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The Short Version: Pixellu is a smart solution saving photographers from exerting themselves compiling images into albums. Pixellu products, including SmartAlbums, SmartSlides, and Galleries, simplify the editing process to allow professional photographers to design photo books in minutes. The company was created by wedding photographers and offers accessible tools that streamline album creation. Those tools enable couples to quickly create physical photo memories of special events, trips, and memorable moments in their relationships.
Professional photographers often spend hours putting together sophisticated photo albums. Sometimes the wedding photos they compile into albums have to be approved by the couple. Or maybe a couple wants to put together honeymoon or anniversary scrapbooks, but they give up because it’s so time-consuming.
Two wedding photographers who were fed up with how much time they spent organizing albums set out to simplify the process of preserving those memories. They came up with Pixellu, a platform that allows users to easily create albums, galleries, and slideshows.
Pixellu aims to help photographers get back to the fun part of the job: taking the pictures.
“The sheer quantity of tedious work required to run a successful photography business is a problem faced by professional photographers worldwide. It’s overwhelming, and many photographers end up quitting on their dream of having a photography career,” the company notes on its website.
Wedding photographers still make up the majority of Pixellu users more than a decade after its founding. But the company also sees plenty of family and portrait photographers, boudoir photographers, and pet photographers on the professional side.
Some clients also use the software to create albums, even if they don’t take the photographs themselves. Others come to Pixellu with a project in mind and use its intuitive tools to design and arrange the albums.
Many photographers use Pixellu to save time. One of the software’s most significant benefits is how it allows users to increase their ROI from a single shoot without adding hours to their workflow.
“Photographers can upgrade their clients to an album, and the design process only takes 15 minutes — or even less using our new Auto Build,” said Kelly Chapman, Content Manager of Pixellu. “And their clients walk away with an amazing keepsake to treasure, so it’s an easy sell.”
When users sign up for Pixellu, they receive access to SmartAlbums, a tool that offers templates for whatever project they have in mind. They simply drag and drop photos into the templates to create a book.
They can customize their own templates by adding patterns, backgrounds, or text. Other tools, including face detection, which ensures that users don’t inadvertently crop out faces.
After users finish a project, they can share their design with others and receive feedback.
In the final step, Pixellu coordinates with hundreds of print labs around the country to create a physical photo product.
If photographers are concerned the software is too complicated, they can try it free with a 14-day trial.
Pixellu offers several pricing options to suit all levels of photographers. SmartAlbums pricing starts at $16 per month, billed annually. The year-long subscription includes unrestricted access to all SmartAlbums features so they can create an unlimited number of albums.
The company has two other annual plans best suited to professional photographers who create multiple albums throughout the year.
The first plan includes album-proofing software called Cloud Proofing, which helps photographers simplify album design when working with clients. The solution, available for $32 per month, eliminates much of the back and forth during the final stage of the process.
The final option for $40 per month is the All Apps Bundle, which includes SmartAlbums, Cloud Proofing, SmartSlides, and Pixellu Galleries.
SmartSlides is an online tool that allow users to time photos and set them to music. Pixellu Galleries is an image delivery tool designed to allow large numbers of images to load rapidly while still maintaining the crisp, clear quality of each photograph.
“A slideshow and a beautiful gallery are the best ways for a photographer to deliver photos to their clients in a way that makes a meaningful impact and allows their images to be the hero of the interaction,” Kelly told us.
Pixellu was developed for professional photographers by professional photographers. The passionate community that has formed around the software is evidence of that dynamic.
“We’ve had some amazing feedback over the years, but this one has got to be one of my favorites from well-known documentary family photographer Kirsten Lewis,” said Kelly.
In her review, Kirsten writes: “Exactly what I needed and I will be a forever-customer. The best part about it is that it’s so friggin’ easy our dog Mingus has started doing our album designs for us!”
Cloud Proofing is one of the most useful features that connect photographers and clients. The tool helps photographers quickly compile albums and share drafts with their clients.
Clients, then, can “flip” through the album and add comments, including “I don’t like photograph #2” or “Can you change the color in photograph #10,” for example
Photographers, on the other hand, don’t have to deal with sending emails. If they have collaborators, everyone is synced and has access to an album.
Neither party has to leave the SmartAlbums application, which helps streamline the process. In fact, Cloud Proofing is the only service of its kind that works seamlessly within the album builder.
Other photographers have shared their impressions of the technology.
Ben Sasso, a photographer and educator, wrote in a testimonial, “Pixellu software has saved me so much time on tedious parts of my job. Goodbye wasted time, hello creativity!”
Wedding photographer Benj Haisch agreed, saying, “It’s quick, intuitive, and the results are beautiful. My clients are in love.”
More than 10 years ago, two photographers were tired of spending so much time in front of their computers and not enough time with their families or creating art. Their desire to increase their income without spending more time in front of a screen led to Pixellu — and the rest is history.
“They’re still both photographers at heart, and want to see photographers continue to succeed as artists, first and foremost,” said Kelly.
In addition to album-design software, Pixellu provides a free blog designed to cover information photographers can use to run a successful business. Article topics include dealing with difficult clients, getting better reviews, and even creating a great photography website.
Successful photographers also write guest posts on the blog, sharing their tips for how to take better photos and create more appealing albums and slideshows.
And the company is always looking to develop software programs and add new features. For instance, the team launched over 600 slideshow songs in SmartSlides earlier this year.
“Licensing music for slideshows can be expensive and time-consuming, and copyright rules aren’t always easy to follow,” said Kelly, “So we’ve compiled a library of over 1,000 fully licensed songs within SmartSlides for photographers to use.”
The company is also working to give photographers more tools in Pixellu Galleries, including ways to mark their favorite images and embed a SmartSlides slideshow within each photography gallery.
“Everything we do gives the photography community the tools they need to run a successful business, so they can focus on what they love — creating art,” Kelly told us.