By Zach Egolf on | No Comments
Photographers are always looking for the latest and greatest ways to present and deliver photos to their clients. You can’t do two photography related google searches on the internet these days without coming across a new way of storing or delivering digital images to your clients with varying degrees of bells, whistles and pricing plans.
A relative newcomer to the industry is Pixieset (www.pixieset.com). Pixieset promises a “better way for modern photographers to share, deliver, proof and sell online”. At first glance, Pixieset seems to offer a ton of useful features that might appeal to you, however, there are many questions that need to be answered before we can pick a clear photo gallery tool and file sharing winner.
Before getting into all of the fun features of Pixieset, there are a few details that need to be covered. Certain factors are more important that others when choosing a gallery tool, some of which include price, storage amount, and plan details.
Pixieset makes most of this information seem pretty straightforward. There are five pricing tiers, with each tier increasing in price, storage and features. The breakdown can be found here, but plans will run you from $0, for the most basic "Free" plan, to $40 per month for the “Ultimate” plan.
The main differentiators between the free plan and the four paid plans are storage space, and sales commissions. To put it simply, with the free plan, Pixieset will take a 15% commission on print sales and provide you with minimal amounts of space (3GB total). Alternatively, with any of the paid plans your sales will be commission-free, and also provide you with increasing storage space - 10GB, 50GB, 250GB & 1000GB at the different price levels.
All paid Pixieset plans also provide you the following features: Unlimited Mobile Gallery Apps, Custom Domain, Add Custom Logo, and the ability to remove Pixieset Branding.
After logging in, one of the first thing you’re going to notice is the way that Pixieset presents galleries to your clients. The best way to describe them is simply “beautiful”.
As a longtime Smugmug and Zenfolio user, neither of those two services can hold a candle to the simple, gorgeous presentation that Pixieset offers. With minimal borders around each photo, galleries are created with a header image and text overlay, and then seamlessly melds together a gallery using portrait and landscape oriented photos. The client gallery lookd like you’ve spent hours perfectly fitting images together to provide the best format.
I'm happy to say the color presentation is faithful to the original images, with Pixieset appearing to do little-to-no altering of uploaded images, and no degradation of images uploaded from services like Lightroom. The images upload exactly how you tell Lightroom to upload them, and Pixieset will brand each photo with your watermark, as a method of protecting your images from theft.
Honestly, the Pixieset galleries just pop off of the page, and that also continues on in the mobile version of the galleries as well, which in my opinion is a big plus! Why? It’s 2018, and let’s be honest with each other, here; most of our clients our looking at their images on a mobile device and sharing them that way. Pixieset seems to take this into account, and provides a seamless, near-flawless presentation on mobile devices.
Pixieset makes it incredibly easy to upload images from Lightroom as well as build and edit galleries through their web interface. For those of you familiar with Zenfolio, there is currently only a paid option for uploading photos from Lightroom. Pixieset provides its users with a Lightroom plugin that is completely FREE and interfaces extremely well with their service.
Once your images are uploaded to the gallery, you’re offered a bit more control over permissions, watermarking, arrangement and presentation. Users are given control over the design style, mobile design, favorite and sharing options, and can even select shopping settings.
Selecting a gallery design is simple and elegant, and Pixieset provides its customers with multiple options that cover a wide range of photographer styles. Honestly, I could spend countless hours just seeing how my images look in each gallery type, and still have trouble picking the right one! Gallery options are updated the minute you click the save button, so seeing how each change affects the finished gallery is quick and seamless.
These options, and the control that a user has over them, is just one of the many great features that Pixieset has to offer photographers. Before sharing your photos with clients, you can also set galleries to expire after a certain period of time, limit the size and number of images clients can download, and do it all with a couple of intuitive sliders and text boxes. It’s really quite simple to setup and use, and the level of professional presentation is above-and-beyond the current competition on the market!
Photographers can’t pay bills if they don’t generate some income from print and digital image sales. And Pixieset seems to understand this importance by making it easy and intuitive for your customers to purchase prints and images directly from their site.
Pixieset interfaces directly with White House Custom Colour, ProDPI, Miller’s and MPIX for print fulfillment. Once you’ve picked your print provider, you’re given the option to go with their normal price list, or set your own price list that is completely customizable. This is a nice feature if you find that you sell more of a certain print size than others. You can also customize the amount of sales tax charge (if any), as well as shipping and payment options.
When clients make a purchase from the Pixieset site, the funds will get deposited directly into your bank account within 3 days. A nice feature that will help your cash flow and you won't have to worry about collecting payments or bounced checks.
Again, Pixieset will take a 15% commission off the top of all sales if you’re a “Free” tier member, but won't take any commission from your sales if you’re on any paid tier.
This means that a $3 4x6 print gets you $2.55 on a free tier, and $3 on any paid tier. If you do the math, that means that selling 24 4x6 images would cost you more than the basic, $8 tier. If you can do that much in sales each month, it’s a no-brainer to go with a paid plan.
For full disclosure, I am currently a Zenfolio user. I have many years of client galleries stored there, and have been a member through countless price increases, feature changes, and user interface overhauls. The couple of weeks I’ve spent with Pixieset have almost convinced me to scrap it ALL, and transfer everything over to Pixieset.
One wedding would cover the cost of even the most expensive pricing tier, and the level and quality of presentation provided by Pixieset is tough to beat.
Pixieset makes it incredibly easy (borderline fool-proof) for you to use their service, while at the same time giving clients their images with a little bit of “wow factor” and a lot of TLC. If you have not yet picked a gallery tool, I would definitely recommend Pixieset!
You’ll love Pixieset! It is affordable and even more important than that, your clients will love the way their images look in it!
Do you have any questions or comments about Pixieset? Leave us a comment below - we would LOVE to hear from you! And PLEASE SHARE this post using the social sharing buttons (we really appreciate it)!
Zach began his photography career shooting local sports, later transitioning into wedding and family photographer. It was here that he really honed his craft, creating countless priceless memories for folks both young and old.
When not at his full-time job, Zach spends his time with his beautiful wife, wonderful new son, and fantastic dog, all while still finding time to capture the wonderful memories experienced by families as they go from couples, to spouses, to new parents, and beyond.