Once you’ve wrapped up a client’s photo shoot, the next step is to get the photos approved as soon as possible, so you can move forward with the editing phase.
Traditionally, photo proofing involves sending an email containing all of the watermarked and unedited images to your client, and having them send back a list of the ones they like and want to finalize for editing.
The problem with this is that it takes a lot of time and effort. You have to go back and forth with your client over multiple emails to be able to confirm their selection. And, if the client wants some changes or accidentally selected the wrong photos, they’ll have to send you another email with a new selections.
And, of course, pairing up their comments with the actual photos isn’t always easy… “Can you make Auntie Janice’s eyes look towards the camera in that photo with the Bride and Groom, but not the one with Uncle Den in?”
Instead of using traditional photo proofing methods, have you considered using an online photo proofing tool instead? These photo proofing tools help to improve communications with clients, speed up the photo proofing process considerably, and improve the accuracy of selections and comments.
In this article, we’ll show you how, as a wedding photographer, you can use the online photo proofing tool picu to supercharge your business workflow, and bolster its reputation and professional image.
Smile – we’re going to dive right in!
Why Might You Want To Use Online Photo Proofing?
Online photo proofing on your website is far more advanced than traditional photo proofing. One of the main reasons is because you eliminate the need to send emails back and forth to clients. Instead, you can send the client a link to a smartly formatted gallery where they can select and approve images – with you receiving the final selection immediately, without any need for emails or messages.
This significantly speeds up workflows and enhances the experience clients have with your wedding photography business. And with you no longer having to engage with endless emails, you can get back behind the lens, and cater to even more clients, and focus on growing your business.
Here are the main benefits of using online photo proofing as a wedding photographer:
Easy Image Management
Compared to regular photoshoots, wedding photoshoots usually involve taking and editing a very large number of images.
With online photo proofing, you can upload all images from a wedding event in one go, and then send the link to the proofing gallery to your clients, where they can select the ones they like.
Enhanced Customer Experience
One of the best parts about setting up online photo proofing on your photography website is the enhanced customer experience it helps you offer.
Clients will have a much easier time selecting and finalizing images from their photoshoot, without having to send lists of images back and forth, and without worrying about copying the correct image filenames.
With a traditional proofing process, if your client mistakenly sent you the wrong image names, you’d have to go back and edit the right ones again, costing you time and effort due to a simple human error. With online photo proofing, you don’t have to worry about that because your clients simply have to click and select the images they want.
In most cases (and certainly with picu) the client can leave comments directly on any of the selected photos, adding information or requests that are directly attached to the correct image, with no possibility of error.
Using an online photo proofing system, your turnaround time will be much faster as you can quickly send clients a link to their gallery, rather than uploading and attaching multiple images individually to an email. Because clients can review and select their final images easily, the turnaround time is often very much quicker, allowing you to begin the final editing process the very minute the client has finished their selection.
As a result, this improved workflow reduces the need for revisions, and decreases the time taken to proof your work. And you can quickly move on to shooting images for other clients and grow your business.
Use Your Own Selection Process
It’s always a good idea to have photo proofing set up under your own domain with your own logo and branding. This enables you to showcase your brand in your proofing workflow, which looks far more professional than using a Dropbox gallery, Google Drive folder, or another external service.
Depending on your website, and the type of photography you do, online photo proofing can be hugely beneficial for you, simply from the point of view of project management. Wedding photographers, for instance, can use online photo proofing to quickly move a lot of images from the approval phase to the post-production phase.
This makes it possible for wedding photographers to cater to clients quickly, and generate more revenue for their business.
How To Set Up Online Photo Proofing In WordPress Using picu
If you set up online photo proofing on your own, self-hosted wedding photography website rather than an external SaaS tool like Dropbox, you’ll have more control over your images and where they are stored. And running it on your own domain also helps to strengthen your brand name and image.
Note: picu also works with WordPress.com websites with a Business plan.
Step #1. Install And Activate The picu Plugin
The first thing you need to do is get the picu plugin and install it on your WordPress site. To install the plugin, navigate to Plugins → Add New from the WordPress admin panel.
Search for picu in the Search bar in the top right, and then click the Install Now button to install picu – WordPress Photo Proofing Gallery on your Website. After it has finished installing, click the Activate button to activate the plugin.
Step #2. Create A Wedding Album
After installing the picu plugin on your WordPress site, you will see a new picu menu item in the WordPress admin panel on the left.
Head to picu → Settings to choose how your wedding albums will be displayed on the front end. Using the Theme section, you can choose either the dark theme or light theme for your collections.
Similarly, you can edit the sender’s email address using the Email Settings section. Simply add your email in the From Email: text field, and your name in the From Name: text field. Once you’re done, click on the Save Changes button to continue.
Note: Please make sure to send your emails from the same URL as your website, as this will make it less likely to end up in spam.
Now, you can start creating a wedding album on your WordPress site using picu. To do this, navigate to picu → New Collection to create a new collection. Give your collection a suitable title (such as the client’s name and the event).
Click on the Upload/Edit Images button to add images to your collection. Next, click on the Select Files button to select and upload images to your gallery. Once you’re done, click on the Insert Images button.
With the images added to your collection, all that’s left to do is set the Client Email: text field under the Share Options meta box.
Enter your message using the Message: text field and click on the Send to Client button.
Hint: With picu Pro, you can add multiple addresses and send the same collection to more than one client simultaneously.
Step #3: Send The Gallery To Your Client For Proofing
You can either send the gallery directly to your client by email, or share the link to the gallery manually with them any other way.
Clients can select their favorite images and add a message to send back to you within a few clicks. With picu Pro, they can even add comments and set markers on individual images to request specific changes during the post-production process.
Once the client approves their work, you as the photographer will receive an email notification, including a link back to the WordPress admin. From there, you can view the images that were selected, and copy a list of the filenames to use inside Lightroom (or your editor of choice).
This reduces the chances of wrong images being approved due to human error, and will get you post-processing in no time.
Set Up Online Photo Proofing As A Wedding Photographer
Using online photo proofing as a wedding photographer is a great way to improve the photo proofing workflow for your business. It not only makes your brand look more professional, but also saves you the hassle of going back and forth with your client through endless emails during the photo proofing process – as well as eliminating the risk of errors being made in the selection process.
Having a quick photo proofing system can help you finalize images quicker, and send them back to your clients. This will lead to quicker turnaround times, increased sales, and a better client experience. As a result, you can free up more time to attract new clients and grow your bottom line.
Ready to start using online photo proofing on your wedding photography website? Get picu today!