ZenBlog: Blog http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) ZenBlog (ZenBlog) Thu, 27 Apr 2017 20:19:00 GMT Thu, 27 Apr 2017 20:19:00 GMT Get Noticed with PartySlate! Event Advertising for Pro Photographers http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/get-noticed-with-partyslate In a world where search engine optimization is king and consumers are using social platforms and photos to buy everything from the latest in fashion trends to vendors for their weddings, it’s both essential and overwhelming to stay on top of showcasing your work. PartySlate is a new digital resource to help you showcase your work with the world, while encouraging important SEO and network effects. Your credits will always be associated with your photos, and photo upload is unlimited- so you can highlight all of your best work.

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Your website and network are key, of course, and Zenfolio offers incredible opportunities to build your website and sell work to your clients. Our goal is to help drive traffic to your website, showcase and enhance your brand, strengthen your SEO and help high-end event hosts find you. 

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Here’s how it works:

  • It’s free to register as an event pro on PartySlate
  • Upload collections of events directly to your PartySlate profile. Including a brief description of the event, your approach as their event professional and crediting your event partners will help you appear higher in the feed and find a pro!
  • We offer easy and quick ways to “write” your photos to further enhance your SEO

 

Party hosts of all kinds - brides & grooms, Mitzvah moms, gala chairs, corporate planners, and so many more are coming to PartySlate to look for inspiration and most importantly, to connect with event professionals to hire for their parties.

 

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Head to Partyslate.com to set up your Pro profile, totally free. 

 

 

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(ZenBlog) marketing partyslate zenfolio http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/get-noticed-with-partyslate Fri, 21 Apr 2017 17:20:24 GMT
Hello Europe! Phone Cases Now Available in Europe http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/phone-cases-now-available-in-europe Europe WOYC headerEurope WOYC header

Smartphone cases are now available in Europe! Your clients can personalize their mobile phone case with their favorite photo from your gallery to create a stylish accessory to carry with them always. Perfect for personal use, or to give as a gift, these easy-to-create cases are sure to become a client favorite.

 

And, they’re not just a popular photo product for your clients—they’re also a high-impact marketing tool for your photography business. With valuable advertising space right on the case, you can display your photos, add your business name and logo, and you’ve got a stylish billboard that goes where you go.

 

These cases are made in and shipped from the UK, and are produced using the highest quality materials, backed by a lifetime warranty that covers defects/product failure. These customizable cases are designed with access to ports for easy connectivity, and are created using processes that embed inks underneath the coatings so they last longer, resist scratches, and don’t fade or rub off easily. A three-step quality control process ensures a consistently great product that you—and your customers—can show off to the world.  

 

There are three different case styles for iPhone and Galaxy devices:

 

Tough Case

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Vibrant hi-res imagery blends together with a clear, protective finish to prevent scratches and fading.

An interior layer helps protect devices against mild shocks and impacts to deliver a gorgeous and tough case that reflects your client’s style and personality.

 

  • High-resolution decoration (300+ DPI print quality)

  • Dual-layer for extra durability and protection

  • 100% of outer surface is decorated

  • Made from lightweight, durable space-grade polymers and cushioned TPU (Thermoplastic polyurethane)

  • Created with industry-leading 3-D decoration systems, inks, and processes

  • Rich, vibrant colors embedded deeply into the surface of the case

  • Protective finish resists scratches and prevents image from fading, rubbing off, or blurring

  • Available in both matte and gloss finishes

 

Available for

iPhone 6

iPhone 6S

iPhone 6 Plus (only available in Gloss finish)

iPhone 6S Plus

iPhone 7

iPhone 7 Plus

 

Galaxy S6

Galaxy S6 Edge

Galaxy S6 Edge Plus

Galaxy S7

Galaxy S7 Edge

 

BakPak 3 Case

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Pristine quality and vibrant hi-res imagery deliver a gorgeous case with a rear storage compartment that holds up to two items like credit cards, business cards, cash, or ID. Your clients can show off their style and personality, and travel light at the same time.

 

  • Sliding storage compartment in back allows user to carry cards, cash, and ID

  • High-resolution decoration (300+ DPI print quality)

  • Additional interior TPU liner offers added toughness

  • Created with industry-leading 3-D decoration systems and processes

  • Rich, vibrant colors embedded deeply into the surface of the case

  • Protective finish resists scratches and prevents image from fading, rubbing off, or blurring

  • Three-point quality inspection process

  • Available in gloss & matte finish

 

Available for

  • iPhone 6

  • iPhone 6S

 

Folio Case (satin finish)

 

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This gorgeous case offers an inspired way to express individuality while providing full-frontal screen protection and interior storage pockets. Decorated with high-resolution artwork that seamlessly covers both the front and back, the Folio becomes your clients’ personal art canvas. Printed artwork is not only high quality and sharp, it’s also clear-coated with a proprietary dual-layer satin finish that resists damage, scuffs, fading, and transfer of ink. A clear shell case protects the phone and attaches to the folio with an adhesive strip on the interior. This solution locks the phone in place, provides cover around the edges of the phone, and does so without leaving residue on the device.

 

  • Clear shell case included—can be detached or attached with folio

  • High-resolution decoration process on front and back preserves bright, sharp colors

  • Conveniently stores cards, cash, or ID inside interior pockets

  • Faux-leather material with textured surface

  • Three-point quality inspection process

  • Stand feature for watching media

 

Available for

  • iPhone 6

  • iPhone 6S

  • iPhone 6 Plus

  • iPhone 6S Plus

  • iPhone 7

  • iPhone 7 Plus

 

  • Galaxy S6

  • Galaxy S6 Edge

  • Galaxy S7

  • Galaxy S7 Edge

 

Add to your price lists today!

 

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(ZenBlog) Smartphone cases for European customers Zenfolio product updates cases for Android phones cases for Samsung Galaxy phones cases for Samsung phones cases for cell phone cases for iPhone cell phone cases cell phone protection mobile device cases mobile phone cases mobile phone cases in Europe product update product updates http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/phone-cases-now-available-in-europe Tue, 18 Apr 2017 19:55:58 GMT
How to Use Facebook to Gain New Clients http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/how-to-use-facebook-to-gain-new-clients Use FB to Gain New Clients (Header)Use FB to Gain New Clients (Header)

By Steve Bridgwood

 

As my wedding photography business has grown over the years, I have discovered that Facebook is one of my most important marketing tools. In this article, I share how to effectively use it to drive people to your website.

