Publish your work in a photo book
Photo books can be part of business, a tool, reward or promotional instrument.
Creating a unique photo book and printing just one copy of it, or maybe another two for the grand parents, has become increasingly popular in many British families. Some businesses are also discovering the beauty of professional, glossy photo book print at minimal print runs. This allows to experiment with different images and lay-outs and to keep stocks of promotional material low. The market for online consumer photo printing is very competitive and businesses can benefit from the low prices and high quality of some of the photo labs.
For some businesses or institutions the one off photo book experience starts with the retirement of a long serving member of staff. With some good photographs the history of a company can easily be told and colleagues immortalized in a book. Most people are positively impressed by the results. From this impressión it usually doesn't take long for the boss to request the firm's own photo book.
Why would a business want to print books in extremely small print runs?
Businesses, large and small need to present themselves and what they do. An architect or creative furniture maker should be able to show prospective clients references of past work. Hair stylists have started to do the same. With a couple of copies of a book showing exemplar haircuts in the waiting area, the stylist may influence clients wishes for a hair cut by the stylist's past work.
Creative people love photo books, those in creative professions are no exception. From creative carpenters to cabinet makers and bathroom and kitchen designers, many use photobooks to illustrate different styles and real projects they have realised. Of course, those images work on websites, but taking a book to a client to show or displaying some in reception or the show room looks really professional.
High value - low volume
High value low volume machine and specialist tool makers use photo books as their catalogues. This allows them to have tailored catalogues presenting in print what's relevant to a specific customer. A photo book is not only cheaper to produce than printing a PowerPoint, it also looks better.
Large corporations often spend considerable amounts of money on corporate entertainment and as sponsors of major sporting events. Big names like UBS or BMW spent hundreds of thousands of pounds taking their clients on corporate entertainment to events like Ascot, Wimbledon or a "Formula 1" race. Investing heavily in relationship building, some like to follow such events up, sending each client not their business literature but a personal photo book commemorating the afternoon of evening - a powerful means of reconnecting to the event.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has produced small-print-run photo books to document wildlife parks in Africa. Such books are impressive proof of the effort and achievements of wild life conservationists. On some occasions such photo books find a publisher, to be released in larger volumes.
A la Carte
Restaurant chains print thousands of copies of their colourful menús, being all the same. Some more elaborate (non chain) eateries have started to create interesting, illustrated menus through photo book printing, often also displaying the restaurant's history and past events.
Schools providing specialist training need specialist training materials. Text books, setting out the curriculum deliver the message best. When the text book content is tailored to the course it becomes a teaching tool valued by students and teachers alike.
Schools like for example the Cambridge Steiner School or the Perse, a public school in Cambridge display printed photo albums illustrating school events and trips in their reception areas. These are extremely popular and browsed through probably thousands of times in a year.
Visitor's to a care home are rarely able to visit all areas. But with a few photo books in the reception the home takes the opportunity to present their team, installation and services.
Some souvenir shops prepare their own posters, photo books, photo calendars, photo jigsaws and postcards. While small print runs have higher unit costs they allow to minimize stocks and at the same time expand the range. Some hotels and tourist destinations have test marketed a range of postcards in small print runs before producing a larger print run of the best selling model.
An architect's portfolio
A good illustrated portfolio can become an architects ticket to a new project. What better way to display images of past work, illustrations, plans, stages of realisation and comments than a photo book?
The Wedding photo book has long replaced the wedding album. Some photographers limit their offering to taking photographs and delivering these on a disc to the couple for them to use and print these themselves. Other wedding photographers offer packages with prints and the design and print of the photo wedding book included.
Some event organizers, hotels and party venues use event photo books to illustrate the style and size of events they have hosted. This helps to communicate the flavour of the venue or events possible.
Climbing in 'high-wire forest parks' is an adventure for the whole family and often the destination for a bonding trip among work colleagues. Some of those obstacle climbing parks like for example Klettermax make photo books of some events.
Vintage and wedding car rentals
Nowadays car rental firms will have websites. But when the customer is already at reception the time is right to show what is on offer in a photo book rather than putting the prospective client in front of a screen. Images taken for the website can easily be used in a photo book, illustrating the different vintage and wedding cars available and how they have been used.
Confectioners of wedding cakes
Making wedding cakes requires creative skills. What better way to proof that point than with a photo book illustrating the range of creative cake options?
A model agency from Romania creates a portfolio book for each model they work with. That is great for the models and should help them in their next job interview.
How do photo books contribute to revenue?
As versatile as the use of photo books in business are the ways in which they contribute to revenue. Photo books are often sold as a service (e.g. wedding photographers) or part of a service (e.g. specially tailored training materials). In other businesses photo books feature as a product catalogue or a menu in restaurants, helping to show and explain the product to be sold. But photo books are also used in a more sophisticated way, e.g. as a present in memory of an event sponsored by a company and attended by its clients or even suppliers. In all these and many other cases photo books help to boost profits.
Where and how to prepare a photo book
When looking for a photo book printer working with a photo book software that allows for creative freedom is paramount. The user at first sight seems to be spoiled for choice. In reality, most of the shops are powered by one of Europe's oldest photo book vendors MyPhotobook (e.g. Printing-1) or by the world's largest photo book vendor CEWE Color (e.g. FotoInsight). There are a number of mainly US-backed photo book options coming from the likes of Kodak (printing on their old "Nexpress") and Snapfish (using "Indigo" print). While their websites are good for online photo sharing, their photo book options are very limited and time consuming. The two most suitable photo book offers for the business users, FotoInsight and Printing-1 have been compared against each other in this Photo Book Test.