ideas to help enforce client galleries

by Melissa Koehler

ideas to help enforce client galleries photo

We’ve all been there before. The session was awesome, the family loves their photos, but they just won’t place their order. It’s something that I consistently see on the boards. I’m not going to talk about in person ordering because that’s a totally different, more in depth topic. I’m just going to talk about online galleries and how we can get our clients to order from them within the time frame provided.

Set expectations with your ordering process.

Making sure that you and your client are on the same page as to what will happen after the session is over is key. You can do this in a welcome packet, pre-session consult and as you are finishing up your session with them. If you think you’ve told them too many times, you haven’t. Making sure that your client knows exactly what comes next makes them feel prepared and more a part of the process. If you educate your clients on all the steps that take place after the session (even if it’s only a few) they are much more prepared to spend their money.

ideas to help enforce client galleries photo

After your session, you’re talking to the parents. Which one sounds better to you?

“Your images will be ready in a few weeks in an online gallery. You can view them there and place your order.”


“The next step from here is, I’m going to go through and edit your images. Once I’m done I’ll let you know that your images are ready but I won’t send the link to the gallery just yet. Since the gallery is only live for 4 days, I want to make sure that you have enough time to look at your schedule to pick the best time for you to sit down and look at your images. Once you let me know, then I’ll release the gallery for the 4 days. I would really love to get on the phone with you if possible and discuss any questions you might have and go over your order. Do you have any questions?”

While the second one is wordier, it explains exactly what’s going to happen and how long the gallery will be ready. This is actually what I say to my clients (or something very similar).

ideas to help enforce client galleries photo

Even though they know the gallery is only live for four days before they commit to booking me, I always say it at least once more if not more than that. People forget things and chances are they’ve forgotten since they booked you. It’s okay to remind them and just keep them in the loop as to what to expect.

My online gallery is live for four days. I’ve tried all different time frames and four days seems to work best for me. In all honesty I would like it to be one day but haven’t made that happen yet. I have it written on my site that it’s live for four days and it’s also in my portrait agreement so they see it twice before they even get to their session. After their session is done, you can tell them again.

You probably have a few questions by now, like “Does anyone ever ask you why your gallery is only live for four days?” and “Do they ask if they can extend their gallery after it expires?”

Let’s start with the first question “Does anyone ever ask you why your gallery is only live for four days?” The simple answer to this is NO. I’ve told them a few times before the session and at least once after that. You must be confident in your business practices to run a successful business. These are my rules for my business and I’ve told them multiple times, so there aren’t any questions. It is what it is.

ideas to help enforce client galleries photo

Moving on to the second question “Do they ask if they can extend their gallery after it expires?” Occasionally I do get people ask. My answer is YES they can for a reactivation fee of $150. But, I remind them that they shouldn’t need to reactivate it because they will have plenty of time before their gallery is made live to look at their calendar to pick the time that works best for them.

The key to getting your clients to order before the gallery expiration is informing them ahead of time about what to expect. You want to make their experience with you as positive as possible, and keeping them in the loop helps with that.

ideas to help enforce client galleries photo

Melissa, thank you for sharing your client gallery process with us!  It’s always beneficial to see how others operate.  What helps you to enforce your client galleries?  We’d love to hear your methods in the comments below!

ideas to help enforce client galleries photoMelissa KoehlerCalifornia
CM Mentor
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Melissa is a portrait photographer based out of San Diego where she lives with her husband and two sons.  Her high school darkroom is where her photography journey began and it has continually evolved over the years, especially after becoming a mother and realizing “that time flies so quickly. She currently shoots with a Canon 5d mark ii and a variety of prime and zoom lenses.  I strive to capture not only the big picture, but also the little things.”  Her passion is clearly her family and photography but she loves comfy pants, coca cola, Bon Jovi, movie theater popcorn, and cheese-less pizza.

Read more photography tutorials by Melissa Keohler.


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16 Responses to “ideas to help enforce client galleries”

  1. Rachel Dale
    Oct 05 2012 at 11:27 am #

    Thanks Melissa :) I always enjoy hearing what you have to say, great advice

  2. laurenbodwell
    Oct 05 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    Thank you!! This was extremely helpful!

  3. Debbie
    Oct 05 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    We also struggle with this and have every time we have a shoot. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Oct 05 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    Thank you for the wonderful tips Melissa! Beautiful photos too! <3

  5. Wendy
    Oct 06 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    Great advise! Thanks for sharing. I just started online ordering and I haven't yet gotten my process down!

  6. Oct 09 2012 at 6:58 am #

    thanks for the fantastic article, melissa! the point that sticks out most to me is that there are rules for your business. thanks for encouraging us to stick to the processes we've put in place to create a profitable business.

  7. sorder
    Oct 11 2012 at 1:01 am #


    Thank you for your nice article on learn how to get your photography clients to order from their online … .I like it .


  8. rachel
    Oct 11 2012 at 11:04 am #

    great counsel! ps the session you posted is just fab!! :)

  9. Oct 15 2012 at 11:51 pm #

    I truly love your website.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you build this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to create my own blog and would like to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called. Kudos!

    • Oct 24 2012 at 11:33 pm #

      Hi Rachel! Just seeing this :) Thank you! My site is from Into the Darkroom. So far I love it. It’s fairly new to me so I need to update some things but I really love it :)

  10. Oct 17 2012 at 10:39 am #

    I’ve struggled with this since I began my business almost 3 years ago. I think I’m too much of a pushover. The thing that I think will help me most is having them check their calendar for the time frame of when to send their link and reminding them of the ordering time frame specifics after the session. Thanks!!!

  11. Oct 27 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    Awesome tips here. What client gallery do you use?

  12. Kelly Garvey
    Nov 21 2012 at 8:19 pm #

    Very helpful! :)

  13. Aug 02 2013 at 3:57 am #

    Its very helpful thanks for sharing.

  14. Mar 17 2014 at 10:24 am #

    Beautiful family photos.


  1. Life On A Camera Strap Best Photog Business Management Sites | Life On A Camera Strap - Nov 09 2012

    […] their guest writers cover every corner of being a photographer from hobby to career. Sample posts: Ideas to Help Enforce Client Galleries, Pricing for Profit, Creative Exercise-Close-up […]

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