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3 Free Services Every New Photographer Should Use

...a Shootproof gallery is a beautiful way to share. Photos are displayed in a clean professional layout on either desktop or mobile, not just dumped into a Dropbox folder with tiny thumbnails...

1. LinkTree

To be totally honest, I just started using LinkTree myself a few weeks ago and there was no excuse for why I didn't before. It would have always been helpful to me since I have my own website, my YouTube channel, and a few social media sites that I want to highlight (including my blogs here). Having all of the links for these important pages in one landing page is super convenient for clients as well as creators who want to see what I do.

The pro version allows you to customize your LinkTree landing page and see more analytics, but the basic free version does more than enough of a good job.

linktree example for wedding photographers and creators

2. Shootproof (free 100 photo plan)

This one felt a bit iffy to include on this list since 100 photos is not exactly a lot of storage to have for free, probably not more than 2 or 3 sessions final images. But I highly recommend if you need to share a few pictures with family/friends, or if you just did a session for your first paid client, a Shootproof gallery is a beautiful way to share. Photos are displayed in a clean professional layout on either desktop or mobile, not just dumped into a Dropbox folder with tiny thumbnails. Clients can also order prints directly from the gallery and get them shipped straight from the lab, with no extra work on you.

shootproof paid plans monthly

Paid plans are not super expensive, and are even cheaper if billed yearly (Shootproof also gives bigger discounts & bonus perks if you sign up around Black Friday). Upgrading to the 1500 or 5000 photo plan is still relatively lower cost and allows you to host tons of galleries at the same time. You can also set expirations on galleries and archive them after a few weeks/months, allowing space to stay available for new galleries at all times.

shootproof gallery for full wedding day in southern new jersey 2021
(Above: Shootproof gallery for a recent wedding of mine. Folders for each section of the day help the couple and guests find what they are looking for super easily)

Of course there are tons of other great options similar to Shootproof such as Pixieset, Zenfolio, SmugMug, and more, but Shootproof just happens to be the one I started with years ago and have always loved it.

3. Google Drive/Dropbox/etc

It's worth comparing each service for the amounts of space they offer for free, but Google Drive is a good place to start with 15GB free cloud storage. 15GB on Google Drive for free should be enough to help you have extra backup for RAW files, final JPG edits, and other important files/documents you might need to save/access remotely for your business.

Again, personally I do not recommend delivering final images to clients via services like this because it just really is not a visually pleasing experience as the first time they are seeing their images. Our job is just as much about the customer service/experience and I believe it is worth delivering photos in a more professional gallery discussed above. These cloud services should ideally just be used for your own personal backups or sharing files to other photographers (ie: you're a 2nd shooter for a wedding and transfer RAW files to the main shooter).

I have a yearly paid Microsoft OneDrive subscription, $75 per year for 1TB of cloud storage but that might be an overkill amount of storage for someone just starting out.

One huge perk about OneDrive (probably doesn't work for Mac) is that you can easily add/remove/access all of your files directly from your computer files, just like if it was a folder on your computer itself. This is extremely convenient for adding new files and letting them passively upload without ever needing to open my web browser.

Wrap Up

Hope this was informational for any photographers who are just starting their journey! Considering these services can all be free at their most basic plans, I believe there is not excuse not to give them a shot to improve your workflow and create a better client experience.

Learn more about photography from me by checking out my Youtube channel or my other informational blog posts!

If you live in southern New Jersey or the greater Philadelphia area, I will be very happy to help you with wedding photos or any personal/family session you might need! Contact me here to inquire :)


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