Shootproof - Gallery Hosting, Contracts and Invoicing
Shootproof // gallery hosting, contracts & invoicing // photographer review
Quite a few years ago when I was starting to step up my business game I started researching gallery hosting for clients. I needed a system that I could upload their images that would allow them to share with friends and also download their images if needed. I took my time to compare quite a few of the common ones but, eventually, I settled into Shootproof.
If you’re interested in Shootproof, use the link provided to try it out and get a free month of their services! Set up your account, look around and give them a try. I promise you won’t cancel after the trial is over and you’ll love them! Even the contracts/invoicing section alone keeps you organized and is worth the $10/month for their cheapest plan!
At the time, Shootproof had some bare bone uses, which worked for what I wanted. They basically had options to hold my photos in galleries with the option to add passwords. The other thing I loved at the time was the option to link my galleries to some of my favorite print labs. That meant I could create an ordering site directly on there and not have to worry about manually entering print orders if I wanted. My out of town clients could go directly to their gallery, send it to grandparents and everyone could purchase the sizes and quantities they wanted. It literally was fantastic while I transitioned into the all inclusive business structure into the “in person sales” process where clients come in to sit down and view then order products. Another bonus is that you can go in and “favorite” certain photos to help narrow down and pick which ones you love the most. It’s great when trying to choose prints or select the digital files you want. I also love the feature of being able to send the favorite photos to clients via a digital download link. It’s a one click system that makes my life super easy for mini sessions.
With my business structure, I offer clients mobile apps to compliment the purchase of digital files. With the plan I have through Shootproof, I have an unlimited amount of mobile apps I can create so it’s another fantastic way to deliver images to clients to view and share with their friends and family while on the go. It’s a great add-on to my gallery hosting services that can include links directly to their entire gallery. The biggest difference between mobile apps and the online galleries is that you can’t favorite or purchase products. The mobile apps are mainly intended for viewing the photos. It’s fantastic for those situations where you don’t have service to access the internet as well. ;)
This was a feature that was added quite awhile after I was already using Shootproof. And it was a lifesaver!! Again, my entire goal of my business is to streamline my workflow so I’m spending less time doing behind the scenes work and more time shooting or hanging out with my clients. With the contracts and invoicing features, this is getting easier. The contracts allow me to create templates of my own or they have some pretty cool ones you can actually purchase through them as well. You can go in and adjust details, link to specific clients as well as link to your invoices. Game. Changer. I cannot express enough how important contracts are to not only protect yourself but to protect your clients from any misunderstandings with what is expected from both of you.
This is the best feature they have added to do!!! Literally, I hated the days of waiting for clients to mail checks/cash or pay deposits. Sometimes I wouldn’t get them for weeks or they’d forget completely. I’d send a printed invoices along with their contract and it’d get lost in piles of mail at home and never be returned. Now, I can drop in pre-made session fees, print products that have my taxes/pricing memorized and it’s such a simple process!! The best part, you can LINK your invoicing with contracts to specific clients. Then, link that same client to their gallery, and it’s all inclusive to keep track of it all! Set up due dates for the invoices, add deposits or retainers and even split the invoice up into an auto pay system if the client wants to link their card to it. Literally, lifesaver.
Something that’s probably one of their newest features that I use the most is their email automation systems. I like using them because it helps kick reminders out without me having to keep track of where I’m at in my workflow with every single client. What you can do is set it up to kick out emails when it hits certain things. My series I have created include invoice deposit due, invoice due date, gallery released to visitors, gallery expiring soon, and invoice overdue. Although I have several others that are similar, I like to keep it simple and not completely spam all of my clients. These help to remind them of specific things that are coming up for their sessions. Now, I can say that almost 90% of my invoices are paid on time and I don’t have to worry about not having people place orders from their galleries because they get reminders about them.
Ok last one, I swear this time! This. This was genius. I’m super weird about getting rid of client files, so I guess, I’m basically a geeky version of a hoarder. I still have every single photo ever taken in my possession ever since I started my business. It’s ridiculous holding five years worth of raw files, edits and marketing I know. But I just can’t get rid of it! So, I love that Shootproof let’s me do the same! While you’re limited on the plans with how many images you can put into your galleries, it doesn’t count against you if you archive the photos! Which means, you get charged like one cent for every gigabyte of space. To be exact, here’s what my account says: “Archived 24 GB of data at a rate of $0.04 per GB.” ….you guys, I’m paying FOUR CENTS to hold years worth of client galleries. Fine. Take my money Shootproof! Those pennies are worth it to know if something were to happen to my hard drive (or my back up hard drive, or the back up to my back up hard drive down at the bank in my safety deposit box) or if a client were to lose their home to a fire or tornado or flooding damage, I still have their photos. That piece of mind means so much to me for less than a dollar a month. We’ll touch base later about how to store client files, but this is another way I keep myself accountable and backed up for my clients. So worth it.
So. There’s a (long) but quick summary of my favorite perks of using Shootproof. Seriously, finding Shootproof was one of the best things I’ve done and hands down the cheapest investment I’ve made in my own business. It’s streamlined my business and I love that it gives clients their own little space to view images and order if they want.
*Some of the links for Shootproof do include referral links which means I receive a tiny portion of credit for those who sign up using the links provided.