If you have been trying to sell more printed photographs to clients but have been unsuccessful, consider adopting a new approach — one that takes guesswork out of the equation and allows your customers to easily visualize the beauty of your work — hanging in their home. Whether you are trying to sell canvas gallery wraps or framed photographs, the strategies in this article work the same.
In the past, you’ve most likely relied on your clients’ abilities to “imagine” your photographs hanging on their walls. The problem with this approach is that many people do not possess an imagination vivid enough — or a sense of space and proportion reliable enough — to do that “imagining” effectively or confidently. The resulting lack of “vision” naturally leads to indecision and little or no motivation to buy.
To sell more prints, you’ll need to go above and beyond the call of duty. You’ll need to “fill in the blanks” for them. By employing the following approach, you’ll awaken your clients’ vision, enabling them to confidently commit to their print purchases.
Step 1: The Scene
Option A: Photograph a living room or other interior scene that is clean and elegant and features an empty wall prominently.
Option B: Purchase a photograph of a similar scene at a stock photography site such as iStockPhoto. Here’s one by Shenki.
Step 2: The Template
Now that you have a photograph of a beautiful room with an empty wall, it is time to create a template for prints. I suggest two templates:
Template A: First, I recommend a template for showing canvas prints. This one is very simple because, viewed head-on, it’s not necessary to create the wrapped edges. The easiest way to simulate the floating gallery wrap effect that is so magical is to add a very subtle drop shadow.
Template B: The second template is trickier. To simulate a framed print, you want to create an empty picture frame that is elegant. You could return to your stock photo site and purchase a picture frame template, or find a Photoshop tutorial on how to create your own.
Somewhere in the template, you can optionally add a price, or text that includes language such as “Want this photograph on your wall?” Even without text, having your client’s photograph hanging on a wall will subliminally make an impact.
Remember, once you have your templates created, you never have to recreate them.
Step 3: The Print
Take your favorite photograph from your client’s session and place it inside of your new template, whether a framed or canvas print. Save the image with the photograph hanging above a couch, for example, and keep it with the session’s photographs that you plan to upload for proofing.
Step 4: Include
Hopefully the proofing solution you are using for your clients has a place where you can insert custom HTML content. Once the gallery is uploaded and ready for viewing, add the new hanging photo image to the top of the proofing gallery, making sure it’s the first thing the client will see when visiting the gallery.
If you don’t have the time or inclination to create your own templates, here’s an alternative approach: There are iPad apps available that can easily create mockups. They're not cheap, but may offer more versatility than the templates you create on your own.
For example, Shoot And Sell can help take the guesswork out of large sales for photographers by allowing them to show their clients exactly what their images will look like on their own walls, at the right size, all on the iPad in the palm of their hand. The app lets you take a picture from your client's room and easily make a mockup that they will relate to. There are also in-app purchases available for stock photographs.
As you can see, there are numerous options for creating realistic mockups. Bring the vision to life for your clients. It’s a sure-fire way to sell more prints.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz is a NJ photographer and the Community & Blog Wrangler at Photocrati, developer of WordPress photography themes, teaching other photographers how to increase business with their website.