Finding an album company can be a difficult task! Many wedding and portrait photographers know they need to offer albums (as they’re quite profitable!), but with so many options to choose from it’s hard to know where to start.
Today we’ll be looking at our favourite album company: Vision Art. Vision Art is an album company based out of Marshalltown Iowa, in the U.S. They produce beautiful fine art albums that are perfect for wedding and portrait photographers. We’ve been using Vision Art for our wedding and portrait albums ever since we started our photography business (just over 5 years now!). We’ve experimented with several other album manufacturers but Vision Art comes out on top for quality, customer service, consistency, and value.
Note: This review was completed independently. We’re frequently asked what album company we use so we thought this would make a great article. While Vision Art did send us some sample albums to use in this review, we’re not receiving any sort of compensation from them. We just really really like them.
Check out this video where we take a look at The Original Fine Art Book and the Photo Art Book offered by Vision Art. I also talk a bit about our experience with the company.
What We Love
When you open the album you’ll notice there is no gutter down the centre. You can design your albums placing photos across the whole spread. This feature delivers serious visual impact, and gives you so much creative flexibility with your designs!
The Original Fine Art Book, that we use exclusively, lays perfectly flat when open. This makes for a fantastic viewing experience since you don’t have to hold the book open. Because of the thicker pages the Photo Art Book doesn’t lay flat perfectly, but it will still lay open almost all the way.
Fantastic matte paper
We really love the matte paper used by Vision Art. The matte finish gives the album a luxurious fine art feel.
Full photo wrap covers
The full photo wrap cover allows us to design unique covers for all our clients. Our clients love having their photo right on the album cover. The crystal laminate finish of the cover also does a fantastic job of preventing finger prints, and makes cleaning the album easy.
The attention to detail that Vision Art puts into their albums is incredible. They use archival quality inks that don’t fade or smudge (our original sample albums still look fantastic). The assembly of the album is consistently excellent. These albums are built to last!
This is probably one of the most important things any wedding or portrait photographer should look for in an album company. We’ve received the same high level of service from Vision Art right from the beginning of our business. Taking care of their customers is clearly a priority.
Fast Turn around
From the time we submit an album to the time is arrives at our door, it’s usually no more than two weeks (and we live in Canada!). You also have the option to rush service where they can complete a book in 24-48 hours!
I won’t be talking much about pricing in this review. Since they only work with professional photographers their pricing isn’t publicly available. You can visit their website to contact them for more details or email visionart [at] visionart.com. What I do want to mention is the pricing of Vision Art’s albums is super competitive, even with their incredible quality and customer service. I think this is important to mention since albums are a product that you’ll be reselling to your clients. In order to earn a good profit selling albums you need to be buying them at a reasonable price. With the different albums Vision Art offers you’ll absolutely be able to find a product that your clients will love.
Here’s a look at the Albums featured in the video above!
First up the Photo Art Book
Next the Orginal Fine Art Book. These are the books we use exclusively in our own photography business.
The photo below is a closeup shot showing the gutter down the centre of a Photo Art Book with matte paper.
In the larger shot below you can see that the gutter fold blends into the image quite nicely, allowing you place images right across the whole spread. The gutters of our sample albums (opened and closed hundreds of times) still look fantastic.
As shown in the image below, the pages in the Photo Art Book are about twice the thickness of the pages in the Original Fine Art Book. These pages are quite rigid, but they’re not so thick that the album feels awkward to look through.
Below: Pages from the Original Fine Art Book. The pages are thinner, but still have considerable weight to them. Think heavy cardstock. Also notice in this photo how the binding of these books is constructed. Each page is glued to the next which is what allows for the gutterless design.
Below: The Original features a true layflat design. This makes looking through the album a fantastic experience!
Below: The Photo Art Book doesn’t lay flat quite as perfectly. This is possibly due to the thicker pages, or because the sample Photo Art Book below is brand new. The Original above has been a sample in our studio for the past year. You can hold the pages down so it’s perfectly flat and I suspect the more the album is handled the more it will wear in nicely.
Below: Two Photo Art Books of different sizes are shown. The one on the left shows the standard photo finish and the one on the right has the optional matte finish. The photo finish definitely protects the image more (it has a laminate of some sort over the image) and would make cleaning the albums easy.
You can see that the photo finish is quite low glare (obviously not as low glare as the matte but for a protective laminate it’s impressive). It looks like a real photo finish. The brightness of both papers looks great and the colors look accurate (and consistent) for both finishes. The blacks for the photo finish look a bit crisper than the matte which makes sense. It was great getting to see both paper options side by side like this!
Below: A super closeup shot showing the laminate finish of the full photo wrap covers. This finish does an incredible job of preventing finger prints from showing up on the cover.
Below: The cover is wrapped perfectly around the edes, and the end papers finish the covers beautifully.
Below: Another shot of the image wrap cover neatly folded around the edges.
Below: Look how neatly the spine hugs the back cover. The attention to detail each book receives really is phenomenal.
What’s really neat about Vision Art is that they offer a TON of variety. Their books come in many sizes and formats (including awesome panoramic books).
They have a variety of cover materials as well, including book cloth, lots of leather options, and custom dust jackets.
For presentation they have lovely little cloth bags to wrap the album in, or even custom album boxes!
If you’re a wedding or portrait photographer looking to offer your clients fine art albums then Vision Art is definitely a company you’ll want to check out. For our own photography business they’ve been the best vendor we’ve ever worked with in terms of quality and customer service. We have no doubt that they’ll take great care of you too.