I think I first saw Bob Books at a trade show around the same time that I was switching to shooting digital at weddings.
One of the most satisfying aspects of being a wedding photographer is sending people an album that tells the story of their wedding day. Indeed I even shoot with album spreads in mind so as I settled into offering a digital service, I soon noticed that less couples were coming back to me for albums. It seemed the more images I gave them, the less likely they were to be able to make a selection for an album. Or maybe on screen time now felt enough time with their wedding images. Either way it made me sad to think of images sitting on hard drives instead of being curated into a book.
So I decided to include some kind of album in what I offered potential bookings. At the same time though, the market was experiencing a huge influx of new photographers and I was suddenly aware of how much competition I had. So I was looking for a book that was affordable enough to be the throw in bonus to my package, something that I could add in without having to increase my rates too much.
Now, shhhhh here is the secret part. I rarely spend more than about £80 on a Bob Books. Although they cost a little more than this, I'm signed up to their newsletter and I keep an eye out for their discount codes. They have one that is just finishing for 20% but are now running a scratch & win promotion. The one I include is a 12x12 with around 100 images with lay flat photographic lustre paper. And you know what? It looks great, like a cross between a really nice coffee table book and a photo album. I love how images can cross over both pages without any interruption on the crease and the paper feels substantial.
They do offer gloss paper too and a matt option that isn't lay flat but also has a matt cover. I have just tried one of these and it's like a really nice art book. The new boxes that they offer are a very welcome addition, they are covered in black fabric and again.. as it's Bobs they are also great value and really make this product look like something that should cost a lot more.
I've been taking along samples of my Bob Books to workshops, since I started them back in 2011 and photographers are always incredulous at how good they look for the money. I consider them my starter album and around 50% of my clients are happy to stick with them rather than upgrade to my other options. And that is fine and dandy with me as I reckon these clients are the ones who would never come back if no book is included. I like to think these books sit merrily on bookshelves all over the UK and get looked at maybe even more than a 'fancy' album.
I've used smaller sizes as proof books, signing books, engagement books and for the photo booth images. They are a versatile little product and like all the companies that we have taken on as Farm sponsors the people behind Bobs are so lovely and passionate about what they do. If you see them at a trade fair, say hello and tell them Photography Farm sent you...