Gearing up for the holidays!!

Post by on October 10, 2016


The following deadlines ensure FedEx Ground delivery on or before December 23, 2016. In the event of winter weather delays, please allow extra time.

November 7: ALL FIRST TIME orders with Cypress printing services, requiring print approval.

November 11: Albums & Presentation Boxes

December 1: The Artisan Book, Folios, & Proof Boxes

All orders requiring holiday delivery should indicate “Must Have For Christmas” in the Special Instructions section at the end of your order, just before you add it to your cart. Please order your Iris, Whistler, Juniper, and Cypress books directly from our website to ensure efficiency. Please contact us if you have any questions about preparing & submitting your order, we’re always happy to guide you.


What if you miss the deadline? We have three options for you!

  1. All orders received by November 17 will still ship by December 22, but will require Express Shipping (fees apply).
  2. Orders received After November 17 will be Rush Orders (fees apply, based on availability) and will also require Express Shipping.
  3. If you missed the deadline, be sure to check the Available Now section on our website. We have many boxes, folios, artisan books, and more that have already been handmade for you and will ship the next business day. Simply log-in to My Workspace, select product, add to cart, and check-out. It’s super easy.

We’re looking forward to meticulously handcrafting all of your beautiful heirlooms this upcoming holiday season!


The Iris Book

The Iris Book is created with thick, heirloom pages and true photographic prints.  The design and feel of this book with your beautiful images is simply breathtaking! Enjoy!

The Juniper Book & Its Qualities: Designing for the Juniper

Post by on November 5, 2015


We’ve fallen completely in love with the Juniper book. Originally created as an option for photographers who continued to enjoy the process of fine art printing, the book developed into one of our most gorgeous presentation options. The texture of giclée paper (also fine art paper) and its effect on the image is a truly striking combination.

The authentic, fine art paper beautifully emphasizes subtle shifts in color and detail, two qualities that are easily overlooked in smaller images. The texture of the paper is brought to life by your image, and we think the opposite also happens. We’ve found that in the medium and large Juniper books, larger images truly draw us in and allow us to experience the subtle shifts in tone and grain that are easier to miss in smaller images. Full page bleeds, 6×8’s, 8×8’s, and simple diptychs look absolutely stunning. The paper is the most incredible part about the Juniper album—be sure to utilize it.


While large amounts of white space are often used importantly as a tool in flush mount albums, the vellum interleaves of the Juniper book perform a similar balancing act. Each giclée page is divided by a subtle, milky vellum leaf, which not only serves to refresh and focus the eye, but also protects the pages from rubbing harshly against one another. When designing your layout, remember that the vellum will provide a pause before the next page is seen.


We now offer the Juniper book in a small size, we’ve which seen used in wonderful ways. It’s surprisingly playful as a children’s portrait album, and it’s breathtaking as a collection of adventure and travel imagery. You can see an example of that book here.

Though all of our albums are made of heirloom quality materials and photographic prints, the Juniper book is truly a fine art object. In addition to wedding, boudoir, and family albums, this book is also an excellent choice for more creative projects, like a portfolio of photographs. It’s also an excellent album option for less traditional clients. Available in both ribbon and library binding, we highly recommend that this album be stored in one of our custom album boxes for its protective qualities. Please contact us if you’d like a sample giclée print of one of your images.

These stunning wedding images are by Corbin Gurkin

Corbin Gurkin, Part II

Post by on November 3, 2015

Q: How do you want your clients to experience their images over their lifetime?

I love the idea of a book. In such a digital environment, with photographs on our phones & computers, I think photographs simply tend to get lost. The idea of an heirloom book is just so important in these times. I always encourage my clients to go with an album, even if it’s just a small coffee table book. And I always shoot with a story in mind– to have the photographs working together within a collection enables the experience of the narrative I imagined.

Q: Where do you find the purest joy in your work?

Well, it can appear in different ways. I definitely get excited when my client gives great feedback. I just got a phone call from a client on the West Coast, and both her and her fiancé were on the phone, leaving a voicemail about their engagement photos and how incredible they were. They were so grateful. And that’s a big part of why I do what I do, and why I love wedding photography so much. On the flip side, when shooting editorial, when something is just working visually and the light is coming together, there can be this magical, exciting feeling.

