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Everything You Need To Know About Aluminum Prints by: Laminart IndustriesRead More
In the digital world it may almost seem as though selling albums or wall art would be a thing of the past. The majority of clients will want to post their session to social media and go about their day. As photographers, it is up to us to educate the client about the importance of having a physical piece of art as well as the right type of art for their home.
However if you do not have any samples in your studio to show, how will they understand the importance and the impact it can make? Digital images can be a fantastic way to show off a client session to hundreds of their friends on social media in a matter of minutes. But there is no comparison to a piece of hanging wall art in their home. It shows size, depth, colors, and creates an impact in their mind that a digital just cannot compete with. (Read the full article at FStoppers.com)Read More
When it comes to In Person Sales (IPS) there are 2 major advantages:
1) The clients get to know YOU which...
2) Increases sales
But let us start at the beginning.
Firstly, as most of us know, the actual photographs are sometimes only a small part of photography sales. It's often more about the experience, the atmosphere, the attention to detail, the customer service, the consideration the client receives before, during and after the shoot. It's all about perceived value. It's about accurately getting the client to perceive and understand all the value you are providing for them.
For example, a person is more likely to pay $15 for a Daiquiri that has a strawberry / mint garnish, is served in a chilled glass with a straw, and is mixed and given to them by a professional bartender on an elegant napkin. Conversely, $15 for a pre-made, luke-warm bottled Daiquiri at a liquor store: not so much. It's the bells and whistles which the "In Person" experience gives the client, and in turn, gives back to you via sales.
Now, the most important part of IPS is that the client gets to know YOU. You are your best sale's tool. In person, the client gets to interact with you: they get a sense of your personality, your experience, your proficiency. This can not be duplicated in any manner as completely as in person. This intimate interaction and communication demonstrates to the client (consciously or sub-consciously) how not just anyone with a camera can take photographs but it takes a highly trained, tenured photographic artist to take amazing photographs.
This aspect of IPS is crucial as when it comes to the true sales portion of IPS the value of your work and skills has already been correctly and effectively communicated to the client and, therefore, will help you when it comes to "selling" (and/or upselling!)
Being able to explain to the client price structures (and the why behind them), being able to help them understand which images are superior to others from a creative/artistic standpoint, being able to connect with them face to face in front of the images you have both created is an absolutely invaluable tool and most certainly a huge advantage for you! So when it comes to our next portion, direct sales, having these extra advantages most certainly sets you up for better sales numbers.
So, how exactly does the "In Person" experience translate into sales. Well, aside from the advantages just described, in person sales (from my experiences) will most certainly always translate into more sales (or better sales) than without due to the ability to elaborate, upsell, to describe why one package or product is better than another etc. The more information the client has the better. Further, delivering this information in a concise, accurate and colloquial manner is always best.
Admittedly, it's easy to send off a pricelist, schedule, timetable, image release form, consent form, contract etc. but if the client is confused or misses something it can, and often does, lead to lower sales. It's convenience vs. profits to a certain degree.
Asking about the clients setup at home can lead to a discussion on wall art. Is anyone often plagued with only selling digitals? Digitals are great, but the upsells to wall art, albums, and digitals will most certainly bump up the sales and in person, face to face, this can be more easily achieved. With bias *chuckles* wall art is a great upsell and having the client see their images daily will only reinforce the added values previously outlined; in addition, it will also be a mental reminder to the client of the added value of you taking the time to have the conversations with them: perhaps they remember a joke told, an anecdote mentioned, those awesome shoes you had on etc. etc. etc. Wall Art samples is also a great way to upsell as they can be in front of you and the products at the same time and your enthusiasm for how awesome your products are will often be infectious (from my experience).
Granted sales is not an easy thing, and not everyone a natural born salesperson but IPS is more about giving you (the photographer) an advantage and putting the odds in your favor of improving your sales numbers. By tipping the odds (no matter how slight) in your favor it will give you the best possible environment for generating sales.
Sublimation aluminum printing is an amazing new medium which has been gaining popularity exponentially in the last few years. It is a medium which yields amazingly vivid colors, rich blacks, and a luminescence which is unmatched by any other media; furthermore, these unique attributes give a whole new avenue of exploration when it comes to digital file manipulation and the printing of these digital files.
For aluminum printing, as mentioned above, the colors when printed are amazingly vibrant and can often gain about 10% saturation (or thereabout). With this saturation what can occur is that colors can become easily oversaturated. However, the more common problem associated with this saturation is potential color shift.
