I watched a video recently by Laura Novak, a wedding photographer, about the one secret ingredient she uses in attracting the right wedding clients for her business.
So, watch that video first:
The video inspired a few questions in my mind and so I hopped on over to Twitter where I asked Laura for some clarification:
TB: In your recent video, you recommend e-sessions with wedding collections and offer it as a complimentary service. Do you then present those images from that session as part of your collection as well when it is time to send the files to the client (assuming you give files to clients)? Or, do you create products from the e-session that the client has to buy first to receive those files?
LN: I highly recommend creating products from the engagement session that you can sell to the client afterwards. Many of my clients purchase loose prints, save the dates, framed images for display at the wedding reception and albums. For example, how cute are these overlays from Design Aglow? All you need to do is take their favorite photo, place an overlay on top and add the wedding date. Done and done!
I always provide wedding and engagement files with the client's finished wedding album, so considering that is usually a year or more from the time of the engagement session they are pretty far away from receiving the files. Typically my clients are looking for products to purchase immediately after the engagement session to be part of their wedding.
Another great idea would be to show and sell a sign-in board. Brides and grooms love these! I really like the designs over at Design Aglow as well.
TB: So what you are saying is, you would structure the collections to include a complimentary e-session, but the only way they can get the files is if they invest in $xxxx. I am worried some may see that as a bait and switch. Thoughts?
LN: Most of my wedding packages (the ones 10k or more) include all the engagement and wedding files with the finished wedding album. Because I state that up front, all of my clients know this and it is no surprise. Most people ask about files during the initial interview, so it gives us a chance to have a good conversation about it. In addition, that information is very clear right in the first page of my marketing materials.
TB: Not sure I am clear on what you mean by “they are years away.” Your e-sessions are years before their actual wedding date? I can see why people want their e-session images.
LN: Let's say that the e-session is six months before the wedding day. Then their wedding day comes and goes, and afterwards the client receives their proofs a few weeks later. Then it takes them a month or two to choose selections (best case scenario) and they have their album and finished files about 6-8 weeks after that. Therefore, clients would typically get their files about a year or more after the engagement session.
TB: So, you let your clients make their final selections? If they did (and I have) they pick images that just don't flow well. Thoughts?
LN: I do! It's their album, so the selections are completely up to them. I just do my best with what they chose and if they give me more creative freedom all the better! And if a year goes by and they don't choose their selections I create the album myself and ship it off (that part is in my contract).
Laura Novak has over 10 years of wedding photography experience, and her work has been featured on numerous national and international publications. Visit Laura's site, www.lauranovak.com, to download a sample album that Laura used to generate over $1.2 million dollars in wedding business. She lives in Wilmington, Delaware with her husband, John, and new baby, Andrew.