In this review, we’ll be taking a look at Pixieset which describes itself as “Beautiful client photo galleries”.
And while that’s true it’s also a lot more, so let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
What Is Pixieset?
At it’s most basic, Pixieset is an online gallery system for professional photographers to deliver their digital images to their clients.
I’ve been using Pixieset now for around 3 years now and, like many other photographers, really like its beautiful design and ease of use.
With their Lightroom plug-in, I can seamlessly create a new gallery for each assignment and upload the high-resolution files straight from Lightroom.
Then I’m able to customize these galleries for my client’s needs, set up the access restriction and share the gallery with the client in a couple of clicks.
They, in turn, can view all the images in a beautiful professional gallery, or download and share the whole gallery or specific images. A major upgrade from delivering your files through Dropbox or WeTransfer.
But what makes Pixieset really great is the integrated store, letting my clients purchase prints straight from the gallery. This alone makes me thousands of dollars per year.
Why You Too Should Use Pixieset
While you could just use a file transfer service or even an old skool USB stick to deliver your images, there are a couple of advantages to using a service like Pixieset.
It’s More Professional
The more professional you are (or seem to be, which is sometimes more important) the more you’ll be able to charge.
I often talk about pricing your photography based on the value you deliver, and using an online gallery system like Pixieset definitely raises the value you create.
Not only does it look a whole lot better than just dropping a download link in an email, but it also makes the life of your clients easier. Which is all they care about, and something you can use to justify your fee.
(It also saves you a lot of time in your workflow as we’ll see below, which is an added bonus)
Here’s what your clients will be able to do (and what you should sell them on):
- Get an instant overview of all the images on every device.
- Easily download all or a selection of images in different resolutions according to their needs.
- Share the images with their friends, colleagues, and others.
- Buy a print without having to email back and forth with you.
It’s also possible to use your own custom domain name (like clients.yourname.com) to host the galleries, adding to the experience and keeping your photography name and brand consistent.
Saves You Time And Money
As you see, the above alone is worth using Pixieset.
However, you’ll also drastically improve your workflow.
As Pixieset takes care of resizing the images according to the client’s needs, you only need to export and upload the high-resolution images once.
And, also no more time lost on emails asking you to provide the download link again as it expired and they didn’t manage to download the images on time.
Lastly, you’ll free up loads of space on your hard drives (so you’ll need to buy less of them) as you no longer need to keep the high-resolution images in case the client needs them again or requests a smaller size, as Pixieset takes care of this. Just keep the RAW files so you can export the images should you ever need to.
It Makes You Money
I’ll create an in-depth guide about how to make money from online client galleries later, but as I said above, this has tremendous potential.
The simple fact that clients, and their friends with who your clients share the gallery, can order prints seamlessly has made me thousands of dollars over the last couple of years.
Even better, this requires no work on my end as the orders get sent to and dropshipped directly from a professional lab.
In-Depth Pixieset Review
Overall User Experience & Setting Things Up
As you’ll soon see further in this Pixieset review, the ease of use and the clean beautiful look are why a lot of photographers and clients like to work with Pixieset.
Signing up is also quite easy, and you can get started with a forever free plan to set everything up until you’re ready to upgrade later on (more about Pixieset’s pricing below).
Once you’ve created an account, start by filling in the profile information. The information here will show up all over your galleries and creates your brand as well as links back to your website and social media.
After this, you’ll get to the dashboard from where you have a general overview of your client galleries, store, latest orders, mobile gallery apps and more. It’s easy to switch between sections from the menu bar on top as well.
Collections & Albums
Pixieset calls each client gallery a collection.
Of course, these are the main reason why you would want to get a tool like this and Pixieset does this extremely well.
Within each collection, you can create photo sets, which are basically separate albums. This way you can have one collection per client and separate all the shoots for that client in different albums.
However, I like to keep each shoot in a separate collection and split the shoot into different parts if this makes sense. For an event I might have “Reception”, “Keynote” and “Workshops”, and for a wedding, I’ll separate everything into sets like “Preparation”, “Ceremony” and “Party”.
Adding images to these collections and sets is also incredibly easy. Just click “Add Photos” and start uploading, or add them straight from Lightroom with the Pixieset Lightroom plugin.
From there on you can go into the settings which gives you a plethora of options to present and restrict access to these photos.
For example, you can set a password to access or download the images, set an expiry date for the collection, disable sharing, only give access to certain email addresses, decide on the design of the collection and much more.
Of course, once you sent your client gallery to your client, this looks beautiful too while being intuitive to use for them. Almost everything from this design is customizable as well.
A menu on top gives your clients access to everything they need (download, share, buy prints,…) and keeps your brand in clear view so that when they share the collection new people can get to know you as well.
You can even add walk-through cards to help your new clients use the gallery for the first time, once again making life easier for them.
Pixieset’s pricing is simple and straightforward.
You can start with the free forever plan and then choose a premium plan when you scale your business.
The only difference between the plans is the amount of storage you get, except for the free plan that has some other features missing, although none of them are essential.
Also great is that you can determine when a collection will expire. Many clients only really need access to their online galleries shortly after your delivery anyway.
(I generally keep my client galleries available for 3 months, with the exception of weddings which are available for a year.)
Expired collections don’t count towards your storage, so this lets you save on storage space as you don’t need to pay for images you’ve uploaded years ago.
Needing a lot of storage space also means you’re shooting a lot of assignments, and in that case, paying a small fee for all the benefits Pixieset offers is a no brainer.
And it might even let you sell more prints, easily increasing the return on your investment.
Pixieset Review Summary
I hope this Pixieset review gave you a thorough overview of what Pixieset has to offer, and the possibilities it gives to photographers.
Below I’ll quickly go over all the features again, as well as give you a final verdict.
- An unlimited number of galleries.
- Various design options to create beautiful galleries consistent with your brand.
- Possibility to set an expiry date for a gallery, saving you storage space and money.
- Elaborate access and download controls.
- Integrated prints store.
- Possibility to deliver a gallery as a mobile app.
- Lightroom plugin to manage and upload your images straight from Lightroom.
- Custom domain support.
- Walk-through cards to help your new clients use their gallery for the first time.
Pixieset is a staple tool in my workflow, and I highly recommend it to other photographers.
Not only can you deliver your images to your client in a beautiful manner, but it also has an excellent integrated online store and many customizable access controls
All this for a very reasonable price.
And most of all, my clients have let me know many times that they prefer this way of working as it makes their life easier. Which in the end, is all that matters and will get your clients to return to you.