Finao Albums | my little school trip to the factory
F I N A O ( failure is not an option )
Believe it or not, one of the tough decisions you have to make as a wedding professional is what albums you will carry. You want the product to have the options you feel your customers will enjoy, with the quality that represents your business. Needless to say when you go to a trade show, there are a million options to choose from many of which for me, just simply don’t ‘cut it.’ To be honest i’ve always felt that a lot of wedding album offerings can easily slip into the tacky realm or just look too old school for my liking. There are a lot of rather inexpensive options floating around as well that just never felt ‘right’ to me – like i’d be cheating clients from the best possible product. Couples sometimes balk at album prices as some believe albums will be priced like a Shutterfly $29.99 book. Not so.
It was about 7 years or so ago when I discovered Finao at the Photo Plus Expo in NYC and KNEW i’d found my new album company. They just had a great array of really neat options, and they didn’t look like ‘old’ weddings albums, if you know what I mean (co-founder Christine talks all about that here)
Since then they’re been AMAZING about getting items delivered on time, emailing if i’ve made order errors or sized something wrong, and have even corrected some of my boo-boo’s after the fact (whoops!). They are all handmade, the materials always look fantastic and the print quality spot on. It’s a product I am proud to offer and always know the end result will be amazing. You’ve no doubt spent a fortune on your wedding with photography being a decent chunk of that cost. As far as i’m concerned, there’s nothing like holding a finished album from your day in your hands – it’s something beautifully tangible in today’s JPEG / iCloud world.
So anyway, being as nosy as I am and this being off-season, I contacted them to see if I could make the drive out and visit the factory which they were very open to!
Take a look at a few moments from my visit!
Here, leather gets trimmed before being glued to the cover boards by hand.
They’ve got about 30-40 people who work in the factory space – there’s a lot of individual work going on at each specific station.
Printed pages pressed under pressure to keep everything nice and flat.
Hand-gluing the material to the cover pieces.
Albums ready to be packed and shipped
OK, so I think this was my favorite part…see that little bright light and puff of smoke in the middle ? That’s a laser cutting out the cover and binding boards for a BUNCH of albums all on one large sheet of wood. The order number is inscribed as well to keep everything straight…I love robotic stuff like that.
Here are some cut pieces – you can see the burns around the edges from the laser. Plus – it smelled like High School woodshop, which was cool. 🙂
This is a cool You Tube video (about 3 minutes) going through the whole process. I must admit I never knew these albums were truly THIS handmade until I saw this video and in turn visited first hand.
Boxes ready to go!
Here are a couple of quick shots of samples we have here at the studio.
Thanks to Michael at Finao for letting me drop by and snoop around – it was fun seeing how everything is put together!