• Guest Signing Books – a win-win product to offer!


    I love using Vision Art Books for guest signing books and have been recommending them to my photographer clients for many years because of their high end feel, beautiful matte paper, lay flat invisible crease, great photo cover and sturdy construction. These books are more luxurious than a simple press printed book with thin pages. After helping photographers get into selling guest books for the first time with great success here are some tips I've gathered throughout the years:

    SELLING


    "How do you sell Guest Books, we would love to hear your comments below"
    Image Courtesy of: CHRIS+LYNN PHOTOGRAPHERS http://www.chrispluslynn.com


    • to sell guest signing books the price point will need to be lower than what the client is expecting to pay for their main wedding album. Usually this means a change in product style, thickness, type, size etc. to keep the difference relational. Perhaps this means using a VA Photo Art Book in leather for the main album with a VA Original for signing ... or using a VA Original for the main with a VA Dulce with fabric for signing etc. to help with the overall price, I offer a discounted ‘per image’ price when I design guest books specifically rather than my regular ‘per page side’ price in order to help keep the price point down for my clients. is usually a last minute up-sell once your clients fall in love with their e-session shoot - they have a lot of expenses at this time with preparing that the guest signing book needs to be attainable and irresistible the size of the guest signing book should be smaller than their main wedding album that they’re buying and perceived value should be proportionate have a guest book sample on hand for client meetings and bridal fairs – I have heard that when showing the guest books that they have actually booked new clients on the guest book alone!! I love to hear that…… if they don’t see it – they won’t know that they want one! depending on the market of your business I have designed guest signing books in both Dulce and Original lines - since the pages are the same inside, the price boils down to cover style and quantity of page spreads typically from what I’ve seen a horizontal format is nice, square would be nice too – vertical not as easy for writing on (but still works though) popular sizes seem to be in the 10×8 or 8×6 range (pages added for size of guest list if very grand) Check out our Dulce line for an economical guest books with the same quality as our other books. - VA since the guest books are typically a quick turnaround situation for the couple to receive them in time for the wedding - this is where VA shines. Most companies take weeks longer. be careful on recommending what ‘kind’ of pen your clients should use – depends on the type of paper. Inkjet vs laminated etc…. would behave differently. Guest books are perfect not only for engagement sessions – but also for destination wedding ‘before or after’ shoots for bringing back to their hometown for the big local reception party Money aside, these are an easy sell – your couples have a fantastic way to share their great engagement session with their friends & family besides just having a couple great shots framed on their shelf. The comments are fun to read too years later and a great record of who was there to share the special day with them. I sure wish I had one when I got married in 1999! the reason why I say ‘win-win’ … is because not only does the couple have an incredible way to enjoy and share their engagement or destination wedding, but also possibly hundreds of guests will be seeing the album at the venue and many will indeed be curious how and where they got the great photos and book – and will result in potential new referrals for the photographer. I have heard stories of this happening already. (Make sure your logo and/or website is on the back of the cover in case they don’t get a chance to ask the bride & groom but don’t get too pushy and put your phone number on their too as that can look desperate make sure you have a sample or samples to show at your bridal shows and for coordinator/venue meetings.



    DESIGN




    • I like to use lots of negative space to give ample room for writing – guest signing books like these allow for guests to express themselves more freely and tend to write longer notes … than the old fashioned ‘who they are, where they live, congrats!’ I like to keep the negative space and photo placement changing from spread to spread – keep the eye moving and keep the interest up from beginning to end of the book. Some spreads really big and open vs. a fuller larger panoramic can been dramatic Is helpful to know how many guests the couple is having …. more more guests, the more writing room they’ll need and possibly more pages…. I design each spread so that it looks fantastic whether there ends up being comments from guests on the page … or not ! This is important – because sometimes people are like lemmings – and like to glom onto the same pages that other people have written on. (Just like how you can park at one end of a practically empty parking lot – and come out of the store and people have parked right next to you anyway !! hehehehe) Point being, IF there are ‘empty’ pages near the end of the book – those pages should STILL be beautifully balanced in design and not be boring. I don’t like to add a lot of design elements if it distracts from the photography – a bit here and there can add spice, but not too much – additionally, too many color blocks etc. ‘might’ impede someone from writing on it if too dark etc….. Some people like to add ‘prompting’ text …. like ‘funny story about the bride or groom’ …. while this can be ‘fun’ and create some interesting reading for later – be careful what you say in case there is a chance that nobody will really want to put their answer etc. and leave you with a page with no commentary.


    SHOOTING FOR GUEST BOOKS


    "Shoot for the Guest Book"
    Image Courtesy of: CHRIS+LYNN PHOTOGRAPHERS http://www.chrispluslynn.com


    • It’s fun to have ‘atmospheric’ or ‘scene setter’ or ‘detail’ shots as well in the layout … not just all ‘people pictures.’ This can add different points of view, add interest to the pages and provide the potential for different layout options or semi-translucent backgrounds that if done careful can add depth or new places for comments to be written on top of as well. Keep the locations VARIED …. nothing is more boring to a guest book than spread after spread of the same beach rocks, or bench or path etc…. go to as many different backdrops as you possibly can!! ie. street scape to park to alleyway etc…. all create a totally different environment. If you can’t go to more than one location — vary up the background scene, don’t stick to the same light post or pier or whatever…. If you can … have them change their clothes – this can create more visual interest as well. Not critical… but many of the books I’ve done do feature the couple looking ‘different’ within one book. But have the ‘setting’ change with their clothes … otherwise that would look odd. for a guest book – typically I receive about 28-38 images roughly for a 30 page side/15 spread book shooting action sequences is also fantastic for guest books don’t always just shoot ‘faces’ … vary it up, go for different points of view …


    If you have any questions or need any help feel free to contact me.



    Karen Dahlquist
    Designing Vision Art books since 2006

    HAPPYFISH DESIGN



    For more information and inspiration, check out some of these posts on our Forum:

    Vision Art books as Guest Books
    Why I LOVE VA originals for GuestBooks!
    Vision art guest books simply the best!
    Wedding Season=Guest Book Season!
    VIDEO: Bryan Caporicci talks "The Engagement Book" - Guest Sign In Book
    Guest Signing Book 10x10
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Guest Signing Books – a win-win product to offer! started by happyfish View original post
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. sherijohnson's Avatar
      sherijohnson -
      awesome info!
    1. elizabethandjane's Avatar
      elizabethandjane -
      Awesome! I have shared on my album design company facebook page
      http://www.facebook.com/halftonemedia
    1. KyleKlingler's Avatar
      KyleKlingler -
      Quote Originally Posted by elizabethandjane View Post
      Awesome! I have shared on my album design company facebook page
      http://www.facebook.com/halftonemedia
      Thanks for sharing the link!
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