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Gear & Apps

How To Notify Wedding or Event Guests When Images Are Ready

By Anthony Thurston on March 28th 2014

It is a problem that you simply have to deal with if you are a wedding or event photographer. How to collect guest emails so that you can notify them when the event images are finished.

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In many wedding cases, this duty may fall to the bride and groom, but why pass the buck onto them? They should be busy spending time together, not worrying about emailing all of their family and friends when your images are ready to be seen.

The better option is to take care of this yourself, by notifying guests via email when the images are ready (after the bride and groom approve of course). The problem is, and has always been, how to collect those emails and make sure they are sent when the online gallery is ready.

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There are two simple ways that have always worked well in the past, having a signup sheet or some sort of digital signup via form on a laptop or something. These are both effective ways of getting the information, but it still adds quite a bit of work for you to notify these guests in when the event gallery is ready.

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In the case of the paper signup form, you have to deal with bad handwriting and having to manually digitize the emails. This takes time and can lead to important people not getting notified if you can’t read their handwriting. Similarly, the problem with a digital signup form, like a Google Drive form that inputs the info into a spreadsheet, is that the information still needs to be moved around when it is time to notify the guests.

Until recently, these have pretty much been your only options for collecting this information, and they have worked. But now there is a better way, at least in my opinion.

iPad Event Emails App

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My friends over at ShootProof just released their new iPad Event Emails App, which basically makes this all so easy that you will never have to worry about guests not getting emails again.

You download the app to your iPad and then, before you head out to your wedding or event you connect the app to an “event” that you have created. Then while you are at the event guests can sign up to get emailed when the images are ready right from your cool iPad app. The best part is that no Internet connection is required, the app simply collects the email addresses and then the next time the app is connected to the Internet, it automatically updates your ShootProof event.

Then after the event, when the images are ready, all you need to do is log into your ShootProof account and press a button to notify the pre-registered guests that the images are ready. Simple, Efficient, and Effective.

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It is that simple. No having to manually type in email addresses, No having to manually create an email list with guest information that you collected via a web signup form. Just press a button and you are good to go.

You can even customize the app to match your brand, and in the case of a wedding event you can have the image displayed be from an engagement shoot to catch the guests attention.

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This does not have to be used just for weddings either! If you shoot events, maybe a high school prom or family reunion, this could  be an invaluable tool to get your images in front of the eyes that matter. Not only from a print ordering perspective, but also from a lead generation perspective.

Don’t have an iPad, you can get one fairly inexpensively! The latest iPad Air with Retina is roughly $500 for the WiFi Only model on B&H. But, and I know this from experience, if you want to purchase the 4G LTE model from Verizon you can make low monthly payments of like $30 a month and get $100 off the normal price. Not a bad deal if you want to be able to do this and don’t already have an iPad.

I could never go back to using a paper signup form or a laptop and webpage. This iPad app really makes things too easy. It is just another reason why I love ShootProof, they are constantly evolving and adding new and exciting features. You can learn more about this iPad app here, or signup to try ShootProof for free here.

**And no, they don’t pay me to say this stuff. I actually do use them and I love their product!**

 

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. David Lamb

    This may be a dumb question, but why use a company where all of your clients are going to end up going to ShootProof’s site instead of yours?  Does it somehow also count as traffic to your site? Maybe there is something I am missing. Thank you for your time.

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  2. Lukasz

    My question is do you really have a time during the wedding to go around and ask your client’s quests to sign up to the mailing list? I agree with Scott is way better and less intrusive to leave a nice looking business cards behind. I rather capture some beautiful shots than chasing people for their email addresses but this is just my opinion :)

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    • Daniel Fugaciu

      I would put it on the bar or an area of attraction like a memories table etc. and just keep an eye on it. I’m thinking of a cheap android device with no data on except that.

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  3. Lukas

    This idea is cool. And for those who don’t want to signup and pay for proofing service, there is a free solution: Mailchimp.com + Chimpadeedo App. Does exactly the same thing.

    But I have a a bigger problem – how to secure an iPad left without attendance???

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    • Daniel Fugaciu

      I was just thinking of mailchimp. Brilliant! There’s an antitheft lock case for ipads on amazon Lukas. I have an old ipad 2 that I don’t care much for and will use that. Of course with my bride and grooms permission.

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  4. Susan B.

    This really is a great idea. Leaving behind cards works sometimes, but then you have to hope the guests don’t lose the card or more likely forget about it a week later and never visit your site. Seems to me this will definitely increase sales to guests. Looks nice too.

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  5. Rick Denham

    First off, you have to be a shoot proof client, I would assume. So, this would only benfit people who are with shoot proof or thinking about joining them. With that being said, unless this is a paid post, you should probably include “shoot proof” in the title somewhere as it is very misleading.

    Second, Scott nailed the best option right on the head. Leave it in the hands of the guests with a business card and a link to the b+g’s site. It gets your name out there, not everyone has a iphone so anyone with an android is out of luck, and plus you only get the people interested in the pictures looking at the site. Make the site with an “email” login, and you’re golden. If the images aren’t up yet then you notify them when they are.

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  6. Scott Spellman

    It is far less intrusive and much more likely to lead to referrals if you simply create the gallery before the event, get the url, and print it on a classy business card with the name of the couple, an estimated date as to when they will be available, and your website. The cards can be left on the tables, given out on request, or included in the wedding favors somehow.

    Many people are sensitive to giving out their email or personal information, and this is a personalized approach does not feel like marketing.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      That is true Scott, I think that using both options are a good way to go. That way you get a physical card in guests hands, but at the same time you can collect emails addresses for people who are ok with that. The problem with not having any email collection is that it leaves the notification process up to the bride/groom or the guest to find out when the images are ready. Personally I would much rather take it out of their hands where possible, the more eyes on the images, the better your chance of selling some.

      Part of what I like about the iPad app is that it gives you the opportunity to customize the look for each event you sync with it. So you for “wedding A” the app could look one way and for “wedding B” or “Prom A” it could look completely different. As you mentioned with the cards, it helps to give it a personal touch (especially if you use images from the couples engagement session) and makes it look a whole lot less like marketing.

      Thanks for the comment!

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