“Babe, let’s get anniversary photos.”
“Nope. Not happening.”
When it comes to taking photos together, couples often have some variation of this conversation. The opposing partner likely has had one of two experiences in the past: 1) A photography session that felt awkward and unnatural, or 2) Never had a photo experience, so the thought of taking photos is uncomfortable. Multiple reasons exist for resisting a session, but one of the largest factors that applies to this objection is the fear of the unknown. Read more as we tackle that fear and focus on an additional scare: the investment.
Fear of the unknown.
I get it. No one could possibly enjoy getting their photo taken, right? And what exactly is the hype with an anniversary session anyway? Welcome to the precipice where so many others have stood, wearing the exact same shoes, worried about the exact same thing. In this case, you’re experiencing what’s called ‘the fear of the unknown’, a completely normal, expected apprehension. Although some view this as negative, I prefer to think that this stems from curiosity. If curiosity exists, then it means that an individual is willing to dig deeper until they have an answer. Thankfully, answers exist to this curiosity.
To begin, let’s break down the photography experience. The entire experience exists to add value to a marriage. If a couple is looking for a collection of perfectly posed images without much interaction, then I’ll say right off the bat, I’m not the photographer for them. What a couple will find, however, is genuine connection that speaks to one another rather than to the camera.
The truth is, when a couple books an anniversary session, what they may not realize is that they’re signing up for a date that pours back tenfold into their relationship. The date gets documented in a meaningful way that ultimately shows honest emotion. It’s comfortable. It feels natural. An anniversary session is designed with a two-fold function: to draw the couple closer together in a natural way while affirming them at the same time. Every couple that walks away from a session like this feels valued, cherished, and deeply connected.
So what’s the hype about an anniversary session? There isn’t one. The relationship is the focus, and that alone is worth documenting. Marriage is hard work, and I believe that that relationship, as the foundation of any family, deserves to be nurtured and celebrated. An anniversary session does exactly that.
Have you had any of the following thoughts? “I don’t want to spend money on prints.” / “We don’t need albums.” / “We don’t know where to hang any canvases.” / “We won’t know what to do with the photos if they’re not digitals.”
These thoughts are normal. They’re normal because digital files are the one familiar thing associated with photographs. Frankly, what’s being communicated is that the professional prints could mean less to you, right? Right. Okay, stick with me: If any of the thoughts stated in this section have ever crossed your mind, go ahead and honestly answer these following questions:
Have you ever held a print that made you cry before?
Where is the CD from your wedding?
If not a CD, where are the photos?
What have you done with those photos?
What will you do when your digital files can’t be read by a computer anymore?
Have you ever seen a professional album with fully a customizable cover, interior, and high quality [durable] pages?
Thinking about your home, have you ever thought that the walls are bare and that you should do something about it?
Have you had the privilege of flipping through old family photo albums? If yes, how do you feel when you look through those photos?
Do you remember the last time that you printed a photo?
Have your digital files ever been deleted or lost?
If these questions don’t convict you, then you’re likely in the category of less than 5% of people worldwide who are staying on top of their prints and memories. If you’re not in that 5%, you’re missing out. Big time. It might be that you never realized the importance of prints in the first place. These days, people are photographed more than ever. Yet, in fifty years, no one is going to have photos of themselves. Digitals don’t last. You know what does? Prints. Albums. Canvases. These products become family heirlooms.
It boils down to this: If people can afford big tv’s, new cars, furniture, dinner out, and vacations, then people can afford to invest in photographs. Realistically, anyone can afford to invest in photographs. It just depends on whether it’s important or not. The quality, the longevity, and the emotional connection can’t compare to anything else.
It costs too much.
Wait a second, you mean that cost is a concern? Of course it is. Read that last paragraph one more time, and then skip forward to the next.
Cost ties back into the fear of the unknown. If a couple decides that they don’t want to hire a professional photographer based off of pricing alone, then it’s because they don’t know what to expect. They’re missing out on an opportunity to get their questions answered. Within the last few months, multiple past clients have called weeks after their session, commenting that the experience was so much more valuable to their marriage than they had expected. One couple even mentioned that the photography service alone should be charged double.
That said, couples that invest in an anniversary session with me do it for the sake of adding value to their marriage; the professional photographs are simply a byproduct. Prior to the photography session, a complimentary consultation is set in place so that all questions are answered face to face. This meeting determines if I’m the right fit for the couple, and also allows time for the couple to look through sample products. Nothing is hidden. The pricing, the expectations, the questions, the concerns — everything is open to talk through prior to ever signing a contract.
As a small business owner, integrity is a core key in how things are run. From start to finish, everything is backed by excellent customer service. On top of that, the products themselves are worth their weight in gold. Each piece stands as a high quality heirloom, one that will get passed down and valued by a future generation. If a couple is looking for something cheap, they’re not going to find it offered in my business; the quality of service and product are equally valuable. As a small business, I am proud to partner with four of the best labs across the nation. Each lab specializes in one specific category: prints, albums, canvases, wood boxes. Each piece is handmade and hand bound, which means that my clients are served the utmost quality.
Whether or not cost is a concern, I invite couples to see and feel the products for themselves during a consultation meeting. As mentioned, every single piece is designed, printed, and assembled by hand. Real people exist behind the artwork. They take the time to pour into a couples’ story as much as I do, because they understand that it’s going to last forever. My goal with each couple is to give them an experience that ultimately exceeds the value of their investment. Thankfully, past clients have told me that what they received was worth every penny.
In brief, when someone asks, “Can you please talk to my spouse and convince them that the session will be worth it?” The short answer is: No. I can’t convince anyone to book a session with me. The experience itself is more valuable than the investment, and the products speak for themselves. If a couple wants the process to go smooth, then I need them to hear about the photography experience and trust me. Their relationship is my highest concern, and the process of strengthening and documenting it is priceless. Yes, professional photographs are a bonus. They exist as a long-term investment, worth more than any other earthly possession ever will.
If a couple wants to find out more, their next step would be to reach out over phone (425-499-3438) or email (email@example.com) to set up their complimentary consultation. Using the contact form shown in the menu bar above is equally effective. If this article strikes a chord, maybe it’s time to book a session for your upcoming anniversary. In the same breath, if you know of a friend who could benefit from reading this, feel free to share it with them as well.