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The Product

Lesson 13 from: The Business of Wedding Photography

Vanessa Joy

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Lesson Info

13. The Product

Next Lesson: Pricing

Lesson Info

The Product

We're going to get in the product. So you guys look good and sufficiently overwhelmed. I like that. That learning headache, that's a good headache. Remember, pain is good, but learning headache's a good one. So we're gonna get into the product. I do this before we get into pricing because I don't just make $10,000 a wedding just for rolling out of bed and showing up that day. It has a lot to do with the product that I offer them. So we need to talk about product and what it is and how we can make it match with your brand and the fact that product, this is a marketing tool for you. This is a very strong marketing tool for you. If you are a photographer that only hands over digital files, man, you are missing out. I'm not even talking about the money you're missing out on. I'm talking about the marketing you're missing out on. The opportunity to get your photos, what you do, in front of other people. This has a much longer shelf life than anything that's online, than any digital product,...

and a tangible product is seen so much more than any digital product. So you really want to make sure that you can get your work printed as much as possible. So here's a little just kinda step-by-step into knowing quality. We're gonna go over some of the products that I have here. You have to research your vendors. We talked about this when we were talking about outsourcing. This is where I recommend in your research that you go. You go visit a lab, maybe not the actual production facility but you go to trade shows and you visit and you see the products that they offer and you know, you discover new ones that way too. Always get the best that you can afford. Alright? I know that certain things are expensive but you're not gonna nickel and dime your clients so don't nickel and dime yourself either. Don't walk around at a trade show and look at all these album companies and like, "Okay, well this one's like $6 less "so this is the one." Well, maybe not. Maybe not. Get the best that you can and educate your clients on them. One of my videos in my InstaStories talks about how you tell a quality album when you see one. I'll teach that to you guys when I pull off one of these albums. Ideally, you want to engage all of their senses while you're teaching them about the product. So make them touch it, make them feel it, make them experience the quality for themselves. But print is huge. These are just some examples of different prints that I get through Miller's, but albums. Albums are huge. That's what they bring around. Parents, album companies, they usually give you a deal on the duplicate albums. Not all of my clients get duplicate albums. Sometimes, they give it to them for free because I want mom taking that baby little five by five album and I want her throwing it in the purse and bring it into work and bringing it to the grocery store, bringing it to the family things, mom will show off that album more than the bride ever will. She will, it's her baby girl, that's what she does, or her son, that's what she does. So sometimes, they give it to them for free and now Miller's just came out with the companion album. You can get a little miniature album for like a hundred bucks. A hundred dollars for the infinite amount of marketing and of having that tangible product in the hands of your clients. Maybe you don't have the money to give a hundred dollars, that is not a small amount of money necessarily so, you know, find something else. I've gifted them other little things. I love gifting them the same-day album which is a little less expensive so that you can give them something tangible but something printed. Think something small that will fit in mom's purse, that will fit in your bride's purse even if they're not in addition to them getting the bigger stuff. I'm going to come grab an album over here so I can show you how to look at the quality of an album. Let's do this one coz it's pretty. This is one of my favorites. So this album here, this is Miller's. This is one of my client's favorites too. So this is the acrylic finish. It's really pretty if I kinda do this. You can see how reflective it is. People can get fingerprints on it but not really. Actually, I'm looking here, I don't even see fingerprints from what I just left. I love this one. So one thing you wanna look at, you always wanna look at your seams. So I take a look at the seam right here, making sure there's nothing coming out, making sure there's no separation here. I take a look at these seams also. I'll open it kinda this way. The corners, like how tightly wrapped they are. That's really important, and then also the binding ones. So the binding ones here. Just gonna lay it down. Alright. The binding ones here, I wanna see, even when I open it and shut it, making sure that nothing's coming up, nothing's pulling up all along here. And then the other thing you wanna make sure is when you lie it flat like that, there's no waving, there's no separation happening. You want all of your pages to be flat. It is amazing. When you go to album companies, and I get it, these trade show booth albums are beat up. It's amazing how many of