Welcome! This is the blog from Kevin Kubota (me) and Kubota Image Tools (our company). Our mission is to empower photographers, share knowledge, and find ways to make the world a better place. Thanks for joining in!
Offer this great add-on product to you senior families...
The perfect way for a graduate to thank family for their graduation gifts!
The Zen Layflat and Art Folios offer a sleek way to display photo favorites and make for fantastic add-ons to senior sessions for parents and grandparents to display on their bookshelves and desks.
Our folios are seamless, layflat, and press printed using exceptional-quality 6-color printing and presented in a frosted plastic slide-in case. These fully designable folios are available in bi-folio or tri-folio in multiple sizes. Most of the folio sizes match our album sizes, so it takes no time at all to use one of your clients favorite album spreads to use for the design. Learn more.
Fees are based on package weight and size, destination, and transit time from Bend, OR 97703 to you or your client. If you'd like your order drop shipped, simply update the shipping address when placing your order.
When you sell additional copies of an album.
One of the easiest ways to increase your bottom line is by selling additional copies of albums to the bridal party, parents, grandparents, etc. OR to your clients to gift to them.
We offer at least a 14% discount on additional copies of all our products. Since there’s no additional design time spent and these albums are offered at a reduced price you can sell additional copies to clients for a significantly reduced rate. A win win for everyone!
I recently taught a lighting workshop for Santa Fe Photographic Workshops (I’ll be back there again next spring too), and I love being able to share with photographers how EASY it can be to create great light anywhere. We only used speedlights, and very simple and inexpensive lighting modifiers. I think many photographers shy away from using flash because they are intimidated by it, think it is too complex, or are not sure they can achieve natural looking results. These are all myths!
One of the fun things we can do with a speedlight is to create a theatrical sparkle in the background by pointing the light directly at the lens. Whoa! I can hear the resistance already! Won’t that cause flare?! Degradation of the image?! The end of civilization as we know it?! The answer is maybe, not necessarily, and not at all.
Don’t fear the flare! By being thoughtful of where you place your flash, you can minimize the degradation effects of the flare and add a lot of interest and energy to your image. The other factor that controls the look of the sparkle is the f-stop that you use. When shot at larger f-stops, like f 2.8, you’ll get a glowing blob and a slight loss of contrast. With a smaller f-stop, like f 5.6 or smaller, you create an actual star like sparkle from your flash. The smaller the f-stop, the more the star shape is pronounced.
In the images here, the first one was shot at f 2.5 and you’ll notice the light is more of a glowing blob. The second image was shot at f 5.6 and that gave me the more distinctive sparkle that I was looking for. I simply played with the flash power on a couple shots to get the intensity where I wanted it. Notice how the sparkle light also creates a neat-o rim light on the model, helping to separate him from the darker background.
The main light on our model’s face was created using our LunaGrip flash modifier with a speedlight. This gives me beautiful, soft, but shapely lighting and it is very portable and easy to set up anywhere — in a flash. Sorry, couldn't help the pun.
Experiment yourself by placing a flash behind your subject, but visible by your camera. Next, shoot the same image at your full range of f-stops (adjusting the flash power accordingly as you change the f-stop) and you’ll immediately see the different effect on the star quality of the flash.
When positioned properly outdoors, the sparkle light can even emulate a sun glowing in the background, but now YOU have control over the placement and intensity of the source of life on earth. That’s some power.
Offer this great add-on product to you senior families...
Kevin, Clare, and their dog Leo embarked on a journey across the Southwestern United States in their RV the past two months. They had a goal of not trying to over plan things and making as many personal connections as they could. They posted photos and stories from some of their meetings and adventures. Starting their trip, all they knew is that they planned to share their Aloha and live the Truth as they know. Read more about their adventures and view their photos.
Even though we provide AsukaBook Maker, a free album design software, along with a number of other tools, we know that some users have other software preferences. As we always strive to meet our customers needs and wants, we partnered and integrated with Fundy Designer years ago to make it another album layout option. Our friends at Fundy are offering you $50 off any new purchase with code: ASUKA50. This is a limited time offer.
