Ways to Use MagCloud in Planning a Wedding

We recently highlighted ways wedding photographers can use MagCloud to promote and showcase their work. Today we are focusing on how MagCloud can be used for planning the wedding itself, as a resource for both professional event coordinators and those taking a DIY approach. From lookbooks and portfolios to show prospective clients, to destination information booklets and save-the-date materials for guests, all the way through to printed programs for the big day, MagCloud’s print on demand and digital services can be a great resource no matter what size of an event you’re planning.

Portfolios

We’ve discussed before how MagCloud is a great resource for publishing portfolios since it allows both an affordable print version and convenient digital version with a single PDF upload. As a professional event planner, showing potential clients your previous work will not only help you land the job but may also act as a source of inspiration. Since MagCloud offers prints for as little as $0.16 per page with no minimum order quantity, you can print off as few or as many full color, professional-quality portfolios as you need to share with these potential clients, at a price that won’t break the bank if you need to replace a copy. You can also make the same portfolio available in the MagCloud storefront for viewing as a PDF as a way to share your work digitally, with built-in promotion tools for your social media channels and website.

Vendor Lookbooks

Just as a portfolio can help inspire your clients for their event, having vendor lookbooks to show previous work specific to a particular photographer, venue, hair or makeup artist can also help simplify these decisions for your clients. With MagCloud you can have print copies for clients to browse through as you meet with them or as a PDF on other digital devices. You can also make these publications available through the MagCloud website, to link to from your website and promote through your social media channels as a means of marketing your business. Since these books promote not only your services but those of the venues and photographers being highlighted, this also offers an opportunity for cross-promotion, as noted in our post for wedding photographers. While you use these lookbooks to promote the work you’ve done with a particular vendor, you could also offer these pieces to the vendor as a means of promoting both their work and yours to potential clients. Using the MagCloud storefront, these vendors can order copies for themselves as they need them without having to go through you to get them.

Save-the-Dates

Pinterest is brimming with creative ideas for non-traditional save-the-dates that offer more information about the bride and groom, and better fit their personalities. MagCloud’s Digest Landscape product is a great format for creating compact save-the-date photobooks, with photos of the couple, the story of how they met and got engaged, and when and where the wedding will be held. If the couple has done an engagement photo shoot, this is a great way to show off the resulting photos in a high quality printed piece that guests will enjoy flipping through and reading. With MagCloud’s Ship to Group feature, you can even drop-ship copies of a publication to a list of addresses, so both the printing and distribution of the save-the-dates can be taken care of at once.

Guest Information Booklets

It’s likely that many of the guests at the wedding you are planning will be from out-of-town, and in most cases, they will be in town for a day or two leading up to or following the wedding. Therefore, it’s a nice idea to provide them with some information about the area, including options for lodging, places to eat, and things to do. This is particularly helpful for destination weddings, where everyone will likely be from outside the area and you may opt to arrange for additional activities for these guests to do. MagCloud is a great option for printing up reference booklets of guest information like this, to either send to guests ahead of time using the Ship to Group feature, or to make available via a link from the wedding website so guests can download a digital version for viewing on their iPad or other digital device. If this information is known in advance, this booklet could even act as the save-the-date and offer guests plenty of advance notice for planning their trip and booking lodging.

Programs

Whether it’s to provide information about the bridal party, list readings or songs to be performed, or simply to remind guests about directions to the reception location, most wedding ceremonies include a paper program that gets passed out to guests at the door. These programs provide helpful information for guests, and also offer a keepsake of the event. MagCloud’s smaller Digest product is a perfect format for programs of all lengths, particularly at the 4-page Pamphlet size. Our 4-page products are now printed on a heavier paper stock, so they offer a more formal feel that makes them a great fit for wedding programs. With no minimum order quantity, you can order programs in a quantity that fits the size of your event, whether it’s an intimate gathering with just a few guests or a larger affair numbering in the hundreds.

If you’re looking to create a wedding program for yourself, check out this basic template for Microsoft Publisher to help you get started.

Have you used MagCloud to publish content for a wedding or other event? Tell us how in the comments below.

Publishers In Their Own Words: Merritt Design Photo

I love when January comes and I can take a moment to dream up new strategies for my small business in the coming year.  For 2012, I made a decision to crank things up a notch with a new creative marketing strategy for my wedding photography business, which had previously been promoted solely “word of mouth.”  I had used MagCloud before and knew that it offered an excellent solution to get started with a custom-designed, high impact product that I could print affordably enough to leave after meetings with wedding coordinators, and even send to begin a dialogue and make a lasting impression with potential clients.

For my first Weddings issue, MagCloud’s format, quality and great price-point give me ample space to share insights into my personal approach to wedding photography; what clients can expect from the experience of working together; some information about packages; and finally, plenty of space for rich color photographs to jump off the pages. Because I can design the whole issue myself, it is the perfect product to give a sense of my personality and style — hopefully enough to inspire people to want to learn more!

I am proud to share this gorgeous, stand-out marketing piece with potential clients; in the first few showings alone, the response has been overwhelming! I’m so excited to be working with MagCloud and I already can’t wait to create my next magazines!

Jennifer Koskinen, Owner/Photographer, Merritt Design Photo

Visit Jennifer’s website to learn more about here work or preview her work on MagCloud.

MagCloud for the Wedding Photographer

Whether you are a professional wedding photographer with a studio space and a team of five, or you’re flying solo, it’s important to present your business in the most professional and appealing way possible to your clients. MagCloud is an easy and affordable way to publish lookbooks, promotional tools and affordable products that that you can sell as a part of your business’s offerings. With easy publisher settings you can offer any, or all of your publications in both print and digital formats.

