Sharing photos with your clients is a simple, yet very important factor in your photography business.
Whether you offer all-inclusive digital packages, or wish to preview the photos to your clients before making their selections, knowing your options really helps you streamline this part of your business.
It helps to know what your options are so that you can incorporate this into your workflow and prep your clients. If your clients know what to expect from you when it comes to photo delivery, it will help set the tone to their overall experience.
Knowing your ideal client, and what they want, will help you become a better business owner.
So, in other words, figuring this out before taking on clients will help you look more professional!
Factors to consider when sharing photos with clients
There are a few things to consider before sending off the photos that you worked so hard on.
Do you give your clients the option to choose their photos, or do you make the selection for them?
Do you guarantee a set number of final images to be delivered?
Do you offer prints and other forms of photos besides digital files?
Being set on your offerings ahead of time will determine the best way to preview, choose, and deliver your final photos to your clients.
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Options to share photos with your photography clients
There are many options when it comes to showing & delivering photos to your clients. But, it boils down to one question: are you showing them in-person or remotely?
In my experience, showing the proofs in person is more meaningful and intimate than sending off a gallery. But, it also comes with a few hassles that might not be suitable for your business.
For instance, time. Time is a huge factor when showing photos in person. People’s work schedules and family life come into play and need to be considered. Not just for you, but for everyone involved.
Showing photos in person is more effective from a sales standpoint (and leads to higher sales outcomes), but it might not be the best option for your business.
Showing proofs remotely is easier for both you and the client.
Although it’s not as meaningful since you cannot physically see your client’s expressions when viewing their photos for the first time, it’s all around an easier way to show proofs.
Not to mention, it’s overall faster and more convenient.
Lots of clients these days prefer this method, but that doesn’t mean it’s the method for your business. Some photographers have really amazing success showing in-person, so all of the factors need to be considered before making the decision.
Do you want to show photos in person?
Are you committed to the time/travel and lifestyle of showing photos in person?
Do your clients want this service?
Do other photographers in your area/ price range offer this service?
There is no right or wrong way to show your clients your photos. But once you know which makes more sense to you, you’ll be able to narrow down your options a bit more.
Read Next: Pricing 101 for photographers
Best ways for clients to preview photos in person
If you want to show your photos in person to your clients, great choice!
You will be able to have instant feedback and immerse yourself in the client experience hands-on.
You can show the digital photos to your clients a few different ways and there’s not one way that’s better than the other.
Display photos on a laptop with a viewing gallery or slideshow
If you have a laptop with your photos already uploaded and ready to go, then showing your clients a slideshow on Lightroom is fast and easy. It also doesn’t require any additional gear or programs to run, making an economically affordable option.
Use an ipad with a proofing gallery app
I started out showing my clients their digital photos on a laptop, but then I realized that I wanted to show them how to display their photos on their walls. So I ended up purchasing an ipad so that I could download the shoot & sell app.
The shoot & sell app that I purchased also came with a preview/gallery app that made showing photos fast and easy.
With the proof share app, my clients could sort which photos they wanted very quickly and it made my job of ordering their favorite prints/designing albums so much easier.
Carrying around an ipad was also easier and fit right into my purse or sample bag. If I were to recommend the best way to show digital photos in person on a budget, this would be the combo.
Print proofs to show in person
Before I went with the ipad route, I tried my hand at showing PHYSICAL proofs in person.
This was great because there was no digital aspect at all and my clients came to see that there was more to photography than just digital photos.
This was a simple way to showcase their photos while being able to quickly sort and organize the photos they wanted to purchase.
While there was a small investment doing this, as I had to order the proofs, it was always worth it. I even made the proofs an option to purchase after spending a certain amount (and I even threw them in for FREE if they purchased my highest package).
So, you don’t necessarily need a computer screen to show your images. This method works amazingly well.
Best ways for clients to preview digital photos remotely
If you’re not quite ready to show and sell your images in person, or if it’s just not the right business model for you, there are a few options going the remote viewing way.
First things first, you need to ask if you want your clients to PREVIEW before delivering the final images.
If you aren’t selling in person, I highly recommend upselling your galleries.
And what I mean is this: instead of including “all images” in your package, offer a set amount of images to be included in your digital package and have your client choose.
Let’s say that your package includes 10 digital images, but you have 40 final images. Instead of just giving your clients all of the photos, offer them an upgrade package. They still get to choose their 10 photos that they already paid for, but the option to purchase more is there on the table.
This way, you aren’t putting a cap on your income AND your client will have the choice to get their hands on more of the photos. It’s an overall win-win solution.
Send your clients a watermarked gallery to view their photos
When you use the upsell method to delivering digital photos, you need to keep a few things in mind.
First of all, do not give your clients an option to download their photos without first paying for them. I’ve been personally burned by people who got their download before paying and you probably can guess what happened. They never paid. Shame on me.
So, using a proofing gallery with a watermark option is essential if you don’t want your photos stolen.
Keeping a download option turned off is also a very big thing to keep in mind.
These considerations alone are way I use pixieset to show my clients their digital photos.
With pixieset, I can upload photos and add a watermark to their gallery while not giving my clients an option to download. This way, they can view their photos in a beautiful gallery and select their final picks.
If you think you want to try upselling, using Pixieset’s watermarked galleries is a proven winner. I use this option for all of my photo sessions and mini sessions.
How to deliver digital images to clients
Once you know which final images you are going to deliver to your clients, you need a way to deliver them.
Gone are the days of CD’s and even USB drives. A lot of computers don’t even have those capabilities anymore!
So if you want a streamlined way to deliver digital images, going the cloud method is your best bet. You can do this through Google drive, sync, or Dropbox. There’s probably a lot more options to choose from, but those are the most popular.
Personally, I like using Dropbox.
Not only can I share photos with my clients, but they stay safe and secure on the cloud server in case my computer ever crashed.
I don’t just use Dropbox to deliver photos, I use it as an online backup for all of my photos and most precious work and documents. It’s free to sign up and the paid plans are very reasonable as well.
Use this link to sign up for the FREE Dropbox app and get an extra 500MB.
So here’s the breakdown of my photo delivery workflow:
2. Upload a watermarked proofing gallery to Pixieset with the download option turned OFF.
3. Email my clients and wait for them to either upgrade their package or choose the photos they want delivered.
4. Once I hear from my clients, I make the final touches to the images (if needed). Then, I export full-resolution files to the folder on my computer.
5. Next, I upload the photos to a folder on Dropbox. I can then share the folder with my clients and they can view & download from there.