Leading With Your Best Images for Great Sales and Amazing Word-of-Mouth

Laura Novak


Note: the following is a guest post by Laura Novak, a wedding and children’s portraiture photographer with over ten years of experience in the industry.

laura novak photographer

I am a firm believer in “WOW-ing” your clients and presenting them with a powerful preview of their wedding images.

Leading with your best images not only creates a high impact follow up to their big day, but it also creates anticipation and excitement around the next step…their album!

For as long as I can remember, I have built this excitement with slideshows.  I design the slideshows with my favorite 100-125 images, lightly edited and set to music.  I send them to my clients as a surprise, one to two weeks after their wedding. This preview, before they receive the proof book, is a way for me to lead with my strongest images and subtly guide them towards what I think would be the best choices for their album. While the proof book contains 800-1000 unedited images, this preview is really the best of the best.  I design it to tell a story, and choose images that do just that.  I typically don’t choose many of the posed family images, maybe one or two.  On occasion I will include an image of the bridesmaids & groomsmen.  What I’m really looking for is fun and captivating images that will grab their hearts and evoke the emotions of the day.

The result is consistently amazing! In fact, all of the testimonials on my website are from clients after they received their slideshow previews.
I will confess, there was a time several years ago that I broke from my usual workflow and didn’t send a slideshow. I was covering a wedding for an associate who had moved away. It was a lower priced wedding than my usual pricing.  Because she wasn’t my original client, and didn’t pay my full rates I thought that I would save a little time and skip the slideshow… big mistake!!The key is to send it immediately after the images have been processed, hopefully within a week or two of the wedding, for maximum impact.
bride groom dock

And trust me, it has an impact!  The bride and groom will most likely send it out to friends & family right away.  It will be posted on Facebook, and shared at dinner tables and coffee breaks.  The viral aspect of this is so powerful because the slideshow is so easy to watch & share.  While it is unlikely that wedding guests will pour though 800 images in the online gallery, it is highly likely that they will take 5 minutes to watch the Animoto slideshow you have created.  I have received countless referrals, people who had no connection to the bride or groom, who saw a slideshow and wanted to hire me for their own weddings. Maybe a cousin of the bride showed it off to co-workers one day, or a guest shared it on her Facebook page and the video made its way to the right person.  It is amazing how many people can potentially see one of your slideshows.

wedding rings

That was probably the first time, since my very first year in business, that I had someone complain about my photos.  It was a shock!  I had years and years of clients under my belt without a complaint.  I truly believe that because I didn’t take the time to WOW her with my favorites, create the trust and rapport, and blow her away emotionally, she came to the table with a lot of questions and fears that were hard to unravel.  She was overwhelmed by the volume of images in the proof book and zoomed in on what she didn’t like instead of being encouraged to savor the ones she did.

This wedding ended up taking a tremendous amount of extra time and was a huge customer service challenge. I had to do a lot of editing up front to prove to her that she would like her images once they were edited. I worked on things I would normally never do on a proof set, like removing exit signs, cropping, etc. These are edits I usually only do on album images.  Getting her to approve her album was a long and difficult process. I truly think it all started because I didn’t lead with my best images in a slideshow, and the trust just wasn’t there.

In contrast, a typical wedding for me often ends with the clients loving the images in the slideshow so much that they request all or most of them in their album.  My wedding packages might include an album with 50-60 images, but my slideshows often contain 100-125. With the upgrade to include the extra images, I have doubled the album and created a great add-on sale after the event.  This is a wonderful way to increase your sales without having to “sell” to your client.  They request it!

wedding photography example

As you can see, I really believe in this. It’s tried & tested for me. Slideshows are powerful, not only for word of mouth, but also for customer satisfaction.  The fact that these slideshows get passed around & shared so extensively is what makes them so powerful.  A happy client who shares her images is spreading her excitement and joy to countless others, and giving you the best kind of advertising you can get.

Laura Novak_ has over 10 years of wedding photography experience, and her work has been featured on numerous national and international publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Modern Bride, and Vera Wang’s blog. Visit Laura’s site for more education about how to be successful in the field of wedding photography.  Laura lives in Delaware with her husband, son, and two doggies._

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