ZenBlog: Blog http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) ZenBlog (ZenBlog) Mon, 05 Oct 2015 06:23:00 GMT Mon, 05 Oct 2015 06:23:00 GMT 6 Top Photo Booth Trends http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/10/6-top-photo-booth-trends


At a reunion, wedding or corporate event, you’ll likely find a photo booth on site. Although photo booths have been around for 100 years, it took 90 of those for them to take off, and it seems now they’re everywhere. “About two years ago, there were five to 10 photo booth manufacturers, and now there are more than 120,” says Chris Meyer, founder of Slow Motion Booth. Whether you just want to stay in the know or wish to add photo booth photography to your services, here are the top six types trending now:  


Traditional walk-in booth

You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who hasn’t experienced this booth. Popular in bars and pop-up events, these are easy to get ahold of and set up. This type of booth has the walled sides and the curtained entry and is known for its instant print out photo strip that guests and attendees can take home with them to have a fun memento of their day.


Studio booth with backdrop

Great for weddings and corporate events, this type of booth is beneficial if clients want more professional-quality photos. It can utilize a large or small space and usually has studio monolights and a background similar to what would be found in a photography studio. It’s enhanced by fun props, such as boas, beads, masks and hats. More than likely, people will want to order photos to display in their cubicles or homes.


All-in-one solutions

If you want to be able to do it all: video, photo, studio quality or not, it’s great to invest in something that reflects that. Photo Booth Supply Co. is a great option as it has all those capabilities built into a single stand-alone unit with user interface and sharing options built into the unit. While the camera is not included, but you can use your own and enclose it into the housing and integrate it into the automated software. Although it’s a bit of an investment upfront, you’ll make it back and then some for all of the different offerings you can provide.


Slow motion booth

“Everybody’s taken a photo booth photo before. The slow-mo booth allows you to do something completely different than what you can do in the photo booth. It’s a storytelling process that’s more engaging,” says Meyer. This wedding video made it famous, and people love to watch their story unfold for friends and family.


Converted Airstream

For the hip crowd, Airstream photo booths have been popping up in cities everywhere over the past couple of years. Airstreams are a great idea if you plan to travel from destination to destination with ease. Plus, the Airstream is unique. You can bet if you drive up to a party with it, people will want to see what’s inside. Here’s a Zenfolio user who smartly named theirs BlueSteel.



Want to save money and get creative? There’s always a DIY option for your photo booth. Some ideas include: using a Polaroid camera, Sparkbooth (photo booth software), Pocketbooth, or you can find inspiration on Pinterest.


Ready to start? Meyers, who saw overnight success with his photo booth business, advises photographers to find a successful partner in the photo booth industry and get a relationship going. And of course, “Being a high quality service provider, while doing something different, will make you successful,” he says.

(ZenBlog) Photo Booth Zenfolio photographer photography professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/10/6-top-photo-booth-trends Mon, 05 Oct 2015 16:00:00 GMT
5 Common Website Mistakes to Avoid http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/5-common-website-mistakes-to-avoid

Websites are undeniably the most important sales and marketing tool for today's professional photographer. They display your work, provide information, sell your products, and ensure that you can be easily contacted. However, with the average amount of time someone stays on a web page being less than a minute, you need to make a positive impression fast. Whether you are creating your first website or you are reworking one you've had for a while, you'll want to avoid these common pitfalls.


1. Your website is overwhelming or downright annoying 

There is something to be said for keeping it simple. Hitting your clients with music, animated backgrounds, and a slideshow all at once on your homepage might be too much. Many people conduct their searches from an office environment and will close out of a site in a panic when music unexpectedly shoots out of their computer speakers. Choose carefully when considering whether you want music playing when your website first loads. A great place for music is in personalized slideshows for your clients where it will enhance the emotional appeal of your images.

On the same note, if your background is competing with your photography or potentially causing seizure activity, tone it down. There are many great features you can include in your website, but spread them out and use them to enhance your work not distract from it. 


2. Your contact information is missing or buried

One of the fastest ways to lose business (and therefore lose money) is to make clients search your site for a way to reach you. Contact information should be in a highly visible place, like in the header or footer of your site, in a text that’s large enough to read easily. A contact page/form is another great way to make sure that potential and current clients can get in touch with you with the click of a button. Accurate and accessible contact information gives people confidence that you are a credible business.


3. You are displaying images that aren't professional 

There is no excuse for blurry, underexposed, or "snapshot" work on a professional photographer's website. Even if you are just starting out, aim for quality not quantity. And, if all the photos are of your own kids (or your pet), you need to get out there and shoot some more. If you’re in search of models, post to social media or sites such as Craigslist for students or models who are starting out and want to build their portfolio. You won’t have to spend money, and you’ll both get more experience and work samples.


4. Your site is outdated and has dead links

Do you have information on your site that promotes a sale you had four months ago? Is your price list from 2012? Do you have links that no longer work? Websites require occasional maintenance. Old information makes it look like you went out of business, and not making updates hurts your ranking on search engines (Google loves new content). Dead links are unprofessional at best. Sites like http://www.brokenlinkcheck.com make it easy to check your entire site for links to nowhere. Make it a priority to keep your site up to date and functional.


5. You have too much text

TL;DR means "too long; didn't read." No one wants to read through a full page of text to find what you could have told them in a few sentences. If you need to decrease your font size to 3pt to fit in everything on a page, you have too much text.


So don't have a website that drives clients away. Avoiding these mistakes will ensure that your website works for you, not against you.


