Brett Florens discusses the power of samples

Award-winning photographer and Loxley Colour Ambassador Brett Florens has briefly taken over our blog to talk about the importance of sample products!

The power of sample products

It’s incredible to imagine how many photographs are being taken all over the world at this very moment. Everyone who owns a phone has a digital camera at hand and ‘snapping away’ has become part of our culture. But as many as 99% of these photos are only ever kept as digital files, entrusted to the cloud, a server, a hard drive or simply ‘saved’ on the phone. The smallest fraction is actually printed and it’s these tangible memories that are so rare, and therefore so precious.

Now more than ever, selling printed products to your wedding and portrait clients is becoming essential to running a profitable, sustainable business. The tangible print has become so rare that it’s practically worth its weight in gold. A generation of people no longer have their precious memories in the physical form and yet, there are many photographers who prefer to take the easy way out and hand over their digital files to their clients, without even trying to upsell or offer the service of providing printed products. So often the reluctance comes from a perception that the hassle of ordering and delivering printed products is not worth the financial reward. I beg to differ. If you breakdown how much you are earning from a particular job in terms of £ per hour and then how long it takes you to upsell and order printed products, you will be amazed to see that you are actually earning much more ordering albums or wall art than you earned from the shoot itself.

I am sure that you would have heard this by now, but every cliché has its fundamental truth. You need to show what you want to sell. Having a set of up-to-date studio samples is crucial to the client’s decision making process. They need to be able to touch and feel the quality of the proposed products. Merely explaining what the album or framed product looks like just isn’t good enough.

This is a great time of year to update your studio sample selection – review your year and select images or albums of clients that you would love to have all the time. Not only do you want to show what you want to sell, but you also want to show who you want to sell to. Like attracts like, and if you take your studio samples to pre-wedding consultations with images of fun-loving, spontaneous scenes for example, you will enhance the chances of attracting fun-loving clients. The same goes for fashion-conscious clients; show them your stylised printed portfolio and you will increase your chance of booking them enormously. In other words, don’t necessarily show your most popular images – show the images of the style and demographic that you would like to sell and sell to.

That being said, choose your studio samples wisely, keep it to a small selection of good profit margin items. If you order too many variations, you may overwhelm your client with too many difficult choices and you will end up with lower sales. It’s all about balance.

In-person sales and upselling is an art that needs practice, but a quick tip is to use phrases such as ‘most clients choose this product’ or ‘the most popular choice for my clients is usually this one’.

Having samples of albums that you have sold to previous clients also legitimises the product. It’s even better if you can get clients to send you images of their framed photographs hanging up in their homes. I always ask my clients to take a photo of Nan receiving her bespoke album or framed image. This way, I am also selling the emotion that the product evokes and not only the product.

Having studio samples that your clients can touch and feel not only introduces them to the tactile product, but also shows the client the respect that you have for your craft by the care you have put into printing the work.

Good luck and get selling!