You may find this surprising, maybe even hard to believe, but capturing amazing imagery is NOT the most important part of a photographer’s job. Granted, you don’t want to deliver lackluster photos, but there’s something else that will always trump the quality of your pictures — your clients’ experience.

An important aspect of that client experience is the online proofing process since that is, for many clients, the first time they see their photos after a shoot.  This moment, with all of the excitement and emotion, gives you a chance to make a lasting positive impression and create raving clients.

Here are 5 Online Proofing Tips to Improve Your Client Experience (and Save You Time):

1. Integrate your proofing with your website

The first step toward making your clients’ experience favorable is making it convenient. The less disruptive the experience is to your clients’ daily lives, the better.

A beautiful, fully integrated image proofing system will simplify your client experience and help you deliver a better product.   Try using services like Format that offer website hosting and proofing all in one so that the experience is seamless.  This will also save you the money of subscribing to multiple services.

With a proofing gallery integrated into your website, you can minimize the hoops clients have to jump through to see their images. Clients can visit your site and proof their images in one location without having to follow links across the Internet.

This feature also allows you, the photographer, to more easily keep track of all of your files as they are centrally located. You do not have to use a separate service to get your images proofed.

2. choose a service that allows Secure Sharing

Adding a layer of protection when sharing your files also adds a layer of professionalism. Some clients, especially those who do not want their images featured on blogs or social media, will perceive added value in secured galleries.

Create custom passwords to access private proofing galleries

Proofing galleries can be set to be password protected for you and your clients’ peace of mind. Depending on the settings you choose, only those who have the password will be able to access your portfolio whenever it is set to “private.”

3. use “Favoriting” in your workflow

With a Format-built portfolio, favorites are denoted with yellow stars

With the “favoriting” feature, you can easily see which images your clients prefer. This feature is as easy to use as flipping a switch, which is all you have to do to activate it.

Easily toggle the “favoriting” switch on or off with the click of a button

After your client has favorited a set of images, you will be notified via email so that you can respond in a timely manner and take the next step in your workflow, whatever that may be. For example, if you offer design consultations as part of your package in order to sell images to your clients in print form, you can use this information to create slideshows, wall art mock-ups, and album samples. You’ll have the added advantage of knowing your clients already love the images you’re using.

4. use Downloading & Watermarking features

In this digital age of photography, protecting your work can be challenging, especially when sharing your images online. Luckily, when it comes to sharing your work with clients for the purpose of proofing, you have several options to keep your work secure.

With Format’s proofing feature, you can control and monitor downloadable images and add a watermark if necessary during the proofing process to discourage unauthorized sharing.

For controlling downloads, simply choose one of three downloading options. Depending on the option you choose, your clients can have either full, limited, or no access to download files from your gallery. Clients with access to full size downloads will enjoy the luxury of downloading their images directly from the gallery. In the past, photographers would have to send links from other sites, but that’s no longer necessary with Format’s proofing tool.

When it comes to inserting watermarks on the images you share to be proofed, you actually have multiple easy-to-use options. With a quick swipe of the sliders, you can adjust the size and opacity of the watermark (see below).

You can also control the watermark’s position on the image to make the mark more or less conspicuous (as demonstrated above).

5. create & Update Galleries from Lightroom

Integration with Lightroom eliminates another step when exporting and sharing images. This will save you time and allow you deliver your clients’ images more quickly, which is a win-win for everyone. With Format, all you have to do is download and install a special plugin, and then sign in to Format through Lightroom’s Publishing Manager (see below).

You can then sync the Format Publisher plugin with your Lightroom catalog and update your online proofing galleries with a quick and easy export.


By taking advantage of the proofing tool’s features, photographers can spend more time creating inspiring images and less time handling administrative tasks. Perhaps the biggest benefit comes in the form of client satisfaction because their lives are made easier with the convenience this feature provides. After all, making the client’s experience positive is always a top priority.

What are some other ways you can improve your clients’ experience and make all of your lives better during the process?



This is a sponsored post for Format. The opinions stated are my own. Format is not affiliated with nor endorses any other products or services mentioned.