If there’s one thing that sparks joy, it’s photos. And when photography prints are showcased in albums and books, they’re time machines. They take us to a magical place called memory. Ready to learn ways to sell photography prints to your clients? Our guide will help you set achievable goals and fine-tune your sales process – for FREE!
Your clients asked you for help printing their photos. You promised your family you’d print more of your own photos. When the stars align, and your kids go to bed early, you might even get some quiet moments to design a family album.
But do you have a system in place for printing photos?
Learning tips to sell photography prints is an essential skill for photographers. When you incorporate products like albums and books into your offerings, you create additional revenue opportunities for your studio. Choose your product line, establish a sales system, and build a more sustainable photography business.
How to Sell Photography Prints
If you’re ready to sell prints of your photos, printing is–naturally–a necessary step. Before you offer your images for sale, there are several strategies you need to plan.
1. Types of Printed Photography
If you’re just starting to consider selling photos online, you can opt for printed copies of your photos–giving your clients lots of fantastic options! You can vary the sizes depending on your preferences, your clients’ style, or based on your favorite lab’s photo albums and frames.
In addition to standard photo prints, here are several other ideas for printed photography you can offer:
- Mounted pictures
- Gallery wraps
- Metal prints
- Photos on novelty items such as collages, calendars, boxes, and folios
Professional Printing Service Provider
As a professional photographer, it’s essential to partner with a high-quality printing provider if you want to offer photography prints to your clients. Remember, the quality of your prints will affect your business, so your prints must not easily fade or show age.
You have two paths to consider–buying a professional printer or using an online photo printing service (one of ShootProof’s integrated lab partners, for example!). While buying your own printer might initially sound like a cheaper option, keep in mind everything that goes into printing your own photos:
- Buying high quality paper
- Buying ink
- Setting the printer up
- Troubleshooting print issues (imagine the headaches!)
- Continuously buying more paper and ink (that gets pricey fast!)
Prices and Other Fees
It’s crucial that you calculate production costs and profit margin in your selling price. When you sell online photos, you’ll need to implement additional processes. Not only do you have to consider the time spent on shooting and editing images, you also have to consider the printing costs.
That being said, you don’t want to overprice printed products to the point that no one would buy your photos! Remember that the overall selling price must be enough to cover all of your production costs and still make a healthy profit.
Use Online Tools to Sell Photo Prints Directly to Clients
The key to selling photos successfully is to make the ordering process as seamless as possible for your clients. By using online tools such as ShootProof, you can simplify the entire sales process and work towards selling photography prints to every client you have. Bonus points, it’s easy for your clients to buy packages of prints, photo albums, and custom photo books from your ShootProof galleries!
The online platform you choose should let you customize prices and packages for each gallery to help sell your photos. That means clients won’t need to leave their galleries when placing their orders. Additionally, look for automated processes for ordering and delivering prints to remove the hassle both for your business and your client. (Pro tip: integrated lab partners often have beautiful boutique packaging you can use when shipping your prints!)
Choose a Print Lab
For photographers who want to outsource their printing to professional labs, most gallery platforms have partner labs that can do the printing and delivery on your behalf.
For instance, when ordering through ShootProof, you can choose to use a partner lab to easily fulfill print orders, including these world-class options:
- Bay Photo Lab
- Miller’s Professional Imaging
- White House Custom Colour
- Black River Imaging
- Richard Photo Lab
- Loxley Colour
- Technicare Premier Photo Lab
Of course, if you have your own preferred lab or want to print the photos yourself, you can choose to self-fulfill your client’s order. Your work, your way!
Prepare Prices and Consider Packages
Before you can actually sell prints, you need to decide how much you plan to sell them for. When it comes to print orders, there are a few ways to figure out the best pricing for your business. You can choose to sell photos a-la-carte or through packages.
There’s no “one right way” to set up your pricing for this; however, remember that less options can be better. When clients see a long price list with dozens of things they can purchase, it can often lead to confusion. And if they’re confused, there’s a chance that they won’t end up buying anything at all.
Also be mindful about how you set up your pricing structure in terms of providing discounts, minimum purchase orders to get free shipping, or other freebies after a certain purchase price. While these can be great strategies to help increase your print sales, if they’re not clearly worded, it can also introduce a lot of confusion for your clients.
