Wedding Albums - Their Importance, New trends & Selling Them
All right, everyone, welcome back and we're going to dive right into wedding albums. Att salvador cincotti photography wedding albums are the core of what we do. Every single package comes with a wedding album, and that is by design. I want to give my clients something I call it the first family heirloom, and he truly is that right? It's not some sales giving. I really believe in my heart that them having that one album, that one keepsake versus cd is that one thing they're going to take and have for the rest of their lives. And I think it's really, really important that you position it that way. And I think it's really, really important that you believe in it, uh, that way, because if you talk to your parents and your grand parents and you talk to them about their wedding day, that book's coming out, right that's really, really important to them. And so what are you going to hand down if you think about it and you're talking to your clients, what are they handing down to their kids? A...
cd, a thumb drive that's? Not really something you want a hand down. In fact, who the hell knows in twenty years if there's even gonna be such a thing is ah, thumb drive, right? So at the end of the day that I truly believe in wedding albums and so the process doesn't have to be complicated ah lot of times and we've been talking off line it's the process of wedding albums that tends teo scare us like how my designing this I don't have time now how am I going to design a wedding album? I'm gonna show you tool called smart albums I don't know if anybody's using it or heard of it but oh my gosh it's a game changer when it comes to ah album design but there's templates there's tools like fungi I mean there's a tons tons of tools on the market but I want to talk about wedding albums how you pitch them, how you sell them, how you upgrade them on dh let's just get through this entire process so wedding albums I believe in my heart allows me to stand out from the crowd we'll talk about that samples we've gotta have samples if you don't have sample albums to show, how are you expecting people to buy into this? I'll never forget I was speaking in miami about three and a half four years ago and somebody asked me to help them and take a look at their their pitch right? They said, hey, can you take a look at this? We're just having a really hard time selling albums no one to buy albums and so we're sitting there and they walked me through their pitch and uh uh they put a sheet in front of the inspection for albums, right? And I'm like, oh, these are the items you use where are they like well, this is what we show our brights I was like confused like I couldn't process the conversation that was happening you understand what I'm talking about they put a marketing select in front of me that's what they put in front of their brides if you expect your bride to buy a wedding album without ever showing her our wedding album it ain't gonna happen that's just common sense has to prevail we have to be able to put it in their hands. We need samples in all these album cos air running sales constantly for you to get samples in your hand anywhere from twenty five percent off samples to thirty percent off samples order the frickin sample, get it in your hand, show it to your clients turn times what are our turn times how do we advertise him what's our selection process how do we work with the client to pick the images? Do not sit in your studio and pick pictures with your clients that what I would want to slit my wrist man sitting there watching a bride obsessed between two pictures were my face looks better in this way first that one great it sure does they look better in any of them I just want to be out of this meeting s o we don't we don't want to be there all right and then we'll talk about how to design an actual album all right standing out from the crowd albums are the key differentiated from our studio we already know most of you know if you've watched our wedding boot camp how we decorate our booth ride we've got pictures there and then we got a table similar to this and on that table is sitting the album the album sitting right there on that table so as brides are walking by there seeing that well if you just put a standard album coffee book black leather acrylic cover black leather metal cover whatever you going to put out there and it's just small ten by ten album and it's sitting out there who's going to stop it's the same in every booth all the boots have books that look identical okay instead you've gotta have something out there that's going to get them to stop in their tracks something they're going to look at and go whoa what's that and then they're gonna come in and and stop and look you've got to do something different that's what's going to allow you to differentiate yourself from your competitors that's the key all right it's well worth the investment ultimately whatever you're investing into your sample albums it's gonna pay itself back I mean ten times over it's going to make it super easy for youto actually sell albums to your clients, so if you're having trouble committing your clients they need albums I'm gonna bet you're either showing them garbage albums or you're not showing albums at all that's the key you got to show them what you're trying to sell obviously we use signature collection albums that's my company as c albums dot com uh that company started oddly enough, I made my first album by hand I made it. I know I don't look like the martha stewart type, but I'm pretty crafty. Uh and so I made that album uh by hand it was my wedding album with meet me with a picture of me is martha stewart with like an apron on is something that's not what's happening like a hot