Cheryl Steinhoff is a Customer Support Manager for Zenfolio. She has also worked for 10+ years as a professional portrait photographer, splitting her time between North Carolina and Massachusetts. Her two amazing sons bring the greatest joy to her life.

(ZenBlog) Zenfolio photographer photography professional photographer professional photography selling website mistakes to avoid http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/5-common-website-mistakes-to-avoid Wed, 30 Sep 2015 16:01:00 GMT
Zenfolio Website Update http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/website-update Dear Zenfolio Community, 


We have had several site outages in the past week linked to one of our database servers. We took the site down on Saturday to upgrade the server. The site was fully functional after that, but today, we started experiencing some database server instabilities. The team is currently working on assessing and fixing the issue but we don’t have the final assessment of the situation yet.

We know this is impacting you and your business and we sincerely apologize. We will let you know as soon as we know more. 



Peter Hayes

Director of Customer Support

(ZenBlog) http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/website-update Tue, 29 Sep 2015 03:35:06 GMT
Save 25% on Photo Greeting Cards http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/save-25-on-photo-greeting-cards

Create announcements and invitations that will make your loved ones smile. Now through September 30, save 25% percent on greeting cards from Mpix, MpixPro and One Vision Imaging.


And now, you and your customers can shop from your mobile device. Make sure this feature is enabled by going to Customize Visitor View, clicking Site Settings, selecting the Mobile Site tab, and checking the box.


As always, no coupon code is necessary when you order through your Zenfolio account. This sale ends September 30 at 11:59 p.m. PDT, so be sure to place your orders today.

Important Details Regarding the Sale

  • This sale will be effective from 27-Sep-2015 at 12:01 a.m. PDT until 30-Sep-2015 at 11:59 p.m. PDT and cannot be extended outside of this time frame. The discount applies to greeting cards from Mpix, MpixPro and One Vision Imaging only.
  • This discount cannot be combined with other promotions.
  • For photographers placing orders from Edit View, the promotion requires no coupon code.
  • The discount applies to base lab prices and will be reflected in the shopping cart only for orders placed from Edit View.
  • This Zenfolio promotion does not change any price lists that the photographer has created, and the discount will only be visible to photographers while logged in. Customers’ orders will not show a price discount. The discounted prices will be reflected as giving photographers a higher profit for each order.  
  • For more information, please read our Sales FAQ and blog post on how to run a sale on your site.



(ZenBlog) Mpix Mpix Pro One Vision Imaging Zenfolio announcement cards greeting cards invitations photo greeting cards http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/save-25-on-photo-greeting-cards Sun, 27 Sep 2015 07:01:00 GMT
Friday Foto Favorites 9.25 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/friday-foto-favorites-9-25

  1. Check out this vintage underwater wedding.
  2. Feet on pretty tile.
  3. One mountain range, very different lands.
  4. Photographing the homeless turned out to be much more telling than expected for this photographer.
  5. Instagram lies revealed. 
(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio best photos favorites featured photos weekly roundup http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/friday-foto-favorites-9-25 Fri, 25 Sep 2015 16:01:00 GMT
Product Spotlight: MindShift Gear Rotation180° http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/product-spotlight-mindshift-gear-rotation180

By Dan Ballard

“For those of you who don’t want to read this entire article, the rotation180° is the best photo bag that I have ever used hands down. While there are a few small issues, overall I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

*     *     *

Finding a great photo bag is difficult. It seems that no matter which bag you end up with, there are always major compromises. I have purchased more bags then I can count over the past 15 years trying to find the perfect setup.

So what makes a great photo bag? In my opinion: easy access to your photo gear, comfort and plenty of space all top the list. Great quality, thoughtful design and useable features follow directly after.

The most common type of bag on the market right now is the photo backpack. Unfortunately, they rarely meet the criteria above. It is the lack of quick access to gear that makes most photo backpacks unusable for me. While they can be comfortable and many have plenty of space, you generally have to set the bag down to access your gear. It is amazing how often this causes issues. I see my workshop students constantly setting backpacks down and walking away as they shoot. They always end up further from the bag then they realize, and often find themselves running back when a battery or memory card is needed.

Because of this, I have always preferred more traditional shoulder camera bags that either hang on your side or front and have used these for years. They allow quick, easy access to all of your gear, without having to take anything off or set anything down. As you move, it moves with you. It takes only a second to grab a new memory card or battery.

Of course there are issues with shoulder bags as well. The biggest being comfort, followed by lack of room. Using a heavy shoulder bag for any length of time, or carrying one on a long hike, can be miserable. It can also be difficult to find a place for a tripod.

So that was the choice. You either bought some sort of photo backpack that was very comfortable and had plenty of room for extra items but were forced to remove the bag to get to your gear, or you dealt with a small, uncomfortable shoulder bag with very little extra space. 

Why I like the rotation180°

Enter the rotation180°. It basically takes the best elements of both types of bags and combines them. You get the comfort and space of a backpack with the ease of access to your gear of a shoulder bag. Just grab the side of the main backpack and pull. A small inner bag slides around the waist strap to the front, allowing quick access to all of your most important gear, without needing to take off the main backpack. It is basically a backpack when you don’t need your gear, and a traditional shoulder bag when you do. 


The rotation180° is pricey, but it is also extremely well made. It’s right up there with the top outdoor backpack brands that last for years and years. I have put mine through the ringer for close to two years now and it still looks brand new. I’m not sure how they could improve the quality. Considering how many years of use the average photographer will get out of it, I feel like it is well worth the price. 