 

For my business, Facebook delivers more tangible results than any other form of social media. While Instagram and Pinterest are great for showcasing my work, I’ve found that these channels tend to be used primarily by brides that want to get ideas and inspiration for their wedding photography. I find Twitter most useful for connecting with other wedding professionals, which has benefits but doesn’t necessarily provide me with enquiries. So for the purposes of this article I will concentrate on how to best utilise Facebook to grow your business.

 

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How To Grow Your Audience and Referrals Using Facebook

  • Send all of the couples that have booked you to photograph their wedding an invitation to ‘Like’ your Facebook page. This means that when you share photographs from their wedding, or link to a blog post about their big day you can tag them. Tagging people allows all their friends to see their pictures and in the case of a blog, to click directly through to your website to view the images and leave messages for the newlyweds. It’s always great when couples write a few words of thanks about their photos—there is no better form of testimonial!
  • When you tag a blog you can almost guarantee that friends, family and the couple themselves will share the post. This is crucial, as you want them to share your Facebook post rather than pictures from their own Facebook accounts. This means that your post and website is reaching a bigger audience and gaining more likes and views.
  • Also make sure that you tag the wedding venue and any key vendors. In most cases they will share your post with their followers, which again increases the post’s reach and puts you in front of a new audience. It also helps to build your relationships with wedding venues in particular. They are always keen to showcase how fantastic their venue can look when photographed professionally, which in turn helps them to gain further bookings.
  • Let the reach of your post grow organically first, before you decide whether you want to pay to boost it further through a Facebook sponsored post. It’s all about getting the biggest audience you can.
  • Where I can, I will always post a few killer shots from a wedding on the day that I photograph it, again following the important rule of tagging the couple and the venue. Friends and family will be keen to add their congratulations.
  • When I’m almost ready to deliver the full set of photographs to a client, I post a few teasers on Facebook letting the couple know that their photos are nearly ready, again tagging the couple to build the anticipation among them and their family and friends.  
  • Always include a link back to your website on any post!

 

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At every stage of photographing a wedding from the day itself, to editing and then finally in delivering the finished images, these tips will help you get your brand and style in front of a switched on and ever bigger audience.


I even encourage my couples to share their private online gallery with friends and family so they can also view their photographs via Zenfolio’s password-protected client-access area on my website. They can even directly order any prints or artwork of the photographs without any involvement from me, which is a great way to increase sales.

 

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When you consistently use Facebook to promote your work and website, your brand and reputation will get stronger among both wedding professionals and potential clients. Each year I have steadily seen more and more referrals from couples who have shared their pictures with friends and family who have viewed their wedding on my website. It’s great that I still get old clients sharing my new posts and tagging friends who are planning their wedding.  

 

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I recently promoted a blog on Facebook from an amazing wedding that I photographed in Marrakech, which generated 238 likes, 12 comments and 10 shares. It was also picked up by one of the UK’s leading wedding blogs, which will be publishing it soon. And of course when they do feature it I will be sharing their post too!

 

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Steve Bridgwood is an award-winning wedding photographer based in Staffordshire, UK, and a proud Zenfolio Ambassador. He is considered one the UK’s top 50 wedding photographers according to GoHen and is named one of the world’s best wedding photographers by Junebug.

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(ZenBlog) Facebook Steve Bridgwood Zenfolio marketing photography professional photography referrals http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/how-to-use-facebook-to-gain-new-clients Mon, 17 Apr 2017 16:00:00 GMT
How to Use Your Website to Get More Referrals http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/how-to-use-your-website-to-get-more-referrals Use Website to Gain Referals (Header)Use Website to Gain Referals (Header)

by Steve Bridgwood


When I initially launched my wedding photography business I needed to hit the ground running, so building a strong portfolio and establishing my name in a crowded marketplace became my main priorities. In the beginning, exhibiting at wedding fairs and print advertising helped me to connect with potential clients locally, but it quickly became apparent that to grow a bigger and relevant audience I needed to focus my attention on my website and social media marketing.

Now, I will only ever undertake marketing activity that sends people directly to my website; therefore social media (and in particular Facebook) is one my most important marketing tools.

 

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Here are some website tips that will help you grow your business:

  • People have found you, and if they like what they see they will get in touch! Leads generated from your website are easier to convert to confirmed bookings.
  • Your website provides an opportunity to showcase your unique photography style, so even though it’s important to show variety in terms of the types of weddings and locations that you feature, make sure your work is consistent.
  • Include your pricing to avoid wasting time for clients who don’t have the budget for your services.
  • Make the most of Zenfolio’s blogging functionality: You can easily add fresh content that helps your SEO and Google ranking while encouraging new visitors to your site. I always direct new enquiries to both the blog section of my website and my portfolio page so that they can see examples of my most up to date work.

 

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Since Facebook is my preferred social media tool, I want to share how I use it to gain new clients. Read my article How to Use Facebook to Gain New Clients  to learn more.

 

SteveB bio imageSteveB bio image

Steve Bridgwood is an award-winning wedding photographer based in Staffordshire, UK, and a proud Zenfolio Ambassador. He is considered one the UK’s top 50 wedding photographers according to GoHen and is named one of the world’s best wedding photographers by Junebug.

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(ZenBlog) Facebook Steve Bridwood Zenfolio marketing photography professional photography referrals http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/how-to-use-your-website-to-get-more-referrals Mon, 17 Apr 2017 16:00:00 GMT
Zenfolio Wins Best Photo Website Provider for 3 Years Running http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/zenfolio-wins-best-photo-website-provider-for-3-years-running

 

Zenfolio is on an award-winning roll! We were voted Best Professional Website Provider at the Societies’ awards in January, and now we are over the moon to announce that Zenfolio has just picked up Best Photo Website Provider at the Photography News Gear of the Year awards—for the third year in a row!

 

Arnaud Collin, General Manager of Zenfolio collects the award from Will Cheung, Editor of Photography News

 

Photography News is part of Bright Publishing—one of the largest publication houses in the UK—with a monthly readership of nearly 50,000 passionate UK photographers. Each year, the readership votes on their favorite products and services in the Gear of the Year awards. 

We picked up this award at this year's Photography Show (above), where we were also proud to be presenting the Super Stage (below), hosting some true legends of the photography world sharing their expertise and stories. 

 

The quiet before the rush in the 550 capacity Super Stage theatre

 

We had a blast at this year's show and are already looking forward to the next one. Hope to see you there!



