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The Perks of Zenfolio's Professional Album Design Service

September 12, 2016  •  2 Comments

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As a photographer for almost 10 years now, I can honestly say that there is nothing that I love more than albums. Whether it is a wedding album, an album to document the tiny freshness of a newborn baby, or an album to commemorate a special event such as bar mitzvah or huge family gathering—these are not just albums that your client and their loved ones will look through several times; they hold pieces of familial history. If a client invests in an album, they are treasuring a moment of time captured by you that tells a story about their life.

At any given photo show, you will see me basking in the glory of high-end papers and finely stretched leather covers—turning each album page with care, my inner romantic photographic storyteller bursting out. And, this is exactly where my love affair with albums comes to a screeching halt. Why, you ask? Albums take a lot of time. I have already spent so much of it with this client already, from the booking, to the editing, to the delivery of any other items. I have other clients now, other sessions, other weddings, I am way behind on my editing (always), and I fed my kids macaroni and cheese from a box for the third night in a row.

The workflow for albums is intense. You need to find the best album company for you (daunting… there are tons of them out there), you need to go through all of the images and pick the best ones, you need to confer with your client about these images, and then you need to review the suggestions from your client. Next, you need to design the album in Adobe Photoshop or InDesign—or both. When it comes to templates, you can’t have just one or all of your albums will look the same, and you need to have them in all different sizes. You go back and forth with the measurements down to the tiniest increments; if you make one tiny miscalculation, the entire album will print wrong and you will be out hundreds of dollars. Finally, you present the design. Your client makes several suggestions and decided they wanted the album in a larger size, so you are back to where you started.

Before you throw in the towel and decide that offering high-end albums is akin to running a marathon you didn’t train for, Zenfolio is here to help. Our full-service album design and fulfillment will take away the anxiety, the costs, the guesswork, and actually… all of the work out of offering albums to your clients.

 
The process is simple. All accounts come with the Album featured already enabled. If you are not ready to offer them or want to create albums yourself, simply log in and disable the feature - it only takes a moment.

 

 

Then, you or your client clicks the Make an Album button on their gallery page. The album design itself costs only $50, which is a great deal if you think about it. Photoshop,  InDesign, and Lightroom, which most of us use, cost $50 a month! Maybe you want to use Fundy? That’s $300, and that doesn’t cover whatever upgrade they come out with next. And what about your time? Time is money!

 

 

The designer carefully reviews the photographs and chooses the ones that work best during the selection process. After the selection process is complete, the designer will send an email to you or your client. Don’t worry; these are not set in stone. You can check or uncheck any of the images at this stage and resubmit the images to the designer.

 


 

The designer then takes this approved selection and custom creates a design for your client. In 3-5 business days they will be able to review their design and purchase their album. 

 

 

Can you believe we take care of the branding too!? Your studio or business name is stamped right into the album. Whoever looks at this album will see your name. This is offered to you at no additional charge. The setting for this imprint is your display name. You view this in your account under Settings, Account, Display Name and Copyright.  Free marketing is the best kind of marketing!

 

 

There is an impeccable beauty to heirloom album work. The pages are printed on the finest quality paper, and the book itself is hand bound and crafted. Because of the handmade quality of the albums, the process takes a full 15 business days from start to finish. After the album ships and is on its way to your client, you receive a $100 profit in your account without having to do any of the heavy lifting.

The album I chose to feature for this blog post is a 12 x 12 album, with luxuriously thick pages and a breathtaking Acrylic cover.  The high-glass finish is not only stunning, but it is also completely impact or dent resistant. The leather is milled with such precision that there is almost no bump between the cover and the binding.


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And these pages are the epitome of extravagance.

 

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Every album is carefully packaged and delivered directly to your client in a lovely box too!

 

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This new service is a complete win-win for any photographer who does not have the time or the desire to offer albums to clients, and it is a win for your customers too! A customized design process with a professional album designer and a beautifully handcrafted heirloom album delivered right to their door, all without you lifting a finger. So get out there and do what you love… shooting, or finishing up that backlog of editing, and landing new clients. We will take care of you, your clients, and everything in between.  To make sure you are enrolled in this service click HERE.

 


 

Amanda BurseAmanda Burse Amanda Burse is a devoted wife and mom to four children between the ages of three and 13. She is part of the Zenfolio Customer Support Team and has been a professional photographer for nine years. 

Comments

ZenBlog
We appreciate any and all feedback on the Album Design Service, and agree that the service might not be right for every photographer. This service is designed for photographers who do not have the time or all of the resources necessary to create high quality, custom albums for their customers.

Yes, you can certainly make more money if you choose to create your own albums and we encourage you to do so. Our goal is to help photographers save time and earn a living so we want all photographers to do what is best for their business.

For many photographers who don't offer albums, using the Zenfolio Service helps their bottom line without the added work or time. Additionally, albums filled with beautiful work provide a great way for photographers to get their name out there and encourage further interest in their work to grow their business.

The team at Zenfolio remains committed to developing new and innovative products and services for photographers to help to streamline their workflows, delight their clients, and achieve their business goals. While the album design service may not be a solution for all photographers, we truly hope that the nature of the service and product will be a welcome addition for many looking for a more hands-off approach to selling, while simultaneously pleasing their clients with a high quality, personalized heirloom album, and freeing up time to concentrate on what matters most - shooting great images!

Regarding the warranty, all albums come with a lifetime guarantee. We fully back all of the products we offer and this one is no exception.

Sincerely,
the Zenfolio Team
Sue(non-registered)
Such misinformation here i don't even know where to start except to say it is very obvious that a Zen employee wrote this with Zen's bottom line in mind, not their photographers.

I am one of thousands who deeply resented that 'make an album' button being added to my site by default, and am still not inclined to forgive that underhaneded move by Zen.

But for those newer photographers who want to start designing albums, Photjunction is a free and excellent design program option to get started, and Bay Photo also offers an easy online template design option as well.

The client picks faves in Zen and I download those faves as a new gallery to design with, or more often design with my own faves, order from Millers or Bay or Redtree or Vision art myself, and get to make a decent living. Turn it over to Zen, and the pro photographer gets zero control, not even knowing who is making these albums or what the warantee is if the binding splits over time.

But the biggest problem with turning on this option is that the pro has no control over prices and therefore loses a LOT of money, and Zen keeps it.

If album design was that difficult, why would Zen do it for a mere $50?

This entire post is a PR piece for Zen, after their really BAD decision to add the album option to all our galleris without permission.

To newer photographers, don't believe the scare tactics in thos post. You can do your own album design or outsource it, but using Zen as the provider of that service will cost you far more in profits than most of us can afford.
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