Photography: The Finishing Touch

Photography is a competitive business and when you find yourself bidding for wedding and portrait work against a wide selection of other professionals it’s tempting sometimes to look at cutting corners to be able to offer a more competitive quote. In this digital age one of the simplest things to do is to offer to simply shoot a wedding and then hand over the files on a memory stick, but if you choose to walk away from the finishing stage you not only turn your back on some good profit margin but you also run the risk that your client will present your work in a way that undersells your skills, potentially undermining your reputation.

Upselling your product

In an ideal world what you want to be doing is to be in control of the printing of your files, so that you’re in control of your post processing and can work with a pro lab that works to a high standard. Contrary to opinion held in some parts neither classic photo albums nor photo frames have gone out of fashion, but what has happened is that clients now believe they can use the power of the Internet to source these products direct, saving money in the process. Your job is to convince them that this isn’t the case, and that the result you can offer is way superior to anything they could do themselves.

Leading By Example

It’s all very well to talk the talk and to promise a client a fantastic end result, but there is only one sure fire way to clinch the deal and that’s by showing examples of what you can do. It’s a little like a salesperson trying to persuade a customer to invest in a UHD TV: they can wax lyrical about the viewing experience, but it’s only by demonstrating quite how good the set actually is in the flesh that the sale will be made. So you need to do the same. Talk about the quality of your photo frames and classic photo albums by all means but make a point of having a good selection on display so that your client can experience the product in the flesh.

Choosing your product

Tastes can vary extensively and different albums and frames will work better with particular styles of picture, so you need to have a selection of products on hand with which to wow your client. Kenro has a wide selection of products to suit every taste and, as a wholesale provider, is ideally placed to service professional customers with high quality products that have an exclusive feel. Take a look at the line up on the website and you’ll get a feel for what available.

Classic Photo Albums

On the album front there’s a wide choice of bespoke wedding albums, ranging from the White Satin Series, also suitable for occasions such as the arrival of a new baby. The Memo version of the album offers a facility for prints to be slipped in so that they can be updated if required, while the traditional album comes with white tissue interleaved photoboard pages, with prints held in place by photo corners or adhesive tabs. There’s even a White Satin Guest Book to complete the line-up, enabling a highly professional family of offerings.

Fabulous Photo Frames

Similarly Kenro offers a huge choice of photo frames to the professional, and it’s very much an individual’s decision on what to go for. The Whisper Series, for example, is a family of stylish black frames with a generous border and a 5mm polished silver surround that comes in a choice of four sizes, so a bride and groom could order matching but smaller versions of their own prints for parents and bridesmaids.

Another good choice could be the Strata Modern Series, modern and stylish metal photo frames that are finished in either plain white or black and with ornamental chrome studs on the front glass. These are for small prints – 10x15cm (6x4ins) or 13x18cm (7x5ins) - so they’re inexpensive to buy wholesale but can carry a decent profit margin for the professional.

Think out of the box…

Meanwhile the Tundra series of frames are finished in classic black and come in a variety of sizes up to A1 (594x841cm/23.4x33.1ins) and there are even multi print inserts available to enable a selection of images to be featured. This opens up all kinds of interesting possibilities, since you could offer a bride and groom a selection of images at different sizes in the same frame, while parents might appreciate a series of pictures of their new baby or even a selection of shots covering the child’s year from arrival to first birthday. You simply need to have your commercial head on and think carefully about the best way to market the products available to you.

Show them off

Crucially what you need to do is to have whatever products you decide to use on display in a natural way. So if clients come to your home have the frames displayed around the room you’ll be conducting your business in, so that it’s possible to see how effective they will look.

Don’t be afraid to mix frames up so that there are different models on view and be prepared to have a carefully tailored selection in stock so you can offer different frames for different clients. Someone booking a portrait session, for example, might well have very different requirements from a couple hiring you for wedding photography. A set of pictures of a child, meanwhile, might look better in informal, brightly coloured frames, while a portrait of a couple celebrating a Golden Wedding could well need to be more conservative.

Create a line

If you’re sourcing albums and frames for your business you will need to choose your lines and then present them as the choice of your studio. If you’re too random and give your customers too many choices the danger is that you will confuse them and they will be unable to make a decision. Pick a series of albums and frames that you feel complement your work and the area of photography you’re operating in and then market them through your studio and website as though they are exclusive to your brand. The idea is that they become part of the package you’re offering and if you have examples of the product to show a client at the booking stage then you have a far higher chance of encouraging them to place an order.