Albums can be one of the largest profit centers for both wedding and portrait photography, or it can be a logistical nightmare, overloading even the most dedicated photographer. Digital albums can be both a blessing and a curse. We are free to design whatever we or the client wants, but we are also the design studio.
As the first in a series of articles on wedding album design, we have Andrew “Fundy” Funderburg starting us off with some ideas on helping you increase profits and decrease your work load in an ever difficult business climate.
Elegant, profitable wedding albums
© Finao Albums
Clean and Simple Sells
When digital albums first came out, everyone jumped to put as many flurries, borders and backgrounds as we could on the page. It was natural, some of these things were cool, some of them were painful to look at. The end result was simply, we were spending a lot of time designing busy-looking albums.
Look at any high end studio, or any album that wins the WPPI grand awards. The albums are simple, clean, elegant. There aren’t too many images on a spread, usually just 2-5 on average, with a spread of detail shots being the only exception.
The added bonus for photographers is that it actually takes less time to design clean, elegant albums. So, not only will clean designs sell better, they will take you less time to design, helping the bottom line of your business.
Wedding album credit over wedding albums
Having wedding albums as a driving force of your studio means that clients need to have the option to upgrade their albums. Albums are nothing like wedding albums even 5 years ago. The number of cover options available today, along with album sizes and paper choices, means that albums can cost photographers anywhere from $100 to $1000. That is cost to the photographer. Each client will have different needs and different wants.
If our packages include a 30 page 10”x10” album, that is what the client will want and what the client will expect. If we then show clients cool metal covers and larger sizes, they’ll feel like something isn’t right. They want the cool stuff, but your package only includes the regular stuff.
The answer is album credit. Each wedding package includes more and more album credit. You can explain that this credit will get the clients into the basic wedding albums, but gives them the option to upgrade to the cool metal covers and extra pages. Credit doesn’t lock them into any particular album. It frees them up to make decisions based on their needs. And it frees us up, as photographers, to tailor our albums to specific clients. We put our blood and soul into photographing weddings, we want to show off our talent in the best light possible.
Share what most people are doing
It’s very rare that clients know what most people are doing in wedding albums today. Many of their friends were married a few years ago. They don’t know what the options are today and, while they see some cool stuff, they don’t know what most people are doing. Let them know.
Let them know with phrases like, “this is our most popular leather this year,” or “most of our brides are getting the 12×18” horizontal album.” Brides and grooms are looking for your expert opinions.
The same thing can be said for portrait clients. Portrait albums are becoming more and more popular among clients and most clients know about the cheaper Costco or iPhoto books. Yet many of them have never seen an elegant, leather-bound portrait album. Make sure to have some leather bound and cloth bound portrait albums in at least three sizes. I prefer 5×5, 8×8 and 10×10 albums. The Finao Elements series is great, because the minimum number of pages is 10, versus 20 with most albums.
Thank you for your time, and here’s to a great 2011.
Andrew “Fundy” Funderburg
Fundy is the creator of both the Fundy Album Builder (2011 Hot One Award Winner) and the Fundy Album Proofer, among other solutions. Learn more or download the free trial at www.fundysos.com