Q: You’re quite involved in workshops, how have they helped you grow as a photographer?

While I don’t remember the last workshop that I took, I love photographing them, particularly for vendors like florists, or others that are on the outskirts of what I do. Instead of trying to mold a group of fellow photographers, you get to teach the designers how the camera will view their work & even further, how they can design their work so that it will look beautiful in photographs. There are also a ton of great relationships that can stem from this type of collaboration, especially when you meet a vendor who’s trying to achieve the same aesthetic as yourself. Really great relationships can come out of that sort of visual connection.

Q: How do you fit presentation & packaging into your work?

Presentation is a huge part of what I do. When I started, I used to just send clients links to their photos, because it was so easy! But I now typically send a set of printed highlights in a custom box. It allows each couple to sit down with each other, pass each image around. This helps to create a meaningful experience around your images.

Q: When making your sample albums, do you prefer to treat it as a portfolio book or a classic wedding album?

I love putting my work into the form of a book, and I make a lot of sample albums! But I treat my sample albums in the same way that I treat couple’s albums; as a complete set of images that represents their day. It’s very helpful for a couple to visualize how you’re going to approach their day, and how you’ll maintain a balance between couple shots and the typical reportage photography. I like for them to see how detailed shots of boutonnieres can look on a spread where the groom is getting ready, to have a sense of how the images all work together. I also think that having a lot of photographs of the guests is important, and that’s something that tends to go missing in such an editorial-driven industry. I want the bride to feel like they’re getting the whole picture captured!

Read the first half of the interview here.

holiday deadlines

Post by on October 12, 2015


Is it really that time of year? Yes! We are already planning for the Holiday Season and want to share our Holiday deadlines so that you can do the same.

The following deadlines ensure FedEx Ground delivery on or before December 22, 2015.

November 9: ALL FIRST TIME orders with Cypress printing services that require print approval.
November 16: Albums & Presentation Boxes
November 27: The Artisan Book, C Album, Folios, & Proof Boxes

All orders that require holiday delivery should indicate “Must Have For Christmas” in the remarks section of your order form or the special instructions section on Place Your Order. You can now order your Iris, Whistler, Juniper, and Cypress books directly from our online ordering system. Please contact us if you have any questions about preparing & submitting your order.

What if you miss the deadline? We have three options for you.

-All order received after 5 business days after these days will still ship by December 22, but will require Express Shipping.
-Orders received after 5 business days will be Rush orders (accepted on availability) and will also require Express Shipping.
-If you missed the deadline, be sure to check the Available Now section on our website. We have many boxes, folios, artisan books, and more that have already been handmade for you and will ship the next business day. Simply log-in, select product, add to cart, and check-out. It’s super easy!

We’re looking forward to crafting all of your beautiful heirlooms this upcoming holiday season!

beautiful wedding image by Jose Villa

The new, full pano whistler book

Post by on October 6, 2015


With their versatile appeal, and their handsome, modern aesthetic, flush-mounted albums continue to be the most talked about books in the industry. They can look sleek whilst maintaining a warm, classic feel, and provide versatile presentation options. As we continue to transition from Cypress ROES to our new online ordering system, we’re thrilled to announce a book that will make your album design process feel more effortless than ever before.

The new, Full Pano Whistler Book has been made to correspond perfectly to the spreads of your preferred design software. Featuring an elegant, subtle crease, and true photographic prints, you can utilize entire, spacious spreads without worrying about how the gutter may affect your images. The book can feature up to 35 spreads (70 sides). We’re glad to offer a new aesthetic for our popular, slender, flush-mounted book, but no need to worry if you already loved it—the classic Whistler with split pages will still be an option for your orders.


Cypress now offers both Fuji Lustre and Fuji Matte prints through our printing services. As Place Your Order becomes the norm, we highly recommend Pixellu’s Smart Albums, Fundy, or Stomp for your album design software. Enjoy!

these beautiful wedding images are by Caroline Tran

selling ?!


