Category Archives: Insider Secrets

Photo Books 101: Book Terminology

In our interactions with various photography & design communities, we’ve noticed that not everyone is on the same page (book joke intended!) regarding the various parts of press book. Watch this video to see the standard teminology we use regarding end sheets, fly sheets, and how to count a page vs. a sheet or spread.

As always, let us know if you have any questions or if you have a video you’d like to see next!

Senior Trends with Kevin Focht

Expert photographer Kevin Focht shares his insights on selling high school senior packages & delighting his clients by keeping up on current trends. Watch as Kevin talks about why he uses SharedInk books as part of his package, how he uses studio samples to upsell his clients, and how he keeps up with what’s cool to cater to his clients.

Many of Kevin’s ideas are also useful for weddings and family portrait sessions.

By watching the video you will learn how to:

  • communicate with today’s seniors
  • deal with the “I just want digital files” issue
  • use studio samples to upsell your clients
  • and more!
You can check out Kevin’s left turn seniors web site to see how he markets his senior business. For more great tips from Kevin, check out The Creative Orange.
As Kevin explains, you sell what you show. We always offer 33% off studio samples. Just contact us when placing your order.


Quick Tip: Rearranging Pages for Press Books

We all have different workflows in designing photo books. If you’re not diligent with naming your files, you can run into problems with the order of your pages.

Check out this quick tutorial on how to easily rename your pages in a consistent way, and how to use SharedInk’s online page rearrange tool for making last minute changes.

Copyright Issues for Creatives

Today we’re happy to have a guest post from Portland area photographer Aaron Hockley. Today, Aaron shares some of his knowledge on copyright issues for photographers and creatives in general. See his information at the bottom of the post. -Eric

Copyright is an interesting topic for photographers… not only should photographers be aware of current copyright law, but the reality is that public perception and sentiment toward copyright is changing quickly. Odds are that five, ten, or twenty years from now we’ll see copyright laws that vary from the status quo, and photographers would be best served to entertain new ideas when it comes to intellectual property.

Current Copyright Law

image of colored lights and water

Disclaimer: I’m a photographer, not a lawyer, so don’t mistake this for legal advice from an attorney. This will be a very brief overview of current law. Like many laws, there are various nuances, loopholes, and exceptions.

Current US copyright law states that the creator of a work (such as a photograph) owns the copyright to that work from the moment that it’s created. In practical terms: photographers own their copyrights as soon as they press the shutter. The only exception is if the work is done in an employee relationship or as a “work for hire” – if you’re unsure about these topics you should contact a business attorney to help you work out contracts that keep you in a favorable position. You don’t have to register your copyright with the government in order to have protection, but doing so will put you in a much better situation if you end up filing a suit related to copyright infringement. For more information on registration, see

As a photographer and copyright owner, you get to control the use of your images. If a company wants to use your photograph in an advertisement, they must purchase the rights to do so (or they’ll be infringing on your copyright). If a parent wants to make prints of the senior portraits you made of her daughter, she needs to obtain that permission from you. As a photographer making albums, books, or multimedia materials, you’ll also need to respect the copyrights of others by ensuring that you’ve secured a license for the graphics or music that you use in your products.

Looking to the Future

As we look at copyright in the future, I suspect some things are going to change. There aren’t clear answers, but astute thinkers can ask some great questions and start to formulate responses. As pointed out in Everything is a Remix, many of our creative works (from Disney movies to Led Zeppelin songs to various found-on-Youtube amusements) are remixes of copyrighted work. Do we continue to try to prevent reuse and remixing, or do we embrace the notion of remix as a way of creating interesting derivative works?

The internet has made it easier than ever to publish various creations to a wide audience. Many folks understand that copyright somehow affects the use and copying of music, video, and photography, but many folks don’t understand that protection. Andy Baio has taken a look at the no copyright intended meme that’s pervasive on Yahoo – as of December 2011 we find nearly 500,000 works on YouTube that claim “no copyright intended” and over 600,000 that cite Fair Use as a disclaimer for infringement.

What happens when there’s a law on the books but widespread disregard for that law is occurring in ways which aren’t generally causing great societal harm? Cheezburger CEO Ben Huh offers his analogy:

This disconnect between the public’s view of copyright and fair use and what should and should not be prosecuted, versus the ‘copyright maximist’ view of the law, is our generation’s Prohibition.

There aren’t “right” or “wrong” answers to many of these questions, but as photographers who create and share the results of our creations, I’d argue that we ought to be aware of leading thoughts in the area such that we can adapt our businesses to result in continued success. The old model of “create once, copyright forever” seems to be dying… what will we find in its place?

