Pixieset is an online photograph gallery platform that really shines as a way for professionals to show and deliver their photographs to clients.
With the advent of digital cameras one way of delivering photographs was via a USB drive. Indeed, a USB drive can be useful when there are a lot of photos to give, but even then, delivering photos through an online gallery that provides a good browsing experience and lets clients order whichever prints they need is much better.
Additionally, you can also show proofs and samples, and let your clients share whichever photos they want to share directly from the platform.
Essentially, a service like Pixieset ticks all the boxes for what people are looking for in digital photographs:
- a way to browse through all of them very easily
- a way to categorize them easily
- a way to share them easily
- a way to order prints for any photographs they want
Granted, Pixieset is not the only such service out there: there are plenty of other services, and in future posts, we may do some comparisons.
How to use Pixieset
Essentially, Pixieset is a way to upload your photos to a service that lets your client download and review them. They can also buy any photos they need.
It’s actually quite robust and gives you a lot of control on which features you want to enable or disable for your clients, which we’ll talk about later in the review.
As a photographer, one of the biggest pains and challenges(especially in the age of digital photographs where there’s no limit to how many you can take) is how to present them in a nice and professional way for your clients. Pixieset helps you do that.
Pixieset features: Collections or galleries
The essential feature in Pixieset is the Collections feature, or gallery feature. This is basically a showcase of thumbnails for all of your client’s photographs and in the gallery, your client can peruse them, download them, share them, and order prints(provided you enable these permissions for them).
A smooth gallery experience is what makes or breaks a service like this, and granted, most online photo galleries do a pretty good job of handling this part.
Upon setting up your account, there will be a few things you’ll need to do to get started. Ideally, you’ll want to upload a logo and set up a watermark and brand imaging, and you have quite a lot of customization options here. You can upload your company logo, a special cover photo for the gallery in question, and of course your watermark.
Watermarking is an important feature as you can use it to show pictures without really delivering the final product in case the client has not paid in full yet.
Once you have your account ready to go, you will want to drop into the Settings section really click to upload your logo and other brand imaging if you’d like (as seen in the image below). These items will be presented in different areas of the online gallery, and watermarks will be added when specified to image uploads (often for the purpose of providing proofs).
You can create as many collections as your plan permits, and the plans vary from free to different tiers of storage.
Note: Storage costs can add up, so it’s unlikely you’ll be able to keep every photo online forever. For this reason, it is prudent to the master storage on external hard drives, and utilize Pixieset for delivery.
Within galleries, you can break them down into sets. So if you were shooting one event that had many sub-events within it, you could have a gallery for the entire event and sub-sections for each smaller event within it.
This is super useful for weddings!
Now that you have your gallery set up, you can start uploading photos. Uploading is always going to take some time, especially if you have a lot of photos, because you’re limited by both your internet speed and the speed of Pixieset’s servers.
However, it’s not slow or anything, the speeds are quite up to par with what you’d find anywhere else.
Customizing your galleries
Pixieset offers you quite a bit of customization for your galleries. Parameters you can adjust are:
- Name of the collection
- Date of the even
- Customized URL
- Adding tags to group similar photographs/galleries
Within galleries, 3 features really stand out and make Pixieset shine amongst its competitors:
- Auto expiry
- Email registration
- Gallery assist
Auto expiry is a really neat feature where you can set a time limit for how long the gallery would stay online before being taken down. This is quite crucial because storage is not unlimited!
The purpose of using a gallery suite like Pixieset is mainly for showing the clients the photographs immediately after the event. In this time, they can do what they want with the photographs. If there were just a few photos, it’s very easy for your client to download them wherever they want.
If there are many photos, you’d probably want to supply a hard drive or a usb drive with all the photos.
There’s no maximum on the auto expiry – you can keep the photos live for as little or as long a time as you like.
Please note though that once the gallery expires, you have no way of getting it back! So make sure you have backups!
Registration is a really cool feature built into Pixieset. Here, you can set up an opt-in that visitors must go through in order to view the gallery.