The Zenfolio UK Team

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(ZenBlog) Best Photo Website Provider Gear of the Year award Photography News Zenfolio http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/zenfolio-wins-best-photo-website-provider-for-3-years-running Thu, 13 Apr 2017 20:15:00 GMT
New Shopping Experience Update: Multi-Image Products in Quick Shop http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/new-shopping-experience-update-multi-image-products-in-quick-shop Multi Image Products (Header)Multi Image Products (Header)

The New Shopping Experience continues to roll out with valuable improvements that make it easier for your clients to buy prints and products from you.

Feature any products you want to sell in Quick Shop! Now, in addition to single-image products, you can give instant visibility to multi-image products (collages, photo books, and calendars) and packages in the Quick Shop sidebar.

 

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Add multi-image products to your Featured Products list in Price List Settings and those items will appear in the Quick Shop sidebar. This support article shows you how to add Featured Products to your price lists.


To enable the New Shopping Experience for your clients, simply log in to your Zenfolio account and from the Dashboard, click Turn On in the Zenbar located at the top of your screen.

Learn More in the New Shopping Experience FAQ.

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(ZenBlog) Multi-Image Products New Shopping Experience Packages Product Updates Quick Shop Zenfolio selling http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/new-shopping-experience-update-multi-image-products-in-quick-shop Thu, 13 Apr 2017 05:00:00 GMT
The New Yearbook Pose Tool Will Make You Smile http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/the-new-yearbook-pose-tool-will-make-you-smile Yearbook Pose (Header)Yearbook Pose (Header)

If you’re a school photographer, you want to ensure that all your clients get their favorite photo in their yearbook, and you need this process to be as smooth as possible. With our new built-in Yearbook Pose feature, available for Advanced Plan subscribers, you can now track, manage, and submit client yearbook selections with ease. That’s something to smile about, right?

 

Before you ask your clients to choose their pose, make sure you’ve enabled this feature. Here’s how:

 

  1. Log in to your account, then go to the Photos page of the Dashboard.

  2. Find the Gallery or Event in the Organizer on the left and click on the Gallery or Event to select it.

  3. In the Toolbox column on the right, scroll down to the bottom and check “Enable for gallery” or “Enable for event” in the Yearbook Pose section.

 

After you’ve enabled this helpful tool, here’s an example of the workflow that would follow:

  • You invite your clients via email to view their images and choose their preferred pose.

  • Your client creates a new account or logs in to their existing account.

  • Your client hovers their mouse over the desired photo and clicks on the graduation cap icon to select their pose. (This works the same as clicking the heart icon for Favorites.)

  • Once the pose is selected, your client will see this message: “Congrats, you have selected your yearbook pose!”  

  • The photo will be marked with a blue graduation cap icon to identify this photo as the selected yearbook pose.

  • Clients can easily change their image selection

  • You can review the Yearbook Pose selection status to easily see which clients have selected their pose and which have not.

  • You can send email reminders to clients who have not yet chosen their pose.

  • Export images and client information in a .CSV file.

We've created a web page that you can share with clients to show them how to select their Yearbook Pose photo. If you would rather not send a link to a Zenfolio support page, feel free to include copy and graphics from the article in any correspondence to your clients.

 

This support article provides step-by-step instructions to get you up and running with this new feature.

 

If you have the New Shopping Experience turned on, then your clients can select their yearbook pose from the Quick Shop page.

 

To turn on the New Shopping Experience simply log in to your Zenfolio account and from the Dashboard, click Turn On in the Zenbar located at the top of the screen.

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio school photography yearbook photo yearbook pose http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/the-new-yearbook-pose-tool-will-make-you-smile Fri, 07 Apr 2017 19:53:39 GMT
FREE Client Marketing: Enroll and Watch Your Business Grow http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/free-client-marketing-enroll-and-watch-your-business-grow Header phoneHeader phone

Ready to jump-start your sales? Let Zenfolio be your FREE Marketing Team to help you increase your revenue during upcoming occasions and holidays.


Here’s how the Free Client Marketing program works:

1. You enroll in the free program.

2. Zenfolio will email your clients promotional offers on your behalf.

3. Your clients shop directly from your galleries.

 

Once you’re enrolled in a campaign, we’ll create and send promotional email offers to your clients, on your behalf, to encourage them to purchase prints and products from your galleries. We’ll also provide you with graphics and copy that you can share across your social channels to further promote the discounts.

 

The 2017 campaign lineup includes six campaigns that take advantage of key selling seasons to help you sell more prints and photo gifts throughout the year. This year, the free Client Marketing programs are available to accounts with selling plans in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia. Campaign availability varies by country, so check out the chart below to see which campaigns are available in your area.  

 

 

Enroll in all of the campaigns or just the ones that interest you. Act now! The deadline to enroll for the Mother's Day campaign is April 7, 2017.

 

New to selling? No worries! Get started by adding a pre-filled price list to a client gallery.


For campaign dates and details visit the program FAQ.


Learn more about Zenfolio’s Free Client Marketing program.

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(ZenBlog) Product Updates Zenfolio client campaigns Zenfolio free marketing client campaigns client discounts client emails email marketing free marketing http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/free-client-marketing-enroll-and-watch-your-business-grow Fri, 31 Mar 2017 00:19:48 GMT
Pro Tips for Starting a Photography Business—Part 2: Key Business Strategies http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/pro-tips-for-starting-a-photography-business-part-2-key-business-strategies Pt 2 HeaderPt 2 Header

By Rachel Brill

Transitioning from photography as a hobby to a full-fledged business can be incredibly fulfilling, but it can also be stressful. Wouldn’t it be great if you had a group of successful professional photographers giving you advice? We’re here to help, so we asked some of the top pros in the industry “What is the one thing every photographer needs to know when starting a photography business?” We divided their answers into three themes: stay true to yourself, business strategies, and creating a business plan. In Part 1, we delved into the first theme: Trust that what makes you unique will make you successful. Now, in Part 2, we share key business strategies from five professionals.

 

Create an Impressive Portfolio First

Fine art photographer Dan Ballard encourages photographers to take the time to create an impressive body of work before going pro. “Create great images and everything else will follow. While you certainly need great marketing and business skills, if you have great content to promote and share doors will open with a slight nudge instead of a hard push. Spend years perfecting your craft before trying to go pro,” he said.    

 

Find a Mentor

Seeking out mentors is an effective way to advance quickly along your path. Wedding photographer Tiree Dawson said, “It can be a huge help to find a mentor when you set out to start your photography business. Ideally, try to find someone who has a successful photography career and has the time and willingness to share their experience with you. It doesn't matter if their style isn't the same as yours, or they work in a different area—it can in fact be a plus! Spending time with someone who has already trodden parts of the path you are embarking on can be one of the quickest ways to learn and to achieve the success you hope for.”

