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Respect the Print


Intro by Skip Cohen.

I’ve been friends with Beverly and Tim Walden for a whole lot of years. In fact, just a couple of years ago they spoke at one of Marathon’s special MAP summer programs. One of my favorite concepts they talk about at many of their workshops and presentations is the importance of making sure each client understands they’re not buying a “print,” but a family heirloom to be handed down and shared with future generations. As a result, they make it a point to “respect” each print.

At a time in photography when so many of you claim nobody wants prints anymore, here’s a step to getting clients back on the right track, but just “respecting” the print is only part of the process.

  • Your images have to be the very best! No client is going to be interested in created stunning prints of mediocre images.
  • You’ll sell what you show! In your studio, “showroom” or office – wherever you’re meeting with clients – you have to show framed prints.
  • Your website and blog need to show images of rooms with beautifully framed prints.
  • The education of your target audience is up to you. As Beverly and Tim always explain, they’re in the family heirloom business. They’re artists, not photographers.

The slowness of the first quarter, for many of you, is in full swing. Take advantage of this time and think through your goals for 2018. You’ve got an opportunity to make this year the best ever, but it won’t happen if you’re offering the same old product/service lineup.

By Beverly Walden

As we teach and travel, we love to see photographers who respect their art enough to handle it as such. When you buy a piece of art from a gallery, it always comes with documentation that it is an original and authentic and it is hand-signed by the artist, indicating the artist has approved it for sale.

So, we took our cue from them and deliver our wall pieces, both black and white and color, with a Certificate of Authenticity. This certificate has several items written on it, including the authenticity statement plus our “It’s An Original” stamp with a registration number and signature.

The registration number is a combination of the date (140802) which means it was shot August 2, 2014. The next four numbers are the client’s number in our studio management system and the last few digits indicate the pose number. This certificate is always attached to the bottom right.

We print them on nice parchment paper from the local office supply house with a border we designed. Another approach may be to purchase blank certificate paper and simply print the info inside of the borders.

The next set of documents you see are the Journaling papers which come in a pouch we attach to the back middle bottom of every wall portrait. We add value and emotion to our imagery by asking the parents to write letters to their children and put them back into the pouch to remain there until a time in the future when they want their children to see it.

We provide the paperwork to get them started. They are a HUGE hit with our clientele.

We then finish the preparation on the back of each wall portrait with a nice sticker and our art piece is ready to go! Treat your beautiful photographic pieces as you would like them to be treated by your clients!

Respect your art!