Thursday, January 24, 2008

MyBook Photobook Kit

I have been looking for a good quality photo book that is inexpensive enough to offer to my retail clients for a few months now, but haven't found anything until now.

MyBook Photobook Kit seems to be the answer. I found them through Unibind. They both offer photo book kits and binding options.

Here is what the MyBook Photobook Kit comes in.
Available in both black & white

Kit Includes:
(1) Black 11 x 8.5 photobook - Holds 1-15 sheets
(2) Clear plastic end sheets
Layout Software

The Unibind PhotoBook

These books appear to be geared toward the professional market and offer many more styles and sizes than the MyBook PhotoBook Kit

Here are some spec on the Unibind Photobooks They range in sizes from 12" x 12" to 4" x 6", PhotoBooks Letter Size are available in 9 different colors:
black linen, white linen, metallic blue, metallic silver, metallic pink, bordo leather, blue leather, black leather, black genuine leather.

All 8.5 x 11 PhotoBooks come standard with a 5 x 3.5 photo window cut centered in the cover.

In the other formats a window cut is optional.
We have several sizes and shapes to choose from: square,rectangular, round and oval in different sizes.

We have a wide selection of materials available and can offer you personalized window cuts, hot foil stamps or printed covers.

The binding system is the key to this book. The website really doesn't give to much more detail except to the demo you can watch.

And again there are no prices so I have written both companies and ask for more information especially prices and hopefully a sample to see the quality.

I like the MyBook Photobook Kit as it allows for very simple production basically you print the pages using there software and then staple the end put the pages in the book and pull the adhesive strips and press the book closed and your done.

The Unibind Binding System
requires the purchase of the binder and seems pretty straight forward, you line the pages up in the book and place it in the binder which heats the binding, sealing the book and then you let it cool.

I'll post a follow up on the prices and any other information I get as soon as I hear from them.

NOTE: I was able to find the Unibind Photobook Creator online at Adorama it's $99 there which is the cheapest I found other places like Best Buy & Target had it for $119. It appears to come with 2 to 3 binders and the binding unit.

This is defiantly on my short list of things to get as many of my clients ask for these photo books. What would make it more economical would be to get a very good photo printer. The one I have works fine but it is several years old and I think getting a photo printer with at least 6 colors is a must since I am selling them for quality prices. I could also use it to print out larger prints for matting and framing.

But first I need that new camera. :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Links to Photography & Camera Site

Here is a list of links I thought everyone would find useful. Thanks to Fotohacker for some the inspiration of this post and for some of the links.

* Digital Photography School
* Canon Digital Learning Center
* Nikon SLR Learning Center
* Pentax: Taking Better Photos
* Olympus Learning Center
* Sony Learning Center
* Kodak Digital Learning Center
* HP Free Online Classes
* Outdoor Photography Magazine How To
* PC Photo Mag How To
* Fotohacker
* All Day I Dream About Photography
* You Tube Photoshop Lessons
* You Tube Photography

Selling Your Artwork
* Redbubble
* Fotolia

Photo Sharing Sites
* SAOPhoto
* Flickr

Prints, Albums, Gifts and Supplies
* Shutterfly
* Kodak
* PhotoWorks
* Moo Cards
* Photographers Edge
* Snapfish
* WinkFlash
* 400+ Free Photo Prints and Gifts

Photo Contests
* Saophoto
* Photo Challenge
* Your Shot National Geographic

Well these certainly aren't all the links I have but they are the best ones. If anyone knows of a site that should be added please feel free to send me the link and I'll take a look at it.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Win a New Canon or Nikon Camera or Good Old Fashioned Cash!

Red Barn in Winter
Just thought I would let you guys know that Outdoor Photography magazine is having a "Winter" Photo contest -
"The timing and theme of this contest is winter, but that doesn’t limit your submissions to snow and ice. Maybe winter for you is a Caribbean sunset, a marsh in Florida, a canyon in the Southwest or a market in Saigon. Whatever your take may be, now is the time to show us your coolest shots!

