Why you must not ignore your photography packaging and delivery
Bryan wrote a great article all about how he packages his digital proofs, and I wanted to write a supporting article that goes into some of the psychology around why I feel it's important for us as professional photographers to focus on the presentation of our packaging.
When it comes to product packaging, many companies spend as much design time and energy on the packaging as they did with the original product inside. For example:
- Perfume companies want the box to compliment the bottle.
- Jewellers want to reinforce the value of the purchase through beautiful packaging.
- We have come to understand what a blue Tiffany box represents. Inside is a diamond ring that has a long history of quality and brand recognition. There was even a movie made whose title reveres the Tiffany store with Audrey Hepburn in the tile role, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.
Many photographers wrestle with pricing their work (check out this article Bryan wrote about pricing your photography) and it all comes down to value in the end. If the photography has a high quality and the public perception of the business is favourable, then the work should be priced so that it is profitable and perceived to be a great value. At the delivery of said photography, the way in which it is packaged and presented to our client is paramount to enhancing the customer experience.
Sadly, some photographers do not see the value in packaging and present their photographs in plain manila envelopes or even just a corrugated box or plastic sleeves. To do so cheapens the brand of the photographer and shows that they do not value their own work enough to present it in a more polished presentation.
When we study marketing or branding we learn that we should be marketing to our clients at every point of contact and this of course includes the way we deliver our product.
How your photography is packaged is paramount to enhancing the customer experience!
It is important then to be sure our packaging is a good refection of our brand. Consistency of colour and design with other ways we market is critical. Stores in shopping malls will make sure to put purchases in bags with their logos, and corporate colours, attractively designed as walking advertisements for their store.
Even if you are not in a retail environment like a shopping mall it still makes sense to professionally package anything that leaves your studio. Fortunately there are now some excellent companies available that cater specifically to photography studios.
Today we can select from print boxes in many colors, eco friendly packaging, logo ribbons, stickers, tissue papers in endless prints as well as shopping bags in various sizes and styles. Making packaging a part of your cost of sales and working that into your pricing calculations will keep your final sales profitable.
I have seen some fantastic samples of brand packaging from photographers around the world online, so there are fortunately many examples to look at if you’re just starting your own packaging ideas. One place to look would be Pinterest, many photographers have started Pinterest pages just based on packaging.
What to do next
The best way to get started is to keep it simple. Use your business colours found in your logo. If you haven’t got a professionally designed logo then start there. Shop around for print boxes, and some kind of ribbon or elastic that holds the box closed. You’ll need boxes in various sizes for all the print sizes you sell. For very large wall portraits you’ll need a different way to present since most box companies only sell up to 16×20. You’ll want your brand on the packaging so you can get logo imprinting directly on the boxes or you can add stickers or ribbons with your logo.
This kind of branding should be consistent with other items in your studio such as price lists, information brochures, etc.
It’s also a good idea to designate an area in your workplace to store all your packaging together, in a closet, on shelves, or even storage bins. Keeping things neat and organized is important to keep things from getting crushed or bent.
Designate time during the week to package all outgoing work clearly labelled with client names to avoid mixups and confusion.
When you take your business seriously you treat all aspects of it with passion and commitment, including the final packaging of each product that leaves. Your clients will love the professional look of their product presentation, you’ll love the credibility it brings you as an business, and you’ll take pride in each and every photograph that leaves your studio.