Wedding Photography: How to sell albums of the big day
If you ask any wedding photographer why they chose this profession, the vast majority of us first mention the word passion.
"Passion for our work"
We know that this profession has to go hand in hand with that desire to tell stories, to find details, to reflect unique moments on the wedding day. In this creative world, we often forget that as well as being artists, we also carry our company by the hand, and that the ultimate goal of a brand is to generate profits. What we all wish is that at the end of the year the numbers are positive and we can invest in photographic equipment and training to be increasingly successful.
The first big step, for us wedding photographers, is to find our own identity. Experimenting, training, attending workshops... Testing until we find the one that is our style. When we've accomplished all these points, many of us realise we've neglected the business side of things. This is where I reinforce the importance of having a pre-defined strategy.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING OUR WORK PROFITABLE
In addition to what we charge for our services, our time and expertise on the wedding day, one way to increase our income is through the after sales of our services.
I realised that an important part of our income can come from the sale of wedding albums. I say albums because I don't think we should be content with selling just one main album. There are many options to multiply profits at the end of the year.
There is a saying that the best salesperson is the one who doesn't need to sell. If we apply this mantra to our sales process, our clients will end up buying the products organically.
My intention, when it comes to the couples I photograph, is not to sell the album. Obviously what I want first and foremost is for them to fall in love with my photography and my style. However, if they see that we have a good product, there is a good chance that they will buy it.
TELLING A STORY
Most wedding photographers define themselves as storytellers. I explain it this way myself when I meet with the bride and groom. I can't idealise the first meeting with couples - for them to tell me about their story, their big day and expectations - without showing them my product options (from albums to print boxes or other complementary items).
This is an excellent opportunity to create the need in the customer. It's something tangible that they can touch and feel. When they flip through an album to see the printed images, it's much easier for them to understand the value of photography. Opening an album, touching the paper... It's a more complete experience.
For me, the wedding album is very similar to the story that newlyweds will teach their children in the future. It's one of their best memories, it's the story of one of their best days, and with printing it can be forever eternal and passed from generation to generation.
If we look at the wedding album in this way, selling it stops being a necessity (to make our work profitable) and becomes an obligation to ensure that our clients keep intact one of the happiest days of their lives.
Every couple is different, with different tastes and preferences for photography.
The key is to offer a wide range of products so that they can choose the ones they most identify with.
Personally, I offer a basic package that includes only the photographs and a special package where I also include the album and other services, such as pre-wedding or post-wedding, etc. This way, I can show the client how the investment in the special package ends up being smarter than opting for the basic package and buying other products separately. This option makes most of the couples I work with buy their wedding album at an early stage, before the wedding has even taken place.
The Signature Book is another way of making our work more profitable. In my case, I choose to offer it to couples with whom I do a pre-wedding photo session. This product is, also, an excellent way for other couples, who will take this step in the future and are part of the guest list, to see the photographer's work. Besides showing our work to the guests present, this simple attention can make the difference for the bride and groom and be another point to guarantee a good recommendation.
HOW TO GIFT AN ALBUM?
Discussing the option of making the album a gift at the meeting with the bride and groom can be interesting. There are many couples who initially only think of buying the main album, but I always suggest to them that giving a replica album, i.e. mini albums equal to the main album to the parents can be a very nice and appreciated detail. In the end, for parents, this souvenir will be more valuable than any other gift.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SHOWING
A good strategy for those who were not planning to buy the album is to show them a possible layout, so they can visualise how their memories would look on paper. This will not take long, and you can even rely on the software for automatic album layout.
Giving the possibility to include extra sheets in albums is essential to make printing more profitable. As I said before, it doesn't have to be forced, but if the album improves with larger photos and therefore more sheets, this not only has an impact on our customer satisfaction, but also on our accounts.
The secret is to make our client feel happy with our work and with their beautiful memories printed in an album. And, at the same time, we see our income grow along with our clients' satisfaction.
*All photos were taken by Jose Ignacio Ruiz.