There’s an abundance of heart in what happens between our trigger and the images we share with clients. Sometimes they sit waiting on digital media without the privilege of getting out in front of eyes and making a place of permanence in our clients’ lives. Lauren Kinsey gives us a few thoughts and the reasoning behind why printed products are a large and no-compromise portion of her of the heart of her business and client experience.
My friends and family call me an “ old soul” because I place a lot of value on the tangible and how important that is to the overall experience. If you think back to when our parents and grandparents were married, they didn’t have their photographer turn over a disc of images or USB drive to them—they had printed photographs and albums. How important it is to slow down and be able to sit down with those you love and look back at a printed photograph. It’s sad to me, as a photographer, that we have gone away from that idea and let our clients experience everything through a screen.
Our society has evolved to be digital-based, how do you balance your desire/affection for the printed piece with the demands of the digital world?
From the first conversation I have with my clients, I am very candid with them about my desire to deliver printed photos to them, and why. When we talk about these things, they begin to see that there is so much value in having printed photos, and the disc becomes secondary to them in their mind, because they now have an heirloom piece that they can pass down to their children.
What feedback have you received from clients on your process/products?
By and large, this is the most favorite part of my process for both myself and my clients. When they open their box, it’s presented like a gift that they are opening. I get so many excited calls and emails about how much they loved receiving their photos and spreading them out on their living room floor or kitchen table and reliving their wedding this way. Even now, years later, I still have clients that make it a yearly tradition to look through their photos on their anniversary. It’s incredibly moving to me to hear this from my clients.
The statement on the heirloom portion of your site sums up so much so simply. At the heart of my work is the belief that we should value the process and the tangible. I have carefully curated a full line of beautiful products that every client receives as part of their wedding and portrait collections.
How did you choose which products to include in your collections?
A lot of trial and error. I only present to my clients the things that I would love to have in my own home and what speaks to me. I try and choose products based on how my heart feels when I see them and hold them. There are a lot of beautiful products on the market though, so this process is always ongoing for me.
What prompted you or helped you know including heirloom pieces was a must for your collections? Do you edit collection pricing to not include them?
Printed photographs have always been included in some form in all of my collections from the inception of my business. Before I was born, my maternal grandparents lost everything they owned in a fire. All they had left were the clothes they were wearing on the day it happened. When they began sifting through the remains of their home, they were able to recover a few charred photographs, and one of those photos hangs in my home now. It’s a constant reminder for me of how important my job is, and why I do what I do.
Do you select images for clients? Design albums?
I will recommend my favorite images for print and display. For albums, I do design albums, but I allow my clients to pick their own images, but I usually recommend that they limit the number to 50 or less images, so the album tells the story of the wedding without being too visually overwhelming.
What’s your favorite part of the print-selection and/or packaging process?
Packaging prints for delivery is my favorite day. I send out thousands of printed photos each week, so it takes a full two days to sit down and sort images, package and ship them.
If a photographer feels it’s the right move for their business, how would you encourage them to begin the process and communicate that to their clients?
As with anything, and not just in regards to whether or not you offer prints, don’t be afraid to speak passionately and from your heart about why something is important to you. If you feel lukewarm about it, your clients will too, and won’t place as much value on it. If it’s something you have a deep conviction about, suddenly you will feel more confident in talking about it, and your clients will reciprocate that. Whenever I’m on the fence about something, I sit down and really think about why I am doing it, and if it’s something that I don’t feel 100% confident in putting my name on, I won’t do it.
More on Lauren Kinsey at laurenkinsey.com