glue gun? Haku gone? Yes, yes on the next creative live shall will make albums and so we I made it by him. It was my my wedding out my printed on our paper. I was doing tons of research online and I just wanted to have something different for my wedding album you know, with the pictures from from my day and that's what inspired me to do it and I'll never forget I had brought it with me to a trade show to show some people and one of the album manufacturers a big name uh remain nameless they looked at it and they said who's making these yes I made it and they all know who's making it for you I go I made it in my oven alright literally I baked it in the oven to melt the glue that's how he did it on they were like they couldn't believe it and that's when I knew I was onto something and then at that moment signature collection albums was born and so now that's a company that's here is here to stay we've got hundreds and hundreds of customers who love the product and so we'll go through some of that stuff we'll talk about the albums we offer options we offer everything from ah standard ten by ten to our clients metal cover crilly cover leather cover all the way up to twelve by eighteen right so earlier on previous segment we had that twelve by eighteen just a monster book both landscape and portrait that we're offering to our clients just absolutely blows them away and they're they're significant right we passed it around you guys they are significant albums they're going to stand the test of time and that's what I want I don't give a cheap feeling album that would defeat the entire purpose so how do we position it's your first family heirloom you've got a point out the key features and what makes them unique clients do not understand what makes an album unique they have no idea I know you asked me if I needed an album and I know I said no but guess what I do so can I have that album please the big guy thank you very much and so from my perspective there is nothing more powerful than an educated consumer see the average bride when they come into your studio they literally have no idea what makes a good album they have no idea a book is a book is a book to them you could show them a coffee table book and you could show him a high end album maybe they can see the different visually but they don't understand the difference when it comes down to the bones if you will of the book that comes down to us to educate them so I educate them when I'm showing them this album okay I'm putting it in their hands and I show them key features okay of the book I'll point to the leather binding I tell them the field is a cheap book I don't know if you realize this when you move the covers okay the binding will actually shift so go home all you photographers go check out the albums that you're offering your clients today when you grab this if you're shifting this and I can move this and this binding binding is shifting at the edge two shitty album hate to tell you it's not made right and that means overtime is your client's opening closes book it's going to shift away from the leather and this binding is gonna get loose, okay, you don't want to give something to your client than five, ten years is falling apart on them. That was something that I took a lot of pride in. So that's something that's in the book, I tell them this I explain this to them. Why? Where they going? After they meet with me, they're going to look at other drivers. I could see it now they go sit in that meeting and they're doing stuff like this, right? They're shifting this around, right? I'm moving this around right now. I'm holding this by both edges. I'm moving this and that binding is barely moving. That's how stiff it is that's what you want? Okay, so I hope they go do that when they go look, then point out I go feel this inside cover, right? It's crushed velvet go it's just gives it a nice field on my bride's gonna feel it yeah, that feels I like that, yeah, okay, then I'm going to say, see how thick these pages are okay, we're going to stand the test of time very durable you don't want something that's flimsy so now she's doing this she's sitting here I'm teaching your what to look for inequality book you understand this is benefiting me by doing this because now when she goes and meets with other photographers she's going to start looking at that stuff and she doesn't really understand what it takes I'm educating her I'm like feel this leather mike how does that feel right well it feels it feels really good alright it's gonna feel like a leather jacket right? This is high and leather there's leather out there they call it leather but it's like leatherette it's not really leather it feels plasticky that's not good leather it's just italian leather so I'm educating my bride on what goes into making a good book that's really, really important you get me okay, you've gotta educate them. I also educate them on the album laying flat right now there's plenty albums out there that lay flat there's nothing wrong with that, right? But I tell them to look for this right this is going to lay flat and here's what it allows us to dio this allows us to design I don't have any pictures in here across two pages okay, so now when we get these big dramatic images from your wedding yet I can just I can design it and go across two pages with no gutter in the middle, so I'm educating her on all these facets of what goes in to a well designed album and she's loving life that's what you have to be able to do during that initial sales consultation, I'm explaining to them why we are more valuable than my competitors. You've gotta learn how to do that. Sell yourself. We're going to show casey's at bridal shows, of course, so it every bridal show these things they're sitting out. I want people