When we started our business 5 years ago we were taking anything that came our way, we were losing money on the projects we shot, feeling underappreciated, not getting paid what we were worth, and were quickly losing passion for our craft.
We live in a world of sharing. We want to share everything with everyone. Our clients expect to walk away with countless images, stored on a USB drive, ready to post to social media. This culture can make it difficult to sell wedding albums, but it also gives us an opportunity to serve our clients even better. By providing them with an album, we give them the opportunity to revisit their wedding day while sitting on the couch with their children and grandchildren years later.
As photographers, it’s our job to help clients see the value of a wedding album—a truly timeless treasure which cannot ever be truly replaced by technology. A huge part of this is about communication. Treat your clients as people first, clients second, and get to know who they are and what they like. Then, show them all they can do with their photos, other than putting them on social media. Remind them that their images do not have to live solely on Instagram; they have a place inside the home—in an album, on canvas, or in frames as decor.
Seven Ways to Encourage Clients to Purchase Albums
Pre-sell. Start the buzz about your albums before clients book their wedding. Don’t just list it as an option in your packages. Rather, explain to your clients how priceless they truly are. Show them how passionate you are about albums. Get them as excited as you are.
Dig deep. Before your meeting, send a questionnaire to your client and ask what their intentions for the photos are. Go beyond asking, “What do you want?” and ask questions such as, “Who do you plan on sharing these photos with?” or “How do you want to remember your wedding?” Based on their answers, show them products that fulfill their wants.
Make emotional connections. A lot of making emotional connections is in the album design itself. Learn who the important people are in your clients lives and include photos of them in the albums. Pick up the sentimental items the bride chooses to wear on her wedding day and capture those photos. The album may be a physical product, but what you’re really selling is priceless moments that couples will continue to visit and reflect on year after year. It’s the feeling of seeing each other for the first time on the wedding day, or the memory of a dance shared between father and daughter. It’s the little moments, like the champagne enjoyed the morning of, mixed in with the big moments, like the first kiss shared as husband and wife.
Include it in the package. Don’t let clients think of an album as an “extra.” Make it part of the package and it becomes an integral part of your service. Rather than seeing the album as a splurge, it becomes a necessary expense–the first of their family heirlooms.
Show them an album. Describing your beautiful albums will never compare to letting your clients feel the material of the cover, turn the heavy pages, see the richness of color in the images. We are sensory beings and being able to hold an album allows clients to form a connection with what the album represents—not just what it looks like or what it costs.
Sell while you’re taking pictures. Capture amazing images that tell a story and deserve to be displayed across a full spread. Let your clients know how great the images will look in an album;make comments throughout the day about how incredible a certain image or sequence of images will look on an album spread. Get yourself in the mindset that they are purchasing one.
Emphasize the value of the whole story. Remind clients that all the small details they thought about and incorporated into their big day deserve to be remembered. Pictures of the signature cocktail, the centerpieces, the favors—these details are part of the entire wedding story, and if they aren’t printed, where are they? They deserve more than living on a hard drive.
Help them focus on their future. Where will their photos be in 10 years? 25? Will they still be using social media? Will computers still read USB? Who knows? Technology is constantly changing, but an album is never outdated.
Wedding photos are too valuable to simply be for social sharing only. There is no substitute for your wedding story in book form, no substitute for holding memories in your hands. Remind your clients an album is timeless, eternal, and encourage them to invest in a family heirloom that can be passed on for generations. They won’t regret it.
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