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How many is too many?

SamLS 12 232 United Kingdom
28 Feb 2009 10:47AM
I do a bit of going-to-peoples-houses-to-take-family-portraits.

I normally end up with maybe 100-odd good pictures which I put on internet for them to choose.

On a couple of notable occasions people say things along the lines of "wow, I wasn't expecting anything like that they're amazing blah blah blah, It's going to be really difficult choosing". The web stats shows they spend 4 or 5 days looking through the on-line albums and then I never hear.

So, am I giving them too many to choose from or is it more likely they hate the lot of them?

Now I re-read what I've just typed that's probably the answer!


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arhb Plus
10 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
28 Feb 2009 11:02AM
I wouldn't put them on the internet for them to view.
I wonder whether they would d/load for free...(generalising)
If you went back to their house(s), to show them the images, via a CD or similar, IMHO, you would get more immediate sales, as they would have no other access to them. Your very presence would also prompt a quicker decision too.
CaptivePixels 10 343 2 Scotland
28 Feb 2009 11:11AM
I would agree with Andrew's sentiments - go back to them with the results. Maybe take along a 10 x 8 (or larger) print as well so they can see the final result. You can then let them 'try it for size' on the mantlepiece, wall or wherever to see how it looks in situ.

Also, I would personally find having to pick one or two images from a selection of 100 quite daunting. If you have a way to discourage them from downloading (watermarking, right-click prevention etc), why not try offering say a dozen of the very best on your website. You could also combine the two approaches.
Coleslaw 12 13.4k 28 Wales
28 Feb 2009 11:19AM
100 is too many IMHO.
Try picking out maybe 10-20 (depending what you covered though) or so of your best.
And yes, if online viewing, small size and watermarking.
seangannon 11 61 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2009 9:11AM
AAAGGGHHHH - dont just put them online, I did that when I started and I would get rubbish orders some as little as c10. Get a good laptop (or even a mini projector if you can) go back with 50-70 images (10-20 is too few) and sit through the selection with them. Go through the collection a few times and mark their favourites. Give your advise etc have a range of print packs, frames and canvases that they can order. Some people will take more than an hour but if you are there they will decide if you let them to look online, they will never get around to pressing the order button. I average over 500 per visit by showing this way. Aslo remember 'show big, sell big' i.e. show the client big prints, frames etc and that is what they will buy.

FatHandedChap 12 1.3k England
3 Mar 2009 9:26AM
I only use web gallery's on request as I found the same thing. I now show 30-40 images which is enough to give them a good choice without overwhelming them. I've got luxury of dedicated viewing space so can use a projector and have all the samples around as people usually only buy what they can see. I also offer an incentive if they order and pay at the time of viewing to make give them a little nudge and secure the order.

simsim 12 30
5 Mar 2009 4:50PM
My business is entirely online and 95% of my clients make good orders. Definitely make sure they can't download the images, or that they are watermarked (I do both), but otherwise the three tactics I use are 1). An early bird discount of 5% if they order within a week, 2) tell them the photos are are only available for three weeks, 3) chase them automatically by email before each deadline, after the final deadline and finally by phone.

I used to cull much more than I do now, the reason being I found people just keep buying ones I would have dumped! I just don't know if a shot somehow captures that special expression. On average they'll have 40-80 shots from a session with me.

SamLS 12 232 United Kingdom
5 Mar 2009 5:49PM
Hey I'd replied to this thread but my reply has dissapeared.... I need to email the forum admin people. Now, what did I say?

Firstly, I use Online Pictureproof so the images are probably as secure as you can reasonably make them, and I therefore don't think the images are being stolen.

I've found in the past it's a bit of a balancing act. On quite a number of jobs the people have chosen maybe 80+% of the images I present so I make quite a pleasant profit. BUT as you say, some people just can't cope with too big a decision.

Simon I like the idea of the 3-week deadline with the discount. I'll give that a whirl and see what happens.

I'll also think about the laptop idea. Maybe have a folder with the few(ish) good ones and all the rest in a different folder so if they seem very enthusiastic I can say "Actually I have some others...blah blah"

Thanks for all your input of this. Very useful.
PMeldrum 13 480 United Kingdom
31 Mar 2009 9:06AM
At a recent Annabel Williams course, the topic of online sales was discussed and it was the general opinion that an online gallery kills print sales.

I used to put up an online gallery, but then when I took a gallery down, I would get an email from the client saying "where had their images gone" and they "enjoyed looking at them from time to time".
This was proof enough to me that if the client can get instant gratification by looking at them online, then there is no incentive whatsoever to purchase a framed print, canvas or other product.

So my solution now is in line with Seangannon's, when at the shoot I make a provisional appointment to return with an Audiovisual Slideshow of between 50 and 80 images for them to choose from. Music is essential when showing images of either a wedding or children, silence is a killer.

As for the product used for this, I did use ProShow Gold, but now have Producer but both are equally good for this purpose. One added bonus is that with the new version of ProShow/Producer you can output to a variety of formats one being iPod. If clients buy a particular image as a product, then they receive a complimentary iPod version of said image. This encourages clients to show off their images to friends and family resulting in more leads or reprint orders. Smile

SamLS 12 232 United Kingdom
1 Apr 2009 5:23PM

Well, it all goes to show....

In order to force the issue I told the offenders that "unfortunately due to business reasons" I was going to take the album down in four weeks, with a discount if they order within two. To make it easier I cut the numbner of images in the albums from 300-ish to 35.

Immediately got an email says "put them all back please" then got an order for more than 30 prints. So, good news all round, especially my bank balance

So, it seems to me that the deadline is what (for me) will drive this rather than the quantity of images.

Thanks once again for all your suggstions....

PMeldrum 13 480 United Kingdom
1 Apr 2009 5:41PM

Quote:Immediately got an email says "put them all back please"

I bet you did, they hadn't finished copying them!! Wink

Quote:So, it seems to me that the deadline is what (for me) will drive this rather than the quantity of images.

You can always do as Simsim suggested and give a promotional discount if images are purchased within the first 2 weeks of being put online.

Are you in a position to revisit clients and try the AudioVisual show approach? If so, I would highly recommend it and it would also save you having to give a deadline.
SuziBlue 15 16.2k 10 Scotland
1 Apr 2009 6:23PM
I'd say a deadline focusses people's minds very well. It's a bit like a well known landmark. If it's there all the time you just don't get round to visiting it. If it's open one week a year with fantastic incentives to visit you make sure you book before they run out of tickets.

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