Cloud Spot was created by full-time photographers who were tired of the available options for photo delivery. Nothing before truly placed the photographer's brand first and cut precious time off of their workflow. The goal was to beautifully display images in a branded and modern gallery, be super fast and easy for the photographer to share, and allow clients to easily download images sent directly in an email and/or in the galleries. After using Cloud Spot for the past few months, I can say that they've succeeded.
A Stand-Alone App That Saves You Time
Cloud Spot is a desktop application instead of a website, making it lightning fast and stable. No more server outages keeping you from getting your work done. The setup is intuitive and fast. Within a few minutes, my account was fully customized and I was uploading my first gallery. This system allows you to upload both from Dropbox as well as your computer, while maintaining the file structure of your gallery. This allows you to pre-sort your images into separate folders ahead of time and then drop them all into Cloud Spot at once. No more having to reorganize afterwards or open up multiple tabs just to upload all of your images at the same time. It's a major time saver.
Delivering and Sharing Images
Sharing images is crazy fast. Once you're used to it, the process takes seconds. You can send one image, a selection of images, just a folder, or even an entire event. This is on-demand image delivery right to your client's inbox. The first step is dragging a photo over the event folder to create a featured image. This will be used in the email template and gallery landing page. You then have three options for how you want to share:
- Download Only (client gets a link to the download files)
- Online Gallery Only (client gets a link to view a gallery for the event)
- Download + Online Gallery (you send the event download links and the web gallery)
You then set the size and download permissions (Web, 4x6, 8x12, or Original) for those download links as well as select your options and permissions for the gallery that you're sharing. A rad feature unique to Cloud Spot is having the ability to add your watermark to any images and download links you send. This is an awesome feature to use when delivering images to vendors or marketing your business. Cloud Spot does the resizing and watermarking for you.
Create and Save Custom Email Templates
When the gallery or images are ready to send, you pick an email template. Cloud Spot comes with three templates out of the box, but you can create, customize, and save your own for later use. Before sending it out, you can modify the text even more and add your recipients. These have been awesome for sending images to clients, vendors, and wedding planners. There is also a template for sending straight to wedding blogs as a submission and Wedding Chicks has already endorsed it.
The client receives an email with a great modern layout and the featured image. Right there in the email, they have a button to download their images and/or view the gallery. The link takes them to a beautiful gallery landing page, and we admit to staring at these a few times in awe. Once inside, the photos are displayed in a cascading arrangement that displays both vertical and horizontal images very nicely. It has a straightforward and easy layout for clients to view, favorite, share, and download the images. I can't tell you how many times we've received emails in the past from clients or their friends and family that couldn't figure out our gallery's functions. So glad that is over.
You can create different galleries for each event depending on who you're sending the images to, including different image/download sizes, hiding folders, or passwords. Another great option for sending vendor images, you don't have to do a separate upload!
The print sales are straightforward, you can easily set what products are available and their pricing. Cloud Spot also has a custom mobile shopping cart view, so your clients can order on their mobile devices with ease. The current lab is WHCC, but more options are on the way including international options for those outside the United States. A huge plus for Cloud Spot is their print sale commission, or lack there of. Zero percent print commission is going to save me thousands of dollars per year.
Here are the pricing options, with packages to fit many needs, including the option to try it for free. This will make it a great backup solution for delivered images, or you can keep only recent galleries up and get by at a competitive rate.
What I Liked
- Beautiful layout
- Fast uploads
- Sending direct image/event download links at different sizes with/without watermark
- Customized email templates
- Zero percent print sales commission
What Could Be Improved
- Ability to collect email addresses from gallery viewers
- Be able to schedule print sales
- Add more print lab options
The Cloud Spot team has been incredible at listening to its early users and making improvements at a rapid pace. I don't think the list of cons will last for long.
I've gone through many different proofing systems, none of them were complete. I spent the past few years using a hybrid of two different offerings, one for gallery/print sales and the other for full gallery downloads. That meant uploading to two separate sites. I was never happy with the styling and the clients were just receiving text links in an email message at delivery. I saw new options hit the market that had a better design to the gallery, but had unsatisfactory store options. This is the first time I've seen a complete offering that I'm fully happy with. I'm also excited that the company is run by full-time photographers who are dealing with the same issues we are. They know how important image delivery is to a photographer and are dedicated to their product's success.
Go to CloudSpot.io to sign up for a free plan and give it a shot. You can use my discount code DylanH for 10% off your subscription.