Ease of use

When you actually have it on your back, the ease of use is great—about as good as it gets. You have access to everything in the small sliding bag in about two seconds. For me, that includes my lenses, batteries, cards, filters, cable release, and lens cleaning cloth. If you need access to the top of the bag, just remove the shoulder straps and rotate the entire bag to the front. It is not quite as easy as rotating just the small bag, but it is still very fast and painless. That gives you access to everything else in the bag.

The only issue is when you don’t actually have the bag on your back. It is a pain to get to your gear when the bag is in the back of the car, for example. While it is not a big deal, it can be a hassle when all you want to do is grab a memory card from your camera and you can’t just unzip a zipper and get it. This is a pretty small complaint though, and well worth the trade-off to have your gear almost instantly when you are actually shooting—when it really matters.

For day trips and general shooting

The rotation180° really shines for day hikes and general shooting from the car. There is plenty of room for all of your camera gear, plus anything else you might need for the hike or the day. It is big enough for extra water, jackets, rain gear, an umbrella, etc., yet it’s small enough that it is not a pain to load and unload.

For multi-day backpacking trips

Using the rotation180° for multi-day backpacking is a bit of a stretch, and if you want to use it for that purpose you need to pack extremely light. That being said, I absolutely love it for two to three day trips. If you have light enough gear (read: crazy expensive), you can fit everything you need in the bag, plus food for three days, without issue. I have done a few four-day trips with it as well, but that is really at the edge of its limit. If you want to do quick, light, overnight or two-day trips, I can't recommend it enough (assuming you have very high-end, lightweight backpacking gear).

There are so many straps, hooks and attachment points you can basically strap anything on that you want. The fact that the bag is so well made means you can load it up with much more weight than is intended and not worry about damaging the bag.

If you are backpacking for more then four days, you will probably want to use a shoulder bag with a much bigger backpack for your camping gear. It is tough to fit enough food in the rotation180°, along with all of your photo and camping gear, for more then four days. 

For international travel

Being able to carry the rotation180°on the plane is great! It fits well in the overhead compartment. I carry my main body and lenses, tripod and other basics and I still have plenty of room for my headphones, iPad and food for the plane. If you have a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, it will easily fit in the top compartment as well. While I still have to check a bag with my backup body and other less important gear and clothing, it is great to have everything that I must have with me in a very comfortable backpack.

Overall, I love the rotation180°! It makes my life and my job so much more comfortable and manageable. I have super easy, quick access to all of my gear in a very comfortable, well-made setup. I rarely have to change bags for different situations. I am very impressed with the amount of time and thought put into making this bag a usable tool for photographers. From the built-in rain covers to the very effective tripod holder, to numerous pockets for storing anything and everything, it is nothing short of amazing.

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Dan Ballard is a Zenfolio Pro Team member and an internationally known travel and landscape photographer based in Denver, Colorado. His extensive portfolio of award-winning images takes you on a journey to some of the world’s most beautiful and far-reaching corners. For more information, visit his website at www.danballardphotography.com

(ZenBlog) Camera bag Hiking Zenfolio bag" mind shift outdoor camera bag photo photo bag rotation 180 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/product-spotlight-mindshift-gear-rotation180 Mon, 21 Sep 2015 16:00:00 GMT
Friday Foto Favorites 9.18 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/friday-foto-favorites-9-18

  1. Behold, the world’s largest negative.
  2. Quirky, quirky caterpillar.
  3. Perhaps the world’s wisest photography idea yet.
  4. This crafty bride took her own wedding photos.
  5. Surreal portraitist meets the real world. 
(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio best photos favorites featured photos weekly round up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/friday-foto-favorites-9-18 Fri, 18 Sep 2015 16:00:00 GMT
Design Minded: Five Easy Ways to Utilize a Custom Page on Your Zenfolio Website http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/design-minded-five-easy-ways-to-utilize-a-custom-page-on-your-zenfolio-website

By Anne-Marie Friday

Zenfolio includes many awesome built-in pages that are ready for you to use, but you can also create custom pages to help your business grow. A novice understanding of inserting images, hyperlinking, and tables is all you need to get started. In other words, if you know how to use Microsoft Word, you can create a simple custom web page.

Here are five custom pages that can make your site better—all built with the Zenfolio custom page feature.

1. Product Example Page

This page was created by combining text and graphics to create an elegant presentation of the products and pricing offered. Each section was saved as a JPEG, uploaded to Zenfolio, and then inserted into a custom page.

Credit: Chris Bonini Photography

2. Map to Your Studio

Adding a map for your business or studio is a great way to help your clients find you easily—and it couldn’t be simpler. Using the Embed link in the formatting toolbar of your custom page, paste in the code you’d like to use into the content field. Directions for getting your embeddable code from Google Maps can be found here.

Credit: Imagine Contemporary Portraits

3. Testimonials Page

This photographer created a testimonials page by inserting a two-column table. In the left column, insert an image of the couple or event you photographed straight from your Zenfolio gallery. In the right column, type in accolades or reviews you have received from your customers. It’s always good to include names, dates, or locations to provide authenticity.

Credit: Evan Chung Photography

4. Press, Published Work, or Awards Page

Another great custom page idea is to display your awards, published work, or press coverage. It not only adds variety to the pages on your site but will also highlight your talents and achievements. Utilizing simple tables once again, a clean yet impactful design is created by inserting a few images and some text.

