Ten years ago wedding photographers gave their brides and grooms a CD when they purchased printing rights to the wedding images. And while that practice still fairly common, I don't use them for a few simple reasons. CDs crack, scratch, and get lost easily. And what if my couple hadn't downloaded those precious images to their computers before that happened? CDs can easily get corrupted and technology is quickly passing them by. Some laptops can't even use them! My clients' memories are too important to risk all of that! So I send my images by digital download through an online gallery. They can download the images directly to their computer harddrives with just a few clicks. And then they can ask close family members to download the images as well, so they are safe on multiple computers.
So today I wanted to walk you through the online gallery that I use. I'm going to use Nikki and James' Half Moone Norfolk wedding gallery as an example.
When I'm finished with a client's images, I send them a link to their online gallery. And this is what they'll see.
A big beautiful image, my favorites from the wedding day, and a short welcome from me!
I love the beautiful, clean, Pinterest-y look that these galleries have.
I compile all of my favorite images into the first section, so guests can relive the wedding day in 100-150 images. Then I have separate sections for different portions of the day as well as the engagement session. This mimimizes the scrolling and allows the couple and their guests to quickly find the images they're looking for.
Guests can create an album of their favorite images by clicking the heart that appears when they highlight over images. This album can then be easily downloaded or shared.
When an individual image is clicked, the favorite and download options both pop up. This page allows the guest to download this individual image.
The share button in the corner of the gallery allows for quick sharing to several different social media platforms.
Those who want to download the entire wedding collection just have to log in with an email address and the 4 digit pin that I give to my couples. Then a zip file with all the wedding images is created and sent to that email address. I always advise my clients to have their parents and a few close friends download all the images so they are safe even if their harddrive crashes.
The wedding gallery goes up a few weeks after the wedding and is live for 60 days, so the friends and family have plenty of time to view and download the images. Which brings up another plus for this kind of online gallery. When Aunt Mildred decides that she wants a few prints from the wedding, she can download them and take care of it herself instead of asking the newlyweds to send her the images. I'm sure my couples enjoy hearing from their loved ones, but when 47 people email you after the wedding asking for you to find and send them specific pictures, it can be a bit overwhelming. Now all they have to do is send them a link!
UPDATE: My couples (and their friends and family) can now make prints straight from the gallery! The shopping cart image pops up when you click on a photo and from there you can select the size and quantity you'd like. You'll be able to see how the image will crop and you can change and adjust that before you complete your order. These images are printed by a top-notch professional lab and shipped straight to your door.
When my portrait clients purchase the high resolution files at their viewing and ordering sessions, I use this online gallery to deliver their images as well. Since there are significantly fewer images for family sessions, the option to download individual images is turned off. And naturally there is only one category of images to view. Portrait galleries tend to be up for about 2 weeks.
I love delivering my images through an online gallery, because it's simple, clean, and user friendly. But most importantly, it's one step closer to making sure my clients' images are safe.