That looks amazing, isn't it???!!!
The other day I have had a conversation with my client:
Me: "What did you do with the photos from our last session? Remember that flower bonnet that we put on baby Evelynn for her 9th m.o session, and we propped her in a flower pot??!! That's my most favorite capture!"
Client: "OMG, this is my favorite image as well! She looks so adorable and those little cheeks...Weeell, I printed a few images at CVS across the street, but the quality was so horrible, didn't look anything like the images on my PC, so I had to throw them away... I looked for a better printing companies online, but it was too confusing, they have to many selections: everything from wrap and canvases to metallic prints and art prints... all those finishing touches...Paper: glossy, satin, matte and so on! Finally, after struggling to install their program to load the images for printing, I got a window pop up asking to provide my photography website and tax information,the good labs are working only with certified photographers! After all, I gave up!"
I felt so bad for my client and embarrassed at the same time, I felt like a "lazy" photographer: I slapped the images online, sent a link, notified my client with a text message "Your gallery is ready to be downloaded. Let me know if you have any questions".
I didn't realize the real struggle of my clients and how hard it is for them to make a decision on size and style of a print...
Few hours later, my little one asked for an ice cream, so we stopped at McDonalds... They just installed those "do yourself" computers to place an order, after 5 minutes of trying to figure it out, I was loosing my mind. A young man, came over and helped me to place my order...To be honest, I felt sooo embarrassed not being able to place my order. That minute, I realized that my clients needs guidance with their purchase, they need help to figure out what would be the best size of canvas for the baby's room and they need to see samples in person, so they know what they are getting!
For the next few months, with my husband's help, we worked hard to make it happen: we spent hours researching the best quality lab, ordering samples and test prints, hours on the phone with the lab figuring the simple things, like the difference between canvas and wraps, asking questions about durability and quality, all the effects and the pros and cons... During that time, I looked around at other photographers prices and what they had to offer...I came to the realization that customers spend between $500-$1500 per session and at the end of a day they all walked away empty handed with cheaply made USB drives in their pocket; on top of that now they will have to waste time and money (again!) trying to figure on how to print those images, the sizes and styles...
Wouldn't that be nice if you just pointed what images you would like to be printed and have samples to see and touch, put against your wall to make sure its the right size at NO EXTRA COST??!!