CHARLES J. LEWIS ONLINE NEWSLETTER
Marketing & Sales Secrets For Charles Lewis
Photographic Members ONLY!
As I know you already know, the packaging of your photographs is very important for several reasons.
First, it helps justify the investment the client made in them.
Secondly, it greatly reduces "post purchase dissonance" which can happen after a client picks up your images, and then starts to feel she invested too much, and calls you asking for a refund, reduced prices, etc.
I STONGLY recommend, first of all, that you NEVER, EVER allow any of your images to leave your studio unless they are the very finest images you can humanly create. Even your lowest priced images should be meticulously retouched ("enhanced"), sprayed, hand signed, mounted, and then packaged wonderfully.
But before we can talk about the packaging of the final portraits, it's important to realize that "add-on selling" is very critical to good cash flow in a studio. Therefore, you always add on frames at the time of the initial sale. This really increases the total sale, and this is very important, it also makes it so you don't have to do all the fancy packaging of the images as I'm going to discuss now:
As far as the packaging goes, you want to make them look as valuable and wonderful as humanly possible.
I have never been a strong "fan" of folders. I have used them in the past and they do serve a purpose, but I don't like them.
We always first help our clients become happily involved with our fine frames at the Projection Session, as I mentioned above.
This is were you put everything in frames, and then total up the amount they will owe us, and present everything to them when they come in, by appointment, to pick everything up. Usually, they will invest in the frames then and there. But if not, then they can take them home, and live with them for three days, and send us a check, or otherwise, if they prefer, set up a time to drop everything off for us to remove the frames.
I know this sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but it really helps the total profitability of the company!
If they say "no thanks" to the framing on consignment, then we ask them to please have a seat, while we remove the frames in the back work area, and then do the following:
I prefer to first mount the hand signed photograph. Let's say it's a 5x7 image. Then I affix this mounted image to an 8x10 neutral brown mount board, using silver metallic ribbon in two diagonally opposite corners of the photograph and double stick tape. (The ribbon is "wrapped" around the corner of the photograph, and then double stick tape is applied to the back, on the ribbon, and this is stuck to the 8x10 mount board.)
Then this 8x10 presentation is placed in a very nice, textured board folder. (This is simply a folder – not with any "opening" in it for a photograph, which has very elegant tissue style paper which goes over the image, before the folder is closed.)
Then this finished folder is placed in a black box, with tissue paper, and logo in metallic silver on the cover, and held shut with a silver stretchy tie with bow.
For wall portraits...
...we first wrap the portrait, whether it ends up being framed or not, in tissue paper, then in "Kimcell" plastic clear bubbly material. Then we wrap wide silver ribbon around it, and place a very large silver bow on it. It looks fantastic.
Now, also - most of the time we are going to HANG THE WALL PORTRAIT OURSELVES, Especially when it's a family portrait!
Again, I know this sounds like a lot of work, but remember, we're talking about charging a good amount of money for our photography. Plus, we need to be very picky about how our photographs are displayed. Not only is it beneficial to the client to have us display the portrait for them in their home, but it is also beneficial to us since that is the only way to be sure that our portraits look the very best they can.
When we deliver the actual portrait to be hanged, we still package it very nicely, so it looks fantastic, when we bring it into their home. Then, we simply unwrap the portrait, and hang it on their wall.
Also keep in mind that we've already seen their home, and have determined where the portrait is going to be displayed. We always see the home prior to doing a photographic session, if it's a family on location, and when we look at the home we determine where the best place to display the finished portrait will be.
NEW ADDITION: More Secrets Revealed Because Of Email From Member With Questions:
I received an email from a member recently, asking some questions about this topic. I'm adding the answers to those questions here:
Here's the email I received:
I just read your tip about packaging with interest. It sounds very good, and I want to implement your suggestions. I'm a little confused about some of the details.
In your example, you say that you first mount the 5x7, then affix it to an 8x10 mount board. Does this mean that you mount the 5x7 flush to a 5x7 board? If so, how do you mount it- dry mount, or something else? What if the client wants to put it in an album, or do anything else with it—is it ever a problem that the image is mounted? Do they ever have to take the mount off?
Also, what do you do with 4x6s and wallets? Do you use a separate box for each portrait, or do you put them all in the same box?
Also, when you say you put everything in frames, does that include 8x10s, 5x7s, and 4x6s?
Here are my quick answers to these questions:
>>>In your example, you say that you first mount the 5x7, then affix it to an 8x10 mount board. Does this mean that you mount the 5x7 flush to a 5x7 board? If so, how do you mount it- dry
mount, or something else? >>>
Yes - we use peal and stick mount board and mount the image flush to the board.
>>>What if the client wants to put it in an album, or do anything else with it—is it ever a problem that the image is mounted? Do they ever have to take the mount off? >>>
Never a problem. Everything which leaves our studio is carefully mounted - always - unless they have mentioned at the Projection Session that they will be putting it in an album - which they never do. At our fees, they aren't going to hide it away in some album!
>>>Also, what do you do with 4x6s and wallets? >>>
4x5's are treated exactly the same. The ONLY images which are not mounted are the wallet sized images.
>>>>Do you use a separate box for each portrait, or do you put them all in the same box?>>>
If the images are not framed, they are put in several boxes - based on their sizes, with tissue paper, etc.
>>>Also, when you say you put everything in frames, does that include 8x10s, 5x7s, and 4x6s?>>>
Yes. If the client will invest in a frame, we will frame every size but wallets. And, remember, 95% of all the images we sell are 16x20 or larger.
That's all for this hot tip, and I'll talk to you again soon!
MORE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS-BUILDING SECRETS REVEALED:
Starting A Photography Business - "How To Increase Your Sales By Up To 250% Within 7 Days!"
Photography Business Tips & Strategies - "The Magic Formula For Turning Your Portrait & / or Wedding Photography Business Into An Instant Profit-Generator"
Photography Marketing - "The Photography Marketing Secrets That 99% Of All Photographers DON'T KNOW (and will NEVER know)! Inexpensive and ULTRA-SUCCESSFUL Client-Attracting Marketing Secrets YOU Can Use Immediately To Bring In The Big Bucks!"
My Photography BLOG - "Subscribe to my BLOG to hear from me on a regular basis about the latest discoveries in Photography Marketing, Photography Sales, Photography Business Building Tips, Lighting & Posing, And MUCH MORE!" INCLUDES OUR NEW PODCAST AS WELL!
Site Map - "A complete layout of this site, including great articles, free audio, and instant tips!"
Creativity International / Charles Lewis Photography
4930 Cascade Rd., Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Contact Us: 616-956-0053