Source: Kel Murphy Photography

5. Pricing Page

A custom page is the perfect way to display your fees and what is included in your sessions in an organized manner. To achieve this, simply start typing away.  You have control over everything from fonts, sizing, placement, to inserting photos, videos, or slideshows. All of this is available in the Formatting Toolbar of your custom page.

Source: Resplendent Photography

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So, now that we’ve shown you how easy it is to create a custom page, what page are you going to create next? We’d love to hear or see what pages you’ve created in the comments.

Go ahead, customize away!

(ZenBlog) Anne Marie Friday Custom Pages Customization Design Minded http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/design-minded-five-easy-ways-to-utilize-a-custom-page-on-your-zenfolio-website Mon, 14 Sep 2015 16:00:00 GMT
Friday Foto Favorites 9.11 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/friday-foto-favorites-9-11


  1. Gorgeous shots of an inventive interpretive dance.
  2. Rainbow skies.
  3. The photographer timed everything just right.
  4. Airplane + Supermoon.
  5. Not-to-miss shots of this year's Burning Man.
(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio best photos favorites featured photos weekly round up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/friday-foto-favorites-9-11 Fri, 11 Sep 2015 17:22:42 GMT
WWII Photos Recovered by Photographer’s Son http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/wwii-photos-recovered-by-photographers-son

What’s the best way to pay homage to a loved one? Showcase their greatest strengths. That’s what Bruce Bomhard did for his deceased father, Bill, who served as a documentary photographer in World War II. “I found [the photos] when I was a kid in the garage, and as a curious kid I opened them up and saw them, but didn’t really care or know much about them,” says Bill. “When I was older and realized what they were, I was like, ‘Holy mackerel!’” Here, Bill discuses the process of finding and displaying his father’s legacy.

How did you get the photos online?

I scanned them all. A few of them I cleaned up a little bit because they had some dirt and some scratches on them, but for the most part they’re in pretty great shape. There are about 120 photos, and it took me several days. The long ones I’d have to scan in quads because I only had a flat bed scanner. I’d scan the four corners and then go into Photoshop and join them all together. For the most part they all matched up pretty well.

Tell us about your father’s photography career

My dad went to the Clarence H. White School of Photography in the late 1930s. The school was the first of its kind to teach photography as an art form. Many of the famous photographers of National Geographic, Life, etc. went to the Clarence H. White School. There’s a good book on the school available called Pictorialism into Modernism: The Clarence H. White School of Photography.

In the 1930s, my dad worked for fashion photographer Wynn Richards in New York City. He was one of the mad men off Madison Avenue. Then he went off to the war (World War II) and was a documentary photographer for the Army Air Force. He was actually a captain in the Army Air Force, and then after the war, he tried to make a go of it (photography as a career) but housing was really hard to get in New York City because of all of the men coming back from the war, and by that time he had a young family to support. Also, the advertising industry—you’ve seen Mad Men—was too stressful for him. He ended up putting it all away afterwards, and it became more of a hobby. He worked in the aerospace industry on flight control for aircrafts and helicopters for 33 years. He got discouraged with [photography] and was a frustrated artist later in life because he knew he was good but couldn’t quite make a go of it. He did set up a darkroom (4x5) with giant porcelain trays almost 2 and a half to 3-foot-sized.  

What camera did he use?

Speed Graphic. If you look at the old black and white movies, when you see the press guys shooting photographs, the prisoner coming out of the court house, that’s a speed graphic camera that 99 percent of photographers used (4x5 inch format). It was a one sheet of film at the time, and you can imagine the guys in the war, they would preload all these wooden frames with 4x5 inch frames, and would carry around an army suitcase loaded with 100 frames.

What did he capture during the war?

His job was to go on the islands and document all the troops coming in and the airplanes taking off. Some of the prints I have are stamped with Secret or Top Secret or Confidential and all the backs of them say Property of the United States Army Air Force – Government.

Have you ever gotten into photography yourself?

Just as a hobby. I did video production (broadcast TV commercials, etc.) so I kind of have an eye for it.

When did you create this website for him?

About five years ago, and I’ve gotten a few people calling from time to time. I also did a slideshow on YouTube and have gotten some responses from that as well from other photographers around the world.

For more photos and information, visit www.bomhardphotography.zenfolio.com.

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Do you have a cool story you want to share? Email us at marketing@zenfolio.com and you just might be featured on our blog!

(ZenBlog) Bruce Bomhard WW2 Zenfolio bomhard world war 2 world war II wwII photojounalism http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/wwii-photos-recovered-by-photographers-son Mon, 07 Sep 2015 16:00:00 GMT
Friday Foto Favorites 9.4 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/friday-foto-favorites-9-4


  1. Cutie and the beast.
  2. Unplug and connect: how children are meant to play.
  3. Blue, burning sulphur proves to be quite stunning.
  4. This photographer sheds light on home births.
  5. Would you live and work in these pods?
(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio best photos favorites featured photos weekly round up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/friday-foto-favorites-9-4 Fri, 04 Sep 2015 16:00:00 GMT
Pictage Customers, You've Got a ZenFriend in Us! http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/pictage-customers-youve-got-a-zenfriend-in-us Dear Pictage customers,

We’re very sorry to hear that Pictage will be shutting its doors at the end of September. We can only imagine how you are feeling right now. It can be overwhelming and stressful to find a safe home for your photos and a successful platform for your photography business, so we’re here to help. Try us for free for three months and explore everything we have to offer.  