you go like this and you hold it up and it looks like the Pacific Ocean. Just tons and tons of ways that is no. No, no, no, no, no. And sometimes, it's a temperature-controlled thing but sometimes, you can just tell when you look at it that it's not good. And then the other thing you wanna look for is when you do open it, always find a picture, actually, a black and white picture would even be better like this. And you wanna look at the seam. Obviously, you don't want to see any cracking or tearing or things like that. You wanna make sure there's no discoloration as well. Depending on the paper they use in the process, sometimes, they get a pinking here and it's like a slightly pink. So you wanna make sure there's no color discoloration whatsoever. Definitely best to see if you've got white or a black-and-white photo there. Now, this paper, this is my favorite. This is exactly how I sell it to my clients. Let me get to a color. Color here. Okay, there we go. So this is my favorite paper and I always make them feel it. This is the best. It's called deep matte paper, Fuji deep matte paper, and I tell them, "Doesn't it feel like that your pictures "are printed on rose petals?" Just wanna make bedsheets out of it. It's so great. I love this! I pretty much make all of my clients get to this one here. The album design in generals, we're gonna talk about that later so don't worry about that, but the product itself, that is how you look at an album. And then you could also look at it this way, just making sure that these are nice and thick, making sure there's no corners, corners, nothing's coming up. But I do this with my clients. I tell 'em to look at the quality of the album and make sure that the quality is there. So this is another album, then we can do the same thing. You just hold it up, it's nice and flat, you can look at all the corners, look at the binding and you're good. There you go! This is a 10 by 10. This is the album size that most of my clients typically get. 10 by 10 or they upgrade to a 12 by 12. When I give the parent albums, it's a little bit smaller so I give them an eight by eight, or if I'm doing the freebie one, I'll give them the five by five coz after all, it's free. The five by five is nice. That's the one that really fits right into the album, oh, I'm sorry, into their purse. So gonna leave that there for a little bit. We'll flip over. So I get this question: what should you offer? So you go to a lab's website, Miller's, and they have everything. Everything under the sun. So what is it that you should decide that you offer? Well, go back to your brand. What type of brand do you have? What type of photography style do you have? What is going to show off your work the best? I've decided for me, that I really like the glass stuff and I really like the wood because my photos, I love a very soft photo but I also like it looking pretty elegant as well and I think, anything having to do with the glass, like this is a glass print. This is the best thing ever. Alright, so this glass print is something that I really push to sell because this is, it's magnificent, it's gorgeous! And I have these on the wall but I usually have these right in front of a window also. And in front of a window, the light just comes through it and this thing glows. I mean, it glows. They walk in and they just see this and it screams luxury. You wanna know the other nice thing about this is? They can't get this somewhere else. Offer things that they can't get. It used to be canvasses but canvasses, they can go on Groupon and get a canvass. Now, the quality is different so that's where you educate them on the quality, right? So I'm pretty sure we have a canvass here. I will present that to them and then I'll present this to them as well. You know, a canvass, and then make them hold it, and I'll say, "You're gonna get your digital files. "You can go on Groupon and find a canvass to print "but it's not gonna be the same quality." And when you have a photo this big, your children are gonna fight over this later, right? Your grandkids are gonna hang this and remember their grandparents and on from theirs. You need this to last. The canvasses you get, they don't have the UV protection that this does. They don't have the really tight corners. They don't have the backing on here that you can knock on so that no one's gonna punch a fist through this not that anyone throws fists in your home, I'm just saying, alright? They don't have the easy hang potentially so show off. If you're not gonna show them a unique item they can't get anywhere else, show off what it is that you offer and why is it better. Some people do this with prints. They will print something from I don't know, Costco or Walgreens or CVS, and then they'll have their own prints of the same picture and overtime, maybe, you leave them in the sun intentionally side by side, and then you can show them, over time, look how this one holds up and look how the one that I'm offering you holds up. Under the same circumstances. I'm not saying put Costco's in the sun and leave yours not in the sun, I'm not saying that. But show them the difference because again, they don't know the difference between good and great photos so why would they know the difference between good and great albums? Good and great canvasses, good and great anything else, right? You have to teach 'em. That's your job. Going back