This July, Zookbinders will celebrate our 28th anniversary creating handcrafted albums and services for professional photographers. As we look back on how the industry has changed since we opened for business in 1995, our story can be told in a few chapters:
1995 – 2002 – Start Up & Matted Albums
Our original business plan talked about making the highest quality wedding albums, AND making them easy to order. Back then 90% of the professional wedding albums we made were Matted Albums. They were all produced from the photos photographers sent to us!
2002 – 2010 – Going Digital
Digital cameras changed EVERYTHING about the business. Matted Albums gave way to lay-flat digital albums, and we started printing photos in Deerfield. Technology became paramount, and the barrier to enter our industry as either a photographer, album company or print lab had been lowered drastically.
2011 – 2020 – Product Innovation & Services
Price pressure affected all vendors in the Pro Photo ecosystem and many companies haven’t raised prices since! Photographers were asking us for help escaping the digital dungeon, which resulted in the launch of our Album Design Services in 2011. We have since added a Selection Service, an upsell shopping cart for parent albums and upgrading album sizes. For busy professional photographers or videographers interested in editing, we have created a solution for that as well with professional editing services.
2020 – 2023 – The World Turned Upside Down
Life before 2020 seems almost like a different lifetime in the world of most professionals. This is especially true for anyone in the wedding and/or photography industry. We went from all photo appointments, gigs, and events being canceled in 2020 to more work in 2022 than most businesses could handle! Suddenly couples were begging for photographers and raising prices was no longer a concern. In addition, couples are demanding more high-end options, such as adding acrylic to their album covers and going for 2-volume albums instead of just one large album. Slipcases are flying off the shelves, parent albums are a necessity, gilding is in demand, and couples want bigger and better! Click here for the projected forecast for 2023 by Format.