Winter Contest Prizes Here’s your chance to win one of the following prizes: a Canon EOS 40D camera; Nikon D300 camera; or $1,500 in cash—plus publication of your winning image in Outdoor Photographer magazine!"

Click HERE for more info. Deadline is Jan 20, 2008.

Also PCPhoto is holding a similar contest -
" It's about you and the inspiration in your photos! Here's your chance to win one of the following prizes: a Canon EOS 40D camera, Nikon D300 camera or $1,500 in cash—along with publication of your winning image!"

Deadline for this contest is the 15th of Feb. 2008
Click HERE for more info.

Make sure you read the rules carefully, for instance Outdoor Photography you can enter two photographs but they have to be very different from each other.

I hope everyone enters as it is free, so you have nothing to loose and who knows you might win! I know I could use a new camera! :)

Sun Rays

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Photo Gallery Now Up

I design websites, although not a huge amount I do consider myself pretty good. But when it comes to doing my own site I am like the mechanic who never has time to fix there own car! LOL
I just wanted simple yet professional looking web gallery and Godaddy, my hosting company offers free photo gallery with domain and hosting purchase. I tried it but it just didn't have the look I wanted not to mention it appears to allow people to purchase your photographs, although you can turn tat feature off.
So I started looking for some templates in hopes of finding a nice yet simple free template.
Eventually I found Web Gallery Wizard. The software is $24.95 and comes with a bunch of pre-installed templates and more you can download from there site.
It has some flashed base templates and they are all very nicely done. So check it out and I would appreciate any feedback on it. Keep in mind I am far from finished I still have more photo's and I have to put up the contact page but I am working on it.
Sam Lamp Photography

Sun Rays
I took this photography in the Old First Church Cemetery at sun rise. I sat on the ground there for what seemed like forever taking photographs and waiting for this shot.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

16 Unique Ideas for your Next Portrait

Yes, I know it has been a while. But with the holidays quickly approaching I haven't had much time to call my own.
However I have managed to do an interview with "PC World" Magazine and today I am having my picture taken by "Alden Pellet" for the story.
This guy has done a little bit of everything and has been published by some of the top magazines and news papers in the country. So I think it will be a bit intimidating.
So I was looking at some articles about portrait photography and came across this interesting article about some different ideas you can use to get some fantastic shots.
The site is called "Epic Edits". Todays article is 16 Inspirational Portrait Photography Techniques.

When Mr. Pellet asked about my being a photographer I said "just landscape photography" As if landscape photography wasn't "real" or good enough to be considered photography. It was like I was making excuses.
As I thought about it all weekend I soon realized that there are as many specialties in photography as there are in medicine.

realizing that I make money and I do get acclamations about my work. My photographs may not be a published in many magazines and news papers, but I am going to be published in a 4 seasons calendar in 2009! And for a photographer that is just starting out that is an awesome achievement.

So if you ever think your photography isn't good enough to be talked about in the same sentence with "famous" or well know photographers, just remember as long as someone is talking than you are a photographer with a story to tell.

I love landscape photography because I can take my time and frame a shot, and make sure I get the shot I want, where as wedding photography or portrait photography is so much harder. You have to have a real patience I don't have to work with moving subjects. I find it hard to photograph one of my 7 kats! :)alone a child.

Enjoy you holidays and stay safe on the roads!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sparta Calendars

I have to say I was shocked when I received an email about showcasing one of my photographs in there 2009 "Four Seasons" Calendar. Misty MorningMisty Morning
Well as you know I have never sold my artwork in such a capacity so I had no idea how much to charge, or anything about the copyrights involved.

So I set about to do a bit of research and came across a few sites that were very helpful and useful so I thought I would pass them on to you guys.

Bergman Graphics is where I started.
Bergman lists several sites on how to set a price for your work. And here they are

Cradoc Corporation
PO Box 1310
Point Roberts, WA 98281

Now I went to this site and it is a program you pay for you punch in the information and it will give you a price to ask for based upon your answers. Such as, commercial or private sale. Or magazine or brochure, size of picture, length of rights, world or national. Well you get the idea.

