I hope you are all out enjoying a fantastic Memorial Day weekend sippin' on sweet lemonade and hanging out with the ones you love! We are off to shoot our second wedding of the weekend, but I wanted to hop on real quick and show you our latest DIY project that was just added to our workshop thanks to our oh-so-lovely bride Jil who sent us the idea! Pretty sweet, right? :)
I'm tagging in to share some exciting news with you! As a Friday afternoon treat, we thought we would share the winner of the Design Dilemma Challenge!! Let me just tell you, this was a super close one folks! It was a fight till the five o'clock deadline for sure! We had so much fun picking the top five designs for Mary's office and hope you had just as much fun voting!! I must confess you all sent us so much inspiration- I've been getting a little antsy to do some redecorating myself! I wouldn't be surprised if some of your ideas pop up in my living room very very soon! :) In the mean time, I can't wait to get started on Mary's office! It is going to be GORGEOUS!
And the winner is....
Congratulations Carly!!! Everyone just loved your vintage chic design board and we can't wait to see it come to life in Mary's office!!
Thank you to everyone who sent us design boards and to everyone who voted!! I was definitely on eye candy overload all week!! Have I mentioned I love my job recently?!?!?
We thought we'd kick off your TGIF with a lil' pancake session on album design. Some of the questions that we get asked most really come back to album workflow: which companies do we use? Do we hire an album design company or design in-house? Do either Justin or I do the designs? Do we do a first mock up or have our clients pick the images first? Do we try to up sell? Well, here are our answers for what works for us... but I'm sure there are a million other combinations out there that are just as successful. You just have to pick the one that makes the most sense for you!
First of all, neither Justin or myself do any of the album designs. To be honest with you, I couldn't even tell you how to open Photo Junction if my life depended on it. The reason for that, is that of all the tasks it takes to run our business on a daily basis (and there are TONS!), Justin & I try to keep only the few that we really want to be experts in. And then we hand everything else off to other experts that we trust. Even though we don't do the designs ourselves, we do manage to keep our album design in house because as it turns out Julia is the guru of all things book. And she can rock an album design like nobody's business.
What's also great about that, is that having it in house helps us define a consistent style for all of our couples. And because Julia already has very similar tastes to us, her designs are always spot on. As a company, we like to keep things clean, simple and design something that will stand the test of time. Something that lets the pictures and the story do the talking.
As far as workflow, if a couple has already included an album in their package then as soon as their blog post is up, Julia will get right to work on a first mock up. At that point, I send a little note to our clients saying I'm tagging out and Julia sends one saying she's tagging in. We like to start with a first mock up of images that we pick (the blog favorites) so that we get can get a story going. But once we have that in place, Julia will work with our clients to swap any images or tweak any spreads that they want. So after Julia finishes the first mock up, I'll give it a quick look over to make sure we're on the same page (but like I said, it's always 99.9% of the way there already) and then she'll send that out to our clients in slideshow form (AlbumExposure is a great one to try!) From there on, Julia will go back & forth with our couple until they absolutely LOVE their book. Anything less than that and we're not happy. Once we get the final approval, Justin, Julia & I will give it one last look with a fine tooth comb and then Julia will place the order. Once the album comes back in (6-8 weeks later), we inspect it, let it set for a few days to acclimate to the New England weather, and then package it up and ship it out with a note basically saying it has our stamp of approval. We'll be doing a follow up post on how we package everything, so stay tuned for that! :)
One thing that we don't do with our albums is try to up sell. We wanted to keep things very simple and straightforward with our clients so they knew exactly what they were getting. So we threw out the super confusing matrix of prices based on number of pages and images that we didn't even understand let alone our clients, and came up with one flat price for each album company that we offer. That way, our couples know that with that price, they can get any size, shape, number of pages and images up to that album company's limits, and they won't be hit with any surprise charges. That was really important to us because of the kind of relationship we have with our clients, who really become friends. I know there are a lot of other studios out there who have been very successful with the up sell and it can be a great way to do the albums. But it just didn't fit with us or our personalities, so that's why we do it the way that we do. But again, it's something you'll have to look at and then pick the one that makes the most sense for you & your business!