When printing on other substrates files can be printed verbatim and there is very little (if any) color shift if printed by an expert printer. However, with aluminum printing, a 2-3% increase or decrease in the saturation of a color in the digital file stage can lead to roughly a 10-12% color increase or decrease when printed onto aluminum. The best way to avoid extreme color shifting is to communication. If you are apprehensive about a skintone being too yellow, a lake being too green, or a pair of jeans being too blue request your printer to do a test strip before committing to a full sized print. This is by far the best way to avoid drastic color shifts. If you are sending a pre-adjusted file in for printing a great recommendation I can give is to also send in the original for matching purposes. At LaminART we perform test strips upon request; additionally, we routinely perform test strips on various images for research and development purposes to make sure our machines and software are performing at their very best.
Another common and often prevalent concern with aluminum prints are prints being "too dark". The main concern, if not the largest concern with aluminum prints, is the stigma that aluminum prints are too dark (or are printed too dark). For aluminum prints the blacks are so rich and deep that they have a wider dynamic range than other substrates. However, once this range begins to hit the top 90% of the darkest black values the differences becomes very hard to distinguish, thus causing a very dark top end in the blacks without a great deal of distinction in the subtle transitions if not printed correctly.
Any easy fix it to brighten up very dark black areas in your digital files; however, unless you are printing many files on a daily/weekly basis this could still lead to inconsistent results as well. Again, a test strip could be key in preventing this, however blacks are a bit more predictable when printing so communicating with your printing provider is again key as they will likely have a good handle on how much to adjust for.
Finally, go with the medium. High contrast, bold colors, dramatic lighting, low key lighting, b/w images are all great choices for sublimation aluminum printing in the high gloss style. If you have an image with high key, subtle transitions, and muted colors it may too look good on the high gloss aluminum, however, it's best to go with it's benefits as opposed to going against them.
Whether printing with a large lab or a small lab the communication aspect of aluminum printing is paramount. As mentioned, with other media like photo paper or canvas there should be very little issue as it relates to printing consistency. With aluminum printing it is almost an art form in itself as it relates to the printing aspect. Looking at a file and having a skilled printing professional assess the multitude of factors in your digital file such as color saturation, amount of blacks in the image, value shifts etc. and make calculated decisions when setting up files for printing will only assist in getting you the absolute best results that are as true to your file as can be.
Hopefully these tips will give everyone a bit of an insight into the aluminum printing pre-press process and allow for better results in the quality of your upcoming aluminum prints! At LaminART we take great pride in the quality of our aluminum prints and the many positive reviews we have gotten. Thank you all.
1) Fit The Space
If you have a spacious studio with ample room for a wall art installation then you may be fortunate to be able to showcase a diverse array of items, and if spacious enough, perhaps even a feature wall of your favorite products and corresponding images. Conversely, if you studio is more concise then strategically selected images and products will be a must!
The key is to fit the space and avoid having the walls look overcrowded and cluttered with too many items; alternatively, having one item on a wall is great for an art gallery but less desirable as a sales tool in a studio.
Tip- Having a grid system is a great way to have an organized and uncluttered presentation (ie. 2:2, 4:4, triptychs etc.)
2) Show What You Got
A key factor in showcasing products is showing the types of products you wish to highlight and sell; further, showcasing the correct sizes is paramount. For example, it is much more difficult to up-sell to a 24x36 (for example) if your walls only have 16x24 images. The average client will have difficult time imagining how big the size difference will be and will often feel hesitant and/or overwhelmed (from my experience). If your goal is to sell 24x36 products then go big and show what you got as that is what clients will purchase.
Tip- If you are showcasing the differences between a variety of products using the same image and size on different products is a great way to remove potential variables (ie. size) and allows the differences of the products to shine through and be showcased.
3) Don't Be Everything to Everyone
Have your catalog of products be concise. When shopping around for products having too many options can be confusing and potentially overwhelming to clients. Having a product line of 3-5 products allows for more than enough variety for clients to choose without being overwhelmed by the selection process. Offering packages with differing quantities and sizes is a great way to add a little extra variety and gives great potential for up-selling if structured correctly ;)
Tip- Have a variety in your products to make the selection process easier: a high gloss item like an aluminum prints for those who like gloss, a Matte/Satin finish canvas for those who prefer more subtle finishes, for example.
A fantastic way to maximize space and showcase images (and products) is to have a television or computer mount to your wall (usually best located where consultations take place). Having a monitor is a great way to scroll through client images, showcase your website, do a slideshow of images etc. If using a computer/project which has internet access all the better!
Thanks all and hopefully this of use!