Zenfolio has been around for ten years, and we’ve grown into a family of 100K photographers. We’ve been voted no. 1 in the industry and are known as the ultimate destination to beautifully display, share and sell your photos. Here’s what you can expect as a Zenny:

  • Unlimited photos and galleries
  • Blog and custom pages
  • Marketing tools such as social media, SEO and email campaigns
  • Visitor sign-in and password-protected galleries
  • 500+ products to order and sell from the world’s best labs
  • Shopping cart
  • Award-winning customer support 365 days a year
  • Mobile app for in-person proofing and photo management
  • Mobile app for your clients  

We’re much more than a hosting website. We’re your photography business partner. We’d like to welcome you by offering THREE FREE MONTHS with us. We know committing to a new web service is a big decision, and we want you to take your time exploring everything we have to offer.

If you have any questions, please do reach out to our customer support team at support@zenfolio.com any time.

We hope to see you soon online with us!



The Zenfolio Team

(ZenBlog) Zenfolio pictage we feel your pain http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/pictage-customers-youve-got-a-zenfriend-in-us Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:38:36 GMT
5 Tips from the Pros on Starting a Photography Business http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/8/5-tips-from-the-pros-on-starting-a-photography-business

You’re restless in your office cubicle, or maybe the number of friends’ compliments on your photos is increasing, or perhaps you’re just ready to dive in and do what you love for a living. Before you start your own photography business, you’ll need to do some serious research and planning. Here, five of our Pro Team members share their words of wisdom on what you should take note of before taking the plunge. 

Being a full or part-time photographer means more than clicking the shutter. You are running a moneymaking business, and it’s important to be financially wise and put together a business plan so you can set goals. Several Pro Team members agreed: It’s definitely more business than photography.

“Take as much interest in the business side of things,” says music and commercial photographer Martin Hobby.  “So many businesses don’t have a business plan, but without one you are wandering around in the dark. How do you know what you should be charging if you have no idea how much you need to earn to survive each month?” He recommends starting with a piece of paper, and asking yourself:


  1. How much do you need to earn to cover all your basic living expenses each year?
  2. How much is your basic business overhead? (Add up all your equipment costs, insurance costs, advertising, office rent, etc.)
  3. Add these two figures together
  4. Divide by the number of jobs you think you will do a year: this gives you the minimum you must charge per job to cover your basic lifestyle.


There are a lot of factors that go into starting a business that go beyond your vision. “Research general requirements in your area, such as licenses, taxes and insurance requirements,” says music and pet photographer Amiee Stubbs. “You should also research the competition! It’s surprising to me how many people start a photography business with little awareness of what is already being offered in the market.”

Erica Peerenboom, senior portrait and boudoir photographer, says it’s best to seek professional help. “Check with your state about the requirements and permits needed to start a business. If possible, I recommend having a professional help you set everything up. I did this, and I didn’t want anything left out that I could later get in trouble for, especially with taxes!”

“The photography business is one of the few professions where clients look at your actual work and not your resume first,” says sports and nature photographer, David Liam Kyle. Your website is everything these days: your billboard advertisement, your storefront, your portfolio and blog. Make sure your site not only beautifully showcases your work but also helps get you more clients and increase sales. “Zenfolio is my modern-day portfolio. I can refer clients to specific links and private client folders that they can view and download images from in a professional manner. This also gives them the opportunity to see more of my other photography while they are at my website.”

“Zenfolio is a huge time-saver: it’s so easy to use that I don’t have to devote much time to creating a fantastic-looking website,” says Amiee. “I stay so busy that I don’t have time for in-person sales, so it allows my clients to purchase directly through the site.”

And lastly: “What is that old saying? You only get one chance to make a first impression…” says Erica.

What’s the cheapest and easiest way to get your work out there? Using Facebook and Instagram to grow your following. Olympic photographer Jeff Cable has more than 40K fans on Facebook alone and gains new followers by posting live action Olympic shots during the season. “Social media is critical these days,” he says.

Some photographers, such as Jeff, use social media to communicate with other photographers; others use it to gain more clients; and others use it to showcase their personal lives. “I am different than many other photographers, because my social media is aimed more at photographers than potential clients. I teach photography all over the world and have a following from that.”

Martin lets his personality shine through not only on website but on social media as well. “The lines are blurred between me and my business. I don’t want to come across as too slick and corporate. I would sooner be regarded as slightly used, battered and eccentric,” he says.

Just because it’s your photography doesn’t mean you need to run the show alone. It can be wise to enlist the help of friends and family when starting out, and down the line even hiring an accountant, manager or team members to help keep you organized and sane. (Plus, how many creative people enjoy doing the booking and numbers?)

Help from a spouse is common among the Pro Team: Martin, Amiee and David all have spouses who help run their businesses.

“My business is run by my wife, Dawn, who is my boss,” says Martin. “She’s rock solid and handles all the admin and bookkeeping stuff that I absolutely hate. She’ll be taking over all the social media side once our little boy starts school.”

Martin also uses a freelance retoucher for editing jobs, and has stared working with a marketing agency to rebrand his website.

“A good accountant is also a must, they will save you more money than you pay them.”

Ready to take the plunge? Be sure to download our Marketing & Selling Guide, and read our Guide to Creating a Business Plan.


