“A photograph isn’t a photograph until it’s printed. ” I heard that somewhere and I suppose its true. Photo meaning light and graph meaning to write, or something like that. So when I saw the chance to get my work put into print thanks to Saal- Digital’s request for product testers, I jumped at the chance.
As a photographer I am highly self-critical and put considerable effort into getting things as good as I can. It’s disappointing then to send work off for print, only to have it return incorrectly colour balanced, slightly cropped, poor resolution print etc etc. So much so, that some years ago I invested in my own high end printer to get the images on paper that I had in my head (and on my screen.)
We’re photographers right? So we want to take photographs, meet clients and enjoy being out on location or in the studio. I love time behind the lens, but I don’t want to spend what’s left of the day behind a screen. It was a pleasant experience then to download the Saal-Digital software and immediately get stuck into creating a portfolio book to show clients. The interface is intuitive and simple, offering various customisable templates to get started. I appreciated the ability to have some initial inspiration and build a design from there. On those days when you’re just not quite ‘seeing the ball,’ its good to have a quick start. Uploading images and getting them framed up right was a breeze, with the software showing guides to align photos and giving bleed line warnings. Working from a downloaded piece of software, rather than uploading files then creating a product kept the workflow moving and I was able to go straight to payment and print at the end…..easy.
Four days later and the photo book was on my doorstep. Opening the package, I was met with something that exactly recreated what I had assembled on the screen a few days earlier. The colour renditions of the images were accurate and the print detail was as high as that which comes from my own printer. Images leapt of the page. And the pages take some leaping from! I don’t know what weight of paper is used, but its reassuring heavy. It’s clearly high quality as it holds the print well, with no leaching or bleeding whatsoever.
If you’re looking for coffee table books, Saal-Digital’s offering could be what you’re looking for. The pages are bound to flat and images can be spread across the centre fold, offering a truly stunning look. With the option to have a padded cover and photographs across the spread, or as I did, blend two colours from edge to edge, the book looks professional from the outset.
Success as a working photographer comes not only from the quality of your work, but the quality of your branding. I confidently visit prospective clients with my new portfolio, knowing that it enhances my brand with an air of quality, attention to detail and success.
Saal’s products could just as easily be used for wedding albums, where the binding and covering options will give an elegant, timeless feel to a holiday album for those special trips. In my mind 26 pages for £40 is cheap for the product you receive. It would be easy to spend nearly as much an a significantly sub-standard item.
I’m pleased to say the after sales is as good as the rest of the experience. I had a slight issue with pages curling from leaving the photobook in a damp environment. My enquiry was responded to quickly and supportively and the problem was swiftly resolved.
If my clients are looking for products such as these, I’ll be steering them away from some of the online retailers I’ve used before and onto Saal.