Three Lessons ShootProof Can Learn From Pixieset

Three Lessons ShootProof Can Learn From Pixieset

When I first discovered ShootProof, I loved it. The idea of handling all of my file delivery as well as print sales from an online platform easily through my website was just amazing. But after a good amount of time, I grew frustrated with a couple flaws in their system that were deal-breakers for me. I then switched over to Pixieset and haven't looked back. Pixieset isn't near the giant that ShootProof is (yet), but ShootProof could take a few lessons from the up-and-comers.

Preview Quality Matters

Personally, I should have done my homework on this sooner. When my clients would preview their galleries on ShootProof, the images would look slightly pixilated, which often caused for questioning. There was no quality loss for the actual products; however, I found myself explaining this constantly. Pixieset has a much better image preview quality to ensure that they don't have to download the images before discovering that I actually know what I'm doing. Furthermore, this seriously affects print sales. Would you purchase a print of an image that you think will look terrible?

Not All Clients Are Tech Gurus

Another issue I ran into was having to keep a document on my computer with step-by-step instructions to copy and paste for clients to download digital versions of their images. It would be very smart for them to implement a similar system to Pixieset that allows the client to be guided through the download and purchasing steps. Sure, as the photographer, I can explain it to them; but I'm also typically dealing with a mother of the bride or bridal party as well. There is no telling how many print sales I've lost due to a lack of knowledge from the customer. Bottom line is that your client doesn't want to spend forever trying to figure out your delivery process. If they get too frustrated, they'll start doing the terrible screenshot thing we all hate.

Enable Us to Have Consistent Branding

This is a personal gripe. Before I was a photographer, I worked as an art/branding director, so this is a very important option for me. I’m not looking for a ton of options, just a more updated set of branding tools. The days of "flirty" fonts that look like something from the late 90s to the early 2000s have been over for a very long time. Sure, I've booked, shot, and edited the session at this point, but I want creative and consistent branding from start to finish. That being said, one thing that both platforms should consider is some form of Adobe Typekit integration.

These are all very important things I look for in an online store/client delivery option. I recently switched over to Pixieset, and I can gladly say that all of the issues I had before with ShootProof have been resolved.

How are you delivering your final product? What’s working for you? What do you want to see changed? Don't misunderstand me, neither platform is perfect. Pixieset could potentially learn a few lessons from ShootProof as well. But Pixieset's product already surpasses it's competition by leaps and bounds.

Zakk Miller's picture

Zakk Miller is a wedding and portrait photographer based in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He is known for his unique blend of natural and artificial light. Zakk has built his career by shooting many genres of photography such as weddings, seniors, families, live events, as well as concert and commercial work.

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I've used both pretty extensively and prefer Pixieset over ShootProof. Each has their advantages over the other though. ShootProof has Canadian print labs I like to use and has good tracking but Pixieset's presentation, image preview quality and back-end are much much better.

I use Smugmug for all of my shoots and provide a link to the clients.

"typically dealing with a mother of the bride or bridal party as well. There is no telling how many print sales I've lost due to a lack of knowledge from the customer." Is this because they're a woman, or can fathers be technologically inept as well? Why even mention this? Why not just say "Clients [notice the gender-neutral term] are sometimes technologically inept"? Why make it about what sex they are?

He said it that way probably because of the fact that the bride (and the mother of the bride) are mostly the ones doing the communications and business with the vendors, because in essence, the famous saying rings true: "happy wife = happy life". If the bride isn't happy with the way things go, then no one's happy. Sorry, but it's consistently a fact.

I thought ShootProof looked pretty good, however I got stopped by the fact I couldn't figure out a way to organize my shoots into directories/galleries. Last time I looked it was just one big ol' flat file system. I'm achingly tired of Photoshelter's lack of forward progress. Will need to look at PixieSet. Oh, migration! Why are you so hard??

To the best of my knowledge I think they have resolved that particular issue. I was able to sort by client name and then their particular shoot which was nice. I want to say they sort as albums within the gallery which can be password locked individually or as a whole.

ShootProof, that is.

I chose Pixieset over Shootproof some years ago because Pixieset was easier to publish to and easier for my clients to work with. Just last week, though, I started revisiting Shootproof because Pixieset is missing a few things that would make my [business] life a lot better. Things like print releases and and reports on print/download orders, to name a couple.

It may be that I end up using Shootproof for large gigs (schools, events, etc.) and Pixieset for everything else, so I do wish Pixieset would up their business features. But if I had to choose just one, I'd go with Pixieset - they've done a fantastic job on the bits that matter to my clients.

Totally agree with the interface for certain things like contracts and invoicing. I hardly ever used that feature due to using Dubsado (which has made my life ridiculously easier so far). It would be cool for Pixieset to offer a similar feature though.

I noticed the lack of sharpness of Shootproof several years ago and that was the one thing that kept me from switching over to them. Very recently I got a note from them that they increased maximum long side from 2000 pixels to 3000. (I hope I am interpreting that correctly.). Anyway I don't know yet whether that solves the sharpness problem but I am planning to try it out.

As far as I can tell I was the first person to make an issue of sharpness back in early 2016, but they must have heard from others as well if they took it so seriously. I was finding at the time that both Dropbox and Smugmug presented photographs on screen much sharper than Shootproof did. However the Shootproof interface was FAR more user friendly than either of these other options, so I went out of my way to encourage Shootproof to up their game. Have never tried Pixieset.

I wish Pixieset would make the gallery download button more conspicuous. I have a template message I include to direct people to the button because nobody sees it. They should put a screenshot of it in Gallery Assist or something.

A difference between Shootproof and Pixieset that I recently discovered due to Google preferring SSL sites. Both will give you a custom domain. Pixiset will do an SSL certificate so that the custom domain won't break the site security. Shootproof will not, so with a secure site you have to go to the gallery at rather than etc