By Mindy Charski
Wedding couples aren’t homogenous, and neither are wedding albums. Book vendors, recognizing the diverse prefer- ences of couples and seizing on printing innovations, now sell a variety of products to showcase
wedding images. Many companies also offer photographers
design services and strong customer service. Mindy Charski
spoke with six top providers—AsukaBook USA, Bay Photo Lab,
Finao, IRISbook, PhotoBook Press and Renaissance Albums—
about their competitive advantages and new products.
from photographing weddings in 2011. “The company had
a very solid reputation in Japan, and they wanted to intro-
duce their product to U.S. professional photographers. I
knew it was a great fit for my existing business model, which
was to provide products to empower photographers.”
Kubota remains an integral asset to the company. “He
definitely guides us and gives us the direction because he
has the [photographer’s] mind set,” says AsukaBook man-
ager Kathryn Osborne.
As for the albums themselves, many wedding shooters
are particularly drawn to AsukaBook’s NeoClassic book line,
which the company says is a contemporary twist on the
classic flush mount album.
In 2012 AsukaBook will introduce matte covers on most
lines, including the popular NeoClassic. “People love our
matte-finished page and they’re constantly asking if we can
put it on the cover,” Osborne says. “True to our Japanese
background, we made sure there was a lot of testing and
that the matte would stand up to the test of time and so
we’ve spent a lot of years on it.”
© BAy PHO TO LAB
The Pacific Album.
The NeoClassic book line.
866-330-1530 / email@example.com
It’s nearly impossible to not associate AsukaBook USA
with wedding photography. After all, the albums that are
manufactured by the Japanese firm Asukanet made their
U.S. entrance at the hands of acclaimed wedding photographer Kevin Kubota, and AsukaBook is now a division of
“When [Asukanet] came to me in 2005 looking for a U.S.
representative, I was immediately taken back by the quality and uniqueness of the books,” says Kubota, who retired
BAy Photo LAB
Santa Cruz, California
800-435-6686 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Bay Photo Lab is owned by a surfer, staffed by a number of
surfers, and is just two blocks from the beach. So it’s not
that surprising that Sarah Bergeron, an assistant to owner
Larry Abitbol, describes the company as “a laid back, ar-
tistic kind of place.”
For wedding and portrait photographers, who make up
much of the clientele, this translates into multiple benefits.
For one, Bay Photo Lab is happy to customize its products
upon request. “If we can figure out how to make it, we’ll do
it,” Bergeron says. “People call me all the time with, ‘Can
you put the hinge on top and add this kind of material and
do a weird stripe over on this side?’ and we do it.”
The company is also highly creative and cutting edge.
“We’ve got the drive to always come up with new things and
figure out better ways to do everything that we do,” she says.