GF Smith have been one of my album suppliers for well over 10 ten years, they also supply my business with mounts, folders, overlays and frames. 

The service has always been excellent, products are delivered on time, questions are answered immediately and if there's any errors on products they're rectified without fuss - saying that, there are very rarely any errors. The only time we really need to send anything back is if it arrives damaged and that's the fault of the delivery companies. They really don't care how they handle boxes regardless of how well items are packed.

Based in Hull the company has been long established and they provide a personal service in that I have a rep who calls in once or twice a year to catch up and look at new products. They also attend the main trade shows so that's always a good chance to catch up.

Those of you that have read my previous blogs know that I'm a loyal person, the competition for wedding albums is now so big that the vast majority of this years SWPP show exhibitors were wedding album suppliers. There's so many that I don't even bother looking; I've used three main companies for my supplies; GF Smith, Loxley and Sim Imaging; these three have always provided outstanding service, excellent customer support and competitive pricing. They also come up with new products on a very regular basis, so there is really no reason why I should change.

So GFS have kindly sent me one of their new products to possibly add to my current range; This new Layflat  Album is a little different to other albums in that the cover, box and wrap are covered in Extract Paper which is made from recycled coffee cups! I think in this day and age it's important for them to promote this fact; it's forward thinking. 

         Wedding photography albums

So when opening the box it was delivered in the pastel blue colour really stands out, now GFS I think present their albums and books in some lovely boxes, the standard box seems to be the cream and black box with ribbon which my customers love. So whatever album you order from GFS you'll be impressed with the box it comes in and that's good for your customers

The Layflat albums are given this name for an obvious reason; they lay flat when open and come in a choice of 8 cover styles, 59 cover materials, 10 sizes, 4 different photographic, 1 fine art paper and 6 different embellishments. The options are extensive.

Wedding albums for portraits

The album I have here is pastel blue with embossed text on the front cover, A4 landscape with 20 pages with their usual excellent print quality and bound here in the UK in Hull. Using UK suppliers is important for me; any issues can be quickly dealt with and reps will come and visit me and I think the UK suppliers also provide the best quality.

The pages have a lovely, luxury feel; I'm not sure what paper has been used but it's a fine art type matt finish. My personal preference however is still photographic lustre paper, it simply can't be beaten.

My thoughts on fine art papers are that labs are simply looking for something different to present and too many of the papers look as though they could have been printed on paper bought from Staples on a home printer, so they don't look like a professional product. That's not the case with the printing in this album from GFS; it's probably the best one I've seen, but for me it still comes back to lustre photographic paper as the number one choice.

One thing I never use is glossy or metallic! But that's just my personal preference; if as a professional photographer you prefer fine art or glossy pages and your customers are happy then that's absolutely fine. 

Album design photography  Albums for weddings Front cover text wedding photography

I'm not reviewing the photography inside the album but the images have been carefully colour coordinated to match the album cover so I'm assuming this is a staged shoot; in reality it's not as easy to do on a real job. But the images colours and album cover match and compliment one another perfectly.

Text on wedding albums Wedding album covers

This is the perfect product for a shoot that needs to be colour matched or has a colour theme, it's a quality product, environmentally friendly and something that your would clients would be thrilled at receiving.

If you're interested in looking at GFS products more closely give them a call and check out which trade shows are coming up, they're a really friendly and helpful bunch!

GF Smith can be contacted at;

Hull 01482 323 503
London 020 7394 4660