Recorded: Welcome to The ReWork, with Allison Tyler Jones, a podcast dedicated to inspiring portrait photographers to uniquely brand, profitably price, and confidently sell their best work. Allison has been doing just that for the last 15 years, and she’s proven that it’s possible to create unforgettable art and run a portrait business that supports your family and your dreams. All it takes is a little rework. Episodes will include interviews with experts from in and outside of the photo industry, many workshops and behind the scenes secrets that Allison uses in her portrait studio every single day. She will challenge your thinking and inspire your confidence to create a profitable, sustainable portrait business you love, through continually refining and reworking your business. Let’s do the rework.

Allison Tyler Jones: Hi, friends, and welcome back to The Rework. Today’s episode is all about albums, and there’s nobody better to talk about that with than Priscilla Klingler, of Vision Art Albums, who make the most gorgeous fine art albums out there. Priscilla is going to share with us common mistakes and problems that she sees with photographers starting to sell albums and how to work through some of those problems. I’m really excited for you to hear this conversation about albums and how they can make your business better. Let’s do it.

Priscilla Klingler: Well, good morning.

Allison Tyler Jones: Good morning. I am so excited to have you here, and I appreciate you taking the time.

Priscilla Klingler: Oh, it’s my pleasure. It was a pleasure meeting you last week or the first time in person, and thank you so much.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yes. No, I’m thrilled to have you here. So Priscilla Klingler, am I pronouncing that correctly?

Priscilla Klingler: Yes.

Allison Tyler Jones: Okay. So tell me about yourself. Tell me your company. Just give our listeners a little idea of who you are and what you’re doing.

Priscilla Klingler: Oh, okay. So my husband and I, he’s not with me right now, Kyle. We run Vision Art, and it’s a fine art album producer, basically. So we call it the most customizable album out there, because you can do anything you want to it. We do fine art printing on inkjet printers, and we say that basically, you’re having a work of art bound in a book. Because it’s the same type of printing that they use in museums, is what we use.

Allison Tyler Jones: I love that.

Priscilla Klingler: Yeah. So we’re making something that’s archival, that’s an heirloom piece that’s meant to be handed down, and we just have lots of different cover options. Over the years we’ve evolved. We start just doing photo wrap covers, but now we do leather and bookcloth and silks and all different kinds of things, and you can get it debossed. You can customize it however you want.

Allison Tyler Jones: And you do a beautiful job. The attention to detail is like nothing I’ve ever seen. It’s amazing.

Priscilla Klingler: Well, thank you. And we’re honored to have your work in our books, because I think that just elevates it, for sure.

Allison Tyler Jones: Well, thank you. So you and I, we met at Imaging, just a week or so ago, and I wanted to have you on the podcast because I find that with our students and photographers that I speak with, seem very confused about the whole album situation. Would you agree with that?

Priscilla Klingler: 100%, because there’s so much to choose from nowadays. And so, what makes yours different? What makes you stand out?

Allison Tyler Jones: So what are you hearing? What do you find? You’ve been doing this for how long?

Priscilla Klingler: My husband and I started in 2006.

Allison Tyler Jones: Okay. So a while. We’ll just say a while. That was the year after I started. Perfect. So we’ve been in the same time. Yeah, that’s 17, 18 years.

Priscilla Klingler: Is it? Okay.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. Something like that. So I love albums. I’ve always loved albums, but I feel like one of the problems when photographers start bringing albums into their product lineup, some of the common mistakes that they can make is, they put too many images per page. And don’t charge enough for all of that work, because it’s a ton of retouching. Plus you have design, plus you have an album. Is that familiar?

