How Lightroom’s mobile and web tools save me time in client relations
We all know and love Lightroom on our computers. But Lightroom Mobile, which has recently received a plethora of updates, is becoming my perfect assistant in dealing with clients.
I can utilize the app in a number of ways, but more recently I’ve used it as a glorified private portfolio for my clients in two distinct ways.
Before the hire
Prior to being hired for a photo opportunity, I’m often asked by the client to grab a coffee. This allows them to get to know me and my personality, and also talk about the gig before finalizing an estimate.
One of the things I take the time to do before every meeting like this is to prepare a Lightroom Mobile portfolio that I can show off on my iPad.
By this, I literally cull through my images from the past couple of years and add them to a collection which is then synced to Lightroom Mobile. The images are specific to the client, meaning it’ll be easier for them to interpret my shooting style and, hopefully, that leads me to securing the job.
I usually prepare no more than 20 photos to show, and I pick from a diverse selection of images. Any more than 20 images, and you risk the client getting bored and not taking the time to look at your work.
For instance, if the meeting is about an upcoming event, I might show people mingling at a cocktail party. But I also might show a few photos of my theatre and stage work, showing that I can capture the “money shots” when necessary.
Even if you have an online portfolio that you know the client has visited, prepare a Lightroom Mobile portfolio. It will allow you the opportunity to go through each photo in-depth.
After the shoot
For corporate work, I often have thousands of images to go through, and oftentimes, the client likes to be a part of the culling process. I’ll start out by saying this method isn’t for everyone, as it can be somewhat tedious.
I do an initial cull — basically rejecting the photos that are by no means ready for production. Blurry photos, those random photos of the floor that we all seem to take and shots of models making weird faces…those are immediately rejected. The client never sees them, as I don’t want to waste their time with them.
From there, I create a collection, and again sync it to Lightroom Mobile. But instead of showing the photos to them on my iPad, I send them a link via Adobe’s website.
If you didn’t already know, you can view all your Lightroom Mobile collections through a web browser, by logging into Adobe Lightroom on the Web. After you’re logged in, you can select a collection and share it out to someone by sending them a link.
When the client receives the link, they sign in or sign up for a free Adobe ID, and then go through the photos you sent them. They have options to both like (with a heart) or comment on photos.
Now here’s where it gets somewhat tricky. The Lightroom app on your computer doesn’t have hearts, and likewise Lightroom on the Web doesn’t allow for flagging. So how do you sort out the non-liked photos from your master collection?
If you go back to the Lightroom app on your computer, you’ll see a Sort By dropdown right above the filmstrip, in the lower toolbar. If you click that, you can sort by “Last Comment Time.” This will put all of your commented photos at the end of your collection, meaning you can quickly select all of those and flag them, assign them a rating or give them a color value.
Here’s a quick GIF walking you through the process of sorting:
When you do this, you’ll probably see a mix of white and yellow comment icons overlaying each photo. Don’t be alarmed — white means you’ve reviewed this photo since you received the comment; yellow simply means you haven’t, and that the comment is “new” to you.
Obviously this method isn’t perfect, but if you’re already paying for Adobe Creative Cloud, why not take advantage of this and allow clients to review the photos you’ve taken on their own time? It’s my hope that Adobe will add more reviewing options in the future, but for now…this is at least a system that works.
Do you take advantage of any other Lightroom Mobile tools in showcasing your work to your clients? Sound off in the comments below!