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Archive 2013 · How MANY sample albums?
  
 
ricardovaste
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · How MANY sample albums?


I'm just wondering how many you use? And if you have a studio, a consultation space, or hold meetings somewhere neutral.

I have 3 which I'm happy with and give me a good amount of discussion points. I have 2 others in mind I'd like to get done for the reason that they're strong sets, show something different, and one would also be a new album manufacturer. However, I always hold consultations at somewhere neutral (usually the venue itself or the clients home) as there is no appropriate space at home, and I do not have a studio...

I wonder where you draw the line? To get through 5 albums could potentially be quite time consuming (I wouldn't want to scare them away!). I also have to carry these albums... I wouldn't want to look like a one-man-band (although I do have a good bag).

It makes me wonder if others keep a 'stock' of many different weddings, different seasons, and then simply select 2-3 according to the meeting.

But then I wonder if that could get out of hand. How many albums do you really need? I could easily end up with 5 good ones. But then what happens after 2013... 2014... you catch my drift. Which brings up a not entirely unrelated question, what do you do with old albums once they have passed their useful life? Give them to previous clients as gifts? Try and sell them marked down?



Jan 29, 2013 at 12:33 PM
TTLKurtis
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · How MANY sample albums?


I currently have one from each of the two album companies I use plus a handful of engagement guestbooks.

Best thing you can probably do with an old album is try to sell them to couple at discounted price as a copy for the bride's parents or something.



Jan 29, 2013 at 02:28 PM
TRReichman
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · How MANY sample albums?


If they are meeting with you they already like your work, so showing them more isn't making a stronger argument as to why they should hire you. If you must show albums show ones that prove you are a perfect solution for a given wedding type. Show no more than you have to, instead spend the time understanding what matters to them and helping them understand how you are going to address that.

I show 0-2 albums at most.

- trr



Jan 29, 2013 at 02:50 PM
tonyhart
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · How MANY sample albums?


Hi Rich,

Interesting question, and pertinent seeing as I have just ordered two further samples today. Here's my take.

There are two slightly different questions:

- How many sample albums do you want to have?
- How many sample albums do you want to show?

Up until this point I have had one main sample album. For me it worked out as follows. When I started out I bought a Jorgensen which I filled with some images from my first ever wedding. Hugely expensive album, hugely heavy and hugely huge. Was a bugger to carry around and most clients were entirely uninterested in it. These days it mostly lives in the cupboard and occasionally appears when people want to see a traditional matted album (with the caveat that 'this was from my first ever wedding').

Then a few years ago Folio came along and started offering the album I'd envisage. Essentially fine art prints in a minimalist album without an overflow of options that made the clients decision making process utterly convoluted. I was still in the process of getting established so I got one 10x10" with a small selection of images - I think about 60. This has served me very well and I've sold plenty of Folio's on the strength of this album. That said, people have often considered it quite small and the 12x12" is the size most clients go for. It's from one of my best early weddings, but my work has surpassed it now.

So I've just ordered two new albums, one with the best wedding from last year in 12x12" and a 2nd as a 10x10" to showcase the 'noir collection' approach that I'd like to make available to clients that 'get it'.

These two albums serve a variety of purposes:

1. Show a variety of album options. Variety of paper, variety of size, variety of cover etc. One is also coming with the high-end presentation box so I can show clients that might want the full shebang just how sumptuous the whole thing is. There's no substitute for hands-on time in terms of making clients lust for expensive albums.

2. As an avenue for getting those who really appreciate black and white photography to think about having a black and white approach - or at least something a bit different and special. Something I can charge a higher price for. My Hassy work may also play into this concept - it's yet to be codified as such.

3. To show my current level. There's nothing worse than albums that speak to an inferior level of skill than you now possess. I'll still show my old Folio, but it'll be in addition to the newer stuff.

4. To make my wedding fair booths look even more impressive. Extra albums, more time for people to drool, extra stuff to set me apart.

5. I like you used to go to visit my clients. This season I am trying to stop that as a) I have my own place now with a big John Lewis dining table (yum) that kicks ass for meetings and b) I don't feel like I need to as much. While lugging loads of albums, particularly that humongous 14x14 Jorgensen, was never a good look, the idea of a meeting space with a real body and history of work is something that I think instills confidence in the client, and frankly, instills confidence in me.

6. I like having a printed record of my best work!

So yeah, I think showing LOADS of albums in a single session is not neccessarily helpful, but that said, having them available, if they fulfil a role and you can justify them makes plenty of sense to me.

Hopefully that was helpful!



Jan 29, 2013 at 03:22 PM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · How MANY sample albums?


We offer 3 types and show 3 types. Really is as simple as that. The couple normally just wants to hold the real thing that saw in the pictures.



Jan 29, 2013 at 03:48 PM
dlateulade
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · How MANY sample albums?


The point of showing an album isn't to show your photography, it's to show the physical album (and perhaps to a lesser degree, your album design style).

As TRR said -- if they're taking the time to meet with you, they're already sold on your work.



Jan 29, 2013 at 05:35 PM
joelconner
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · How MANY sample albums?


We have way too many to be honest. We have sample albums from 6 different companies. During consultations, we typically only show a few. But, we love variety in albums, so when our couples chose what album they want after the wedding, we usually show them 4 or so of the options....depending on what we think they will like. We want to reduce the number (there are a few we are all ready planning to take out of the mix), but the trouble is we just REALLY love albums.


Jan 29, 2013 at 05:51 PM
johnrg
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · How MANY sample albums?


hardlyboring wrote:
We offer 3 types and show 3 types. Really is as simple as that. The couple normally just wants to hold the real thing that saw in the pictures.


Same here.