Priscilla Klingler: I totally agree, and I think that’s kind of what sets us apart too, is that it’s just a seam down the center. It’s just folded. You don’t have to have 50 million images on one page. You can just have one beautiful image and it can just be full bleed. And that’s what’s eye catching, that’s the wow factor. That’s what looks beautiful, and it’s easier.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right, exactly. Well, and to me, it lets the art breathe. This is the part where we have to step up as the experts and say, “Look, my work is best presented in these ways.” I know photographers who say, “I think that the full bleed for my work”, this is not me speaking. This is another photographer that I spoke with. She said, “I feel like the full bleed doesn’t work well with my work. I like to have either a digital mat or whatever.” I love the full bleed, because I’m shooting on a featureless background, so I want it to almost like the people are coming off the page. It has much more of a commercial look to it. So everybody is going to have a different idea of how they want to design those albums. But if we let our clients design them, we’re usually going to end up with a mixed bag of not great, because they’re not graphic designers.

Priscilla Klingler: No. And you’re going to choose what represents your work the best, what tells the story. And so, I think that’s something that more photographers need to do. They need to just pick the images and say, “This is what you’re getting. These are the best of the best.”

Allison Tyler Jones: Yes. And who do you feel is doing a great job with that? I know you have lots of photographers that you work with. Who do you feel like is doing a good job in that album arena?

Priscilla Klingler: Oh, well, I think the ones that are taking the lead in it is you of course, and Monica Sigman and Kathryn Langsford. You guys are really taking the albums and making them what they’re supposed to be, works of art bound in a book, because you’re taking your art, your imagery, your portraits, and you’re not cluttering up the albums and you’re just presenting it in a way that people look at it and think they had the wow factor and they have to have it.

Allison Tyler Jones: I love that. And I think if we look at a monograph of a photographer, say Annie Lebowitz or any other famous photographer in there, they’re gone in to do these big monographs they do of their work periodically. They’re going through many, many, many images of their work, and then they’re curating that and putting the best of the best that tells their story of their work. And we’re doing that on a micro level for each family or each children or whoever it is that we’re photographing, if it’s a senior, depending on what type of photography that you’re doing. And so what is your advice? What would you say are common mistakes that you see when somebody is first calling you? They’ve just seen you at a trade show, and they say, “Okay, I want to start doing albums with you.” What are some common mistakes that you’re seeing when those orders come through?

Priscilla Klingler: Well, I think part of the problem is, they get home and they don’t know where to start. So then they don’t order. They don’t start right away.

Allison Tyler Jones: 100%.

Priscilla Klingler: And so, I think one of the biggest things that photographers aren’t taking advantage of is the studio sample discounts. So I think, get a studio sample discount. Get a studio sample in your studio right away, even if you feel like you don’t have enough images, or they aren’t that great, just start somewhere. Just make the first sample, because it’s really a small investment. It’s 50% off all the time for studio samples. And so, we’re investing in you and the photographer, because we know that if you have it in your hand, you’re able to show it and you can sell it. So I think that’s probably one of the first mistakes that they make. They just don’t get a sample right away.

Allison Tyler Jones: And I think where that comes from, at least being on the photography end, is that when you go to your booth, it’s gorgeous. You see all of these millions of options. It’s the same problem our clients have actually. And so, we have to look at that and say, “All right, depending on the style of your photography, you don’t need 15 different cover options.” And you don’t need to present that to your client. You need to look and say, “All right, do I like a photo cover? And so, am I going to do that? Or do I not like a photo cover, and I’m just going to do black, debossed, with no foil, and that’s going to be the ATJ mark”, or whatever.

Priscilla Klingler: 100%. So I think they just need to curate and pick the materials that best fits their brand. And we can help them do that. You can give us a call, you can schedule a Zoom meeting with us, and we can help you narrow down the selection because you don’t have to offer everything. And even if you go to order swatches on the site, you don’t have to order all of them. You can customize your own swatch kit. So I think that’s a nice way to start, is just narrow it down and we can help guide you. We do it all the time at the shows and we say, “What do you shoot? What do like? What’s your colors? Okay, you don’t do leather, you like only cloth, you just want to do photo wrap. So let’s just narrow it down to a few offerings and then a few sizes even.” And then you just go from there.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah, I love that. And I know for me, before I knew about you, there were other album companies that I had used, and I always felt like, “Oh, I need to have this swatch kit and I need to have…”, and then lay it out for clients. And then that never worked, because people were just like, “I have no idea.” When I realized, actually, I only one size. And it’s 10 spreads, 20 spreads, 50 sprints. That’s it. And I do love a photo cover, just because I think my work lends itself to that, but I love your boxes also.

