Taking visually appealing photos is just one part of a professional photographer's work. After the shoot, sharing the images with your clients gives them a chance to select their favorite shots and also give feedback on how they want the photos edited.

A beginner’s guide to online proofing for photographers

Taking visually appealing photos is just one part of a professional photographer’s work. After the shoot, sharing the images with your clients gives them a chance to select their favorite shots and also give feedback on how they want the photos edited. 

This part of the workflow can be a bit chaotic, and this is where online proofing can make things easier. This article will take you through the concept of online proofing for photographers and why it’s an essential part of the craft.

What is online photo proofing?

During a shoot, photographers always take many similar photos so they can select the best ones afterward. Depending on the reason for the shoot, the client might be involved in the selection and review process. 

Online proofing is a way for photographers to share pictures and collaborate with a client to decide which images they want to edit, order, download, or print.  

Online photo proofing software vs. online proofing galleries – what’s the difference?

Online proofing software is used by photographers in creative teams to streamline the review and approval process. Here, clients give feedback on how selected images should be edited for future usage.

An online proofing gallery is essentially a platform to share a large number of pictures with your clients so they can select individual images for printing.

How software helps with online photo proofing

Online picture proofing software offers a great way to share, review, and speed up the approval process for all types of files.

One common use of online proofing tools is as a way to share pictures for marketing campaigns. In this case, photographers upload files to a centralized platform so clients can easily review the photos, make their choices, and give feedback directing any edits.

Another great use of online picture proofing software is collaborating with other creatives, such as graphic designers, on photo edits, imaging, and styling to achieve stronger results. This makes it easy for photographers to deliver perfect shots to a client.

design review

Benefits of online photo proofing software

Online proofing software is extremely beneficial to photography professionals as it gives them full control over their captured work while simplifying their workflow. 

Benefits include:

  • Photographers can manage and keep an overview of all their proofs in one place.
  • Photographers can easily and quickly share images with clients via email or link.
  • Photographers will receive clear and consolidated feedback from customers which reduces misunderstandings. 
  • Clients and photographers can collaborate with one another and discuss edits. 
  • Clients and other reviewers can approve images with just one click. 

Features of online photo proofing software

To truly benefit photographers’ businesses, online photo proofing software should provide specific tools such as : 

  • Adding comments and annotations 
  • One-click approvals
  • Real-time collaboration 
  • Automatic file versioning
  • Comparisons of two versions of an image (e.g. before and after the revision)
  • Automatic notifications and reminders
  • Customizable due dates for reviews
  • Inclusion of the brand’s logo and other customizable features   

How galleries help with online photo proofing

An online proofing gallery is essentially a digital photo gallery where professional photographers can upload and share a huge number of pictures with their clients. Customers can then view all images in one spot, select their favorites, and purchase prints or downloads. 

For example, a wedding gallery allows couples to view and choose their favorites from the dozens of photos the photographer has taken on the wedding day. 

Galleries remove the hassle of working through a complex system of folders, filenames, cloud storage options, and hardware storage options like DVDs and USB drives. Their use also eliminates many other challenges these professionals may face when delivering photos to clients.

online photo gallery
Source: ShootProof

Benefits of online proofing galleries

Here are the most important benefits of an online proofing gallery for photographers and their clients: 

  • Photographers can share all images in one centralized place.
  • Easy portfolio site management and communication between a photographer and a client.
  • Enables personalized gallery covers and pages for easy identification.
  • They are password protected and secure, ensuring that only clients have full control and access to the files.
  • Files are properly organized and dated to make it easier for photographers to manage the workflow.
  • Photographers can see when clients have viewed or shared proofs.
  • Photographers can track clients’ relevant photos and manage orders and digital downloads.

Features of online proofing galleries 

Here are the most important criteria a photographer should look for when choosing an online proofing gallery:

  • Share a large number of images
  • Works on all mobile devices
  • Dated and personalized gallery cover for each client 
  • Mark and download favorite images 
  • Share proofs to social media instantly
  • Password-protected galleries
  • Multilingual galleries to cater to all customers 

The best online picture proofing software for photographers

Finding the right online picture proofing software can be tough. But here are some solid proofing software options that will enable you to deliver stunning photos to your clients.

Filestage – best for client proofing for photographers

360-review

With Filestage, photographers can manage photo proofing online, making it easy to collect feedback for edits and retouching.Clients can add comments and annotations directly onto images as well as discuss edits in the comments and approve it when they’re satisfied with the product.  

Filestage’s central dashboard, automatic versioning of files, and customizable due dates for reviews make it easy for creatives to manage all ongoing projects. 

Pros

  • Intuitive and easy-to-use interface.
  • Clients can leave comments and annotations directly on files, making feedback clearer and more precise.
  • Reviewers don’t need to sign up or create an account to leave comments.
  • You can invite as many reviewers as you like. 

Cons

  • A mobile version is not yet available.

Aproove

Aproove

Aproove is a functional online picture proofing solution. Its main features include project dashboards, digital asset management, note tagging, to-do lists, version management, annotations, and markup tools.