Meet the Experts:

ericaErica Peerenboom martinMartin Hobby aimeeAmiee Stubbs davidDavid Liam Kyle jeffJeff Cable




(ZenBlog) Starting a photography business Zenfolio guide to starting a photography business how to start a photo business http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/8/5-tips-from-the-pros-on-starting-a-photography-business Mon, 31 Aug 2015 16:00:00 GMT
Friday Foto Favorites 8.28 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/8/friday-foto-favorites-8-28

  1. Tips for creating an ethereal effect in photos.
  2. Through the eyes of the homeless.
  3. An infrared camera documents Northern California.
  4. This photographer comes up with a unique way to call attention to how we’re treating our planet.
  5. Here’s some back to school inspiration. 
(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio best photos favorites featured photos weekly round up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/8/friday-foto-favorites-8-28 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 16:01:00 GMT
50 Shades of SEO: Keywords are Your Best Friend http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/8/50-shades-of-seo-keywords-are-your-best-friend

50 Shades of SEO – Part 3

By Eugen Feygin


SEO may not be the sexiest topic, but it’s crucial for a photographer today to know all about it. Why? Having SEO implemented will drive more traffic to your site so you can gain more clients and sell more. In the third installment of our SEO series, we talk about keywords and how to implement them on your website.

Read 50 Shades of SEO Part 1: Link Your Way to the Top here

Read 50 Shades of SEO Part 2: How Blogging Can Boost Your Business here.


How do I select and use keywords?

Keywords are select words or phrases that people type into search engines when they want to achieve a certain result. Keep in mind that there are thousands of new phrases being typed into searches that no one can plan for, but if you are strategic you can make sure you have your bases covered on every front.

How do I know what keywords my customers are using?

Since Google is one of the largest search engines in North America, it has a lot of data that it is constantly collecting to better understand what people are searching. Google provides this data to its advertisers through Google AdWords. In Google AdWords there is a tool called the Keyword Planner that you can experiment with to understand what people search for. In addition to looking at the keywords you also need to consider the intent behind every keyword—for example, when someone is searching for event photography versus an event photographer. Both phrases get a lot of traffic but the intent is much different with each one. Should you target one or both?

The Strategy

Let’s say I would like to rank in first position when a person enters the phrase “Chicago wedding photographer.” Before I do my research in the keyword planner, I first need to assess my competitors and see what keywords/phrases they are using and how. You can simply look at their website titles as well as the text on the page. You can then use services such as SEO Moz to do a more in-depth search to see what phrases they tend to rank. An alternative solution is to hire an SEO expert, as they often have access to a lot more of these in-depth, fairly expensive tools and have a different understanding as to how to utilize them more effectively.

Once you have this information, go into the keyword planner and put in as many combinations as you can think of. You will then get a list of phrases and data that shows you how much traffic the phrases get per month, what the cost per click is, and some additional ideas for phrases you may have not even considered. Let’s say you currently rank number 21 for “Chicago wedding photographer” and you see that phrase is searched a lot and there is way too much competition for you to ever really get to the top—that’s when you need to revisit the strategy.  

One idea is to go after customers in the social media arena, or you might discover that a lot of people search for a certain wedding venue in Chicago. In that case, you can create an amazing page on your site dedicated to that venue and weddings hosted that year. This tactic is basically going after long-tail keywords, which are phrases that are searched a lot less but might convert better. An interesting element to examine when you look at keywords is to consider how much people are paying for a certain keyword and ask yourself: why are they paying four to five times more for a certain phrase when it’s so long and has so little traffic? Maybe they discovered a trend and you just uncovered their secret!

How do I know what people are searching when they get to my site?

This used to be a fairly simply question to answer but unfortunately has become very difficult to determine. In the past you could log into Google Analytics and the data was available, but Google has decided to take a large portion of that data away from us.

Google Webmaster Tools still tracks some of the keywords that result in traffic to your site. You can also go into Google Analytics and see what page a user lands on when they first interact with your site—and you can then assess the intent of their search.

Why did Google take away that information?

Manipulation is primarily the reason, I believe. When you can see that phrase X brought in so much traffic, you might only focus on that phrase and ignore the rest. Google doesn’t want you to just look at keywords and phrases but rather expand your content to focus on topics and ideas, as that is more natural.

Think about the last time you searched for something. Did you search “Chicago wedding photographer” or did you search “Chicago wedding photographers available in my area”? Which of the two is more natural for you? From a user perspective, Google would like for us to naturally interact with its search flagship instead of trying to figure out what phrases to search to get our intended result. Google has even released Ok Google, a voice search option in its Chrome browser and Google mobile application. Because of this concept, it is trying to get online marketers to move away from keywords but not ignore them entirely. If you are targeting Chicago wedding photographer, you are still going to mention “Chicago,” “wedding” and “photographer” throughout your article, post or any of your content, and Google understands that. Its algorithm is learning intent slowly, and when the person who may not use the exact phrase “Chicago wedding photographer” it might rank higher than one that does because that first site is doing it naturally and the second one is trying to manipulate the outcome (of course, there are other metrics involved).


The goal is to provide as much variety as possible to cover your bases: yes, use the keyword(s) but also vary the phrases, talk about topics relating to the keyword, get links from other sites with similar ideas or topics that relate to the keyword and go from there. You need to make sure that there is enough variety so that you can infer what the page is about to help boost your rankings without being so direct. You could even join discussion threads across multiple wedding forums and jump in and assist with any questions and mention your site as a resource (do not use your targeted keyword to link back to your site!). 

