If you're a New Zealand photographer specialising in school, kindergarten/day care or sports team photography, you need a Workspace Volume Portrait Account!
But before we get into its popular features and how to use them, let us explain…
- What makes a Workspace Volume Account such an efficient, easy-to-use, business-friendly way to sell your photography online.
- Why you can trust us to deliver high quality prints and products at affordable prices.
A Workspace Volume Portrait Account covers everything, start to finish.
- You upload and edit your price lists
- You upload your images for sale after the shoot
- Your customers enjoy user-friendly image browsing
- Workspace collects customer orders and payments
- You receive payment immediately
- Orders are automatically uploaded for printing etc
- We deliver finished prints and products to your customers
Individual logins — You can set individual logins for each student, so parents only need to view their child's photos, and their orders can be individually packed.
Shipping — We can ship express to the parents’ house, or you can arrange bulk delivery to the school or kindergarten — so there’s no need to do your own order administration and packing.
Trust is everything
Partnering with a professional print lab that you can trust is crucial. That's why we’ve built Workspace to link directly to our own pro lab, Queensberry. It means we can deliver the best quality products at affordable prices. And that means you can make a healthy profit at prices that don’t put off your customers.
We’ve built Workspace to eliminate the manual labour from your business. That means you can focus on photography and editing rather than order processing and fulfilment.
And we have a proven track record of success! Some photographers using our platform are making sales between 15-45k in a single month.
How to get started
To get started with a Workspace Volume Account, you can just continue reading this Guide. It provides an overview of our platform, how it works, and how to start using it. We’re here to help if you need it.
If you’d like to speak to someone first, or at any time, we invite you to book a one-to-one Zoom callwith us to discuss your business needs and how to make our platform work best for you.
Note: In this Guide we’ll talk about schools, parents and students, but the same principles and roles apply if you’re working with sports teams etc.
Easy image upload: Workspace is designed to quickly and easily upload lots of images.
A unique login for each student: A personal login for each student allows parents to easily view photos of just their own child.
Auto-created Collections: Workspace sorts the files in an Image Gallery into separate Collections for each student. This is what allows parents to see photographs of just their own child. To do so Workspace uses a specialised CSV document that links each student’s details to the images in the Gallery.
Custom Login Portal: You don’t need to send individual links to parents. Instead you send a link to your branded Login Portal when you’re ready for parents to login, view the images and buy.
Pre-registration: You can also send a pre-registration link before to the photo shoot to collect parents' email addresses. This allows you to notify them when the photos go live, and to also send follow-up marketing emails to encourage sales.
Class Photos: You can identify certain images as Class Photos that can be offered to all parents in addition to photos of their own child. You can offer different products that can be purchased of these (e.g. laminated 12x8 prints). You can also restrict downloads of the files.
Bulk collation of orders: Orders can be delivered directly to customers' homes, or you can offer the option of holding orders until a set date and shipping them in bulk to the school, meaning parents can save on shipping.
Hands-free product sales: As well as prints, you can offer digital downloads, frames and canvases. You decide which products you want to offer, and the prices you want to charge. Queensberry will create these prints and products for you and deliver them direct to the customer or school.
Hands-free orders and payment: Workspace processes your orders on your own branded website and delivers payments immediately to your own Stripe account.
Packages: Create “package deals” of your best-selling products so that they’re easier for customers to purchase, and so you can offer special pricing. This is a great way to upsell!
Custom domain and branding: You can connect a custom domain to your account, and create a beautiful site consistent with your brand.
To access our specialist Volume Portrait Account features you’ll need a Workspace Pro Subscription costing US$29 per month or US$290 per year.
Customers will be charged NZ$1.00 packaging and handling on all bulk delivery orders (i.e. those to be collated for shipment to the school). In addition you will be charged freight on the bulk delivery. Note: you can choose to offer this delivery option or not, as you prefer.
