With the holidays wrapped up and the new year under way, it’s time for photographers to look ahead to that special time of year that falls between winter and spring: Bridal Show season! In this article, we want to share some insight on bridal show displays and focus on the prints you should include as part of your booth presentation. Given the nature of a photography business, the prints you showcase in a bridal show can make all the difference in attracting new clients and boosting your income for the new year! You also want prints that are versatile enough to look just as great elsewhere, such as in a gallery setting or at home on the wall!

When compiling the following tips, we considered form and function to help you choose the best images and the most effective way to display them. That said, here are six tips for choosing the best images and displays to use for Bridal Shows.

Tip #1: Showcase Your Style

dramatic vs light and airy images for bridal shows
Photos by Lin and Jirsa Photography

The prints you showcase should feature your signature style, whether that include bright and airy or dramatic, editorial-inspired imagery. There are, of course, instances in which you might feature multiple styles, depending on the audience you’re targeting. Keep in mind, however, that you only get one chance to make a first impression; avoid using weaker photos just to showcase a style that you don’t typically shoot in. Whichever direction you choose, be sure to include a healthy mixture of storytelling and epic creative shots.

Tip #2: Keep It Portable

After choosing which images to print, it’s crucial to print them in a way that’s easy to transport and hang. At bridal shows, some photographers may opt to build their own pop-up walls (or purchase pre-built displays) to fill their booth space, which can require more of your time and money (or both) and prove harder to transport. Other photographers may prefer to go with the table and backdrop that’s typically provided. Either way, you’ll need a versatile, yet convenient way to showcase your images. One of the best solutions we’ve come across is the Xpozer system from Bay Photo.

Bay Photo's Portable Expo Display Framing System
Bay Photo’s Expo Display Kit featuring the Xpozer Mounting System

With the Xpozer system, you can quickly hang your images on a free standing display or mount them to a booth wall if one is available. Because of the simple construction of the frames (the prints come equipped with special clips on the back that attach to the frame), they’re easy to set up and the prints can be quickly changed out; this is a definite plus for showcasing more of your images throughout the day. You can find more information on affordable Xpozer frames here.

Tip #3: Find Power in Numbers

Collage of images against dark curtain backdrop
Photos by Lin and Jirsa Photography

Even in smaller booths, you should be able to put up a good number of images. As we mentioned earlier, use your booth to showcase your signature style. We recommend displaying a healthy mix of story-based and epic photos (we’ll discuss the latter in the next point). For the story-based collection, choose a hero image (a featured centerpiece) around which the story is built in the details of the accompanying photos. The “main” image should capture the mood and feel of the story and feature the subjects within the scene.

Also, it’s important to keep your presentation neat as opposed to looking cluttered, and the less time it takes to hang, the better. One recommendation we can make is using Bay Photo’s Expo Display Kit, which works perfectly with the Xpozer system that we mentioned above. They’re super affordable, easy to transport and use, and Bay Photo offers multiple configurations to accommodate different layout options and booth sizes (with anywhere from 8-20 feet of pipe and drape).

[Related Reading: 5 Tips for Photographers for Bridal Show Success]

Tip #4: Go Big

Epic Environmental Wall Print
Image in wall art by Lin and Jirsa Photography

When printing your images, you’ll always have options regarding the size of your prints, but large, hi-res prints will catch prospective clients’ attention as they’re passing by (or hopefully stopping at your booth). Large prints are also perfect for showing off epic environmental portraits if you have them. These portraits typically feature subjects within a wide environmental landscape and make for great eye candy, which is perfect for catching the eye of passers-by at bridal shows.

Tip #5: Use High Quality Prints from a Pro Lab

Regardless of the format you choose, quality prints matter. In addition to bridal shows, the prints and displays should also hold up in galleries & exhibit settings to get the most out of your prints. We recommend building a relationship with a pro lab like Bay Photo so that image quality isn’t one of the things you have to worry about while trying to build your business. Chances are, professionally printed images will draw more visitors to your booth and eventually boost wall display sales after your shoots. As an added bonus, pro labs tend to simplify the ordering process as well.

Tip #6: Store and Transport with Care

This may seem obvious, but another way to ensure longevity with your prints is to transport them carefully and store them properly in between shows. It’s not something to take lightly as prints quickly become unusable with even the slightest damage. Naturally, some options are more easily transported and stored than others, but it’s worth taking the time to handle and store your prints with care. If your prints are framed with glass, we recommend using painter’s tape and creating a square grid across the glass in the event that the glass breaks. This will help ensure that it doesn’t damage the prints. For most framed prints, we also recommend using bubble wrap to minimize the risk of damage. Finally, if possible, place the bubble-wrapped frames into a box that is slightly larger than the size of the frame for added security.

Man carries wall art in triangle-shaped box
Box for transporting Xpozer from Bay Photo

In another nod to the Xpozer system, we’d like to note that the frames and prints can be easily (and safely) broken down and transported between locations as each frame comes in a box that can be used repeatedly (see the image above).

Conclusion and Recap

As you head out to this year’s Bridal Shows, make sure you’re set up with the best tools available to help maximize the return on your investment for courting new clients.

Here’s a quick recap of what to look for when choosing prints to showcase at a Bridal Show:

  • Showcase Your Style
  • Keep It Portable
  • Find Power in Numbers
  • When in Doubt, Go Big
  • Use High Quality Prints from a Pro Lab
  • Store with Care

Of course, it also helps to talk with colleagues who’ve already made the rounds at bridal shows so that you can take advantage of their experience. You can also find more articles on the topic here on our site.

This is a sponsored post for Bay Photo Lab. All opinions are my own. Bay Photo Lab is not affiliated with nor endorses any other products or services mentioned.