Studio Spotlight – Emily Johnson Photography

Red stage curtain with arch entrance


Our second studio spotlight is Emily Johnson Photography in the Milwaukee area. Emily’s team is made up of fun and talented photographers that love creating environments where people can feel free to express themselves. Since 2004, Emily has photographed hundreds of weddings and and is able to combine her love for art , storytelling, and working with people. Her studio continues to document these couples lives by also providing maternity, newborn, children, family, and senior portraiture. Additionally, Emily works with Tailwaggers 911, where she expands her love for dogs into fostering them until they reach their forever home. Her photographer, Jason, donates his photography services to the Susan G. Komen and College Possible organizations as well!

5 Ways to Keep Album Selling From becoming a Pain in the Lens Cap

Photo Albums professional wedding album zookbinders

Photo Albums are a great addition to your bottom line and nobody is a better ambassador for your business than a happy bride with a professional wedding album in her hands. That said, sometimes the endless waiting for clients to pick out photos, the designing and subsequent revisions can make even the optimists among us want to shake their heads. Here’s some tips to help you dodge the headaches and keep your business moving in the right direction.


1. Keep it simple

There’s a dizzying array of albums on the market today but that doesn’t mean you have to offer every style, size and color. Whatever you decide to sell you must have a solid sample to put in your client’s hands. You can’t expect your clients to invest in an album if you won’t. (see our website for studio sample album policy) If you’re just getting started, a 75-image 10×10 Lustre Book with a leather spine cover is a solid option. From there, you can offer upgrades like a larger 12×12 album or an acrylic cover. Add a pair of 6×6 copies to your sample set for more upsell options. You can afford to set a fairly aggressive retail price for the parent copies as all the heavy lifting is already done. All you have to do is check one box on the order to add them.


2. Sell by the image, not by the page

When a client who has a 15-page album included in their package comes back to you weeks later with 172 images she wants in her album, the conversation can only go south from there and you become the “bad guy”. You’ll have to tell her to cut down her picks, or that you’ll have to charge more for her “included” album or you’ll wind up jamming all 172 images onto 15 pages and have the end product look terrible. Any way you slice it, you have an unhappy customer on your hands. A better idea is to include a 75-image album in the package. There’s no guessing or misunderstandings about how many images can fit into a 75-image album. Set the right expectations from the start by telling her she can add images at $X per image beyond the included 75, and that as she adds images, you’ll add more pages. Suggest that “most of my brides usually end up with 90-100 images in their album” to help set the table for up-sell.


3.Insist on speed

Who decided that allowing clients months or even years just to get their album order in was an acceptable workflow? You wouldn’t bring your car in for an oil change and say “I’ll be back in six months to pick it up”. Don’t stand for it! Prolonging your time to completion hurts sales as clients become less and less interested in buying more from you. Additionally, the bride whose wedding was 9 months ago and still doesn’t have an album isn’t likely to be your best referral source–even if ultimately it was she who was dragging her feet. Zookbinders Selection Service takes the stress out of choosing the best album images for your clients. Ask clients to approve their selections in one week so you can get on with the album design and set the right expectation. It also pays off as another way you can differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack by becoming the photographer who gets albums in the hands of her clients within two months of their event date. Learn more about Selection service.


4. Outsource design

If you are honest with yourself, you could probably come up with a half dozen things your time is better devoted to than designing albums. How about maintaining your social media presence, networking with other vendors and referral partners or just spending more time with family? A clean, contemporary design from Zookbinders only costs about $50-$75 for a 75-image design and you’ll have it ready to show your client in just a few days.


5. Don’t get ahead of their budget

Keep album pricing in line with your coverage prices–particularly if your albums are offered a la carte. For example, if you charge $1,800 for wedding day coverage + files, you’ll probably have a hard time getting anyone to bite on a 100 image Zook Book with all the bells and whistles that you’ll need to retail for around $1,200. Instead, look at less costly options that you can retail for $600 or $700 staying more in line with your coverage rates.  


Catalog 2017’s Highlights and New Products

photo albums Zook Books Lustre Books Bon a’ Vie PhotoBooks

Our 2017 Catalog is available and there are quite a few exciting changes and new products.  As we start our 22nd year in business, we remain fiercely committed to finding ways to help pro photographers grow and manage their business. Below is a summary of the highlights.

New Products:

  • Presentation Boxes:  The presentation boxes come in 3 colors that add a nice touch to the finished handcrafted as well as an elegant way to showcase your Sample Albums. It will be offered in 2 sizes at 10×10 and 12×12 for $75 and $85
  • Upgraded Album Boxes:  We’ve also updated the construction of our album boxes, from a plain black colored paper to a more “haute greige” color wrapped with an ivory satin ribbon).
  • New Pouches for Zook Books and Matted Albums:  We’re replacing the 4 sided wraps with a more contemporary pouch that is made of the same elegant jacquard material.

Coming in 2017:

  • Upgrade to Rectangular albums (launch date in Q2):
    1. New sizes
    2. New design service
    3. Ordered through Zookie pro
  • More Post Event Help:  Our Selection Service has become a staple in many photographer’s workflows by helping manage communication with clients after the event.  We’re being asked to further simplify the album design process and are working on an app to help with reminders and many other great features – stay tuned.    If you’d like to be part of our focus group, contact our sales team – or 800-810-5745 option-3.

Selection Service Success Story


We have a client who shoots several hundred weddings per year and has had such success using our Selection Service that we had to brag you about it.

This studio was interested in generating additional profits on upsell WITHOUT having to do any extra work and had heard about our Selection Service.   In sum, we’re able to net them an average profit of $111 on every job – here’s how:

  • Contract includes: 45 images
  • Zook pre-selects 70 images, which is 25 extra (we recommend selecting 20-30 extra)
  • The studio set the price at $9.00 per additional image
  • Brides average adding 15 images, for a total of 60 images per wedding album
  • Average upsell is $135
  • 15 images = 3 additional page spreads at $8.00 per spread = $24
  • Net profit is $111 per job!

This client orders our 10×10 Lustre Book with a Leather Spine cover which lists for:  $205 for 10 spreads

With a net profit of $111 per job, this studio is effectively paying $94 for a high quality Zookbinders professional wedding album!

Our Selection Service is FREE if you order our albums and $25 if you don’t – we’re here to help accelerate your business!


Making It Real


Last Wednesday my husband and I watched as his very favorite team in the world made history as the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. My husband’s whole family are die-hard Cubs fans and have waited for this day for as long as any of them can remember. I am originally from Cleveland and was still in disbelief that BOTH the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs were in the World Series in the first place, let alone that the Cubs broke an 108-year drought.

We shared in the news with hundreds of Facebook friends. We watched all the interviews with the players beaming with pride. We anxiously told our 4-year-old little Cubs fan at breakfast as he grinned ear-to-ear with the news. We raced into work the next morning to start our day with retelling the events of the night before.