Cypress Albums

lovely moment captured by Jose Villa

When I hear the word “selling”, my shoulders tighten up and I start to feel this horrible pressure.  Simply hearing the word can make us feel uncomfortable, and yet most artists do feel the need to “sell” their work.  Although many are successful at “selling”, there are many who are not.  Often, we get asked how to sell our albums.  My answer is always the same—you don’t. Instead, simply focus on creating an amazing presentation that will sell you and your work.  If your presentation is strong, consistent, and clearly communicates to your client, then you will no longer have any need to try to “sell” to your client.

I often speak about presentation, not only because I’m passionate about it, but because as an artist myself, I always want my work to look good for the potentially interested. By presentation, I am referring to the following: you, your work, your website; the place you choose to meet your clients, the albums you place your photographs in, the way that your client experiences you and your work and everything that speaks about your work.  Presentation is communication. Every artist needs to have a presentation they deeply love.

Photographers often explain that they don’t sell albums because they don’t know how. We recommend beginning with the assumption that yes, your clients absolutely want an album (and most couples really do, and families too). Make it easy for them by including an album in all of your packages. This simply takes the guesswork and decision-making out of the process—of course they’ll be getting an album; they simply need to choose which one. Further, this mindset allows you to begin putting their story together from the moment you create each image, helping you form a gorgeous narrative from the get-go. If you offer 2-3 packages, always present and/or list the most expensive first. Your middle package should always be the one that you really want everyone to get; this option is how you want the work to be experienced. It’s proven that by nature, most people will opt for the middle.

Cypress Albums

stunning engagement photographed by Caroline Tran

One of the most important parts of presentation often neglected is education.  Every photographer must educate their clients. Whether it’s discussing your preferred medium (film, digital, both), or describing the different qualities of prints and albums, people want to know why you’ve made the choices you’ve made, and this helps them understand what makes you and your work authentic.  So be sure to share some of these details with your potential clients, though don’t overwhelm them—if they want to know more, they will ask.

Eliminate the word “sell” from your vocabulary! It’s overrated and comes with a lot of unnecessary pressure.  Focus on presentation and creative ways to build upon your clients’ experience. Are most of your clients out of town? Create videos and/or Skype with them. Send them a sample album, include a complimentary swatch set. Meeting clients in person? Make sure they leave with beautifully printed information.

It’s so important to have a presentation that you truly love. This includes creating a sample album that is authentically you, that represents you and your work—clients will remember your excitement about your album when they’ve received their images and are ready to start their own design process. And you’ll be given the chance to create this gorgeous, enduring book of photographs for them, which will represent your work and your business so beautifully.

Be sure to compliment this post with our thoughts on why you offer albums from Sep 1, 2015.


The Artisan Book

special wedding moments by Leslee Mitchell

true photographic prints & printing options


Images of the bride by Jose Villa. Landscape image by Erin Kate.

No photograph can last forever, but with proper storage and construction, an album or box can protect photographs against the elements for hundreds of years. Yet it’s harder than ever to maneuver among the myriad materials that companies are offering. Words such as “archival” and “fine art prints”  are commonly misused and can lead you to believe that your images will be protected. As your bindery, it’s part of our job to help you understand how different methods + material will affect your images over their lifetime.

“Photographic paper prints [silver halide], just like film, are light sensitive—exposing the paper to light inside the printer produces the image. Then, just like film, chemicals are used to eliminate the light-sensitivity and set the image, which is now “in” the paper. Press prints, on the other hand, are made by applying ink directly to paper.”

-from the Richard Photo Lab blog


The Iris Book Wedding Images by Jose Villa (left) & Yvette Roman (right)

Whether your book consists of silver halide prints, fine art prints, or press prints, it’s important that the paper’s quality is considered.  The light-sensitive album prints that we use for your albums come from professional photography labs that have practiced their craft for decades and decades. This assures us that the photographic paper has gone through a proper stabilizing process, and that each print and spread is of the highest quality available. We use silver halide prints, photographic prints, for The Iris Book, The Whistler Book & The Cypress Album.