Jan 29, 2013 at 06:10 PM
maxwell1295
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · How MANY sample albums?


Todd nailed it....at least for me he did. I'd much rather place the focus on me and my approach than on the "stuff". Not to say that the "stuff" isn't important. It's just secondary in terms of importance. I show one sample album in one style.


Jan 29, 2013 at 06:37 PM
jmraso
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · How MANY sample albums?


I have a small studio so I dont have to carry anything and have 4 sample albums (and a few old ones) but I just show 2 most of the time ( not always the same two).

I always have a new sample album in mind except now that have two in mind

I remember when I only had one but plenty of printed photos and worked as well as now so if what you have is good and you are good anything can work.


Jaime



Jan 29, 2013 at 07:29 PM
 

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tonyhart
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · How MANY sample albums?


Each to their own, but I'd be interested to see whether those who say "don't talk about stuff" are also the people who will wax lyrical to clients about "the importance of a wedding album" and how "the printed image is the only way to view your pictures".

Maybe not the case, but if you ever do want to push those opinions I think it's important to show those beliefs throughout the process. That said, I see a general greater willingness to focus on 'selling' as a separate entity from the N American forumites, which I imagine, is at least in part due, to the greater resistance their local populations have to being 'sold to'.

Over here in the UK we're not quite as saturated with full-frontal advertising, and as such many of us turn of VERY quickly when we think people are trying to sell us something rather than advise/help/counsel us. I'm maybe being a little clunky with my meaning here but hopefully some of it has come across.



Jan 29, 2013 at 10:34 PM
Tony Hoffer
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · How MANY sample albums?


We show 8 and every year we refresh 2 or 3 of them and give the old ones away. To each his own.


Jan 29, 2013 at 11:37 PM
D. Diggler
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · How MANY sample albums?


ricardovaste wrote:
To get through 5 albums could potentially be quite time consuming


Typically I've laid out four books for them to look at but I get the impression, though they never come out and say it, that they're starting to get bored looking at strangers' wedding photos after two books. This is the bride I'm talking about here. Usually the groom seems bored going through even the first book.



Jan 29, 2013 at 11:57 PM
jmraso
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · How MANY sample albums?


D. Diggler wrote:
Typically I've laid out four books for them to look at but I get the impression, though they never come out and say it, that they're starting to get bored looking at strangers' wedding photos after two books. This is the bride I'm talking about here. Usually the groom seems bored going through even the first book.


The reason I decided to have more than 1 or 2 sample albums is not to show them all every time but to show the ones the couple is going to like more as they all are slightly different (white background, black background, more classic photos, more photojournalistic ...) so as I discover the like of the clients I know which ones to show, thatīs why I love having more and more sample albums.

Jaime



Jan 30, 2013 at 12:20 AM
D. Diggler
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · How MANY sample albums?


TRReichman wrote:
If they are meeting with you they already like your work, so showing them more isn't making a stronger argument as to why they should hire you.


You know what I had happen ...


Just met with a couple. The guy started off by telling me they're meeting with three different photogs before making their decision. Shortly into the meeting it became apparent to me that they had no idea which of the three they were meeting with. They didn't remember my website or portfolio. I was just one of three guys they had meetings scheduled with. If I hadn't had albums with me, they wouldn't have had any idea what my work looks like.

The above did take me by surprise and got me to thinking that sometimes, when a couple has a number of potential photogs set up to meet with, the couple may not remember much about your website/portfolio going into the meeting.



Jan 30, 2013 at 12:41 AM
DimaVazinovich
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · How MANY sample albums?


i have 2 , showing a big one (30X30cm) and smaller one's 20X20


Jan 30, 2013 at 04:48 AM
bthatton
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · How MANY sample albums?


I have 4 different albums that I'll have out but will put focus on one of them depending on the type of wedding the potential couple is having.


Jan 30, 2013 at 07:00 AM
mineymole
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · How MANY sample albums?


I show two albums and just ordered a third.


Jan 30, 2013 at 01:36 PM
ricardovaste
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · How MANY sample albums?


Thanks all for your thoughts.

To be clear: I am not being a pushy salesmen and trying to face rut them with an album. As TRR addresses, I am spending the time getting to know them, understand what is important to them and how I can help them. However, being able to draw upon examples is extremely useful for myself - literally just to show people the sorts of challenges faced, what the important elements are, any many of the various topics of discussion.

@tony: I think part of the desire is related to what you've touched upon. Maybe some of the albums I have are earlier work and I feel I have better to show now. But as TRR points out, if they've got that far they've already seen more recent stuff on the website so it's probably not a wise business decision for myself to get more in than is necessary.

@diggler: Really? Perhaps you should try talking people through an album rather than just handing people them. People seem to enjoy looking through mine.

If someone specifically asks about what the albums are then I'll go into a bit of detail, but even then it'll be a brief breakdown and it's far from pushing it on them.



Jan 30, 2013 at 01:48 PM
paparazzinick
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · How MANY sample albums?


We have 6.

They consist of 5 full weddings and one best of album. 1 is a traditional album since some people still get those in Pittsburgh and the other 5 are more modern. We show 1 5x5, 1 8x8, 1 10x10, 1 12x12 and our best of is a 10x10. Each album has a different popular color cover so they can see everything we offer. 3 of the albums have different papers so they can see that too.

So when it is all said and done, each client gets to see a traditional album, modern album in 4 different sizes with 3 different papers and 5 different covers.

We show what we sell.

This year we are making 6 new sample albums. 2 best of, 2 parent albums since those are getting more popular and 2 full wedding albums. We will still keep the other 6 around incase someone asks to see more.

Hope this helps.



Jan 30, 2013 at 02:48 PM





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