by Gavin Stoker Published 01/02/2012
Available only to pro fine art, portrait and wedding photographers are Folio Albums, which is notable for offering beautiful products 100% handmade in Britain. New products include its gallery album, new ecoframe and silk covers, plus its recently introduced 100% natural cotton photo covers. Other cover choices include leather, colour cotton plus canvas. It further offers client and/or studio name embossing on covers, along with presentation boxes and slipcases so photographers can make the right impression from the outset.
Dublin located Photovalue has also recently widened its product range and customer appeal to include both traditional loose cover and 'modern' digital photo albums, handcrafted in Italy by I Nobili. The Artists Collection is the new coffee-table book. In terms of mounts, black is the most popular colour in Photovalue's range. It also recently launched a mount specifically for the event photographer, which is very competitively priced and available only in quantities of 500 per size. The price per 9x6 mount, the most popular size for events, is 34p before VAT. Pit this against the fact that a standard 9x6 mount would normally be 49p, and the value speaks for itself, if you'll pardon the pun.
Also aiming to provide everything an event photographer could conceivably need is Photomart, the events equipment specialist, a company that boasts obvious expertise in industry leading dye sub machines for those photographers looking to generate their own presentation output - crucial in the event photography business. Recent products include the DNP Snaplab (formerly a Sony branded device), for which it is UK supplier. It also provides dye sublimation media and innovative software solutions. Photomart has also recently been appointed the official Pan-European distributor for Citizen's range of professional instant photo printing solutions/products.
A huge number of mounts in a wide range of colours...that's the promise of aptly named Cotswold Mounts, a family-run business specialising in nothing but mounts and offering a fast turnaround of three to five days.
Two types of board are offered for its photo mounts: Cream core (the standard) and White core (slightly better). Within these two ranges, an array of 35 colours is also available: everything from Antique White to Willow Green. Cotswold now additionally offers a range of Strut mounts and Photo Folder mounts plus a variety of tapes and backing boards.
Most importantly, it now boasts an online shop providing the opportunity to place orders without having to call the office for standard products. Placing orders by phone is said to be 'still fine' and is a necessity in the case of non-standard products.
If you really want to create a true one-off for your clients, however, how about setting their pictures in stone, or rather, creating a slate print, a startling service offered by Acrylic Pictures. As a natural product, each piece of slate has its own unique 'grain'. This texture adds another dimension to your image in the same way a textured paper adds something to a watercolour painting.
Acrylic Pictures says the blue grey Porthmadoc Slate it uses is the world's finest. Its surface texture bucks the trend for smooth, glossy acrylic by being naturally tactile. Each piece of slate is pre-coated for easy cleaning and better ink adhesion. The edge of the slate is hand cut with a rugged, riven finish. The printed image can include this rough edge or photographers can choose to keep the image within the 'smooth' area.
Full colour prints are achieved by printing white under the colour images.
Alternatively, for the more adventurous the company suggests printing a full colour picture without a white base coat for a subtle and unusual effect. Black and white images meanwhile are achieved by printing only white onto the slate.
Of course, in the digital age not every client may want a hard copy - and presenting shots on a disk is a popular aspect of many social photographers' packages. Warehouse Video Services offer another excellent chance of making a good first impression, courtesy of their presentation disk cases. "There is a lot of 'personalisation' to our cases which other companies don't do, which is what keeps us popular," says Warehouse's MD Greg Ware. "Disk cases are our main business and we do engraved cases. Our metal cases are surprisingly popular and we've got many forms of presentation uniquely presented to disk." The company is not only doing purely cases for CDs and DVDs of pictures, but, with an eye on future business, also cases for flash drives.
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