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By Lisa Sharer

In 30 or 40 years, how will you remember the most important moments of your life? It's a question that the print industry is asking during this technological age. According to a nationwide survey conducted by Professional Photographers of America (PPA), consumers are printing significantly less than the generations before them.

In some homes, photo albums do not exist. For some people, printing photos is not even on their radar. People are leaving everything in the cloud, and assuming their coveted images will be safe forever there. But if there's anything we know, it's that technology has the potential to crash, delete images and possibly even wipe files off the face of the earth.

This infographic illustrates the very scary truth about consumers' relationship with printing photography products. While we would like to believe that everything will be fine on a computer or in the cloud, we can never really be sure. Even if they are safe, are consumers planning to share their family photos from a desktop? Will people walk into each other's homes and bypass blank walls to head directly to the computer?

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Tangible, visible, printed images are the only thing that can really tell the story of our most precious moments. Generally speaking, don't you see children more fascinated by the family photos throughout the home folders on a computer screen? And as adults, will they wonder why their parents aren't proudly displaying their special moments? Will that one photo make as much of an impact to the newlyweds that choose only to share via their social media?

These are all valid concerns, and they start with the photographer. As photography professionals, it is our obligation to give the full scope of a photo session, including the printed works that follow. This infographic shows the awe-inducing effects of the technological age as well as the importance of bringing home a printed image that will let the subjects beam with love and pride, and that they will be able to share with generations to come.

To learn more about The Print Movement and how printing can help reinforce the photographic industry, visit PRINTmovement.org. You'll find an array of statistics, valuable information, as well as resources to help you sell print products from your own studio. It's time to start the (re)evolution of print!

Editor's note: This post was originally published September 2017. It has been updated for relevance and precision.

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About the author:
Lisa Sharer is the Marketing Campaign Manager at Professional Photographers of America. As a Creative Writing graduate, she loves any chance at getting pen to paper. When she's not being creative in the workplace, she can be found skating with the Atlanta Rollergirls or volunteering with the Weloveatl Project. Or really - snuggling with the dogs.
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By Lisa Sharer

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It's happened to all of us. Probably more than once. Someone asks you what your rate is, and when they hear it, they are appalled. You start to feel a little flush. You start to think, maybe I went too high. You start to want to back into the nearest bush.

We're here to tell you to kick that bush to the curb! Part of becoming a professional photographer starts with confidence. If every photographer folds, then no one gets paid. By demanding a solid rate, you're not only helping yourself, you're helping all the photographers that come after you.

Here's a recent, completely real, interaction that we applaud:

A photographer is out and about taking pictures. He is approached by a gentleman who notices him:

Gentleman: You take pictures? 

Photographer: Yes

Gentleman: How much do you charge?

Photographer: It really depends on what you want.

Gentleman: Just walking around downtown with you taking pictures of me.

Photographer: My portrait sessions start at $$.

Gentleman: (Laughs) Oh, come on, man.

Photographer: (Without hesitation) This is my full-time job, and I'm really good at it. Here's my card. Check out my portfolio, and let me know if you're interested.

If you believe in yourself, your clients will believe in you. Set your prices, stick by them, and above all, do NOT be embarrassed by them. Remember that you spend many hours--collective portions of your life--perfecting your craft and building a business. You have every right to charge fairly for your service, and you should never be ashamed of it.

"Listen up photographers. Know what you're worth. State it with conviction. Know when to bend, but know that bending should be the exception. There will be clients that will see your worth and pay your fee." -Aaron Coury, Photographer.

If you would like more help on how to sell yourself and your service, check out PPA's See The Difference® resources. PPA members have access to a plethora of sales and marketing tools to assist in promotion and in-person sales. If you're not a member, you should join today!


Photography is best enjoyed in Print. You know that, but do your clients? Are you struggling with exactly how to explain the process of print photography to clients? Here are a few ways you can show them why the efforts and services of this art form can't be matched.

