Offer Clients a Modern Photo Delivery Option

Offer Clients a Modern Photo Delivery Option

If you are a photographer who is utilizing physical DVDs, USB drives, or even digital solutions like Dropbox to deliver client images, then take note as there is another way.

For some clients, those of whom may be seated in the old age of media sharing, acquiring a physical disc or storage drive equates to a perceived value. When these clients present themselves, although at this point rarely, it allows me the opportunity to articulate to them the numerous advantages of a digital photo gallery like Pixieset, which is the the one I choose to use. In my opinion it is the best way for a customer-focused photographer to be delivering images.

At the core of the various web-based delivery gallery options available to photographers is a fairly simple concept. They are designed to be an easily accessible photo delivery vehicle for photography clients. By design they function as a digital photo album, one that happens to also be available where your customers are looking most these days, on the innumerable device screens scattered just an arms length away. Not only are they accessible to clients, but also friendly to you as the photographer. The galleries options are laid out for you, with no design experience necessary. Cascading layouts that easily conform to cater to both desktop and mobile viewing eyes. That’s the heart of it, but there are many additional benefits outside of simple photo delivery.

First Benefit: Extended Portfolio

It is usually a good idea to keep your main portfolio streamlined and a showcase for your very best selects. The use of the online gallery, and all of the combined collections stored within it, will double as a more in-depth portfolio for you to showcase an extended look at your work. Also this can be a space to direct potential clients towards when they need to see examples of work not showcased on your main portfolio. As an example I do not advertise as a cosplay photographer, but it's something I have done before and do offer. Because branding is available on the online gallery, as far as a customer is concerned, it all seamlessly blends with your main portfolio.

Branding is prominently placed up top and center. Full galleries located below offer an extended look at your work.

Second Benefit: Easily Shared on Social Media

It is somewhat difficult for a customer, especially the non-tech-savvy ones, to share photos directly from a Dropbox folder to the social outlet of their choice. The more roadblocks that are removed from the process, the better chance of your work getting shared becomes. Having ecstatic clients spread the word and your work for others to see on social is an important step you do not want your customer to neglect. It needs to be as straightforward as possible for the client, otherwise you risk them getting frustrated and never sharing the images online, thus missing some juicy free advertising. In the case of Pixieset, sharing options are posted right up front and made easily visible in the navigation menu.

Social sharing options are always readily available in the navigation.

Third Benefit: Client Friendly

Right from the jump, when the client first opens their gallery they are greeted with helpful instructions on how best to navigate and use the gallery options available to them. This means less confusion for the customer and less wasted time for you spent in the role of a support tech as clients attempt to unpack the images. Important details like downloadable sizes are easily selected. Understanding the clients needs as the photographer you have the option on the backend to set the available resolution options for download. This ease of use will equate to more time tending to other pressing business needs. It’s great to be notified when your client has opened, downloaded, and even selected favorite images. You are always in the loop with what step your customer is at in the process.

Built in notifications keep you the photographer in the loop with where your customer is in the process.

Fourth Benefit: Images Are Easily Proofed

The task of proofing has never been made easier. First export the proof-ready photos from camera raw, or as I have the option to do with Pixieset, the built-in Lightroom plug in. Once you have created the proofing gallery, quickly then upload the images within the gallery, publish, and email the client instructing them to select favorites. Once they have completed this you are seamlessly notified and can start hammering on the final images due for delivery. While it is ideal to be tethered at the job, that is not always practical, and neither is sitting down with the client to review and flag images at the time of the shoot. Creating an easily shared gallery of proofs for the client to select favorites from within the comfort of their own personal space could not be made any easier.

Fifth Benefit: Print Options Are Built In

Typically you can link your existing print lab of choice directly to the online gallery and have your clients print right from the gallery itself. For all of the shoot and burn photographers out there who don’t have time or don’t want to deal with the hassle of printing or shy away from in-person sales, this is a great way to connect your customers with a high-quality print option. With minimal effort after the initial setup you can still have your best work showcased in customers' homes. Similar to the built-in social sharing feature, this is another way to have customers keep your work in the conversation and create those referrals. Must-have options like offering print credits are also available to motivate the client towards printing.

Closing Thoughts

This is based off my personal experience with Pixieset; I have no affiliation with them outside of paying my bill monthly like the rest of the photographers they service. There are many competing options that offer a similar feature set to what I have listed. Whichever one you choose will be a benefit to your photography brand.

I would love to hear in the comments below who else uses a digital photo delivery vehicle and what benefits stand out for you? Has this pushed any of you on the fence towards investigating the use of one for yourself? My advice is to try one for free. Give it a spin and see what you think. Take a look at some gallery examples from Pixieset and Shootproof to help get you started.

