Over the last 5-10 years there has been a huge increase in the number of clients who want digital packages. By digital packages, I mean nothing printed. Images on DVD or USB. Now whilst this may seem like an attractive business model to some, shoot, edit, and supply, job done, it is a bit of a missed opportunity in so many ways
Why? Well, firstly for the sake of another few hours work, we can make more money on an album. But secondly, and more importantly, your clients will be walking away without the best marketing tool you have, the album! Do you think the prints they get made on their inkjet, or at the supermarket will be an advert for your business? Do you think they will visit their friends and families homes with their USB and show a good representation of your hard work? No, I didn’t think so. In these days of cheap prices and an over saturated photography market, we need to be different to make money. Who would have guessed that in 2016 being different would mean providing a wedding album! I would say, as an estimate, at least half of the enquiries I get have wording in their email along the lines of “we won’t need an album”.
I’m sure all of us at one point, have sat with our families, trawling through old photo albums and boxes of prints, packed full of memories. Can you see that in the future? People plugging in a hard drive and searching through tens of thousands of file names to find “that great photo of your granny”. This is something that is going to disappear from our lives. There will be a lost generation, and that is sad. Already people have lost several year’s worth of memories from their hard drive failing and such like.
People who had wedding videos in the 90s have no way of playing them. CDs and DVDs from more recently won’t play in some PCs and others are scratched and unusable. Memories gone. So, we as photographers need to stop thinking about the quick and easy buck and look at educating the clients on the importance of physical prints and products.
One Vision offer so many possibilities for finished products, prints, books and albums, and one other thing I do, through Zenfolio, is to set up a price list available to people who bought the files, where they can order OVI prints at base prices. I don’t make money but it gives them an easy way to access the best quality prints at a good price. If they had to take the USB to a lab or Tesco, would they do it? How long would it take them? I think this is another reason why people don’t actually get prints made, they don’t know where to start.
So going forward, it is up to us to make sure that our clients go away with printed products. Whether we provide a handful of images with their USB, or just try to up-sell albums, the main thing to do is to get the message across to them, of how important it is.