Selling photography prints is harder than ever—unless you know these sales tips! Here, real photographers reveal their methods for getting great prints into their clients hands and homes.
Your clients don’t get it. Why shouldn’t they take their digital files over to the corner store for cheap “print on demand” pictures? Is there really a difference between penny prints and pricey ones?
Our clients don’t know what they don’t know; so it’s our job to show them exactly why they don’t actually want their memories “preserved” as non-archival inkjet prints.
Embrace these proven sales tips from pros, and revolutionize your business with a refreshed approach to print sales!
#1: You aren’t just selling photographs. You’re selling an experience.
by Michaela Ristaino Photography – Sarasota, FL
With an overabundance of photo apps, online photo retailers, and digital images, selling prints has gotten more and more difficult.
Sell your work as part of a high-end experience
You need to sell the experience. Sell an emotion. Find a way to let your clients know they deserve to exist in photos in a tangible way and not just as pixels sitting on a phone or hard drive. It’s how I introduce my portrait services on my personal website!
Don’t sell your photos. Include them!
Get creative! Most clients insist they only want digital images, but I “trick” them into getting prints by including some sort of printed product with each package. Often, this is enough for them to see the high quality of the prints I can offer them. They will then return to me to order additional high-quality prints!
Make buying prints easy
With ShootProof, I have the ability to fully customize the client experience. Their gallery becomes a one-stop-shop for purchasing prints, providing them the opportunity to order beautiful, high-quality prints that far exceed what they would get at the local drugstore!
#2: BONUS Instagram Tip
“Make your pricing and options simple for clients to understand!” —@loganclark1800
Don’t overwhelm your clients with too many options or complicated pricing. Narrow your offerings and present your packages in a clear, inspiring way. Remember to keep things simple when selling photography prints online, too! Let ShootProof manage your payment processing for online store orders, and your workflow will be simpler than ever.
#3: Convenience is key to selling professional prints
by Candice Adelle Photography – Charleston, SC
Start with samples
Show samples of your prints, and explain the value to your clients. A great way to do this is to have those same images printed through a local drugstore or department store chain so they can see and feel the difference. And there IS a difference!
Give every client a gallery reveal and 1:1 ordering
Meet with your clients one-on-one for ordering appointments. (You may opt to do this virtually!) This creates a sense of urgency for orders as you have their captive attention and can walk them through the process.
Explain to them that, if left to their own devices, most likely their photos will not ever be printed because people get busy. This ensures that their beautiful images will be printed and displayed for them to enjoy, not hiding inside of their hard drive.
Create promo codes and email campaigns that will automatically remind your clients to order prints. This streamlines your workflow, and motivates your clients to invest in professionally printed products.
#4: Go ahead: brag about what makes your prints better
by Nick Sparks Photography – Denver, CO
Explain the technical details. Your clients will be impressed!
I always mention that I calibrate my computer monitor to my professional printing lab, so the pictures always come color corrected. Also, I explain that places like CVS, Walmart, and Walgreens oft use older color profiles. I’ve definitely noticed low DPI problems through CVS, which can make photos look blurry.
Guarantee your quality
I remind my clients that my print quality is backed by me and my business. Since the client is comfortable working with me, it makes them excited to order prints. They know that the quality will be spot-on!
#5: BONUS Instagram Tip
“Have a photo album already pre-designed and ready to go for the client.” —@q88photography
Pre-designing your client’s album makes it so much easier to complete the sale! Your clients will likely be overwhelmed if you make them responsible for their album selections. So make it easy for them by presenting an initial design and allowing them to request changes.
#6: Make prints a default part of your photography business
by SugaShoc Photography – Philadelphia, PA
Each individual image that my clients purchase comes with a printed product and the high resolution file. Once they see the difference in the print quality and the presentation, they are not able to go back to the drugstore flimsy shiny prints.
Go above-and-beyond with luxury service
Each wall art piece that they purchase from me comes with installation and a lifetime guarantee that if anything happens to it, I will replace it for them. It assures them that they are getting a quality product, and it removes the effort for them.
#7: Remove any incentives to buy cheap photo prints
by Chicago Boudoir Photography – Chicago, IL
Make prints and albums your featured deliverable
My number one tip is to price prints, albums, and digital downloads in a way that off-site printing is not really even an issue.
The way I have my collections structured, most of my clients gravitate toward a collection that includes an album and the corresponding digital images. For example, if a client purchases a 10-inch luxury album with a leather cover (my most popular print product), that purchase will also include a digital download of the same images that are in the album.
Because the client has both the beautiful album and the digital download, there is little incentive for them to print the images at the drugstore. They get to enjoy the album, and also have the same images from the album on their phone/computer.
Understand what your clients really want
I know that most clients really want the digital images from their shoot, so I make it easy for them to purchase a collection that includes both. I usually don’t have to even talk about not printing the photos at the local drugstore because they are already committed to purchasing the collection that includes the album.
“In the end, the client is happy because they get what they want—a beautiful album without the hassle of printing it themselves, plus the digital download.”
I shoot boudoir, so it’s easy for me to say, “You don’t want to take these photos down to the Walgreens and have some dude print them, do you?” The client always says, “No, absolutely not!”
Showcase products they can’t get anywhere else
I have lots of samples of all of the products that I offer at the studio. I show the client print products that they simply can’t get from a drugstore printer.
“You can’t walk into Walgreens with a USB and walk out with a velvet album with gold page gilding or a rose gold glass box with mounted photo prints inside.”
#8: BONUS Instagram Tip
“Print the best quality possible.” —@_man_behind_the_camera_
High quality products are the only way you’ll ever convince your clients to invest. Research your lab options, and select the best papers for high-end products like art prints and limited edition prints that will attract potential customers.
#9: Small touches can mean the most
An in-person sales session is the best way to connect with your client and gives you the opportunity to educate them at the same time. Have samples of their images ready for your sales session—that way they can walk home with something.
“I love having small gifts, even proof prints, that I can send home with my clients after a sale.”