Happy Monday, ya'll! I just got back from what I thought would be a brisk walk with my toddler that ended up with me carrying a cranky, pants-less kid down our road while pushing the stroller she refused to sit in any longer and yelling at the dog to GET BACK IN THE YARD, all while sweating bullets in the muggy heat that consumes our zip code. The glamorous life. I'm living it.
Anyway, on to some exciting new things! My little photography business has undergone some big (and small!) changes for the 2014 wedding season and I. Am. Pumped. So much of this business is trial and error - learning while works for "the big photographers" might not work for me, how to love and serve my clients better, and how to provide a better client experience from the very first inquiry to the last thank-you note I send.
One of the major issues I had last year was with image delivery. The program I was using (PASS) seemed pretty sexy at first, and it was all the rage on the big bad Internet, so I felt like I should use it because everyone else was. It's a good idea in theory - big galleries, some custom branding, ability to order prints, etc. But the more I used it, the more I saw some major issues I just wasn't happy with.
The biggest problem was with Facebook - my brides love to share their images online and the program was automatically embedding a URL into each image that Facebook didn't like. My clients were seeing error messages and inability to upload albums. I did my best to work around it, did some trouble shooting with the support guys, and ultimately things didn't improve. I was still sending out USB drives on top of paying for the already expensive PASS fees to make their images accessible. It was embarrassing for me and frustrating for my clients. Not cool.
I don't place a heavy emphasis on print sales as part of my business - I'd just rather be out shooting than sitting behind a desk hammering out orders - but PASS was limiting. It only offered 3 different sizes of prints and I had no control over the cost to my clients. I wanted a gallery that would allow multiple products to be ordered easily and still come through a pro-lab. PASS couldn't offer that. Strike two.
Lastly, it was poorly branded and somewhat confusing. There was only a small spot for my logo and it was way up in the corner with a black background. The image categories were buried in a side navigation bar along with the sharing icons for Facebook, e-mail, etc. (still in another navigation bar!). I felt like the gallery could've belonged to anyone and nothing about it pointed people to Brittany Thomas Photography.
I knew I needed a change but couldn't find anything that would provide the positive experience I wanted to give my clients. Finally - I found Pixieset. It's been an absolute dream. The gallery layouts are big and beautiful, my branding is prominently displayed with links back to my website, I have more control over pricing and products, and my clients are easily navigating it without questions. All the images are still safely stored in the cloud (and on my external hard drive for backup) and can be accessed on mobile devices. I'm in love.
So if you're a 2014 bride, you can look forward to getting your images just like this: