What is online photo proofing? If you’ve heard of the term, but aren’t too sure whether it’s suitable for you, what the benefits are, or how to set it up for your photography business, then read on to learn all about it!

If you’re a photographer or someone who likes to take photos for clients or customers, you need a solid way to showcase your work to clients. You also need to think of ways to make it easier for your clients to select or approve the images they want from the shoot.

A great way to do this is by setting up photo proofing on your own website. This makes it easy for clients to view and select the images they like, and as a result, it helps enhance the client experience and improve your workflow.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what photo proofing is and how it helps your clients view and approve images in a convenient way.

What is Photo Proofing?

Photo proofing is the process in which the client views the unedited photos from a shoot, and selects the ones they would like before the photographer doing any work on them, before then sending the client the finalized images. It’s a great way to showcase your work to your client and make it easy for them to approve the images they want to have edited.

It’s also considerably more accurate and efficient than emails or text messages being sent back and forth including either descriptions of each photo, poor-quality screenshots, or long filenames that could easily be mistyped.

Once you’re done taking pictures, you can simply upload all of them to a custom gallery on your website. Once you share the link to this gallery with your client, they can easily view the images from their shoot, and identify the ones they would like to have (typically by clicking a checkbox next to each photo). As a photographer, you will then automatically be able to see which images the client has selected, so you can begin working on them confident that the selection is accurate.

The Benefits Of Online Photo Proofing

The traditional in-person method of photo-proofing does, of course, work very well, but it can take up your time. Instead of going on another photo shoot, or spending time editing images, you have to book a time slot to meet with the client, go through all of the photos, and wait for them to make up their mind – which can often take quite some time!

Many photographers chose to speed up their workflow by switching to email as an alternative way of having clients browse and choose the photos they wanted. This does mean that there is no longer a need to book time off to meet with the client, which can speed up the process. However, there are still issues, especially when clients resort to either describing the images they want, or typing out the filenames, which sometimes can be long strings of numbers or letters, and easily be misread, mistyped, or even copied from the wrong image entirely.

This can result in you working on the wrong images, which ends up wasting a considerable amount of your time.

So while there are benefits to both of these methods, online photo proofing is a much better, more efficient, and more accurate method, and is one that not only benefits you as a photographer, but also benefits the client.

Online photo proofing is also a great way to improve the client experience on your photography website because it makes it much more convenient for them to quickly view and approve the images they want to finalize from their shoot. Some clients can feel under a certain amount of pressure when sitting with the photographer looking through the images. Being able to browse them at home, looking through them with others, and sharing the gallery with friends, means that they are able to enjoy choosing the images they genuinely feel are the right ones for them.

As well as this approach saving you time, it also increases revenue for your business, since you’re reducing the time spent in sending, approving, and finalizing the images to be edited for clients, you can cater to more clients and grow your bottom line.

In addition to this, online photo proofing on your own website, instead of using an external tool like Dropbox or similar, is a great way to promote and strengthen your brand by using your own logo, your brand’s unique colors, and the design when sending your images to clients.

The Best Photo-Proofing Plugin for WordPress

There are a few different options available to you when choosing between the best photo-proofing plugins for WordPress.

One of the key things to be aware of is that many of these plugins started life as gallery plugins, with the proofing facility added on afterwards.

However, picu, our own photo proofing plugin for WordPress, is different. This is because, with picu, everything was built from the ground up to be the best tool you can get to bring photo proofing to WordPress, and nothing else!

Wedding Approval Selection Example

Here’s why that matters:

picu offers an all-in-one solution for setting up online photo proofing on your WordPress site, even if you don’t know how to code. It lets you simplify communication between you and your clients by offering an easy way to speed up the photo-sharing and selection process. It also eliminates the hassle of going back and forth with your clients over email. And if you know how to code, picu is very developer friendly, and there are plenty of ways to extend and modify it with filters and action hooks.

With picu, setting up online photo proofing on your website is very easy. Once you’re done shooting images, simply upload them to a picu collection and send them to your client. You can do this easily by either sharing a link to the gallery with them, or just letting picu send them an email for you.