to the brand, what's something else that you typically have? So I've got a canvass here, I've got a glass here, another popular thing is metal. I don't really show off metals that much. The only time I show off metal is if I have a very chic, New York City wedding. Then I'll show off the metal because that matches their wedding. And it's a little bit off the brand but it works because of the pictures, because the pictures match that. So don't give them the world either. The easiest place where you can give them the world but it's a disservice is the albums, the album covers. Because we know that album covers, there's like a million combinations, a million of them, and if you just go like, "Oh, here you go. "Here's all the swatches. "Here are all your options." They're just gonna be like, "What?" Remember, our high-end clients, they pay for convenience and on top of it, they don't have a lot of time so we need to help guide them in that decision-making process. So when someone comes in with an album or they're getting an album, what I typically do, so I have some albums out but I ask them. First thing I ask them, "Do you want a photo on the cover of your album? "Do you? "You sure? "Okay. "If you want a photo on the cover of your album, "do you want it cut out "so it's not the whole thing "or do you want it taking up the whole thing?" Now, if they decide they want it taking up the whole thing, great! I've pretty much just narrowed them down to two more decisions. What do you want it printed on, glass, metal, or wood, and I won't even suggest the metal unless it fits their wedding, and then what type of leather or linen do you want around the end? If they say they want it small, pretty much narrowed it down to the same things except they're just gonna have more of the fabric on the front. If they don't want a photo, great! Now I'll show them covers that look good without a photo like just leather with their names embossed on it or a leather that has Miller's say it's etched leather but if you put an etched leather with a photo on it, it's like a mess, it looks like way too much happening there. I guide them to it, and you wanna know what's great about that? They stopped printing ugly stuff, right? Because I'm not giving them the option to do things that I know don't look good and then on top of it, they spend much less time in the sale session coz you're not overwhelming them with all this choice, alright? So you wanna make sure that you do that and there's more to that. We're gonna talk about sale sessions and albums and pre-design and all of that stuff in the next assignment there. A couple other things on products. So this one right here, this is wood, this is another one that I offer. If you have a brand that is very rustic, very vintage, muted, you probably really like the wood stuff like this. This is one of my favorites here because you have the option of either printing it so that you see the wood grain come through or you print it on white which is what I did here. So even though this is on wood, the photo itself is not losing any vibrancy. Coz remember, my brand is very vibrant. I love color, I wanna see the color so I'm using this printed on white as opposed to having it printed where the wood grain comes through. It looks more muted, it looks more vintage, it's just a little bit different. Some of the other things that I make decisions for them that I don't have right here are their thank you cards. They get thank you cards included with all of their packages. I love giving them that freebie because then, I basically get to do direct mail marketing where they pay for the stamp and they spend the time addressing all of the envelopes and things like that. I like to do that for them and it typically goes on a five by five, double-sided card. They can upgrade if they want to. We're gonna get into the different numbers and how to upgrade but they have little upgrades like that. They get complimentary thank you notes but you can upgrade them to folded ones or tri-folded ones or whatever else you wanna upgrade to, dye cut, things like that. I don't really give them too much of a choice. I print those on a pearl paper because I think it's just elegant, it's very 'weddingy' and they tell me how many they want and I print and ship it to them. Lastly, when we're talking about these products is how you deliver them. Any product that they get, I typically drop ship it right to them. You can do boutique packaging, branding, the price won't come in it or anything like that. So anything like this, I'm sending directly to them. I'm shipping it to them. Especially stuff like this coz you wanna know what happens if you bring all these things to your house? You become like a mini cardboard recycling facility and you just have so much cardboard, it's not even funny. So I like to drop ship it to them plus, for me, I feel like there's less potential damage if it's just going directly to them rather than coming from the lab to me and then from me to them. So anything that is not an album goes directly to them but sometimes, their albums, I send it to them directly as well. Now, some people like it to come to the studio so that they can wrap this up in all of the branding and that's a great idea. Friend of mine, Michael Anthony in Los Angeles, I believe he has everything come to him and he's got this great bags and everything's branded and