Your Gallery is ready!
This is the title to the email you will receive when your gallery is finished and ready to be seen. The anticipation you had building up for days is finally about to bubble over and the last thing I want is to let out all the air from your balloon as you venture into your gallery not having a clear idea what to do after viewing your photos. So please take your time reading through this as you await your photos, and feel free to reference it once you get your own "YOUR GALLERY IS READY" email in your inbox.
I know it goes without saying, but let's just go over it anyways, shall we? Screenshotting is considered stealing. Gosh, I know, that sounds a little harsh...a bit much...but hear me out. I take great pride in the product I provide my clients, and it just so happens that it comes in a digital format. I have invested thousands of dollars into my craft through equipment and continued education. I have expenses, as any small business does. I invest hours editing your gallery and it gives me great satisfaction to provide a high quality product that can be used for all sorts of purposes including printing and sharing online. I know you want to share and you can do so straight from your gallery! But please don't screenshot the whole gallery. The version you would get is a low quality watermarked version that you really shouldn't have anyways. I only charge an extra $150 for the whole gallery even if you have more than 15 extra to buy, so it is actually quite the good deal just buying the whole gallery outright, and then you can happily, and legally, have all the photos!!!! Yay!
The Menu Bar
The Menu Bar is where you will find all your navigational icons and includes all the scenes of your particular gallery. Depending on the type of session you have, you may have 1 scene or many. In the session example here, the scenes are separated into type of family groupings for easier navigation. Clicking on the various scenes will zoom you to those particular photos and can be quite handy with larger galleries.
The following image is where we are spending most of this blog post discussing. We will focus heavily on the "Favorites Folder" which is indicated by a heart icon in the right top corner of the menu bar. We will also briefly talk about the "Share" button. But first...
The download button
The Download button is an important button, but not how you might think.
DO NOT USE IT!!!!
You read that right. Allow me to explain. Most clients are purchasing sessions that come with a set number of images. Your gallery is set up to where you can freely download the amount of images that came in your session, and anything beyond that is available for purchase from the Shop. If a client goes into their gallery and begins clicking that download button on individual photos, they might accidently blaze through their download limit without making sure of their selections. I'm sure you can understand that digital downloads don't necessarily qualify as a "returnable product" to swap out for a new one. So, avoid that debacle by following the instructions in this post, which will allow you to really analyze which ones you want to keep.
"But Kristy, what if we want more than what came with our session package?"
Great question! Extra photos can be bought for $10 each, and this guide will also show you how to do that! Don't get antsy! We will get there!
Ok, so you've just finished your slideshow video with a handful of snotty tissues surrounding you. You just love your images! (shhhh, you will). Now you scroll down to begin looking at your gallery more closely. Go slowly, take your time. You can do this as many times as you want.
Just smash that heart on every photo you love, like, or need more time to think about. This helps group favorite photos to really look over later. You can select photos to see them bigger, and the options are on the bottom under the photo as well.
Viewing your selections
So you've gone through and made your selections!
Time to head to our Favorites folder to see what we got! Remember, it's the HEART in the top menu bar. Clicking that heart will pull up all the images you selected in the gallery. From there you will be able to remove photos, and add photos including whole scenes if you choose to do so (see below).
You will see that in this 20 image limit, it shows below that I still have "20 Free High-Res Downloads Left" with already selecting 20 photos to my favorites. That means you have 20 photos selected, but none are actually downloaded yet. You can download individually and it will show you how many you have left if you do so. But like I said earlier, it's easier (in my mind) to get all the photos you want in the Favorite's Folder, and get them downloaded all at once. To do that, simply select the "DOWNLOAD PHOTOS - HIGH-RES" button, and you will be directed to the download screen where you can choose 1 of 3 options to save your photos.
Downloading your photos
I always suggest downloading to your computer, and then backing up your photos to the cloud, or some external storage device like an external hard-drive. I don't suggest USB sticks because I believe technology is moving away from using those, especially in Macs and many laptops.
I'll type everything out first, and then you can view the photos below for reference.
- From your Favorites Folder, press "DOWNLOAD PHOTOS HIGH-RES" when you have completed your selections.
- Click "Download to Computer".
- Click photos.zip
- Select "Extract All", and choose a destination folder to save to.
- Finalize your selection by pressing "Extract".
Yay! Now your photos are on your computer! Be sure not to forget where you saved them!
Saving High Resolution photos to your phone isn't recommended as these files are typically pretty large and will hog your phone storage. I also have heard that it could be tricky unzipping the file once on your phone. To avoid that, just use a computer.
Purchasing Extra images or the full gallery
What if you love more than came in your package? Don't worry, getting all the images is super easy.
- Just add all the photos you want to your Favorites Folder just as before.
- Going into your favorites folder now, you will see the amount your package includes, as well as how many you selected. Remember, all images are $10 each, but they cap at 15, so anything over 15 is considered full gallery!!!
- Click "DOWNLOAD PHOTOS - HIGH-RES".
- You'll be taken to the Shop where you can purchase the extra images.
- Decide you want the full gallery? That's great, just select "BUY FULL GALLERY". The total to the right will reflect the change!
- You can also buy the full gallery by clicking the "SHOP" button from the top menu navigation and finding the digital downloads option. It will get you to the same screen you'll see below.
THE HIDE BUTTON
Let's say you are going through your gallery, and you see a photo that...eek! You REALLY don't think you'll want to keep this one around, and it's cluttering up space, and it just needs to go somewhere...else. What to do? What to do!?
That's right! You can hide photos! This button is handy for the above scenario, but also if you plan on sharing the gallery to Facebook and really don't want everyone seeing THAT one photo...the one you're making an insane face...yeah, no one needs to see that...and you can control what you want others to see when the gallery is shared!
Sharing your photos
Sharing your photos is undoubtedly high on your priority list, because who doesn't want to share beautiful pictures of themselves or those they love! Really though...But I do understand people have their reasons for staying private, so I totally respect that! But for those who are antsy to share, here is what you need to know!
You can share directly from your gallery, and invite your friends and family to see a selection of images you want them to see. You can curate that link and show the best of the best! You can share the slideshow as well, and invite friends to hop on over to the gallery to view!
I HIGHLY discourage clients from uploading their High-Res photos to social media, as the platform will compress and destroy the viewing experience for such great photos. I always make social media/web copies of purchased images to share on Facebook (provided a model release form was signed). These copies are optimized perfectly for the web and look sharp and stunning when viewed on mobile devices. Once you make your selections, I am pretty quick on getting those images posted to my Facebook where you can easily share to your own page and even save to your phone.
Phew!!! All Done!
I hope this guide was useful in helping familiarize you with what your gallery will look like, and how you can interact and customize it, and go about making the best selections for you and your family! Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have about this process. It may seem daunting but it's much simpler once you get in and explore your gallery. But if you hit a snag, you can always jump back to this post to see what you're missing!