by Pye Jirsa of SLR Lounge and Lin & Jirsa
In an age where digital photos can easily be lost or forgotten, a wedding album is a tangible reminder of this special day that can be passed down from generation to generation. However for many photographers, convincing clients to value and purchase albums can be a challenge.
In this article, we asked award winning photographers to provide 10 tips for selling more albums. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Prepare clients from the initial consultation
- Help them understand the power of print
- Sell albums as part of a package
- Don’t give away the farm (initially)
- Shoot for the story on the Wedding Day
- Ensure You Have Simple Pricing
- Have Them Physically Touch and Feel The Albums If Possible
- Make most of the decisions for them
- Sometimes Less is More
- Believe in what you sell
Prepare Clients From The Initial Consultation
Make albums and other print products part of the entire experience. Give it sufficient attention and real estate on your website, in your studio, and even on your social media. The more you emphasize albums as the final product and as an important part of the entire experience, the more likely your clients are to value, prioritize, and purchase them.
“We showcase our boudoir albums as often as we can, including on our social media as people find our business. The adage: “Show what you want to sell” has proven to be absolutely true.
In our boudoir studio, we share almost every album that comes in on our Instagram stories and other social media platforms. Planting the seed that all clients get albums.” – Kevin Holding and Julia Holding from Julia Kay Boudoir | Website | Wedding Maps Profile
While shooting, try mentioning the album in subtle ways to continue ingraining the thought into their minds. For example, as you’re showing them a few of the shots on the back of the camera, you can say things like “this will look great in the album.” Or when you’re zooming in on their hands as they hold hands, you can say something like, “I’m just going to get a few details for the album.”
Help Them Understand The Power Of Print
Albums and other printed material are much more than just pretty pictures to look at. They have emotional value tied to memory. In fact, family portraits can improve a child’s self-esteem according to this study. And another study shows that physical material is more “real” to the brain. It has a meaning and a place. It is better connected to memory because it engages with its spatial memory networks.
“In a few decades, when you’re reminiscing about your wedding on an anniversary (or annoying your kids/nieces/nephews with how cool you used to be), do you want to hunt down a (probably obsolete) flashdrive or log into Facebook, OR do you want to take a beautiful wedding album that tells the full story of your wedding day with all your favorite photographs off the shelf and lay it in their laps?” – Elyssa Kivus | Website | Wedding Maps Profile
Sell Albums As Part Of A Package
Clients are unlikely to purchase anything that isn’t already inside of their package, including wedding albums. If you want to sell more albums, then make sure they are included in each of your packages, even if they are small albums that the clients are likely to upgrade later.“During the initial consultation, I show them sample albums if they are at our studio or use the onlinealbumproofing.com of Fundy to share sample digital album layouts. Throughout the engagement session and wedding day, I remind them how these images will be so beautiful in their wedding albums.” Adrian Ong | Website | Wedding Maps Profile
Don’t Give Away The Farm (Initially)
Find the right number of spreads that give the clients a great, complete product but give them enough but leave room for upgrades. A good way to think about this is with car manufacturers. The base models typically don’t compromise important features related to overall performance and safety. But they do leave room for upgrades to the sound system, the trim, wheels, and other features.
“Create a bigger draft of the client’s album than what they have in their collection or pre-order, knowing that they probably won’t add more pages than the draft that you’ve created. Then be on the client’s side throughout the design process to help guide them and narrow it down to exactly what they want.” – Jessie and Dallin | Website | Wedding Maps Profile
Shoot For The Story On The Wedding Day
The better your album designs, the more album spreads you’re likely to sell. The goal is to make the idea of removing any of the spreads unthinkable or impossible. To create more impactful images, shoot for the story. Set the scene with wide shots of the moment but also zoom in for medium crops. Then, complete the story with tight crops.“Shooting for story on the wedding day is something that having two shooters really helps with. We both know our roles and responsibilities, when to get safe shots and when to sneak around or get creative. But the main focus is always action and reaction – that’s what we’re always looking for, and that’s what our clients appreciate most about seeing in print in their albums.” Kim and Jess | Website | Wedding Maps Profile
Ensure You Have Simple Product Offering And Pricing
Like most things we purchase, the more straightforward and simple you make the pricing, the more you’re likely to sell. Avoid the psychological barrier associated with too many options and make things easy and understandable for your clients.
