We love it when our photographers share their stories and tell us how using ShootProof makes their workflows run smoothly. So when Lance Nicoll of Nicoll’s Wedding Photography wanted to share the way his studio uses his ShootProof galleries, social media, and other methods to keep the momentum of the day going, we were eager to listen. Read on to get some insight into how this busy studio keeps brides and their families interested, excited, and engaged.
“The four weeks that our wedding clients wait to see their final images can be long and we know they simply cannot WAIT to see the final products. Because of this, we use a schedule to ensure that they’re given just enough sneak peeks and happy reminders along the way to keep the anticipation building of what’s to come.
BEFORE THE WEDDING: Engagement Session Gallery is Live. For engagement shoots and bridal shoots, we set up a proofing gallery in ShootProof, where we post images that have only been lightly batch-edited in Lightroom. Our clients are involved in making their selects – the images we will edit and deliver in high-resolution – by Favoriting the images they’d like to keep. Once they’ve chosen these, we edit and create another gallery of just the edited images, and clients are given the opportunity to download and purchase prints.
THREE DAYS AFTER THE WEDDING: First post on Facebook. Engaging the bride and groom, their families, and their social networks is important very early on. We post a sneak peek and some kind words; we like to begin with Facebook because it often reaches a larger audience than other social media networks. We’re sure to tag the bride, groom, and our business page in the post.
SEVEN DAYS AFTER THE WEDDING: First Post on Instagram. Being photographers, Instagram is our favorite social media platform. Because the audience is different but can certainly overlap, we choose to post a different photo on Instagram.
TEN DAYS AFTER THE WEDDING: Cluster of Images on Facebook. This is a small group of images from a particular event from the day, like the first dance or some getting ready shots. We are able to engage the audience directly related to that wedding by including taggable images, so we tag who we can (bride, groom, bridal party if possible) and then inevitably they share the photo grouping to their larger social networks.
TWO WEEKS AFTER THE WEDDING: Additional Instagram Posts. Ideally, we want to continue to make contact via social media with our bride and with the other people and companies involved with the wedding. Sometimes it’s a challenge in peak months to continue to give so much attention to one wedding, but we think it’s key to keep giving clients something to grab onto while they wait for their final images.
THREE WEEKS AFTER THE WEDDING: ShootProof Gallery Goes Live. When the clients’ wedding files are ready, we send off an excited email with a link to their private Shootproof gallery. Because we still deliver digitals physically, we choose to turn on the free digital downloads in the gallery, but do not use the “Download All” feature yet. (We like for there to be a reason for the client to look forward to receiving their digital files in the mail!) Clients generally download a few of their favorites and share them on Facebook, as well as share the gallery link with friends and family.
We do set a PIN for digital access. Our rationale behind the PIN is to make the gallery feel special to them; it gives them some ownership of the images and while they can share the gallery with whomever they choose, many will opt not to give the PIN to others.
The ability to create a gallery and allow clients to use the labeling feature is also great for wedding album creation. When it comes to designing the album. we love our clients to have as much input as they would like. So, having them select their images via their Shootproof gallery is a great way for them to let us know which images they would love to see in their heirloom piece.
FOUR WEEKS AFTER THE WEDDING: Digital File Delivery & Gift Box Sent. After we check the gallery visitors page and know the client has seen their images and is happy with them, we mail out a custom wooden gift box. The box includes a flash drive with all of their high-res digital files and a small stack of 4×6 prints that we choose. Our brides and grooms generally don’t know they are receiving the gift box, so we almost always receive a very happy email from them. The element of surprise there is well worth the wait!
SIX WEEKS AFTER THE WEDDING: “Download All” Turned On. After they have received their files, we let our couples know that we have included a Download All feature in their gallery in case they misplace their files and that they can now order prints directly from the gallery. We convert the Shootproof gallery from a purely visual presentation device to a functional one that will fulfill their prints and serve as a backup to their digital files.
Overall, we find that sticking to a gallery and social media schedule not only helps with planning on our end, but allows us to give the same attention to all of our brides and grooms. This, in turn, means a positive experience with our company, more word-of-mouth referrals, and an overall thought of happiness when they reflect back on their wedding portrait experience.”
Lance Nicoll is a Fine Art Wedding Photographer living in New Orleans, LA who has been using ShootProof for over three years. He picked up his first camera in 2005 as an undergrad at Tulane University and has been shooting weddings for the past six years. When he’s not taking photos, he works as a staff writer for Fstoppers and teaches photography at a college in New Orleans.