Using this, you can collect emails and see who is viewing which gallery. This data can then be used to build your mailing list and increase your prospective customers.
Please be aware that the best way to go about this is through an email service provider like GetResponse or Mailchimp and using a double opt-in to confirm people do want to sign up for your emails.
The last bonus feature is Gallery Assist, which basically starts a tutorial for any new visitor to your gallery. It walks them through the features available such as downloading, buying prints, and sharing.
As a business, you can potentially capitalize on some nice upselling here by encouraging your clients and visitors to buy prints(or at least showing them that they can easily do so here).
Setting up privacy with Pixieset
Privacy is hugely important, especially with photographs. Some photographs can also be boudoir in nature, so those are especially important to be kept private and out of the hands of malicious actors.
Pixieset makes it quite easy and straightforward to set up privacy barriers.
First off, you can set up a password and only those with the password can access a particular gallery.
For a further security step, you can make it so that only your clients or people you specify can access the gallery, and nobody else. Even within this access, your clients can further mark photos to be private and only visible to them and nobody else(but you of course).
Downloading and sharing photos
Even the ability to download and share is in your control. You may wish to disable downloading if you are just showing proofs to your client before finalizing the deal or selecting the photos.
You can enable downloads for your client and they’ll be able to download their photos in three sizes:
- Full resolution
- High resolution
As an extra security step, you can enable a pin that must be entered before any photos can be downloaded. With email tracking, you can get a notification every time a photo has been downloaded so you can know which of the photos were saved.
While your customer is browsing through their photos, they can also share through social media(Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter are all supported) as well as directly through email.
Within the online gallery you create for your clients, they can favorite particular photos and even create lists of favorite images. This is a neat way for them to start organizing their photos in their own way.
Favoriting also saves you quite a bit of work, since you can just loosely categorize all the images and your client can filter them further at their own convenience. You can also create your own favorite list to showcase some specific images you want to show your client.
You also have control over how many images your client can put in a favorite list. So if you were assembling an album for them and you have limited space per section, you can make use of this feature.
Pixieset has done a super job of integrating a storefront into their gallery system. The option to buy is not in your face at all, so clients won’t feel obligated to buy – but the service is available and it’s a neat way for your client to get high quality prints very easily, and for you to earn some extra cash on selling prints.
Ordering prints can be quite a hassle, especially if you have to download the images, select them, take them to a shop, and get them printed. Pixieset streamlines everything in one neat flow.
You get to set the prices for print sizes and product options. Additionally, you can choose how the order will be fulfilled. This article on Pixieset explains this in great detail, but here is the gist of it:
- The business can choose to self fulfill orders, or to have a lab fulfill them
- If you self-fulfill, you’ll set your own prices and you’ll have to calculate how much your cost is vs how much you want to charge
- If you choose lab fulfillment, you can see a price sheet with the costs of lab fulfillment, and you can set your prices accordingly. This way you can see how much you stand to make per print(of course, your prices have to be reasonable and competitive, and this is something you as a business owner would know best)
It’s very easy for clients to choose photos and print sizes, and a simple online checkout will get them on their way.
One added benefit of encouraging clients to print through Pixieset is that you have a degree of quality control over the prints. A low quality lab can easily ruin a great photo!
Here’s something interesting: the Pixieset app is not a mobile version of the full service. Instead, the app is a streamlined gallery, designed to help you easily showcase your photos on the go.
You can actually customize the app for client galleries and the app will be entirely offline, so if they want to download it to their phone or tablet and have the photos available for viewing anytime, they can do so.
As a professional photographer, one of your main concerns is having a good way to deliver your product to your customers and clients. Pixieset makes it quite easy to do and ticks all the boxes of showing photos online, having the ability to categorize photos, and being able to order prints online.
This was a general overview of Pixieset and if you liked what you saw, we highly recommend giving it a spin – sign up for the free account and start playing with the features, and if you like it, you can go ahead and sign up.