Ever see photos of beautiful gallery walls and think, that’s great…. but how could I ever offer all of that to MY clients?! I’m here to tell you that the process of installing artwork in homes is easier than you think.
From the time my clients first reach out to schedule a session to when the nails are going in their walls, I’m with them making sure they’re getting photos they’ll cherish forever. By breaking it down into three easy steps, you’ll see that giving people the home decor of their dreams is totally attainable for every photography business, and that the process can actually be… FUN!
One of the first steps of any shoot is the planning call! This is not only the chance for your clients to ask questions, but for them to hear all of your tried-and-true tips for getting photos they’ll love. Typically, this is is where I would go over expectations for the shoot – whole family shots, or just the kids? Candid or posed? – and help plan wardrobe. Remember: if they are interested in purchasing framed prints, you want the photos to stand the test of time.
After we chat, it’s time for the clients to do a little home inspection. I’ll guide them to walk through their house and see which spaces jump out as needing some artwork, and then break it down further: does this room need one great frame? Is there a reeeaally big space where a gallery wall would be perfect? Is the vibe of this room formal or casual? What colors would look great in this space?
When your clients come to their session with these answers already in mind, it will help everyone understand the goal of the shoot.
Technology is a wonderful thing, and one of the best bits of technology I use in the studio is for framing. When my clients leave their session, they’ll get a homework guide with instructions on how to take photos of their walls; I then use those photos to show them exactly how different frames will look in their home, so we can compare styles, sizes, and colors and see what will work best. Pretty neat, huh?
Even with all the prep work, I understand that not everyone will come to their ordering appointment knowing what they want – and that’s okay! As photographers, we’re here to offer our expert opinions and help fill in the gaps where clients are unsure. This is where we’ll help fill in the gaps and get our clients the perfect combination of prints, frames, and mattes that will look great in their room. If you are going to get into artwork sales, it’s important that you get to know your framing catalogue like the back of your hand; it doesn’t matter how many frame styles you offer, as long as you can get a great understanding of each one and give clients personalized recommendations!
You know that saying: good things take time! That’s true with custom framing, too. Depending on order size and time of year, it can take anywhere from 5 to 7 weeks for frames to be ready at my studio. If the wait seems long, just remember that it’s nothing compared to having artwork for a lifetime!
Once everything is ready, I’ll schedule a date for the installation, and my clients will finally get to see everything come together. This is something I love to do myself, because it gives me a final chance to make sure everything is 100% perfect – but if you’re pressed for time or not quite confident in your skills (there CAN be some tricky math involved!) then hiring a professional to assist is still a nice touch for your clients. I typically offer my installation services for anyone that buys four or more frames, but if you’re just starting out in artwork sales and want to leave a great impression, taking an hour out of your day to hand-deliver and hang even a single frame could be what turns that client into a repeat customer.
See how easy getting frames is? Clients are always amazed at the end of the process. What feels like a daunting task is actually as easy as planning, ordering, and hanging! It’s so simple that I truly believe every photography studio can offer something similar – and it’s also essential for making your business feel like a luxury service.