For a long time, I was strictly a “shoot and burn” photographer! Just thinking about selling products/prints made me want to have a panic attack. Lots of thoughts ran through my head. “People aren’t interested in that. People want to design their own displays. People will never pay that much for that. I don’t have the extra time to deal with that. They can get the same products at retail stores or online for cheaper.” All of these irrational thoughts prevented me from offering my clients a FULL SERVICE studio! Until now…
The first thing that lead me to really consider offering my clients professional products was all of the clients that would ask for them! “We pay you for quality images, how can we get quality prints?” For the longest time my answer was, “I’ve heard Costco prints are great!” (Insert palm to face here).
So then, I did my own research. Was my print company really that much better? Was it really worth the extra cost? I wanted to find out. I knew I loved ordering my own prints from them, but I was way too scared to offer them to my clients. I knew that the “loose prints”, i.e. 5x7’s, 8x10’s, wallets were all amazing when I ordered them for myself, but what about the actual framed prints? The canvases? The larger prints? Could those be as great as the small ones?
I wanted to know! So, I printed out an image of a newborn that I loved from a retail store. I then framed it with a frame from Hobby Lobby. Looked great. Nothing wrong with it at all! I’d hang it in my house! Then, I printed that exact same image (nothing done differently in Photoshop), the exact same size, and had it professionally framed. I could not believe the difference!! I had really been missing out on offering my clients my best work possible. The difference is astonishing! You have to see to believe it, but here’s just a side by side of the two images via iPhone. Even here you can see how much better the professional print is! However, this image does no justice for the difference you see in person!
This solidified my decision to start selling products. I have started creating family heirlooms that my clients will have to pass down for generations to come. Are they an investment? Of course! But what would you pay now to have a beautifully framed image of your mama as a newborn hanging in your home? What would you pay to have a full, high end, top quality beautiful heirloom album to hand down to generations to come. I can’t even begin to imagine having a full album of my mama of her first days on this earth or an album full of beautiful images from her full first year. I would pay and I would pay a lot to be able to have something like that now. The money you invest in these now, will be nothing compared to their value to your family for years to come.
Here’s one thing I tell my clients when they just aren’t sure it’s worth going the professional route. “I promise you this, years from now, I 100% guarantee you, that I could come to you and offer you your money back in exchange for these heirlooms back and you wouldn’t even consider it for a second! These products are some of the few things in life that we have that actually appreciate over time!”
Sure you can go the internet route and make your own books/albums/canvases/frames, but let me ask you something, Why did you choose me as a photographer? Certainly not for a deal! I am not the most expensive, but I am certainly not cheap. Why invest in me for gorgeous images only to have digital versions stuck on your computer or to have “coupon value” prints or heirlooms. You really do pay for what you get. You can’t go retail and expect to have those “heirlooms” last for generations. If you truly want to invest in the generations to come and keep your family alive through top quality images/products, let us do the work for you and deliver the most prized possessions that you will own!
Now, I know this is a digital world and you all want digital images! Me too! I consider digitals a safety blanket! Just knowing I have them somewhere on some cloud makes me feel better. BUT, it’s not doing me any good. If I’m gone, who will see them? How will they be passed down? How will the memories of my family stay alive?
I’ll never take digital images out of my options at the studio, but offering my clients the FULL SERVICE of creating beautiful heirlooms from the beautiful images I create for you, is one decision I’ll never regret. It’s quickly become one of my favorite parts of my job.
I’m no longer a nurse that can make a huge difference in someones life by helping to bring new life into this world, but now, I can freeze beautiful moments of that new life for you and give you tangible items to pass down and keep memories alive! And that my friends, is just as rewarding… if not more rewarding!