Professional Photographer Magazine Web Exclusives

Give Clients a Custom Preview with Shoot and Sell App

By Betsy Finn, M.Photog.Cr., CPP

Today’s client often wants to see, or visualize, a product before they are certain about making an investment. Fortunately, this need for on-the-fly visual aids can be satisfied—at least if you have the right app on your iPad. Shoot and Sell allows you to create instant wall displays whether you are at your clients’ home or in the studio—anywhere.

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After installing Shoot and Sell (from Apple’s App Store), my first visit to the app began with a walk-through tutorial. While there is an option to “get started now,” I did appreciate learning about all the features, and about the intuitive controls and options.

Then it was on to the home screen of the app, which is simply a background image, or “wall.” The default wall features a modern teal couch and a neutral tan wall. There are three main controls: +Display, +Image, and Edit Wall. The first two buttons add image units to the wall; +Display adds groupings of multiple images, and +Image adds a single empty canvas.

The Edit Wall button allows you to change the background image to another default background or you can even use your iPad’s camera to take a photo of your client’s wall on the spot. There is a measuring feature that will help you to calibrate image sizes within the app, so that a 20x30 will be displayed in accurate proportion to the dimensions of your client’s room. I thought this was a great feature, as it allows you to show your clients’ images true to actual size on their own wall.

 

You can also tap directly on an image or grouping to edit, resize, or reposition it. The standard two-finger pinch and rotate commands for an iPad will also work within Shoot and Sell. An additional menu bar appears when editing an image canvas, giving you the ability to do things like rotate, flip, add frame, duplicate canvas, replace image, or delete canvas. When done editing an image, just tap on the wall to apply your changes. Multi-image displays respond similarly to individual image canvases, except that the image display is rotated, and moved as a unit rather than individual canvases.

In addition to the main display menu controls, there are some settings controls discreetly displayed on the menu bar. At any time you can access the tutorial via the Help Menu (handy if you forget what to do!); you can also access the Settings, Organize, or Sharing menus. Under Settings you can customize which image sizes are available. For example, you could choose to omit 20x36 as an image size, but allow 20x30 and 20x40. The Organize menu will let you access existing projects or save the work in progress so you can open it later as needed. Finally, the Sharing menu lets you send snapshots of your wall via email, export to your iPad’s image gallery, or share to Twitter, Facebook, or Flickr.

In this first image, I’ve made some customizations to the default background wall, such as changing the couch color. While I found that the “display” wall groupings were somewhat limiting, it is relatively easy to create your own wall grouping from individual images, as I’ve done below. Each picture has the dimensions listed below it, as well as framing details.

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If you want to upsell frames, or just help your client visualize what the finished product might look like, chances are good you’ll enjoy the frame feature. There are a variety of stock frames included in the app; you can change frame color and even choose to have a matte.

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In this next screen capture, I used the iPad camera to take a snapshot of the wall I wanted to adorn with portraits. When taking the picture, I placed an 8.5”x11” sheet of paper on the fireplace so that I could have a known measurement for scaling purposes (dimensions of the element to be measured can be entered in inches, feet, centimeters, or meters.

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A quick push of the button prepares a screenshot for emailing to the client; all you need to do is fill in the email address. This feature could also be handy for sending a diagram to yourself so that you remember what to do once you get back to the studio, just in case you don’t feel like saving the project (or opening a saved project).

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Overall, I have really enjoyed using the Shoot and Sell app. While it is not a sales invoicing tool, it is definitely a visualization tool that will get your clients thinking big. Especially since you have the ability to show them (with their own portrait) what an 8x10 will really look like on their family room wall.

The Shoot and Sell app is available from the Apple App store for $79.99; additional frames and stock background images are available as in-app purchases (ranging from $4.99 to $39.99). For more information, visit shootandsellapp.com.