Pros

  • Pre-built product integration with Adobe Photoshop for photo editing.
  • Cloud storage options include Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive.
  • API integrations to embed Aproove and use within third party applications.

Cons

  • This option is quite expensive, as it charges $750 monthly for a basic package.
  • Missing certain features like automated file uploads.

GoProof

GoProof

GoProof is an online picture proofing software solution for creatives looking to manage their digital assets and get approval from clients in one space. GoProof features include markup tools, version history management, an export file uploader, and multiple workflow options. Additionally, the program can be integrated with Slack and Adobe Creative Cloud.

Pros 

  • Allows for an unlimited number of role-based collaborators.
  • User-friendly proof dashboard.
  • Customizable notification email templates.
  • Available as a mobile app.

Cons

  • You need to create an account to see the pricing options.
  • It has just one comparison mode for before and after versions.

The best online picture proofing galleries for photographers

A variety of these galleries are available to photographers online. If you’re wondering, “Which is better, Pixies or ShootProf?”, then keep reading; we’ll help you figure that out in this section.

Pixieset – best for high-volume photo proofing online

Pixieset

Pixieset is one of the most popular proofing galleries available today, and for a good reason. This application is great for creating stunning client galleries and comes packed with many tools to help photographers deliver, proof, and sell their work to clients. 

Pixieset’s features include unlimited online galleries, instant downloads, password protection, and audio. Upon signup, all Pixiset accounts are given a free mypixieset.com domain, but a user can also use their domain name for their website on the upgraded accounts.

Pros

  • Has an unlimited free plan which is quite cost-effective.
  • Comes with social media built-ins – Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
  • Includes a Lightroom plugin to help streamline workflow.
  • No commission fees for paid accounts.
  • Provides secure and reliable hosting for photographers’ websites and galleries.

Cons

  • Free accounts are subject to a 15% commission fee on sales.
  • Unlike ShootProof, photographers cannot add music to their galleries with Pixieset.
  • There is currently no Invoicing feature.

ShootProof

ShootProof

ShootProof is a user-friendly proofing gallery, and it works well on both desktop and mobile devices. With ShootProof, a client can easily review and sign contracts online through its integrated contracts feature. 

Other key features of this proofing gallery include billing and invoicing, customized subdomains, and various customizable templates to use when creating new galleries. In fact, ShootProof has five pricing plans which are based on the number of photo uploads a photographer anticipates needing. 

Pros

  • Offers a free plan as well as a trial period for paid plans.
  • Straightforward and easy-to-use with a clean layout for easy navigation.
  • It can be used via the mobile app.
  • You can issue invoices and create and manage contracts too. 

Cons

  • Small storage space.
  • Gallery themes could be better.
  • Limited integrations.
  • Long turnaround time for payments.

Online Picture Proof

Online picture proof

OnlinePictureProof is a dynamic and easy-to-use proofing gallery. It’s great for people who want to scale their business and maximize their client base. OnlinePictureProof’s key tools include slideshow features, SEO and analytics, and a shopping cart. 

Pros

  • No commission on sales.
  • An unlimited number of photo uploads.
  • Social media integration.
  • Marketing tools like SEO and coupons to increase online exposure.
  • Available as a mobile app. 
  • Free 30-day trial.

Cons

  • No flexibility in its pricing plan.
  • Doesn’t have a wide range of features as compared to other software.

The photo proofing and approval process is a vital part of a photographer’s workflow, and it is important not just for the photographer but also for the client. To boost the efficiency of your workflow and improve your clients’ experience, here are some important tips to keep in mind.

four tips for using online picture proofing software

Ensure simple accessibility

Make it as easy as possible for a client to review and proof your images. This means, they should be able to open the platform in just a few clicks without needing to create an account. The more difficult it is for clients to access your photos, the less motivation they will have to review them. It is your responsibility to give your clients the smoothest possible user experience on any proofing tool you use, which begins with ensuring simple accessibility.

Share photos securely

Always make sure that only authorized people can access your files. This can be done through password protection or by verifying your client’s email address. By ensuring that no one else can access your platform, you can prevent misuse and fraud, while demonstrating to clients that you take their privacy seriously and that their photos are in good hands with you.

Watermark your proofs

Another way to protect your work from unauthorized usage is by putting a watermark on your images. Watermarking protects your creative work and ensures that your client can’t download and use the images without your permission. However, when placing watermarks on your photographs, make sure they are obvious enough to be seen but not so conspicuous that they obstruct or interfere with the watermarked images themselves.

Automate your workflows

One major advantage of online proofing compared to in-person proofing is that you can automate and streamline processes. Manual tasks such as sending email invitations and due date reminders to clients, billing, and invoicing can all be automated in most proofing tools. This allows you to save a lot of time in your daily work which you can then use to further increase sales and boost your photography business.

Conclusion

We hope this article has given you some helpful insights on how photo proofing online can benefit your business and your professional photography workflow.

Incorporating online picture proofing into your workflow will take care of most of the necessary, daily administrative tasks in your job, so that you can focus your time and energy on creating your best work – for both you and your clients. 

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