Power of Print

How to Boost Print Sales for Wedding and Portrait Photos

February 17, 2020

By Jerry Ghionis

Having survived 26 years in this industry, I’ve seen many photographers come and go. The ones who manage to stick around for the long haul do it by providing an incredible client experience, meaningful storytelling in their imagery, and they have a solid strategy to print sales for wedding and portrait clients. Being successful for another 26 years is more important to me than fleeting popularity.

[Read: Creating a Wedding Photography Experience That Truly Caters To Your Couples]

Although there is undoubtedly a market for photographers who supply only JPEGs to their clients, most who have sustained thriving businesses have created a model where their clients must purchase printed photographs and other products. I do this by creating one-of-a-kind album and wall art collections for my clients and their families.

[Read: Upselling Albums to Wedding Clients and Playing the Long Game]

I use Fundy software to design and sell my albums, as well as Graphistudio in Italy as another supplier of albums and wall art. Their attention to detail and customer service is really second to none, and those details make me look good to my clients, even though the hard work has been done for me. As a one-stop shop, it also makes my workflow that much more efficient. My favorite products are the Graphistudio 12 x 16-inch Wedding Book, Pro Canvas and Pro Acrylic (non-reflective) wall art. (I’m also excited to share that very soon, they will also be releasing a collection designed by moi. It’s been a lot of work and brainstorming, so stay tuned.)

[Read: How the Pros Approach Album Design]

Showcasing wall art in realistic home environments is incredibly important to condition prospective clients to buy printed products. I feature these kinds of photos on my website and my price list as well. The same goes for wedding and portrait albums. Fundy software has some great features that allow you to do this very easily. For example, you can ask a client to send photos of their wall space to you. If they measure something in the photo (such as the width of a couch or a doorframe), you can then enter the measurements into the software and show your wall art collections to scale. It’s a realistic perspective of what a client’s photographs will look like in their exact desired space. If you sell with a projector, Fundy software can even show the “actual” size of the wall art projected on the wall. 

[Read: 14 Apps and Software to Help Run and Grow Your Photography Business]

I do offer my wedding clients low-resolution files in all of my collections, but I actually call them “images optimized for social networking.” It sounds so much better, right? If they select my second or third collection, I include high-resolution files of the images that appear in their finished albums. In other words, when you buy the print, I will give you the file. It’s also a great incentive to purchase additional images in their albums. With portraits, I do not have an option for low-resolution files, but I include the high-resolution file with every print that is purchased. 

Twenty-six years ago when in-person sales was simply called “sales,” a client would choose their photos from 4 x 5-inch proofs and point to a 16 x 20-inch print and ask to have one. Today, the choices are much more expansive.

Of course, many prospective clients are conditioned only to want digital products. But together as an industry, I think we have the responsibility to educate a new generation that printed products have so much more value and longevity. Photography is one of those rare items in life that appreciates in value with every day and every death. It’s a sad reality, but something we need to be reminded of sometimes. 

If you struggle to upsell printed photographs and other products, just remember that it’s not hard if you keep in mind that you are allowing your families an opportunity to create a legacy that they will preserve for the next generation. 

Jerry Ghionis is WPPI’s most awarded photographer. His WPPI Platform class, “Posing Challenging Subjects,” takes place in Mandalay Bay, Feb. 25, from 4:00-5:30 p.m.