Aaron Hockley

Aaron Hockley is a photographer based in Vancouver, Washington who writes and speaks about new media topics for photographers. Among other things, he creates abstract fine art photography.

Wedding Book Grand Slam

wedding books

Increase your profits and do your clients a favor by offering keepsakes of their special day that will last for generations.

There are only so many days in the year to book clients so take advantage of each opportunity to increase your revenue. You have four opportunities for photo book and album sales with every wedding you shoot. Present them correctly and you’ll have a happy bride and more money in the bank. The opportunities are:

  1. Guest Book
  2. Proof Book
  3. Wedding Album and Parent Albums
  4. Wedding Memory Book

Guest Book

“Guest books sell engagement sessions, and engagement sessions sell guest books.”

Guest books go hand in hand with an engagement shoot. Showing a sample guest book when booking the wedding is the easiest way to book an engagement shoot. If you already have the engagement shoot lined up then offering a guest book it is another opportunity to sell it as an add-on revenue opportunity.

Proof Books

Most SharedInk customers that supply proof books to their clients do it as part of a package and not an add-on product. Offering a printed proof book has several advantages

  • It is an extra touch that sets you apart from the competition.
  • You can paint the picture of the bride sitting on the couch with her mother viewing the photos and selecting the favorites.
  • Prints can be scanned and emailed or reprinted. Even if they don’t have the quality of prints you supply, free is very tempting.

A SharedInk proof book has the same high quality printing and goes through the same QA processes as all of our photo books. Some of the best books have a single large image on the first page with title text, then one to three pages of images you select and would like to steer your client towards. The remainder of the book is standard proof images, easily created in minutes using the Adobe Bridge Output tool.

Wedding and Parent Albums

Do your clients a huge favor and supply some type of wedding album in all your wedding packages. Depending on your clientele, you might use SharedInk 6 color books in your less expensive packages and upgraded papers and covers, or flush mount albums, in your premium packages.

A few years from now your clients will be very glad they have the album.

“90 days after the wedding is the best time to upgrade clients.”

There seems to be a trend among many photographers to offer a press printed wedding album as a standard part of the wedding package, and then offer a flush mount album as an upsell opportunity later. It seems that 90 days after the wedding is the best time to offer upgrades. Your client is into their new life routine, earning paychecks, with maybe some money in the bank from wedding gits. This is the ideal time to upgrade their albums or other photo products.

Parent albums are a great opportunity to increase your revenues with very little work. Occasionally photographers order multiple copies of the bride’s album for parents, but normally it is a smaller, less expensive version of the same book. Contact us and we can provide you with a smaller “clone” of the bride’s album. Some photographer’s swapping out cover images or other pages in the book for the different sides of the family.

Wedding Memory Book

This book tells the details of the day and is the place for all those photos that don’t make the album cut. The bride can select all the photos she wants, allowing the wedding album focus on the story of the day. It is also a great use of all those photo booth photos. Read the blog post for more info.

The Wedding Book Grand Slam

Maximize your profits by always offering these four products for all of your weddings. The increased revenue is a real grand slam!

Trade Show Tips

We had a great time at both Imaging USA in New Orleans and WPPI in Las Vegas. Aside from getting to show the work we take pride in, another valuable part of going to trade shows is hearing the awesome ideas other photographers share with us throughout each expo.

Here are some of our favorite tips from people we met:

  • Many Seniors are using their portrait books as a signature book. Leave blank space in the portrait book so friends can sign the books like a yearbook or wedding guest book.
  • Launch an email campaign promoting books, calendars, or other products a couple of months before the holidays. It’s a great opportunity to get follow up orders from customers from throughout the year, and time it right and they’ll thank you for the gift ideas.
  • Instead of offering every book size, paper choice, and cover option, choose 2 or 3 to offer your customer. Making all your products similar will cut down on your design time and with narrower choices, your client will be able to make decisions faster.
  • Instead of meeting clients in your studio or in public (like in a coffee shop), have your initial meeting in their home. You’ll be able to get a feel for their style and personality.
  • Brand the back cover and last page of every book you design. Include your website URL. You never know when a potential client may be leafing through a wedding album or portrait book.
  • Instead of naming your photo packages something like “Basic, Standard, & Premium”, try something alternative like “New York, Milan, & Paris”. This way, all your clients feel like their getting a great packages- not something they have to “settle” for because of a smaller budget.

We are so happy to have had to opportunity to meet many of you at the shows. Want to brainstorm further ways to integrate photo books into the solution you offer your customers? We’re always happy to help.