Strategy to Sell Your Photo Album

Details

Albums are all about the pre-sell. If clients aren’t interested in getting an album before you take pictures, chances are they won’t change their minds later on. Get them interested upfront. In all in-person contact with your clients, have them hold sample albums in their hands. They also need to be engaged in the discussion about albums. Whether it’s a portrait or a wedding client, pick up your most popular sample album and hand it to your client and say, “Most of our clients this year purchased this album.” Let them flip through the album and then start asking them about their preferences. “Do you prefer square albums like this, or horizontal albums like the ones over there?” Or, “Do you like the newer photo covers or the more traditional leather albums?”

We are doing two things here. First, we are making sure we don’t make a mistake. If the client loves traditional leather-bound albums and we are excitedly showing off our cool new metal-covered albums, what are they going to do? Decide they just don’t want an album. We’re also asking them to take emotional ownership of an album. Once this emotional ownership is established, getting them to take physical ownership is just filling out the order sheet.

Albums are tactile. Clients need to touch and feel them. As photographers, we need to explain why we are excited about our albums and why we believe clients should get an album. I truly believe that each and every portrait or wedding should end in an album. It is a final, physical representation of something so special, something that happens so few times in a lifetime that we need to preserve it. Since I really do believe this, it’s not difficult for me to communicate that sincerity with my clients.

How to Price your Photo Albums

Details

How to price your photo album ?

Your three primary costs are the cost of the album, the labor for designing the album, and shipping and handling. To price correctly, you must know your costs.

There is no magic number for the price of an album. But there is a magic formula. In order to calculate this formula you need to simply know the cost of the album, the cost of the labor to design it and the cost of shipping. Some may not want to mark up shipping. It takes time to get the shipped item, unpack it, check it, repackage it and then ship it off. Handling is a big cost and it should be accounted for and marked up.

Here is an example:
$200 = cost of album
$75 = cost of design (3 hrs)
$15 = cost of shipping

We add these up for a total of $290. Now, we need to figure out the retail price based on cost of goods. Most pros in the industry that have been around for any length of time agree that you need at least 35% cost of goods pricing.

So, take your cost, $290, and divide by 0.35 (35%)
$290 ÷ 0.35 = $828
So, retail should be at least $828 or $900 for a nice round number.

The key to selling albums is giving the client easy choices and pre-selling. These two simple things will increase album sales more than just about anything else.

With albums, having three size choices along with cover upgrades is the most profitable form of album pricing. Also, the ability to add pages for an extra fee can increase back-end sales.

Below I have some fictitious portrait album prices. These will be quite low for most wedding albums. The goal here is to show what I think is important in album pricing. It is important to give choices in size. Here I have three size choices. You don’t want to overwhelm your client with a ton of sizing choices. Even if your album company offers every size under the sun, you don’t want to offer them, too. I like to offer square albums and horizontal albums. Feel free to offer vertical albums also, if that is what you like.

Difference between PBS18 and JE18 Photo Book Working Station

Details

Q: Could you please give us the advise what is the difference between these 2 stations?

  • PBS18 Photo book station
  • JE18 Photo book station

A: The difference between the PBS18 and JE18 Photo book working station:

1. Structure difference:

The PBS18 includes: Creasing、Gluing、Butterfly binding、Nipping in one machine.
The JE18 includes: nipping, creasing, groove pressing, photoblock binding, hard cover making, corner cutting, edge folding, casing-in all in one. But the hard cover making machine in this unit can only make max hard cover size: A4 size. This machine can make max photo block size 18inch.

2. Supplies difference:

The PBS18 can use white latex glue to stick the photo block. To make the photoblock, you can use paper greyboard as the mounting sheets. You can view the greyboard in our website link below:

http://dingword.com/photobook/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=13_17

The PBS18 can also use the Photobook sticking PVC mounting sheets as supplies. You can see the mounting sheets from our website below:
http://dingword.com/photobook/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=13_14


The JE18 can only use the Photobook sticking PVC mounting sheets as supplies.

