SO MUCH OF THE work you put in as a photographer involves attracting your client to place their trust in your business in the first place. Photography is a hugely competitive business and they will have had a lot of other options, but they chose to come to you and you’ve obviously done an excellent job promoting your services.
If you’re good at what you do then your client should be pleased with the results you give them, but having done the hard part in winning their custom in the first place why would you then let them walk away without at least showing them how their precious pictures might look if they’re presented in the right way? In particular, albums will ensure that the quality of printing is under your control and will be top notch, while the pictures will be used in such a way that they complement one another and running order is likewise taken care of in a fully professional way.
Of course, there’s a multitude of album designs to choose from and a long list of suppliers, and it’s crucial to do a thorough trawl and to find products that suit your approach, price points and will appeal to the audience you’re targeting. Many photographers adopt a select number of albums and make these their brand offerings, and the crucial thing is to have examples of these on hand to show clients who are coming in to book with you, since nothing sells better than sumptuous examples of what you can offer.
Don’t be tempted to go cheap since albums can be seen as a luxury item and priced accordingly. Those produced for key events such as weddings, landmark birthdays and anniversaries will become heirlooms, so they need to look the part and you can still afford to factor in a healthy profit margin once you’ve covered your production costs. People will not blink at the price so long as the quality is self-evident and they’re not being hard sold to.
We caught up with a selection of companies showing off their latest products at the recent Photography Show at the NEC, and all them were doing great business talking to professional visitors who were eager to encounter and try out new lines and to find out more.
One of the leaders in the wedding album market is Graphistudio, and the company was showing off its brand new Tramontina Collection. Consisting of a variety of books, albums, a portrait box and wall art, the theme flowing throughout the collection is that of Italian style and timeless design.
Not only is there considerable scope within the collection to choose products that ideally suit particular sections of your audience, but there’s also a good back story to pass on to clients as well, since everything is created using sustainable and ecofriendly materials, which is coupled with exquisite printing quality.
Particular stand out products within the range include the Magnolia Book, which comes in its own bespoke box, the Wild Rose Mini Parent Book, a lavish coffee table book and framed prints destined for the wall. The Tramontina Collection now joins an existing array of display products offered by Graphistudio, and full details of all of these can be found by visiting the company’s website.
On a slightly different tack but still very much a classic presentation product, Plastic Sandwich’s gorgeous bespoke leather portfolios and presentation and display books are a perfect way to showcase a chosen selection of your prints to clients, whether you’re delivering work or pitching for fresh business.
Plastic Sandwich’s print books are made from a single piece of top grain 3mm hide with a softly shaped spine. The back is reinforced with a panel with or without a pocket for cards, giving
the book rigidity without it losing its style. Meanwhile the binding is a screw and post system, which allows very easy access for adding and removing the pages in a matter of moments. All Plastic Sandwich’s books are handmade and bespoke to any size or format in a choice of colours, and it’s possible for a name or logo to be debossed in either the company’s house lettering or from personalised supplied artwork.
In terms of displaying prints, a good solution would be Plastic Sandwich’s archival polyester sleeves, which allow for easy editing when showing a left- and right-hand image. Alternatively prints can also be punched and scored and then placed straight into the portfolio.
Prices for a 10x8in print book start at £150, with extra portfolio sleeves available at £1.80 each, with A4 at £210 (sleeves £2.28), 14x11in at £270 (sleeves £3), A3 £330 (sleeves £4.32), A3+ £354 (sleeves £5.40) and A2 £420 (sleeves £6.60). If required names and logos can be added for £42 (standard font) and £76.80 (lettering of choice).
Technology has come a long way in recent years and one of the most original and innovative displays at the NEC was from TalkingPrint, who were demonstrating a variety of animated products, including their clever StoryBooks range.
Attending a trade show made a lot of sense, because you only get the full effect by seeing ‘video in print’ in action. What looks like a conventional book reveals on opening to be a built-in screen complete with audio and fast forward and rewind options, and those ordering the products can upload their chosen content, be that a slideshow of stills set to music or a video, via a Mini USB input, which also serves to
recharge the built-in battery.
It’s possible you might have come across the company through its appearance on Dragon’s Den, but up to now much of the focus has been on promotional products for companies such as Disney, British Gas, Screwfix, Shell and Sony. However, the concept is now being introduced to professional photographers, with the idea that it could be the perfect way to present such things as wedding pictures and video, portrait sessions and even special events, such as presentations, birthdays and anniversary parties.
In terms of costing, these products aren’t as expensive as you might imagine, with prices starting at £45 a unit for unbranded albums and £55 for those that have been personalised. The built-in battery can supply two hours of power and there’s 4GB of memory on board to ensure you can load them up with plenty of content. Given the ingenuity of a creative community such as photographers, the chances are that new and unusual uses will be found for the format and they are guaranteed to intrigue and engage an audience that probably will never have seen anything quite like it before.
Check out the website to see the full range of available products and perhaps order up a couple of samples to show clients going forward. It’s the same for any promotional products you might be considering adding to your offering.
Talking about what you can provide is one thing, but actually showing and demonstrating your line-up is another altogether, and it will always be a more convincing sell for the client and will inevitably gain you more sales.
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