  1. Thumbnail image for book 1080x1080.jpgChoose the Right Printing Material and Product Treatment
    Determining the type of printing material, as well as the kind of product treatment needed for a client's image, is crucial to the quality of the final product.  The quality of the material used will determine the image's lifespan. It's up to you as a professional to encourage them to use a paper that will last a lifetime.
  2. Frame Their Photograph so it Enhances Their Image
    Any professional photographer knows framing does not fall under "a walk in the park." Remind clients that you're trained to do this. And remember: You're offering them quality service that they can only experience when they hire an expert like you. The rich conversations between you and your client will help you produce every fine detail they hope for, the perfect encasing for their image, the best frame to fit with their home décor. You have the knowledge to guide your client through the purchasing decision, and you can help give them a great experience by prepping and showcasing the best frames for their image.
  3. Package and Deliver with Care
    Taking the time out of your day to package your client's photograph is a small gesture that will go a long way. They know you care about the image, but you personally packaging their photograph and delivering it to them yourself will signify, "Wow, they care about me." Speaking of which, whenever you have the choice and resources for shipping versus personal delivery, always go with the latter because quality customer service only enriches the entire customer experience. Going the extra mile acts as the icing on the cake. It further solidifies your relationship, and that mutual feeling of gratitude will last long after the project is complete. Clients will never have this kind of experience - namely a considerate, human touch to their customer service - if they simply stick with digital. Show them why they'll want to partner with you a second, third, twentieth time.
  4. Hang It Up Professionally, and Play Up "The Reveal"
    People are always eager for the reveal, and you can make it a very special occasion by hand-placing the image for your clients. Because mounting and hanging for visual impact is second nature to you, they can relax while you place the piece in an agreed-upon space. After you secure the image with utmost precision, everyone's favorite moment finally arrives: the long-awaited reveal! Ask your clients to close their eyes. As you guide them into the room, you let them take a breath, and once you finally give the "okay," that first heartwarming gasp happens. When it does, the realization hits them: "This was so worth it." They know one of their most cherished moments has become immortalized for generations to enjoy every single day.  

That's what you strive for, and that's what sticks in your client's mind. No matter how you chose to take your clients through the reveal, take advantage of this highly-touching moment to make it even more special, and tie it to your brand and your service.

In the end, it's always the client's experience that will set you apart as a professional print photographer. See the bliss that falls on your clients' faces when they are able to see their story come to life. They will feel the caring and consideration because you took their priceless moment as seriously as they did. Each and every meticulous step of creating beautiful print photography can't help but proclaim a valuable truth: There is no substitute for excellent, customized service from a pro. People don't become repeat clients simply because of the products... they come back because of the experience!

When it comes to professionally printing photography, people tend to focus on the end result and rarely the process. But if you can show them you hold their satisfaction as the highest priority, they will not only cherish your art in a timeless format but will also cherish your efforts, too. To learn more about print photography and to find resources that can help you market and sell your prints, visit Printmovement.org.


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By Chris Brennaman

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It's not an understatement to say that digital photography has fundamentally changed our industry. Not only can we snap hundreds of images without ever having to stop to change a roll of film but we also have what seems like an infinite amount of storage.

But there's just one problem with that: instead of handing a client a physical framed print or a quality album, we hand over a CD or USB flash drive and call it a day.

The general public may not understand-and some photographers for that matter- but most successful and profitable professionals absolutely do! Rather than existing in some digital ether, print photographs give memories a sense of permanence. So if you're looking to create images that are worthy of printing and selling to your clients to cherish forever, then keep these things in mind!

Plan Your Image With the Finished Product In Mind
Once upon a time, it wasn't enough to just snap away and hope to find an image in the mix that was "good enough." Rather, a photographer had to plan his or her vision.

Think about where the photo will hang and what emotions you'll want it to trigger with your work. Think about how your subjects will be framed. Think about lighting and how it will contribute¬ to- or detract from¬- your image. Think about all the things that will work in tandem to make your image one worth printing and putting on display.

Then start creating with that finished product in mind!

