1 Online booking site for photographers, built with Pixieset Studio Manager

5 Reasons why photographers need an online booking site [examples included]

Running your own photography business and supporting yourself through your craft is one of the most rewarding feelings. It can also be a challenge, as it requires you to wear a lot of hats simultaneously, from marketing and website building to accounting, finance management, etc. A trick, to help you protect your passion as well as grow your business, is to find systems and tools that help you optimize and automate your process.

Take booking clients for example — it’s a critical part of your photography business, but it takes quite a bit of time, energy and back-and-forth communication. The solution is simple. Set up an online booking tool that runs automatically, so clients can book your services without any effort and involvement from your side. In today’s article, we’ll go over Studio Manager and how you can use it to create an online booking site for your photography business. You’ll discover its main benefits, see examples from other photographers who use it, and learn how to get started via a free account.

5 reasons why photographers need an online booking site

The obvious reason why every photographer needs an automated booking and scheduling process is that you get an ‘extra set of hands’ - like an assistant that does all the tedious work for you. Whether it’s scheduling a bunch of sessions back to back, or making sure everyone pays on time — it’s all about having the peace of mind that things are handled. Below are 5 reasons you should use the booking and scheduling tool available inside Studio Manager.

#1 Save time

At the beginning of your photography career business can be slow, with only a few inquiries coming in. During that time, replying to each message and scheduling a new session is exhilarating. But as more and more inquiries come in, answering everyone’s questions, finding a convenient time slot and scheduling every client becomes a tedious, demanding process. That’s where an online booking tool comes in. You set it up once, list your photography services with details about duration, price, location, add your calendar availability, and that’s it. See demo sample of a booking site.

Clients who are interested to hire you, access your booking site, pick the session they want, choose a date and time and proceed to reserving their spot. It’s simple and fast.

#2 An automated, effortless process

If you enjoy the creative side of running a photography business, but would rather delegate the admin work to someone else — an online booking site is the right solution for you. Skip the back-and-forth communication required to schedule new sessions. Automate recurring steps, such as collecting payments, asking clients to sign a contract or fill out a questionnaire. All of these actions can be integrated into your booking process, so clients are required to complete them in order to reserve their spot. You can be out photographing, editing or spending time with your loved ones, while sessions are booked and payments are made on auto-pilot. How amazing is that?

#3 Book more clients, faster

Making your booking process more accessible and convenient for clients ensures that anybody who wants to hire you, can do that immediately, from any device and at any time of the day. There’s no friction, no delays. Interested clients don’t have to send you a message, wait for an answer, then ask about available time slots and wait again. All of these are steps that extend the booking process and can lead to clients losing interest and dropping out. Thus, a smooth, automated online booking process helps you convert leads into clients at a higher and faster rate, as compared to the traditional, offline method.

#4 Get paid immediately

You can choose to collect a partial or full session fee right during the booking process. The client will be prompted to pay via PayPal or credit card, in order to secure their date and time slot. This guarantees that you get paid up front and have a stable cashflow. It also ensures high commitment from your clients and reducing no-shows.

#5 Manage your schedule more efficiently

The beauty of booking clients through Studio Manager is that you get a clear, unified overview of your work schedule, with reminders for upcoming sessions. You can view all confirmed bookings, check more details about the client, their payment status and photo preferences. It’s the easiest way to stay organized, and manage your time productively.

To centralize everything, you can sync your Google Calendar with your Studio Manager account, so all your appointments, personal and work related, can be viewed in one single place. Once you make an arrangement inside your personal calendar, Studio Manager will automatically block off this time slot, to avoid you getting double-booked.

Booking & Scheduling with Pixieset Studio Manager

If you’re ready to power up your booking and scheduling process, automate the steps and offer clients a simpler, more professional way to book a session with you — go ahead and sign up for Studio Manager at pixieset.com/studio-manager. With the free plan you’ll be able to create a booking site with one session type, where you can add details related to session length, location and your availability. Once you publish the booking site, clients can easily self-book a session with you, online.

Check this tutorial for more details on how to create your first online booking site with Studio Manager. To unlock more functionality, such as multiple session types, full and partial payment options, intake forms such as contracts and questionnaires — you’ll need to upgrade to a paid Studio Manager or Suite plan.

Examples of online booking sites created by photographers

Seeing is believing, and what better way to discover the real benefits and value of an online booking site, then by checking out some real examples created by photographers from the Pixieset community.

Amy Harper Fotografie | View Booking site

”As a planner person, I was very excited to offer booking through Pixieset because it is simple and it offers a bit of extra reassurance to new clients, helping to close the deal. I make sure to update my availability at regular intervals through the year which gives me a long range perspective on upcoming events.”

Portraiture by Sukh | View Booking site

”I love Studio Manager because it's great to have everything you could possible need as a photographer in one place. Booking clients online has been so good for my sanity! It really streamlines the communication process for me.”

HLJ Images | View Booking site

“I love that Pixieset is constantly adding new features that are helpful for photographers. I found the new booking site to be a great way to showcase my different session types, and the calendar means that it's that much easier for clients to book a date knowing it's already available!”

Cristin Franks Photography | View Booking site

“I love Pixieset’s Studio Manager! They listen to the users and are always adding features we ask for.”

Bri'Anne Elizabeth Photography | View Booking site

”I’ve used Pixieset for years to deliver galleries to my clients. Recently I realized I wasn’t taking full advantage of the amazing tools Pixieset offers in their Studio Manager. I book on average 100 senior photo sessions between June-November each year…it’s exhausting doing all of the scheduling myself. Then I discovered Pixieset’s booking site. I LOVE it!! It’s already made my new bookings so much easier. I just send clients to my booking site, they pick a package and date, I approve it, and we’re set. There’s so many customization options that are super helpful in booking new sessions for all sorts of availabilities. So grateful to use this new tool to help my workflow run much more smoothly!”

Travis J Film + Photo | View Booking site

”Using the Studio Manager in Pixieset has helped streamline my workflow with clients so much! I love that I can run my business on the same platform as my website and galleries. My clients are loving the booking feature!”

One Nomad Photography | Booking site

Elle Jaye | View Booking site

Sign up for a free Pixieset account, and set up your online Booking Site.
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