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How To Use WooCommerce to Sell Your Photos to Clients and Customers

I’m the first to admit. No plugin is perfect for every need when it comes to selling your photography.But if you are currently using WooCommerce, or seriously considering it, the WooCommerce Photography extension could be just what you’ve been looking for.

One of the things you should remember as you decide on what plugin to use to sell your photography on your WordPress site: think long-term. For example, WooCommerce also allows your clients to book studio or on-site photo shoots, as well as offer other products you might consider down the road, such as eBooks, etc. So keep that in mind.

With this extension, you can:

  1. Sell your photos to anyone, or
  2. Allow protected viewing, for clients only

The latter is perfect when you are doing photo shoots and want to let the client choose extra images as a package deal,  or as individual shots.

The WooCommerce Photography Extension

Once you have installed the extension, the very first thing you will need to do is set your collection thumbnail and lightbox sizes. You will also set your collection default: Restricted or Public. Set this as you intend the majority of your collections to be accessed, but you will also be able to set this per collection as well.

settings WooCommerce photography

Adding Photographs and Creating Collections

First let’s add a collection. As you can see, this is really no different than adding product categories. For this example, I am creating this for a client photo shoot, so I am keeping it restricted.

There are additional restriction options that you will be able to set, including subscription levels if the photos are to be accessed based on a membership site you have set up.

creating a photography collection

Now I add the images I took for this collection. This is done by the familiar media uploader in WordPress and allows you to add an SKU, price and the collection you want to add it to. Once it’s uploaded, you will find it at the bottom where you can edit any of these and add a caption.

This is where you may upload photos only to collections. If you want to upload a photo as a single product, that would be the same as uploading any product in WooCommerce as a simple product.

add photograph

If you want to bulk upload, you can do this in the same way by adding several images at a time. The SKU patter you set will assign a unique SKU to each one uploaded and of course, they all will go into the chosen collection. But you will need to set the price as global, so if you need to set different prices for each one, you will need to manually change them or get a bit creative in your uploads and collections. For example, if you have three prices and 50 images, you may want to assign them to a different collection to save you some time.

adding bulk photographs

The number you can upload at one time will be determined by what your hosting plan allows.

Once you have these all uploaded and saved, you can go to the individual product/photo and change the access on just that specific image.

chance access for specific photo

Giving Access to Collections to Your Clients

I have shown you the settings, but you will also need to add users who you want to access specific collections. You do this just like adding any user to your site via Users > Add New. The only addition is you will assign them the collection you are allowing access to.

adding a user to a collection

When you do that, they get a notice that the photos have been added to their account.

email to client that photos can be accessed

When they log into their account, they will find the collections there.

collections in account

They can view the photos in the collection and purchase what they want:

photos to purchase in collection

Add-ons for Your Photo Collections

If you want to create product add-ons with a photo collection, the WooCommerce Product Add-On works seamlessly with this extension. You can learn more about that extension here. But essentially, when you create any global add-on with that extension, it will give you the option to add it to any collection you have created.

You can get creative with up-sells and other add-ons for any photography you are selling.

This plugin really helps you control the images you sell publicly or privately to customers and clients. Obviously, I could not show all scenarios that this extension could be used for, but you can easily create an online photography business powered by WooCommerce and the WooCommerce Photography extension.

6 Comments

  1. Kristian Adolfsson on April 17, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Hi Bob
    The link
    https://bobwp.com/get/woocommerce-photography-extension/
    goes to an empty page.

    • BobWP on April 19, 2018 at 5:28 am

      Sorry, it was a glitch 🙁 all fixed now!

  2. frankcoppola220173 on February 9, 2019 at 1:07 am

    it is impossible to have the original name of photo because the extension give the automatic name “photography # xxx from collection”

    • BobWP on February 9, 2019 at 6:51 am

      Off-hand I’m thinking for this particular application, there is a reason. This is probably more useful selling clients images from a photo shoot. Because the photos are not created as actual products, they are automatically assigned a number for ordering and processing through WooCommerce.

      As opposed to images you may be selling publicly more as stock or something similar to that.

      A good example of using this plugin would be selling wedding gigs or event photos.

  3. Tom on September 4, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    These don’t add a watermark, unfortunately :/

    • BobWP on September 5, 2019 at 7:06 am

      Yep, that is the one piece missing. I know it makes life much easier but I also know some photographers who prefer to do this bulk via some software program. I know that Envira Gallery has a WooCommerce addon that does provide watermarks.

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