Sample albums work to entice your wedding clients to purchase a wedding album of their own, or a larger collection that includes an album. Before accepting no for an answer about an album purchase, be sure your clients aren’t picturing a cheap consumer album or a vinyl relic with pictures in clear plastic pages like their parents got a generation ago. It might surprise you to know that many couples these days have not actually seen a modern, professional wedding album or held one in their hands, as their family or close friends who have gotten married may not have gone with a full service photographer who creates albums.
The best way to fill in the imagination gap is to put your sample album in their hands. Don’t make them imagine it or try to get by with some pictures of an album. They’ll want to feel and smell the leather cover, turn the thick pages and see how superbly the digital image can look on the printed page Do not take for granted that everyone already knows what a real professional wedding album is like.
Aside from just the tactile experience of leafing through a quality wedding album, the other selling point of an album is its story telling nature. Remind your clients that while you may deliver several hundred images after their wedding, by themselves they are just a collection of images. Their thoughtful selection and arrangement are what turn them into a narrative in much the same way that musical notes can be turned into your favorite song.
Here are five tips for making sample albums that work for you.
- Show what you sell. Don’t make your clients imagine something that’s bigger or smaller, or have a different kind of cover. Have samples of each type of photo album you sell so you can put it in their hands and say “this is the album that comes with my Celebration Collection”
- Call attention to the design style. Whether it’s a simple one image per side, or a multi-layered design with images blending into one another, be sure your clients are clear on what they are getting. When such things are not clearly spelled out people tend to fill in the gaps in their own mind, which can lead to unmet expectations, a potential headache for you, and unhappy clients.
- Show images from a single wedding. While it’s tempting to show only the most amazing shots from multiple weddings for a killer sample, doing so conflicts with the storytelling nature of an album and can actually make it harder for your clients to connect the dots and decide to invest in an album. Save the best-of approach for a slideshow on a screen. It’s easier to update and you can better prepare to show images your client can relate to based on the details of their own event, such as if they are planning a large church wedding or an intimate outdoor affair.
- Show lots of details and go easy on the family groups. Remember, your bride is in the midst of choosing everything from shoes and jewelry to centerpieces, place cards and deserts. Going just a little heavy on detail shots in your sample is sure to draw extra interest. Sprinkle in just enough family and bridal party portraits to show your skill at arranging and lighting groups.
- Sell by the image, not the page. No one ever got confused about how many images go in a 75-image album. Selling albums by the image thwarts the bride who thinks she can put 180 shots in her 25-page album. A modest amount of images as your base album suggests what is realistic and a simple suggestion that “you can always add more images at $X per image” leaves the door open for upsells.