DO Sweat the Technique
About craft, about use of equipment, about product choices, about finishing or presentation touches- sweat the technique about everything! It's easy to forget about the latter, but it makes the biggest difference. Know what distinguishes each product and how they contribute to making the experience of having hired you one that's worth their while and then some.

Technology changes, but best techniques never go out of style. 

Be Picky About Your Images as Much as About Your Brand
After you've finished capturing your image, it's time to choose the one that will have the honor of being printed. Only then pick the ones that you're sure you'll be happy your client might select and showcase in print! 

Why be so picky? Because the images you choose to show your client will be the ones that speak for you and your business. "Image is everything" isn't just a saying; it's a fact. Bottom line: never present images you do not want to reflect as your brand...because any visible image of yours will contribute to building your personal and business' image.

Appearance Drives Everything 
Your session is over. You and your client have picked the very best photos. Now it's time to produce the final product, right? Well, no, not yet. Now it's time to take into account how you want this image presented.

It's easy to neglect this part of the process, and too often photographers go for a one-size-fits-all approach to printing. But every image is different and needs to be printed as such. 

Remember how we said image is everything? Well, that isn't limited to just the print. It relates to the total experience you provide your clients, too. Every detail, from largest to smallest, will go towards meeting and exceeding expectations and creating an experience that justifies your prices. 

Here are some examples of things you might not always think about as areas of opportunity to enhance the experience you provide but that you might want to consider :
What size print would best suit the image?
What paper stock is most appropriate?
What frame will best accentuate the image?
How will the image be lit?
If shipped, how will your packaging contribute to a reveal that delights the client?
If hand-delivered, how will you deliver the product and how will the reveal take place to delight the client?

Show Your Clients That Prints Are Relevant
Technology has made a lot of consumers think that prints are a thing of the past. Sure, they share their photos to sites like Facebook and Instagram, but beyond that, photos are often forgotten. They're left to sit on hard drives and CDs tucked away in some drawer that's never opened.

And when that happens it's like losing the memory itself. Having a physical print creates a tangible connection to one special moment in time. How many of us have been overcome with waves of nostalgia from holding a print? How many of us have felt like we've been pulled back in time just by being able to physically interact with a print? We all have. 

Happiness, love, comfort, fellowship, even sadness- prints make us feel. Those feelings are contagious. Show prints and have existing clients talk about how important prints are to them. So much of what you do is about connecting with people and bringing them something special. Do it in PRINT.

As a professional photographer, you understand just how important prints are. It's time you make your clients understand it too. It's easier than you think. Join the PRINT movement and learn more about pricing, selling and the many other benefits of prints so you too can become a Print Artist.

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By Lisa Sharer

Just picture it. You're a young, excited kid. You're getting ready to dig up a time capsule that was placed underground a decade before you. You're excited to pop that bad boy open and go to town reading the letters, pulling out pictures, and toying with any other goodies you might find inside.

So you get out your shovel, you move that rock, and you start to dig. You feel a hard spot in the ground and you fall to your knees and start scooping out handfuls of dirt. You pull up a box, you tear it open, and you find this:

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No personal hand-written notes, no tangible photos, no goodies. A piece of hardware. A piece of hardware that may not have the correct cables to work with your current system, and no instructions on how to explore what's inside! Upon seeing an item named "Time Capsule," we thought, how disappointing this would be if our children found this below ground.

Yes, this hardware is important these days. So please, PLEASE, create backups of your data! But don't mistake this as the future of your photography legacy. Think about your inner child, and help your clients think about their inner child. Print is still as powerful as it was when the first photograph came to be. Photographers, we need to keep that moment of seeing a first printed photo of a wedding, that image of a newborn, the TIME CAPSULES, as special as it has always been.

If you feel the same way, it's time to join the movement! The Print Movement is a collection of photographers and print partners that are focused on saving and building up the print industry. It's important for photographers, it's important for your clients, it's important to our culture. So, join today!


