Pixieset vs CloudSpot Showdown: The Best Client Photo Gallery for Photographers.
After 6 years I finally cut ties with Pixieset to move to CloudSpot to deliver my client photo galleries, and I couldn’t be happier. If you’re reading this blog it’s safe to assume you are thinking about doing the same thing. So here the 8 Reasons I Switched to CloudSpot from Pixieset (and 2 ways CloudSpot can improve!)
When I first signed up with pixieset 6 years ago they were the king of client photo gallery services. But today they fail to have grown into this mobile first world we all work and live in. Pixieset has become the old Ford Mustang, still looks good on the outside but take a closer look and its falling apart at the seems. This compared to the fresh new Tesla packed with innovative technology to make the ultimate in experiences, that is CloudSpot.
Note: When looking to client photo gallery alternatives CloudSpot reached out to ask if I would give them a shot, I did, I fell in love, and now I am happily a brand ambassador for CloudSpot, all because of these 8 reasons I will list below. Therefore this article does contain affiliate links and I will receive a commission from sales made through the links in this article but at no additional cost to you.
CloudSpot is a refreshing take on what delivering a photo gallery to your client should be. It should be fun, exciting, immersive, seamless, and unrestrictive. If you don't feel that way when you deliver a photo gallery to your clients, imagine how your client feels?
What CloudSpot understands is that your photography is a service and not a product, and when it comes to providing a great service you have to deliver an experience the client will enjoy every step of the way. Even after the shoot. And I think we can all agree that delivering your photos via Dropbox is less than an exciting way to receive photos.
So let me break down the 8 Reasons I Switched to CloudSpot from Pixieset.
1: Price $
Let’s say in a year you shoot 5 weddings and 10 engagements total 6gb of storage. Thats a lot when you are just getting started!
I have it written in my contract to hold photos for the client for one year. That means you would need 12gb of storage minimum. Last years photos (6GB) Plus this years photos (6 more GB)
With Pixieset that would cost you $16 a month. With CloudSpot it would cost you half that at just $8 and you would still have enough storage to shoot 4 more weddings!
2: Delivering Video
I’m a Wedding Photographer, not a videographer but that doesn’t stop me from taking my photos and turning them into a slideshow with Animoto to really wow my clients! Creating these slideshows in Animoto takes just 10 minutes and have been my biggest source of referrals (and Google loves video too! Great for SEO) Unlike other client photo gallery systems, Cloudspot allows you to not only showcase the video, but allow your clients to download it too! When they can download it, they can share it :) Here is an article with more information. https://help.cloudspot.io/en/articles/2577287-deliver-videos-with-google-drive-and-cloudspot
3: Vendor Photo Galleries
Sending photos to vendors is a great marketing tool to build rapport and reciprocity towards your photography business. I use to have to create multiple photo galleries if I wanted to send any photos to vendors. These additional photo galleries were also counted towards my storage limit! In CloudSpot I can use the same main gallery that I sent to the couple but make a sub folder that only vendors that I send the link to, can see. This saves on storage space and confusion from creating multiple photo galleries from the same event.
4: Capturing Contact Info
If you are not capturing contact info for those who view your photo galleries you are missing out on a HUGE opportunity to make money. With other client photo galleries you can capture emails addresses and then those email addresses are tied to a specific gallery. In theory that sounds fine. But around the holidays I send out an email to everyone who has registered to view a photo gallery to give them a coupon if they want to purchase a print as a gift for a loved one. So I have to go through every single gallery to download the emails of those who registered one by one. Shoot a lot of weddings and engagements and that’s a lot of emails you have to go through! CloudSpot solves this problem by putting all email addresses into a master contacts folder. Within the folder you can name and tag those who have registered. You can tag the Fathers of the family sessions you shoot and send them a coupon for Mother’s Day. You can tag the Mothers and send them a special offer for a boudoir session in time for Valentine’s Day. You can tag friends of the married couple and send them a coupon to fill their newly married friends home with prints from their wedding! This feature alone will make CloudSpot pay for itself in no time!
5: Upload Different File Types
If you’ve been shooting for a while you have no doubt got a text saying “Hey I’m trying to get our photos printed and they won't without a print release?? Help!”
CloudSpot is more than just a client photo gallery because you can upload 7 different file types including PDFs. Now when I deliver a client photo gallery I upload the PDF version of the clients print release as well. This keeps everything in one place and saves me from a potential “text-mergentcy” while I’m driving to my next shoot.
