Proofs in Photography

What are the Proofs in Photography

Proofing involves a trial image or an image that is to be edited by the photographer. Simply put, it is the raw set of photos that is not yet finally edited. The process of proofing consists of capturing photos, getting them reviewed by the client, and then making final improvements.

Proofs are such photos that are unedited, have a low resolution, or are watermarked. The reasons to keep proofs in such conditions include saving disc space, avoiding unlawful use, or increasing the download or upload speed.

Photo proofing is not a one-time process. Rather, in the digital world, an image can be reviewed and retouched multiple times until the client is satisfied with it.

Background of Photoproofing

You might be thinking if photo proofing existed or how it was done before digital photography. Well, it is wonderful to know that photo-proofing did exist and has come a long way since its invention.

Two popular methods were followed; the first was to examine the negatives of photos and the second was to develop tiny prints of the complete album on one or more sheets. These negatives or sheets were sent to the clients which they used to select some to be added to the final album.

After the proofing process was completed by the editor, final shots were developed in the photo labs and dark rooms.

As it was a manual process, it required a lot of time, energy, money, and resources such as special skills, chemicals, labs, paper, etc.

However, the digital world has completely innovated the process of photo proofing and made it easy for both the photographer and the client.

Nowadays, photographers complete the work using different software such as photoshop and lightroom, not in dark rooms. This software offers hundreds of features to customize photos’ outlook in a much better way.

What can and cannot be improved in Photo Proofing?

Some professional photographers emphasize that editing should be done from more of an emotional perspective and less technical because technicalities may reduce the intended expression of photos. Similarly, an editor can easily crop photos, improve colors and contrast, and remove wrinkles, scars, skin tags, etc.

However, even the fines photographer cannot change your facial expressions, make them appear hidden or cropped body parts, etc.

Therefore, proofing gives you the necessary opportunity to select the best photos for final editing to make the best out of your photoshoot, money, and effort. So the client should be careful to select images for the final touch to avoid frustration later.

Photo proofing Facilitates the Clients and Photographers

Photo proofing facilitates clients to finalize a set of videos or photos to be part of the final album. This process involves a few steps. At first, your photoshoot is done and then the photographer sends you the whole of them so you can choose which photos will be part of your set.

Photo proofing is of great importance as it engages and saves time and money for both you and the photographer. Photo proofing allows the client to make the final choice so she may have a certain idea as to which shots will appear in her final gallery.

Also, photo proofing provides an opportunity for the clients to give feedback on how they want their photos to be edited.

Types of Photo Proofing

There are two popular types of photo proofing:

1. In-Person Proofing

First is the in-person proofing. Following this method, you meet your client either at your studio or your client’s place. You show her/him the shots in your camera or printed out samples. Then your client makes the final selection to be edited finally.

Moreover, you may also present your client the additional service package such as photo albums, frames, and prices for these.

In-person proofing is helpful as it gives you a clear idea about the preferences of your client. However, this method requires time, money, and traveling.

2. Online Photo Proofing

At present, online photo proofing has become a popular way as it saves time and transportation costs for the photographer. The online photo proofing process makes it easy for the photographer and clients to view, download and upload photos online thus making the process rapid and smooth.

Photo Proofing via WordPress Website

If you have a WordPress website and online photo gallery available then this is great. Proofing photos through the website is much easier and allows your client privacy protection features.

In this way, you upload images on your website gallery and protect them with a password. This applies to each client which means that you can protect each client’s album with separate passwords so they can view only their album.

Your clients can also access their albums through special links or in Zip modes.

This allows your clients to like, dislike, share, comment, and suggest improvements in their photos. That’s why owning a WordPress website is of great benefit to professional photographers. If you want to grow as one then you should think of having one.

Tools for Image Proofing

There are some online tools available for desktops and mobiles that facilitate photo proofing. You can use such options in case if you don’t own a website. Moreover, such apps make sharing images easy and offer a lot of features to improve the photos.

This way, a photographer can have a different perspective and idea of editing other than the feedback of the client.


Photo proofing is a great way to record your memorable moments perfectly. It ensures that there would be no unwanted shots in the final edited pictures. It satisfies the client that the photographer is doing the job professionally.

Also, it saves the photographer from unnecessary clashes with the client in case she/he appears unhappy or wants different improvements in the photos.

However, it is recommended to both the clients and the photographers that they must maintain a record of proofing stages until the final delivery of the images so the process gets completed smoothly.

Also Read: Want to Know about Principal Photography – A Complete Guide

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