For the wedding documentaries, I create a customized DVD insert/cover and label and assemble it all myself. What I am lacking is the packaging to deliver the DVDs and other little things I include with them.
It is unfortunate the amount of time I have spent looking for the right kind of packaging for when I deliver photos and wedding documentaries. Yes, there are lots of companies out there that offer a variety of packaging options. So, what's the problem? I am picky but rightfully so. I want to keep things as local as possible. I also want to keep things as environmentally friendly as possible. (I will have a full blog post about this soon!)
My approach to finding packaging was through the interwebs. Search engines are wonderful things but they can leave you more confused than when you started. These are the phrases I used to search:
- dvd packaging
- cd packaging
- photography packaging
- wedding video
- photography packaging canada
- photography canada packaging
- wedding dvd packaging canada
- etc, etc, etc (<--- this one was less successful...
I tried some others but I can not remember them all. The most successful way to find packaging (that was attractive) seemed to be from other photographer's blog posts. There are a lot showing their packaging but few mention where their packaging comes from. A common theme among the ones that I did find was that they found their packaging pieces from different companies. They would order bags from Company X, boxes from Company Y, ribbon from Company Z and so on and so forth. Everytime I felt like I found "the one", I would look at their contact info and discover they were located in the UK or USA which is all good and great but I am trying to be as economically efficient as possible and want to order within Canada wherever possible. Once I would find one that was located in Canada, they wouldn't offer any eco-friendly products or the ones they offered were ugly.
I know there are lots of awesome Canadian companies out there but unfortunately my search engine results came up with very few. I have to be honest, a good bunch of the Canadian websites I came across were unappealing. The websites were outdated and the products poorly photographed so I left quite quickly.
I finally came across www.luv2pak.com. They are located in Toronto, Ontario. They have a decent website with a good selection of appealing products. AND many of their products are eco-friendly. Finally! I placed an order as I am in need of proper packaging. Plus, I was able to get a LOT more from luv2pak than the company I was going to order from in the states for the same amount of money. I will let you know how it all looks when my order comes in (2-4 weeks from now). Ideally, I would like to order from a company even closer to me (New Brunswick) so if you know of one, please let me know!
The other issue with packaging is branding. Oh, branding. I looked at what so many other photographers and wedding filmmakers have done for packaging (at least the ones who advertise it). There are a lot of fantastic ideas of how to package and brand deliverables. Unfortunately, it adds cost to do so and my business is still very young so my expenses need to be kept as low as possible. The question I faced was how do I brand my packaging without adding an extra dollar (or many dollars) per unit? The solution was with a stamp. Once again, I went to the search engines and found a couple companies. I contacted one company whom still hasn't responded... In the end, it was from a referral from my Dad who reminded me of Flewwelling Press right here in Saint John. I emailed them and the next day, an order has been placed! I can't wait to see how it turns out!
[[[ P.S. I realize how problematic it is that I am blogging about all of this before the materials arrive but I promise to blog them with photos when they do arrive to show you how it all looks! ]]]
As I mentioned at the beginning of this [rather lengthy] post, the flash drives seen in the photos were ordered online and shipped to my door from USB Direct. I decided to go with Flash Drives to deliver my photos and things as they are quicker and generally easier to use. Plus, I did ask my clients and the general consensus was that flash drives were preferred. I am very happy with how they turned out!