Anna Blackman explains why we can sell albums.
Anna Blackman makes the wedding album work for her on several different levels, beginning with a tactile experience that is impossible to refuse.
“It’s all about the tactile experience. Once they have the album in their hands and I seem them stroking the cover and feeling the weight of the pages, I know I have them! They smell the leather, touch the art paper and they want to own an album.”
Anna has a number of different album designs, some with pressed cotton pages, others with interesting cover designs. “They are different to the print-on-demand photo books you can get online for $50. They have to be, otherwise the clients will think they can do it themselves.
“A lot of photographers don’t make sample albums to show their clients because they think the albums will cost a lot of money and they are a pain to put together, but my view is that every album I send out brings me in more clients.
“A DVD won’t bring you in lots of referrals, it just sits in a drawer after being shown on television a couple of times. In comparison, an album is handed around and, being a tactile experience, people love to look at them.” Function Centre “I met a lady 18 years ago who ran a function centre. She said she despised wedding photographers because they always arrived late with the bride and groom, the food would spoil because of the delay, and not once had a photographer sent her a photo of her reception centre. “So, I made sure the bride and groom arrived on time and I gave her some photos. I also gave her an album which included photos of her function centre, and now she sells me for free. In fact, I get around 25 per cent of my weddings through her and all it has cost me is a new album every two to three years.
“Why can’t every wedding photographer just choose one venue to be nice to and give it a go? Show them how great their venue looks, do some free shoots for them and build a relationship. I help my friend by doing her advertising and promotional photographs for free, and why wouldn’t I when those photographs are also going to help sell me?
Customer service isn’t just about being nice to customers, but to other suppliers in the game as well. And an album, well, it is the centerpiece of all these relationships.
Anna Blackman is an AIPP Master of Photography who runs a successful boutique wedding studio near Wollongong, NSW. www.annablackman.com.au