Featured Photographers

experienced online powerhouses share their tips on growing your business & selling photos online

Jonathan Canlas

Jonathan Canlas

Member Since: Feb 2005

Wendy Laurel

Wendy Laurel

Member Since: Nov 2010

Brett Heidebrecht

Brett Heidebrecht

Member Since: Apr 2008

Karen Hill

Karen Hill

Member Since: Apr 2011

Jason Weaver

Jason Weaver

Member Since: Jan 2006

Tips for success

From Jonathan Canlas

1

No Passwords

Never, ever put passwords on your events. I never want to limit who can and cannot purchase prints from an event - there's no point in restricting your market! Completely opening your events to the world gives every potential customer, even those you've never sold prints to in the past, the ability to view and buy your photographs without needing any information from the bride and groom. This also allows potential brides to see what a complete wedding looks like with you, which opens the door for future shoots and contracts.

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2

Rate Your Images

Take the time to sort out and rate the best 4-6 images within each category on your events. Pre-selecting these images allows you to put your best foot forward and make the event look its absolute best. If you display the most captivating images first in each category, your viewers have a lot more incentive to dive deeper into the remainder of your gallery, and you have a much higher chance of selling photos to them. Putting your best shots in front gets your audience excited, makes you look good, and ultimately, helps you sell more prints. Win-win.

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3

Post Events Early

Post your events at least 3 months in advance. This allows you time to collect email addresses from the family and friends of your clients, which gives you a large base of people to start sending out invitation emails to once the photographs have been uploaded to your online photo gallery.

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Tips for success

From Wendy Laurel

1

Keep Galleries Public

Keep your galleries open to the public (password-free) so that friends and families can easily view their photos and place their orders. When an event is password protected it can often discourage even those that are meant to have access to the images. You might think that they could just call up the bride (or whomever) to get the password if they should have access to it, but many people do not choose to do this. So keep your galleries open, and let your visitors enjoy the images hassle-free.

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Use Several Categories

Organize your images into several different categories within your galleries. When all of your images are dumped into a single, large, category, your clients and their guests will have a hard time keeping track of which images they’ve viewed and which images they want to come back to again. So before you upload your images, take the time needed to go through your images and organize them into a handful of common-sense categories.

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3

Put on Sales

Set up at least two sales for each of your galleries: one that runs for the first 10 days, and another that runs for the last 10 days before the gallery expires. When your visitors see that the prices for their images are scheduled to go up (or that the images are scheduled to go offline soon), they will make a purchase. To advertise these types of sales I recommend setting up automated emails to automatically let your visitors know when they’re about to happen.

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Tips for success

From Brett Heidebrecht

1

Require Email Addresses

I ALWAYS ask my brides & grooms for their mother's & grandmother's email addresses. Why? Because they are the ones who purchase the majority of the prints. When the gallery is available I send a really beautiful email to invite them to check out the gallery. I also mention that they will be on sale for the first 10 days the gallery is live!! I also require that ALL visitors sign in with their email address. This serves 2 purposes, saves their carts & favorite folders to their email address (without creating an account of any kind) and then I can send emails to EVERYONE who has logged in to view the event when it comes time to put on a sale.

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2

Price for Sales

People LOVE to buy things when they are on sale. I am no exception. So tap into that by creating a setting your prices based on what they will be when they are on sale, instead of pricing for regular price. So for example, if I want to sell my 5x7's for $12, price them at $17 then have an intro sale for 30% off. Then have another sale for EVERY SINGLE holiday. Then have another 30% off sale just for the heck of it. People might learn to wait for your sales, but that's okay because you priced for the sales. Then when people buy at regular price its a BONUS!! I sell probably 90% of my prints when they are on sale. Use that to your advantage!

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3

Categorize to Make Finding Specific Images Easy

Have you ever walked into a brick and mortar store and just been overwhelmed by the amount of options and not really knowing where to start shopping? Photographs can be the same way... especially from weddings because there are just so many images. So for those logging in to view the images, I want to make it easy to find specific photographs they might be looking for. I split everything up into easy to understand categories (family portraits, ceremony, bride preparations, sparkler exit, etc). I also put together a "Wedding In Review" category where I select my favorite images from the wedding and put them in chronological order. I encourage viewers to watch this in the slideshow. I find that I sell A LOT of prints from this review category!!

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Tips for success

From Karen Hill

1

Everybody Loves a Sale!

Everybody loves a sale! Some photographers choose to offer custom-timed sales for each of their individual galleries, but I prefer to have just two big sales per year for ALL of my galleries at once: I have a midsummer sale and another sale about a month before Christmas. These big sales provide a great incentive to get my clients back to the site to order more!

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2

Encourage Print Purchases

There are a couple of different philosophies amongst photographers about print sales, but I prefer to encourage them. Using a service like Instaproofs to handle my print sales makes accepting and fulfilling print orders a snap. Even if most of your revenue comes from your session fees and pre-paid packages, receiving print sales on the side is simple way to add an additional revenue stream to your business.

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3

Password Protected Events

My clients' privacy is important to me, and password protecting their galleries allows me to give them control over who sees their images and who doesn’t. Occasionally people will email me for the password to their events, and I keep them really simple so they're super easy for me to remember for each event.

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Tips for success

From Jason Weaver

1

Sales & Specials

Everyone loves to get a great deal, and folks shopping for photography are no exception. Use Instaproofs' powerful marketing, visitor tracking, and bulk email tools to run specials all year round. You don't have to wait for a major holiday either. Your clients will love it, and you will watch your print orders jump every time.

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2

Organize & Categorize

One of my absolute favorite things about Instaproofs is how user friendly it is. However, people can't buy what they can't find. Make sure to create plenty of relevant categories so that your guests know where to find the photos they are looking to buy. Your photography storefront needs to be as appealing and as easy to use as possible, so take a few minutes with each event to organize and categorize your images.

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3

Shoot to Sell

Although the majority of event shooters are offering documentary style coverage, you should also be taking advantage of obvious groups and pairings that present themselves throughout the course of the day as well. See the flower girl playing with her Mom and Dad? Take a minute to get some great candids, and then take another 15 seconds to get the family together for an impromptu family portrait. Not only will the Bride and Groom appreciate you documenting their guests, but you'll end up selling more prints to the extended family as well.

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Visit Jason’s Storefront