Industry News

4 Custom Client Gift Ideas

June 11, 2014

By RF Staff


Photo Embroideries
“I make a lot of different mixed media of clients’ photographs to give as gifts, including handmade magnets with their photos or wood transfers. But my favorite gift is a photo embroidery—I print the photos I've taken on thin cotton and sew details onto them. On average, it takes about 45 minutes to create one and supplies cost about $10 (not including the time). I usually surprise clients with it as a thank you and they LOVE it! I've received tons of feedback and have actually been asked to do a couple art shows with these pieces. A lot of people have seen photos I've posted of these on Instragram and have asked to buy them, so I decided to start selling them on Etsy as well.”

Artist: Cheryl Groff
Genre: Portrait and Lifestyle Photographer
Location: Los Angeles, California

Branded Fabric, Album Holders and recycled Cardboard CD Cases
“The fabric bags are very simple but classy—drawstring bags in the colors of our logo, with a silk ribbon to tie them. I sew a few at the beginning of each month and give them to my clients who buy albums and canvas prints. They take maybe 15 minutes each to make and cost about $2, but they make my products look so much more high-end. My customers love
them because they keep their products free of dust (especially the albums). I also include any flyer, coupon or brochure with discounts I have going at the time so it is a great opportunity to create a steady stream of income. The recycled CD cases are super simple to make. My staff takes some time each month to cut recycled paper into a set template I already have. I first run all the sheets through my printer with our logo and it looks very organic and clean. Once they are printed and cut, they just glue one end of it and voilà! I have some real pretty tulle ribbon and twine that match my colors, which we wrap around the case for a classy touch. Each CD case comes out to about 60 cents, and they look much more expensive than anything you can purchase. Plus, the recycled feel of it appeals to many of our customers.”

Artist: Frances Oteroyourlittleprints
Genre: Newborn and Family Photographer
Location: McKinney, Texas

Custom Packaging a Necessity
“At a shoot this past fall, my repeat client realized she didn't have lip gloss or lipstick with her (we were shooting at her second home on Lake Michigan). She asked if I had any and I happened to have my favorite shade of Buxom—a lip-plumping gloss with great color. It looked gorgeous on her, and after our session together, I bought a special set of six glosses in miniature form from Sephora for her. When I arrived at her ordering session, I surprised her with a Marmalade Photography custom box with pink tissue peeking out. She took the Buxom set out and
immediately popped a couple in her purse and tried on another—she loved them! I love doing things like this for clients; gifting things not related to photography is a nice way to have your product/services in the forefront of your client’s mind without it necessarily being related to photography.”

Artist: Marianne Drenthe
Genre: Children and Family Photographer
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Hand-Embroidered Frames
“As a photographer, I loved being in the darkroom, but with digital photography everything is on the computer, so I looked for an activity to replace the craftsmanship that comes from being in the darkroom. My grandmas both taught me to sew as a kid, and after many years of not sewing, I picked it up again. I started creating the hand-embroidered frames because I like my work to be functional and have a purpose, so I combined my love of photography and sewing. The process of making them is pretty simple: Get fabric (I began with muslin and I’ve recently started using linen), iron on the design, sew and mount. I give them to clients on very special occasions like a wedding or new baby, and I’m working on some for a series I’m doing about Mexico. The cost of the materials varies, but usually it comes out to be around $30. Depending on the complexity of the design and size, a frame can take as little as a day or up to two weeks to make. I don’t like to go smaller than 8 x 10 with a 4 x 6 opening because it gets hard to make small stitches. I’m currently working on the section of my website where custom frames can be ordered, as well as creating portrait package pricing that includes an embroidered frame.”

Artist: Bettina Chavez
Genre: Lifestyle and Pet Photographer
Location: Los Angeles, California

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