Now Photographers index is similar to the fotoquote site but it is free and it is a great place to start.

Seth Resnick offers free stock photography pricing tables.

Editorial Estimator is a bit more complex and has a lot more options. It does appear to be free however and we all know how much I like free. :)

Now you will notice there is nothing in there about calendars and most of the price vary quite a bit from each different source.

Here are some of the prices I came up with. I used Brochure/catalog, full page color, and less than 10000.

Photographers Index
Type of Use:: Advertising
Specific Use:: Brochures / Catalogs
Press Run:: 10,000 or less
Size:: Full page or Major Illustration
Low Price:: $400.00
Average Price:: $600.00
High Price:: $800.00
Survey = 168

I also ran across an article mostly written for writers but has a small piece in there about photographs sold to calendar companies.

" Compared to greeting cards, magazines or some of the other specialty markets for photographs the calendar market isn't as big as you might think. The reason? Calendars are very seasonal and they only have one to 13 images each. So even a company that publishes 50 calendars will only need a max of 650 images.

Reality Check:
The competition is fierce because getting your photos published on a calendar is VERY GOOD for the portfolio as well as the ego. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing your photo(s) on a nice big high quality calendar.

Pay Rates:
The fees range from poor to great $50 to $1200 per photo. Some calender companies want an outright purchase of the image and transfer of copyright, while others just want exclusive rights for the year of publication.

If you have been in any of the "all calendar" specialty stores that open up in November/December ... you know that there are calendars on virtually every hobby, and interest you can think of ... cars, locomotives, cats, dogs, flowers. The biggest sellers are scenic's that show the changing seasons. If you have a photo niche, the calendar

market may be interested!

Weeding out the competition. Most calendar companies want to see medium to large format transparencies. If you are shooting digitally you should know what RAW is, and what to do with it ... because the calendar companies want the final image submissions in very high resolution files.

Did you just weed yourself out of the market because of what I just said? All is not lost, because there are some back door markets that still use 35mm transparencies. This could be your entry into the calendar market by paying for your new equipment!!"

I am basically going to let the Calendar company make the first offer. I just basically said I was new to this and had no idea how to proceed and ask them if they have a set of guidelines or a standard "offer", I figure that way we both know what the expectations are and can start negotiations from there.

PhotoSecrets This is also a great resource and it is free.

I'll keep you up to date as I learn more on this.

Books & Calendars

Well I wanted to keep everyone up on what has been going on but as usual there is always so much to do and so little time to do it in.

1st off I received some prints from if you will recall in my last post I told you of a lot of sites that are giving free prints away. Well I can't say they are bad, because they look pretty good. The only thing I can say is the color and the definition is different from but that is only because I was comparing the too side by side.

There is a definite difference but not one that will prevent me from ordering prints from them again. Especially with there shipping prices so low. You can't beat .99 cents.

Now as i said in a previous post I am also putting together small "mini memory book" They are 5 x 7 soft cover books from Kodak. The shipping was $1.99 and it took 11 business days to get it.

However I am not entirely pleased with it. As you can see it has a window cut out in the cover to see a picture through, now the picture I chose was plenty big enough to fil the spot but it doesn't and only fills it vertically not horizontally. And some of the other photos have similar issues with white borders on some and edge to edge printing on others.

The quality is what you would expect from Kodak the pictures look great. But the presentation in the book looks really bad. And you can't give each page a title just a title for the book. And there is no choice of layout or color of the cover.

All in all though it was $6.99 + shipping making it a total of $8.98 cost, if I sell it for say 13.98 I am only making $4 a book. And a reseller would have to mark it up another 50% to 75% to make a decent profit. So it is unlikely this will be a good choice. Although the idea is great. Just have to keep looking until I find a better solution.

Unfortunately Kodak doesn't offer much in bulk discounts you have to buy over 1000 books to get a discount at all.