Your client can review the images, approve the ones they like, and send them back to you quickly. This way, you can start working on the approved photos and deliver the final images in a timely manner without having to go back and forth over email. In addition to this, you also reduce the chances of any errors in selecting images due to mistakes when entering filenames.

picu offers extensive functionality for showcasing your images better in attractive galleries with the free version. By using picu Pro’s features, you can customize your photography proofing site according to your branding, and add extended features to picu.

What Else Can You Do With Picu?

Here are a few of picu Pro’s professional features that can help you enhance online photo proofing on your WordPress site:

  • Brand & Customize: This feature lets you add your own logo, adjust colors, and use Google or Adobe fonts to customize how your picu collections look on the front-end for your clients.
  • Download: picu’s Download feature lets your clients directly download multiple or single images from their collections. You can either choose to automatically create a .zip file from the collection or specify an external link.
  • Import: The Import feature is a great feature to have, especially if you upload huge numbers of images in one go. It lets you upload images to a directory on your server (e. g. via SFTP) and directly import them to picu from there. This increases the performance and is perfect for photographers who cover events such as weddings and birthdays, and shoot a large number of photographs.
  • Mark & Comment: Using the Mark & Comment feature , you can take client communication to the next level. The feature lets you collect detailed feedback from clients on individual images. Clients can comment on images that they want specific edits on in the post-production process, and mark certain areas of an image to highlight specific spots that need attention.
  • Theft Protection: If you’re sharing photos online, it’s important to protect them using your brand’s unique watermark. This is where picu’s Theft Protection feature comes into play. It lets you add your own logo (or another image) as a watermark on top of your images to make it more difficult for anyone to steal your work.

How To Set Up Online Photo Proofing In WordPress

Before we jump into setting up online photo proofing in WordPress using picu, let’s talk about why you should use a self-hosted server instead of a SaaS platform for your photography website.

It’s important for your photography website to offer a seamless and lag-free experience for your clients when they’re browsing images on your site.

Using a solution such as picu with your WordPress site is far better than using an external SaaS platform. This way, you have full control over your images and website data and choose where the photos are stored. Additionally, it’s a more secure and efficient way of online proofing images.

Getting started with picu on your WordPress site is incredibly easy, and you can set up online photo proofing within a few clicks.

Here’s what you need to do:

Step #1: Install And Activate picu

The easiest way to install the free version of picu is by using the plugin directory built into WordPress. Navigate to Plugins → Add New from the WordPress admin panel and search for picu in the top right search field.

Click on the Install Now button to install the plugin, and make sure you activate it once it’s installed.

Step #2: Create A New Collection

Head on over to picu → New Collection and give your collection a name.

Create A New Collection Picu

Click on the Upload / Edit Images button and upload all your images directly into the pop-up window.

Picu Upload Photos

Once you’re done, click on the Insert Images button to continue.

Add Images to Collection Picu

Step #3: Share The Collection With Your Client

You can choose to either send a direct link to the collection to your client, or have picu send them the link via email.

Share Your Collection

Once you’re done, make sure to publish or send the collection to your client.

Client Proofing Gallery Example

Your clients will be able to view and approve images using an attractive online image gallery.

Client Approval Workflow

Once they’re finished selecting the images they like, they can enter a message and submit them to you for the post-production process.


Online photo proofing is one of the best ways to enhance the client experience on your photography website, as well as save significant resources for your business. Using a robust tool such as picu can help you showcase your work better and eliminate the need to send multiple emails back and forth to your clients.

It lets your clients quickly approve the images they want from their shoot and send them your way within a few clicks. It’s a great way to enhance communication with your clients while reducing the chance of errors. As a result, it can help you save time that you can use to grow your business.

If you are a professional photographer who has already found a significant amount of your time is spent chasing up client-proofing, then say goodbye to admin and hello to getting it done quickly, easily, and painlessly instead, thanks to picu.

With picu, say goodbye to endless emails and hello to a world where clients can easily select their favorite images from the comfort of their couch. Try the FREE version of picu today – and consider the Pro upgrade for even more fabulous features:

  • Mark and comment. Let clients send you directions for post-processing or gather more information from your client.
  • Stunning, Theme-Independent Design. picu shines with its beautiful, theme-independent design for proofing collections.
  • Theft Protected. Protect your valuable images from theft with picu Pro’s robust theft protection measures. 
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