You can view our print product pricing here:
A brief overview of the process
School and team photography is highly competitive, and the way each business operates, and the services it offers, are often an important part of its competitive advantage. Our clients can and do use the platform in different ways, and for that reason you should treat this Guide as a generalised introduction.
To use the service you’ll need to create a Gallery for each school or team you photograph, and provide parents with login credentials to access it.
Parents will be able to purchase digital downloads and print products.
Workspace will collect payments for you and deliver them to your Stripe account after deducting the wholesale cost of print products. Stripe will charge transaction processing fees, but no commission will be deducted.
Digital downloads are delivered by emailing a download link to the customer.
Product purchases can be delivered direct to the parents’ homes, or you can offer the option of bulk shipping (of print orders only) if you wish. Bulk shipping offers parents a saving if they choose to use it. If so their order will be shipped to the school in bulk, along with orders from other parents. The service is available on loose print orders only and parents will need to place their orders by a date set by you.
Important: To avoid damage, we do not deliver frames, canvases or matted prints direct to schools – parents can enter their own address for delivery. They may be required to pay freight if they order prints.
How to set up your account
1. Request a Volume Portrait Account
Volume Portrait Accounts require an annual Pro+ Workspace Plan, and — because they’re highly specialised — are subject to our approval. As we said in the summary above, our clients operate their accounts in different ways, and the platform has some flexibility to allow this. We will evaluate whether a Volume Portrait Account would be suitable in your situation.
Please contact us to discuss your requirements, which we will treat in confidence. Once approved you can begin setting up your account.
2. Decide what print and product sizes you want to offer
It’s important to know what sizes are popular — and what your competitors sell — but it’s also important that your print and product sizes have the same aspect ratio as the files you’ll be uploading! Parents aren’t likely to understand the concept of aspect ratio, so it’s best to avoid sizes that will crop your images, for example, or leave blank space in a frame.
Click the link below for more about aspect ratio. The first part of the article describes in detail why aspect ratio can be a problem, especially for high-volume accounts. The second explains what to do about it, including how to choose suitable print and product sizes from our range.
3. Create your Price Lists and Packages
You’ll need to link your Price Lists and Packages to your School Galleries in order to make sales, so you should have these ready before you start uploading Galleries. You’ll be able to add, edit or delete them later.
Your Price Lists determine what products will be offered in your Galleries and how much you want to charge for them.
If you decide to create Packages (i.e. combinations of products that you want to offer as a set price package deal) you’ll need to create these before you can add them to your Price List.
4. Set up to watermark your files
We recommend watermarking to avoid users taking screenshots of them. Use a white watermark with a lowered opacity, and set up the feature so that it covers the image.
In Workspace go to Settings >> Watermarks to upload and apply your watermark. When a customer purchases a photo the watermark will be removed automatically.
5. Set up default Gallery Settings
We generally recommend setting up Image Gallery Defaults to save time and avoid mistakes. Defaults mean that every time you upload a gallery the same price list, gallery theme and watermarking will be applied automatically unless you override them.
In Workspace click Settings >> Image Gallery Defaults to enter your defaults. You can override the defaults or change them at any time.
Add a paragraph about our recommendations.
6. Connect Stripe to collect payments
You will need a Stripe account to receive the money you earn from your Workspace sales. Connect your bank account to your Stripe account settings to withdraw your sales' proceeds.
The help article below will guide you through the steps involved in connecting Stripe: https://help.queensberry.com/article/378-how-to-set-up-stripe-for-workspace
7. Enter your tax details
To enter your tax number and GST/VAT rates go to Settings >> Shopping Cart Settings. If you're not GST registered, leave the Tax Number blank and enter 0% as your tax rate.
It's essential to charge GST and make GST returns if you earn over the threshold, so if you’re unsure please consult your accountant! We are not liable if your settings do not comply with the law.
The below article explains how Workspace and Queensberry handle tax on your retail sales in Workspace: https://help.queensberry.com/article/351-tax-and-your-sales-in-workspace.