A number of photographers have already discovered the value of MagCloud for their business. They are using the service to promote themselves at trade events with a brochure or glossy catalog, provide lookbooks to potential clients, print proof books for existing clients; and even as a sales tool intended to up-sell clients to an entire gallery of prints rather than just one or two.

Let’s explore some of the options available for your wedding photography business:

Portfolio and Catalog:

At just 20¢ a page for Standard size or 16¢ for Digest size, MagCloud offers full-color, full-bleed printing on HP’s beautiful Indigo presses–a true advantage for today’s professional photographers.

For example, if you want to create a full-color soft-bound book to highlight your photography and present your services, you could do so in a 28-page Standard-sized perfect-bound publication for just $6.60 a copy. Yep, you read that right, $6.60 a copy. And you don’t have to buy 100 to get that pricing, you could order them one at a time if you like, or drop-ship them to an address list of potential clients who have seen your work online and are interested in learning more.

**Want to create one of your own? If you use Microsoft Publisher, we’ve already got a great basic 4-page catalog template to get you started. Don’t use Publisher? Feel free to use the design as inspiration for your own services catalog.

Lookbook:

If you’d prefer to woo your customers before revealing all of your pricing, or would just prefer to have something less time-sensitive for showing off your work, we suggest creating a lookbook. Lookbooks are a great way to express your style, showcase your best work, and really tell your potential customers who you are.

Some publishers have started to use our ultra-portable Digest Landscape format to create a marketing piece that shows off their best work in a portable format that doesn’t break the bank.

What’s great about this idea is that the Digest Landscape’s compact 8.25″ x 5.25″ size makes it easy to keep on hand. Should you meet someone who is interested in hiring you, you can easily hand off the book to a potential client and not cringe at what it costs to replace. And with a max page count of 384, you could create a lookbook that includes hundreds of images, worthy of your coffee table. At just 16¢ a page for our Digest Landscape publications (plus $1 for perfect binding), you can create an impressive 60-page lookbook for just $10.60.

Album for family and friends:

Waiting for that big beautiful album can sometimes take weeks, or months, so while your bride is still excited about the wedding and singing your praises, why not surprise her with a mini photobook, or cool glossy magazine of photos from her big day? She’ll be thrilled to show off your work to her friends and family, and with our 3-day print turn around time, you could surprise the happy couple before they get home from their honeymoon.

You could also create a similar album as a product for your newlyweds to give as a thank you gift to extended family, bridesmaids and groomsmen.

Sales tool:

If you sell more than just digital packages, you know how hard it can be to sell prints–especially large prints (like the elusive 20″ x 30″ canvas) or collections of images, intended to be displayed as galleries. Most clients can’t envision what a gallery of their images could look like–”How would they arrange them? Where would it go?” That’s why some photographers have created booklets to help their clients place their orders. Diagrams and examples can help customers to envision a gallery in their home so they can select prints that work well together. If you went so far as to create this publication and save it as a template, you could drop a few of the customer’s images into the gallery diagrams creating a customized booklet to really seal the deal.

Proof Book:

It seems just about everyone has made the switch to online galleries for proofing, but there is something to be said about proofing photos in print, especially when you are planning to buy them in print.

So why not put together a proof book for your client to accompany that online gallery? This way your bride can have something in hand when she talks to her parents or grandparents about that 20”x 30” canvas. You could even go so far as to include your print pricing, packages or gallery inspiration guide into a custom publication to help encourage larger sales.

Showcase for Vendors:

If you’ve been in the business for awhile, you probably have already had a number of referrals come not just from happy brides, but also from vendors. You know that impressing a location rep means your images might get highlighted when they tour brides-to-be around their venue. Event planners love to show off your beautiful photos of their meticulously-planned soirées, so why not give them access to your photos in a way that not only highlights their work, but at the same time shows you off? We’ve seen photographers partner with venues and service professionals to create custom showcase publications for their specific businesses, but imagine how popular you’d be with everyone down to the makeup artist if you created a showcase book for each wedding and shared it them for their own promotional uses? Every time they show off that booklet, their client will see your brand.

Annual Retrospective for past clients:

If you do more than wedding photography, it makes sense to remind your clients of this. Then, as your wedding clients become growing families, they can make you their photographer for life – there to document their pregnancy, baby photos, family portraits and even high-school seniors.

Creating an annual retrospective photography magazine to highlight favorite sessions from the previous year is a great way to remind customers that you do other types of photography. Similar to a portfolio, this sort of publication can really highlight events, press-opportunities and sessions that occurred during the past year. Clients highlighted in the publication would surely love a copy to show off to their friends, and it keeps you top-of-mind for their next photo-worthy occasion.

Client Gifts:

A number of wedding photographers send gifts to their couples at their anniversary, or around the holidays, so why not create a calendar template that you can customize for each couple?

Swap in photos from their big day, add their anniversary to the calendar, and voilà! You’ll have a product that costs you $5.60 + shipping (a 28-page Standard publication) and reminds your bride how fabulous you are every day of the year.

Print or Digital? Why Choose?

There is a constant debate about print vs. digital, arguing why one is better than the other. Here at MagCloud, our motto is “Why choose?” What’s great about all of these ideas is that if you like, any one of them could also be enjoyed and shown off on the iPad or as a digital download to any PC or tablet device. With just a few clicks you can use one PDF for both print and digital purposes, just opt-in for digital distribution when you select your print pricing and finishing options.

More:

Along with all of these great ideas, you can also use MagCloud to print professionally bound Contracts, Employee Handbooks, Style Guides, Posing Guides, Workbooks, and Lighting How-to’s for workshops. Want more inspiration? Browse more wedding photography publications on the MagCloud website.

Have you used MagCloud as a promotional piece or product for your wedding photography business, or have you been inspired to create something from this post? Share your ideas in the comments section below.