Preparing photos for a magazine? Reviewing your shots after a wedding? Photo proofing is a key stage in the photography process – when you get to evaluate the shots, select the best photos, and perform the relevant edits.
Some people might think a photographer’s job is to point and shoot. However, the creative process continues long after the photoshoot. Even regular people now curate and edit their photos before posting them on social media.
Part of this process is collaboration with the client – be it a newly married couple, glossy magazine, or leading enterprise. Previously, this was a complicated back-and-forth involving endless email chains. No longer. Below, we explore how digital photo proofing platforms are revolutionizing the feedback and editing stage.
What is Photo Proofing?
Photo proofing is the final stage in the photography process before the photos are published, printed, or sent to the client for final delivery.
Like similar proofing stages in other creative industries, photography proofing involves identifying mistakes or errors. However, as photographers cannot go back and retake new photos, they’ll usually select the best shots and edit the images in specialized software, e.g., Photoshop.
Modern online proofing practices allow photographers to share the shots with clients earlier in the process, receiving comments and recommendations. That means when the final delivery occurs, clients are more satisfied with the finished result.
Limitations of Traditional Photo Proofing Methods
Before online proofing platforms, traditional photo proofing methods were as cumbersome as they were confusing. It’s odd to call email traditional; however, for almost 20 years, it was the mainstay of proofing.
Photographers completed their shots and sent them to clients in an email attachment. Sometimes, there were dozens, even hundreds, of photos to go through. Clients struggled to wade through them all. If they did reply, they simply selected the particular shots they liked. Delivering in-depth feedback on the shots was nigh impossible.
The same was true of conventional mail and other traditional proofing methods.
Traditional methods often led to a breakdown in communication and a lack of detailed feedback. As a result, photographers frequently had to redo work or make changes based on guesswork, adding to the project’s time and cost. This process was inefficient and frustrating for both parties, leading to a demand for more effective and streamlined photo-proofing solutions.
Digital Proofing Platforms – Advantages and Insights
Endless back-and-forth messages, confusing email chains, and vague feedback make traditional proofing methods a minefield for professional photographers. Online photo proofing platforms solve most of these issues.
Here are some of the main benefits:
- Expedited Feedback: Digital platforms enable instant communication, drastically reducing turnaround times for reviewing and providing feedback making the proofing process more dynamic and responsive.
- Cost Reduction: By eliminating the need for physical proofs, such as printing and mailing, digital photo proofing significantly cuts down on operational costs, benefiting both photographers and clients financially.
- Quick Implementation of Edits: Offers the ability to swiftly apply and review edits based on client feedback, enhancing the efficiency of the editing process and reducing the time to final product delivery.
- Enhanced Client Engagement: User-friendly digital interfaces encourage active client participation, allowing clients to easily select and comment on images, leading to a more satisfying and interactive experience.
- Organized Workflow Management: Efficiently manages large volumes of photos, providing tools for sorting, categorizing, and tracking changes, which helps maintain a structured and clear workflow.
Key Features of Digital Photo Proofing Platforms
So, what sets online photo-proofing platforms apart from the older methods? Why should photographers change over?
Well, unlike communication mediums like email or conventional mail, digital photo platforms are specifically designed for the proofing process. They include features like:
- Online Galleries: Provides cloud-based galleries for easy viewing and selection of images, accessible from any device with internet connectivity.
- Real-Time Commenting: Enables clients to give immediate feedback directly on the photos, facilitating a quick and clear communication channel.
- Easy-to-Use Annotation Tools: Offers intuitive tools for marking up photos, allowing clients to pinpoint specific areas needing changes or highlight features they like.
- Version Control: Keeps track of all versions of an image, ensuring both photographer and client are aware of the latest edits and revisions.
- Collaborative Editing: Allows multiple stakeholders to collaborate in real-time, making the proofing process more efficient and interactive.
- High-Resolution Image Support: Ensures the quality of images is not compromised, allowing for detailed review and accurate feedback.
- Customizable Access and Privacy Settings: Provides options to control who can view or comment on the photos, maintaining privacy and security.
- Automated Notifications: Sends alerts for new comments or edits, keeping all parties updated in real-time.
Finding the Perfect Proofing Platform
As you choose the ideal platform, think about your clientele’s needs and expectations. For wedding clients, online galleries and real-time commenting are key features that help them select the images for their wedding album. Whereas, a magazine will prioritize annotation tools, version control, and collaborative editing.
But it’s not just about the platform.
Set clear guidelines for feedback with clients. State what information you need to receive and how you want to receive it. Talk about how to use the platform’s tools and features and emphasize the importance of batch editing (using cloud storage) to speed up the overall process.
Elevate Your Photography With Ashore
Photography goes beyond capturing images; it’s about fine-tuning each shot to reflect a story or vision. This process involves not just the photographer’s skill, but also a close collaboration with clients. The shift from traditional methods to digital platforms has simplified this interaction, making it more streamlined and effective. This modern approach not only makes the workflow smoother but also ensures that the final images align closely with the client’s expectations.
Ashore streamlines this collaborative effort. With contextual commenting and useful mark-up tools, your clients can provide specific feedback on each image, making their communication clear and targeted. Ashore also makes it easy to see every change that’s been made. With version management, you and your clients can easily keep track of all the edits and revisions. And with the side-by-side comparison tool, clients can easily compare different versions, making it easier to choose the final edit.
From start to finish, Ashore is designed to make the photo proofing process not just more efficient, but also more collaborative and enjoyable for both photographers and their clients. Sign up for a free account and get started today.