If you want to save money, you can buy the JE18 because it has more functions included. But the PBS18 can use much cheaper supplies.

Types of photo album and application

Details

If albums are not part of your business, you are leaving thousands of dollars on the table. For a busy wedding or portrait shooter, adding an album strategy can mean tens of thousands of extra dollars per year. To create an album profit center, an efficiently creating albums is necessary.

Types of Albums and Application

There are four main types of albums. It’s very important to have a clear understanding of different album types, how they are made and their main function in running a profitable studio.

1. The Matted Album

The popularity of matted albums is waning, but there are still plenty of brides looking for them. The matted album is made with images under mattes and cutouts revealing the images. Much like a photo in a photo frame with a matte, a matted album usually has multiple openings cut into the mattes for displaying multiple images. It is possible both to order pre-designed mattes and to assemble pre-designed albums, or do a custom-designed album and the album company will custom cut mattes based on your design.

Matted albums generally are more expensive than other options. In addition to the binding, printing and so forth, you’re also paying for the mattes. Because of the higher costs, most matted albums are sold as wedding albums, which can fetch a higher price. There are some album manufacturers that sell pre-made albums with pre-made mattes and it is possible to produce these at very similar costs to lower-priced flush mount albums.

2. Flush Mount Albums

Flush mounts are the dominant album in the world of digital photography. They combine the unlimited possibility of digital layout and design, with the beauty of old-world, handcrafted books. As a photographer, flush mount albums allow you to present your photography as a work of art. Additionally, the pages are thicker than press-printed albums. When they are manufactured, the prints are adhered to a thick card backing. This gives the pages a heavier, more durable feeling that increases the perceived value over press printed books. The majority of flush mount albums are made with photo paper and prints. The prints are often laminated with a protective film or spray. There are a few flush mount album manufacturers who will use press prints to make flush mount albums. I’m not a fan of that process.

Flush mount albums can be used for both wedding and portrait albums. Most wedding studios carry flush mount albums of some sort. Studios are able to sell wedding albums that the majority of clients cannot reproduce easily at Costco or through a service like iPhoto.

There are a number of photographers who sell flush mount albums as portrait albums. Personally, I find this difficult as most flush mount albums are only available with a minimum of 20 pages. I find 20 pages to be too many for a typical portrait shoot. Sure, photographers can fill 20 pages, but are the pages filled with their best work? Additionally, a 20-page flush mount album is at a high enough price point that the retail price a photographer needs to charge will be higher than the average portrait client will want to pay.

3. Press printed books

Press printed books are extremely popular. It seems that every lab in the country is offering these books at very inexpensive prices. The problem is that Costco, Walmart and Walgreens sell them too. I’m not a big fan of offering press books in the studio. The reason simply has to do with profit. The process of designing an album, getting it approved by the client, uploading the design and ordering it takes an enormous amount of time and energy. That means a significant amount of the cost of producing albums is in the labor. If we choose a cheaper press printed book that has more pages than a self mount, we are basically increasing our costs for an album that sells at a lower price.

Most people use press printed books as inexpensive options for wedding albums and portrait albums. I don’t recommend this as a business strategy. It’s simply taking money out of your pocket. Some people use press printed books as parent album options. This is really the only case that I would recommend using press printed books. However, I would still offer a flush mount as a parent album over a press printed book.

4. Self Mount Albums

Self mount albums had a “low-brow” reputation for awhile due to cheap Chinese imports of self mount albums with cheap, fake leather and poor construction. With the emergence of new flush mount album companies, self mount albums have been given a new life. They sport sturdy construction and beautiful high-end cover options.

When choosing which albums to offer, many photographers buy on price. I recommend buying on profit. With a higher quality album (which may be slightly more expensive) we often can command a higher price and increase profit per album, even though our costs might be higher.