Product Review: The Finao Marilyn Box
Like most boudoir photographers, my primary products are photo albums. Since boudoir is often a gift, albums are suited perfectly for the job.
Whether for a wedding, anniversary, or holiday, giving a custom album works well for a few reasons. First, they are convenient and easily "giftable." Second, they are personal. (The exact opposite of, for example, an empty gesture like a Facebook "Happy Birthday, dude" birthday greeting.)
Albums carry a lot more weight than their physical mass. As you know, there's quite a bit of time invested by everyone involved to produce one. This investment of time and emotional capital to create a set of beautiful portraits rates up there on the list of meaningful gifts with the best of them. Don't underestimate that!
I have clients who've I bumped into via email several years after their session still telling me how they adore their albums. The fact is, your customers will hang on to these treasured items for the rest of their lives. Its a gift for a moment, but it becomes a keepsake for a lifetime.
As wonderful as albums are, as you know, creating one is where you earn your money. Its work! Also, some people are always looking for alternatives.
Enter The Marilyn by Finao. I browse the interwebs from time to time looking for new ideas that my clients will love. I came across The Marilyn box and thought this could be a great alternative to an album. Additionally, it possesses all the value properties of the album as I listed above, plus gives you something an album doesn't-- displayability.
"Are they heavy? ...Then they're expensive.."
The Marilyn box feels nice in your hands. When you hold it, it feels rich. The material looks luxurious. To me-- that's important. In my journey through photography I have transitioned to higher end products. As I alluded to above, I tend to think "long term heirloom" when it comes to products, and the Marilyn box has that feel.
Quality is essential to me. The Marilyn is well constructed. The fabric is smooth and even. The inside lining is neat, and all the seams and edges are straight. It looks good. This is a product that is meant for display and sharing, not squirreling away in a dresser drawer. It can very well be at home on a bookshelf or table, and wants be part of a rooms decor.
Its customizable. I love color and texture. The more choice the better. You can order the Marilyn with a pretty broad range of Finaos non-leather materials. (And I really need to order a swatch kit!) There is plenty of choice to suit everyone's taste.
It comes in a large size! That's also important to me. The box in the photos is an 11x14 size, and will hold about 10 prints. I never understood getting portraits done, and giving someone a teeeeny tiiinnny product. 4x6 prints? No, thank you. Makes no sense. You don't buy a Porsche to drive 25 m.p.h, likewise your gorgeous portraits should be large so they can be enjoyed. Go big. I'll take 8x12, please!
I guess the true test of any products worth, though, is when you place it in someone's hands. I brought this item to a recent bridal show and the sentiment was pretty universal-- "Wow, that's really nice." People kept asking about it.
What's not so great about this item? Not much. One small thing is I can't figure out how the bow is supposed to be tied! I can wrangle it shut, but I'm not sure if I'm doing it the right way. Help, anyone? :-)
Who is this for? Well, if you are a Groupon boudoir photographer or Groupon photography buyer, this probably isn't the product for you. Like most Finao products, this is for clients who enjoy quality, want the best, and are willing to spend for it. This is for someone who wants a great alternative to an album, or a perfect presentation for portraits.
This is an attractive and well made item that people will really enjoy. The selection of fabrics are wide enough to design a style to fit many tastes. This portfolio box will not replace an album-- but it gives clients looking for portraits, or those looking for something unique a great alternative. The benefit is that portrait clients get a handsome way to display there prints, and a keepsake item they will be proud to display and share.
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