One of the reasons why I love being a wedding photographer is because I get to spend nearly a year… sometimes longer… getting to know my clients. And these clients are usually sharing the most intimate details of their wedding plans with me. So naturally we become very close! I love love love the fact that I can usually call them friends! And I just so happen to be the type of person who loves to give tiny gifts to my friends here and there. A very small gesture can carry a lot of weight… especially when someone isn’t expecting anything at all! Who doesn’t love surprises?
Several people have asked, “What types of gifts do you send to your clients?” Well I’ll be honest with you. It isn’t a strategy. It is simply something that I try to unconsciously consider if that makes sense. I know that I am going to buy gifts here and there, but I do not have a plan. It is just dependent on how I feel on any particular day! But I know this… If you make a little bit of effort, you will turn your clients into friends! And that is the most amazing perk to our jobs! Seriously! And the feeling I get when I make new friends is exactly the reason I chose to specialize in weddings. I love people. I love the intimacy that I get to share with my clients. And I love weddings!
Here are a few ideas that I can share. These are gift ideas that I have given in the past.
Date Night: Send your clients a movie theatre gift card with a hand written note encouraging them to remember to take time for each other during the crazy wedding planning stages! I don’t know what my clients loved more… the movie or the hand written note! But it is always nice to hear that someone is just thinking about you, right?
Board Games: I love games that encourage listening. So MadGab is a favorite of mine! This is also a great game to give to the groom and his groomsmen on the wedding day to keep them occupied while they are having to stay tucked away while you are taking pictures of the bride!
Cosmetic Bags: Another wedding day favorite! I like to surprise the bride and her bridesmaids with a cosmetic bag full of girly things. I sometimes have the cosmetic bags embroidered with the wedding party’s monograms, and will usually include things like lip gloss, packs of tissue, a loofah, lotion, shower gel, and breath mints. And don’t forget the flower girl. It never fails! There is usually so much going on with wedding day plans that at least one of your brides will forget to think about keeping the flower girl entertained and out of the dirt! So I like to give her a cosmetic bag just like the big girls. But I will usually put crayons, coloring books, miniature notebooks, lip gloss, and lotion into hers.
Candy Grams: When my clients first book me, I always send them a link to an online questionnaire. Most of the time they end up laughing at some of the questions that I ask because they just do not understand why their photographer wants to know what their favorite 90′s boy band is, or what their favorite candy is! But I love getting to know the small details about them, and candy grams are always a fun gift to send! Don’t forget the hand written note just to let them know you are thinking of them! I sometimes send candy grams anytime during the year… but around Valentine’s Day this works great… especially when you include a cheesy elementary school style valentine card! It just brings a smile!
Specialty Photography Gifts: One thing that I like to do for my current AND previous clients is to send them a Christmas ornament. There are several labs who offer different types of photo Christmas ornaments such as the ones pictured below that came from Black River Imaging. But what a nice gesture for you to acknowledge to your clients that this is their first Christmas together as husband and wife. Just because the wedding is past, doesn’t mean you have to stop! But what about those clients who have upcoming weddings? Use an image from their engagement session if you can! After all… this is their first Christmas as an engaged couple more than likely! Small gestures go a very long way! And I love these Christmas ornaments!
Got any ideas on client gifts? Share them! I’m always looking for more ideas!