Why Clients Need a Wedding Album by Jason Aten


As a Pictage photographer, one of the greatest values Pictage brings your company is the ability to drive increased revenue.  In our business, one of the best ways we’ve found to add value to both our business and to our clients, is through the sale of albums.  An album is a finished piece of art that communicates the clients’ wedding story in a way that nothing else can.  Using the Pictage Album Designer – as well as the many album and book options that Pictage offers is a great way to build your business and add value to your clients.

Educating clients on the value of an album is one of the first steps towards building a valuable part of a wedding photography business.  Here’s our take on it:

Often clients ask about whether or not they really need a wedding album.  Wedding blogs, and other industry “insiders” often suggesting saving money by foregoing a professionally designed and produced wedding album, instead – opting for a simple disc of images.  Which is really better for you – the client? Isn’t a disc all I really need?

First let me say this – all of our clients receive a disc.  That’s right, you’ll receive a disc with the final edit of your images (usually 400-900 images) for archival purposes.  With a disc, we provide you with a license to reproduce those images for your personal use.  If that’s the case, it’s fair to ask ‘why would you really need anything else?’

I believe so strongly that every single couple should have a high-quality wedding album, that every wedding commission we photograph includes an album credit.  Every single client gets an album.  It’s that important.  Here’s why:

The art of a print

Your photographs are intended to be presented as professional prints.  A print is the end result of a photograph.  A digital file is simply a negative.  If your photographer shot your wedding on film, you wouldn’t be satisfied with just the negatives would you?  They wouldn’t be especially useful to you.

A print, on the other hand, is a work of art.  It’s been retouched, enhanced, processed, and essentially “developed.”  Creating photographic prints is a skill that separates professionals from amateurs.  All of our albums are crafted with real photographic prints.

A wedding album will last hundreds of years when cared for properly.  It holds its value and is your very first family heirloom.  It is meant to be viewed and shared for generations.  The quality and craftsmanship of a professional album is meant to be around for far longer than any of us.

Your Story

Finally, your wedding album tells your wedding story in a way that nothing else can.  Loose prints only capture a moment.  Your disc with hundreds or thousands of images is simply raw, unedited footage (so to speak), and lacks the storytelling that an album provides.

Looking through that many images is overwhelming.  It might be nice to have for your peace of mind, but it lacks the narrative that exists in an album.   When created by a professional, a wedding album captures your story so that you can share the emotion, the experience, the memories from your wedding day.

Finally, it’s unlikely that in 25 years, you’ll even be able to read the DVD or CD those images are on.  With the speed that technology changes, it’s certain to be a challenge for all of us to back up and maintain files for decades to come.  It’s great to have access to your digital files, but it requires diligence to be sure you’ve created a copy every five years on whatever is the most commonly accepted form of storage media.

A wedding album, on the other hand, is timeless.  It will never be out of style, and you’ll always be able to share your story.  And really, the entire purpose of having your wedding photographed- is to share your story.

Thank you to Jason for being a part of the Pictage Blog and Pictage Community!

Written by Pictage Member Jason Aten

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The Value of Community by Jim Collins Pictage CEO

We would like to welcome Pictage CEO Jim Collins to the Pictage Blog today as he shares about “The Value of Community.”  Jim, along with other executives and members of the Pictage Team, will now be regular contributors to the Pictage Blog… other guests will include CMO Simon Anderson, CFO Kevin Rubin, Senior Director of Customer Experience Michael Caro, and more!

From Jim:

I was talking to Mike Colon not all that long ago and he mentioned that he thought the primary benefit of working with Pictage for any photographer was the community. I’ve had some time to think about it and I think he’s right. Here’s why.

You’ve chosen to be a professional photographer. That’s your living, your path. We all know that a lot of the time it’s great fun. Your interaction with your clients, their faces when they see their pictures or albums …

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Pictage Podcast with Kevin Meyers


This week on the Pictage Podcast Sara talks with Kevin Meyers about ways to be smart with your business from the beginning.  Kevin shares some of the mistakes he has made and lessons he has learned throughout his career.  Listen in for some really great advice on how to keep your business profitable and efficient.


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“Admired by Beckstead” Newest Winners (and bonus Honorable Mentions)

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 7th round of “Admired by Beckstead,” our twice-monthly David Beckstead image contest!