everything is handed off to them and I think there's a lot of value in that. I personally don't do that. It's also where my studio is located. I have a lot of Manhattan clients but depending on traffic, I'm about one to three hours outside of Manhattan. They're not coming to pick this up. I'm giving them the service of delivering it straight to them but there is a certain level of... Certain level of convenience or quality, I would say, when you do hand it to them as opposed to shipping it to them. And even, actually, in some cultures, a certain amount of respect. If you ever been to, I believe it's China, they always hand you back your credit card with two hands. The act of handing something, if you go to a high-end luxury store, they don't hand you the bag over the counter. They walk around the counter to hand it to you. So there is a level of high quality in the way that you deliver something but you have to figure out what works for you. For me, cardboard recycling facility in my house, extra time, it's better for my definition of success that I shipped those to them. Now, the albums on the other hand, I ship those to me because I want to go through them and check them and inspect all those little things. And I tell them that. I tell them that it comes to me. And then on top of it, when I get the album, I wanna photograph it. I'm gonna tell you why I wanna photograph it later. So I photograph it, put it on social media, and do some other things with it as well. So in addition to checking it, I have a graphic designer that does these. They do check the albums before I print them but sometimes, there's printing errors, sometimes, the head's like chopped off too close, the bleed line wasn't good, things of that nature. And then, what's the one thing I told you that I kinda hold over their heads caret and to finish the album design, it's the USB. So then I ship the USB with the album in there. The thank you gift by the way that I mentioned to you, I ship that like a month later, a month after they've received everything. So the albums, I'm pretty picky with. Those, I do like to come to me. If I'm tight on time, maybe for an engagement album, I do send it straight to them. The engagement albums, I'm not as picky about, not as picky about as far as quality but as far as photographing every single one and having it come to me first. Does that make sense on what you guys should offer? The best thing I can tell you to do is really go and look at everything. It's one of my favorite things to go to trade shows. It's like kid in a candy shop, you're just skipping through the aisles, you love all of the different products and there's always something new. That's another thing. I tell my clients, they come in or we're on video chat and we talk about albums and I make sure they know. You can have whatever cover that you want but you're not allowed to pick it until after your wedding. After the wedding, that's one of the ways I get them to come in to do the sales session hopefully in person but I don't want them committed to this album cover. If after the wedding they're like, "You know what? "I've decided I'm gonna put that "on the coffee table and the style of my living room "isn't gonna work with a photo cover on the coffee table, "whatever it is." And I want them to have the latest and greatest. I don't want them stuck on something and then later, I know something better and I'm not offering it to them because they've already committed to that. So I have them do all that later. The same thing with picking out things like these. Big, ooh! Thought that was gonna fall, oh my gosh! These big products. I don't have them pick it out beforehand. I want them to do it later. I want them to know when or what picture it's going to go on there and where they will likely end up hanging it because, you know, if they have a really rustic-themed house, the glass, eh, not gonna look as good but a nice, big wood print like this or canvass, that will look awesome. If they're in New York and they have a chic studio apartment, maybe a metal is gonna look better in there. I really wanna customize it. We'll get into more of how and things like that later and how to put them into packages. How many of you guys are using some sort of system where you can actually have them send you a picture of their living room and then you can put the photo on it? Yeah. So, so great. I love having them do that. One of the reasons I actually like meeting with them potentially on Skype is because, "Hey, you're on your living room? "Oh great! Go send me a picture. "We'll see what this looks like on your wall." Really catering your products to the quality of what you're offering but then also to the style of your client. Very, very important to the brand. Alright. Moving on from that, from my fun products, any questions about products or you all just want new samples? You're gonna, "I just want that in my studio and that." Luckily, we're designing a new studio where my husband and I are and I do get to do a little bit of decorating. I actually hate decorating but I do love buying new photo products. It should be fun. Alright. Gear. Now, I know you're like, "Wait, why are we talking about gear?" But we're in the product section. We eluded to this beforehand. We eluded to the fact that your gear says a lot about you. Part of what your clients are buying from you is you and what you look