 

Be Prepared to Hustle

To achieve professional success you need to have the right mix of creative skills, business know-how, and a strong sense of initiative. Documentary photographer and photojournalist Ginny Dixon said, “I know lots of great photographers who can't make a living doing photography because they don't know how to hustle and aren't smart in business. Likewise, I know several mediocre photographers who kill it because they have great business, social media and branding skills. You have to do be willing to do it all and all the time.”

 

Be Reliable

Building a reputation as a reliable professional will give you a business advantage, according to landscape and portrait photographer Joseph Roybal. “When it comes to client satisfaction and content delivery, you can never do too much. Over deliver, deliver content early, and communicate openly and freely. Do not fall into the stereotype of ‘photographers are flakes.’ Breaking that stereotype down from the beginning will set you up for success and also set you apart from your competition in the field,” he said.

 

Create a Beautiful Website

Fashion and glamour photographer Lou Freeman emphasizes the importance of creating a great first impression with your website. “Your website and online presence is your storefront and the most important draw to confirm your sales options. A wonderfully designed and well-executed site will allow your possible clients no option but to buy your services,” she said.

 

In addition to having a dynamic website, it’s imperative to have a well-thought-out business plan. Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series, which will cover business plan tips and the essential elements you’ll want to include.

 

Rachel About 7_2013Rachel About 7_2013

 

 Rachel Brill is a marketing editor at Zenfolio. She has been editing for 13 years and writing for six years. She has a BA in journalism and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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(ZenBlog) Rachel Brill Zenfolio photography business professional photographer professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/pro-tips-for-starting-a-photography-business-part-2-key-business-strategies Wed, 15 Mar 2017 19:00:17 GMT
New! Cropper for Single Image Products http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/new-cropper-for-single-image-products  

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The right crop can transform an ordinary image into an extraordinary one. To help ensure that your photos are printed right the first time, we’ve introduced a new crop tool for single-image products—think prints, canvas wraps, and aluminum prints.

 

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Instead of the current two-step process of using the zoom tool and repositioning the image within the crop frame, the new crop tool has four draggable corners, which eliminates the need to zoom and move. Additionally, the tool limits the crop window to the image area so photos don't print with unwanted white lines. 

 

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Watch this video to see the new crop tool in action.

The new Image Cropping tool is available in the current and the New Shopping Experience in all markets. To turn on the New Shopping Experience in your account, click here.

 

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(ZenBlog) Product Updates Zenfolio cropper cropper tool cropping photography professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/new-cropper-for-single-image-products Fri, 10 Mar 2017 06:00:00 GMT
Pro Tips for Starting a Photography Business — Part 1: Stay True to Yourself http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/2/pro-tips-for-starting-a-photography-business-part-1-stay-true-to-yourself header cameraheader camera

By Rachel Brill

 

Starting your own business is an exciting process, but for many photographers it can also be challenging. Wouldn’t it be great if you had a group of successful professional photographers giving you advice? We’re here to help, so we asked some of the top photographers in the industry “What is the one thing every photographer needs to know when starting a photography business?” We divided their answers into three themes: stay true to yourself, key business strategies, and creating a business plan. This article delves into the first theme: Trust that what makes you unique will make you successful. Below, six pros share how being different is a business asset for photographers.

 

Since creativity is at the heart of good photography, it’s important to focus on what makes you unique. This includes acknowledging what you can’t do while celebrating your strengths. Sports and nature photographer David Liam Kyle says, “Only take assignments that you know you can handle. Don't get discouraged by negative criticism, and always look for ways to improve your skills.”

 

Wedding photographer Sara Kauss also encourages new photographers to be themselves. “Do not judge yourself against others’ work. Your passion and talent is why your clients will hire you—your clients want to see your energy and love shine through the photos. Don’t be discouraged if someone doesn’t pick you as their photographer; it simply means that they were not a good fit for your style. Stay encouraged and keep being you; eventually those who relate to you will want to work with you because of it,” she said.

 

Wedding photographer Kevin Mullins emphasized the importance of finding a style of photography that you enjoy. “Don’t let the industry dictate how you should do things if that differs from your own idea. If you find the idea of shooting lots of formals at weddings horrible then find clients who also think that. There are clients for everyone out there, and being different is often the unique selling point,” he said.

 

For adventure travel photographer Laura Grier, true success is getting to do what you love for a living. She urges new photographers not to compare themselves to others and to be unique. She also stresses the need to view it as a business. “My best advice for launching a venture is you have to love it, and you have to be prepared to focus a lot of energy on it. If you go into it thinking it is a ‘side project’ it will never grow larger or be more successful than that vision,” she said.

 

Sometimes being true to yourself can mean stepping outside of your comfort zone. Documentary-style wedding photographer Dennis Berti says staying in that zone will only box you in and emphasizes the need to be different. “Put you on your photos and your photos will be authentic” he said.

 

Being inspired by other photographers is part of the creative process, but the key is to balance that with your own style, according to wedding photographer Steve Bridgwood. "Take inspiration from others, but stay true and have faith in your own creative vision and in developing your own style. This is ultimately what will make you different and stand out," he said.

 

The experts agree that in the photography field, having a unique point of view is a stepping stone to career success. Stay tuned for Part 2, where we share the pros’ tips on how to become business savvy.

 

Rachel About 7_2013Rachel About 7_2013

 

Rachel Brill is a marketing editor at Zenfolio. She has been editing for 13 years and writing for six years. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.



 

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(ZenBlog) Rachel Brill Zenfolio photographer photography business professional photographer professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/2/pro-tips-for-starting-a-photography-business-part-1-stay-true-to-yourself Mon, 27 Feb 2017 17:01:00 GMT
Good News! No More Split Shipping Charges on Mpix Orders http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/2/good-news-no-more-split-shipping-charges-on-mpix-orders Split Shipping (Header)Split Shipping (Header)

Previously, when you and your clients purchased a variety of products from Mpix the order was sometimes split into multiple shipments (and with that, you paid multiple shipping charges). Now, no matter what you order from Mpix—prints, frames, magnets, calendars, greeting cards or even color correction—all your items will be shipped together for a single shipping fee if they are ordered at the same time. Nice!

 

This currently applies to products and prints ordered from Mpix. Products ordered from separate labs such as Millers and MpixPro will still ship separately.


Read more about split shipping charges in this support article.