Often, fine art prints are confused with press prints.  Although they both are created by applying ink directly to the paper, there are distinct differences in the quality.  Fine art prints, or giclee prints, are printed individually on a professional ink-jet printer allowing the person printing to make any necessary adjustments to an individual print. Authentic fine art papers are used to create these prints.  The prints must be properly coated to stabilize the inks for longevity. This type of printing has the ability to create some truly beautiful prints.  They often remind us of traditional hand printed fiber prints, rarely printed today.   The Juniper Book,  The Cypress Album, & our boxes offer fine art printing.


The Juniper Book – fine art print by A Bryan Photo

Press prints are created by using a printing press; the type of printer used for periodicals, flyers, catalogs and more.  The quality can vary greatly depending on the type of printer, paper, and vibrancy of your images. There is no color matching in press printing as printers are set to one setting. Images usually have a sheen with this style of printing.  The only printer that eliminates the sheen is the HP Indigo Printer. The advantage of press printing is that it is cost effective if you are printing an album with 100+ pages.

The Gutenberg, our press-printed book, is done by a local press that uses an HP Indigo printer, which makes the only type of press print that is currently certified by the the Image Permanence Institute to possess a permanence rating of 200+ years. Our paper material is chosen with utmost attention paid to its archival ability and beauty.

Cypress Albums Shoot_Downtown Loft 2015

Images by Caroline Tran

I hope this takes some of the mystery out of the different printing options available today. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us! The quality of printing and paper used will affect the cost, it will also determine the experience of your images – now and years later. We’re devoted to making the best books in the industry. We make sure that each Cypress book will not only look beautiful upon arrival; it’ll look beautiful year after year in your clients’ homes, (prints still crisp, boxes pristine), as their heirloom quality become more and more apparent with passing time. Enjoy!

the ease of online ordering

It’s now so easy to simply Place Your Order online- we’ve made this quick video to show you how. Many of you have been completely thrilled at how effective our new system is for streamlining your workflow. As we transition to exclusively online ordering, take a moment to get acquainted with the system: go to “Shop” and choose “Place Your Order”. Boxes, albums, folios; it’s now easier than ever to design an entire package for your clients!

understanding your albums

Our albums serve many beautiful purposes, but first and foremost, they’re created to help you protect and share the images you’ve carefully crafted. All of our products have been bound for longevity and are made with archival adhesives- this is incredibly important when working with photographic prints, and is a crucial step in protecting your images from any harmful material.  There are several common types of binding that are used in the artisan book industry; we’ll discuss some key qualities below.

Perfect bound books are easy in the short-run; this binding method can be accomplished quite swiftly by machines, and it’s how many press-printed books, publications, catalogs and paperback books are held together. The binding uses single sheets of paper and secures them together with an adhesive rather than sewing on the spine. Perfect bound products are rarely archival and not of heirloom quality; they’re a fun option constructed for minimal handling and short-term use. These books are easy to tote around in your handbag to share with friends and vendors.

wedding albums

the Whistler Book

Library style binding is a much lengthier binding process and is most importantly known for its durability and its protective covers. Flush mounted albums, like the Iris book & Whistler book, utilize library style binding. A collection of mounted images are compiled into a book block by mounting core pages together. This block is then attached to its casing, or covers. The way that each book block is encased makes these albums incredibly durable and protective. The thickness of the core between the images adds strength and durability, and results in a stunning heirloom full of your beautiful images that share a family story.

 The Cypress Album & The Juniper Book
the Cypress Album + the Juniper Book

Japanese binding is an ancient, traditional style of stab binding that allows us to combine individually matted pages & does not require signatures or book blocks. We have developed an exclusive, modern, contemporary style of Japanese binding on our Cypress and Juniper albums. This style is extremely durable (one of the best!) and has excellent archival qualities for your heirloom.

Detail of The Gutenberg Book wedding images by Caroline Tran

the Gutenberg Book

Sewn signature binding is an elegant type of library style binding, and is made with 2 or more sheets of paper that are folded to create signatures, and then sewn by hand. The sewing is then held into place with an archival adhesive.  This combination creates an incredibly durable binding. The Gutenberg is a hand sewn book. This process requires delicate attention and incredible craftsmanship, and results in a gorgeous book that can hold a much larger number of pages and images than your typical library style album. The Gutenberg is a lovely album that will last for many generations.

the Gutenberg Book and Hand Press

lovely wedding images by Caroline Tran