A few years ago we asked past brides what they ever did with their wedding photographs. We weren’t selling many albums then, but were giving the high-resolution files away. Almost every single bride told us their photos were just sitting on the disc in a drawer because they were just too busy and overwhelmed to even make 4×6 inch prints. At that point, Erin and I decided we needed to change things for the benefit of everyone.
After you get married, life changes fast. You buy a house, you have kids, you move up the ladder at your job. And your wedding day you planned for so long suddenly begins to slowly fade from memory. And the technology used to store those memories becomes undependable or even obsolete. So to help reverse that worry, for them and for their families, we decided to start including an album for every wedding. We didn’t raise our prices, but we took out the high-resolution files.
All of a sudden, giving a tangible product made so much more sense. We were providing our clients a lasting memory of their wedding, and also ensuring their children and grandchildren would be able to feel what the wedding day felt like 50 years from now.
And we finally became a full-service business that took care of people start to finish, which has made us extremely proud of what we do.
…we finally became a full service business that took care of people from start to finish.
It also gives justification for our prices because we know what we are doing will have even greater value to our clients than they could ever imagine at the time of booking us.
A few weeks ago, we received the sad news that a groom from last year was losing his mother to cancer.A few weeks ago, we received the sad news that a groom from last year was losing his mother to cancer.
We just couldn’t believe the young, beautiful lady we watched on the dance floor was already being moved into Hospice Care. We had, just a couple months earlier, made both sets of parents their own album, and the bride wrote us to tell us how important that book had become to her mother-in-law. She wrote to us: “She absolutely adores her album and shows it to everyone who has visited, even today in the last days/hours with her, she asked to see the album and your photos. So thank you so much for creating it and for capturing so many moments for us that we’ll cherish more than we ever knew at that time.”
I now realize that if you don’t give your clients an album, you’re not really doing your job as a wedding photographer. Technology trends come and go faster than ever. But a wedding album is going to last. And so will the photographs you put all your heart into making for the families who choose you as their photographer. As artists, we all want to see our photographs printed. And we all want our photographs to be looked at forever. We have the ability to do both, and everyone will be better off because we took the initiative to make that happen.
So do yourselves a favor, and most importantly, do your clients a favor and give them something they may not fully appreciate now, but definitely will once life kicks into full gear right after the honeymoon ends. There is something magical about looking at a book of photographs. And it’s an honor to make one for every single wedding we are asked to document.
~ Ben Chrisman, Chrisman Studios