We are so excited to announce this round’s winner… FIRST place goes to Don Bryant of Annapolis, MD. Congratulations Don!

David’s Comments on the winning image: The compositional elements work together perfectly in this shot! The clouds mock the angle of the car. The leading lines of the car move your eyes eventually to the subjects. The depth is just great putting the original hard focus on the front of the car then gently going out of focus (but not too much) to the subjects. The colors are just great! The angle the photographer chose was interesting and different.

Reflections, points of interest, story…all there for us to view again and again. Nice!

SECOND PLACE goes to Jason Karlin of Jamie K Photography in New Jersey.

David’s Comments: Framed perfectly into the negative space by tree line and fence line, the subjects dance in their frozen body positions. This shot is just ‘alive’ and wonderful in its compositional execution. I want so badly to be that guy in the air with that silly/cool suit and the tennis shoes.  Perfect action catch by the photographer! Perfect body placement and angle!

This week’s THIRD PLACE winner is William Tangorra from Boston, MA.

David Comments:The photographer wrapped his subjects in a blanket of evening-blue and amber-warmth and balanced the lines and architecture just right to create something I don’t think I have seen yet…not in this exact way with these great elements. Fantastic!

Lastly (since we had so many great submissions) … in no particular order we have the “Almost, but Great” photos.

Photo by Marta Locklear. Photo by Richard Min.Photo by Kate Duval.

*** Next contest round is now open! We’re accepting submissions through Monday, July 27th. We’ll then present the winners Friday, July 31st (editorial note: we may extend this one, as David will be leading a workshop in Slovenia during that week).

This round’s theme: What shots do you want in your portfolio? Send in your best!

And…be sure to leave your feedback and congratulatory notes in the comments here.

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Mingle with Engle – Anna and Spencer


Anna and Spencer, two of our wonderful community members, came up with the sweetest idea for the Mingle with Engle, a video version! They recently painted a wall in their house to use as a video backdrop and wanted to test it out. They interviewed each other and didn’t look at the Mingle questions until they were filming.

The video is just under 30 minutes so my advice is to sit back, grab some good wine, hot tea, or a fun photographer friend and enjoy!!!

p.s. I am always looking for photographers to interview so please email blog@pictage.com if you’re interested.

Make sure to leave a comment or re-tweet this interview!

Lastly, some link love: http://www.annaandspencer.com/ http://www.annaandspencer.com/blog/


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Pictage Podcast- Andrew Niesen

Hello everyone! Don’t miss out on this week’s podcast! In this week’s podcast, Sara talks with Andrew Niesen about taking the leap from Photographer to Serial Entrepreneur. Andrew discusses the good and the bad of starting a new business, and shares some of the lessons he has learned along the way and how to overcome the challenges of being self-employed.

He also provides some outstanding advice for other photographers thinking about starting a side business. Andrew touches on what you need to do and some really important things to watch out for. This podcast is a great education and conversation about all things photography, business, and Pictage.


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Pictage Camera Toss with Mike Larson


Around 2pm yesterday all of the Pictage employees gathered outside in the parking lot for the most dramatic and exciting company picture in Pictage history. Not only was the picture taken by Pictage member Mike Larson, but we’re pretty sure we set a North American record!

Over 115 employees were instructed to circle around Mike as he sent his camera (actually our CEO Jim’s camera) spinning 25 feet in the air. You may recognize this as his very own “camera toss” technique. If you don’t believe it, check it out below and check out Mike’s blog for more of his camera toss photos.

Thank you to Mike for making this a fun and exciting experience that we won’t forget! And thank you to Pro Consultant Scott Miura for climbing on the roof at Pictage to take pictures of the picture being taken!

First, the proof that it happened… Second, the Pictage company picture!

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Mingle with Engle – Jeff & Betsy McCue


Jeff and Besty McCue of La Vida Creations are awesome photographers and members of the Pictage Community, not to mention huge San Diego PUG advocates!  Check out our recent interview…

Describe your photography style or words that describe your brand? We focus on keeping our couples relaxed during their engagement session as well as on their wedding day. We are fun, easygoing people that live life and love life, and we feel that our branding and imagery reflects that. We capture and document emotions as they happen so they are preserved for generations to come.

