Client galleries: what is the best way to send photos to clients?

Client galleries: what is the best way to send photos to clients?

One size does not fit all when it comes to sharing images or videos with a client. And why should it? Your assignments come in all shapes and sizes, and your client gallery should have the features to allow you to work with your clients smartly. Plus, the client experience should be the best possible, as it directly reflects on your business.

Even if you are thinking that the client gallery setup you have today is adequate, we encourage you to give this article a read.

Have you ever felt the need for more flexibility in how you organize and share your creative assets with your clients? Working as a professional photographer, your client assignments can be small, big, or somewhere in between.

There are many client galleries out there that do well in allowing clients to view and download images, but rarely will you find a platform that gives you the option to customize the access, download options, sales features and commenting as flexibly as PhotoDeck client galleries.

Read on for a rundown of how you can leverage that flexibility to share your work in a way that works best for both you and your clients!

Client gallery

Dedicated client photo galleries will not only make your life easier, but also make for a great first impression of your work. Clean design, good organization, and an intuitive interface – something file sharing services simply don’t offer.

Accessing and viewing a client gallery

When you are ready to share your work with your client, you will create a new gallery for the client or the project, allowing the client to view the images and videos on your website.

Straightforward, right? It is! And it’s by far the most common way to share images with clients.

What about a bigger shoot with many more images? How do you organize a shoot with multiple themes? While there are many ways to structure your client galleries, the most common solution is to create multiple sub-galleries for the different themes. This way, your images are nicely organized for your client to access and view without getting lost.

Quick file sharing

We know sometimes you just need to send a few images to a client in a specific format, and we have you covered. In just a few clicks an email with a download link will be off to your client – no need to create a gallery.

See how this works:

Sending photos to a client

Find the images you want to send to your client. This can be in a gallery, a lightbox or via the Media Library search. Simply select the files and use the Send button in the right-hand-side panel. You can add a personalized message to your client. A simple download link will be sent to your client with no need for logging in.

Password-protected gallery

Why should you bother with passwords? You might think that merely hiding a gallery and sharing a link with the client is an easier way to share images. Yes, only people who know, find or guess the link will find it – but is it secure enough?

Adding a password to the gallery is a simple way to protect your images that doesn’t involve any complicated setup. Simply create a password, and your client will use it to access the files.

Protecting a client gallery

This of course also means the client can easily share the password with others, which can either be a good or a bad thing. But at least this way, the password is shared at your client’s discretion.

Client gallery with personal login

If you want to dial up the security a notch with the gallery, you can. Your client can use a personal log-in and password to access the gallery. And it’s super easy, just indicate the client email address.

We’ve made it as seamless as possible for the client, and this provides the best protection and accountability for files that really shouldn’t fall into the wrong hands.

You can even give access to predefined client groups, like employees from the same client company, which is a time saver when sharing galeries that are not under a common client-specific gallery.

Next, let’s look at how the client galleries can cater to various workflows - viewing, downloading, buying, selecting, and commenting.

Downloading files

If it’s about downloading files “for free”, you can allow the files (or the whole gallery) to be downloaded directly from the gallery with the simple 1-click download option.

Allowing a client to download photos
Allowing a client to download photos

For more advanced needs, you can also specify to the pixel the size of files to make available, as well as rename the downloaded files and even update their metadata. In that case, clients will add individual images to their cart for download. This would result in them ordering a single ZIP archive.

The other nice thing about this option is that it offers you more follow-up and tracking opportunities. This option would add a few more steps for the client, though, since they need to go through the checkout process to complete the download.

And, did you know you can also let clients order images that are not retouched yet, and automatically deliver the files once they’re ready?

Selecting images

Our lightbox / selection feature allows clients to select images or videos and share that selection with you or others easily. The client can also use the Selection feature in conjunction with the download options.

It is handy for a single client to select images, but not only: it is a powerful collaboration tool, allowing your client to share a selection with their colleagues. It makes it possible for a group to select files across multiple galleries, modify the selections collaboratively, and add comments.

And don’t forget you can also create a selection yourself and send it to your client, from your backend admin space!

Client photo selection
A client photo selection

Selling files or a whole gallery

Looking to sell a few images? Or maybe you want to sell a whole gallery?