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(ZenBlog) Mpix Product Updates multiple shipping charges shipping split shipping vendor labs http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/2/good-news-no-more-split-shipping-charges-on-mpix-orders Sat, 25 Feb 2017 00:08:19 GMT
7 Secrets to Having it All—Tips from a Pro on the Go http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/2/10-ways-i-use-zenfolio-to-brand-myself-as-a-travel-photographer Travel Photography (Header)Travel Photography (Header)

by Laura Grier 

 

Creating your dream career around a lifestyle of traveling is easier than you think, and much better than working a job with a only a hope of supporting your dreams for seeing the world. I wish someone would have told me back when I first started shooting that I could control the type of work I attracted by branding my work to fit my aspirations. I spent a lot of unnecessary time and money trying to do the expected with my photography. I used to compare myself to others and feel like I had to do it all rather than celebrating and focusing on what made me unique.

 

Being a photographer today is a very different road map than it used to be. Shooting is only 25% of what I need to do on a daily basis. Nowadays I need to be what I call a “triple threat,” incorporating photography, social media, marketing and writing in order to be competitive in the modern marketplace. Although this can all be overwhelming for most of us who are autonomous entrepreneurs, the good news is that Zenfolio can help ease the pressure and take it off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on what you like to do best: shooting while filling up your passport.

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Unfortunately, we are not living in some futuristic age where we can warp from place to place. Travel and editing take time. So in order to be a successful travel photographer, you have to be able to streamline your business; be mobile; and have the ability to pitch, shoot, and deliver your images from anywhere in the world. Fortunately, Zenfolio gives you the ability to do all of this, and I am going to share the top seven ways that it has changed my world and made me a more successful photographer while jetsetting around the world.
 

1. Make an Impressive First Impression With a Action-Adventure Movie Trailer

Becoming a photographer wasn’t always about my love for photography; it was about the adventure. In fact, being a photographer was never really on my radar at all. I used to want to be a zoologist, but in my mind, being a zoologist , archaeologist or a marine biologist was like being Jacques Cousteau or Indiana Jones... they travel the world in search of adventures. Photography was just a tool for me to travel and have the freedom to make a living at it. But then I fell in love with it.

 

When I first went out on my own and founded my wedding photography business, I had to ask myself “What kind of business do I want to have?” If I truly wanted to be Indiana Jones and to have this life of adventure, I would have to focus on destination weddings and travel. But how would I book destination weddings? How would I convince a client to spend more to have a photographer fly out with them? I had to ask myself what made me different and unique, and the answer was that I am giving them a vibrant experience.

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I decided that a static website was not enough to convey what I do as a photographer. Yes, my clients could see my final product and my use of color, but they would have no idea what it took to get the shot, how I work, what my personality is, or what it would be like to work with me. I needed a behind-the scenes video that showed me in action on a shoot…so what better way than creating an action-adventure movie trailer that plays automatically when people go to my Zenfolio website, www.LauraGrier.com. It was super easy to do, and Zenfolio gives you the creative control in your dashboard to not only have photo slideshows on your homepage, but embedded videos as well.

 

2. Embed Your Media Kit into your website and Pitch Clients Using Custom Pages

 

Just like I discovered that a traditional website was not enough to convey what I do as a photographer, I also realized that my job description can’t be explained in just a few simple words. Since I became I an Adventure Photographer, Photo Anthropologist, and Travel Writer I needed more than a resume to show what I do. So I asked a friend who is a social media guru what to do, and she told me that it was time to create me an electronic press kit (EPK).  

 

An EPK is essentially a visual resume that can live online or be emailed and has live video or links embedded in it so people can click and view your press in the form of a scrolling magazine. There are lots of ways to create an EPK, but I used www.issuu.com to create mine. Their format looks like a virtual magazine that you can flip through: it has my bio, photos, and links to videos, websites, my articles and press I have published. It also has all of my contact information linkable. Since I need to market myself in a variety of mediums, it made sense to have an online visual resume that sums up all of my talents in just a few short pages.  

 

Zenfolio easily allows you to create custom pages embedded into your website that you can add text, photos, videos or links to. So instead of sending people away from my site to view my EPK at www.issuu.com/LauraGrier, I created a custom page, added my social media stats, and embedded a link to my press kit within my website, www.lauragrier.com/mediakit. You always want to keep people within your website if possible. You can also deliver your galleries to clients in a polished way by creating custom links with their names as part of the link.

 

3. Share Your Work Easily with Anyone Via Mobile

 

Before Zenfolio, I used a web designer who made me a gorgeous website that functioned perfectly on a desktop computer, but when I tried to show it on a tablet or mobile phone, it was very difficult and glitchy to use. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I was sitting on a plane trying to share my work with a stranger sitting next to me and it was embarrassing. I am pretty sure they tuned me out and didn’t take me seriously as a photographer after about 10 minutes of trying to unsuccessfully show him my galleries. Having a mobile presence is probably the most important way to showcase your work, especially outside of the United States.

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When I joined Zenfolio, not only did their customer support help me rebuild the design and aesthetics of my original website into their platform super easily, it automatically streamlined my site for mobile, changing the face of my business.
 

4. Instantly Add Photos to a Gallery to Print or Share from Anywhere in the World

 

Here is a real-life example that happened to me last year while staying at the thermal-heated igloo hotel north of the Arctic Circle in Finland while hunting for the Northern Lights.

 

On the night of March 17, my boyfriend’s birthday and also St. Patrick’s Day, we woke up at 3 a.m., because it felt like someone was shining a flashlight in our faces.  We woke up to see the entire sky dancing and swirling in the most intense green I have ever seen. We held hands and just couldn’t believe what we were seeing was real. I grabbed my camera and held my breath with it resting on my chest and got this photo through our igloo ceiling.  

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I felt like it was my own emotional, personal green display for St. Patrick’s Day, and I wanted to share it back at home immediately with my friends. I was able to download and edit the image and get Internet in the main lodge, so I trudged through the snow from my igloo to the lodge in the middle of the night underneath the Northern Lights and posted the photo on my Facebook page.

 

I instantly got this response from a friend, Molly Hauge:

 

Hi Laura! It's been awhile, but I love following your journeys. I have what might be a strange question for you. This morning my uncle passed away, and he was the ringleader of our Irish/Norwegian clan. It is a devastating loss to our family and when the time came, you posted the below image. For us crazy people who believe in timing/fate, it was exactly what I needed in that moment as the ongoing story is that my uncle would wait for St Patty's Day to say farewell. Well, he did and shortly after you posted. I shared the image with my family, and told them he had quite the send-off last night. They were all speechless. Now I'm wondering if there might be any way I could purchase a print or two of this image? It would really mean a lot, and with your permission I'd love to include it in his memorial slideshow. Thanks again for entertaining the idea, and I look forward to hearing back from you! I hope your travels are treating you well! xo

 

Laura:

Hi Molly! I am so sorry for your loss! I think that the best method would be for me to create a gallery on my Zenfolio website of the Northern Lights where you could order prints from.