like when you show up. Your presentation is part of the product that they're buying. When I was doing weddings five, 10 years ago, I would show up with certain attire on, and usually like Chuck shoes like Converse. And after a while, after I started getting into higher-end weddings, that just wasn't cutting it anymore. The same thing goes for some of your gear. I'm not saying some of your gear won't cut it anymore but in a lot of ways, at least in the NorthEast where I am, they almost expect a higher level of production, and I'm not saying be (mumbles) at some places, actually, I take that back. Some weddings by make expect you to arrive with like a back drop and that's where you do all the photos on, like a backdrop and lights and you set up the mini studio. Interesting, interesting clientele that likes that kinda thing. But your gear says a lot about you. So I do like to just talk about the type of gear that I have, type of gear that I use. So I'm a Canon girl. Team Canon, woo! Alright? I am using the 1DX Mark II. I love shooting with my prime lenses. All, all, all primes. I do have a 70 to 200 in my arsenal. I rarely take the thing out. I really do. I use that 135 more than anything else because it is a light lens, it goes down to 2.0 so it's really great in low-light situations. My one lens that I really want is the 200 2.0. I rent it every once in a while. There is definitely an interesting level of respect that you get when you are walking around with that massive lens. But your gear does say a lot about you. I have the Profoto lights here and the reason why I'm mentioning these is because one of the sales things that I say to my clients when they come in, I usually say, "You don't have to worry. "You don't have to worry about the light. "I bring the light. "I bring the sun on the wedding day." And the Profoto's have been crucial. If I were to pick one thing that has helped my photographic style and the kind of quality of photos that I can guarantee to my clients, it's been those lights. I use off-camera flash so much more than I used to and not necessarily in ways that you would think it's soft-camera flash. A lot of the photos that you saw here that look like natural light were actually off camera flash and because I am able to guarantee essentially the type of photographic style that I offer, despite what's actually happening on the wedding day, that's another thing that just raises the customer service level. So part of your presentation is how you look on the day of. Part of your service and product is the type of gear that you can bring and knowing how to use it as well. If you know how to use any type of gear so that you're being able to guarantee the kind of photo product, it's just so much a part of it. That's what screams experience in doing all of that. So now, a lot of you look at all this and you're like, "Oh, the price tag. "Oh, the price tag!" on all of these things, right? I did not start it here, I will say. My first camera I believe was the Canon 40D, first digital camera, and then I worked my way up from there. I'm curious for you guys. I told you the story earlier about how a third shooter of mine, how he brought a smaller camera and how he was treated, right? Just in the perception of the clients. His photos were great, by the way. His photos were fine. I'm curious if any of you have ever experienced that kind of, and not necessarily bad judgment but that kind of judgment based on what it is that you've brought to a wedding or how you've presented yourself. I even mentioned I used to wear Chucks to weddings and now I don't. The wedding planner, sometimes, that I go to these weddings, they are in kind of normal wedding work clothes, black pants, and then when the reception comes, they're in like Gucci. Like Gucci dresses and granted, the wedding planners aren't carrying that around. So they can do that. I don't wear Gucci by any means but it's just interesting how that perception is and I'm curious if any of you guys have experienced that kind of... You got nods. I wanna hear it. Alright, tell me. Pass the mic. I wear a Spider Holster and it's definitely like a topic of conversation because people think it looks so cool when you hang your camera on your belt and they think it looks so professional. Well, it's just so I don't feel my shoulders (laughs) at the end of the day but yeah, definitely, people think it looks professional so. It does. What happens? Your clients, you almost validate their purchase when that happens. When you show up and you are professional and you look good to their guests, to their clients, that is validating what they spent on you, because again, they're judging you sometimes and think you're a great photographer or a horrible photographer just based on your appearance, based on the experience, your presentation, things like that. I love that, yeah, the Spider Holster? That's actually on my 'want to gear' list that I can put my camera there. Right now, I have a strap that goes across. Anyone else have a similar kind of experience? Go ahead. I've had a couple of things but definitely just carrying the gear regardless of the lens but especially like 7200 on there, people are gonna go, "Wow, look at that! "He must take great photos!" So, thanks. (laughs) We love that, right? Yeah, it's always a great, you know. But yeah, that's always a perception and I've actually had a client