One thing you must do to serve the high-end client well

Tips & Tricks
One thing to keep in mind if you are a wedding photographer who is considering raising your prices

photo by Alicia Lacey Photography 
 
 
Hey guys! Melissa Jill here! I'm the owner of Align Album Design and Huntsville & Phoenix-based wedding photographer.  
 
Question for you: Are you seeking to break into the high-end market? To serve a clientele who values the art of photography? To make more money for your time?  
 
One of the ways to reach these goals is by DOING ALBUMS WELL.  
 
I've found in my experience as a photographer in the Phoenix market that there is a shift in the type of client around the $3-4K budget range. Back in the day, my studio had 5 photographers total and we served clients with a photography budget ranging anywhere from $2,000 - $14,000. When a client came to us with a budget of less than $3K, one of the first questions out of their mouth was, "Do your packages come with the high res images?" Not only that, but this was typically the only product they were interested in. They figured if they had the images, they could create other products themselves.  
 
But clients who have allocated over $4K for their wedding photography are a different type of client altogether. They are not nearly as interested in the digital images. Oftentimes when I mentioned that they can include them in their package, they looked at me like, "What would I do with those?" And it seems like the more money people have, the less interested they were in them. Instead, they want something custom, something hand-crafted and one-of-a-kind, something they couldn't create themselves. Over the starting budget of $4K, clients in my market wanted an album. It's their priority and they take it for granted that a custom album is the final end product that they will have to tell the story of their day once their experience with their photographer is brought to completion.
when does a client want the high res images and when do they want an album?

The budget at which this shift occurs in your market may be different than mine, but I guarantee it exists. If we are interested in meeting our clients' needs AND in targeting a specific market, it's important that we as professional photographers are aware of where this shift occurs in our own market and make adjustments based on it.  
 
One of the adjustments I made when I raised my starting prices above $3K, was I replaced the high res images that I once included in all of my packages (because that's what my clients were wanting) with an album in every package. The album in my lowest package was a low-entry-point album that didn't cost me too much so I was able to keep it reasonably priced for my clients. In reformatting my packages, I still offered the high res images, but only included them in my middle and top packages. My packages were always customizable, so theoretically clients could still take the album out of the package and add the high res images. But I wanted to make sure I was presenting my packages in a way that would meet the majority of my clients' needs AND would show them what I think is most important. (As I mentioned in my last post -- clients will be more likely to prioritize the album for themselves if you are passionate about them and prioritize them on your website and in your initial client meetings.) 
 
If one of your goals is to raise your prices, then doing albums well is going to be an integral part of making that transition -- because the high end bride wants an album. They want something beautiful and custom and one-of-a-kind. And they want it delivered with exceptional service. They want quality AND service. That's the ticket to their hearts and their referrals.  
 
It sounds so simple, but while it might be "simple," it's far from EASY. There are SO MANY pitfalls and issues that can arise. But since offering quality albums with exceptional service is a key to reaching the high end bride, it's definitely worth the effort to overcome these obstacles.  
 
In the coming weeks I will continue to share some tips for doing albums well and setting up your workflow for profitability and efficiency. Make sure to sign up here to receive emails about all of my album sales and workflow tips straight to your inbox! Stay tuned and join in the conversation in the comments below! I'd love to hear what has worked for you!
Wedding Photographers -- do you want to raise your prices? This is one thing to keep in mind!
And exciting news! If you're a photographer who wants to start offering albums without investing hours of guesswork and trial and error -- we have a solution for you! Check out the Album Start-Up Kit and start maximizing your profit today! 

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Blog post written by: Melissa Jill
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Estes Park Wedding Album Design for Cassie Madden Photography

Album Designs
Wyoming-based wedding photographer Cassie Madden does some incredible work in the Rocky Mountain region! We have been working with her and her clients for 8 years now and she is also one of our beloved Client Advocates, so every time we see a new order from her, we do a little happy dance! Click here to watch a short video where Cassie shares how she made the leap to serving high end clients through albums! It's a fun story! 
 
Today's featured album design showcases a beautiful wedding in Estes Park, Colorado. We were able to facilitate the design of TWO album -- the couple's album AND a parent album -- through one order, saving Cassie some money. (Click here to find out more about how you can use unused revision rounds to design parent albums!) So that was a win! 
 
Here are a few of our favorite spreads from this stunning design: 






To see the design in full, click through the slideshow: 
 
 
 
Thank you, Cassie, for allowing us to work with your beautiful images!
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Design by: Shannon (View More) // Design style: Classic (View More) // Blog post written by: Melissa Jill
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4 Tips for Getting Your Clients to Value Albums...and buy one

Tips & Tricks

photo by Elizabeth Gelineau 
 
How many of you wish you could sell more albums? Do you find it difficult to find clients who see the value of an album and are willing to pay the additional cost to include one in their package? 
 