 

Molly:

OMG yes that would be fantastic! Thank you for understanding and for making the effort!

 

So here I am in the Arctic wilderness far from civilization having a celestial moment that I have waited my whole life to have, and I was able to share it with people back at home. I even touched a family and was able to give them solace during a time of grief.  It blows my mind that out in the wilderness of Lapland using my phone I was able to share that image, upload it to my Zenfolio website, list it for sale with different print choices, and have it arrive across the world in a couple of days to make it for the funeral of a man who always knew he would pass away in spectacular fashion on St. Patrick’s Day! It goes to show you how connected Zenfolio can help you be even when you are basically off-the-grid.
 

5. Storage: Access Images or Raw Files from Anywhere in the World

 

I have always treated my website and blog as a database of all my photoshoots. If you type in the search bar of my blog and type “maternity” for example, all of my baby shoots will pop up. Zenfolio allows me to do this on the back end of my website. It’s so easy: from my computer or my mobile phone I can download high-resolution photos from any of my galleries and upload them directly to social media or my blog. Now instead of hard drives, I can access a year’s worth of work really easily in an organized way. It’s like having all of my hard drives strapped to my back!

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6. Securely Back Up Images While on Location

 

A lot of times while I’m traveling I double back up my images online through Zenfolio as I am shooting. Double backing up my images is very important to me. Zenfolio has a service where you can upload the raw files attached to the jpegs and they are backed up indefinitely. Since none of us know the shelf life of our hard drives, it’s important to have this peace of mind that our images are safe and sound and stored in the cloud. Also, one of the best features of Zenfolio is that I can privatize images or complete sections of my website for specific clients and control the password protection and download capabilities with the click of a button on my mobile phone. This is a huge benefit for some of my celebrity clients.

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7. Reach Customer Service Anytime

 

One of the hardest things when I travel is being in different time zones than my customers. Zenfolio has customer support 24 hours a day and can deal with all technical, website, and printing orders while I am off traveling in the Amazon and doing what I love best. Customer service isn’t just for your clients; they have an amazing team that can help you rebuild and redesign your custom website. Whether it's email, live chat, or a one-on-one call with a Zenmaster, the support team has you covered.

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(ZenBlog) Laura Grier Zenfolio photographer photography professional photographer professional photography travel photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/2/10-ways-i-use-zenfolio-to-brand-myself-as-a-travel-photographer Wed, 15 Feb 2017 17:47:43 GMT
Zenfolio and Snapshots Announce Strategic Wedding Photography Industry Partnership http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/2/zenfolio-and-snapshots-announce-strategic-wedding-photography-industry-partnership Zenfolio and Snapshots Announce Strategic Partnership to Create the Most Complete Experience in the Wedding Photography Industry

 

February 5, 2017

 

Menlo Park, Ca

 

Zenfolio and Snapshots have formed a strategic partnership to create a true omni-channel photographer-client experience. With a focus on wedding photography, this partnership allows professional photographers and wedding guests to capture every moment from the wedding day and make the images available for sale across all channels - mobile, online, and TV.  

 

Zenfolio will marry it’s industry leading marketing and sales tools with Snapshots mobile offerings by launching the joint platform in Summer 2017. Together, the companies will create the most robust omni-channel experience in the professional wedding photography industry.

 

“Zenfolio is reinforcing our commitment to professional photographers around the globe with this new plan. Professional photography is truly an omni-channel channel business so we are the first to offer the complete solution” said Arnaud Collin, Zenfolio General Manager. “Making it easy for our clients to capture and monetize all elements of the wedding experience is what makes this partnership so powerful.”

 

“Snapshots is on the cutting edge of innovation for the photography industry, developing applications that change the way photographers work,” said Jonathan Dantes, Snapshots’ Co-Founder and CEO. “Adding our powerful iOS app and Apple TV app to Zenfolio’s trusted portfolio of marketing and sales tools, opens up an opportunity for us to impact the businesses and lives of more photographers. This is a groundbreaking step for the industry, and something that only Zenfolio and Snapshots can deliver.”


 

About Zenfolio

Zenfolio is the leading provider of online photography presentation and sales solutions for professional and aspiring photographers. Zenfolio, part of the Art.com family, provides photographers with an unmatched ability to professionally manage and monetize their entire online photography presence. With the most complete set of features for professionals, Zenfolio helps photographers turn their passion into a profitable business. For more information, visit www.zenfolio.com.

 

About Snapshots

Snapshots is revolutionizing the photography industry, leveraging the latest technologies to transform the way photographers work. Snapshots provides photographers with seamless solutions to store, share, proof, sell, and showcase their photographs. With a focus on continuous innovation, Snapshots develops simple, yet powerful tools through the Snapshots studio panel on the web, the Snapshots app available on the iPhone, and the groundbreaking new Snapshots TV app – the best way for anyone to view photos on the big screen using Apple TV. Snapshots, based in Orlando, Florida, was created by photographers, for photographers. To learn more, visit www.snapshots.com.

 

PRESS CONTACTS

 

Amber Minson

amber@zenfolio.com

 

Jonathan Dantes

jon@snapshots.com


 

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(ZenBlog) Snapshots Zenfolio photography professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/2/zenfolio-and-snapshots-announce-strategic-wedding-photography-industry-partnership Tue, 07 Feb 2017 20:12:19 GMT
New Pre-Filled Packages. A Smart and Easy Way to Maximize Sales http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/2/new-pre-filled-packages-a-smart-and-easy-way-to-maximize-sales Prefilled Packages (Blog Header & DN)Prefilled Packages (Blog Header & DN)

Packages are a smart way to sell more products to your clients. You benefit from selling more units, and your clients appreciate the cost savings. Though you can currently build your own packages on the Zenfolio platform, we’ve made it even easier for you to get started. Introducing Pre-Filled Packages. There are four different package levels—Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze—each pre-populated with the most popular products. You can customize each package to include partner-lab fulfilled, self-fulfilled, and digital download products, and they can be created for single or multiple photographs. By offering packages, you can increase your average order size, and your customers will appreciate buying products for less than the cost of buying them individually.

 

Who are Pre-Filled Packages for?

  • Pre-Filled Packages are for photographers with selling accounts (Pro & Advanced), who have clients in the U.S. (Pre-Filled Package pricing is in U.S. dollars), and have never created packages before.

