What We’ll Cover
In this Picflow article, we’ll dive into PhotoShelter, examining its target audience, key features, use cases, and pricing. We’ll also introduce an alternative to consider, helping you decide if it’s the right platform for your photography needs.
What Is PhotoShelter?
PhotoShelter is a photographer-focused platform that offers tools for effortlessly creating online photo galleries and websites—no coding required. It provides unlimited cloud storage and top-notch organization for high-resolution images.
The platform includes a shopping cart for photo sales and features for client delivery, like private galleries and direct social media posting. Additionally, customization options are available for personal branding and signatures.
Serving over 80,000 photographers, PhotoShelter has made a giant impression in the industry—recognized by major publications like The New York Times and Digital Photo Pro. Its goal is to simplify portfolio management and image sales for photographers.
Who Is PhotoShelter For?
PhotoShelter caters to users in the creative sector, particularly those looking to store, organize, and share digital images. Let’s look at its main audiences:
Professional Photographers: Pros will find an array of useful tools for managing their business, such as an integrated shopping cart for photo sales and client proofing tools.
Photography Agencies: Agencies benefit from PhotoShelter’s ability to handle large volumes of images, streamlining their workflow and collaboration between photographers, clients, and editors.
Educational Institutions and Non-Profits: These groups can easily manage their image needs with PhotoShelter’s secure cloud storage, advanced sharing and collaboration tools, and comprehensive search functionality.
PhotoShelter Key Features
1. Unlimited Cloud-Based Storage
PhotoShelter offers unlimited cloud-based storage, supporting various file types like PSD, JPEG, and TIF. Photographers can upload, access, and manage their portfolios from anywhere, guaranteeing their work is always protected.
More importantly, it allows for the accessibility of large volumes of images without worrying about running out of storage space—ideal for photographers who work on extensive projects.
2. RAW File Support
RAW file support is particularly useful for professional photographers, as it offers the highest quality of images while preserving the most detailed information for creative editing. PhotoShelter’s RAW file support allows photographers to keep their best work safe and easily accessible, without compromising on quality.
3. Integrated Payment Gateways
PhotoShelter’s e-commerce feature allows the selling of prints and digital downloads directly from websites, with customizable pricing, discounts, and packages. Payment can be processed via Stripe or PayPal and for print sales—automatic fulfillment options include AdoramaPix, EZPrints, and Loxley Colour.
4. Website Builder
PhotoShelter’s website builder is a bit simple—especially compared to platforms like Squarespace or Wix. It offers just nine templates with limited customization options (fonts and colors can be customized, but users can’t modify content elements).
Despite this, the templates are sleek and mobile-responsive, and there’s no limit on adding gallery pages, making it useful for event photographers wanting to deliver full-resolution photos to clients.
With PhotoShelter, your cloud storage stays exclusive, ensuring your work is safeguarded against unauthorized access. They've got your back with enhanced account protection through two-factor authentication. This means combining your password with a unique security code sent to your phone for added security.
PhotoShelter also offers powerful tools for adding watermarks to your photographs, perfect for branding. These watermarks guarantee that your images are not only recognized but also protected.
PhotoShelter offers a 14-day trial followed by three plans—Basic ($10/month), Standard ($25/month), and Pro ($45/month).
Annual subscriptions provide savings equivalent to one month’s fee. The Standard plan is the most popular, offering additional design templates, storage space, and custom domain options.
PhotoShelter Pros and Cons
Smartphone and integrated cloud services
Versatile selling options
Client control in proofing
Support for RAW files
Best Alternative to PhotoShelter: Picflow
If PhotoShelter doesn’t hit the mark, then Picflow might be the perfect alternative.
What Is Picflow?
Picflow is a client gallery tool that meets the demands of modern photographers and creatives.
We aim to above and beyond the boundaries of conventional image sharing by offering collaborative and interactive features that simplify workflows, enhance communication, and ultimately, get you more sales.
