Why I Chose ShootProof for my Online Proofing Needs

App Reviews March 18th 2013 11:14 AM 11 Comments

There are many online proofing websites out there, two of the most popular being SmugMug and Zenfolio. After trying out both of the above mentioned websites I decided to keep looking. Not being one to bash things, I will not talk about those sites other than to say that they simply were not what I was looking for.

I was looking for something simple that I could integrate with my workflow easily through Lightroom and my WordPress powered website. One of the services that I came across after leaving both SmugMug and Zenfolio was this website called ShootProof, and after just a few weeks of using the service I was sold on it.

ShootProof

What is ShootProof and what sets them apart?

ShootProof is a different sort of proofing website, they are not supported by commissions or setup fees and every level of account has access to every feature they have. I was so happy to not have to upgrade my service just to get this or that feature, all I had to be concerned with was if my quota of images would be enough for my business needs.

When you sign up for ShootProof you can choose from one of their 5 plans ranging from 100 images for free to 50,000 images for $60 per month. After that you can customize the look of your proofing site, setup a custom domain name, create price lists for print orders, and much more. If for any reason you decide that you need more or less images on your plan you can always upgrade or downgrade your account easily and instantly through your studio control panel.

ShootProof

My Workflow with ShootProof

One of the biggest things that got me hooked on ShootProof was the ease of adding it into my workflow. So I thought I would talk a little bit about my workflow. I am a Portrait and Sports Photographer, but I do the majority of my proofing for portraits in person. The Sports is where I take advantage of the ShootProof gallery.

After I am home from shooting a sporting event, usually youth or high school, I sit down with a nice cold beverage and get to work. I go through the images and cull any shots that are out of focus, badly composed, or just not up to my standards. After the culling process I go through and rank the images 1 to 3 stars. Images ranked 1 go up on ShootProof, Images ranked 2 get featured on my Blog, and Images ranked 3 get added to my Portfolio.

Once I figure out which images are going to be used for what I start the basic editing process. Since sports photography is a game of time, I do as little as possible to each image. To help in this endeavor I utilize the SLR Lounge Preset System, and make any changes to the images as needed on a case by case basis.

shoot-proof-site3

The Lightroom Plugin

Once I am happy with the images as a group I upload them to ShootProof via the handy dandy Lightroom Plugin that they provide. This plugin is one of the best that I have used for uploading to a web service. I can create and add albums to the event gallery right from lightroom without ever having to go online. It is a huge time saver and one of the biggest selling points to me for ShootProof.

ShootProof Lightroom Plugin

Print Ordering

Another great selling point for ShootProof is the Print Ordering system. In your studio control panel you get to create price lists and attach them to different galleries. As part of that system you also get to choose from 4 different options for print fulfillment, ShootProof has partnered with BayPhoto, Black River Imaging, and ProDPI. If you do your own prints, or have another printer that you prefer you can select to self-fulfill your orders. If you go through one of ShootProof’s partners all your clients have to do is order and the prints will be shipped directly to them (or you, depending on how you set it up). If you opt to take care of the prints yourself, then you will receive an email with the print order and the client’s information.

ShootProof Ordering

Final Thoughts

I already have a website to promote my photography, I love that ShootProof doesn’t try to take over my website as well as my proofing. Their system is easy to setup – It literally took me about 10 minutes to get mine going – and even easier to use. I was even able to setup a widget on my WordPress powered website where clients could enter their email or password and be automatically directed to their proofing gallery. Its just so simple and convenient that I can’t believe I ever did it differently.

I think the way that images are displayed to clients is the best that I have seen. It is easy to navigate for them and print ordering is simple, and I love that I can take a look at what images people are liking the most (Through the studio control panel you can view each individual visitors “favorites” list).

Lastly, if you are currently with another proofing service and feel stuck since you have already paid for the service fear not, shoot proof has a solution. They have this unique competitor match program where if you switch to ShootProof while you are still with another proofing service they will give you credit on your ShootProof plan for the remaining balance on your old proofing service.

If you are in the market for a great proofing website that doesn’t try to be anything more than that, then I highly recommend that you check out ShootProof.

 

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Anthony Thurston

About

Anthony Thurston is a portrait and sports photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area as well as a senior writer here at SLR Lounge. You can check out some of his work on his Website. You may also connect with him via Email, Google Plus, or Facebook.

11 Comments

  1. Craig Pettigrew

    Hi there,

    I was wondering if you could tell me more about the widget you use on your WordPress site for clients to login and get redirected to their shoot proof gallery. I’ve been looking for something like this for a long time. I’d love to know what the widget is and how you set it up?

