Updated: Jun 10, 2019
I've often wondered if it really mattered to my clients how I delivered my products to them after their event. The reality is that it wasn't that long ago that I used to save all of the event photos on a customized USB thumb drive, package them, and send the package thru the mail.
I could have easily done it online. I had the means especially since I already had SmugMug. However, I didn't like how SmugMug presented my galleries. I've been a SmugMug user since 2006 and they're amazing! When I was still focused mostly on event and portrait photography, SmugMug was my choice. These days, I still maintain my membership but I use them mostly for prints but I think even that will change pretty soon. I've been pretty loyal to SmugMug mainly due to the fact that they're local to the Bay Area and Chris and Don MacAskill are pretty cool guys!
Cool fact: Did you know SmugMug bought Flickr just recently?
In October of 2015, I joined Pixieset and made it my main proofing gallery that I send to my clients. My focus is different these days though as I switched my business from event photography to photo booths. Pixieset was great! I even wrote about how I loved Pixieset. But then I realized what appears to be a minor thing for most photographers but something that means a lot more for photo booth entrepreneurs.
Pixieset lacked GIF integration and support! Over the last year, I've been asking their support on when they would finally integrate GIFs in their galleries but my requests have fallen on deaf ears. A quick search in the Facebook Group forums revealed that a lot of members have been asking for it since 2015 (maybe even before that perhaps).
About six months ago, I added two selfie ringlight booths to our fleet of booths. The ringlight booths boasts the capability of creating standard photos, GIFs, and boomerang videos. Pixieset was still unresponsive at this point so I broadened my search for a gallery that had GIF integration and support. Then, through a friend on Facebook, I found CloudSpot and guess what? They have GIF support on their galleries!
These days, I'm only using CloudSpot for my main proofing and presentation galleries. While there isn't the perfect proofing and presentation gallery company out there, CloudSpot meets almost all of my requirements.
So do you want to know why I switched? Here are a few of my reasons:
First impressions are the best! When your client first opens the gallery link you send them, this is the image that pops up on their screen. I love how the cover photo captures the entire screen and the layout is super simple and minimalist.
Once inside the album, the menu is easy to navigate. Each of the galleries are clearly marked at the top of the page making it easy to jump from one gallery to the next. Create as many galleries as you need for your events. Do you need a gallery just for your clients to select their images from? Go ahead. Create as many as you want. No one's counting.
Tech support is AMAZING! The Community is even BETTER! Gavin and Diane are superb! They respond to their onsite chat sessions and Facebook Group inquiries within a few hours if not minutes. I've personally had conversations with Gavin on Messenger and I think it's great that he makes the time to speak with his clients to ensure everything is working smoothly for all of us. The Facebook Group on the other hand has been incredibly helpful along the way too. While it's almost to be anticipated that every member of the group tries to help each other out, I think Gavin's active presence in the group has helped elevate the support network.
They help with the heavy lifting Do you have hundreds of galleries? No worries. They'll do the heavy lifting and will migrate all of your old galleries into your CloudSpot account. What could be easier?
Pricing to fit your needs I have a friend who doesn't pay for her galleries and she's been using it for about a year now. CloudSpot has a 1gb tier available for the novice user for pretty much nothing in fees except for their CloudSpot branding shown in her galleries. Personally, I use the Lite Plan which consists of 15gb of storage, unbranded galleries, and 0% commission on any sale I make through my galleries. My plan is also highly customizable.
Workflows that promotes efficiency. Once a gallery is ready to be sent to the client, all I had to do is select the appropriate email template from a number of templates I've created and I'm set. Gone are the days of writing the same email over and over again. There are also workflows that automatically sizes images. Let's imagine that you're done with the event but your client hasn't paid you in full? No worries. You can either lock a gallery down to only send them smaller, lower resolution files or you can prevent them from downloading the images altogether.
GIF integration! I know that while CloudSpot is geared more towards photographers, there are a growing number of photographers turned photo boothers such as myself and GIFs are equally as important to us to display. I can now deliver TIFF, PNG, PDF, PSD, Ai, and GIF files in my galleries. I'm simply not limited to just JPG and RAW these days. Your Brand and Yours Alone Upgrade to at least the Lite Plan and your clients will only see your logo, your colors, and experience your brand. The best part of their brand integration is that I've actually embedded my CloudSpot galleries within my website so it appears that it's something I designed and wrote. Take a look out our branded CloudSpot gallery seamlessly integrated on our site.
I hope you've enjoyed reading through my thoughts about CloudSpot and the reasons I've migrated my galleries to their site. Give it a try and see for yourself. As an added BONUS, here's an amazing 25% off your first year’s subscription cost PLUS free image migration! Just click the link below. https://www.snapboxsf.com/cloudspot
That's all for now. If you liked this blog, be sure to let me know in the comments below. We love to hear what you think.
Ciao and happy boothing!