years ago. I used to go to weddings in basically a three-piece suit minus the jacket, so vest and everything and I discovered in Los Angeles, I just can't do that, it's too hot. So I've trimmed it down, still dress appropriate but back when I was doing that, I had a client that wanted to know what I was gonna be wearing like, "Good, that's perfect!" They wanna make sure I was of course dressed appropriately. You should be but it was that perception they had of even what the photographer needed to be wearing. That's so true and I've had interesting stories about that, about photographers. It's amazing when, again, brides don't know the difference between good and great photography. I'm not knocking. Don't confuse them. I'm not knocking lower equipment or mirror less cameras or anything like that. I'm simply telling you to put yourself in the eyes of your client and how they perceive you. I had a friend of mine told me a story that the bride decided ultimately not to book him because when they met, he was wearing black jeans and there was just a little rip in them. It wasn't like the intentionally ripped but there was just like a little rip in them and they were like, "Oh my gosh, if he's wearing that, "then he might show up "not so professionally dressed the day of!" Meanwhile, he actually does wear a suit and tie and ironically, the photographer that they hired ended up showing up in jeans (laughs) to the wedding. Meanwhile, he would've showed up in a suit and tie and little things like that are decision-making items on a couple's checklist. So that's why I bring your attention to this and I'm bringing your attention to that perception again to the clients and it goes down to the gear that you have, the products that you offer. Sometimes, I have people come and say, "Oh, I might go with this album company "because they offer an Italian leather, "an Italian album company." Great! This one comes from Italy too but maybe, I didn't mention it but just that perception says so much about you about what kind of product that you're offering. Sometimes, that's the deciding factor between you or the guy next door. So always keep that in mind. Every part of the product that you offer, in addition, obviously, to the experience, it does make a difference and I'm glad you guys had stories too because sometimes I tell that story and it's like, just me, but no. It happens all across the board, all across the board. So I know you're looking at this and you're looking at all these nice, expensive things and you know, these things cost money. Yes, they absolutely do. We'll get into pricing and how you make them worth it but particularly when we're talking about gear or really, actually, this stuff as well, I like to tell you that debt is dumb. This is a Dave Ramsey quote. If I've mentioned him a few times, Dave Ramsey is a financial coach. You may have heard Total Money Makeover, Financial Peace University, but he also has this book called EntreLeadership, one of my favorite business books ever. But his thing is, "Debt is dumb, cash is king." And I know all of that equipment I just showed you before, it's like, "Yeah, that's nice but I can't afford that." That's a lot of equipment or worse, worse, is you guys are thinking, "Mm, I can afford the payments on that "on a financial, like a loan, "I can afford the payments on that." No, no, no! Debt is dumb. I want to help you in the next segment, learn how to create pricing and learn how to sell to your clients so all that gear, all these sample products, you can buy in cash because debt is dumb. I want you to pay $5,000 for your camera one time not $7,000 or $8, over the course of all the interest payments that you would have to pay. Your pricing and your sales will help you afford all of these things in cash. In the next segment, I'll be able to show you how to do that because debt is dumb. Debt is not the way that you want to run your company. You want to be able to plan for everything here. So I always like to end that by prefacing the next one so that we will talk about that coz last thing I want you guys to do is like, "Oh yeah, I need all that equipment. "Vanessa said I need it. "Let me get it all." and then, you know, you're stuck not being able to afford the payments. And it's kinda funny because a lot of photography industry people complain about, "Oh, you know, they won't be in business later "because they don't realize how expensive all the stuff is." Or you know, we complain about people undercutting us price-wise. And a lot of it is because they don't realize how much these equipment costs and if you are actually calculating how much the equipment costs into what you have to charge people, then you realize, "Oh, no, I do need to charge more! "I want to be able to afford that." Why? Because we're photographers and ultimately, we're all gear heads! We just want the better camera! We just want more lenses! We want more light! We want more everything! Yeah, now is the time for go over questions for this segment if there are any. Go ahead. I had a couple actually. Going back to the thank you cards which I'd love that idea. When do you give those cards to them and do you include, since it's a freebie, your logo in them or any contact info? Absolutely! So it is a freebie so my logo is on it. They're welcome to upgrade then pay for them to remove my logo but they don't usually care on there and I give