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29 Comments

Motti Bembaron's picture

I have been a client of them for over three years now. I like Pixieset very much. I use it for all my clients including daycare clients. The ability to password protect and allow downloads only to certain email addresses makes it a very good solution for clients with young kids.

Derrick Ruf's picture

Awesome, another really practical setting to apply when it's called for. Thanks for sharing!

dale clark's picture

Thanks for info. I will check out Pixieset. I currently deliver via dropbox and proofs thru Lightroom gallery.

Derrick Ruf's picture

Yes, definetly you should. I think you will be happy consolidating the delivery process.

Marc Perino's picture

German version we use is picdrop.de
Great guys with fast support and secure servers in Germany.

Bert McLendon's picture

LOVE Pixieset! I've been with them for a few years and love it. The ONLY thing I wish they would add is animated Gif support. An entire industry of photo boothers would switch from smug mug to pixieset overnight. I have no idea why they won't add that. =(

Motti Bembaron's picture

Another thing I wish they had is the ability to have more than one homepage grid. It would have been great if we could have different home pages for different client type. However, they are improving.

Bert McLendon's picture

I hear ya, that'd be cool. I get around that in a roundabout way by making sure I have consistent "category tags" for all the galleries like "Event" "Headshots" etc... This way it will show those categories on the main gallery page. Click on the category to see only that particular type of gallery and copy that link to send to clients. That way, if clients are interested, they can go to the root url and check out other things you do.

Motti Bembaron's picture

Hey Bert, yes, that is one way to get different 'home page'. Cheers!

Didn't know they don't support animated GIFs, have you asked them or requested it as a feature? They may not know users want it.

Lenzy Ruffin's picture

I'm also a Pixieset user. For some reason, they don't seem to realize the purpose of their platform. 100% of the time, I have to give clients directions to the download button because it is so small and obscure. I eventually included those directions in the email template.

I had the same issue, until I discovered that they do have a «gallery assist» option in the collections settings. When turned on, the client will see a few cards explaining how to download images before they get into the gallery. Of course, if the user interface were better and more clearly designed, they wouldn't need this feature.

Lenzy Ruffin's picture

I always use gallery assist. It tells people that they can download, but it doesn’t help people find that tiny little download button. Not in my experience.

Nice infomercial! What about telegraphs?

I went from Dropbox to Pixieset a few years back, and it's been a massive improvement. Clients love the galleries, and I am able to keep track of who is downloading what. If they finally could get around to allow captions and comments on each image, I would be perfectly happy.

Andy Day's picture

Looks nice. Two things are critical for me:
1. Comments on images (which from what I read is not possible..?)
2. Ability to upload to Pixieset from Dropbox to save me from having to upload twice.

Bert McLendon's picture

They added comments on images last year. Works great. They do have a Lightroom Plugin that works really well (drag and drop).

Andy Day's picture

Thanks Bert! Good to know.

Derrick Ruf's picture

Andy I can only speak as a macOS user but my Dropbox folder is available in finder, so it's treated like all the rest of the folders on my drive. If you are on Mac it shouldn't be an issue to upload straight from Dropbox.

Chris Rogers's picture

Wow it's actually a pretty decent deal.

Bill Larkin's picture

Am I the only guy who would feel weird using something called "Pixie" lol

Derrick Ruf's picture

Haha no I do not think it's just you. Outside of the shared URL the "Pixie" branding is mostly invisible to a client though!

Does anyone use Jpegmini to reduce their plan storage size limits?

Looks fairly comparable to Smugmug which I've happily been using for years.

Don Risi's picture

I've been using Pixieset for a couple of years. One of the best decisions I ever made. My clients all LOVE it, for all of the reasons Derrick lists. It's so easy, and for many of them, just plain fun.

I can't think of a single reason for using anything else.

Derrick Ruf's picture

Nice Don, thanks for sharing!

Yan Pekar's picture

Well written advertisement article to promote Pixieset, especially taking into account that no other gallery options (except for Shootproof) are mentioned. Been with Pixieset for a year, and thinking of moving away, as the real limitation / restriction is - as soon as your storage limit is reached, you have to pay more and more and more to have more storage. You can delete old galleries to free space for new galleries, but what is the point in creating them if you delete it later and clients can no longer access it?

Fair comment... Felt the same way when I had to delete a few galleries. Now that I'm getting more jobs I will pass it asked a cost item to the business (aka clients).

I have read that one can sell prints thru labs, but it seems like this is a product for folks that mostly want to sell Digital Downloads. Is it useful for folks that want to sell mostly prints?