Fact. You cannot take care of every minute of your business yourself. This is why we employ accountants, lawyers, and website designers, to take care of their specialisms so you have the time to run your business and excel at your passion.
Another Fact. For any company, arguably even more so for smaller ones; having good suppliers is paramount if you intend for your business to be successful. After all, from the customer looking in, they rarely care who didn’t deliver. The buck, as they say, stops with you.
For wedding photographers, the wedding album supplier is right up there at the top of the supplier list.
However, for me, finding a fantastic and passionate supplier for my clients’ wedding albums was ticked off a long time ago when I met the incredible team at Koy Lab.
This blog post is all about our trip to Portugal way back in 2019 to meet my wedding album supplier Koy Lab in Braga Portugal, to meet the workforce that deals with my ever-increasing demands; and to also thank those who contact me when I’ve done something silly and thankfully fix it before the wedding album is even printed or sent to me.
Our fleeting visit to Portugal started off with a three-night [two day] stint in the lovely Northwest city of Porto, a city known for various attractions, but none less important than their port wine!
Our time in Porto was perfect for relaxing in the sun, watching the world go by, and, depending upon the hour, either sipping coffee or port wine in one of the outdoor bars.
Porto is perfect for those who like to wander. As long as you don’t mind hills. We were thankful that at the time of our visit the temperatures were a mere 25 degrees rather than the spicy 47 degrees they had soon after we left. We visited several old churches, took a ride on the Gaia Cable car, ate Gelato in several different Gelato bars (I wish this was a thing here), and generally meandered our days away.
We also visited the Caves Cálem, where you can learn all about where Port comes from and how it is made. We pottered around their interactive museum, went on a guided tour, and unsurprisingly found ourselves testing their fine port products.. #WhenInRome
For our last evening in Porto, we ended it with a meal at Rib Beef & Wine, a fantastic steakhouse on the river front; which not only served us epic steak and wine, but chips in truffle oil… need I say more!
The time arrived for us to leave our lovely apartment and Porto behind and travel to Braga, and as the kind people of Koy Lab had arranged our transfer, the hour or so drive was hassle-free. (I have to put a caveat in here to say that this trip was a long while ago so the layout and some of the procedures may have changed but everything is still incredibly handmade)
When we arrived in the wonderful city of Braga we were greeted by Antonio Carneiro; and taken for a fantastic local meal. This gave us all the chance to chat about photography, wedding albums, and artwork with Antonio, Pedro Reigoto [Koy Labs, COO], and Pierre Delaunay a Koy Labs Ambassador from France. My husband however not being a photographer; took to sampling some local specialties, of the port wine variety.
On the morning after the night of port drinking before, we made our way to the Koy Lab factory; where the orders are taken, and every part of the album is made lovingly by hand.
Firstly when your order arrives it is checked over to ensure that there are no anomalies with the files, so making sure no heads have been chopped off or pages without images added by accident for example.
From there it is taken to be printed. Once the printing is complete it is again checked against the files I have sent in to ensure that the print matches the file and then the pages are trimmed to the correct size and sent on to be heat pressed.
Each album is pressed for up to 70 minutes on each side to ensure that the pages are bonded together. And the best part about the glue – they make it themselves, it has less water in it so this means that your pages won’t warp over time due to the moisture.
The next step is the creation of the covers. With your album, there are quite literally hundreds of different options available to you. Most of my couples tend to choose the Acrylic cover which is truly stunning (see images at the bottom of this post) but you can have leather, suede, linen, and many more and you can choose to have them embossed too. Each and every part is carried out by hand (seeing a theme here?) Even the cardboard is made by Koylabs to be a certain thickness and the blades that cut the cardboard are replaced weekly instead of every three months as recommended so that they can ensure the card is cut perfectly every time.
Here are a few photos of some of my clients’ albums having their covers attached, these are the acrylic covers, this couple opted to include two parent alums (they do what they say on the tin) and the wonderful people at Koy matched the albums exactly so they were mini replicas.
If you choose to have your wedding album embossed then this lovely lady here hand picks the letters out, adds them to the embossing plate, and then using a card first, measures to ensure that the wording is exactly in the middle of your album cover (if that is where you have asked for it to go). Only when she is 100% satisfied will the album cover itself be embossed. It really is an art to make this absolutely perfect, and yes I did take that cover home with me ?
Once the cover is finished and attached it is pressed once again and then passed on to be packaged and sent out. Even at this stage, it is still being checked all the way through to ensure that no one has missed anything and if the person who is packaging it notices anything wrong it is sent all the way back to be fixed.
I can’t tell you how impressed I am with Koy Lab, the love they put into the creation of your wedding album is like nothing I have ever seen. Tom and I just got our own wedding album back from them and it is now proudly displayed in our living room In pride of place.
I wouldn’t have any other supplier now and can’t wait for you to see your wedding album when it is made.
Here are a few images of some of my favorite wedding albums, everything shown was chosen by my couples, covers, colors, materials, and papers.
Thank you to everyone we met and who looked after us whilst we were there;
Mr Koy and Mrs Teresa (the owners).
Pedro Reigoto (Manager)
Marta Braga Production Manager
Marta Azevedo (Customer care)
Sara Carreira (Marketing)
And finally, if you like what you see and would like to add a wedding album on to your collection, it isn’t too late. Just contact me now either using the form on my contact page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org