to see him. I want him to come by. I want them to grab them, see touch, feel them. We offer all sorts of leathers. Distress leathers really nice, smooth, like leathers. Whatever you're looking for, I'm gonna have that out to show my clients um, god. Investing the samples. I typically have five sample albums at any given point in time in rotation, I like to have about five. And it's it's not necessarily to showcase the different sizes, which I do want to showcase the sizes. Right. Remember, this one is a twelve by eighteen, okay and it's going to open up a portrait, but then we also have one that's twelve by eighteen and opens up. I'm sorry, that was landscape we also have a twelve eighteen it's gonna open up portrait style like a normal book and just absolutely looks beautiful we're gonna have both of those I don't want to explain it to him I want to be able to show it to him I want to show him the difference in the two s so what I take in my black label we have a twelve by eighteen we have an eight by twenty that's calendar style right so they ate by twenty is gonna look like this so it's a calendar style album two tone leather really really cool different leathers that we're showing write the other thing I'm going to show my clients I'ma show them this strip check that out those air the corners of the albums and so when they're looking at other albums they're seeing albums that are just folded leather right crisscross folded these albums okay those air done by him that somebody by hand shaping the leather so that it has that that pinched point there okay, that is high end that's a high and book I want her to learn the difference between a high end album and a cheap album that's important because she's paying me a lot of money for this album so if she doesn't if I don't get her to understand this how am I going to sell it guys with me so if we go back we doing eleven by sixteen an eighteen by twelve rights of the opposite one's gonna open a portrait once going open up landscape we showcase volumes remember what we talked about in our packages we give them the ability to get two wedding albums right one would be they could get from the same but the others can reverse the colors so one could be the blue with white leather and then it would be the second album they get the white with the blue with a blue stripe right it looks really cool when it's sitting on a bookshelf and those two are side by side in their opposite leather it's really, really powerful now in our black label they can pick any leather they want they can pick from forty different leathers he's not a powerful conversation to be able to have first he's showing them a black leather album ten by ten square black leather album they see that anywhere every photographer at the at the bridal show you're going to go to he's gonna have that what about offering something like this to your high and seniors or families? Not that big right go with a ten by ten you don't have to offer these monster size is I think we even have on offsides like him nine by twelve a really interesting size that we have what about offering something like that to your seniors to your family's right but offering it at a high end first offering a press printed book right that's going to fall apart in a couple of years, right? So you got to start thinking like how do I increase sales? How do we offer more than just a cd? My bride can't get this at shutterfly it's not possible you can't get this anywhere that's why I want to offer this tour I want to offer something I know she can't get anywhere else or worse yet indifference if she looks at your albums okay, remember the segment we're talking about albums if they're looking at your albums and they look it and they go it's all right, I'll get one of shutterfly if that's happening even mentally for a minute you've lost a sale you're not gonna be able to justify however, if she looks like that was like, oh my god, that looks I've never seen anything like that if you can get them saying that or you offer colors that tie into their wedding day right that's why I'm asking colors if they tell me their colors are coach I have leather for I'm showing them that leather michael that's cool we can be your wedding album the colors of your your wedding day I did a wedding recently cars were black and red and so we did a black uh smooth latin either with a red stripe she loved it she went crazy for it that's the kind of stuff I want to be able to for my client's not just the square black leather album we gotta do something different. The signature on the medium collections we're carrying too ten by ten leather album so we want to have to square albums one's leather ones got an acrylic or a metal cover so offer to there so you've gotta have five to seven albums in your arsenal to show your clients you can't just have one and so these are some of the sample albums we have right that's our eight by twenty that's gonna open up calendar style I would say for about two years this style of album that counter style so it's long and skinny and it opens up right like a calendar to a sixteen by twenty this particular album when we had it brought shows for about two years was just a show stopper. Everybody would stop and look had I had to see touch feel that had never seen anything like it. Now the show stopper in our booth is a twelve by eighteen and it's got this kind of leather on it. People are just stunned by it so we have this leather in yellow and we have another album like it in brown a really dark brown and then we have that a big album with a metal inland and the bride's come by our booth and they have to stop. They have to see it, touch it, feel it, it's a big pull through item for us to get him to black label. So really, really cool impressed