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Why Pre-Designing Albums is Crucial

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In your photography business, selling products and services assists you in increasing your overall profit. Selling albums to your clients is one of the best ways for you to help your clients remember their wedding day and to bring in additional income to your business. But, creating albums can sometimes cause confusion and headaches if they are not done properly. Just as you should be outsourcing your images to a photography post production company, you need to be looking at other areas of your workflow which can benefit from a streamlined process. Andrew Funderburg, founder of Fundy Software, is going to share how you can pre-design albums to make the process simpler for your workflow and increase your profit. 

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In the first article, we talked about shooting with intent. Then we described how to translate the images from that wedding into an album story. Now, it’s time to discuss why pre-designing your wedding albums is crucial to your workflow and to your post-wedding sales.

Eliminate Stressful Decisions

Pre-designing your album before you deliver any images to your client is crucial. The truth is, your couples don’t know what they want. They experienced this very sentimental event, and now it’s over. In best case scenario, the leftover feelings are fraught with both happy & mixed emotions. How they ultimately will remember the day, and the experience with you, is how you present it to them. 

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Image compliments of Ben Hartley of Style & Story Creative

If you leave the decisions to choose the images up them, they are going to just select images of their favorite people. Which is all really important, but if you’ve done a good job shooting for the story, you should have all of them in there. We are the only ones as professionals that are able to put a timeline together, including all the main characters, with a story that makes sense. Ultimately, without a story, the couple will never feel satisfied with their album, which can create havoc from a workflow point of view and from an impassioned buying perspective.

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So, we must be the storytellers. Luckily, by shooting with intent and creating an album with a story base, most of the work is already done. It now lies in how you share it with your key stakeholders, the ones who will purchase the printed products. Consistently, the photographers that I know that have the best album and print sales make it a priority to showcase the album pre-design first. Meaning, these photographers may have shared a small sneak peek on social media, but before their couples see the full gallery, they preview the full album design first. That is when they – the bride and groom – will be most excited about these keepsakes of their day, and it is the memory of what you have captured in this design that they will remember the most.

This strategy always works best in-person or over a video enabled call, so you can see – and talk to – that excitement, and explain the story you chose. But, if in-person sales aren’t an option, just the simple act of showcasing the album design first will net you that emotional advantage. That is the time your client is most willing to pay a little extra for a more fulfilled album.

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Related: How quickly can you choose images for the wedding album?

Create Streamlined Processes

Pre-designing albums is a must from a sales point of view, but it also makes your workflow more streamlined, enabling you to save time and get from wedding to sale even faster. The biggest roadblock to a successful album design workflow is multiple client changes. The back and forth between you and the client is the most costly part of album design. That time spent waiting on clients are resources you could be spending elsewhere. As I mentioned before, the problem lies when you let the client choose the initial images. Without your story-based pre-design, the album will never feel cohesive. And, while the client may not know why it doesn’t feel complete, they will sense that it isn’t, and they will keep changing things looking for that clear beginning, middle, and end.

Related: Are you using these 5 tips to quickly design albums?

Whereas, when you as the expert storyteller make that first pass of design, it’s going to look good because you’re telling the story as you shot it. All of the images are going to go together and look related; more importantly, the transitions are going to be beautiful. The client may want to add or remove an image here and there, but they are going to stick to the basic structure of that design, and your changes are going to be a lot faster and streamlined. 

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Image compliments of Ben Hartley of Style & Story Creative

Once you are comfortable knowing that your story-based pre-design is going to result in fewer changes, you can create policies around that. The best I’ve seen is from a local Portland, OR photographer – Art of Joy Studio. He has a design policy where he allows his client unlimited changes in the first round, then if any other changes are wanted after that first round, it’s a small fee per change. The incredible part is that he’s only had to charge that fee once in his career.

Increase Overall Profit

All of this, everything that we have talked about, all comes down to the story. If, as a photographer, you are committed to telling the client’s story and you are dedicated to putting that story in print, then you are going to see so many benefits to your wedding photography business. Your workflow from culling to processing to album design to revisions from clients will be much more streamlined, especially as you have started out shooting with all of these things in mind. In addition, your sales will increase, and you will make more money after the event.

But most critically, you are giving your clients a story – their story – to share. You are offering them the marketing tools to talk about your services. By telling your client’s story in a tangible, physical form, you are giving them a reason to speak about you, about you, how your storytelling abilities are the reason they trust you, how their friends and family should look to you as well, and how you are the photographer to book. And what better validation is that?

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Image compliments of Ben Hartley of Style & Story Creative

Ready to decrease the time it takes to create a wedding album? Introducing the new Fundy Designer Version 7 – The new software features help a photographer do everything necessary for album design, but with a much faster and easier workflow. Click here to learn more! 

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Discover how you can always take stunning photos to add into your albums with our Pro Photographer Lighting and Posing Guide!

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