FIVE TIPS FOR FAST ALBUM DESIGN WITH FUNDY DESIGNER FROM FUNDY SOFTWARE:
We know photographers love the speed of our professional auto design. With just a few clicks, a first draft of your album is ready in seconds. But then you’re in complete control to customize the designs with the Quick Design Picker®, one of the most powerful layout tools in the world. With these five tips, you’ll be designing albums faster than ever.
When you first open the Quick Design Picker, you might think you’re viewing templates, but we’re automatically generating beautiful designs based on your images – and that is key. Templates force your images into a design, but the Quick Design Picker is designing and customizing for your images. Use the two big arrows to shuffle through more design options instantly.
When you see a layout concept you like, the smaller arrows on the left and right of the design allow you to look through additional options that are similar to that concept. Simply click through until you find exactly what you want.
When you open the Quick Design Picker, you’ll notice that all your designs with main images are on the left hand side of each spread. By selecting the flip icon you can move all of the main images to the right side of the spread with one click.
With the shuffle button, you’re able to see an entirely new set of designs with endless combinations of verticals, horizontals and squares. The more photos in the design, the more options you’ll have. With the shuffle button there millions of additional designs at your fingertips.
You also have control over the ratio of your images instantly. Want to just see just 3:2 ratio photos with no cropping of your images? Click the 3:2 ratio. Want to see designs where all of the accent images are square? Click on the 1:1 option. Then if you want to see all of the design options again, simply click on the reset button located in the bottom left of your screen.
Watch the Quick Design Picker in Action
AsukaBook layflat albums filled with beautiful engagement photos make for fantastic guest books. View example.
We have found that the Sharpie® Ultra Fine Point Permanent Markers work best on our Laminate Matte or Varnish finished paper, or Art paper, but be sure to request paper samples to test before choosing your pen and paper finish.
We have beautiful pre-designed sample coffee table style books, albums, and digital and display products, as well as mounted cover swatches, available for you to purchase or borrow. Learn more.
You can also request us to send you free pre-designed page samples that display our quality printing and paper finishes, along with small cover material samples.
Are you grateful for your difficult clients? Being grateful is certainly easier when things are going well in your life – when we're working with amazing clients, capturing incredible images, and making good money. It might not be so easy when you’re experiencing the flip side of that. However, the most growth and learning comes when we are pushed to deal with difficult situations.
Some of my best experiences of this, with our business, have been when we've had upset clients. As difficult as it is to hear that someone isn't happy with something, we've learned to appreciate those calls and emails. They are opportunities for improving our business, and we've been able to turn many unhappy clients into some of our best clients.
Tips for dealing with upset customers:
- Respond quickly, but not too quickly. When you get an email or voicemail from an upset client your initial response is to get defensive and take what was said personally. Take a deep breath, calm yourself, and try your best to see things from the clients perspective – no matter how difficult that may be. Sometimes this can take 5 minutes, sometimes a few hours. Do your best to get back to them the same day they contact you.
- Everyone has things going on in their lives that adds to their stress. When we remind ourselves of this it helps us to be empathetic, and not take things so personally.
- Call whenever possible. Misunderstandings can happen via email. If someone is upset, I want to get them taken care of as quickly as possible and avoid back and forth email.
- Prepare yourself to really listen and hear them. That’s usually what they want most – to feel heard and understood. Ask them what you can do to make it better. If they see that you have a desire to improve the situation this can calm things dramatically. You may not always be able to do what they ask, but asking is important. I've had clients who have given us great suggestions to improve something in our business, and we've implemented them.
- Let them know you appreciate them giving you the opportunity to make things better.
AsukaBook, Kubota Image Tools, and Kubota Market would like to support you by providing giveaways and/or discount codes for your attendees. Contact us for more details.
Offering you a uniquely polished experience, AsukaBook is passionate about having a good relationship with you, our photographers, and equally committed to producing the highest quality albums possible.
Kubota Image Tools brings you educational tools, workshops, iPhone applications, a complete Lightroom workflow system and presets, and more!
Kubota Market is the Mecca of photo-enhancing tools. Access over 600 actions, borders, and textures via our easy-to-use Kubota DASHBOARD for Photoshop. Try now for seven days for FREE.
Contact us today to discuss the details of your upcoming events.