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  2. ShootProof

    Craig- the widget can be set up to link ShootProof to your website so that clients can either find their event from a drop down on your site and/or just enter a password that you give them to be taken straight to their gallery from your website. The widget will take on the styling of your website…this article from our knowledge base will show you the 3 options for the widget and how it is set up: http://support.shootproof.com/entries/20949283-Website-Widget-for-Gallery-Access

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  3. Noah

    I’m trying to get started with ShootProof after reading a couple of blog posts like this and I just can’t over how limited the integration options are. I also have a WordPress site, and I want to use ShootProof’s galleries and cart without clients ever leaving my site. But because the widget is an iframe, it cuts off one side and shows scrollbars, even though I currently only have one gallery. If instead I just use it to link to ShootProof, the layout provides no customization for how to link back to the main site and the default options are fairly ugly. I would love to use something like ShootProof that was a fully featured ordering platform, but until the design aspects are brought up to date, I can’t justify including it on my site. Is there something I’m missing?

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    • Anthony T.

      Nope, not missing anything. Shootproof is a little more limited as far as design options go when compared to other providers. So if that is important to you then another service will probably fit you better. For me it is not such a big deal. I should note that they did just update their client view galleries and they look lots better now. Still not the level of customization that you are talking about though.

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    • Christopher Camp

      Just use the custom sub-domain option so that they really never leave your site or have to read “ShootProof” anywhere.

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  4. Barbara Semmel

    I am an amatuer photographer that would like to break into selling my photos using a site that I can sell and not have to do to much as I work a full time job, I see you are in Salem, I work in Salem and live in Albany. I do horse photography, you can see some of my stuff on KS Training Performance Horses, FB and on my own sight Barbara Semmel, FB. I have a Webset for KS Training but I don’t have time for it or knowlegable enough to keep it up, using an old program doesn’t help. I ran across Shootproof looking for somewhere to sell my stuff. I like that they don’t charge a commission for everything you sell plus a monthly/yearly fee. I am just getting started so I am not sure how much selling I will be doing right away, trying to keep my costs down. Sounds like you are pretty happy with them? Is it a “user friendly” program as I am not a computer whiz.

    Thanks for your imput

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  5. Jessica

    Thank you for sharing this post. I have been searching for a year for the right hosting site for my needs. I just found the ShootProof site today and I am so excited to try it out. I am a hair stylist, makeup artist, and photographer and I have been looking for an affordable way to link these all together into one site. I’m happy with my current website host {wix.com} because I can customize it the way I like. However they do not offer a lot of options for photographers. Since I am still pretty part time with the photography and still growing my business I do not need anything to crazy just yet. In fact I usually offer a cd of images to my clients. This site look like a great way to offer professional prints and a professional viewing gallery at a low cost. I tried pictage and smugmug and just wasn’t impressed with the cost and their website templates. I am not a website design wiz so I need something that is simple to navigate which is why I like wix. Do you know if clients can download images directly from the gallery? Is that a feature I could control pending the gallery?

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    • Walkiria

      Yes Ma’m,

      You can customize it to have your clients download the photographs. You have the option to charge them for the download or offer them for free.

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  6. Sherri

    I am thinking about the switch to ShootProof. Trying to understand more about how the lab, shipping payments work. These are charged to you as the photographer using one of your credit cards ??? I’m trying to understand from the time a client orders prints, etc. How these charges to photographer and profits to photographer are made ??? any help with the flow of that process would be appreciated. Thanks

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  7. Sharon Hamilton

    I am in the last process of using Shootproof for a Ball that I shot. I set up the gallery, added my name. I used self fulfillment . I am printing mine as a school pictures style. Pic a PAC . So i made my own packages. Affordable for these kids. I love the features it has. I am notified when the orders come in. I can see who has visited the site, added to the cart and favorites. Then I can send a templated email to the categories. It’s awesome! Credit card is so easy to set up and keeps track of you money. Deducts your charges and keeps a running total. I can’t say enough about this . It is perfect for me. If I am not needing to up load pictures for afew months, I back down to the free plan! Thank you SHOOTPROOF ,

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  8. Chris Turner - Smudged Photo

    I actually primarily signed up to shootproof for their Amazon integrated archiving option. As my business grew bigger and bigger, I struggled to find a system that would work as a backup for all my work.

    As I tend to only have client galleries online for 9/12 months, and Shootproof only counts active images as part of your plan I can archive the rest for 0.10c per gig per month. And I can bring them back online instantly if I ever need to.

    Perfect really and I can balance my plan with my backup and no longer have to worry about my computer crashing/losing shoots.

    The proofing/display/prints is almost and added bonus for me!

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