Friday, August 30, 2013

Accordion Books — Why They're Wonderful for Photographers & Clients

Oh, the little accordion book. It's cute, super affordable and makes it possible for you to display an entire collection of photos in one happy little package. I started offering them a few months ago and they fly off the shelf. I love them so much, I decided to write a blog-post biography of these little wonders for you.....

The Hard Facts
  • I order mine from ProDPI — a professional print lab in Colorado, USA. Love these guys!
  • They come in sets of three. 
  • They can close by magnet or little ribbons. 
  • The cover can be a smooth printed photograph or fabric. The fabric comes in silk & linen and when it comes to colours... hot pink... name it. (I stick with "Black Onyx Silk" because that's my brand — sometimes I wish I'd chosen pink or purple for my company because they're sooo preeetty! No, but seriously I do LOVE how using black keeps the focus on the images — it's not distracting.)
  • The accordion paper itself is thick card stock. This is durable but not archival. If taken care of well then it will last a long time but there is no UV protection so overtime the color will fade. 
  • You can choose from multiple finishes (matte, luster, pearl etc...). I choose pearl because the images are quite small and that little extra sparkle on the paper helps bring the photographs to life — they jump off the page with a little extra pop. 
  • Accordion booklets can be square or rectangular. 
  • You can have lots of little images inside or one loooong image. 
  • All three books are identical. 
  • Each book has two sides — the front/inside has 6 spaces + the back/outside has 4 spaces. I fill up one space on the inside with my logo which leaves me with 5 spaces on the inside & 4 on the back. 
  • You can orientate images vertically or horizontally or mix it up with both. 

What Clients Can Do With Them
  • They are fabulous gifts. 
  • If you want to keep them all for yourself, you can put one on your desk, one in your purse and one on your coffee table. 
  • You can keep one for yourself and ship one book to each set of grandparents. 
  • You can store two of them in a safe and bring them out when the first one has worn out or gets lost. 
  • If you're a family or children's portrait photographer you could encourage parents to save the books and give them to their children when they grow up and move out — that way every member of the family has the same photo book.

What Photographers Can Do With Them
  • They can be sold on their own as the main course OR you can sell them as a side dish — a beautiful accompaniment to a larger canvas. 
  • If you're a wedding photography you can surprise your bride & groom with this as a special little 'thank you' gift after the wedding — use their favourite wedding images and tell them they can keep one book for themselves and then give the other two books to each set of parents. They aren't too expensive and you could build their cost into your package.
  • You can also use these images as a portable mini portfolio. Keep one book in the studio, one in your purse and one at your home. The book in the purse is the most important. Just think, instead of saying "Hey, I'm a photographer — check out my portfolio on my iPhone," you could say, "Hey, I'm a photographer — here's my portfolio [hand them an accordion book]." — NOTHING beats touch when it comes to photography — holding a print in your hand is gold!
  • Market the accordion books as a more affordable option for clients with lower budgets. You can justify the lower cost because the product is not archival.

Everyone Out There — Would you buy accordion books for yourself? Why / why not? 

Photographers — do you sell accordion books? Any other ideas for how clients or photographers can use them?