leather. All right, let's, talk about delivery times. We promised design roughly two weeks from image submission. So I've got bride's four years don't have their albums. We don't we don't even have a design into him. It's not important to you, it's. Not important to me. I'm going to save my money. Why do I want to go out and buy seven hundred dollar item six hundred dollar item if I can't get you to? Uh, I can't get youto pic pictures, so I've offered bribes. I'll pick. I think I know how to pick pictures for our wedding album. No, no, no. We're going to do what we promise their dark dark for years. It's okay, that's fine. I'm just gonna move on. I'm going to focus on the brides who are going to get him stuff, so if they get me pictures, I've also got bride, too. Three months after their wedding, they have their wedding album in their hands. Those are the ones I want to focus on, uh promised designed roughly two weeks from image the mission now we typically at about five to seven business days we'll get it to him an initial design uh, six to eight weeks after they make final approval, we give unlimited changes to him typical bride two to three changes max because they're picking pictures so I rarely have brides make changes to the actual design of the album doesn't happen all that often unless I got a designer graphic designer for a client. So typically the clients not going not going to request many changes that's why we let them pick their own pictures so six to eight weeks after final approval, real time is more than likely they're getting their album in about four to five weeks. That's how quickly will deliver it but we say six to eight weeks, right as you start getting in holidays and what's going to happen is it's november? What is every year this time our every bride wants teo submit their albums right? I'm not gonna have it from crazy for christmas and then it's like december first and they got us there there actual image selection on december first. We'll know you're not gonna have it for christmas. That's actually impossible, because the labs no one's gonna be able to turn those albums around quick enough, and so designs are usually an image and a half to two images per page you saw this, by the way. All right, this is a really this is sample of a real clients album. And so as we flipped through here, we're going through right some pages, you've got two pages, one image, so call it a half image per page. You go through some. Now we've got four, maybe detail shots, but it's going to average an image and a half to two images per page. That's what? It's going to be on average now? I don't have to argue with my clients because when they come in for the initial consultation, they're looking at a sample album that only has an image and a half to two images per page. Johnson thirty pages. This one is, I believe, forty pages. So this is an upgraded album for them. This is a sample of there, so I hit the number, too, so I could have a sample from a, um so image and a half to two images per page. We use a spreadsheet to avoid them over stuffing the album. I'm going to show you that spreadsheet. Copy it. Ah, they can add more pages if needed. Yeah. So, going back to a previous segment, we talked about shoot proof and the ability for them to favorite now are you going in with the spreadsheet from your end and doing that so you're going all right here's my spreadsheet here shoot proof all right these down are you still having your brides do that? So the that's actually really good question the chute proof system eyes not necessarily tied into our spreadsheet so we're still trying to figure out howto work the shoe proof system into our own work flow what the chute proof system does is because full rez j pegs have been uploaded to shoot proof when they favorite them my design team can now just download those images so then we're done right we just bringing in those images the reason I like my worksheet and I'm going to show you this is because if it stops him from over stuffing when they use shoot proof okay and just start starring stuff this is why I said we're still in transition with this trying to figure it out do they can select two hundred images if they want right I like this this this this is there's nothing to stop it from happening so now what has to happen on the back and it gets a little more complicated taylor has to go in and make sure they haven't picked more than nine per section and so that part of it is still being flushed out for the time being I know taylor's trying to keep them into this spreadsheet but then there's the khan of it the pro of using a few of the shoot proof system is they can actually download all the j pegs so all the images of their taylor doesn't have to go find images right there there she gets him however she now has to do this the khan of this the situation is now yes, they've been limited to nine images but now taylor has to go dig up and find the seventy or eighty images that they've picked right so there's a pro con there but this is that worksheet will come right back to it and so they can add more pages if needed right a majority of our clients call it seventy percent or more are adding pages to their album we only allow them to add in ten page increments I do not want to get sucked into adding one page at a time or two pages at a time. Ten paging ferments okay it's that it's that simple that's what we're gonna let them add at once design is complete we use album exposure if you're not using album exposure, I highly encourage you to check them out really, really powerful tool for proofing now way understand what we're saying bye proofing right? We design our album I gotta send it somewhere for my client to add notes track the notes email me when they submit their changes approved