With Picflow, photographers can create responsive galleries complete with filters, tags, comments, image annotations, and more—all without any coding. It’s easy to collaborate with clients to get feedback and approvals, share assets with your team or colleagues—all while keeping control over the rights to your images.
Picflow Key Features
1. Gallery Designer
Picflow's gallery designer is a testament to our user-centric approach. With a range of customizable options, photographers can effortlessly create stylish galleries that cater to the unique requirements of each project.
This flexibility means each gallery section is unique, complete with titles and the option to embed various content like videos, music, or social posts. It also guarantees that images are always sharp and clear on any device, thanks to on-the-fly upload processing.
Picflow also supports video uploads with the same level of detail, allowing for a seamless mix of media in galleries. Key features include a custom video player with timeline scrubbing, 8K uploads, adjustable playback speeds, custom preview images, and frame-by-frame annotations.
2. Review and Approval Process
Picflow excels in client interaction. Clients can engage directly with galleries, selecting favorites, leaving comments, and even approving or rejecting photos. Additionally, each image has a dedicated chat thread for comments.
Its intuitive interface is one-of-a-kind, simplifying client feedback and accelerating the review and approvals cycle.
3. Annotation Tools
As we mentioned earlier, a standout feature of Picflow is its annotations tool. Clients can draw or write feedback directly onto images and videos. This precise communication eliminates ambiguities, ensuring that photographers understand what adjustments are needed.
Picture this—you’re a fashion photographer working on a shoot with detailed clothing designs. Thanks to Picflow’s annotation feature, the client can mark specific areas on the outfits that need to be highlighted, so you can make sure to capture the details as they want it.
This feature reduces turnaround times and helps you deliver the seamless experience clients are looking for.
4. Feedback Tracking
Picflow’s feedback tracking system provides detailed insights into client interactions with each image. It tracks if images have been viewed, downloaded, or reviewed. This is invaluable for understanding client preferences and tailoring future work.
Each upload comes with robust security features including watermarking, SSL, and end-to-end encryption, safeguarding every step. All media is stored within Picflow’s dedicated Virtual Private Cloud on AWS, preventing unauthorized network access.
5. Unthrottled Upload and Download Speeds
The platform guarantees a seamless workflow for photographers by offering superfast upload and download speeds across all subscription plans. Especially useful for those handling large files and working under tight deadlines, Picflow’s approach maintains transferring files never slows down the creative process.
6. Advanced Workflow
Picflow’s Advanced Mode unlocks powerful tools like advanced review filters to swiftly locate specific images or selections and bulk actions for simultaneously managing multiple photographs.
It features selective downloading options and a handy export function for filenames, making integration with editing software like Adobe Lightroom or Capture One as easy as pie. Additionally, over 25 keyboard shortcuts are available to speed up workflow with an option to export galleries as a PDF.
Picflow has three pricing plans. The Free plan is ideal for hobbyists or those testing the platform out, with 2 GB storage and basic features. Plus ($8/month) offers 100 GB storage with additional review and branding options, while Pro ($16/month) includes 1 TB storage, RAW upload, and advanced features.
For larger needs, there’s an Enterprise option offering custom solutions. We also offer a 14-day free trial for all paid plans so that you can test out the platform before committing to a plan.
Picflow Pros and Cons
Generous free plan
Deep customization capabilities
High storage limits on paid plans
Powerful client proofing tools (annotations, comments, etc.)
Time-saving tools (bulk actions, keyboard shortcuts, etc.)
33+ photographer-focused features
Not the best option for creating a complete scale website
Currently no print ordering
Storage add-ons can add to your bill
While PhotoShelter offers a reliable platform with essential features for photographers, Picflow stands out as a more innovative and interactive alternative—perfect for long-lasting photographer-client relationships.
Ready to streamline your photography business? Sign up for a free trial of Picflow and experience the difference firsthand.