Wedding photography – products delivered to clients
I often get asked what album company I use, and what other products I offer my clients. When I first set up my business as a wedding photographer, I was completely green when it came to branding, marketing, as well as the products I could deliver to my clients. Albums, prints, cards, canvases, and all sorts of deliverables I could offer.
I was overwhelmed by all the options I found at the various photography trade shows. So many album companies and print labs. Without much of an idea of branding and consistency, this overwhelming variety of options carried over into me initially offering a 6 different album options to potential clients. I thought it would be a great idea to let clients choose. Then they could choose a wedding album according to their taste (and budget).
This was a big mistake, for two main reasons: Wedding clients look towards you as the wedding photographer / vendor, to offer them the best choice. Show them what you think is the best option … with maybe one or two alternatives on offer. With 6 different album companies that I offered, the clients were as confused and overwhelmed as I was at the trade shows – there’s just too much going on!
The other big mistake in offering too wide a variety, is that it dilutes your brand. It diffuses who you are aiming to be, and the level of service that you want to offer. I knew my own talent, and the style that I wanted to achieve and perfect – clean, classic lines. Simplicity in composition, and elegant lighting. The products that I wanted to deliver to clients, had to match that vision.
The upshot of this was that within two years of starting, I had stripped down the options to the best album company I had been using – PictoBooks. Superb quality and superb binding.
Their customer service is tops as well – a few times I have made a mistake in ordering, they contacted me the next day to question it, and confirm whether I really wanted it the way I had ordered it, or if I had made a mistake. It really helps when your vendors are on your side to help offer a fluent service to your own clients in turn.
With PictoBooks I settled on three lines – and those are all that I offer in terms of album options. All just from the one company. The albums look great, and I can proudly offer them to my clients.
Oh, another benefit to keeping things simple, is that the ordering process is now consistent. You become familiar with it, and this speeds up your workflow. Compare this to the convoluted setup, ordering through six different companies, and having to get used to each one in turn again.
The photo above is of a sample album – I left off the names and wedding date so that the album remains contemporary.
Delivering the digital files
For a while I delivered the digital files on a Lightscribe disc – a DVD with an image of my clients on the front. It looked pretty sexy! But with the changes in technology, clients now prefer a USB memory stick.
I now use this elegant looking wooden USB thumb drive by USB Memory Direct. They will add your logo or any other kind of branding on it. Check them out – they offer a large variety in USB drives. I settled on the bamboo look. Elegant. It has a bright and airy feel.
The USB memory stick option is also faster to do than burning DVDs (and the image on the reverse side). The faster workflow is always welcome.
Press-printed products – Thank you cards & Bookmarks
I use the textured linen paper for a luxurious feel to the cards.
With the thank you cards, I have an image in the front. The inside might have text, or just an image, or be left blank.
It is a nice keep-sake, and less likely to be thrown away like a business card would.
Press-printed products – Signing books
For the signing books, I use Miller’s.
I once had to get a signing book ordered in a very short time. They came through with less than 3 days from ordering to having the album delivered to my doorstep! Insanely fast.
As you can see, I don’t offer a myriad of products. My pricing and info that I show to clients during consultation, aren’t loaded with options. I have kept it simple and streamlined – but have aligned myself with quality products that I offer my clients.
Let us know which vendors you use, and why you prefer them.