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What the Heck is a Proofing Gallery??

Updated: May 3, 2022

There's a lot more to photography than just picking up a camera and snapping a nice picture. There are all the joys of running a small business (communication, scheduling, finances, etc.) plus worrying about the weather forecast for a shoot, making sure you have all of your props and equipment cleaned, charged, and ready to go. And then there are the hours of editing after your photo sessions are complete.

A before and after editing screen shot from Ashley Stack Photography

(Before and after!!)

Until I started learning editing for myself, I had no idea how much thought and time go into turning a photo into a piece of art. I don't even want to guess at the number of hours I've spent learning editing software! But now that I can make a photo go from this:

An unedited image of a family standing together in a field during a photo shoot

to this:

An edited image of a family standing together in a field during a photo shoot with Erie, PA photographer Ashley Stack Photography

I kind of feel like a wizard!!

I hand edit every image that I deliver to my clients' final galleries. I pour a lot of love, time, and effort into your images. This is why I'm a HUGE fan of proofing galleries.

Ok, so what the heck is a proofing gallery?? To answer this, I have to tell you a little about my process. After every shoot I go home, pour myself a glass of wine, and upload all of the raw images to my computer. I then look at ALL of them and pick out the best of the best. (Anywhere from 30-60+ images) I really try to narrow it down for you because no matter how cute your kids are, no client wants to sift through 698 photos of their kids from one session! After I've chosen the cream of the crop, I back them up on a cloud storage system and an external hard drive and upload them to your private, online proofing gallery.

Ashley Stack Photography shares a "before and after" editing screen shot of sisters at Presque Isle beach
Before and After

Here's my favorite part...YOU get to choose your favorite images for me to fully edit! I want my clients to LOVE their photos. You know your family best. I want you to be able to pick which images absolutely capture the spirit of your family. Without fail, in every session I've done, I've had parents choose a couple images that I wouldn't have chosen for them if it was just up to me. I love seeing which photos strike a chord with families, because every family is so different!

Once you've chosen your favorite images from your proofing gallery, I work my editing magic!

Erie, PA photographer Ashley Stack Photography shares a "before and after" editing screenshot of a girl standing in a creek
Before and After

Not every photographer works this way. Some photographers will give you every single photo from your session. Some will choose your final images for you. There's no right or wrong way; this is just what works best for me. I love knowing that you, the client, have the final say over your image choices. I think it helps you love the final product even more!

So feel free to leave a comment and tell me: have you experienced a photographer using a proofing gallery before? Were you a fan? Let me know! If you're interested in booking a session, use my contact form found here!

Until next time, take care and smile pretty!!

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