For professional photographers, photo proofing and selection are crucial processes that allow clients to review and select photos.
Photo proofing has been around for a long time, probably as old as photography itself; however, the process has significantly evolved along with technology. In the past, without the luxury of computers and digital photography, photo proofing could only be done by printing a low-resolution version of the photo and show/send it physically to the customer.
However, we can easily send a JPEG or PNG of the photo over the internet or even use cloud technology to perform online photo proofing.
With online proofing, the photographer can upload the photos right after or even during a shoot. The customer can also access the platform simultaneously, leave feedback in real-time, and keep track of all the progress.
Online proofing would allow a more efficient approval process for the photographer and a more satisfying client experience.
Photo Proofing at A Glance
As discussed, the photo proofing process has evolved from a pen-and-paper process that is inefficient and difficult to execute to the online proofing process we have today.
Digital photography that we have today is a relatively new concept, and as we know, back then, photos must be printed in a darkroom via a tedious and error-prone process. In this period, photo proofing is performed by reviewing the camera film’s negatives or publishing a mock-up version of the photo (often smaller to conserve cost). Back then, even a small sample must be printed in a proper lab or darkroom, so this is a very inefficient and often expensive process.
As we can see, the original photo proofing back then is a very tedious process that requires much time, effort, and resources. You’ll also need the right people with the right expertise to perform the printing.
With the arrival of the internet and digital photography, however, nowadays we have more options in performing our photo proofing:
1. In-person proofing
We can use various methods to perform traditional photo proofing these days, but basically, it involves meeting the client in-person and showing them the photos. Fortunately, nowadays, we no longer need to print a mock-up photo, and we can, for example, use our laptop or iPad to show the images from their photo session in a digital format.
In-person photo proofing has one obvious advantage: interaction. You can visibly see your client’s emotions when reviewing your photos, and thus you can get more honest feedback while building valuable relationships. The downside? It can be costly, time-consuming and sometimes not physically possible.
2. Email-based proofing
A widespread method performed by many photographers (and also other creative workers like graphic designers) is to send the photo files over emails. A common practice is to put a watermark on the photos so they can’t use the image before making the purchase.
This process is more cost-effective than in-person proofing, but email-based communications can be ineffective at times and may lead to confusion and disputes. Also, you won’t get the immediate communication and interaction you’d get in in-person proofing.
3. Online proofing
Online proofing provides the immediacy, real-time interaction of traditional proofing while also allowing email-based proofing speed and efficiency.
Online proofing is made possible with free online proofing software for photographers like WeAproove to facilitate the process. With Aproove, for example, photographers can upload the photo files to Aproove’s gallery and then send a link to your customer. Your client can click this link to access Aproove via the cloud (they don’t need to download and install anything), and they can use the platform to review and select the photos and leave feedback when required. You can even allow your clients to download the finalized image straight from the platform.
Why Online Proofing Is The Right Choice For You
Implementing online proofing for your photos can offer many benefits, including:
1. Reducing the number of revisions
Online proofing allows better transparency in communications. Both you and your clients can easily track previous feedback, versions of photos they’ve approved, and other things right from the online proofing software. This, in turn, would translate to fewer revisions and back-and-forth communications required in finishing a single project.
Online proofing provides photographers an easier time understanding what changes your customers want with their feedback, resulting in fewer revisions and more revenue.
2. Better communication
For photographers, maintaining transparency in communications with your customers is an essential aspect of building lasting relationships, resulting in repeat purchases and increased revenue.
With Aproove, for example, you only need to send one email to your client containing a link to their proof (which will link them to Aproove), but the rest of the communication occurs on the platform instead. This ensures more transparency and accountability in the whole photo proofing process.
With Aproove, your client will get an automatic reminder when a new proof is ready for review, and vice versa. You’ll also get notified when your client has sent feedback or approve the proof. This will ensure more efficient communication and faster delivery.
Online proofing is a cost-effective solution for photographers to streamline the photo approval and selection process. With the right online proofing software, photographers can easily maintain real-time communication with clients on a single platform while also providing an immediate, real-time experience of in-person proofing.