8. Build your Login Portal
Setting up your Login Portal is the final step in setting up your account. Put simply, this is a standard web page with an embedded Login widget. Once they’re logged in, parents and students are taken directly to an Image Collection containing the personal and class photos etc that are relevant to them.
Your Login Portal has a unique URL that you can share with the school once a Gallery is uploaded and ready for viewing. The school can then publicise the link, eg by email, so parents can view the photos and place orders.
If you’ve used our pre-registration function to collect parents' email addresses before the shoot, you’ll be also able to email notifications with the Login URL when the photos go live.
Your Login Portal can be on a site hosted in Workspace, or it can link to an external site. If the latter you can customise its appearance to match the external site using Workspace’s in-built page editing tools.
You only need one Login Portal. Just make sure that each student across all your schools has a unique combination of USERID and PASSWORD. More on this below.
Contact us if you’d like us to supply a free, personally branded, user-friendly Login Portal.
Many clients use our free page, but you may prefer to customise yours more than we can provide for free!
How to create your own custom Login Portal
- In Workspace click WEBSITE in the main navigation.
- Select Website Pages from the dropdown menu.
- Click the name of the page you wish to add the Login to (e.g. HOME), or click Add Page + to add a new page for the Login.
- Click the + button to bring up a list of widgets.
- Select the School Login Link widget under 'Others'.
- Preview how the Login widget will look by selecting the Preview button.
- Select Publish to update the Login webpage so that it will display on your website.
What you’re creating in this process is a standard Workspace page which you can personalise, or add content to, such as an introduction or frequently asked questions, to make it more useful to customers. You can customise the page’s appearance using Workspace’s in-built page editing tools.
How to operate your Volume Portrait Account
This section covers our file specifications; renaming your files after you’ve finished post-production work on them; preparing the “CSV” that will match student and parent data etc to your image files in the Gallery; and creating, uploading and sharing your gallery.
Queensberry’s file specifications
Before exporting and uploading files for loose prints, frames, canvases, matted prints etc, please follow this link for Queensberry's File Specifications. Ensure the files are sized to suit the prints you want us to make from them.
If you haven't printed with us before: We strongly recommend ordering test prints early in the process — before preparing the files for your first School Gallery, and well before the delivery deadline! It’s important to give yourself plenty of time to make any necessary adjustments in the editing process.
Preparing and exporting your files ready for uploading
After completing your photo shoot, complete post-production on your files before exporting them ready to upload. That includes:
- Colour correction, as necessary
- Complying with our file specifications
- Adjusting the aspect ratio if necessary (Step 2 above)
- Renaming the files (see below)
Image files must be renamed before uploading to Workspace.
File names need to work with our production software and with the CSV file that we’ll discuss next.
CSV stands for "comma-separated values" and is a file type (.csv) widely understood by spreadsheets and database software.
Follow these simple, key rules to ensure that your file names comply with our requirements and are easy for you and parents to understand.
- File names need to be unique within the Gallery.
- Keep names short, meaningful and easy to understand.
- Spaces, hyphens, underscores and special characters won’t work in the CSV. For that reason use only alphanumeric characters (A-Z and 1-10).
- Use capital letters to delimit words: not spaces, hyphens or underscores.
- Important! Maintaining the correct name order is essential for the CSV to work, so for numbers use a minimum of two digits (eg 01 or 001 instead of 1; 02 or 002 instead of 2).
Example of a good filename: WillSmith001.jpg
Preparing the CSV document
Once you’ve exported your files — renamed and ready for uploading — it’s time to to prepare the “CSV” document that will link each student’s details and the files relevant to them with the actual images in the Gallery.
1. Download the CSV template
In Workspace Volume Portrait Accounts, the CSV we refer to is a downloadable .csv spreadsheet template that you download and populate with the information necessary to create your Gallery and the individual logins for each student, including:
- Each client's name and password
- The first and last image in which each individual features
- Up to 10 "class photos,"
- The "Room" (for sorting images by class or team), and
- Relevant "sibling images."