  • If you’re a photographer outside of the US and are interested in setting up packages, follow these easy steps.


How it works

  • If you’ve never offered packages, then the four new Pre-Filled Packages will automatically appear in your account, ready to review. You can find them by going to your Dashboard, navigating to Selling, and then clicking on Packages.

  • You can leave each package as is or customize each to suit your needs. You can change the name, retail price, add and delete items, and change product quantities.  

  • After you’ve customized and saved your changes, assign the packages to a price list so your clients can see them. Until you add them to a price list, your packages are not visible to your clients.

  • To add Pre-Filled Packages to a price list, follow the steps in this support article.

 

Already have packages?

  • If you've already created packages, then the four new packages will not appear in your account.

 

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Note: Products in the Platinum Package are from multiple labs which may cause the order to be split into multiple orders. Orders split into multiple orders will require the client to pay separate shipping costs for each portion of the split order.

 

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Add these new Pre-Filled Packages to your pricelist and start maximizing your sales today. For more information about packages, check out this handy support article.
 

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(ZenBlog) Default Packages Product updates Zenfolio bundles multi-product packages packages pre-filled packages professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/2/new-pre-filled-packages-a-smart-and-easy-way-to-maximize-sales Fri, 03 Feb 2017 07:59:00 GMT
Zenfolio wins Best Website Provider at the Societies' awards for the fourth year running! http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/zenfolio-wins-best-website-provider-at-the-societies-awards

We are thrilled to announce that Zenfolio has been voted Best Website Provider at the Societies' Awards for the fourth year running!

The Societies' Awards and SWPP Convention takes place in London each January and is one of the highlights on the UK photography industry's calendar. The awards evening is the jewel in the crown of the convention, hosting the top photographers and members of the trade for a star-studded get-together to celebrate all that is great in our industry.

We would like to give a big Thank You to everyone who voted for us and showed their support for Zenfolio. To win just once was an honour, but to win for the fourth year running is beyond our wildest dreams — we couldn't have done it without you!


Some of our previous blush-worthy awards from the Societies'

We would also like to congratulate all the photographers who were recognised for their fantastic imagery this year, as well as members of the trade who picked up awards — especially our amazing partners Aspire Photography Training, who won Best Professional Training for an incredible five years in a row! In celebration of this fantastic achievement, UK Zenfolians can save 20% on any of Aspire's award-winning training courses when booked online — use our exclusive discount code zenfolio.

While we weren't exhibiting with a stand at this year's convention, there will still be plenty of opportunity to connect in person with the Zenfolio UK team throughout 2017, kicking off with Zenfolio Academy on February 10th in Leamington Spa, followed shortly after by The Photography Show at Birmingham NEC Arena from March 18th - 21st. 

We look forward to seeing you on the road and until then, cheers!

 

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(ZenBlog) award awards best photography professional provider societies swpp uk website winning zenfolio http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/zenfolio-wins-best-website-provider-at-the-societies-awards Fri, 27 Jan 2017 21:00:20 GMT
Memory Mates: A New Design for an All-Star Product http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/memory-mates-a-new-design-for-an-all-star-product Memory Mates BannerMemory Mates Banner

Memory Mates are an all-star product to include in your sports and events packages, and they’re perfect for clients who want to commemorate their children’s athletics. We’re kicking off 2017 by introducing a new design template for U.S. photographers. Each template includes space for two photos—one individual image of the athlete and one group photo of the team. This new template comes in nine colors, for nine different sports, and includes an area to personalize the player and team name. Whether you offer Memory Mates as part of a package or sell them individually, they make unforgettable keepsakes.

 

Sports:  

  • Baseball

  • Basketball

  • Cheerleading

  • Dance

  • Football

  • Soccer

  • Softball

  • Tee-ball

  • Winner—Don’t see your sport? Choose the Winner template

 

Colors:

  • Pink

  • Purple

  • Blue

  • Teal

  • Orange

  • Green

  • Black

  • Red

  • Gold

 

If you already have Memory Mates in your price list, then these new templates will be automatically added.

 

If you don't have Memory Mates, add them to your price list. From your Dashboard, click Selling →  price list →  Edit a price list →  Add product →  Mpix →  Sports & School →  Add Memory Mates.

 

If you would like to review the selection of Memory Mates without adding them to a price list, you can find them here: Log in to Zenfolio →  click on Photos → click on any photo → click Buy →  click Show All Vendors→  Choose Mpix Lab as the vendor →  click on Photo Gifts → click on Sports and School →  Add Memory Mates → choose any sport to see a template.

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(ZenBlog) Memory Mates Zenfolio photo templates for sports product update product updates school and sports sport photo templates sport team photo templates http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/memory-mates-a-new-design-for-an-all-star-product Fri, 27 Jan 2017 17:00:00 GMT
New Shopping Experience Update: Better Browsing, Faster Buying with Improved Client Shopping http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/new-shopping-experience-update-better-browsing-faster-buying New-Shopping-Experience-Update-2017New-Shopping-Experience-Update-2017Subcategory Pages

Cheers to the new year and an enhancement to the New Shopping Experience! Here is a quick recap of big ticket items that have been rolled out thus far:

  1. To help boost your online sales, the easy one-click add to cart to shorten your client’s path to purchase was released.

  2. To create a more intuitive and client-friendly shopping experience, we simplified product categories (reduced 16 categories to six: Prints, Home Decor, Greeting Cards, Photo Gifts, Albums & Books, and Other).

  3. For a more personalized shopping experience, your client’s photos instantly appear in product categories.

  4. Most recently, we optimized your Shop homepage (1) to make it easier for your clients instantly preview what you offer with a short list of products within category icons, and (2) prominently displayed packages to encourage more package purchases to increase overall sales volume.

 

Now...

Your clients can preview various products in an organized grid layout and use the new filtering tool to find items of interest for better browsing and faster buying. From your Shop homepage, when your clients click on one of the main product categories, they will be taken to a redesigned subcategory page with filtering options and a sleek grid layout.

 

This grid layout presents an organized preview of subcategory items you offer (e.g., Home Decor >> Canvas Prints, Collages, etc.). Your clients can filter by various attributes such as by product type and size prior to adding to cart. For photographers who offer single-image and multi-image template based products, all design options will be displayed in the grid layout. Your clients can then filter by occasion, size, etc. to quickly find, personalize and buy. For instance, when your clients click on “Greeting Cards,” they can preview all the greeting card designs and filter by occasion (such as “Birthday”).

