Now that the holidays are over, there will be an influx of photographers on the scene testing out their new DSLRs hoping to put their own creativity out into the world. As seasoned photographers, we know that it cannot stop at the shutter click for our clients so that is where vendors and products come into play. There are many options in this industry to chose from, whether it be flash drives, custom packaging, or even financial software. So where do you begin?
Your clients are going to want those pictures you just took of them, otherwise you may be missing the point of shooting them all together. So where do you begin to know which companies are right for your own company? Even if you have been shooting for numerous years, you may want a new spin or face lift to your current product line. The following are just some of the vendors I have chosen to present my past and future 2017 clients with their final product.
I know many photographers who are well established in the community who only sell digital files. It is their niche. So if you fall into their category, why not add a little flare to the sale and get some minor advertising with your logo attached? This works well even if you sell digitals only as add ons to your albums and wall art. My personal preference is PhotoFlashDrive.
My brand has evolved over the years and this company always has a look that will work well for each of my lines. I chose the crystal flash drive for the elegance in the boudoir line, as well as the flexibility for the color change for my underwater work. Each brand has its own color, but they still compliment one another in a brand aesthetic. Rose gold for boudoir and aqua for my underwater. Clients recognize the brand but each have a slight variation. Moving from the linen boxes in my early days to the leather watch look box, until today's slide wood box, the ever evolving flash drive is accompanied in a luxury package for safe keeping.
The Boudoir Album has been my choice for many years and even more so now with the underwater photography. I had been searching high and low for the look that would fit my brand. I am not a flowery or glitzy kind of gal, so most of the products I had come across would not work for me in other companies. I wanted the look and feel of the old leather found in a pub in London, the story behind the album cover that reminds me of a sailors journal, or even the rugged texture of something more than a brocade. So the line in this company that followed was perfectly suited for my needs.
In terms of wall art, the companies I chose are not always the same. Each of them have something unique I desire for specific goals in mind. If I am choosing gift prints (8 X10 and smaller) my main go to company is Black River Imaging. They are speedy with delivery which is great for IPS sales if you chose to show prints rather than on the screen.
For larger work I send my art to Laminart Industries. When working with companies for larger canvases (especially if you plan to hang your work in galleries) it is crucial to know ahead of time the way the canvas is stretched. The use of foam backing is not strong enough to hold the weight of large canvases. Laminart uses a wood base structure, and the colors match perfectly the day I needed them for my gallery opening. The quality in the gallery work was of the utmost importance since some of the work was for sale. This was not canvases that could be used as samples and replaced over time in the studio, these were high end gallery pieces that must go home knowing they are of solid construction.
Framed and Acrylic Wall Art
The framed and acrylic wall art from Jonathan Penney are my best sellers. In a previous article, I dish all the secrets on how you can get wall art sales into your IPS. This company is home to my wall art sales not only because of the selection that best suits my company, but also the commitment that Penney himself has towards matching your art work with the right final frame or acrylic.
Packing it All Together
Now that you have your digital collections, albums, and art work together and waiting at the studio, how do you plan to send it home with your clients? Your brand here can be a standout for one day, or for many to come. With the rise of grocery shoppers choosing to leave paper or plastic behind in an attempt to have reusable bags, why not have your brand following them around? It is a walking advertisement every time they step foot in the store. I use Rice Studio Supplies for my art work bags. If there are loose prints I will also use the portfolio envelopes as well to protect them as well as give a more high end feel rather than just plastic and cardboard shipping methods.
Remember that this is my personal arsenal of vendors and does not mean there are not other amazing others out there! If you have a vendor you cannot imagine running your company without feel free to comment and link us all to them! Everyone has a unique look to their artwork so why not match the products your clients are being sent home with in the same respect.