This has been a dilemma I've dealt with as a wedding photographer as well. What I've found is that if I don't value albums and prioritize them for my clients, they typically won't value them either. If you want to sell albums, you have to prioritize them. Here are a four tips for how to do so: 
 
1 -- Share your passion for albums with your clients. Let them know that out of all of the products you offer, this is the one YOU most want them to have. After all, a wedding album should be a couple's first family heirloom. It is the one photography product that they can purchase that will stand the test of time. Long after prints are taken off the wall, children are grown, and grandchildren are running around, an album will be there to tell the story of their love for generations to come.  
 
2 -- Include them in every package. Communicate through the structure of your pricing that the album is the #1 product your clients will want to have.  
 
3 -- Create a space on your website to share your passion for albums. Here are some tips on how to create a space for on your website. I have done this for my own photography business, and you can view the album page on my website here for inspiration.  
 
4 -- Talk about your passion for albums during your initial client meetings. You can do this in any number of ways. If you have a personal story about your wedding album or lack-there-of, or your parents' album, and how that experience has shaped how you value albums, these stories from personal experience can be very powerful. Or tell a story about one of your past clients and how their album has been a blessing to their marriage. And then don't pass up the opportunity to show your clients beautiful samples, allowing them to touch and experience each one while you share what you love about them. Click here for my other blog post about tips for introducing albums during your client meetings. 
 
I believe in the value of a wedding album; I'm passionate about them. And my clients know it. They know it when they look at my website and read about albums. They know it when they see my package info. And they know it when we sit together looking through albums in their initial client meeting. They become excited about their wedding album, in part, because I'm excited about it. 
 
And you know how I talked about the power of story above? This is my "why" story behind my passion for albums: 
 
This is a photo I grabbed off of the Instagram feed of one of my past brides, Ashley. She and David were married in 2008 and now have three children. This is their youngest, Carson:

A few years ago, Ashley and I were catching up and she told me a story about what their wedding album meant to their family. She told me that their daughter's "favorite book" is mommy and daddy's wedding album. She regularly asks them to "read" it to her -- to flip through the pages while she sits on their laps, and tell her all about the people in its pages. When they get to the page with mommy and daddy's first dance she always asks her dad if she can dance with him.  
 
If that doesn't paint a picture of the importance of having a wedding album, I don't know what does. 
 
I'm convinced in my heart that wedding albums are important. And every married couple should have one. Having this passion and communicating this passion to your clients is step one of selling more albums. 
 
If you found this post helpful and would like to receive tips like this straight to your inbox, click here to sign up!
4 Tips for Getting Clients to Value Albums -- And Buy One!!
And exciting news! If you're a photographer who wants to start offering albums without investing hours of guesswork and trial and error -- we have a solution for you! Check out the Album Start-Up Kit and start maximizing your profit today! 

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Blog post written by: Melissa Jill
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Picturesque Aspen Colorado Wedding Album Design for Scott Clark

Album Designs
International photographer Scott Clark shoots some of the most stunning and fun weddings that we have seen cross our computer screens. And this wedding has it all -- a fun getaway car, picturesque landscapes, beautiful fashion, and a very unique reception venue! As you scan through some of our favorite spreads from this design, note the simplicity of the spreads. What this does is it really allows Scott's images to take center stage and tell the story. Each of his images truly deserves VIP treatment! 
 
Planning & Design: Gold Leaf Events 
 






To see this design in full, click through the slideshow: 
 
 
 
Thank you, Scott, for allowing us to work with your beautiful images!
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Design by: Kari (View More) // Design style: Classic (View More) // Blog post written by: Melissa Jill
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Romantic Virginia Wedding Album Design for Abby Grace

Album Designs
DC-based photographer Abby Grace has recently retired from wedding photography and transitioned into brand photography. We are wrapping up the last few wedding designs of her career and it is so bittersweet! We have loved working with her and her beautiful timeless imagery for nearly a decade. We are so thrilled for her that she is KILLING it in the brand space but we will miss the process of laying out her beautiful images to tell a story in an album. We are savoring these last few designs like the last few bites of pumpkin pie after Thanksgiving! haha! 
 
We always customize our designs to our clients' preferences and here are some of Abby's: 
 
1. Likes "extra thin" spacing 
2. Simple designs -- fewer images per spread 
3. Does not like images to bleed to the edge of the page 
4. Prefers ample white space 
5. Prefers fewer layouts that cross the gutter. A couple per album is fine. 
 
Here is the result of these guidelines! This design turned out SO timeless and stunning! Here are a few of our favorite spreads:






To see the design in full, click through the slideshow: 
 
 
 
Thank you, Abby! It's been such an honor being a part of your team for all these years!
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Design by: Andrea (View More) // Design style: Classic (View More) // Blog post written by: Melissa Jill
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