Zenfolio for Client Proofing – My Workflow

Zenfolio is not only a great service for hosting your photos and allowing your clients to view and order prints, but they are also a really great way for clients to proof and select their images as well.

Now, there isn’t really any type of ‘proofing system’ built in, but with a little creativity applied I was able to come up with a method that works without any intricate work involved. Here’s how I did it:

Zenfolio uses price lists that you can create and customize in any way that you like. There are also custom products that photographers can create and add to a price list that are not fulfilled by any of Zenfolio’s affiliates, but rather the photographer.

I created a custom product called “Proof Selections” and set the price to $0.00. Next, I created a new price list and called it “Proofing”, and added only the custom product “Proof Selections” that I had just created.

When I go into a client’s gallery that I have set up, I can select which price list I want to apply to their gallery. For clients who have chosen a package with limited select images that they will receive, this works well for them. They can go into their gallery and add the images they would like to their cart. Once I have the order, I can then delete the images that they didn’t select.

I usually upload low resolution images first in order to save time. (Space isn’t an issue with Zenfolio if you have an Unlimited or Premium account.) After the client has selected their images, I then upload the full resolutions images for them and change the price list to my regular price list so that they can purchase digital files, order prints, or order specialty products.

Zenfolio has a notification preset to let your clients know that you have received their order and also once it has been shipped. I use these e-mail notifications to let clients know that I have uploaded their high resolution selections. This also saves me time and gives me consistency with messages that I send to my clients. This way, I don’t have to go into Mail and draft and send an e-mail message. Zenfolio’s e-mails also have links built in, another huge time saver.

So that’s how I let my clients select images, which saves me a lot of time and it’s also convenient for my clients. Now, bear in mind that my business isn’t based off of trying to sell canvas gallery wraps, framed prints, or other high-end products. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) If I were selling lots of products like those I mentioned, I would want to meet with my clients to show them their images and close the sale.

There you have it, another one of the many reasons why I’m a customer and big fan of Zenfolio!


6 thoughts on “Zenfolio for Client Proofing – My Workflow

  1. Stephan,

    Great tip! Just what I was looking for. Question though about the auto-notifications: where do I find these in the settings so that I can edit the custom message?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Jake,

      When you receive an order from a client, you will have to log in to your account to accept it. You can choose to Accept and e-mail or not e-mail. When you accept and e-mail, you can customize your message. Same things goes for when you ship an order. If your order is fulfilled by Mpix, Fotoflot, etc. then you don’t have to worry about the e-mails as Zenfolio takes care of those for you.

      Hope that helps!

      All the best,


  2. Hi Stephen,

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve been looking for way to streamline the ordering process for the client and myself. This is definitely a slick way of getting just the selected photos into the client collection, but why do you need to? I can see how this is great for a wedding photographer creating an album with his client’s picks, but not for ordering prints. I don’t quite see how this is different then doing a “normal” upload the hires file when “approving the order” and without: switching price lists, deleting unselected photos, breaking out the select and order process into 2 steps for the client. Could you explain a little more how this works for you and your market?

    Thanks and appreciate you posting your workflow. I love zenfolio, but find the ordering process a little overwhelming and convoluted for many of my clients.

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