Business + Marketing

How Offering Albums Can Boost Your Photo Business

November 5, 2018

By Anna Nguyen Stratton

All Photos © Zee Anna Photography

The key to selling albums is showcasing your best work and telling your client’s story beautifully.

Before selling albums, I was stressed out and overworked, shooting as many weddings as I could and traveling all over the country. I didn’t have any free time and I wasn’t seeing the financial growth in my business that I wanted to. I knew something needed to change.

In 2016, I had my own wedding and decided to design a personal album, which turned out to be a transformational decision for me. When I received my wedding album, held it in my hands and pored over its pages, I absolutely fell in love with it. I knew right then and there that I really had to put in the effort to offer albums to my clients. I wanted everyone to have the experience of holding their own love story in their hands, and so in 2017 I began to get serious about offering albums to each and every client.

In the last year, I’ve seen a growth of 24 percent in revenue once I implemented album sales and since July 2017, I have sold 22 albums. In the past year, 23 percent of our clients from the past two years have purchased albums after seeing how beautiful they are, and I now shoot 25 to 30 weddings a year rather than 40 to 55. I no longer worry about booking my next wedding. I can shoot a wedding for $5,000 and sell an album for $3,000 so that the whole experience is $8,000. Before, that would have meant shooting two weddings. Clients truly value the album as much as they do the service.

Not only has offering albums allowed me to streamline my business and grow financially, it has given me the opportunity to create something truly valuable that my clients absolutely adore. I enjoy my business more now that I sell albums, and creating them has given me the opportunity to become a better photographer. When you know the end goal in your business is offering albums to your clients, you begin to shoot for their story, which is then cherished in their families for generations. It’s an incredible feeling. If you are thinking of offering albums to your clients, I highly encourage it. Here are some valuable tips to get you started.


Have Samples

It’s really important that clients are able to see just how breathtaking wedding albums are and that they have the capacity to tell a couple’s unique story. You want to showcase your best work, so take the time to design the most beautiful album you can. If you’re meeting in person, let your clients hold an album in their hands and sift through its pages. If you’re selling virtually, make sure your clients can see the album and envision what their own album can look like. Keep your choices simple and make your sample album as big as possible. I sell the following size formats: 10 x 10 or 12 x 8 inches (ideal for parent or portrait sessions), 12 x 12 or 14 x 10 inches (the most popular size among brides and grooms), and 14 x 14 or 16 x 12 inches (the most popular size for show-stopping pieces). The 12 x 8, 14 x 10 and 16 x 12 formats are my favorites, with 14 x 10 and 16 x 12 being my most popular sizes. I offer wood, acrylic, leather and linen albums, and my average volume is 80 pages. I sell 80 percent of my albums virtually, so don’t be afraid to hop onto Skype or Zoom to show clients an album.

Prep the Client

Get into the habit of managing expectations from the very beginning and be sure to plant the seed of a printed product at the very first inquiry. Ask your client, “How do you want to enjoy your photographs?” and, “Where would you like your photographs to live?” This gets them thinking beyond digital files. No one loves scrolling through hundreds of photographs on a phone, and if photographs are left on a USB drive in a drawer somewhere, it’s highly likely they will be left there forever. Explain to your clients how valuable it is to invest in print and continually mention albums in every conversation you have.

The Sooner You Get the Album Order, the Better

Weddings are such emotional events. Get your clients in for their design session soon after. It keeps the excitement up and the wedding blues at bay, which usually results in a sale and an overall better experience for your client. I try to get all of the photographs back within four weeks.

Limit how many album choices you offer so your clients don’t feel overwhelmed.

Show Only What You Want to Sell

Your clients are coming to you for your artistry and aesthetic. They need your guidance and expertise when making choices about their albums. It’s imperative that you’re passionate about what you’re selling. Make sure to take the time to really think about what kinds of albums you love and show clients only those. If you think a certain size is too small to showcase your photography, don’t include it in your collection. Passion sells, so make sure you love what you are selling.

Limit Your Album Offerings

Your clients will feel overwhelmed by too many choices. Less is more. I showcase four album lines, but in design sessions I recommend only two. Don’t be afraid to take the reins and really guide your clients in making a choice that best reflects their style. Your clients will welcome both the simplicity of your offerings and the guidance.

Bring Your Albums to Each Wedding Consultation

Don’t assume that people have seen your work online and remember that your best work is always represented in print. Try to get your albums into as many hands as possible and remember that it’s okay if a client doesn’t order an album right away or decides in the end not to order one at all. You’re going to have no sales or small sales sometimes, and this is totally normal. The intention for selling albums should always be to provide the ultimate experience through service and art for your clients.

Reach Out to Past Clients

If there are past clients you would love to make an album for, reach out to them and ask them what they have done with their wedding photographs. Tell them that you would love to design their wedding album and invite them to a design session.

Pre-Design Your Wedding Albums

You are the expert and your clients are relying on you to guide them. When your clients come into the design consultation, make sure that you have an album already designed for them. Show them their story and allow them to relive the experience of their wedding day. This creates value and establishes you as the expert. Minor changes may happen, but if you do this, not only will the wedding story truly be told, but it will also speed up the album design, ordering and delivery process. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Anna Nguyen Stratton is an entrepreneur, traveler, dog lover and creative photo historian for modern couples. When she’s not photographing interesting people in love or rocking booth events with her banana suit, she’s connecting with people in her life on a real level and building relationships with strong community values. Her lifelong goal is to change the world and help people along the way achieve success.

Related: How the Pros Approach Album Design

How In-Person Sales Helped Me Work Less and Make More

Adding Very Personal Touches to Your Wedding Client Experience

How to Construct a Process That Will Help You Upsell To Clients

Easy Upsells to Guid Your Couples Beyond the Basic Wedding Photography Package