When it comes to album lines, our studio has been through many different brands. Ultimately, we have found that in order to connect with your clientele, you need to offer a variety of albums that are not only amazing quality, but unique in every single way. One of the biggest drawbacks for photographers in selling physical products is that they do not understand that your products have to be as unique as your photography. If you are showing the same black leather album as all of your competitors, then you are not giving yourself an advantage when a client is choosing between you and your competitors. Albums are not all created equal. In fact, the medium you choose to display your work will actually contribute to the value of your brand as a whole. Put your work on a mundane, boring, or poorly constructed product, and your imagery will also look boring, mundane, or poorly executed. Over the years, our studio has seen massive success because we focus on not only creating unique imagery along with excellent customer service, but because we offer quality products that make our brand stand out.
For our studio, along with many others, success hasn’t come easy. In fact, we did not start seeing success until we adopted the mindset that our deliverables, specifically, our client’s wedding albums, are heirlooms, and something that will be with a family for generations to come. When it came time for choosing an album company, we needed a lab that would provide albums that are extremely high quality, and provided perfect customer service. If you are struggling right now to make a living at photography, I can promise you it’s because you are not adopting the mindset that you are delivering more than just images to your clients. You are telling their story, and a story needs a medium to be told. If you are currently selling digital products only to your clients, you are not offering them enough value to make your brand stand out, and ultimately one of your competitors are, which is why you may be struggling to book new business.
Now it’s no secret that we use Signature Collection Albums in our wedding line. The albums are handmade, and provide quality that is second to none. When adding SCA to our Renaissance Collection, we saw our album sales go through the roof. That is no accident. Sure, SCA is one of the highest quality albums on the market, and in turn, the books are expensive, but do you really want to be delivering cheap products to your clients? This is business, and you have to spend money to make money. If you think that pretty photos are enough to deliver to your clients, talk to many of the “artists” who do this part time because they can’t afford to leave their day job. I don’t mean this to sound condescending, I am trying to teach you (with a bit of tough love) that your clients are not going to spend big money for poor quality. Would you as a consumer?
In talking to photographers all around the country about their business, I always hear the same thing, they want to be perceived as a high-end brand, like the Louis Vuitton of photography. However, when it comes to investing in products for their clients, I hear things like “too expensive,” or “I use (insert big name lab) because I get the books in 2 days.” The problem with a large lab is that their album lines are made for volume, meaning by machine and they are never as good of quality as a hand made book. If you doubt this last statement, you haven’t seen handmade albums from SCA in person.
Let’s be honest, you are not going to see album sales that allow you to make a good living when you are offering your clients books that are peel and stick made in China.
In every industry, there will always be a game changer
Last week, we got our hands on the new SoHo line from Signature Collection Albums. The SoHo line is SCA’s new high end, hand-made book aimed for clients who are looking for a fine-art feel to their album product.
This book gets away from the current flush mount trend in the industry by offering a book that is printed on Canson BFK Rives fine-art paper. Those of you who enter your work into print competition know that this is the paper that most professionals use to showcase their work in front of some of the most respected artists in the photography industry. There is a reason that most labs don’t print albums on this paper; it’s high quality and expensive, so to keep margins down, they offer standard photographic papers.
Your clients want more. Think about it, every photographer they have visited before you has offered the same album lines. Your brand needs to be unique in every way, not just with the photography, but with your product lines as well.
Our Los Angeles Wedding Photography studio does a lot of volume, and in the past week, the feedback that we have gotten from our brides and portrait clients has been amazing. Not only do our current clients love it, but our past clients have made purchase requests.
I am not a fortune teller, but I can predict that this book is going to help our studio make a lot of money.
When it comes to selling products in photography (and all business for that matter), you have to offer a win-win proposition to your clients. In order to be a high end brand, you have to offer high-end products that are unique in every way.
If you are not currently offering albums, or if you would like to sell this as an upgrade like we are doing, first you need your sample, scroll to the bottom of this article for a special offer from SCA to get one of these into your hands.
Once you have your sample in hand, I suggest creating post wedding packages that offer this album, along with a collection of fine-art prints for your clients. Selling books is about creating a value proposition. If you are not currently selling physical products, I recommend watching this course on CreativeLive. I can honestly tell you that this simple course changed my entire life, and is the foundation that we built our business on, but a word of warning coming directly from the instructor, if you want solid results from it, “Don’t jack with the recipe.” You need to follow it 100% otherwise you will not see the same success that we have had from it.