And finally, for album companies, we offer several different books that provide very different looks because I don't think every wedding fits in one particular style of book. So we currently offer Willowbook, CoutureBook, Queensberry, and we've just added Leather Craftsmen to the line up. We got our first book in from them a few days ago, and to say that we were blown away would be the understatement of the millenium. It is gorgeous! GAWH-geous! We all sat around for a good 20 minutes just drooling over the leathery goodness.
One of the things that had us most excited to sign up with Leather Craftsmen was the option to imprint your logo on the inside cover like a little stamp of approval. HUGE thanks to Jasmine for blogging about it and letting us and the world know about this awesomeness! It is the bomb.
I really believe that a book is the best way that the story of someone's wedding is told. Discs and slideshows are fine, but it's going to be that book that families are looking through for generations to come to remember that day. And we try to never forget that it's an honor that we're the ones who get to create that for them. I hope this has helped in some small way!
Happy Friday and be sure to check back in at 5pm to see who the winner of our Design Dilemma is!! There's still time to get in your vote!
Workshop Inspiration Board: Old Fashioned Lemonade
Hi guys! It's Julia checking in with a quick post on this balmy Thursday afternoon! Hope you all are staying cool!
We just finished up our design board for the next upcoming "Walk Through a Wedding w/ J&M" Workshop and are super excited to share it with you! We're trying out something a little different for this workshop, because- as you all know- we over here at J&M headquarters LOVE us a wedding with a good theme! This time around, we put together a design board that included a bunch of DIY wedding details. And as the workshop approaches, we are going to be testing them out one by one for you and blogging them as we go! That way all of you J&M Brides out there can learn how to make them for your wedding too! We're going to be really honest about our trials and triumphs as we go- so you know just how easy (or hard!) each project turned out to be! The final unveiling of all of our hard work will be after the workshop, when we post pictures of the design in total. We're so excited to see how it all comes together!!
A few of the projects we are going to be testing out include: super cute flag garlands, large and small pom poms, sugared lemon/lime peels, and some crazy cute flags with fun little sayings on them like "Yay"! We can't wait to get started!
Happy Thursday everyone! Grab yourself an ice cold beverage and enjoy the design board for the upcoming Wedding Workshop- Old Fashioned Lemonade!
Good morning blog land!! What's that? It's afternoon already and you want to know where the heck the morning post was? Well don't blame me! Nope, you can blame Jeremy & Nikki. That's right Jeremy & Nikki. Why? Well because they are so awesome and we had such a hard time narrowing down their pictures that our morning post soon turned into a 12:30 post.
But hopefully it was worth the wait! :)
We were so bummed to already be booked for their wedding date, but Jeremy & Nikki were down for having us do a shoot of them anyway. So we got together with them recently in NYC to shoot them just as they are. And they are lovely. Two kinder, gentler hearts I'm not sure I have ever met. And we feel lucky to now call them friends.
Jeremy & Nikki we love you guys! And we can't WAIT to have you up to New Haven for a visit!
We started out in the market to grab some supplies for dinner. Y'know because J&N are so awesome that they offered to cook us a homemade dinner after the shoot!
Gotta have cupcakes!
There was some really cool light & background to play with in the market
Then we hit the streets, where Nikki channeled his inner catwalk. Raaar.
A thousand Charlie Chaplins and that face....yes please!
Jeremy's got a bit of vogue in him as well!
I love how these two laugh together. You can't not love them!
We swung by 5 Ninth, which has the best grapefruit fizzies known to man! And some pretty killer window light as well!
How much do you love those shoes?
Did I mention there were cool stairways with extra cool reflections?
Well there were!
Nikki you are FIERCE!
This next set was our favorite of the day! Fun with flash and a loading dock door.
HUGE thanks to the super cute Molly Anne who was along to help out! Love you girl!