DO you NEED TO SELL printed products as a photographer? | Breathe Your Passion with Vanessa Joy

In this video I’m gonna talk to you about how to sell albums, because that is a full and complete photography service. if you’re not selling wedding albums… I honestly think that you are not completing your job as a photographer. Your job is to be a storyteller from start to finish, and part of telling that story is finding a way to document that story in a tangible form, so that later your client can sit down with their friends, family, kids, grandkids and recount the story of their wedding day… When I sit down with my clients, it’s not a sale session it is me trying to help them create a final product that they’re going to love and cherish… Tell me in the comments… are you selling albums, wedding albums… printed products… or not, and if you’re not, what’s preventing you from doing that? I will be honest… yes I do make more money by selling albums… because I do sell more pages than their original package but it’s all part of the service that I’m offering them. They don’t have to buy anything additional… but they usually do, because they enjoy the story the way I show them it can be laid out… The first thing that you want to do with albums is …. You need to pre design. Now I know that sounds like a sales tactic and you are going to design it bigger than the album that they have… but hear me out, if you’re doing wedding albums you already know that if your clients are picking the pictures they are taking for ever… and you have clients that it’s been a year, two years, three years from their wedding, and they still don’t have their album, and that’s your fault, because you don’t have a process for creating that album that is painless and convenient for you. When I first started, I would let my clients pick their wedding pictures and it was disastrous…. they didn’t know what to pick… they would never pick any details, they didn’t know how to tell a story with images. Now I have a designer that works with me, so I’m outsourcing this, she picks all the pictures that tells the story best. I don’t even tell her how many, you know pages they already have in their package towards their albums. I just say tell this story best even if they cut out and delete all the pages that we added in to tell more of the story… the images that are there are better laid out… They’re better laid out, bette rchosen If you are an expert you know. We go over all of their pages one by one either in my studio or via video chat. As we’re going through them I use keywords I reference pictures and moments of the day with vocabulary that I know is about their relationship style, which if you watch the first video in the series you’ll see how I know that. If they’re taking pictures out I’m not gonna use kind words like remove or take away I’m going to say what it actually is .. delete -you want me to delete these pictures ….because while they do get you know a USB and all the digital files they’re never gonna look at them. Your goal is to finish that album design during the album session, it’s usually a two or three hour session… yes I know that seems like a lot, but you know it’s a lot more two three years later, when your clients still haven’t ordered their album, and you lose money that way, so take the time sit down with them. Don’t do that think – work emails back and forth… because then are just sending you a list of changes. You can make the changes right there in front of them. I use on the Alpha Designer… it’s amazing, it’s fast they just see the page… I make changes and they see an update on their screen. In addition they’re also understanding what it’s like to make changes, and they started seeing what looks good, what doesn’t look good and their changes are less because of it. And then finally create packages that make sense for your clients, my clients a lot of people in Manhattan… a lot of people in North Jersey… they don’t have a lot of wall space, so i’m not selling huge 35-40 metal prints or anything like that. We are getting off at the next stop so I gotta hurry this up…. By the way, don’t think that you have to stop when you have maxed out the number of pages that can go into the albums. I’ve been doing two volume albums all year… it’s been great, they don’t have to… my goals not like to be like this is going to work great for you… you should really have this many pages in your album. No, my job is to guide them towards whatever story they want to tell and however they can tell it, with whatever budget that they have. We are getting off and remember it’s not about selling albums remember… that is about how you finish telling the story that you’ve started to create for your clients for their wedding day. Ok we got to get out of here we gotta go to Adorama. Thanks for joining me on this 10-week marketing course here on AdoramaTV. Make sure you subscribe… hit the belt so you don’t miss a thing. Don’t forget to leave comments, tell me how these things are working for you, or aren’t working for you, and I will do my best to answer them.. give you new suggestions, and really follow along this entire course. So leave a comment… hold the hate, cuz very frankly you’re somebody that I don’t know, and you’re taking shots at me like its patron.. I ain’t trying to mess with your self-expression… but I learned a lesson that’s stressing and obsessing about somebody else is no fun!

