The Guided Art Experience | Akron Ohio Wedding Photographer

August 6, 2019

The Guided Art Experience

In the last nine years of photographing weddings, I have learned a lot about the client experience and making sure that I’m meeting the needs of my couples. I take great pride in drafting wedding day timelines that create a stress-free day. Stress-free for not only my couple but also the family there to celebrate the day, as well.

Something was lacking for 90% of my couples, though. Those that didn’t purchase an heirloom wedding album were simply sent their online gallery six days after their wedding. There was no pretty bow tied tightly around a box. Just an email thanking them for choosing me to photograph their day and a link to their photos.

Couples had nothing to hold in their hands or hang on their walls or place photos in beautiful frames.


Sure, digitals are great! Especially in the 21st Century with the convenience of social media. We can share our lives with anyone (and everyone) that we care about, and that cares about us. However, our brain reacts differently when tangible items are placed in our hands. Memories are triggered differently, – emotions are sparked differently.

I knew something had to change. I value family and family heirlooms so much. I talk about my grandparents all the time with couples. Their photo sits in my front room. It has a place on my website. And their marriage has always been #marriagegoals for me.

A simple kitchen mixing bowl that was my grandmother’s sits in a kitchen cabinet. It’s always ready at a moments notice for me. Every time I see those fading birds on the dish, memories of my grandmother are sparked, and a smile comes to my face. That bowl is used 6 out of 7 days a week. I wanted similar experiences for my couples, but with the reminders coming from pieces of art on their wedding day.

Newlyweds deserve to have their memories hanging on their walls – a daily reminder that the day wasn’t just a beautiful dream.

Newlyweds deserve to have their memories beautifully designed in heirloom-quality albums – the one future children will flip through in the years to come.

Newlyweds deserve to have their beautiful photos framed – the same memories that will be on display 50 years from now at the golden anniversary celebration.

And every single newlywed deserves this process to be stress-free.

Enter – The Guided Art Experience

Before the Guided Art Experience, my time with a couple was wrapped up with a plain email. Sure that email contained the link to their online gallery. But lackluster, to say the least.

Sure, couples were stoked to receive their full galleries six days after their wedding day, but there was no tangible proof the day happened.

With the Guided Art Experience, I not only get to spend more time with my couples, but I also get to walk them through choosing what art they want. Not just after the wedding day, but even after the engagement session!

The Guided Art Experience Process

Let’s start with the engagement session and the process of the guided art experience.

1 – 24 hours before their session, the couple receives an email to schedule their order session.
An order session is when the couple comes in to not only view all of their photos for the very first time but to decide what pictures they want to turn into art and how they will be printed – i.e., canvases, albums, prints.

2 – We have the engagement session at the desired location and get to know one another.

3 – It’s time for the order session. Couples have seen a sneak peek on Instagram and Facebook of just a few images. But it’s at the order session that we view all the photos together. After the slideshow, together we decide what canvases to order, what the couple wants their portrait album to look like, and who they would like to gift prints too.

4 – We wrap up our meeting, additional art purchased over the credit is paid for, I design the album, place the canvas order, and order all the prints.

The hardest part of the process is merely waiting for the beautiful art to come in. Canvases and prints typically come in quicker than albums do. Once all of the art ordered arrives, I schedule a time with my couples to pick up their art!

The Wedding Order Session

The steps after a wedding are a little different than the engagement session. Some steps in my workflow I wanted to remain the same, like the blog post for a couples wedding day still being posted on the Tuesday after their big day.

1 – The Wedding Blog Post goes live on the blog the Tuesday after the wedding. You get married on Saturday, a beautiful preview of your wedding story is published for your friends and family to see just three days later. How cool is that?!

2 – I’m psychic, so I know when the newlyweds come home from their honeymoon. The day after they arrive, they receive a very similar email about scheduling their order session. This time, couples are told once the order session is scheduled, they’ll receive the full wedding gallery within minutes of the order session being confirmed. There are instructions in the wedding gallery email that sets us up for a successful order session. Like choosing at least 250 of their favorite images from the wedding day!
P.S. I’m not psychic. I just ask when they come home and schedule that email!

3 – Steps three and four for the engagement and wedding order sessions are nearly identical. But because we’re looking through more photos from the wedding day and making more significant decisions, the order session for weddings typically last an hour longer.

Stree-free shopping

I only implemented this system at the beginning of 2019, but with the dozen order sessions I have had so far, couples love that they don’t have to make big decisions alone.

There’s no worrying if what they order online with be of exceptional quality.
There’s no worrying if the photos they choose are the right ones.
There’s no worrying if the canvases they order are the right sizes.

There’s simply no worrying.

And the process is stress-free. Just the way I like my experiences to be with all of my couples!

And the best part is…

Every wedding package has built-in art credit. Couples come into their order sessions with a credit of at least $400 for engagement sessions and $3200 for weddings. To put this in simpler terms – at the time of booking, a couple pre-pays for their art!

If choosing photos to turn into art sounds like an overwhelming process. Or if you want more than just a digital gallery of your beautiful wedding photos. Or if you want to fill your home with museum-quality artwork from your wedding day, be sure to fill out my contact form and inquire about your wedding day! I’ll cross my fingers for you that I’m not booked yet!

If you found this post helpful, be sure to share it to your Pinterest Wedding Board!

Want to read more helpful tips for couples planning their wedding?
Click here!

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