Tuesday, October 4, 2011
DPP Solutions: A One-Stop Shop
Companies that can host image galleries, handle print fulfillment and make creation of a book turnkey can be a boon to your business
Wedding and event photographers already know the benefits of working with a company that can host your image galleries and also take care of your printmaking and other revenue-generating services. If you haven't been in that milieu, however, you may not be as familiar with these options. Let's take a look at Collages.net as a case study to illustrate how this sort of one-stop shop can be a source of serious revenue for your studio.
We started off by mentioning that wedding and event photographers are likely to be aware of these sorts of companies already. That's because photographers who routinely deal with big groups of people and make a large percentage of their living from selling reprints need to streamline the process of fulfillment to keep it profitable. Other professional photographers who are used to dealing with a single client might not have considered the benefits or thought about how they might incorporate a gallery-hosting/printing/book publisher into the workflow.
Collages.net is one of the leaders in this business, and one of the best things about the company is the professional look of its website. It's easy for you to use on the back end and it has a polished look for your clients on the front end. Let's suppose you were doing a job for a client who owns a restaurant. You're brought in to shoot signature dishes, the creative staff in the kitchen and the overall décor. You got the job because the client wanted to have a lot of images to use for everything from ads to the website to framed wall art in the restaurant. Of course, the budget was limited, so you bid a rate based on a one-day shoot. Your goal is to shoot a lot of images and get a lot of variety, but to maintain a profit margin, you can't afford to spend a lot of time managing the images after the shoot. Of course, you could just send the client a DVD with everything, but that wouldn't be particularly professional. Instead, you can make a fast edit of the images and upload them to Collages.net where they will be displayed in a clean-looking gallery. You send your client the link, and they're taken to the gallery, which you can customize to maintain your branding. When you upload the images, you can divide them into separate galleries for easy navigation. This is a huge help for the client because they won't get overwhelmed by a single huge collection of images.
Once the gallery is set and your client is able to select images, you can have Collages.net handle printing and shipping, or the company can send everything to you to send out yourself. Your client can choose several options. In this example of a restaurant shoot, you can set things up so your client can choose to get canvas prints or sophisticated gallery wraps made, in addition to the usual lab prints on paper. Other helpful features are the ability to print a custom photo book from a selection or an entire gallery, as well as custom cards. During the entire process, you or your client can customize prints by cropping, converting to black-and-white and making other image tweaks.
Of course, Collages.net charges for its services, but it's well worth the time you save. Also, consider the example outlined here. For this kind of job, you're actually using Collages.net to open up a whole new revenue stream. The ability to send images to the gallery and let your client pick and choose the prints without you having to lift a finger to fulfill the order is fantastic. Consider how you can use services like this in other facets of your photography, and you can see the benefits.