Every photo booth or photography company should have a photo gallery of the events they do. If you’re an event photographer or photo booth company and you don’t have one, you’re missing out on an easy way to get referrals from event guests and an affordable way to give clients an add-on service that won’t cost you much.
If you have an event photo gallery setup, congrats! You’d be surprised that you’re miles ahead of the competition. In a very non-scientific method, I found only 40% of photo booth websites had an online gallery. By non-scientific I mean I used Google to find photo booth companies and only 8 out of 20 had a gallery!
A lot of companies only provide photos of the event to clients on a USB, zip file or CD/DVD. Let me be the first to say, if you’re still giving your clients a CD/DVD in 2015, you need to slap yourself! We’re living in the age of the cloud and within a year there won’t be computers shipped with a CD/DVD drive. If you do insist on giving out that CD/DVD, be kind enough to include a 3.5 floppy in case your client needs a backup for their scratched up or lost CD. #nonotreally
So back to the topic. YES! You should have an online photo gallery setup and heres why…
1) Your photo gallery is your portfolio, you should leverage it
Your photo gallery is your portfolio and you should leverage your portfolio the same way photographers do! Photographers leverage their portfolio and put themselves on display using it as a way for clients to distinguish their quality and service from the competition. It’s one thing to scream “MY PHOTO BOOTH USES A DSLR!” and it’s another thing for a client to see it in the picture quality themselves. Lets be honest, your average client won’t know what the heck a DSLR is and how it may benefit them that you use one.
Let your photo gallery do the talking when you show off how much fun people have with your company and how great your clients photos will look. In this hyper competitive market with price sensitive customers, it’s another weapon in your arsenal.
If you’re a startup boother and don’t have many events under your belt, play to your strengths and shift the focus away from your gallery if its lacking. But, make sure you are putting every event you do online so as you grow you can too showcase your portfolio.
2) Every photo print turns into a business card with a purpose
If you’re taking the idea of having an online photo gallery seriously, then that means every print you give out turns into a business card with a purpose. Nine times out of ten the business card you usually give guests when they ask about your services ends up getting tossed out, if it’s not crumpled or soaked in soda by the end of the event. Why? Because there is no purpose to it. Unless the person has a right now need for your services (right now meaning within the next week to a month) they don’t have a compelling reason to hold onto your nicely crafted toothpick (maybe I’m the only one who does that?)
If instead each guest receives a print with your website that directs them to find all the event photos, your print now serves as a business card with a purpose. As much as it may hurt, guests are more likely to keep and take care of the photo they take than they are to take care of your business card. But, with your print in hand, they’ll have your contact information for awhile longer and you’ll have a better chance of being contacted in the future.
3) Event photo galleries increase your website traffic
There is a common principle when it comes to making money online. The more traffic your website gets, the more money you can potentially make. When are talking about photo booth and photography companies, your goal should be monetizing your traffic.
Blogs make money by having a high traffic volume. This traffic volume is pitched to advertisers who want to be seen on the blog, and thats how the site owner makes a living. Blogs monetize their traffic by selling advertising.
Sites that sell t-shirts, clothing, or other products make money from their traffic by turning website visitors into buyers. Everything they do once the person gets onto the site is an attempt to turn the visitor into a buyers. Pop up deals, asking for e-mails in exchange for coupons codes, it’s all part of a long term strategy to build an e-mail list and turn traffic into dollars.
Your goal as a photo booth or photography company is to turn website visitors into booked events. This is how you monetize your own website traffic. When you are passing out your business card with a purpose you should be doing so with the intent of increasing traffic to your website, which you will then monetize. Hopefully the big picture is coming together.
How can I start my own photo gallery?
Interested in getting your photo gallery started? Great! There are a few ways you can get started. This article won’t go into detail about every option, but if you want some more information on a specific option, leave a reply in the comments section.
DIY WordPress Photo Hosting
DIY photo hosting will require you to have enough storage space with your host and a little more website design knowledge than the average bear.If this doesn’t sound like you, DIY photo hosting might not be a great option.
You’ll need to setup a system of uploading your files during or after the event to your host via FTP or through the web browser. I have used Nexgen on WordPress before and it does the job nicely but it can be tedious to upload photos and create galleries. Also, WordPress as a platform can be slow, so if you add a self hosted photo gallery to is, it could make things slower.
PicPic Social Event Cloud
PicPic Social EC has a hosted photo gallery that allows you to automatically upload images as they are saved to the watch folder. All of this happens real time – if you have internet! If you don’t have internet at the event, you can just upload later using the drag and drop uploader.
The online gallery feature of PicPic Social EC has a focus on social media sharing and really wants to encourage visitors to share their photos online. Remember how we talked about monetizing traffic? PicPic Social EC drives traffic back to your site by letting guests share their photos directly to social media, and those links go right back to your site!
Regardless of which method you choose for photo hosting, you can’t go wrong. The photo booth company that sets itself apart from competitors is the company that will be able to thrive as the market gets more and more saturated. Instead of lowering your prices to compete, find ways to add additional value for your customers.