We give you the flexibility to sell the way you want to (and without commission!): entire galleries, individual files as downloads (high-res or lower res), prints, packages, etc. It’s your call!

Setting photo prices and options
Setting photo prices and options

Once you have created a gallery (password-protected and/or hidden) containing the images you want to sell, head over to My Business / E-commerce / Products & prices to create a pricing profile to sell individual images.

You can either self-fulfill the prints or use one of our printing partners for automatic print fulfillment. Once you’ve created the pricing profile, assign it to your images using the Prices link in your gallery and you’re all set to sell the prints.

The same Price panel also lets you sell the whole gallery according to your preferences!

Having a client order files to retouch/edit

In many cases, you might want the client to order (or purchase for a given price) images or videos that have not been edited/retouched yet, and retouch files before delivering them.

After a shoot, you might for example do a first quick selection on your computer and put online for the client to review a large batch of unedited files (out-of-camera JPGs or quickly converted RAWs). The client will ultimately need and order only a few of them, and these will need to be retouched into their final versions.

That’s easy with PhotoDeck, where each file can be assigned a PROOF or FINAL state, for example already at the time of upload. Only images/videos in FINAL states will be automatically delivered, and ordered PROOF files can be retouched before delivering them in a couple of clicks.

Media lifecycle states client library
In this example gallery, the client can purchase the retouching of images, and freely download images that are already edited.

It is even possible to combine selling files for retouching while letting a client download for free previously edited ones, given them a good reason to keep coming back to you and your website!

Comments from clients

What better way to get client feedback than directly from the image or gallery in question?

We made it easy for you and your clients to exchange views and feedback straight from the gallery. If you allow it, your client can comment on individual images, or on a gallery. No more out-of-context emails or lost comments!

You can enable comments on any gallery via the MORE menu, with multiple levels of permissions.

Putting it all together

All these features can be combined in multiple ways, this is what makes PhotoDeck so flexible. Here are a couple of typical examples:

Wedding / portrait - letting a private customer download their images

For portrait photographers, it often comes down to allowing your clients to easily view and download their images.

In this scenario, the first step is to create a gallery. A good start for this is the Private gallery with general password gallery preset.

Private client gallery template in PhotoDeck
Private client gallery template in PhotoDeck

You can use the Authorizations panel to allow anyone with the password to download the high-res files, protecting the images while being very easy for the clients.

Alternatively, you can sell the images via individual pricing, or sell the gallery as a whole.

Once your images are uploaded, you can use the Send by email button to easily share a link to the gallery with your client.

Corporate / commercial - letting professional clients select and download files

Setting up a gallery for professional clients often comes with a specific set of requirements, such as increased security and a bigger focus on function over form.

For this, we’ve created the Protected gallery for professional clients gallery preset. Not only does this make the gallery private, but also uses the Proofing gallery display style to show more image information.

The Authorizations options make it easy to give specific permissions to individual clients. Login-based authentication also allows you to better track clients’ activity on your website, such as who is downloading what files. You can also allow both high- and low-res downloads, depending on the client’s needs.

Since privacy is also important for commercial clients, it may be a good idea to set your gallery (and other client galleries) to “hidden”. This ensures that your clients can’t see what other clients you’re working with.

Need to have your client select images, either by himself or collaborately with colleagues? The Lightbox feature will make it easy!

And if you so wish, by using the images/videos' PROOF and FINAL states, you can also allow yourself to retouch ordered unedited files before their delivery.

Online proofing for photo agencies

PhotoDeck also supports more complex projects where some people can have restricted access to the backend itself. This way, you can deliver files to clients from a single website, even when working with multiple contributors and different clients.

Creating multiple libraries within the same PhotoDeck account helps make sure that a contributor only sees the projects they have access to and prevents accidental edits.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out our offering for photo agencies and feel free to contact us!

Whether you’re a wedding photographer, corporate photographer, or a photo agency, your client assignments will require you to tailor the image sharing, proofing, selecting and downloading to best suit your client’s reality.

As a PhotoDeck community member, you’ll have all the flexibility you need to offer your clients the best possible experience. And, most importantly, these features are easy to use.

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