What is your favorite thing to shoot? Our dog “Mace Windu” He is a lab-chow mix (we call him a Labrachow).

What is a must read or must see? Whenever we need artistic inspiration, we like to look to the cinema. Amelie is one of our favorite movies for this; it has a whimsical storylines and great cinematography! We have watched this movie over and over. We like to pause movies like Amelie at certain scenes to study how actors are positioned and the way lighting is used.

What is your favorite thing about Pictage? The community, hands down! We love our PUG peeps and getting together with like-minded people at the PartnerCon conference each fall.

What lens could you not live without? Nikon 14-24mm, 2.8: it’s sharp as a prime and lets us shoot wide without as much distortion as our fishy-lens.

How do you juggle your business and family/social life? This is something we need to do a better job of in 2009. Right now, we’d leave it at taking afternoon breaks for bocce in our backyard!

What workflow tools do you use? ShowItWeb, Showit Sites, Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, RPG Keys, ShootQ. We also love our primary album vendor, KISSbooks. Simple is hot!

Most listened to song on your ipod? We listen to A LOT of Jimmy Buffett. If there was just one song to pick, however, it would most definitely be “Knees of my Heart” from his Riddles in the Sand Album. That was the song we played for our first dance as husband and wife!

What is one thing we don’t know about you? We often travel to Paso Robles vineyards for some R&R. We had entered the annual Bocce Tournament at Eberle Winery for several years in a row, and lost in the first round each time. One year though, we plowed through the competition and won the whole thing! Our prize? A $400 magnum of their finest 1999 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. They way we felt after winning that tourney, the bottle may as well have been an Olympic Gold Medal!

Who inspires you? We’d say “what” instead of “who”… life, travel, movies. We find inspiration in sunsets and big puffy clouds. We enjoy looking at the constellations when the skies are clear. We are inspired by the beauty of naturally occurring events taking place all around us. We are also inspired by Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken.

How do you get most of your bookings? What is your primary way of marketing? Word of mouth and editorial images in San Diego Style Weddings.

What blog do you stalk? There are lots, but Jasmine Star’s blog is a daily addiction! We also like to follow Youngren Photographers, Jessica Claire, and many others. It’s always so much fun to see what other photogs see at weddings and engagement sessions.

Any words of wisdom to share… If you’re not already involved, get out to your PUG meeting. We truly value our network of fellow photographers for the friendships, support, and learning. It’s really influenced our business. Other pearls of wisdom, get out and shoot for fun! We recently took a creative day for photography together out at the Salton Sea. We photographed each other which was a lot of fun! We also created some fine art landscapes for a gallery showing in Laguna Beach from that day.

For more on the McCue’s check out their links: Site – http://www.lavidacreations.com Blog – http://blog.lavidacreations.com Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/lavidacreations Jeff’s Facebook -  http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeff-McCue/1118206984 Betsy’s Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/people/Betsy-Erickson-McCue/3327830 Mace’s Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/people/Mace-Windu-Mccue/1683758983?ref=mf

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Pictage Cribs featuring Brian Adams by Elizabeth Villa Ippolito

We have decided to give Pictage photographers the opportunity to share their studios with the Pictage community. Every month we will be featuring one of your studios in our Studio Tour Blog. We are interested in viewing and being a part of studios all across the nation as each month our very own photographers take us on a tour.

For our first tour we will be featuring Orlando Pictage User Group leader Brian Adams. Brian Adams Photographics, Inc. is located in Orlando, Florida. He describes his studio as…

“My studio space is a juxtaposition of sorts, which is a lot like my photography.  The building which houses my space is an 85-year-old restored bungalow in the middle of downtown Orlando.  While the outside has a classic, traditional feel, the inside has a very minimalist look.  People have also said that my photography is fresh and new, but is classic enough to …

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Pictage Podcast- Melissa Jill

Hey everyone, don’t miss out on this episode! In this episode Sara talks with Melissa Jill about a variety of great topics — including the power of having a studio manager and the value of outsourcing (with specific examples from both personal and business perspectives). Melissa also discusses adapting to the wedding season among different climates and shares her experiences and insights with Destination Weddings & learning how to grow as a strong business person.

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Make sure to give Melissa some comment love!

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