Five Tips for Online Photo Proofing

September 19, 2010

When selling photography online via online photo proofing services, remember these top 5 tips:

1. Watermark your images – you’d be surprised at the number of people that will steal your photos, even the lowest resolution ones – especially for web use, such as posting on Facebook or a blog. With a watermark, at least it’s obvious they shouldn’t be doing this (customers often have no idea how serious copyright infringement is to photographers), and if they still re-post your image online, at least there’s some advertising in it for you.

2. Make sure your photo proofing service disables right clicking to save an image. Even watermarked, some customers will go ahead and print those pictures themselves! Prevent them from being taken at all.

3. Create a deadline for your customers. Make your online photo galleries have an expiration date and publicize this to your clients. This gives them a sense of urgency and a need to order prints or products from you before it slips their mind. Also, for your sake, you should be able to delete their event from your photo proofing service to save yourself the storage space.

4. Don’t pay a commission on your sales! Some of the photo proofing services charge you as much as 18% of your sales! And sometimes that’s in addition to a subscription fee! The only way they get away with this highway robbery is that they take the money out of your sales before passing it on so you don’t ever see the cash. If they sent you a bill each month, you’d be outraged to see the amount of your sales that they are keeping! Go with an online photo proofing service that does not charge commissions, once you start selling, it’s well worth a small monthly fee to know your hard work will indeed pay off. (Our recommendation: ShootProof.com)

5. Distribute info about where to find your online proofs to anyone you can. Don’t just send one email to the bride; contact mom, maid-of-honor, and wedding coordinator. Post a link on Facebook (also a great way to drum up interest from potential clients). Show a few sample photos on your website. Even print up cards prior to an event with a link to the photo gallery-to-be. This may require setting up the gallery in advance, but you’d be amazed at how many friends and relatives will come to look at wedding pictures a few weeks after the event. Make sure people can find the pictures, or you won’t have a chance at selling them. Another tip is to look for a photo proofing service that lets you create custom URLs for your galleries, rather than assigning a long gibberish web address that your client’s won’t remember.

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