Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Web Services For Pros
Reduce your workload while improving services for your clients
Imagine the increased profit of selling images you make during an event—a portrait, a wedding, a large corporate function—to hundreds of potential buyers instead of the small circle of people who originally set up the shoot. By uploading your images to a website, anyone to whom you give access can view and purchase these images. If your portrait studio is in Denver, for example, a family member living in New York City can easily order an 11x14-inch print. Beyond the obvious advantage of making the extra sale, there's also the plus of providing an important service for your clients—you take care of their worries about getting a print out to everyone who wants one.
New Internet-based companies can set it all up for you, and you don't need to know how to build a website yourself to take advantage of the service. The process is designed to be simple so that you can spend your time shooting instead of building websites. You send your web service the images from a particular shoot by e-mail or on a disk, and they set up a virtual gallery for your clients to view and purchase prints. Other products, like picture mugs, can be offered as well.
For a busy professional, these web services can be a lifesaver. You won't have to take your time to make separate watermarked proof images because the web service will handle it for you. As your volume increases, the web services will become more and more valuable to you.
How It Works
During the shoot, you collect e-mail addresses. These could be the relatives of that portrait sitting, the guests at a wedding or the attendees of a large corporate event. It's easy to gather the names; all you have to do is prepare a sign-in sheet with your letterhead on top and a simple statement informing them that they're signing up so you can let them know where to view the pictures.
After the shoot, upload your images or send them on a disk to your web service. With some services, you send the full-sized images and the service will resize them appropriately for the web. With other services, you size the images yourself; since that's something Photoshop can do automatically, it's not very involved and you then can easily upload even a large number of files.