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The "Love Story" Adventure The Essential Engagement Portrait - part 3 of 1 2 3

Published 01/12/1999

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The Love Story Concept

The engagement Love Story portrait session is my favourite type of photography. I call it the "Love Story" because that's exactly what I make it. It is more than a basic photograph of an engaged couple. It is a complete concept or story of their love.

The couple can choose from a studio or outdoor session. Most of the time they want the portrait to be taken outdoors. I'll ask the couple to bring along some kind of prop that has a special meaning to them. I've had couples use boats, bicycles, motorcycles, pets, sports gear, laptop computers, to name a few. In addition, I always ask the couple to bring along a blanket, a picnic basket and some wine. I usually start the portrait session this way with a couple of photographs and I may add variety by using the filters previously discussed.

I've found the engagement Love Story portrait to be a tremendous selling tool and incentive to book our higher-end wedding package, since we include the session only in our more expensive packages. Depending on the package, we offer the session in an eight-pose folio or a 20-pose 5x5 storybook album.


The Sales Session

Years ago, I would put the couples' 5x5 portraits into a folio or album, depending on what session they chose. When they came into the studio to pick up their photographs, I would try to sell extra photographs.

Sometimes projecting the engagement Love Story using a two-projector dissolve slide show with music. What happened next is really exciting. Sales soared and the average order really jumped up. It's not uncommon to increase your average sales by three times when you start selling with slides instead of paper proofs. You could even get similar results using a large screen TV or your computer and a multimedia projector. The reason that selling this way is so successful is that not only are you in control of the process, but you're appealing to more of their senses. You're now appealing to the sense of smell, sight and sound. Smell, you say?

First of all, when they come into the studio, they smell popcorn, which is what I offer them when they sit down to see their show.

Then, soft music starts and their Love Story portraits appear, as they are projected. This has an emotional impact on the couple. Since we've captured emotionin the photographs, we should be selling with emotion as well.

The beauty of this sales concept is that you're doing your clients a big service by showing them all the possibilities and how beautiful their portraits would look wall-size, and perhaps having one of their Love Story portraits on display at their reception. Therefore, the portraits almost sell themselves. Another great benefit is a tremendous amount of word-of-mouth advertising. At this point, the couple is still very excited and they are in contact with many other people. Thus, the folio or Love Story album gets taken all over and is shown to all the couples' friends, coworkers and relatives. And, if they have a framed portrait on display at the reception it gets seen by everyone in attendance, resulting in an increase in portrait sittings as well as wedding bookings. And so the adventure continues.

Ferdinand Neubauer owns and operates Neubauer Portrait Gallery in Whitehall, PA. He is an award winning photographer and holds the Master of Photography degree from PPA and the Accolade of Photographic Mastery from WPPI. He is the author of two books on wedding photography and can be reached by e-mail at fneubauer@compuserve.com Printed by kind permission of the author.


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1st Published 01/12/1999
last update 07/04/2022 09:10:29

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