Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Engagement Shoot: The Product Possibilities Are Endless! $50 B&H Gift Card Coming Your Way!

Good Morning Everybody,

Boy, I have to tell you, it really was one hot time in the city yesterday as I continued my Kelby Training video shoot. 7 of us, LaDawn and I, our two models, and the 3 person video crew were getting toasty red from our all day shoot in Tampa’s direct, blazingly hot afternoon sun.  Too bad we didn’t think to apply about an SPF 60 screen.  We all were really feeling the heat by the end of the day which ended about 7:00 p.m. – Whew!

Hot City CurvesIMG_8128-Edit-EditOn the upside though, we did get some fantastic images.  I’ll continue to share a few with you these next few days.  The thrill for me was being in non-wedding mode.  All day yesterday, I got to just PLAY.  It was a wonderful exercise in seeing. 

That’s the topic of the second video I’m doing while here in Tampa.  It’s an entire video on the art of seeing – first discerning the location, determining what that location brings to the portrait, and THEN placing the subject within that scene to photograph what you’ve seen in your mind’s eye.  It was a way cool, good time and guess what?  I get to do the same thing again today!

But, how about we get right on with today’s post.  Here we go…

The Engagement Shoot: Bringing It All Together – The Final Product Possibilities Are Endless!

OK, let me ask you – what is the purpose of your engagement portrait sessions?  Is it to go out and just get a few images that your client can use for a 5x7 or two to sit around their home or on their office desks?  I hope not!

Engaged coupleIMG_7424Digital shooting gives us more opportunities than ever to offer our clients a myriad of exciting product possibilities.  Those product possibilities are the result of both the images and video clips we make along with the surprising large number of new products our labs are offering.

The fact of the matter is this;  Back in the film days, we would typically shoot about 50 images – two rolls of 220 film.  Now with digital, the number of images soars to a couple of hundred!  Hey, that’s a good thing.  It’s that greater number of images available that gives us the opportunity to offer our clients so many product options.

Let me point you towards just a 5 rock solid profit building ideas:

1. Videos and DVD’s:  Combine you best stills with the 5 second video clips you made during the photography session.  Animoto makes it totally easy to create both a low res video for posting to your Facebook page. 

Animoto2They also make it just as easy to create a high res version of the same show.  The high res DVD version can be offered as a booking bonus or included in your higher priced image collections.

2. – Engagement Albums:  This one is a no-brainer.  You’ve taken a gazillion pictures – what are you going to do with all of them?  The quick answer is to offer your clients several album options.

Those album options can range from the very elegant (and expensive) leather bound album down to a more affordable press printed book from say, ACI Labs [link].

Save the date3.  Save The Date Items:  Labs including ACI, are offering all kinds of possibilities in that department, too.  Now when the couple sends out their invites, they can easily and affordably include a “Save The Date” reminder with a few of your images on them.  You get the “Save The Date” item sale and extended use of a few of the photographs you took.

4. Wedding Photo Invitations: I just recently saw a photo wedding invitation and it looked very cool.  This is yet another way for you to “repurpose” a few more of your images from your engagement shoot.

Wedding sign in book15. Wedding Sign In Book:  This is another of my favorite ideas and several labs are offering such a product.  The small book sits near the cake or gift table where the gusts are offered the opportunity to offer the newly married couple their best wishes.

Each turn of the page shows another photo of the couple romantically photographed by you.  This is a great way to showcase your work to future possible clients attending this wedding and also allows you to “repurpose” a few more images.

As you can see, the list could go on for pages.  Maybe you even have a few ideas yourself you could share with our DPT readers.  Once again, if I get at least 20 good ideas posted in the comment section below, I’ll award the winner a $50 gift card from B&H camera.


Hey gang, that’s it for me today.  Shooting begins in less than an hour and we’ve got to get moving.  Have a good one, don’t forget to post a few ideas below, and I’ll see you again tomorrow.  -David


  1. Around here (central MA), we find couples enjoy using their favorite E-photo for a sign-in board which can later be framed and hung at home as a reminder of wishes from their guest.

  2. I love engagement pictures!! I include them in almost every package I offer and encourage them a la carte. I had a mom purchase a few engagement session portraits from me and had them put onto canvas and made a beautiful quilt for a wedding couple that I photographed. I made them available to couples to use for the newspaper announcement instead of plain snapshots. A bride once enlarged about six engagement shots and put three on each side of the plain chapel where they got married along with beautiful flower arrangements. Another couple used them as centerpieces. She had four of them printed on vellum paper, then formed a cube with an electric candle inside. It was neat to see everyone going to the different tables and admiring the portraits. So much fun!

  3. Business card sized photo magnets as gifts to their wedding guests.

    Die-cut wedding shower invitation cards are a nice extra to add.

    I love to do the guest book with engagement images for their friends to sign.

    And a storyboard canvas of their favorite images from the wedding!

  4. I definitely always suggest the idea of a sign-in book to clients. It reminds me of the way we used to do high school albums. What's really cool is that the couple can then look back in years to come at both their pictures, as well as the kind things people wrote when they came to their wedding. Great stuff, David. This is my "go to" site every morning. I go here first and then to Planet Neil. Then I feel that I have enough motivation to start my day. You are my cup of coffee. Thanks!

  5. The images could easily be placed in a slide show of some kind while at the wedding/reception also. I love the idea of the book for sign in!
    I have really been inspired by your blog to say the least. Thanks!

  6. One couple and I made interesting sculptures out of their engagement photos using different photo holders available at funky home decor stores to be placed around the reception hall.

    The couple loved it, family and friends thought it was a nice touch and it is a great way to let the wedding guests see your work printed (I always think a print is the best way to show work anyway). Leave a pile of cards under the sculpture and you have a nice piece for the couple and some brilliant advertising for yourself.

    Win Win!!

  7. I love the sign in book.

    How about a slide show at the church while people are coming in.

  8. We always have a set of business cards created from the Engagement Shoot - we select between 8-10 of the best images and these are used for the picture side of the card. The reverse text side is used to inform the wedding guests of where they can find the wedding images online and what the password will be to access the private gallery we create for all our couples. The guests love them as it's a little keepsake from the wedding and we love them as every guest leaves that wedding with our business card.

    When they inevitably hit the gallery a day or two after the wedding, we have a message in the gallery asking them to leave their email address and we will contact them when the images are ready and have been viewed by the couple (we always ensure the wedding couple see the images first) and also, would they like to pre-order a copy of the DVD slideshow - it works a treat.

  9. A large print with a big mat used at the reception makes for a beautiful memento after all the guests have written their well-wishes on the mat.

    The images can make great tags for the small gifts the couple usually give the guests.

    For an outdoor reception / wedding, 5x7's would look great as part of the decorations, clipped onto string/ribbon, alternating with flowers, etc.

    Images could be used to decorate the cake boxes the guests take home.

    At some weddings, the guests are given a little sheet / booklet for the service with the songs, verses, etc. This could be printed more professionally with photos from the engagement session to decorate.

    Prints can make beautiful gifts for the parents of the bride and groom on the wedding day.

    You can create a slideshow that can be shown during the reception.

    Photos can be used on any kind of sign used for the wedding, e.g. "reception this way", "guest parking", etc.

    A "Just Married" banner for the back window of the car

    On the back of the table numbers

    Custom stationary for the couple, e.g. letters, envelopes and postcards

  10. Slideshow of the engagement shoot to be displayed during the wedding festivities for your guests' enjoyment.