Priscilla Klingler: Oh, thank you. Those are pretty cool, the display boxes, because they have a little magnetic hinge on there that helps them stay shut, and they’re easy to pull in and out. And I think what’s interesting about them too is that, they’re totally customizable as well. So you can change the tray color out, the cover color. You can make it a two, three volume box. So we can do custom sizes. We can-

Allison Tyler Jones: Oh, that’s cool.

Priscilla Klingler: Yeah. We make everything in-house. We don’t send anything out to be made or printed. So if you can dream it up, we can pretty much create it here.

Allison Tyler Jones: That’s really great. And so to me, I would say start with a 10 spread, 10×10 album.

Priscilla Klingler: Yeah, 100%.

Allison Tyler Jones: Just start there and a photo cover and just order that for your sample, see what you think. And then I think what they’re going to see, at least what I saw when I had my first sample is, that arrives and it’s perfectly packaged and every spread is interleaved with paper, and the printing is just absolutely amazing.

Priscilla Klingler: Oh, thank you very much. Thank you.

Allison Tyler Jones: So good.

Priscilla Klingler: Your portraiture though, is gorgeous, and so really pops, so thank you.

Allison Tyler Jones: Well, it makes it look the best that it possibly can. And I think that the clients, while they might not be able to tell from one album company to another, they can certainly appreciate, basically what’s in that album is the same as what we’re printing for the wall art. It’s the same process. And so, that brings me to pricing albums, which is usually the biggest problem. Are you helping photographers with that as well? Or what are your thoughts there?

Priscilla Klingler: Well, we are starting to do some more education. And so, we are realizing that photographers need help with pricing. Do they charge per image? Do they charge per spread? How much more should they charge? And so, we can help them determine what their costs are and then add onto that cost on what to sell it as. So we are starting to make a pricing guide sheet. I know some other companies have it. I love that idea. I want to incorporate that into Vision Art, so that the photographers have all the tools that they need on selling, selling the albums.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right. And going cost based is, that’s the minimum. That’s where you at least have to have that. And then on top of that.

Priscilla Klingler: Yes.

Allison Tyler Jones: What I’ve found is that, so many photographers have albums and they’re putting so many images in the album. So that’s time not only to shoot it, but to retouch it, and then to design the album. And then, they’re just not charging what it needs to be charged. They’re not factoring in their time. They’re looking at the album price, say it’s $400 for an album for just a round figure, and then they’re charging $800 or $1,000 for an album. But you’re not factoring in all the time it took to

Priscilla Klingler: To pull all those images to retouch.

Allison Tyler Jones: And then the design and the album on top of it.

Priscilla Klingler: Yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: Do you sometimes feel like it’s difficult to get on the same page with your client? You email them a price list, you email them a contract, you send them information, and it seems like nobody’s reading anything anymore. Well, I found that even doing an in-person consultation with my clients, that there are sometimes things still falling through the cracks. So I’ve developed what I call my consultation game plan booklet. It allows me to get on the same page with my clients so that nothing is left to chance. After 13 years of revising our internal ATJ consultation form, which by the way is available for free at, I realized that I needed something more for my consultations. I wanted my clients to leave the consultation with more than just a pretty brochure, more than just a price list that had no context. What I needed was a single printed piece that would leave nothing to chance and achieve the following goals.

Allison Tyler Jones: I wanted to educate my clients about the price ranges of my products. I wanted to help my clients understand what I would and wouldn’t be shooting for them during their portrait session, and also ensure that they felt confident about selecting clothing for their session. So this consultation game plan booklet is part brochure, part getting ready guide, part running out the door last minute checklist, and part consultation form that the client gets to take home with them. And most importantly, share with their family, in-laws, and their spouse or partner. It’s all in one, a single booklet that the client takes with them at the end of their consultation. So I’ve been using this booklet in my business for the last five years, and we’ve revised it many times, and this is the first time that we are offering it to our ReWork community to use in their own portrait studios.

