Printed Photos Matter. Here’s How To Convince Your Clients.

Printed photos were once the cornerstone of a photographer’s business. Now, many clients simply get their digitals and go. Here’s how to change all that… (Featuring MAKAYLA JADE HARRIS and PRINTOGRAPHERS’ SOCIETY)


She repeats her mantra:

“Memories are not disposable.”

Makayla Jade Harris is on a mission to help photographers thrive, with happier clients and more income. She’s done her homework! From interviewing her clients to talking to thousands of wedding and portrait photographers, she’s collected insights about what inspires consumers to purchase professional photos. Turns out, most families want the same thing from their photographers – memories made to last.

“I want to teach photographers how to build a print-driven business – one that prioritizes their client’s experience and champions photographic memories.”

Printed Photos Matter. Here’s How To Convince Your Clients. - Makayla Jade Harris, The Harris Co., Printographers' Society
Printed photos help solidify children’s earliest memories. Fleeting experiences become embedded into their personal histories like measuring marks etched into a door frame. (Photo: Makayla Jade Harris)

Printed Photos Are the Key To A Thriving Business

In order to build a business based on print sales and custom photographic products, many photographers adopt an IPS (in-person sales) strategy. As someone who values data as much as creativity, Makayla believes photographers can combine in-person sales and online galleries to boost revenue.

“While some photographers instantly identify with IPS or online gallery sales, these models are not mutually exclusive! I think they work better together. Getting printed photos and albums into clients’ hands is what matters most!”

After years of experience building her own print-driven photo business, she recommends that photographers focus on three techniques for successfully selling printed photos.

Printed Photos Matter. Here’s How To Convince Your Clients. - Makayla Jade Harris, The Harris Co., Printographers' Society
Invite your clients to think tangible. Instead of pictures of albums, put fabric samples in their hands. And instead of digital price sheets, print their options on luxury paper. (Photo: Makayla Jade Harris)

#1: Emphasize High-Value Products

When doing in-person sales sessions, emphasize products that have high profit margins. In her sales meetings, Makayla focuses on:

  • large wall art
  • album design
  • customization options

“A typical in-person sales session in our studio is one to three hours. Rather than overwhelming clients with little à la carte items like loose prints, we spend time talking about the significant value of wall art and albums. These are photo products that stand the test of time!”

Printed Photos Matter. Here’s How To Convince Your Clients. - Makayla Jade Harris, The Harris Co., Printographers' Society
Large wall prints become the centerpiece of the home when you help your clients select the right image for their space. (Photo: Makayla Jade Harris)

ShootProof Enables Easy Extra Revenue

After finalizing orders for primary products – wall art and albums – Makayla taps into the power of online galleries to supplement her sales.

“We use ShootProof to scoop up additional revenue after clients have had the chance to place a significant in-person order. [When they] realize they need a few additional prints and gifts for family, [their ShootProof gallery is there for easy ordering]!”

Printed Photos Matter. Here’s How To Convince Your Clients. - Makayla Jade Harris, The Harris Co., Printographers' Society
Framed wall prints mark the beginning of a legacy for any new family. From the first photo hung in the hallway to the 100th, hung decades later, the story of a generation is told in a series of printed photos. (Photo: Makayla Jade Harris)

PRO TIP: Split the Spend

Many shoppers prefer to spend small amounts of money over time, rather than investing a large one-time payment. One example would be choosing to pay $99/month for a new Thingamabob, rather than spending $1000 all at once. Scenario one costs $188 more than scenario two, but it feels like less of a burden.

When you give your clients multiple opportunities to purchase their printed photos and albums, you enable them to split their spend, which often results in bigger spending. Provide in-person and online purchasing, and your clients will be more inclined to buy – and buy again!