it to them after the wedding and I send it to them or my graphic designer sends it to them sometimes before their proofs are even ready so they can start working on that before even all the pictures are done because I've done that same-day edit and I've done a couple of the best pictures which are perfect for the thank you card. So sometimes, they approve them right then and there. Now, I do print those thank you cards when they approve their album design. So once the album design is approved, then I will print those thank you cards because then, they will work on that because mom wants those thank you cards sent out right away, right? They wanna send those out. So complimentary, I can do what I want with them. Not surprised, I tell them beforehand that "Hey, you get complimentary thank you cards." and I let them know. When they sit down with me during that consultation or they're on the phone, I tell them, "My goal is to give you everything that you've paid for. "So I've created these checks and balances "so that it will happen in a timely manner for you." So, yup! That's how I let them know. Any other? Yup, good! Your same day album slash edit, is that just a electronic version or are you printing something? I am printing something, yes. Can you tell me all about that? So I do a same-day edit, it has roughly 50-ish pictures in it. You can do with 10 pictures if you want. I have done a few different things. The course that I mentioned just here on Creative Life, it shows you how I make a four by six album. So I've done that. It's like peel and stick and I make a four by six album and give it to them. I've also done it where I have a Polaroid camera, an InstaMax, and I just send the photos to the InstaMax. Then it creates a Polaroid photos of all, like 10 of my wedding photos and I give them a little Polaroid album, they've loved that. I've also done it where I've scrapbooked the night before, a cute little album and put the Polaroid pictures in it and done that. I really like that bride. I'm really close to their family side on that one. But whatever it is, just give them something tangible. Give them something that wows them and it's really, really fun. It is. I love seeing their looks on their faces. If you look at my Instagram, under the four photographers section, somewhere on there is a video of me handing one of those albums to my clients and she is just like, (gasps) "Oh my God!" Like the reaction, I live for that. I live for making my clients smile like that. Any other questions here? Yup, in the back. And I'm sure we've all asked this and heard answers. I know you do IPS. How do you combat the rise of shoot and burn photographers? Well, I don't. I don't combat shoot and burn. Just because if a client comes to me, they're inquiring and all they want is a CD, I mean, I'll give it to them but I'm charging them for it. So I'll show you in the packages how I make that work. It pretty much is dumb for them not to get a printed product for me financially. I make it financially dumb not to get it but ultimately, if that's all they want, then they're not my client and I'm okay with that, right? That's part of my definition of success, kinda like yours, right? That client comes along and all they want is some digital files that will be obsolete and unviewable in 20 years, then you know what, eh, not mine. Yeah? How do you convert them? Maybe it's your type of wedding or they're just not educated on products and why they should get it printed through you as opposed to, "Hey, here are all your digital files. "Go wherever you want." Part of it is how I structure my packages so that it is financially dumb. What I do though is I'll ask them. So if someone comes to me, "Oh, I just want digital files." and then I'll ask them, I'll say, "Well, do you want digital files "coz you think it's less expensive "or do you want them "because you actually want digital files?" I'll ask them, "Do you want your grandchildren "to see these photos? "Because if only give you digital files, "there's an 80% likelihood that you will never print them "and then that means generations afterwards "will never see them." So I'll educate them that way and not like through the product, "Oh, don't you love it? "Don't you love it?" Yes, they'll love it. But more through, "Well, what do you want your photos to be? "What do you want to happen with your photos later?" And once you say that to them, it's actually easier now to educate them because they all have their cellphones. They know that the photos they took a year ago, they can't even find. So what's the difference between me handing them digital files. You're like, "You want these to live? "Print them. "You wanna print them."

Ratings and Reviews

Célia Gomes

I loved this class! So inspirational and useful tips! Congratulations Vanessa. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! And thank you Creative Live for opportunity of watch the class for free. Célia Gomes, Portugal.

angela warmington

Great course. Full of great business tips and practices that are adaptable to your own personal style of business. She has such a passion and love for her work and it comes across very clearly as she teaches. I am new to wedding photography and am so glad I purchased this course!!


I loved this class and got some great new ideas and insights thanks to Vanessa, thank you so much! Love from Holland

Student Work