Allison Tyler Jones: And so, this booklet is available online, in layered PSD files so that you can lay your own images, logo, everything branded into this booklet to use in your studio. It also gives you access to our online minicourse, which includes a video lesson with me on how I use the game plan booklet in my consultations and an actual video recording of me with an actual client in an actual client consultation, using the game plan booklet and how it’s used during that time. So go to, and get this mini course and this consultation game plan booklet to use in your studio. It will change your consultations forever.

Allison Tyler Jones: So one thing that I found helpful that was a aha moment for some of my students in our course is, when we were talking about albums, I said, “Okay, if you just look at what you’re charging for an 8×10, for example.” I use 10×10 albums. I know Catherine does 12×12, so let’s just use 10×10 for an example. That’s a 10×20 print. When you open that up, that’s a 10×20 fine art print that’s printed on the most gorgeous paper, that’s also been designed, retouched, and is in an album. Yes. So it should be more than your per 8×10 price.

Priscilla Klingler: Yes. 100%

Allison Tyler Jones: If you look at what you’re charging for a 20 inch print, a 20 inch unframed fine art print. Are you even on par? And I know the answer is usually always, no. So to me, that’s how I looked at pricing my album, because I realized, wait a minute, not every spread is a double truck bleed, but some of them are, and some of them are maybe half and half. And so, what am I charging for that, a 10×10 print, fine art print, or a 10×20 fine art print. And then comparing that, and then you realize, wow, this album is the best deal going.

Priscilla Klingler: And I think that is so helpful. That is so helpful, because now they’re putting a value on their work, and that’s something that resonates with their client. They can understand that.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yes. So when you’re talking to the client and the client saying, “Well, I could get”, let’s say your 8×10 is $200. “I could get 10, 8x10s for $2,000”, or, “I’m going to get 15 to 17 in this album, either 10x20s or 10x10s, plus the design plus the album, it should be more than that.” That makes sense to a client. It just is logical.

Priscilla Klingler: Yes. So no, I think that’s excellent. I think that’s an excellent way and a really good guide on helping price the albums for sure.

Allison Tyler Jones: Because I just feel like the devaluing of the time is the biggest problem in our industry.

Priscilla Klingler: Yeah, and your talent and your craft, and all the time that it’s taking you to get to the level, all the training and all of your experience, all of your experience, that’s worth something.

Allison Tyler Jones: All the mistakes, all the things that turned out wrong, and then the accidents, that happy accidents that you went, “Oh, wait, I want to repeat that again.”

Priscilla Klingler: Yeah. I love that. Exactly.

Allison Tyler Jones: So you brought out some new things at the booth this year. And I didn’t get to see the announcement because I had to leave, but what was the new thing that you brought out that you’re most excited about?

Priscilla Klingler: We always have new materials that we’re showing off. So we’re always excited to show off our new materials, because we always have to keep it fresh and change things. So we had some new materials. It’s not really a new thing, but the slip cases, they have become a really big seller, because it’s something different. Not everybody has those. And so, the photographers are really doing some cool designs with that stuff too. So it’s taking their album, it’s adding a little extra onto it, so it’s elevating it.

Priscilla Klingler: And then we did have some help with Monica Sigman. She came into the booth and she showed a studio portfolio that she makes. And so, she was wanting to show some others how they can make this studio portfolio book. So we launched that at the show. You could only get it at the show, but it was a cool idea. You don’t have to just buy it there. It’s a sample book, basically, and it has chapters in it. And so, the different chapters can show maybe five images of baby portraiture or families or in-home sessions or whatever you want. So it’s a nice sample book to show your work. And it’s portable so you can take it with you wherever you want to go, and-

Allison Tyler Jones: Right. Which is great for those who don’t have a studio and they’re meeting the clients in their homes.

