Upload & Sell: Off
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!