Each week from now until Christmas, we are running a rather fabulous contest over on our Facebook page as part of Farm Week 16. Ever since our first Farm Week way back in 2013, we have accepted sponsorship for the event from our industry friends. And we are hugely indebted to them as it just would not be the same without their support. However, now things have all gotten a lot bigger with Photography Farm those sponsors play an even more vital part. So I wanted to write about each one week by week to share with you why they are on board with Farm and how I personally use their product. My rules are very simple.. do I currently or would I use this product in my own business?

I first heard of ShootProof from Hannah Millard at the start of this year. I had been with the same online gallery provider as her for quite some time but we had gotten to the point where we were both frustrated with it's lack of features and the design. I have a slick website designed by Melissa Love and I felt that once clients went through to the online gallery it was like stepping back a few years. So when I was at The Photography Show at the NEC in March, Hannah introduced me to ShootProof and I had a look at how it all works as well as a chat with Colin and Kayla on the stand. I then went to all the other online gallery providers at the show to compare them. Changing galleries is a pretty big deal. At that point I had five years worth of work in my existing one, so switching was no small decision and I wanted to make sure it would be worth the effort.

In the end, it was easy to choose ShootProof. The design of the galleries fits so well with my website but it was the client experience that really swung it for me. When it's ready, I create an email within ShootProof that pulls through the preview image and looks so much better than a generic link email.

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 18.47.25

I normally write a lot more and make it personal but you get the idea right? When they click through they hit their own 'homepage'...

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 19.00.38

and then into the responsive gallery...

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 19.05.51

Once in there, they can easily label, favourite and even hide images that they'd prefer to keep private. I ask them to make their album selection and then I can download them, saving me having to dig them out and sort them. Possibly my favourite feature is being able to set them up with an app so that they can quickly access a nice selection of their images. 

The whole interface is easy to pick up and customise to suit how you work. You can set automated emails so running limited offers is a breeze and it's very easy for anyone to buy prints and for you to ensure that orders are fulfilled. And there is no commission to pay, another massive improvement on my last provider. You pay for ShootProof on a monthly plan of your choice which you can increase as you go along. 

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 20.13.11

I shoot a lot of commercial work, mostly food and I have a different category for that. I think the delivery through ShootProof is incredibly impressive and I can add in the commercial licence with the download. I think it is the most professional way to present images and has helped me get repeat work.

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 20.20.14

Do suppliers ask you for images all the time? It's very easy to set them up with images and conditions for use. You can even store their details if it's someone you work with a lot. But what I love the most about ShootProof is the people behind it. They are incredibly passionate about their service and very responsive to client needs. The online gallery market has exploded recently and it seems like they are all trying to outdo each other. But ShootProof just concentrate on doing the best job that they can and building real life relationships with photographers. They are no faceless corporation, just hover over their profile pictures to see some of their personalities coming across. They are good people to give your business to and although swapping gallery provider is a lot of effort, it is one of the best things that I did to improve my business this year. My couples are showing those gorgeous galleries off and my brand has definitely benefitted. I can't think of much that they could do to improve ShootProof but if you can, just drop them a line and I'm sure it will happen.