So, every now and again you something comes about that not only helps you do your job better or faster. Of course, its also good to know when to implement it or to do some trial runs first as there are often different solutions.
One such thing was Adobe Lightroom. This program is for the working photographer. It helped me sort, edit and organize my files faster. And it just really made sense for what I needed it for. Its very similar to Photoshop, but with so many more functions.
So how do I share files with my clients?
Well, if you've visited my site before or have worked with me in the past you know that I love to design my custom DVDs for my clients. My clients enjoy them because they look like a mini book with the custom DVD inside. You can put a photo on the front and the back and any kind of text you want as well. I enjoyed both designing them as well as offering them.
Recently more and more discussions have come up where DVDs are said to be a thing of the past. No one uses CDs anymore and even most computers don't come with the drives anymore either. And I heard this chatter, but also recall that most people do still have some sort of Bluray player and/or gaming system. So, I've noticed most photographers have already converted to customer USB drives. You can find usb slots on tvs, computers and on many other devices so it makes sense to offer them. I've been fighting that change as I much prefer the 'look' of a well made custom DVD, but I found it made sense to make this change particularly for weddings where you'd easily need more than one DVD to fit all the files.
Now, I've also noticed that other photographs have avoided both the DVD and USB option and gone a different route. They've found places where they can post a gallery online where clients can put in print orders and download the files directly. There are a few out there that seem to be popular, but they mostly look very generic and some have very entry level features. I knew that those weren't right for me so I continued on with my DVDs.
But, more recently a few new companies have developed online galleries that are filled with goodies for a photographer and their clients.
I'm talking about Pixieset.com!
I had heard of it in a few conversation here and there, but always assumed it was like those other websites I'd seen in the past. It wasn't until a well known local wedding photographer had me view her gallery that I saw exactly how great it was. It was not what I expected it to be and instantly started thinking about how it could work with my business.
From our conversation and doing some exploring I found all of these key benefits:
- A very clean layout. The page itself looks like a collage of photos. Perfect way to display photo session and wedding photos.
- Client private access along with passcode protected files. This means that they can give access to all their family and friends to their private gallery if they like, but no one can download the files unless they have the passcode I specifically gave them.
- To make things even easier for the client, there is a download all option. How easy is that?
- The ability to categorize a wedding in sub sections. So I can put a getting ready group, ceremony, reception etc.
- Custom arrangement of photos! This goes along with the previous topic, but this helps me stay more organized.
- Client ordering is available. This means that you'll be able to select photos that you like and order them right from the website. By simplifying this process it makes it that much easier for you to put in your orders.
- You can select your favorites. This is powerful because it makes the album photo selection process so much easier. Select all of your favorites and I can pull all of them from my end and get started on your album much quicker. This helps avoid countless hours of sifting through files and writing down tough files names.
- Best of all everything is pretty much instant. No need to submit the files names of the images you want and have to wait a few days to receive your DVD or USB. If your gallery is live you are free to start downloading!
These are only a few of the benefits of course.
It truly is something you have to see, and use to truly enjoy.
I've set up my first gallery with all the photos of my recent California wedding to share as a sample.
Please check it out if you're curious.
Sometimes new IS better!!