For months I have been searching for a Canadian vendor for boxes to enclose my prints for clients. My wish list is simple. I want sturdy (ie-not apparel boxes!). I want a little variety in colors, or at least something that I can add on to and make my own. And I want quality.
There are many options in the US, h-b photo, Rice Studio Supply, DNL-all sell gorgeous boxes, made for photographers. They even have customizing options, along with tissue paper, ribbon, folios, bags….everything you need. But the shipping….oh the shipping which seems destined to be the bane of our experience (that may have been a little dramatic…) ie-no flat rate shipping to Canada…plus duty…
So I have needed to consider *outside* the box (no pun intended…but it did work out well!). And I have been inspired by a few photographers :)
First option-photo storage boxes! Yes, the shoebox like photo boxes. They are easy to find (Michaels anyone!), they are reasonably priced…and you can put more than prints in them! Checkout Trish Strobehn (from Vegas) blog post about using them for her packaging Gorgeous right?! Heck…if you have a shoe addiction, you could even upcycle the boxes for your clients!
Second option-Mailing boxes. Yep, plain white-completely customizable. They come in a wide range of sizes, affordable, available (!), and above all, unique! If you want to test it out-Staples has mailing boxes :) You can even go to Staples Industrial and bulk buy them. You can get them big enough to fit an 11×14 print :) Corina Nielsen has a wonderful example of hers on her blog. Best of all, you can save on boxes, by putting them all in the one that is are large is a biggest print. I know I am guilty of using 5×7 boxes (from h-b photo) for the 5×7 prints, 8×10 boxes for 8×10′s and so on…one client can get a lot of boxes! And considering that the shipping cost me almost as much as the boxes…I should be hoarding them!
Third Option- Cloth Bags. Yep…you can get muslin bags bigger than 8×10! You could even go for a canvas tote (I found an awesome price on these at Nashville Wraps-not Canadian, that are nice and BIG). Mulsin bags can be found in abundance on ETSY, Nashville wraps sells them. Most wedding favor places sell them also (and we have those in Canada!)-but only the little ones. Get a custom logo stamp, and away you go!
Fourth Option- Paper Bags…you heard me. You know the pretty patterned ones, that are awesome for treat bags? Find your branding colors and go to town! You may only be able to fit 5×7′s in there…but no more loose prints, and economical, pretty packaging!
A few others- Golly, I am overflowing! Just something as simple as proofs tied together with a piece of twice is classy, put them in the photo box, mailing box-voila!
Wondering about bigger/odd sized prints?
WRAPPING PAPER!! Plain (your brand colors) paper…pretty it up with a bow, maybe even a big tag :)
Or, simply leave it in the plastic from the lab, put some ribbon around it-and you have a gorgeous large print!
Clients will think it is like Christmas!
If you have any suggestions on Canadian Vendors-please contact me so we can share the love!
And I have a few features coming up with Canadian Photographers and their gorgeous packaging for some home grown inspiration!!