box with Custom Stamp by QtAlbums

Here is the world’s shortest primer on photography album lingo:

Flushmount album:

(also referred to as flush mount and flush-mount) is a construction style in bookbinding. 

It basically means that the prints sit flush, or even with the edge of the page. That won’t make much sense to you unless you understand how pages are constructed, but in super general terms, most photo albums that have slightly thicker pages and edge-to-edge prints are probably considered flushmount albums. 

QT’s AriaBooks, ArtBooks, BloomBooks and PrimaBooks would all be considered flushmount in their construction. 

Flushmount albums are typically also called “layflat” albums or books—for obvious reasons that you can see when you open one—and they can feature different print types such as photographic (wet chemical lab process, found in AriaBooks and BloomBooks), fine art (special inks applied to paper, found in ArtBooks) and digital press printing (dots of ink on paper, found in QT’s layflat PrimaBooks and the non-layflat, Heirloom Books.) 

From top down, consider fine art the top for print quality, followed by photographic, then press.

Cover options for photography albums:

Some cover options also have names that are interchanged often. 

Embossing/Debossing/Imprinting—in this setting—typically refers to lettering or some graphic elements added to a cover in a way where they are either pressed into the material to create an indent, or bumped out from the underside to create raised texture. 

The indented type is the most common option offered in the industry, and it’s what QTAlbums offers for embossed album covers. 

This lettering can be achieved by using our standard font set (think type-writer keys of individual letters – they don’t change font or size because they are little metal stamps) or you can create a custom stamp from almost any font or graphic element of your choosing. Your custom graphic gets made into a metal die for stamping into the cover material—usually with foil. QT also offers a few other gorgeous alternatives for personalizing your album covers like UV ink and metallic overprint which you should view in our gallery of Qt cover options

What in the actual F is a cameo when it comes to a photography album?

The other term you might be wondering about is cameo. This is also sometimes called a cutout. It is not to be confused with a keyhole, which would be a hole that looks through to the first page. 

A cameo is a popular way to add a photo to your front cover. It does not look through to your first page, but rather, a print is mounted on or in the cover itself. Very much in the same way a frame and its backing display a photo, the cover fabric acts as the frame in this case. 

Woman with an oversized brown cardigan holding photographs of a couple and a wooden print box photography album.

Wooden Print Box by QtAlbums

So, which type of photo album should you use? 

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to photo album types and uses, but there are trends that can give you a good starting point. 

When it comes to weddings, flushmount albums—like our photographic printed AriaBook, or the fine art-printed ArtBooks—are the way to go. 

Portrait albums tend to be a bit less rigid in the expectation of style, and run the gamut from an entry-level, non-layflat press book, to super high-end, hand-torn, deckled-edge fine art albums. 

Heck, many times the prints aren’t even delivered in an album, but in a print box. In our experience, a print box with matted prints can work beautifully for the delivery of 10-15 images, but once you get more than that, an album is a superior presentation because it is specifically designed to house more images in an easy-to-handle format. 

Just imagine your poor clients sitting there with a print box on their lap and matted prints spilling all around them because you wanted to deliver 30 loose images instead of binding them in an album. 

It’s not pretty, trust us.

Size matters. 😉

Pink artbook photography album on top of a clean white background.

Artbook by QtAlbums

Wedding Albums: 

All our photo albums are in inches. 12×12 and 10×10 are the most popular sizes for this segment. You can choose non-square formats like 10×15 or 8×12, but choose wisely, as you could run into trouble down the line with limited availability on extra options like special packaging or easy-to-scale clone options if you pick a random size just because it sounds familiar (I’m looking at you, 11×14.)

Portrait Albums: 

8×8 is always great! And bigger is always a pleasure—to upgrade to! 

Don’t forget the family!

Adding on duplicate “Parent Books” is where you can really get some extra income with album sales with very little effort. 

You’ve already done all the editing and design. You just need to click a few buttons in an order form to specify the type of parent book option you’d like to add. And as if you needed any more incentive, QT also provides you with some generous discounts on a variety of duplicate options—up to 40%! 

The bottom line…

When you choose QT, you are not choosing a big, high-volume, low-contact lab. You are choosing a team of individuals who are dedicated to supporting your success and who believe—even more so in the world today—that people need people. We hope to become your people. 

Photography album sales are amazing, so get started on yours here! 

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