How do you present your final photographs to your client? How you present them says a lot about you. Do you take the cheapest way possible to save money? Or do you spend a little extra to present something your clients can’t get anywhere else.
If you shop at Wal-Mart, you expect the cheapest plastic bag possible at the checkout. You’re there to save money, and you don’t want to spend anything more than absolutely necessary.
But if you go to Tiffany’s, how it’s presented is almost as important as what is inside the box. If you give a Tiffany’s gift, you can present it in the box and in the bag it comes from the store in, knowing the recipient will squeal with delight when they see that light blue color.
How are you presenting your images? And what value do they have in the eyes of your client?
Does a CD truly portray value in your photography? Or is it the cheapest presentation possible? Even if you create a custom insert in the jewel case, and etch the CD with your logo, they don’t get to experience your images upon receipt.
While a CD may be a great addition to a large package order, it should always be presented as an afterthought. You want people to look at your photography and experience the artwork – not have to take it home and pop it into their computer.
A stack of loose prints has low value to a client. They receive a stack of loose prints from the big box store. Yes, they may love the images, but by presenting them in a stack, they can shove them in a drawer, touch them with dirty fingers, and bend them by throwing them on a desk.
Cardboard folders have been around for decades. It’s a great way to add value to an image, and give the customer a better way to temporarily display it, and hand it out to family and friends that have placed orders. It’s also a step up from a loose print, and can be used to combine a two or three images, similar to what sports photographers give when presenting a group and individual image.
Many professional labs will take loose prints and mount them to a variety of materials, including mat board, foam board, masonite and styrene. We presented every image that left our studio 8×10 size or larger on mat board with gold or silver toned beveled edges. It added weight and substance to an image, taking away the bendability of it. It also added class and style, and made the print more valuable than a loose paper print.
A canvas print on your enlargements adds style and texture to the image. You can wrap it, where the image goes around to the side of the image, making it hangable without being framed. While canvas once was synonymous with professional, these days you can get canvas at big box stores and even places like FedEx Office.
Instead of printing on canvas, why not add edge to your final images and try metal prints. Metal prints are infused into specially coated aluminum sheets, and displayed in a variety of ways. Metal is more difficult to find at the consumer grade, so it does offer more value to you the professional.
We had a policy in our studio that automatically bumped up our sales of large images. Any image that left our studio 11×14 size or larger was guaranteed for life if it left mounted and framed. If they took it to another location to be mounted and framed, there were no guarantees. If you frame it, you can match the frame to the image, and give it a richer look and feel. And of course add in more profit to your bottom line.
When you look for albums, choose albums that cater to the professional level, and aren’t available at a consumer grade. This give them a reason to find more value in what you do. And take it to the next level by designing an album with their images first before you present the “proofs” to your client. You are the photographer; you are the expert. You know best how you photographed an event, and how the images are meant to be placed together. Try album builder software, such as the Album Builder from Fundy.
Instead of sending your clients out the door with an envelope filled with images, invest in branded packaging instead. (Think Tiffany’s) From boxes, to bags, to tissue paper and ribbons, you can get just about everything in different colors and styles, and branded with your logo and tagline.