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Why Studio Samples are Necessary in Photography Business

People are attracted by your talented photos and want to engrave their precious moments with you. However, it doesn’t mean they will buy print products naturally. So how do you earn more from a photoshoot rather than only selling digital photos? The showcase of studio samples is a good chance to let clients know there is more than amazing images you can provide them. Regardless if they are looking for wedding photos, boudoir photos, or portraits. That’s why experienced photographers always emphasize the importance of studio samples.

This article is especially for photographers who are working at photo studios. It includes empirical reasons in using of samples, which may assist you when starting a photography business.

Why Studio Samples are Necessary in Photography Business
Sample Albums with Popular Design Patterns from Zno Design Collection

Educate your clients the importance of print products because they are visible and accessible.

Photography is about catching a moment and immortalizing it. Photographers utilize their skills and talent to capture those moments, whether for themselves or their clients. The best way to relive those moments over time is to have them printed. Most of the digital images we share only make a brief appearance online before disappearing down a bottomless social media feed. Or they simply get looked at once before spending the rest of their existence on a seldom seen hard drive (or cloud collection). These same images, however, can take a different path and be viewed and appreciated when printed in albums or hung as wall art.

Why Studio Samples are Necessary in Photography Business
Metal Mounted Print Hangs in the Living Room

It is important to let your clients know that print products remember all the little things, long after people have forgotten about them. The twinkle in the eyes, the beauty of a smile or the details on a dress. They all encapsulate the feelings of that moment. By preparing studio samples in your studio to entice every client to view them, they tell them you can transform their own precious moments into albums that’ll have them reliving those moments every time they pull the album off their bookshelf. Plus, print products can be perfect gifts for family and friends because they can share in their joy of that precious time anytime and anywhere as well.

People don’t know they want to buy an album until they see it.

Photographers should know the necessity of adding print products to their photography workflow. However, these days some photographers only deliver pictures using digital files, most never make it to print. While this may be okay for the mini sessions, photographers often do themselves a disservice when limiting photos to the digital realm. This holds especially true for professional photographers who don’t conduct print sales a key part of their business since they’ve missed the most profitable part. For professional photographers, adding print options to the services they offer that are properly priced can open up a significant new stream of income. Some successful photographers build their businesses around selling prints, giving prints a key role in nearly every step of the process, from initial talk-through to shoots, design consultations, and more.

For example, when Zno joined in the photography tradeshows, photographers only showed interest in selling professional albums after introduction and consultation, especially when they were given a sample album to see, feel and touch.

Why Studio Samples are Necessary in Photography Business
Free Studio Sample Albums from Zno

Sample Effect

The introduction and consultation are important steps in a successful business but seeing a sample album is a decisive factor in the sale. Clients often struggle to imagine how beautiful their own album can be and the importance of owning an album for a lifetime to be shared for generations to come. But when a photographer shows a sample album onsite immediately, it is easier for clients to envision their own without the photographer needing to say a word. On the other hand, if a photographer only prepares an online viewing and focuses on how the photos were edited to show the perfect moments, the clients would never know the richness of the cover, see and touch the differences in photo paper and to feel the thickness of the page. They would never know the excitement and anticipation of seeing their own album. But with the help of a sample, they will be full of fascination as soon as they see the paper samples.

Needless to say, showing a sample album is not a guaranteed sold. There are other factors to consider that will affect the client’s willingness to purchase print products. But it is a very persuasive sell point to show a premium wedding sample album to a wedding couple as opposed to a sample album of another theme.

The exclusive high quality printing shows what clients can get from a studio rather than mega-stores.

Having abundant options, designs and low prices, albums in mega stores can attract clients easily. What photographers need to do is explain that professional albums and products sold in their studio are different from what people can print at these other places in terms of quality and price. They can excite clients with unique print products using the latest printing techniques which are not easily available at these mega stores. What’s more, photographers are professionals in product design. The design consultation is to learn their wants and expectations. It is a valuable experience to help save the client’s time to ensure they receive a luxurious heirloom product in the end.

Why Studio Samples are Necessary in Photography Business
Edge Painting Only Available on Professional Photo Albums

Next is to prepare the introduction of a beautiful sample album. For example, here is a Flush Mount Album from Zno. Most clients do not understand the term “flush mount” and know the differences between “flush mount album” and “album” from their names. They do not know the importance of lay flat pages and how pages are trimmed to the edge to allow for full print spreads. Show the clients the 1.1mm thick pages, that the use of substrate in between the photo paper is only found in professional photo albums. Plus, the 9 different photo paper: from matte to low sheen, medium sheen to high sheen, and pearlescent paper with a galaxy-like shimmer, lead them to appreciate the sharp details of professional photo paper. In addition, high-end album covers such as crystal cover and metal or wood covers are also professional covers that are difficult for mega stores to offer. Making use the quality of high-end photo papers, amazing textures and rare materials, photographers can use their expertise to guide clients to order from their studio, even if the price is higher than those at mega stores.

Why Studio Samples are Necessary in Photography Business
Features of a Genuine Leather Cover Flush Mount Album

Encourage clients to upgrade by providing options

In the beginning, the photo album was just a book in which all the photos were printed and bound together. With the development of photo printing technology, people’s requirements for exquisite details of printed photos and personalization, more customization options have been derived. With all these various options, if photographers do not provide clients with professional upgrade services, it may be difficult to meet clients’ preferences in their print products and miss out on potential profits. Targeted product design comes from the clients’ own demands, but it is well known, product design is complex and time-costing for photographers to keep updating because clients cannot picture the outcome. If a photo album was designed for a client based on the photographer’s style and not the client’s, this can easily affect client reviews and subsequent business.