Priscilla Klingler: But I would say take advantage of that. Make a studio sample. Make it a portfolio book. Add different chapters in it of the different types of things that you photograph, and make different sections in that, and then take it with you. And that’s something now that you can show your client, it’s also a finished product, because it’s an album. So you’re putting that in their head that, “Hey, I want my pictures in something like this.” And I think it’s a really cool way to show off what you do.

Allison Tyler Jones: And it’s not your mom’s portrait album. It’s not the slip in with the little gold mats and all that. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Priscilla Klingler: No. That’s what we used to have on our website. This ain’t your Grandma’s photo album/

Allison Tyler Jones: Oh, are you serious? That’s so funny.

Priscilla Klingler: Yeah, because it’s not the big puffy album that you’re used to, and it’s more modern, but at the same time, it can be totally timeless and classic. So it can be whatever your style is. That’s why it’s also so customizable, because whatever you want to do, you can have. I am loving how photographers are taking their clients’ wedding invitations and things like that, and they’re incorporating those things into the covers, into debossing. And so, now they’re really personalizing it to each of their clients, making something unique.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. That’s so amazing. We’ve done a lot of over the years, nostalgia album. Where you go in and scan old photos and old things and creating work like that for clients. And so, to be able to have a book binder essentially, which is what you are, a custom book binder, be able to create something like that and be able to print it in such a fine way so that you know it’s going to last for generations. It’s just invaluable.

Priscilla Klingler: Yeah, I agree.

Allison Tyler Jones: That’s amazing. So I want to take you back just real quick to the slip case thing. Tell me about slip case, that’s a box that stands up on the shelf that the book slides into, so it keeps it more steady.

Priscilla Klingler: It keeps it steady. You can put it up on a shelf. You can still lay it down on a coffee table too. So it’s more versatile that way. And adds a little bit of a layer of protection to your book as well, your album, and a cool way to display it. So those are becoming a lot more popular too. We’ve even done some volume sets in them as well, where we put a few different, two or three different books into the slip case. So that looks pretty cool too, especially when it’s up on the shelf and you can see the spine, and then the spines are, they’ll put Roman numerals or something like that on there, to differentiate the differences. But photographers are so creative and seeing their designs and the things that they think up, I’m just in awe every day, because every day I see something new, something different, and I’m in a good spot to be in, because I get to see everything.

Allison Tyler Jones: Oh, I know. Well, that’s why we’re having this conversation, because I think sometimes we get stuck in a… You think maybe there’s only one way to do something, but sometimes we also get stuck in the other rut, which is, there’s so many ways to do it that we don’t do it.

Priscilla Klingler: Yeah. Yes. 100%.

Allison Tyler Jones: So I think the takeaway from this is, if you’re thinking about albums and you haven’t really done it, or you’re maybe wanting to reinvent your album, is to just start somewhere. Just pick something and start. I think simpler always is going to be better. So if it’s just a photo cover and your photo covers are, I don’t know what you put on the cover, but it’s bulletproof. It’s so good. The finish on that.

Priscilla Klingler: It has a crystal laminate. And so, it’s still the nice beautiful printing that we do. And then we add the crystal laminate that is fingerprint resistant and durable.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yes, it’s not shiny.

Priscilla Klingler: No.Uh-huh.

Allison Tyler Jones: And it’s not the scuba that attracts dirt.

Priscilla Klingler: No.

Allison Tyler Jones: It’s so good. The ball.

Priscilla Klingler: Yes. You can clean it with the cloth. And I think it is pretty fingerprint resistant too. And unless you’re eating a bucket of chicken or something, but-

Allison Tyler Jones: Don’t let your kids eat it with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Just throwing it out there. We have ours displayed with white gloves.

Priscilla Klingler: Oh, that’s perfect.

Allison Tyler Jones: Just to let people know that yes, your kids can look at them, but they need to be wearing these.

