How do your photographs leave your studio?
Do you pile the paper prints in a box or envelope?
Do you frame your images?
Or do you do a combination of the two?
It may seem like framing will actually put you into an entirely different category of business – you’ll end up with a frame studio AND a portrait studio. But in reality, it will actually turn you into a better photographer, and make your photography more valuable, and thus more profitable for you.
And its not just your large images – this can apply to every image, from a 4×5 on up.
When a person orders photographs through a consumer grade lab – think Walmart, Costco, etc – they receive an envelope filled with prints. The prints are easily bendable, and easily compromised. Try laying an envelope of photos in with your normal grocery items – it’s easy to bend or destroy them through the moisture on frozen or liquid items. And because they are basically paper, that’s how a consumer treats them. And how they value them.
If you take it up a notch, not only are you giving your customer a better quality image, but they’ll treat the image differently. Early on in our business, we made the decision to mount every photograph we sold as a loose print, 5×7 or higher. Almost every professional lab offers different mounting services, which will add stability to your images, and give your images a clean, finished appearance.
We also recommended every print 5×7 or higher leave our studio framed and ready for display. Do a search in Google, and you’ll come up with a variety of framing options. And if you’re selling frames on all of your images, inventory will move quickly in and out of your studio. Just make sure you aren’t choosing frames readily available at discount stores – you want something different than they will ever find on their own.
Want to make the framing option seem even better? Offer a guarantee. Any image mounted and framed by us would be guaranteed for life. So if you’re moving and the movers drop your framed portrait and damage the frame and the image, bring it back and we’ll replace it for free.
That’s how you set yourself apart from the discount stores, or the chain photography studios. You can offer customer service beyond anything in their power. And increase your profits accordingly.