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Eugene Feygin is a Chicago-based SEO consultant with more than a decade of experience helping local photographers and small businesses around the country strategically utilize online marketing. He is also a fashion and corporate event photographer who produces high caliber work for event and production companies around the country. Check out his photography website as well as his SEO consulting website


(ZenBlog) 50 shades 50 shades of seo Zenfolio eugene feygin keywords seo http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/8/50-shades-of-seo-keywords-are-your-best-friend Mon, 24 Aug 2015 16:00:00 GMT
Friday Foto Favorites 8.21 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/8/friday-foto-favorites-8-21


  1. Into the Eye of the Tiger.
  2. Views from the sailboat.
  3. 100 portraits in 100 days.
  4. A Guide to buying camera gear on eBay.
  5. One woman, several ways.
(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio best photos favorites featured photos weekly round up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/8/friday-foto-favorites-8-21 Fri, 21 Aug 2015 16:00:00 GMT
MpixPro Showcase Products http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/8/mpixpro-showcase-products Make Your Images Stand Out

By Amanda Burse


Check out the other posts in this series:

MpixPro Photographic Print Papers: A Closer Look

MpixPro Press Print Papers: These Luxurious Papers Are Sure to Impress


If there is one thing I really like to sell in my business, it’s showcase items. When I first started out as a photographer, Canvas was pretty much the only true showcase item other than framed prints—and I fell in love with it almost instantly. The printing industry has revolutionized these products, and now there are so many it is hard for photographers to keep up. Acrylics, metals, standouts, print wraps: all with a variety of finishes, widths, and mountings. Every time one of these items arrives, I wait anxiously by the door for the FedEx truck. When the delivery man arrives, he shoots me a little smile and hands me the package as if he is a bit nervous I might give him a hug or spontaneously explode with anticipation.

Acrylic Prints


One of our most impressive MpixPro showcase items is Acrylic Prints. They have such a sleek look. After the photo is printed directly to the acrylic, a layer of opaque white ink is screen printed on the back to create a product that highlights the bright colors and fine details of the image. When I am selling this item I like to mention that there is a reflective quality to it. You will want to take into consideration the light in the room and also the photo itself before offering this to your client.

Metal Prints

metalprint2Metal Prints

Metal Prints have become big in the industry in the past couple of years. These impressive showstoppers are distinct and modern. They won’t be right for all of your clients, but one thing is for sure, the finish and stylish quality of this item will impress the person you print it for. A coat of opaque white ink is added to the brushed aluminum metal surface and then the image is printed on top. Better yet, it comes ready to hang.

Vivid Metals

vivid-metalsVivid Metals

An offshoot to metal prints are Vivid Metals. As you can see, these have quite a bit of shine to them. It is important to look at your image carefully before choosing this type of wall art.  I love the two represented in these photos. The high gloss emphasizes the light in the photographs. I have taken care to show the reflective quality. Window light and artificial light will play a part in how these images look in a home collection. You can either order these with the metal base, which allows that metallic look to come through, or your can order it with a white base, which will allow all of your details to be seen. There are also a few choices for mounting. You can go with a magnet mount for pictures that are 8 x 10 or smaller. You can also choose the easel mount so that you are able to stand your images up, which is available for images that are 16 x 20 or smaller. Finally, you have the float mount option, which is for any image 6 x 6 and up.

Print Wraps

print-wrapsPrint Wraps

Print  Wraps are one of my favorite new showcase items. These are sturdy, they come ready to hang, and they are very affordable. They are also laminated, which is great for your daily cleaning routine, and they can be dusted easily with a dry, soft towel. The print itself is wrapped around a layer of foam with a block on the back pre-drilled for mounting. And just like prints, you have the choice of E-Surface or Metallic.


stand-outStand Outs

I see a lot of Standouts in corporate offices and displays—they are lightweight, they come ready to hang, and they are affordable. A Standout display consists of a photographic print mounted on a 1.5" thick, lightweight foam board with a lightly textured black or white trim around the edges. You can order these in either the E-Surface, Metallic, or Black and White finishes and expect the same quality you would see with the regular prints MpixPro offers.

Fine Art Prints

fine-art-paperFine Art Paper

Fine Art Prints is similar in look and feel to watercolor paper and is a great alternative to fiber-based printing. It’s elegant and classic with a noticeable texture, so it won’t be right for every image. One additional note is that Fine Art paper is fragile. You will want to handle it with care and make sure not to have any grease or dirt on your hands when you touch it.



Last but certainly not least is Canvas. About five years ago I switched to a package-based portrait business that included a set of canvases along with digital prints. This got my clients what they wanted—digital images. But it also introduced them to portraits as art. Nothing is more versatile than Canvas. It looks good in every style of home. Images are printed on premier art canvas and wrapped around a 1.5" or 2.5” thick wooden stretcher frame. They also arrive ready to hang. Again, this is a textured item, so not all images are suited for Canvas. It comes in Classic and Pearl finishes. Classic is more matte. It has very little reflection to it. Pearl has an iridescent glow that will make vibrant colors pop in certain light.

No matter what type of photographer you are, showcase items are sure to add something special to your images. And the best thing is your clients will see the perfect moments you captured in front of them every single day!

*     *     *

Amanda Burse is a devoted wife and mom to four children between the ages of 2 and 12. She is part of the Zenfolio Customer Support Team and has been a professional photographer for eight years. 


(ZenBlog) Zenfolio acrylic fine art paper gallery wrap metal metal prints mpixpro print wrap showcase showcase products stand out vivid metal http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/8/mpixpro-showcase-products Mon, 17 Aug 2015 16:00:00 GMT
Display your vacation photos and save 35% http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/8/display-your-vacation-photos-and-save-35

Hold on to those summer vacation memories all year long with beautiful photo prints and products. Now through August 20, save 35 percent on everything from Mpix, MpixPro, ivoke, IYP, One Vision Imaging, PhotoBox, Nulab and NuShots. Millers, fotoflot, and PictureItPostage products are not included in this promotion.

