After winning the album of the year award at the 2014/15 awards night, I almost didn’t enter this time as I thought I didn’t have a chance of winning two years in a row. I made the decision at the 11th hour to submit my album design for competition. Sitting on the Graphistudio table at the awards night as a guest, I was in total shock when Clare-Louise announced my name as the winner! When I sat back at my table, I looked over at my host, Martin Baines and said “when are we going back to the castle!?”
The trip was arranged along with another winner and good friend; Paul Fowler (UK wedding photographer 2014/2015) and our respective partners. We flew out in mid-March to spend two nights at Castle Ceconi in the foothills of the Dolomite Mountains in northern Italy. Having been before, I was worried that the first peek of the castle on the climb up the windy roads wouldn’t have the same impact as the first time. How wrong I was. The pictures you see simply don’t do it justice. However, despite the grandeur, the castle just feels like a home from home.
Jeremy Price was our host, our first stop was to the factory where we saw the many processes of the complete Graphi Studio range being made. Along with Dario (global marketing manager) Jeremy gave us an in depth tour of the factory and insight to the inner workings of the worlds most iconic album company. Jeremy’s knowledge of the products and how they are developed and made is inspiring, with no level of detail glossed over. The possibilities are almost limitless – if it’s in your imagination, chances are they can do it!
Aside from the products, we spoke a lot about being a part of the GraphiStudio family. I’ve been privileged to have visited the factory twice, and the welcome I received from Tulio, GraphiStudio president, and the rest of the ‘family’ was like a homecoming from an eight month trip away. Tulio, saw us from across the room and paused his meeting to greet me with a big smile, an enveloping hug and, in broken English, welcomed me back. This was the same from others, be it our first time of meeting or a reunion with those I’d met back in July. I’m very privileged to be amongst the Graphistudio family, and call the people that work there my friends.
The level of hospitality is second to none. We were wined and dined at local restaurants, eating the best, locally produced food and the most amazing wine I’ve ever drunk! Jeremy is the perfect host. He made us feel welcome and comfortable like we were away with an old friend but always on hand with invaluable advice or to chat about the products. I cannot thank him enough for extending the family ethos to my wife and I and for making us so welcome during our time.
I urge anybody reading this to enter an album design into the competition, as if you are the winner, it really is the trip of a lifetime. I feel very fortunate to have been extended this opportunity to be welcomed into the Graphi Studio family.
To Jeremy, Dario and The MPA, thank you.
Scott Johnson FBIPP