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Photo Books


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Is anyone doing PhotoBooks - either in-store or outsourced and what are your experiences?

It seems that some of the European photo groups are doing really well with these and it's something us minilabs shouldn't ignore.

We've been researching the market and are about to launch a range, produced through our digital lab but we're keen to hear others views on page size, page quantity, range of backgrounds etc?

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I think they are a really good idea. Some I have seen though looked like laser copies, and the prices being charged seem a bit high for a book of laser copies. In it's most basic form all you really need are some page templates, and an office type binding machine, not too difficult or expensive really, and if you used a digital lab I think it could look very professional. If you were to use silver halide output you are limited to one-sided printing, but it would look better than laser copies.

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Yes we looked at the systems that stick two sheets together but decided that double siding was not such a big issue. Instead we've sourced some non-watermarked lustre paper in 8" specifically for the Photo Books.

I agree, the digitally printed books on regular paper are no where near the quality that can be achieved on a digital lab.

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Got a pictures of the books, showing what they look like?

How are you laying out the book, does the customer sit with you as you work with their images, as there are so many possibilities how do you keep the layout time realistic?

Have been thinking about this idea, ideally the customer would sit down at home and spend their time going through all the diferent combinations then bring in a finished CD.  This sort of thing is built into such programs as iphoto, but this is set up for direct ordering and not for indipendant use.  So how are you going to work this?

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All really simple Nick. We had envisaged using a kiosk based program but there was nothing stylish on the market except for Kis' product - which only output to DKS machines. In the end we opted for a standard workstation where customers create the image in the retail area alongside the kiosks.

Once the album is completed we save into a hot folder then select the print size in our Lab transfer software. All real easy. http://www.photoplus.co.nz/photobooks.htm

I will put up a tutorial with images as soon as we get some time.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Tony,

I do know some people using the Photo-Me consumables only - not the program, due to it's output limitations. If you just wanted to test the market why not buy a cheap off-the-shelf photo book software, then buy in the covers and interleaves separately?

We are having a photo book promo in early September - especially for Fathers Day so it will be interesting to see how this is recieved by customers.

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The one we are using is Corel Photo Album 6. It's got heaps of templates for the photo books and also makes collages easy. The styles are tasteful and once completed it exports as a .jpeg so easy to print on the minilab.

It was not expensive and we downloaded it from Corel's website. I believe there is a trial version but this only has white page backgrounds as an option. Once registered it opens the rest.

In the photo editing mode check out 'thinify'! Possibly a new service you could offer!

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Have a look at Cameo Style Gary Orenstein has a very interesting concept, he offers free software, they are not running a traditional silver halide lab but I believe the concept can be modified to suit any lab.

http://www.cameostyle.com/pressroom/

http://www.cameostyle.com/pressroom/CAMEO_Style_Beyond_4x6.pdf

http://www.cameostyle.com/pressroom/handout.pdf

http://www.cameostyle.com/pressroom/CreativeKiosk_Complete.html

We will be using Whitech's Phototeller new upgraded software being launched at Photokina enabling us to have a product in time for Christmas.

We will all need to be in this business believe me.

regards Phil

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Like you Phil, we're eagerly awaiting the new Whitech software as this should streamline the whole process. In the meantime I'd urge anyone serious about this market to download Corel PhotoBook Maker as this will output to your Minilab.

We're looking to really push them in the lead up to Christmas with inmmediate delivery being our biggest USP. Every other retailer will be having the books produced off-site so there is real potential to get those last-minute sales!

PS - If you have a freindly printer nearby get them to die cut some covers and inter-leaves. It's much cheaper (and less hassle) than trying to source them elsewhere.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Basically Tetenal supply the covers and pages plus a template to stick on the photos evenly then a special trimmer to cut the edges evenly. they also give you cds to give the customer which has the software to enable them to drag and drop their own photos on to it. When they have made up their own book, they come back to the shop with the cd for you to print and assemble. It seemed an easy way to print money - but nothing is usually as easy as it seens at a show!!!! Cecil Hughson.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been interested in Photo books for my commercial clients as a way for them to present their services in a 'tactile' form via a decent, professional looking photo book system. The good news is I have found the system! It is Unibind Systems Ltd,Crawley,West Sussex. The rep Rob Marshall came to my studio to demonstrate the 'Docustyle' binding system which binds photographic paper,laser paper,art paper etc into the hard backed book which contains a resin which melts under high temp to grip the pages.Equipment costs approx

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  • 2 weeks later...
Yes we looked at the systems that stick two sheets together but decided that double siding was not such a big issue. Instead we've sourced some non-watermarked lustre paper in 8" specifically for the Photo Books.

I agree, the digitally printed books on regular paper are no where near the quality that can be achieved on a digital lab.

Can I ask what make is the non-watermarked paper? Sounds like an interesting way to get the quality plus the book-look

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