And now, you and your customers can shop from your mobile device. Make sure this feature is enabled by going to Customize Visitor View, clicking Site Settings, selecting the Mobile Site tab, and checking the box.

As always, no coupon code is necessary when you order through your Zenfolio account. This sale ends August 20 at 11:59 p.m. PDT, so be sure to place your orders today.

Important Details Regarding the Sale

  • This sale will be effective from 17-Aug-2015 at 12:01 a.m. PDT until 20-Aug-2015 at 11:59 p.m. PDT and cannot be extended outside of this time frame. The discount applies to everything from Mpix, MpixPro, ivoke, IYP, One Vision Imaging, PhotoBox, Nulab and NuShots only. Miller’s, fotoflot, and PictureItPostage products are not included in this promotion.
  • This discount cannot be combined with other promotions.
  • For photographers placing orders from Edit View , the promotion requires no coupon code.
  • The discount applies to base lab prices and will be reflected in the shopping cart only for orders placed from Edit View.
  • This Zenfolio promotion does not change any price lists that the photographer has created, and the discount will only be visible to photographers while logged in. Customers’ orders will not show a price discount. The discounted prices will be reflected as giving photographers a higher profit for each order.  
  • For more information, please read our Sales FAQ and blog post on how to run a sale on your site.
(ZenBlog) 35% IYP Ivoke Mpix MpixPro Zenfolio nulab nushots one vision imaging photobox print sale professional photographer professional photography sale http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/8/display-your-vacation-photos-and-save-35 Mon, 17 Aug 2015 07:01:00 GMT
Friday Foto Favorites 8.14 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/8/friday-foto-favorites-8-14

  1. LA, from above.
  2. Movie classics, reimagined on cool posters.
  3. Want to quit your day job? Here’s some inspiration.
  4. Chilling yet stunning celebrity photo composites.
  5. California wildfires
(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio best photos favorites featured photos weekly round up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/8/friday-foto-favorites-8-14 Fri, 14 Aug 2015 16:00:00 GMT
Top Travel Photography Workshops for 2015-2016 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/8/top-travel-photography-workshops-for-2015-2016

The first article in our travel series took readers on Safari in Africa. The second took us over to Nepal. And the third took us way across the pond to Australia. In this final installment of our summer travel series, we look at travel photography workshops across the globe. With all of the destination photography workshops available, the options can seem endless. Luckily, we’ve done the research for you and selected our favorites.

 Here’s our list of the top photography workshops throughout the world.

Canon EOS Destination Workshops

Canon’s two-day workshops will help you build your portfolio, improve your skills and get inspired in some of America's most stunning landscapes. Small classes limited to 16 attendees make it easy to get answers to your questions and to develop your skills alongside other photo enthusiasts that are just as dedicated as you.

Mountain Light: The Art of Dramatic Landscape and Action Photography, Aspen, Colorado

Yosemite in Autumn, Yosemite National Park, California 


Nikon Summit Series Photography Workshops

The Nature workshop in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, focuses on capturing scenic and wildlife visuals from the Grand Tetons to brown bears in the wild, as well as portfolio reviews.

The weeklong Adventure workshop in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, has rock climbing, kayaking, camping and more.


Oceanwide Expeditions, Antarctic Peninsula

These workshops powered by Leica will help you enhance your photographic skills while traveling to the stunning polar regions of Antarctica. The ship will be your basecamp for daily complimentary activities such as snowshoeing, kayaking, camping, mountaineering, hiking and landings ashore, completed with a photo workshop.


Photo Workshop Adventures LLC

Experience beautiful locations, amazing food and great fun while learning how to turn an ordinary image into an extraordinary image. These workshops offer a casual structure of discussions and inspiration without any boring classroom lectures.

Americas, Tulum, Mexico (Fine Art Nudes, Patagonia (Lansdcape, Seascape, Wildlife), and more

Africa: Morocco, Cape Town and more

Europe: Prague, Barcelona, Naples & Amalfi, Santorini, Amsterdam, and more


Within the Frame Photographic Adventures


Kyoto, with its ancient temples, imperial palaces, wooden houses, cobbled lanes, geishas, and tea ceremonies, represents the epitome of traditional Japanese culture. The workshop is at the peak of autumn foliage when the trees range from bright yellows to flaming reds. Bob Sacha will work with participants using still photography and/or video with an emphasis, for those who desire, on storytelling.


This workshop with Jeffrey Chapman & Winslow Lockhart is a perfect opportunity to study the master painters and photographers at some of the world’s preeminent museums and important photography fair. In November, the tourists have left, and Paris relaxes to her natural beauty. During these autumn mornings and late afternoons, the light in Paris becomes something incredible.



Petr Hlavacek leads these New Zealand photography workshops in four stunning locations: Glacier Country, Rainforest and Limestone, West Coast and South Island.

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They say that people get the most satisfaction when they spend their money on experiences rather than things. So go ahead and select one of these exciting, educational adventures today! 

(ZenBlog) Zenfolio best workshops kyoto photo retreat retreat top workshops travel series travel workshop http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/8/top-travel-photography-workshops-for-2015-2016 Wed, 12 Aug 2015 16:00:00 GMT