This post was originally published by Photographer Naina Redhu on her “Knotty Tales” blog and is being republished here with the author’s permission.
Wedding albums are the latest addition in the Indian wedding photography arsenal of Knottytales. And the tale of how I got to this phase is an adventure in itself, which I am going to relate below, alongwith the lovely sample albums I acquired yesterday. Thank you Canvera!
When Karan and Priyanka hired me to shoot their Engagement Ceremony, one of their requirements was that they wanted a printed album. While I had been thinking about including wedding albums in my deliverables in the wedding photography packages, I had no quite done anything about it except passive research.
After having trawled through blogs and websites of other wedding photographers, mostly internationally, I would end up salivating at the wedding albums they were providing to their clients and would subsequently end up being disappointed and unenthusiastic when I tried searching for an Indian wedding album provider that specifically worked with professional photographers. I had heard of services like SnapFish, Blurb, iTasveer, Zoomin and even Canvera but had not invested time in finding out more – except getting a flipbook printed with SnapFish.
The CEO of Canvera, Dhiraj, had responded to my initial query about their albums but other things had taken over and I had no pursued the lead. Then after Karan & Priyanka’s wishes were expressed, I set about looking through my email for Dhiraj’s initial email. This led to being contacted by Mr. Rizvi and Mr. Rajiv from Canvera.
They came to my home-office on a weekend – I told them I could wait till Monday but they insisted because maybe they could sense I was anxious about the albums for my client and also because they probably understand that taking the final decision to have an album printed doesn’t happen overnight. They were carrying their sample albums and price lists and product lists and each album they took out of their “magic bag” was better than the previous one – not because the albums themselves were spectacular – but because I could see the potential they held.
The last album they took was the deal-sealer for me – I am soon going to be ordering that coffee-table book from them. I bade them goodbye with a promise to send them layouts for two studio sample albums, which I wanted to use to show paper samples to my clients. These are the albums you see in the images on this blog post. 8 inches by 8 inches, custom black leather covers and 20 printed sheets each with a variety of papers that the client can feel and choose.
I was apprehensive about the quality of the wedding albums they would be delivering but I am in LOVE with the two albums that were delivered yesterday.
Since this was a special order, I was told that the delivery would be made in five working days as opposed to their standard two days. That was fine with me, I was in no hurry. Until I got a call from a wedding planner who was considering hiring me for one of their weddings and definitely wanted to see physical albums because the bride wanted a wedding album designed and created by the photographer. And I had a meeting in TWO days.
Not only did Mr. Rajiv and Mr. Rizvi from Canvera expedite my order and bumped it up to a print and delivery time of two days, Mr. Rajiv was constantly on the phone with each day updating me with the status of my order. And mind you, it wasn’t I who was calling me up to ask – he was calling me up to tell me. I am, quite frankly, shocked with this level and quality of service.
Once I had paid for the orders and the image files had been received by their expert printers, I got a call from their office where a gentleman said to me, “Madam, we have received your images for the 8 by 8 albums. But Madam, there are many dots on the images.” My heart lurched. Dots?! How could that be? Did I send them the wrong files? He said, “All images have dots Madam. Do you want me to remove them? Make the images smooth?” That’s when it hit me, he was talking about “noise” and “grain”. Phew. I requested him to let the images be as-is. I’m sure there are photographers who like their images without grain, I do too, sometimes, but I’d selected my images for this print job quite carefully and had included the noise on purpose. The gentleman then went on to say, “Madam, also, on page two, the lady in the lehenga – her head is a little cut off from the top. Do you want to send a fresh image? The bleed will take away another 5mm Madam.” This was another scenario I had contemplated and had included the image in the album on purpose. I have designed books earlier and am aware of how a bleed works, which I am sure the gentleman on the other side of the phone was not aware of. What brilliant service! Impressed.
I got updates from Canvera’s end each time a major milestone of the job was complete. The albums have gone into print. The albums have been printed. The albums have been shipped – FedEx alongwith a tracking number. Wow.
The day of the meeting arrived. I was supposed to leave at 1800hrs. No album. At 1700hrs I texted Mr. Rajiv asking him if he knew anything about the delivery. The package tracking facility on the FedEx website said, “At local facility in Noida”. While I was on the phone with the FedEx customer service, Mr. Rajiv texted me telling me he was on the phone with them as well! Ten minutes later, the package was at my door. It was 1745hrs and I had what I wanted.
The wedding planner LOVED the albums. Everything about my interaction with Canvera has been spectacular. Preferred vendor for me. Mr. Rizvi and even Dhiraj have asked me about the status of the albums and my feedback and I wanted to let them know via this blog post that I love everything about it. I do have one request – please customize the typefaces / fonts more – for the cover foil. Pretty please. I will pay extra.
And just today, I came across this blog post on Tiffinbox about Wedding Album design and why a Wedding Album might be a big deal for couples. Nicely written and makes an emotional connection. I am never going to be able to look at wedding albums as an “extra” expense again. Oh, and the price range for the albums I will be designing and creating with production by the Canvera team will be starting at INR 4,500 for a simple, minimal flipbook and the pricing will go upto INR 75,000 for a full blown leather-bound lay-flat coffee-table book. Hope to get some more produced and shoot them for display on the blog.
About the Author: Naina Redhu is a photographer based out of New Delhi, India and her specialty is candid, non-posed, documentary style imagery that is emotive and has subtle mysteries. Weddings are a special part of her photography portfolio.
She can be contacted on Facebook or Twitter.
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Note: All images in this post are copyright of Naina Redhu