Sunday, January 23, 2011

Behind the Scenes 1: Photo Packaging from Cypress Albums

Greetings, loyal fans! I have been spending a lot of time lately on thinking about, researching, and ordering photo packaging and branding. Here's the scoop!

Determined to find the most quality photo presentation products on the market, I finally found a company called Cypress ( Thankfully they are located in Glendale, so I was able to drive over there one weekend last fall to check out their stuff in person. 

I tend to have champagne taste, so I wanted to make sure these keepsake products were as good as they looked online. They were better.

The company doesn't have a separate store, but merely a showroom to the side of their workshop (which is, from another paper-lover's point of view, VERY cool to see in person!) dedicated to the display of several samples of their fine work. I was totally enamored. I fell in love with just about everything. (No one actually saw me come in at first; I was glad for this because I wanted all the time in the world to be able to browse and enjoy myself on my own!) Considering my current business needs, I particularly fell in love with their dvd folios and proof boxes.

When I read about the proprietor of Cypress, I learned that she was an artist herself, and when, as a bride, she couldn't find the type of quality and style in an album she was looking for, she "learned the ancient art of bookmaking" and started her own company. Her products are exquisite and 100% handmade. They carry albums, boxes, and folios of all kinds. What's also neat is they will work with photographers individually to come up with custom designs (they sell to professional photographers only!). Most of their products are custom anyway because they're handmade with a customer's choice of silk fabric and ribbon. Exciting!

I finally took the plunge for my most recent order. When perusing Cypress's blog, I found photos of this dvd folio: (click once to enlarge)

I thought the colors were basic and lovely, so I went for it (black silk, cranberry ribbon). Notice how the name of the photographer peeks out from the right side of the folio. (Yvette Roman Photography)

I don't have a cd printer, so I did some research and found other photographers who had used a company called Discmakers. I ordered 3 blank printed dvds; 4 came. The order also took approximately 3 weeks. I was not happy about this. And to top it off, the quality of the on-disc printing was sub-standard; my logo and the printing of the client's name at the bottom were pixelated (however, you won't be able to tell from these photos). I guess I will have to keep experimenting with quality disc printing.

Pixelation problems aside, I feel very satisfied about the way my first order turned out. And my client was even more thrilled. She received something beautiful and special that she can display in her home and treasure for years to come. The presentation of the dvd inside the folio made the entire experience even more meaningful.

I also had Cypress emboss my studio name on the back (not pictured) and ordered some stickers from Zazzle (average quality; I think I'll end up just making my own). Cypress wraps the folio in parchment; I added my sticker and voila! A beautiful order completed.

For your (and my) pleasure, I also found several other examples of Cypress specialties at various other photographers' websites. Here are a few of my favorites . . .

Custom proof box with 3 small window openings on the cover (looks like 5x7s?)
Photos courtesty

Album with custom box (dvd folio tucked into front cover of custom box)

Photos courtesty

Wedding album with custom box

Flush-mounted Iris album, courtesy

I can't wait to share all my future Cypress orders with you. 
Thank you as always for your loyal support and love. 

All the best in 2011, 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Photo Shoot 11, December 2010

Just after Christmas, a friend of mine from school hired me to photograph her family before her husband left for D.C. Their little boy is beautiful, and as a group, they were really playful together which really helped me get some great shots.

We started at Friendship Park in San Pedro, then drove over to the Trump Golf Club (there is also public access, which I didn't know before they took me there) for the golden light of the evening sun.

This shoot turned out to be one of my favorites of all time. It was a real challenge trying to capture the beauty of the scenery while also shooting in the direct sun and getting the right angle and expressions! But I got some real gems. Here are a few of my favorites.

(Click once to enlarge)