25 Replies to “DO you NEED TO SELL printed products as a photographer? | Breathe Your Passion with Vanessa Joy”

  1. Never thought about doing albums for pet photography but that's something I'm going to think about. I was toying with the idea of calendars. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  2. Thank you so much for posting this video on your series. A lot of its photographers are really good at what we do we are just very ignorant sales and marketing size we often do not know where to start. Many photographers who have been in business already are there reluctance to share what they have gone through and what works for them now to create a business plan. How to create packages thank you so much for posting the city on you Siri. A lot of us photographers are really good at what we do we are just very ignorant to the sales and marketing side. We often do not know where to start. Many photographers who have been in business already are very reluctant to share what they have gone through and what works cuz them now to create a business plan. How to create packages. How many images are two much for too little for an average package. what company do you use to create these packages and prints? Is there a service that integrates with your website so that you and the customers can look in order together? A lot of these questions no one already established is willing to share so I become quite frustrated, in addition to learning my craft and getting started. So, for me ( as well as trying to work around a fulltime job), I don't have all the answers and just do what is most controllable-shoot and charge for the service time. Appreciate you and your sharing this.

  3. I am selling print products but not super successfully. I could definitely pre-design albums to kick this process into high gear.

  4. All my wedding packages include/require an album! I got tired of getting emails a year later saying, "My computer crashed and I lost all my images! Can you resend them?"
    Portrait work, I try to sell product but have yet to sell an album. Usually, I sell 8×12 and smaller prints and that's typically for family sessions.

  5. This was great Vanessa. I do have album in my all collections. I see that you always use simple design for your albums. What's your take on contemporary designs? Like this:

  6. Amazing! We do offer albums in our packages and they have different styles so clients can choose the best one for them story.

  7. Literally every client I've worked with has stated explicitly that they only wanted digital files. And since I'm not the best at sales pitches, I've never tried to convince them that they should get an album through me.

  8. Love you V!! So heres my question….. After you predesign with x amount more images and spreads in the design from their contract…. Exactly how do you word the presentation when presenting them the design….. " hey heres your design but i added extra stuff for x amount more " i know thats not what you say but just putting it sort of perspective for you to go off of… Basically, How do you present the design via email without being slimy… ( this is question is for online based sales " not in person meetings") scenario.. destination clients.

  9. Agree but the prints or albums are a totally different or extra product. In addition to, as you mention some sort of theme basis.
    Great perspective in this recommendation.

  10. Love how you filmed in the environment, ie… car, train. Can’t wait to see what’s next!
    If I still drank, I would take a shot with you guys.. lol

  11. Thanks for sharing. Please dont do your next video in the subway. For me as I dont have english as my native language its kind of difficult to understand with background noise and a very fast speak. 🙂

  12. I don’t have time your client has all the time in the world to make there own album choices. wedding shoots are occasional work for me, often they are for commercial or advertising clients meaning weekend weddings are in addition to a minimum of five working days. They get a digital only package delivered as a zip via hightail spaces. I provide links to high quality album brands and leave them to make the album if they want to. Time is money, if you are spending 3 hours with each client dotted throughout the year besides the time spent narrowing down the finals plus any pre wedding meetings emails and phone calls you are at some point working for less than your time is worth wether you’re outsourcing album design or not. Work smarter not harder.

  13. I LOVE curating and designing albums. I'm not great on selling them though. I usually do an album push at the end of the year (Christmas time) and have gotten sales that way. I would ADORE if every client purchased an album though. I will definitely try pre-designing more this year.

  14. Thank you for this series! I’m starting my photography business after 14 years as an Army photographer. It’s great to hear all of this advice at the beginning of my journey! I’ve already made some mistakes with buying some wrong gear (i.e. old Canon flashes that weren’t RT, never knew there was a difference). Your experience is helping me make better choices from the start and I can’t thank you enough! I’ll start wedding as a second shooter soon, but I’ll keep in mind offering custom albums to clients for the future.

    What print service do you use? I’m thinking about going with Mpix, but I want to run print tests before settling.

  15. How do you keep clients from wanting to combine 2 spreads worth of images into one spread to save money? When I predesign my albums they always want to keep all the images but squeeze them into the number of pages that was in their original package.

  16. Nice video, editing & presentation. Vanessa knows her job and she is amazing true professional because that what people do, share their knowledge with other people to improve and make better the industry of photography. Bravo! We want to see more from you.

  17. I decided after the last wedding I shot, the up front money includes an album or I don't shoot the wedding. I've eliminated a lot of jobs that weren't going to make me any money as they had all of their friends iPhone pics so didn't need to spend money for my expensive prints they could get at Walmart from their friends.

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