If you use ShootProof as your online store for selling prints, check out the Package Builder features, which gently encourages clients to buy photo packages instead of a-la-carte prints. There’s even a Markup Tool that guarantees the final price covers your costs of goods sold and shipping fees when you sell photos.
Simplify your client’s buying experience by showing a single up-front cost. This means clients won’t need to do math–yay! You can also present top-selling products in a single pre-bundled package, which clients can modify depending on their personal preferences.
Offer Convenient Payment Methods
There are several good payment methods available, and your goal here is to make it as simple as possible for your client. You don’t want them to go through and select prints and products, and then end up cancelling the print order because your checkout process was complicated. The most common ways for clients to pay for their orders at checkout are by using:
- Debit cards
- Credit cards
Once you receive payment from your client, you can review, change, and approve the order. As a tip, do this immediately once your customers pay you! Don’t let their photo print orders be held up because you took too long to review and approve their purchase.
Watch your Sales Report
Prepare a weekly or monthly sales report to monitor the progress of your photography print business. While reviewing reports might be a mundane task, it’s crucial to giving you insights on your sales and areas you can improve. A report should contain:
- Total sales
- Client sales tax
- Client shipping
- Lab product costs
- Lab add-on costs
- Lab shipping
- Payment processing sale
- Payment processing refunds/voids
- Payment processing fees
- Payment withdrawal fees
How to Boost Print Sales
Once you have your processes in place, make sure you’re planning ways to encourage clients to purchase their photography prints online.
Promote your Work on Social Media
Use your social channels like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to share your work. Take advantage of the free business strategies from social media services. Social platforms allow you to schedule posts and instantly reply, so you can consistently update followers and potential buyers about your services.
Don’t be afraid to post sales or discounts that you’re currently offering on photography prints. Even if clients didn’t purchase prints right after their session, there is still plenty of opportunity to encourage them to have their photos printed. For example, as the holidays get closer, create posts on social media reminding families to get photos printed for holiday cards.
Use Email Marketing Campaigns
If you want to elevate your marketing campaigns beyond social media, sending email campaigns is the way to go. You can send newsletters to inform customers about your services, available photo products, and promotional offers.
Taking the holiday card example we shared above, you can go one step father using the email campaigns feature in ShootProof. Personalize email campaigns for each client and include links to their galleries. You can also create more advanced campaigns that trigger follow up emails based on actions that each email recipient takes, such as opening the email or clicking on a specific link.
By spending time building out your email campaign workflow, you can exponentially increase your print sales.
Show and Sell
For some clients, it’s hard to imagine how photos or framed images will look in a living room or on blank walls. Don’t let this be the reason that clients don’t buy prints!
If you have an in-person sales meeting with clients after their session to present them with their gallery, you can use ShootProof’s in-room sample views to visually show clients what certain images will look like displayed on their walls.
If you only sell photos online, ask your clients to send you a photo of the room where they envision hanging prints. From here, you can use an app to mock-up different options for them so they can still get a great visual of your work in their home!
Learn how to sell photography prints with a FREE Printing Guide!
You can interact with the Printing Guide online, but we recommend printing it out. (See what we did there?) Hand-write product ideas, sketch in margins, and dream up albums.
Get Focused: The Guide to Printing Photos.
Get the guide, and we’ll email you a booklet dedicated to:
- Learn how to sell photography prints – albums, books, canvases, and more.
- Fill your content calendar with topics that will inspire your clients to buy more photos.
Return on Investment
- Discover data that proves the value of printed photos.
How will you paint a picture of possibility for your clients’ memories?
Use the Photographer’s Printing Guide to create products that will stand the test of time – for you and your clients. Share your favorite photo products in the comments below. Remember, if you’re expecting people to pay for your work, you’ve got to showcase it in the best way possible. To learn more about how online galleries can boost your print sales and your brand, check out this ShootProof review.
Maybe your experience will inspire someone else’s!
Written by RACHEL LACOUR NIESEN | Photographs by LAURA MARTHA | Printing Guide Written by RACHEL LACOUR NIESEN