You may already be familiar with Format, one of the leading website-building platforms. This year, they are taking it one step further by releasing a product that will help photographers manage their business operations and offering it free for a whole year.
Format is used by many artists and business professionals worldwide to showcase their portfolio through a user-friendly interface and customizable templates. I am using Format for my personal photography website, so I can vouch for its services that suit my needs to share my work and projects. Having gone through different types of popular website builders, including the now-discontinued and the no longer supported Adobe Muse, I arrived and have since stayed with Format.
As more and more photographers are running their businesses online, it comes at no surprise that Format has launched Workflow, its latest product to give more business management tools to its users. Workflow acts as a productivity and communication tool to help photographers manage their time, expand their client base, and also deliver a more refined client experience. This is achieved because Workfow is fully integrated in Format, meaning that if you choose to subscribe to it, you don't require an additional login or a standalone software to use it. Everything is organized and delivered through your Format account.
Workflow provides users with password-protected galleries where clients can download or proof the images. You can upload the files in several ways: use drag and drop in the website builder, import them from an already existing Format page, upload from your Dropbox account, or use a Format Publisher plugin if you are an Adobe Lightroom Classic user or Capture One plugin if you are Capture One 12 or 21 (macOS only) user. The images can be downloaded as high-resolution files; however, the photographer also has the option to restrict the size of downloads.
I tested out the gallery function using a current client of mine, and the process was very simple. When viewing the gallery, you can allow clients to favorite images, which can be helpful if you want them to highlight files they may want to print, to modify, or select for any other purpose. I actually used it by asking my client to select the files she did not want me to edit, as there would be more files that would be edited than not. The whole process from uploading the gallery to receiving feedback from my client was seamless; it is a quite simple yet functional approach, which works really well, in my opinion.
Workflow also allows users to send file transfers of up to 10 GB using a secure and branded landing page. This is the final step in delivering the finished images to your client. The file transfer links are valid for seven days. To help photographers keep on top of the different projects and clients, Workflow allows its users to create and manage contacts, labels, and project notes.
Lukas Dryja, co-founder and CEO of Format, explains that the goal of releasing this product was to help photographers streamline and simplify their business management through a beautifully designed client-facing interface, which in return helps photographers "provide better service, manage their Rolodex, and elevate their career to new heights."
Format is investing in additional new features and functionalities this year to help photographers get on top of their business with the help of Workflow; user feedback and interviews are also utilized to help inform future decisions on where to take this product. It will be interesting to see how this product is developed further down the line and what functions are added in the future.
To give back to the photography community, Format is offering one-year Workflow Pro memberships free for those who register before March 31, 2021. Take a look and see if this is something for you!