Efficiently and accurately gathering preferences from clients, photographers can offer more high-margin product recommendations through product upgrade options and print studio-specific pricing. A set of high-quality studio samples is helpful to quickly complete product recommendations when communicating with clients.

Why Studio Samples are Necessary in Photography Business
Cover Embellishment Swatch Samples

How to do?

For example, after showing clients the most popular sample album, it is time to entice them with upgrade options such as upgrading from leatherette albums to genuine leather albums. Having leather samples allow clients to touch and feel the difference in quality and texture with their own hands. Embellishment samples can display the embellishment effects on various materials to allow clients intuitively feel the difference. Basic album personalization may include UV Print with an upgrade option to Foil & Debossing.

Showing clients the differences between Foil & Debossing versus Raised Foil, or for clients who prefer a modest style to touch the transparent Raised Varnishing may cause a change of mind whereas before they were likely to refuse to add embellishment to start. With samples available to show, photographers can catch upgrade add-ons that might be previously diverted before. Using feedback collected from all design consultations, photographers can then take out a sample album to encourage the client to add their personalization and upgrades to make their album unique and theirs.

Why Studio Samples are Necessary in Photography Business
Samples of Different Cover Embellishment Types

To sum up, samples can bring in a lot of potential and realizable profits to assist the photographer in selling more premium products. When a client expresses interest in something within the sample, the photographer can determine what additional options to offer. Even if the clients say they don’t need to purchase the upgrade options, the photographer can get design inspiration for the fundamental product the client has already purchased in their package. The display of samples goes beyond a price list with a name and description, they are an efficient communication tool between photographers and clients to significantly improve the client’s experience.

Why Studio Samples are Necessary in Photography Business
Zno’s Standard Sample Pack includes a Sample Flush Mount Album, Material Swatches and Embellishment Swatches

Show your clients what you want to sell to make them know they can get various print products from you.

Many photographers struggle selling printed products because of a lack of clear goals rather than good marketing pitch. So, the first question is, what do you want to sell? Photo albums? Wall Arts? Tabletops? A more profitable set? Or affordable prints that suit all clients?

As a professional print lab serving more than 100,000 photographers, Zno believes photographers should prepare at least one photo album, one album set and one print set to show — according to our years of analysis of customers purchasing habits.

Products Recommendation

Classic Product

– As a common classic product, photo albums are the easiest to sell to clients.

Prints Set

– The advantage of the prints set, a set of prints plus a box, is that it is suitable for all clients because it requires only a few selected prints. Whether it is a mini session or a small wedding booking, the prints set can be made with only a handful of prints at a budget friendly price that every client can consider. In addition, prints are one of the most suitable products for presenting with a box. It can turn scattered prints to an heirloom item. What’s more, by adding personalization to the box design, the value of the prints set is upgraded.

Why Studio Samples are Necessary in Photography Business
Folio Box Prints Set, a hassle-free set of Matted Prints in a Linen Folio Box

Album Set

– The album set, an album plus a presentation box, is an upgraded version of the album. Options are available to support both clients with a budget or a higher quality pursuit. Overall, an album set also makes for a better presentation to a client. Plus, if there are other small products to include such as a usb drive, it can be put into a set.

Why Studio Samples are Necessary in Photography Business
Presentation Box Album USB Set includes an album, USB and a clamshell box shown in Linen.

While providing clients with attractive options from popular products, having samples that are bestsellers among your own clients are also important. Set up a space in the studio and place a wide range of products, which can be their “masters” from various print labs along with the most profitable products you want to sell.

Choosing products that suit clients’ favor is important, but profit margin is also a determining factor for sample presentation. If only a limited number of samples can be purchased, photographers should incorporate more profitable options into their sample design: such as metal frames for wall arts, flexible embellishments for photo albums, and premium crystal cover album. The luxury and sophistication of these products are designed to set a higher budget expectation to clients and yet encourage them to buy these products. Thus, earn more by selling more and selling higher.

Show off your best shots by your custom samples.

Professional studios and high-end professional photographers have taken many amazing photos to prepare their own portfolio to entice clients. Social media is one of the best platforms to show off the portfolio and photographers make an effort to make it as powerful as possible. But when the clients visit your studio, use the surrounding print products to level up your studio and show your style, talent and professionalism. Photographers play a key role as a guide to the photography world to their clients. These print samples of your work can impress those who are hesitating and persuade them to book a session or purchase additional print products from you after visualizing their own images on your samples.

Why Studio Samples are Necessary in Photography Business
50% OFF Custom Samples From Zno

Showing samples to clients visiting your studio is necessary for professional photographers albeit not being the decisive factor for successfully signing clients. However, as a low-cost and effective method to gain clients and thrive in photography business, showing samples is something every photographer shouldn’t miss out on.

Why Studio Samples are Necessary in Photography Business

About Zno

Zno is your One-Stop-Shop Print Lab and All-In-One software platform for professional photographers. With premium quality print products and innovative selections, impress your clients with professional printing on high-quality materials. Maximize your profits with maximum customization options and streamline your workflow with our cloud-based editing and easy ordering system. Say goodbye to complexity and hello to simplicity with Zno. Join us today and take your photography business to new heights!

Zno is your One-Stop-Shop Print Lab and All-In-One software platform for professional photographers.

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