In this article I want to talk briefly about proofing photos with WordPress. For the scenario I am going to to use wedding photography as an example, but note that the same scenario can work for nearly all photography niches.
Photo Proofing in WordPress
Let's say that you just finished photographing a wedding. The next day you are importing the photographs, doing some minor corrections to it for color, contrast, exposure and so on. Or maybe you outsource the basic edits so you sent them away. Once completed you then upload the proofs to a NextGEN Gallery called "Jill & Ryan's Wedding."
Then you create a page for the wedding proofs, even if it has the same name. Using the built-in password system of WordPress you throw a password on the page so it's not visible to the public. If you use WordPress SEO by Yoast you can then hide the page from showing up in search engines by using Noindex/Nofollow and also prevent it from showing up in sitemaps.
The gallery you insert is a Pro Film Gallery with "Enable Proofs" and "Enable Ecommerce" turned on.
What you will see is two additional display triggers showing underneath each thumbnail in the Pro Film Gallery. One is a shopping cart for Ecommerce and the other a star for proofing.
The Ecommerce I have talked about previously, so I won't get into the details on that here. But I will mention it again a little later in this article. For the proofing aspect of this situation, the newly married couple can visit the password protected page and click on the star for each photograph they want edited for their album. When they click on a star it turns yellow, indicating it's a pick.
They can also click on the thumbnail to open the Pro Lighbox, comment on the photo, remove the star if they change their mind and so on.
When they are all finished they will have a bunch of yellow stars in the gallery. The next step is to click on the "Submit Proofs" button which will then prompt the couple for their name and email address. You, the photographer, will get an email with a link to their gallery, their name and email address. This is useful just in case the in-laws are also picking some photos as you can easily identify the differences. The same email will also contain two very important things.
- A comma separated list of all the file names, but with our file types. For example: dsc1234,dsc1342,dsc4563. The reason we did this is so that you can open your workflow software, like Lightroom, and do a quick search for all of the file names. If the filetypes were there then they would most likely be JPG where in your Lightroom catalog they are most likely to be a RAW format. So only searching for the file names makes it more efficient for everyone. You can then select all of the newly searched images and flash them however you need for organization.
- Also in the email is a compiled list of all the comments associated with each image. Only where a comment exists of course. The advantage of this is the ability to see where the couple requested a black and white conversion, skin touchups, Uncle Bob removal and so on.
WordPress Photo Proofing
Of course we did't want this to end there and we plan on adding more to the proofing section of NextGEN Pro.
I mentioned Ecommerce earlier and that I'd come back to that. The advantage of having the Ecommerce turned on in the same gallery is that now your customers can return to the gallery and purchase prints for each photo they also want printed. They had the ability to add photos to their shopping cart while browsing for the proofs. So at this point it's a very quick process to checkout using Check, Stripe (credit card) or PayPal.
I hope this helped map out some proofing ideas for you. We can't wait to see what you do with the proofing options and look forward to hearing feedback on how we can make it even better for your photo business.
As of January 11, 2017 we have released a Lightroom plugin which sends to your WordPress website via NextGEN Gallery