6: Custom Client Photo App
With Pixieset creating and delivering an app of your clients photos is a horrendous process. You had to have 2 separate photo galleries, one for the app, one for the actual gallery itself. (Why?) No information would transfer over from the original photo gallery, creating double the work for you (Why?) Then you would have to send 2 separate emails, 1 with a link to the online photo gallery and another with a link to download their app (Don’t people already get enough emails??) Then within the app photos are view only, you could not save the photos if you wanted to, this causes your clients who live in this mobile first world to result to screenshotting their photos before posting them online (Uhhgggggg!)
CloudSpot makes the whole process a breeze! Upload your photos, send your client a link to their app! They are prompted with “grandma proof” instructions to install the app on your phone. On the backend you can allow users to download their photos to their phones! And if that wasn’t cool enough you can enable watermarks on downloads! So your client can still have an incredible viewing experience but you can keep your photos protected!
7: Embeddable Photo Galleries
I haven’t used this feature yet but I can see the potential and this. CloudSpot create beautiful photo galleries right? Well they allow you to embed a gallery onto your own website. Why do double the work to upload more photos to your site if you pay for CloudSpot to host photo galleries already!? If you are new to photography and your website isn’t quite where you want it to be yet, this will be a god send. You can create a portfolio gallery of images within CloudSpot, now you can embed that online photo gallery on your homepage of your website AND you can create a mobile app out of it to use when networking and showcasing your portfolio wherever opportunity arises! Making 1 gallery do triple duty!
8: Print Sales
Just about every client online photo gallery system has the ability to sell prints from. That’s standard stuff. Where CloudSpot shines is 2 fold. 1 with the ability to embed galleries on your site, that now means you can sell your photos directly from your site. No need to send them to a special link taking unnecessary steps. This is ideal for Landscape photographers, Fine Art photographers, and any other photographer who sells photos in small quantities and one offs. Seriously integrating a sales system into your website is not intuitive or cheap! With CloudSpot it’s painless!
And reason number 2, is you can offer print sales within the gallery apps that you send to your client!
In my wedding photography business the people who buy the most prints are parents who buy prints during the week between 9-5. My guess is because less and less do most people need a dedicated computer at home because their tablets do just fine. So they have to wait until they get to the computer at work to buy prints of their children’s wedding. I imagine that print sales within the mobile app will boost sales for not only parents but also grandparents who are even less likely to own a computer!
There you have it. While I am happy with my move to CloudSpot for my client photo galleries (and am reminded daily with the continuous updates and new features) there are a few things that I would love to see CloudSpot implement.
1: Auto Expire Emails (Note CloudSpot says they are currently working on this one!)
It’s written in my contract that I will hold on to images for the couple for 1 year after the delivery date. Having the ability for CloudSpot to automatically email those who have registered for a certain gallery to let them know it’s about to expire and include a coupon code to any last minute prints would simply mean I wouldn’t have to remember to do it!
2: Offer Both Auto and Self Fulfill Items in the Store
Currently when creating a catalog of items to sell in your online store you have to choose whether the catalog will be all Auto fulfilled or Self fulfilled. Auto fulfilled means a client will purchase a print and CloudSpot will send that photo off to the lab and the lab will send it directly to your client. Letting you earn money without any additional work! This is great! But there are some items I like to either purchase from another online retailer or I offer a custom product made up of several prints layered together. Having the ability to have 1 catalog and be able to choose which products are auto fulfilled and which are self fulfilled would be fantastic!
There are clearly far more positives about CloudSpot as a client photo gallery. And while it may not be perfect (At least until those two above are added) I like that CloudSpot stands for something.
It is clear in everything CloudSpot does and implements that they are giving you, the photographer every advantage you can when it comes to really leaving a lasting impression on your clients. CloudSpot understands to its core that you can turn a last impression into a LASTING impression.
TL;DR I believe that CloudSpot client photo gallery system is the best way to showcase, deliver, and sell your photos online. They have many features that the outdated Pixieset does not and they are always adding more features based on community input. If you want a Client Photo Gallery that makes your life easier, wows your clients, and can make you money, CloudSpot is the right choice for you. You can sign up for a free forever plan, no credit card required. Deliver a beautiful gallery to your client today!