Collages are a feature often overlooked in favour of a more traditional gift, such as a single print or photobook. However, I fully believe they are an untapped source of income. Not to mention, a great gift choice.
So how do you make collages work for your business? And how can they help boost that all-important income figure? We’ll come to that. But in the meantime, let’s go back to the very beginning and start with a little history lesson.
What Is A Collage?
The word “collage” actually comes from the French word “coller”. The term means to stick or glue something placed on a piece of paper or canvas. This could be pieces of coloured or textured paper, photographs, text cuttings or even keepsake objects e.g. seashells, coins, bottle corks…
You will probably remember doing something similar when you were at school? Or perhaps you just remember the joy of peeling the peavey glue off your fingers!
When it comes to photographic collages, also called photomontages, the techniques have changed greatly over the years. Originally, photographs or parts of images would be glued together, photographed again and printed as a single final print.
Of course, with today’s modern technology, you can now create amazing, beautiful and even surreal images using digital imagery and compositing software. This is far easier but can cost a pretty penny.
So Why Consider Collages?
Often, a photoshoot or special occasion results in lots of favourite images that the client would love to have. We’re looking at you, wedding day!
A single print is perfect for the home. They look beautiful displayed on a bookshelf, tabletop, bedside or in a wallet. However, this usually means we have to make some hard choices as to which images to print. After all, our homes are only so big and we can only display so many photographs in them.
This is where collages come into their own. A selection of the client’s favourite photographs can be created into a sweet collection of images, printed as a final print or product which can then be displayed throughout the home.
So How Can You Make Collages Part Of Your Business?
If you are a wedding, portrait or pet photographer you could easily include collages into your product catalogue.
You can use theimagefile’s collage feature to create your own collage templates for clients. Templates can be made of all portrait, landscape or square images, include a mixture of aspect ratios and display in grid formats, pinwheel, panoramic or geometric patterns. Snazzy.
The client can then choose as many images from their photo session as they wish and group them together to create a beautiful emotive picture. Is there anything more personal than that?
Plus, whether you self-fulfil or have a partner lab handle your orders, you can choose from a selection of product ideas. For example, a collage print, canvas, acrylic block or an unusual paper or metal product.
So Where Do You Start?
A collage is a really fantastic gift idea and definitely worth including in your product catalogue. Not only is it a practical way of providing clients with the numerous pictures they love, but it’s also a real feelgood gift.
So, let’s talk about who you could sell a collage product to.
Well, let’s start with the traditional route. The majority of us will book a professional photographer for our wedding. And, of course, our wedding photographs are some of the hardest ones to whittle down. They’re all gorgeous and most brides would rather make wallpaper from them than have to pick and choose a favourite!
A collage print or canvas could be the perfect solution for the indecisive bride and groom. They can choose their absolute favourites or alternatively, choose certain combinations that work together perfectly. For example, a collage of the groom with his best men, another showing the bride and her girls or maybe a different collage of each side of the family. The list is endless.
Another big life moment to focus on is a new baby. Doesn’t everyone love a new baby?
Obviously, most parents find it incredibly difficult to choose just a couple of images of their little one to have out on the side. This is where the collage feature comes in handy.
Again, you could offer just a selection of the new parents’ favourite images from the photoshoot or, you could do a selection of gorgeous details. For example, the baby’s hands, feet, favourite toy etc. They would make a lovely addition to any home, and look especially cute in a nursery.
Alternatively, if you are a baby photographer, you might also offer baby milestone sessions or a cake smash. You could offer clients a collage product displaying one image from each of their milestone sessions, making a really special keepsake of baby’s first year.
Remember, a collage doesn’t have to be offered to just current clients. You could contact all your customers from the past 6 months or even year and offer them a special deal on a collage. This would be a great way of reconnecting with past clients, getting more visitors to your website (which is great for SEO) not to mention, potentially boost sales. Always a good result.