 

The New Shopping Experience is optimized for you, your business and your clients by incorporating your feedback and e-commerce best practices. Our goal is to help increase your sales by providing better selling tools for you, and an intuitive and easy to navigate client shopping experience. For more information and how to turn on the New Shopping Experience in your account, click here.

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio categories marketing new shopping experience photography prints product update product updates professional photography selling shop home page shopping shopping beta storefront subcategories http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/new-shopping-experience-update-better-browsing-faster-buying Fri, 20 Jan 2017 07:50:00 GMT
Give 10, Earn 10: Refer Friends to Zenfolio http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/12/zenfolio-refer-friends Refferal Program (Blog, DN, UNL)Refferal Program (Blog, DN, UNL)

It Pays to Have Friends! Share Zenfolio to Earn Unlimited Referral Credits.

Pass along a 10% savings off any Zenfolio subscription by sharing your unique referral code with all of your friends. Earn 10% of their new subscription plan price in referral credit. Your referral credit will be automatically added to your account.

 

Perks:

  1. Watch your earnings grow with every referral. For those who have a gazillion friends, there’s no limit to how much credit you can earn because there is no cap to how many times your referral code can be used by different friends to sign up for a new paid account. #winning

  2. Earned referral credits can be redeemed for Zenfolio products and services. Use earned credits to apply toward your own plan renewal or upgrade, to order prints or photo products, and/or purchase other awesome Zenfolio services. Basically, your subscription could be FREE or, you could be getting photo products and prints for FREE!

  3. As an extra incentive for your friends... Your unique referral code is stackable with another Zenfolio subscription promotions. Your friends can get an extra boost of savings by using both your referral code and current Zenfolio subscription promotion.

 

Why wait? Here’s how it works:

  1. You share your unique referral code via email, social media, and/or word-of-mouth. Click here to log in to your account and get your code.

  2. Your friend uses your unique referral code at checkout to receive a discount off the Zenfolio plan that’s best for them (applies to new subscriptions only).

  3. Your friend saves 10% off of their new Zenfolio website subscription.

  4. You earn 10% in credit. Boom.

Ready, set, go!

Note: Referral credits are not redeemable for cash payouts. For more information and answers to frequently asked questions, check out the support article here.

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(ZenBlog) Product Updates Zenfolio referrals include refer a friend refer friends refer-a-friend referral program referrals http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/12/zenfolio-refer-friends Fri, 16 Dec 2016 21:00:00 GMT
Becoming a Modern Day Treasure Hunter http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/12/becoming-a-modern-day-treasure-hunter Modern-Day-Treasure-Hunter-(Header)Modern-Day-Treasure-Hunter-(Header)

By Laura Grier

 

My whole life I have wanted to be an explorer or a treasure hunter. Since I watched the Indiana Jones trilogy at a young age, I have always felt that my life would be incomplete if I did not discover a lost civilization, a hidden treasure map in the attic, or some sort of Da Vinci Code-esque set of clues that were left for me by mysterious people from the past unlocking the secrets of mankind. Yes, some of that may seem far-fetched, but these things do happen. Although technology has spread humanity and information across every inch of the globe, there are still ancient temples waiting to be uncovered and cultures that are still living as they did in the past, bestowing their hidden knowledge from generation to generation while preserving ancient art forms.

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For the past 15 years I have been a destination-wedding photographer, an adventure photographer, and travel writer across the globe. The most satisfying work I have done has been for Novica, in Association with National Geographic, which is a global catalog that represents artisans from the around the world who are practicing what I like to call “vanishing arts.”

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Picture the people who are making these vanishing arts, like the women of the Karen, or “long neck” tribe on the border of Burma and Thailand who wear the rings on their necks and are known for their very intricate weavings. There is also a 90-year-old man in Bali, Indonesia, who is the last of a long line of ancient hand carved bamboo flute makers. Consider the Quechua people of Uros, the floating grass islands of Lake Titicaca, Peru, who make all kinds of art from grass and have knitted for centuries. These people have lived off of their craft for generations and passed down their skills to their children and children’s children. But now all of this is being threatened by technology and modern-day luxuries. Because of tourism, these people have been exposed to the outside world, and many of their children want to leave and find other ways to make money and survive. So when this generation of artisans passes on, so will their craft and all knowledge of it. They will just vanish.

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Novica’s mission is to bring awareness and provide a platform for these global artisans that allows them to make money creating their art while preserving their culture and way of life. Through doing this they have saved villages, empowered women to have jobs and support their families, educated people about environmental preservation, and spread the word about some of these amazing cultures that are remote and rare.

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What I have realized while on assignment over the years, sometimes going into remote places to meet with or stay with these amazing artisans to photograph and interview them, is that I have without realizing it become the treasure hunter and explorer that I have always wanted to be. Instead of digging up gold bullion or unearthing temples, I have discovered these amazing people through my lens who are better than buried treasure, because they are living treasures.

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01750175 As a photographer, I get to see the entire process. Not only have I photographed fashion catalog shoots in Peru, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Mexico and Thailand, with models wearing some of these artisanal goods, but I get to go and meet the artisans who make these goods and meet their families, see how they live, and learn about their cultures. I document the source all the way to the image that appears online and reaches millions of computers across the world. Ironically, technology, the very thing that is destroying some of these vanishing artists and their cultures, is what may now save them through selling their goods on Novica’s website and by selling photos and sharing them on my own Zenfolio website.

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Having an online platform that not only is aesthetically pleasing but also easy and functional “on the go” is a must for me. At times I find myself in super remote places where I have to be able to communicate, shoot and edit photos and videos, and then back up and upload photos online. Most times there is no Internet, and I have to use my T-Mobile global plan to be online through my cell phone. This is where Zenfolio helps me to be the adventurous Indiana Jones character, just a more tech savvy, modern, connected version of him. While photographing artisans in the remote islands of Indonesia, I can be disconnected and off the grid, yet a fully connected and functioning businesswoman at the same time. I can use my cell phone to show photos, back them up, shine a flashlight through the jungle, translate languages, document these indigenous people, and bridge the often-large communication gap between us.

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So as a photographer, a writer, an explorer, and a person who wants to make a positive impact on this world, I enjoy highlighting the beauty and cultures that still thrive in these remote regions of the world. I get to do my part and use my photos, videos, words, and voice to bring awareness to these living treasures. You can make a difference in preserving these vanishing cultures as well simply by raising your awareness about them and realizing that they are still very real and exist.

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(ZenBlog) Laura Grier Zenfolio photography professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/12/becoming-a-modern-day-treasure-hunter Wed, 14 Dec 2016 19:13:01 GMT