Contact us to receive the download link to your CSV template. Once you’ve downloaded the empty template you can start entering data to it.
2. You’ll need information from the school
Information from the school should be in spreadsheet form so you can copy and paste the data into the CSV.
For each student:
- First name
- Last name
- Room name or number
You’ll find the CSV columns into which to paste this data below. The “room number” will help you to group and navigate through the student names, and to allocate appropriate class photo(s) to each student.
3. Generate a User ID and Unique Password for each student
- User IDs don’t need to be unique.
- Passwords must be unique across the entire school.
- The combination (User ID + Password) must be unique across all your schools, all students and every year!
A few tips about Logins!
- Room3, GreenBaySchool or GreenBay23 are all OK as User IDs. GreenBay23 is best in that it applies to the whole school and allows for GreenBay24 next year!
- In spreadsheet software an easy way to generate passwords is to combine first and last name (without spaces!) e.g. Johnny Smith’s password will be JohhnySmith. Check for duplicates in your spreadsheet software and add a numeral if necessary (e.g. JohnnySmith01 and JohnnySmith02)
- This strategy has two advantages. It’s very easy for you to complete these two columns in the CSV, and it’s easy for the school to tell parents how to login. Just make a note to tell parents about duplicates etc.
- This assumes that privacy is not a problem — ie the Login procedure is simply to take parents directly to the photos of their children. If privacy is a concern to particular parents it’s simple to make special arrangements, as with duplicates. Otherwise you can use software or spreadsheet formulas to autogenerate passwords, but in that case you’ll need to make an arrangement with the school to distribute the logins.
4. Now you can add the image file names relevant to each student
A few tips about file names!
- Remember, file names in the CSV must exactly match the file names of the images you’re uploading, and be unique within the Gallery.
- Those names are case-sensitive.
- Workspace will replace any spaces with an underscore, which means the names will no longer match.
- Avoid using special characters — use alphanumeric characters only to avoid breaking the CSV.
What goes in each field (column) of the CSV
This may look complicated at first glance, but fundamentally you only need to add three things — the FIRST and LAST images in which the student appears* and the CLASS PHOTO.
- This explains why keeping file names in order is important (eg from first name WillSmith001 to last name WillSmith011)
- The column order in the CSV must not be changed.
- Columns H-P and Column R are optional columns, to use if you want to offer “added extras”. Don’t delete them if you’re not using them!
* Column A: User ID: The code the client will use to login, together with their password, to view images and purchase.
* Column B: Password: The password the client will use to login, together with their User ID, to view images and purchase.
* Column C: First Name: The first name of the student. This will also be the name of the collection auto-created by Workspace.
* Column D: Last Name: The last name of the student.
* Column E: Image Start: The file name of the first individual photograph in which the student appears. File naming rules apply!
* Column F: Image End: The file name of the last individual photograph in which the student appears. You can have as many images per student as you like.
* Column G: Class Photo: The file name of the class photo in which the student appears. Multiple students will have access to this image file and be able to make purchases from it.
* Columns H-P: These nine optional columns allow you to add extra photos such as sports photos, music photos, additional class photos etc. As with Column G, multiple students will have access to these images.
* Column Q: Room: This is the “Room” data for each student (received from the school, see above).
* Column R: Sibling image start (optional): If you have a system for identifying siblings in the student body, enter the file name of the first image in which the sibling appears in this column (i.e. what appears in Column E of the sibling’s record).
Once this data has been entered, the completed spreadsheet will be ready to upload to Workspace, where it will be used to sort your Gallery into separate passworded Collections for each student, using our Auto-Create Collections feature.
Save the CSV file under a suitable name, making sure it’s still in .csv format.
