The “Day After” Session is one of my favorite additions to classic wedding coverage. It's a beautiful way to help the happy couple enjoy their new status as man & wife, while allowing them the time to celebrate with their guests on the big day. It is also a perfect opportunity for you to increase your sale in a way that doesn't seem “salesy”! The time to approach the idea of a Day After Session with your clients is during the pre-wedding consultation. In the midst of planning the couple's “must have” images, locations, and schedule, it may become obvious that there will be a time crunch on the day of the wedding. Some common time issues arise when: The wedding is staggered between different locations. The bride & groom want to greet their guests at the cocktail hour, instead of leaving to have their portraits taken. The ceremony is at sunset, limiting your options for location and visual impact. The event is a destination wedding.
Instead of viewing the Day After Session as an upsell, I like to think of it as a problem-solving option for my clients. When they mention some of the situations above, or list a ton of logistics for the day, I see it as an opportunity to suggest taking the pressure off. Here are some of the benefits you can recommend when suggesting a bride & groom session the next day: They can enjoy a more relaxed and intimate photo session, knowing that they don't have 200 of their closest friends and family waiting on them back at the reception. They can experience a different location than the wedding site, which will give them even more variety in their images. They don't have to miss out on any of the fun at the party! They can enjoy the cocktail hour and reception without having to race off for pictures. There will be more flexibility in posing with less fear around getting the dress dirty. There is a compelling excitement and magic in photographing their first day as man & wife. Whatever the reason, the Day After Session can alleviate stress for your clients, give them more time, and offer more variety than they would have from the wedding alone. I photographed a lovely wedding in Carmel, CA with a Day After Session at the Pebble Beach Golf Resort. The image variety was incredible, and the bride and groom loved the idea of surprising people with images that were completely unexpected.
In addition to being a great solution for your clients, the Day After Session can translate into higher revenue for you. First, consider the session fee. To keep it simple you can create a set fee for Day After Sessions, or you can choose to go with your regular hourly rate. Most Day After Sessions take a couple of hours, plus travel. No matter how you choose to structure your pricing, remember that the fee should be nominal in relation to the contracted wedding fee, while offering tremendous value for your clients. The big opportunity in Day After Sessions comes in the form of add-on sales after the wedding, namely album upgrades and wall art. If you follow the industry standard, then your basic album is included in the wedding contract. This is most often a set number of pages and images. The additional images from a Day After Session will definitely stand out, and you can offer the happy couple two very wonderful options. Upgrade the wedding album to include more images. No explanation needed here! It's simple and gives the clients a big, beautiful book for their coffee table. Create a new album just for these images. I love Design Aglow's Interactive Keepsake Album for this purpose. It is a wonderful way for newlyweds to capture the first magical moments of their married life together and document their story as a keepsake for future generations.
Many photographers approach albums as the ultimate end product after a wedding, but I believe that wedding albums are just the beginning. Truly beautiful wedding images can be transformed into heirloom art pieces for your clients with very little extra work for you. The stunning images you capture of your bride & groom at their Day After Session are perfect for wall art. Think about the emotional power of their first day as man and wife. The Endless Possibilities templates are perfect for telling the story of this special moment in time.
A lovely way to wrap it all up is to create custom thank you notes for your clients with a few of your favorite images from their special session. Surprise them with the cards when they come to the album meeting, or pop them in the mail with your own thank you note. It's a little gesture with big impact. Not only will you get lots of great word of mouth, you will be bringing everything full circle for your clients and showing them that the extra investment was worth every penny!
Laura Novak has over 10 years of wedding photography experience, and her work has been featured on numerous national and international publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Modern Bride, and Vera Wang's blog. Her work is also featured in the upcoming book: The Design Aglow Posing Guide for Family Portrait Photography. Laura lives in Delaware with her husband, son, and two dogs. Visit Laura's photo education site at www.lauranovak.com