Lovely and Light by Hayley Lawrence » Charlotte NC Contemporary Portrait & Headshot Photographer

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Client Gifts

They say it’s better to give than to receive… (Although, who doesn’t have the urge to buy themselves something when shopping for others this time of year? Can I get an amen?)

Seriously though. I do love giving client gifts when I have the means to do so. I even get a little bashful when thanked. One of my sweet brides recently gifted me a scarf with cameras on it on her wedding day and I felt so loved, yet so guilty – I was supposed to be gifting her! She beat me at my own game.

Some might say (and I might agree) that I spend too much time thinking of and putting together client gifts. I’m probably not the most efficient. I can’t just pick something and give the same thing to everyone. When possible, I prefer to tailor each gift to the client, but that isn’t always feasible.

Here are some examples of client gifts I have given in 2015. Some gifts were a hit, some a miss. It’s a work in progress.

champagne bottle client gift idea

Mini bottle of Veuve Clicquot brut champagne wrapped in a gray dish towel for their new home, tied with black satin ribbon and delivered with a sweet note on blush paper. Cost: ~$50

See how I used my branding colors in this gift? I probably spent a good three hours thinking up, shopping for and putting together this one (it was an epic search for the perfect gray towel). In hindsight, this gift for a potential client was a little too much. Since the couple was getting married at a venue called Champagne Manor, I thought it was appropriate; however, they didn’t book me and I quickly learned a hard lesson about giving such a luxurious gift upfront.

bang candy company caramels as client gifts

iPhone photo: Cream-colored cloth bags of assorted craft caramels from Bang Candy Company with a nice note, Cost ~$10 each, plus shipping.

I have to admit, I borrowed this idea from another photographer, but who isn’t curious about the taste of some handmade caramels? I ordered these at the beginning of the year for clients I had already booked. Since the caramels are made fresh, you don’t want to order in bulk, so shipping can get expensive. But, each couple loved the thought (and taste). And of course, I ALWAYS include a handwritten note.

Crate & Barrel silver frame ornament with velvet ribbon

iPhone Photo: Client’s print order packaged with red velvet ribbon, a sprig of fresh Christmas tree & a handwritten note. Also included, a surprise black & white print of the kids in a silver photo frame ornament, whose plain chain I replaced with ribbon. Cost ~$10

At the end of 2014, each wedding client received a silver framed photo ornament from Crate & Barrel with a black & white print of my choice. I took the time to replace the chain that came with the ornament with red velvet ribbon. On the back, I wrote “2015 was a lovely year” with a gold paint pen. Some clients gushed over them and some never said a thing. Even so, picking out the perfect ornament, the perfect print, packaging them and shipping them off made me happy and I think the investment was well worth it.

assorted cupcakes from Wow Factor Cakes

iPhone photo: A swanky little box of 4 assorted cupcakes from Wow Factor Cakes with a neutral cotton ribbon and freshly picked greenery on top. Cost ~$12

I really had fun putting this gift together for a potential client. I knew from her pre-meeting correspondence that her wedding was going to be garden-themed with a lot of greenery. Before our meeting, I stopped to pick out four freshly-baked cupcakes and then I brought the pretty little box into a florist and picked out a subtle ribbon and some greenery to top it off.

Embarrassingly, our meeting took place at a place that sold cupcakes and while I was waiting for the client, the chef was sitting nearby and called me out for bringing them inside. Whoops! I felt like a little kid about to sit in time out. This particular bride didn’t book with me, but I still enjoyed gifting her with this beautiful contraband.

So, there you have it. The client gifts of 2015 will be refined for 2016. Which would have been your favorite?

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