the album. Nothing could be worse than them approving the album, but they're not really approving the album, right? If you're doing that email there's all sorts of confusion that can take place so we use album exposure they can once they hit, approve that's it done. You get notification that's been approved. You can now go order that album and you've got a way. C y a right covering your ass on this. And so you've got to be able to do that so you don't get get burned again. Real world story. We had a bride one time her name was spelled wrong in the album. Things happen. She approved it. I came back. She didn't catch it for another two weeks. So she had the album in her hands was showing all her family. It was a mother who caught that her name was spelled wrong. So she came back to me and she said, I know I screwed up. I approved this. What can we do to make it right? You know what? If all my customers handled issues like that, I would be a very, very happy man, and so I said, I'll split the difference with you. And we did. We sent it back. Most of the companies depending on which page it is or like that, they can actually replace one spread on that's what they did. So it costs us like one hundred fifty bucks to replace that spread. Seventy five. She paid seventy five. I paid. Everybody was happy on it. Right? So but had I not had that system in place, I probably would have been burned on that. So check it out. I'm exposure. I apologize. I have no discount codes for you. I don't know how much, uh, system. Anybody here using it, who's using it, nobody's even using it all. You got to check it out. You'll love it. I don't think it's that expensive things like a hundred bucks or two hundred bucks a year. I don't. Or something like that. I'm making stuff up. It's free. They said it was free for everybody in the creative live on. Yeah, tellem south said so. Yeah, we love it. Uh, okay. So here's, the spreadsheet that we use, uh, real simple, right? It's, not it's, not sexy. It's, not meant to be sexy, is just a real simple spreadsheet that taylor put together an xl. Bridal prep groom prep ceremony and this is tied to how many pages they have, so if they have a thirty page album, they're picking about nine images if they have a forty page album, taylor has a different spreadsheet for that, so you can see this is a thirty page album selection. Uh, she asked, this has been figured out over time. Okay, so it says up here filling your top nine image numbers numbers that come after last name in the gallery, not the slide number, because a lot of time when you use these online proofing sites have a slide number, which is completely different, then the actual image number so this was causing chaos for us. They'd come in and be like image number, they would tell us twenty two, but it was really slide twenty two, which was image seventeen. It was a mess, and so that we had to fix that, then we had to educate them on what to pick so for bridal prep would explain to our bride pictures of you getting ready pictures of you alone don't makes images with any other part of the day the big part that we had to educate them on with the ceremony so the bride would pick nine pictures from the ceremony, the groom wasn't in a single one. It was all about her was hard coming down the aisle. It was her up at the altar. It was her hugging her mom. It was like the groom and his parents. None of them existed, so we had to educate them on. Okay, not just about you include your husband in these pictures, him looking at you coming down the aisle so that we could tell that story of the day. And so this is the sheet we sent to him. This is evolved over years because of the problems we've had with albums on. And I would say now this has become quite a smooth process. Yeah, with us. So they pick nine. Are you guys absolutely using those nine or using designer discretion? Your like, you know, we felt seven worked better than nine here. Absolutely brilliant question we are sometimes we might use twelve. Okay, so what we're doing is we're looking at those nine and then we're making design calls on the fly, right? If there is one that we know is a strong image, like she's hugging her mom and she's crying, of course that's going get used, right? But if she submits to pictures or she submits a pick, this is more of a real world scenario. She submits a picture of her shoes okay, but we don't like it. It doesn't fit the spread. We'll pick another picture of her shoes that fits the spread better. Does that make sense? Yeah, and not only that this will go through rounds of changes. So if she really doesn't like the picture we selected, shell gives that feedback on the first round of changes and go where's this picture I really want to do in there. Great. We'll just swap out the picture. Most of the changes that come through the album design process using album exposure. Most of those changes that come through our rarely design changes ninety percent of the time eighty percent of the time. It's more of image swap right now, she sees your album laid out and she goes, you know what? I really don't want that image. Can you put this other image in their semi consent? All right, so there's lots of ways to design albums, right? Templates. We can buy photoshopped templates for years and years and years. That's what we used to use, we used to use photoshopped templates where we're just dragging and dropping images in super simple it's really big, I think, for seniors, because you can have all those design elements in him, but now I'm designs are starting to really go back to clean right, so I would say maybe, like, three, four, five years ago, albums were getting very ornate, the elements were in there and you're doing all these things that worked somewhat dating the album. Now