Priscilla Klingler: And then it does elevate it too, because they can see that this is something special.

Allison Tyler Jones: So what are you most excited about looking ahead, new things that you’re thinking of doing?

Priscilla Klingler: Oh, we are always beta testing things around here. And a lot of times photographers come to us and they have ideas, bu-

Allison Tyler Jones: I have ideas.

Priscilla Klingler: Yeah, you too. Okay. You need to come to us. And so we test things out, and I think this year we’re very excited about the mat boxes. We started doing that. That’s our newer product, because people liked the printing so much in our books, they wanted mats. And so, we started making mat boxes and matted prints, and it has the same beautiful printing on the inside of the matted prints. And so, we started doing that. I think also we want to focus on education more this year too, and helping photographers sell albums, help them decide what to offer. I view us as just being guides, basically. We’re here to just guide you along to help you. I want people to feel comfortable to call us, to schedule meetings with us, because we can really help a lot and offer a lot of insight. We know what’s selling. We know what other people… We have other clients that they sell a lot of albums. Not that we’re telling trade secrets here, but what is successful to this person could be helpful.

Allison Tyler Jones: Sure. You have a lot of experience. Well, and I think one thing that I found really helpful too, is you also know what your parameters are as far as what will and won’t work in the binding process. So it would be nice if you wanted 200 spreads of the thickest page in one single book, but you won’t do it. You actually will not do it, because you know that it can’t be successful. And so, I think that’s a great example of the customer is not always right. You’re the expert in the binding sphere. So as photographers, we need to listen to-

Priscilla Klingler: Can’t do it, you can’t do it.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. And the thing is, you probably could do it, but you know that it would fail. And then your reputation is on the line, which is an example for all of us too, sometimes we need to see, what I can do is, I can do 100 pages with a thinner prints, the thinner ones that are still great.

Priscilla Klingler: Yeah. 100%, yes.

Allison Tyler Jones: I love that. Have you done anything with easels?

Priscilla Klingler: Oh, no. We have not. We’ve been asked about it too. Somebody asked us the other day, I think it was Tim Walden, he was asking us about, do we have a good source for easels? I’m like, “Tim, I don’t… Can we try to stay in our lane here?”

Allison Tyler Jones: I know, because you got to have something gorgeous to put those albums on. They can’t just go on any little thing. Okay. Well, I’m going to be on the lookout, and if I find something, I’ll let you know.

Priscilla Klingler: 100%, yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: All right. I love that. Well, anything that you want to leave our listeners with about, 2023 is the year of the album, like let’s do this?

Priscilla Klingler: I just don’t want them to feel intimidated by offering albums, because they are so special. And when you see people go through them and look at them, they cry.

Allison Tyler Jones: Oh yeah.

Priscilla Klingler: The emotional response that you get is just incredible. So it just shows the power of print. Just print your work. Make a beautiful album. Have something to offer your client. Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid to start designing, to reach out to us for help. So we’re here to help. We’re here to guide you in any way we can and just help. That’s all we’re here for.

Allison Tyler Jones: I love that. And I think just to quote Tim Walden, he was talking about wall art when he said this, but that art is worth the least amount. It’s going to be on the day that you get it. It’s only going to appreciate over time. So sometimes I’ve had clients say to me, “Well, I don’t know that I’m really going to look at an album.” And I say, “Well, you might not look at it right now or even in the next five years, but I can tell you, when you’re an older mom and those kids are gone, you are going to be so glad that you had all of that permanently archived in that way.”

Priscilla Klingler: Yes, 100%. I could not agree more.

Allison Tyler Jones: And in a classic way, that’s not going to go out of style. That’s not some weird, puffy thing, that’s just classic. So thank you for elevating all of our work, and we appreciate you so much.

Priscilla Klingler: Oh, thank you so much, Allison, for all that you’ve done for us. We appreciate it so much. So thank you, thank you, thank you.

Allison Tyler Jones: Thank you.

Recorded: You can find more great resources from Allison at, and on Instagram at do.the.rework.


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