Creating, uploading and sharing your gallery
Step 1: Create your Gallery
Log in to Workspace and navigate to "Image Gallery" in the main menu. Create a new Gallery and give it a name that identifies the school or team. Adding the year may help you locate the folder later on! This will become ever more important as your work builds up in Workspace.
Step 2: Upload your photos
Click "Upload Images" and upload all the image files for this school to your new Image Gallery.
Step 3: Apply your CSV file
Click the "Auto Create Collections" button and apply the CSV file. A pop-up window will appear displaying the data that Workspace is importing. Check the data layout to ensure it’s correct, and if so click "Process Above Data." Wait for Workspace to finish processing the data. Do not leave or refresh the page during this process.
Step 4: Check the data
Once the data is processed, check the Collections menu on the left-hand side of the page to see a list of students' names with the number of images in their Collection. Click on a few names to verify that the correct images appear in their Collection.
Step 5: Apply Settings
Click the Cog icon to view Gallery Settings.
- Add introductory text to assist Gallery visitors, or for marketing purposes.
- Apply the appropriate Price List for the products you’re offering.
- Consider setting up Image Gallery Defaults so that the same price list, gallery theme and watermarking are applied to every Gallery.
- If you’ve offered optional Bulk Shipping, enter the date by which orders must be placed.
- Once you’ve updated the settings, click "Apply to all Collections" so that every student's collection is updated with the new settings.
Step 6: Release Gallery
Once you’re satisfied with the Gallery, share your Login Portal link with the school so that they can distribute it to parents, for example by email.
If you’ve used the Pre-Registration feature, you can email parents directly to inform them that they can now access the photos and make purchases.
How the sales platform works
Volume Portrait Accounts are designed to handle lots and lots of orders from the hundreds and hundreds of photographs that you may shoot at a school. They’re designed to take a parent straight to the photos of their child, plus a class photo, plus maybe a few others personal to them.
- The magic for the parent is that they don’t need to look through all the photos they’re not interested in.
- The magic for you is that from then on we do all the work: receive orders, collect payment, do the printing, make the products, and deliver them.
Once you’ve uploaded the images and CSV, and shared the Gallery, your Volume Portrait shop front will work like any other Workspace account.
There is one exception — as we’ve already discussed — that with a Volume account you can offer an economical Bulk Shipment option in Gallery Settings, where orders can be consolidated and sent as a single shipment to the school.
In every other way a parent’s online shopping experience will be identical to every other Workspace customer’s.
You can read more about sales, payouts and product fulfilment in Workspace here.
How to piggy-back on a Bulk Shipment — and thank the teachers!
Bulk Shipments — if you offer them — are easy to set up in Gallery Settings. Children collect their parents’ orders from school, meaning a substantial saving on courier charges that can add a lot to the cost of small print orders.
But there can be a hidden benefit to the photographer as well, in that you can add a separate order to be shipped as part of the Bulk Delivery.
Why do this? School Photographers, for example, often supply teaching staff with a set of free class photos. Shipping them with the bulk order saves on freight and delivers them direct to the staff.
Please follow these instructions to ensure your order is correctly linked to the school’s Bulk order. Otherwise at check out you’ll charged freight on your order and it won’t be linked to the Bulk Delivery.
Step 1. Open the Gallery you wish to order from well before the cut-off date has passed. As these are often large orders, we recommend ordering at least 3 days prior to cut-off to ensure we’ll have enough time to print and laminate without delaying the bulk order.
Step 2. Select the images you want to order from within the Gallery.
Step 3. Click the "Shopping Cart" Icon within the Gallery and select "Open Shopping Cart with selected Images".
Step 4. Select the products and quantities you want to order, and proceed to checkout.
Step 5. At checkout select ”Use address from [GalleryName] event details”. This will make the shipping free. It will also correctly identify the order in our production system as part of the Bulk Order rather than a normal express order. We'll then be able to include it in the Bulk Delivery to the school.