“I love keeping my album pricing as simple as possible so clients can focus on how much they love their photos and don’t get caught up trying to do the math. Thick pages? Included. Shipping? Included. Any cover choice you want? Included. The only thing my clients pay extra for is additional pages or upgrading to a larger size.” – Scott Josuweit | Website | Wedding Maps Profile
In addition, trim down and refine your product offering to a simple, straightforward set of popular options. Some album makers offer dozens of color, material, design, font, and paper options. Be sure to trim down the options available to make their purchasing decisions easier.
“When we first started, we were so excited about all of the album options that were available that we offered over 50 color options. We literally had 3 different versions of black leather to choose from. But as we refined our experience, we eliminated over 75% of our options. Of course, some clients will want unique combinations and want to see every option available, and in those situations, we’ll accommodate their requests. But the simplified process makes the average client’s decision making process easier and their overall experience better.” – Lin and Jirsa | Website | Wedding Maps Profile
Have Them Physically Touch and Feel The Albums If Possible
Have your clients physically touch and feel the albums so they can appreciate the weight, the quality, the thickness of the pages, and more. These are difficult to convey visually, and they’ll quickly understand the difference between your professional albums and the albums they can order from the consumer online labs.
“In a pre-wedding meeting, bring your largest albums for them to experience. Take the time to talk them through upgrade options and, in the end, have them choose their cover and their deboss while they’re excited about the album!” Angie Nelson | Website | Wedding Maps Profile
Make Most Of The Decisions For Them
Most clients won’t have the design sense to understand which images will go well next to each other. Take most of the guesswork and decision making out of their hands and present beautiful spreads to them in the first album consultation. Of course, allow for changes and modifications, but give them a starting point that they fall in love with from the beginning.
“Something I offer for my couples is what I call the ‘Director’s Cut’. I explain it in a way that is like watching your favorite movie that has the extended version. I do the same for the couple. I lay out the book with no obligation to order it but it usually has up to an additional 50-70 photos @$35 per photo. Really telling the story. And it allows me to put my creative favorites in the album. Nearly every couple loves it.” – Jeff Tisman Photography | Website | Wedding Maps Profile
Sometimes Less Is More
Don’t cram every spread with dozens of photos. Sometimes, less is more and showcasing a single image of great significance or impact can be more powerful than mixing it with other images that detract from the main image.
Believe In What You Sell
As with any product or service, it’s difficult to sell something that you don’t value yourself. That doesn’t mean that you have to only sell things that you would buy yourself. But it does mean that you have to truly value the album and believe that it’s priced correctly.
“You need to believe in what you sell – whether that is artwork, albums or prints. When you love your products and personally endorse them (in your own home and within your own life), you are no longer selling, you are spreading the joy YOU feel when you see something you love – large and in charge – breathing within your own space. You are validating your clients by showing them that they are WORTH creating the artwork for, that they deserve it too.” – Zee Anna | Website | Wedding Maps Profile
“Also, Make sure you have gorgeous photos of all of your products, even better if you have video of it. Take the time to style your samples and don’t forget to feature some of the album opened to your favorite spread.” Zee Anna
A wedding album is much more than just a collection of photographs. It is a story of one of the most important days in a couple’s life, a day that they will look back on and cherish for generations. A well-crafted wedding album should capture all the emotions of the day, from the excitement of the ceremony to the joy of the reception. It should also be a true reflection of the couple’s personality, with photos that reflect their unique style and taste. Getting these important heirlooms into your clients hands should be a priority for wedding photographers, and we hope that these tips will help you do just that.
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