Online Proofing with Zenfolio

Zenfolio, Online Print/Proof/Download Service,

I spent a good deal of time, both in paid experiments and 30-day trials, searching for the right online service for my studio’s Client Interface Page.  I have pretty specific needs and very high expectations, and Zenfolio was the first service that really worked for me.  I think it is slick and professional, flexible, and easy to use.  My client page has been up and running for more than a year now and has served me and my clients well.

First some features I enjoy about the Zenfolio experience:

-It integrates with Adobe Lightroom, allowing direct creation of folders and galleries and uploading from Lighroom’s Export dialog.

-It allows me to use my studio logo, choose fonts and colors, set my own URL, and add any links I’d like, all of which amount to a site that can integrate nicely in my overall Web presence.

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-There is no limit, that I know of, to the number of files uploaded or space on the server, allowing, essentially, an online backup system of my work (at least JPGs, anyway.)

-Clients can visit the site and order downloadable files as well as prints, place an order by credit card, and the income is directed to my PayPal account.

-I set my own prices.

-I can choose to have print orders made at a number of pro labs or – as is my preference – to do my own in-house print work when orders come in by e-mail (I get a nice, illustrated list with client-recommended cropping and notes.)

-I can allow visitors to download original files for free, one at a time, or in bulk, directly from the galleries.  It can be passworded or enabled for only specific files or galleries and is a handy way to deliver proofs or distribute files to coworkers or family, or to distribute promotional materials.  It is also  a nice way for California residents to deliver files in a way that doesn’t qualify for Sales and Use tax, unlike DVDs or hard drives.

I would heartily recommend Zenfolio for a client interface page or even a primary Web page for certain applications.  They are constantly updating the system and seem to be responsive to customer requests.  There are some other good options (many of which I’ve tried) but these guys are hard to beat.

If you’re considering starting an account, be sure to use my referral code to get a $10 discount: BCQ-2WH-F1Q, I know every bit helps!

Useful links:

My Client Interface Page

Zenfolio’s Home Page

Adobe Lightroom from B&H

Upgrade to Adobe Lightroom 3.0 at B&H

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