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By Lisa Sharer

People came from far and wide to San Antonio for the annual professional photographers' conference, Imaging USA 2017, to hear amazing speakers, and absorb their wisdom. Of all the educational series featured at the event, the PRINT program talks emphasize print product sales as a core component of your photography business. Now, you can get an exclusive look at the live recording of this inspiring program. Watch Photographers and Print Artists Tim Walden, Allison Tyler Jones, and the world-renowned photographer, Sue Bryce, as they walk you through their processes. Each speaker has unique experiences that you can apply in your everyday business to help you sell more prints.



When you're done hanging on their every word, join the PRINT movement! Once you sign up, you'll get monthly tips, info, tools, videos, etc. to help you grow as a Print Artist and help you grow your photography business. (By the way, these resources will be completely FREE to you!)

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in April 2017. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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by Lisa Sharer


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Many times we find ourselves believing that the industry is to blame for the reduction in printed-product sales. But what is the industry actually made up of? It's made of you and me. As photographers, you set the bar for making PRINT Art a part of your everyday lives and a very important part of your client's lives.

So it starts with you. Having tangible objects to see and hold has a value that hasn't changed over generations, and that isn't poised to change either. Print Artists understand the timeless contribution of their work and printing their work (and selling it!) is something that can become second nature. Consumers' approach to photographic products is shifting, and this is why Print Artists can thrive. They are offering the effortless quality of timeless pieces that consumers can't get in a couple of clicks through their drugstore. It can be as simple as starting to help redecorate a client's home, and then follow along in their progress through life. Every home in America and around the world is starting to remember why that tangible piece of memory makes such a difference in their minds and in their lives.

And the Industry is changing.

Thankfully, the printing options for professional photographers are changing as well. That's why it's more important than ever to learn these options from a Print Artist standpoint. Understand the paper preservation methods; develop the vocabulary to educate consumers on options (that no drugstore can rival with); speak influentially about the intrinsic worth of a print investment; have it become second nature to be a print artist; and the list goes on. But it all starts with you. 

Become a part of PRINT. The Movement, and see how you can help change your business and the industry. You'll receive updates and stories about the PRINT Movement, but also new sales tools to help you when presenting printed pieces to your clients.



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By Lisa Sharer

You may have noticed a few updates to the Print Movement website. We've made a few improvements, added some new visuals, and made it easier to view on mobile. The one thing that may stand out though, is a BRAND NEW PRINT MOVEMENT VIDEO.

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One of the members of the PPA board of directors and established photographer, Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API, shows the journey from photo session to print. The story clearly shows the impact that a print can have on a client's home and delves into the feeling it brings to the family.

This video beautifully shows the value of printing. It exemplifies how offering printed products can truly delight and evoke powerful emotions from your clients. At the same time, you can see the monetary value these products can add to your business. "I choose to offer and sell products that are not readily available in the marketplace," says Fisk-Taylor. These products give her an edge through unique materials that set her apart.

Watch the video and share it with fellow photographers. Nothing can get us back to printing but us. So it's time to start getting the word out there. "We need to print, people."
If you're not already a part of the PRINT movement, join today!
By Tristin Vaccaro

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Having to justify your prices to clients is always nerve wracking, but why should it be? You work tirelessly to ensure quality service and you already know your worth, so don't be afraid to help others see the value in what you do as well! Yes, it's unfortunate that you should have to justify yourself in the first place, but when the inevitable conversation comes up, remind clients of these very valid reasons for your pricing structure. 

1. The Quality of Your Work: Your photos speak for themselves, and the quality of your photos should be the number one factor clients consider before even thinking about price. Your portfolio is the purest reflection of you and how you, specifically, capture people's fondest memories. This is really your chance to show off and explain to clients what you can do for them. Showing clients your previous works and describing their quality should be your go-to example of the value you bring to the table.  

2. Testimonials: Word of mouth and customer referrals can play a huge role when validating your pricing to a potential client. If every one of your customers enjoys working with you and loves the photos you've provided, why not brag about it? Consider adding a "Testimonials" page to your website or ask satisfied clients to leave a five-star review on your Facebook page.