Printed Photos Matter. Here’s How To Convince Your Clients. - Makayla Jade Harris, The Harris Co., Printographers' Society - Makayla Jade Harris
Add a slideshow video message to your client’s ShootProof Gallery Intro Page, and showcase your products in real life environments. Clients are much more likely to choose large prints when they can visualize their impact! (Photo: Makayla Jade Harris)

#2: Get Your Gallery Link On Their Wedding Website

Almost every couple has a personalized wedding website. After engagement sessions, Makayla sends clients the link to their ShootProof gallery and suggests that they add it to their wedding website. For Makayla, this is a source of recurring revenue.

“Your clients’ friends and family LOVE to see photos from the engagement shoot and wedding weekend. I simply tell my clients that they can avoid fielding TONS of emails by linking directly to their photo gallery from their wedding website.”

Printed Photos Matter. Here’s How To Convince Your Clients. - Makayla Jade Harris, The Harris Co., Printographers' Society
Printed photos will inhabit your clients’ work spaces, living spaces, and personal spaces. Digital photos exist only on their phones. (Photo: Makayla Jade Harris)

So when Aunt Judy wants a 4×6 print or Grandma wants a family photo to show friends, they can easily order on their own! Couples are relieved when they hear that they won’t have to manage photo requests from loved ones.

This sales strategy works after the wedding as well. Did you get a great cocktail hour photo of a guest? Maybe your second shooter captured a sweet moment of the grandparents dancing. By adding a ShootProof gallery link to a couple’s wedding website, everyone can find their fabulous faces faster than you can say “cheers!”

Printed Photos Matter. Here’s How To Convince Your Clients. - Makayla Jade Harris, The Harris Co., Printographers' Society
If you don’t supply your clients with art for their homes, they’ll either have blank walls, or they’ll wind up buying some mass-produced silliness from a box store. (Photo: Makayla Jade Harris)

#3: Don’t Be So Subtle. SELL!

Clients love displaying photos from their engagement session at their wedding – on a welcome table, cake table, or gift table. But they won’t necessarily remember unless you remind them!

Sell More Printed Photos With Reminder Emails

Makayla sends two reminders to clients – a month before the wedding and a week before the wedding. She carefully crafts her reminders so they convey one message. Keeping reminders clear increases the likelihood that clients purchase prints.

Printed Photos Matter. Here’s How To Convince Your Clients. - Makayla Jade Harris, The Harris Co., Printographers' Society
Memory is triggered by sight, scent, sound, and taste. How much more powerful does a memory become when we have something to touch? (Photo: Makayla Jade Harris)

After a couple’s wedding album and wall art have been delivered, Makayla schedules another reminder through ShootProof – an automated anniversary message. Her clients often revisit their wedding photos on their anniversary, so she turns nostalgia into inspiration! This reminder shares a few fun ideas for gifting photos and creating keepsakes for home or office.

“Some clients may be buying a house around the time they celebrate their anniversary. Or they may finally have time to think about how to decorate their home using wedding photos. A reminder message a few weeks before their anniversary almost always turns into print orders for our studio!”

Printed Photos Matter. Here’s How To Convince Your Clients. - Makayla Jade Harris, The Harris Co., Printographers' Society
Printed photos are the hallmark of a memorable client experience. Don’t think of prints and albums as an add-on or an afterthought . Recognize that they are the art you were working to create all along. (Photo: Makayla Jade Harris)

Take the 6-Day Sales Challenge

By blending in-person sales and online gallery sales, Makayla offers her clients a personalized experience while increasing her studio’s revenue. That sounds like a win-win to us!

Printed Photos Matter. Here’s How To Convince Your Clients. - Makayla Jade Harris, The Harris Co., Printographers' Society
Take Makayla’s 6-day sales challenge, and put more printed photos and albums in your clients’ hands. START SELLING MORE!

How are you highlighting the value of printed photos?

Share your ideas in the comments below!


Written by: RACHEL LACOUR NIESEN & ANNE SIMONE | Featuring MAKAYLA JADE HARRIS | Special thanks to PRINTOGRAPHERS’ SOCIETY 


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