What photo proofing is

Essentially photo proofing is a process through which photographer's clients get to select their favorite photographs from a photo session.

History: photo proofing back in the film days

Photography was here long before digital photography and internet were invented. The photo proofing process just as well came long before online photo proofing tools showed up.

Originally proofing was done by either reviewing the film through magnifying tables or printing small scale samples (contact sheet) of all photos that were shot. After client has made their choice by reviewing the printed material, selected photographs were enlarged and printed in specialized labs - darkrooms - where technicians applied various techniques to enhance the photos. This was basically manual labor and getting things right required skills, time and resources (lab equipment, paper, chemicals etc.) and that is the exact reason why proofing process was involved as the first step- to avoid unnecessary costs and work.

How is proofing done today?

With the up rise of technology in both printing and photography we have a much more wide range of choices when it comes to photo proofing. Just as well the concept of photo proofing has evolved slightly as well. While there is no longer a need for a darkroom, the digital version of it still exists. Be it Lightroom, Photoshop, AfterShot or any other software tool, every photographer now takes over the lab technician role and does the same things but on a computer instead of the lab (some outsource this process creating direct costs and loosing creative control). In some instances it is even recommended to never show the raw images to clients. This means that before a client makes her choice, photographers have to work to perfection every image they shot, without any guarantee that it would be of interest to the customer.

Modern methods of delivering photo proofs

Online photo proofing

Being probably the most modern take on photo proofing, online version of the process probably delivers most freedom of application to photographers. The web-based tools allow photographers to get paid for every photo that a client selects. The online galleries can be shown to as many people as it's ever been possible. In order to sell any of the proof images online (which means selling immediately off the web page) photographers have to post process every single image they choose to show to clients before it is uploaded to the online gallery. Even with the modern tools this is still time consuming and tiresome process which can be avoided.

Online photo proofing - the PixyLike way

PixyLike online proofing service for professional photographers has a back to the roots approach to photo proofing. It is designed in the way that allows photographers to quickly manage the proof delivery to clients and do that before any digital darkroom work is carried out.

There is no reason to be afraid of showing your raw material. Engage your clients in your photo workflow. Allow them to make a selection of their favorite photos before you ever work on them.

Proofing this way saves you tremendous amounts of time. It also means that you will have more time to focus on the important shots of the day – the ones your client really likes and will buy.

Increased client satisfaction is a really nice side effect of all this. Firstly, you save your clients time because there is no need to travel for another meeting. Secondly, people really enjoy the process of going through heaps of photos and choosing their favorites. A time burden for you could become a fun family activity for your client.

A real-life illustration in numbers: wedding shoot delivered almost 1300 photographs out of which less than 200 were chosen by bride and groom for their final product- a wedding book. We save countless hours by not editing over one thousand images! Start saving your time today! Joining PixyLike is free for the first 30 days! Click here.

Proofing on paper

It is one of the original methods, but it is still alive today. Photographers that want to have the person to person interaction usually choose this method. With decreased printing costs and time this proofing method has now evolved from being just contact sheet to normal-sized prints or even proof books that are shown to clients in photographers studio some time after the photo session. This method, while being most time consuming, is valued by photographers for leaving the sales door open- there is a higher possibility of selling enlargements and other printed deliverables this way.

  Other information:

PixyLike online proofing software

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