3. Education: There's nothing wrong with being a self-taught photographer, but there is something to be said for an individual who continues their education in the photography industry. Whether you have a Bachelor's degree in photography or participated in PPA's Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) program, higher photography education shows clients your dedication to the craft. Let your clients know about your photography background and how those experiences have made you a better photographer. 

4. Personal Investments: Those questioning your pricing probably don't think about all the investments you've made yourself. The expensive camera equipment, editing software, and gas to and from locations probably cost you a pretty penny. Not to mention all the time you've spent researching the client, replying to inquiries, creating the images, and meticulously editing the final photographs. Your time and money are valuable too, which may help you explain just some of the costs of doing business. 

5. Differentiate Yourself:  It's easier to justify your prices if you can explain why, exactly, you're different from your competitors. Perhaps it's a fresh perspective or your use of exclusive equipment that other competitors simply don't have. Whatever it may be, find out what makes you different from others and effectively communicate this with your clients

6. Final Products: It's a basic economic fact that people will pay more for something that looks expensive. If you have nicely matted, high-quality prints or beautifully bound albums to physically show potential clients, the products will speak highly for themselves. Also, consider taking a second look at your website and ask yourself if there is anything you could do to make it more professional, elegant, clean, etc. The quality of the little details in all aspects of your business could make the largest difference. 

7. Confidence: All of the above methods to justify your pricing don't really mean anything if you don't believe in your pricing in the first place. You know that you are worth the money because of your skills, dedication, and personal investments. The key here is getting others to see your worth. Communicate your value effectively, politely, and with confidence. Never settle for less than you are worth just because someone wasn't able to see your value. Not everyone is your "ideal" client and it's ok that price turns some people away.  YOU ARE WORTH IT! 

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By Lisa Sharer

We've all heard that printing is more profitable than handing over digital files. We've all seen photographers with great galleries of printed photos. We all know the benefits our clients receive with tangible products. So, "where do I start?" you might ask. We've found five products that you and your clients will love.

Prints: First, consider basic prints. This option is for the clients that want to spend only a little extra money to hold the image in their hands but are trying to stay budget-conscious. Prints of photographs will make the perfect addition to your clients' homemade photo albums, an addition to their budget-conscious gifts, or self-framing displays.

Print Packages: Perfect for the graduating students! These days, high school seniors are getting some amazing and phenomenal photos. Images of this caliber cannot (rather should not) be contained to one small format. These clients are likely to want digital files, buttons, etc., but your biggest impact will always be through a larger framed piece. Think about offering this pack to your graduate's parents.

Mounted Photos: Mounting prints is a sleek and modern way to display photos. Many clients find that these types of photographic work not only enhance their home with timeless memories, but they also add a stylish element to any wall... and boost everyone's ego, which is always a valued yet not-spoken-about benefit. Consider making this part of your offering when pitching your services to your clients.

Booklets: This is a fun way to put a collection of photos together. Whether it's for the graduate or the family reunion, an array of pictures come together to make the perfect viewing experience. Consider including this in your studio to offer to any type of client!

Matted Albums: They're just like the albums a client would buy from a supercenter and stick their own photos inside. Except 100x better! These will catch the eye of any client that's looking to include a grand array of photos. Think about offering this after a family photo session, or to the client that is looking to include a lifetime of memories in one place.

These are just a few of the many ways that you can start positioning yourself as a print artist today and start making more money. Once your clients see the range of products you offer, they'll be inclined to learn more about your craft, and they'll respect you as a printmaker. At that point, you're likely to see a higher level of print sales, and a higher number of happy clients.

Learn more about bringing print back to the foreground of photography. Join the PRINT Movement today!


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Aout the author:
Lisa Sharer is the Marketing Campaign Manager at Professional Photographers of America. As a Creative Writing graduate, she loves any chance at getting pen to paper. When she's not being creative in the workplace, she can be found skating with the Atlanta Rollergirls or volunteering with the Weloveatl Project. Or really - snuggling with the dogs.


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This page is a archive of recent entries in the Photography Sales category.

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