we're coming full circle and alan designs is going real clean. It's either sitting on a black background or sitting on a white background really open clean design, not over designing things. And I think that's going to stand the test of time so you can use photo shop can use, uh, fundy fundings to tool anybody using funding? Yeah, it's a cool tool only problem with it right now, right? Can't export psd s out of it? I believe so. In this current version, I know that's something they're working on. Yeah, I'm almost positive. Uh, smart albums, right? We can use a tool like that. Anybody using smart albums here? I might change all your world right now, so I want to actually show you smart albums, let's, jump appear to my laptop. So almost everything I talked to you guys about, okay, there's stuff I use. And so I try to make sure that I'm using using this stuff in my business really world, or that I can at least stand behind a product like that and so smart albums is this tool I saw one of my designers using they were doing like a little trial on it and I was watching them them use it and I'm like, what is that? And they're like oh, this is a new tool I got demo I go go buy it right now by that tool because it's incredible and so here's the interface and so you're gonna you're gonna freak out right? So I basically said I want to do a new album signature collection album templates are in here so sizing all the mold a mi mejor album manufacturers are sitting in their tools could use a new album you're just drag and drop your image is in here okay for it so now these are the images that the client would have picked out for us. Okay, so the client would have selected there fifty, sixty, seventy images that they want to use for their album and those pictures are sitting here for them. So now what you're gonna do is you're gonna be okay I'm looking at a two page spread so this is a twelve by eighteen album it's an album like this that I've been showing you okay that's the spread we're looking at here I can now just grab okay? You know what on this opening spread ah, I just want to grab a few of these images okay, I just wanna drag him in here that's going to an initial layout for me maybe you're wild maybe you're not but now I just I can hit a button. All right, let's see what do we want to hear this just keeping on through some temple in its school let's go back. Yeah that's really cool. I like it that blow your mind yet yeah, because it's not freakin easy that's how easy using this tool is think about this from seniors from families, babies, everything you're doing and it doesn't stop they're now moving images is simple. I can now grab this image and go you know what? I really want to start off with the room number, so I'm just gonna put it there bam it's going to switch everything up? You know, I really want to put the image of the guys all sitting there there boom, there it is now we're moving that spread. You know what? I don't like it let's go and try spread like this. You know, I like this a little bit better. What if we come in here and we just scale into this image a little bit, see what's happening there and change the angle I think is a little crooked yeah let's do that on go that route right now I can straighten that out boom, I'm done ok, let's go to next credit it's moving really quick let's design the whole album today. Yeah, yes, we should do all right, so now I can grab images from my bride getting ready. Okay, now I'm just gonna drag him put him into a new spread and now the system's laying it out that way maybe I want I'm just gonna go through and I can also look at this, ok? And see the different templates that are available right? So if I want to work that way I can work that weighs what you guys are right you need to stop. I see a lot of open jaws right now like you cannot believe what's happening at this moment in front of you I'm telling you I saw this tool and I was like, just buy it I don't care how much it is because I knew how much time I was taking and my team was taking to design albums. I mean, this just simplifies absolutely everything. And so now I can go through and take a look at the different templates, right? And so maybe this is the template I want to work with now, right? But obviously I don't want her garter on the left to be to be the main image, so I want to take this image of her and swap that they're I want that to be the big image, and then all these details here to be the smaller images, dude, they could not have made this easier to use anything that is going to save you time by just do it, it's going to save you time that time is going to come back to you tenfold. You spend your time on marketing, you're going to spend your time on advertising, going to spend your time shooting that's where your time should be spent not doing albums on it used to take me holy god like four plus hours, right to design albums forty six hours. I would sit there designing wedding albums, and I don't know if you're if you're like me, I would sit there and obsess about a little bit that needs to be a little bit more laughter, that's too heavy on the right, you just start doing things that make no sense here, I'm just I'm coming through fingering through just picking different layouts till I get to one I kind of like the layout and then I'm just tweaking it. I mean, we could have been done with that album in probably fifteen minutes remember I don't have to obsess about pictures my client's already picked the pictures at this point, all I'm doing is going through and using the pictures she's selected and moving through templates. I have not had a single client come back to me and be like, I don't like the design this album, not one, not one. And so, guys, this is where we should be spending our time.