Although the winning feature of Instagram is its social networking…
“PhotoShelter totally changed my life.”
We recently caught up with documentary photojournalist and event photographer Angela Jimenez to learn about her business — everything from her workflow to how she makes her clients’ lives easier, and how she uses PhotoShelter to make it all happen.
Delivering images to clients in a way that works for them
Angela is a huge fan of PhotoShelter’s password-protected galleries — she uses them 90% of the time to create private client collections and deliver free high-res downloads. “I’m actually phasing out sending people disks, so I find password-protected galleries to be really, really helpful because of the batch download capability. Sending DVDs is so cumbersome, and I feel like people are ready to get away from that,” she says.
Angela starts off by creating a collection for each of her clients. Then, she sets up galleries for individual jobs. This way, her clients have access to all the work she’s done for them in one place. “Each time I add a gallery to the collection I’ll resend them the link and password,” says Angela. “It’s so great, because it’s easy for both the client and for me. And, it looks like my business. I think that’s so much better than using a straight image delivery service.”
One might argue that allowing free high-res downloads detracts from sales, but Angela has had a lot of success selling prints via her PhotoShelter website. Personally ensuring the highest quality prints is a big priority for her. So, she uses PhotoShelter’s self-fulfillment tools to receive and review all of her print orders, which she then sends directly to MPix, the print lab of her choice. Self-fulfillment provides Angela the freedom to create the products she wants to sell — directly through her site — and work with any print vendor to fulfill them.
Crowdfunding a project
It doesn’t simply start and stop with print orders, though. “I totally crowdfunded a self-published book through my PhotoShelter site,” says Angela. “I used PhotoShelter to pre-sell it while I was still printing it, and raised half of the money I needed to print.”
To do this, she uploaded an image of the book cover and priced it as a self-fulfilled product, which allowed her to add in a description of the book and more information about what the buyer was actually purchasing. Then, just like with her print sales, she received each book order directly, and handled the eventual shipping herself offline.
And getting paid!
To help minimize any possible friction for her clients throughout the checkout process, Angela plugs her merchant account right into her website’s shopping cart. This way, clients have one seamless, trusted experience when purchasing her work.
Angela has also used her merchant account to receive payments for direct invoices and services like portrait bookings. She uses her PhotoShelter website’s custom pages to house rate information, and has a button which sends clients directly to a payment form served by her merchant provider.
Making it a breeze for clients
PhotoShelter’s tools make it easy for Angela to sell, but what do her clients think?
“I have a really good sense of how my existing clients work with my site,” she says. “I think it works great. In fact, I think it’s one of the things that works the best. Out of all my processes of working with people, it’s really clean, it’s really professional, it always works, and if a client has a question about anything – you guys have awesome technical support!”
One of Angela’s favorite parts about having all of her work online with a system like PhotoShelter? Pure accessibility.
“It’s essential that, when people contact you, you’re able to respond quickly. Especially now, the expectation is that you’re able to respond really fast, even just to resend a link. Or, say you’re out on a project for a week and someone orders prints, unless you have a studio staff, you have to be able to do it from wherever you are – and don’t let them see the wizard behind the curtain!”
All of the PhotoShelter tools and features Angela uses on a daily basis have been truly indispensable in paving her yellow brick road. “I’m hounding several friends to join PhotoShelter because they’re trying to shoot more, and I keep telling them they have to have their work online. You have to put your work out there. If people don’t see what you’re doing, they’re not going to call you to do it.”