ZenBlog: Blog http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) ZenBlog (ZenBlog) Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:54:00 GMT Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:54:00 GMT Friday Foto Favorites 10.24 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/friday-foto-favorites-10-24

1.     What the world would look like with no humans.

2.     How to create an entire darkroom in a small closet.

3.     We are fully embracing Autumn. You should, too.

4.     10 Things Henri Cartier-Bresson can teach you about street photography.

5.     50 examples of double exposures

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(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio favorites galleries marketing photo photographer photography portfolio professional professional photographer professional photography selling weekly round up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/friday-foto-favorites-10-24 Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:00:00 GMT
Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2014 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/holiday-shipping-deadlines-2014

Let’s face it: the holidays are right around the corner. Don’t get caught rushing and stressing over getting your holiday cards and gifts purchased and mailed on time. The best solution for you and your customers to avoid the dreaded time crunch is simple: plan ahead. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of holiday shipping dates for our partners to help bring you comfort and joy this holiday season.

Requesting Changes and Cancellations

Our partner labs have the best turnaround times in the industry while maintaining consistent print quality. They work extra hard to keep up this reputation during the holiday season—often printing, packaging, and shipping an order the same day it is placed. This means that any request for changes needs to be sent within minutes of placing an order or it might not be caught in time.

Approving Orders

Having Order Approval enabled in your price list (this is a Premium and Premium Business feature) allows you to review orders and make changes before the orders are sent for printing, but it also delays sending the orders to the lab. Orders are not submitted for printing until you approve them. With this in mind, be sure to approve all orders as quickly as possible.

A Tip for Peace of Mind

During the holiday season, USPS is not as dependable, and packages cannot be tracked. Encourage your clients to select a carrier that offers tracking, such as FedEx.

Shipping Deadlines

For your convenience, we have gathered a list of recommended deadline dates and tips for each of our integrated vendors. Please keep in mind that your orders must be placed and approved before the cutoff dates in order to be delivered in time for the holiday.

Mpix, MpixPro, and Miller’s

Mpix, a division of Miller’s Professional Imaging, delivers professional quality prints using only the best materials and packaging. MpixPro offers a variety of high-end products such as photo books, canvas gallery wraps, metal prints, and calendars. MpixPro is only available to Premium Business subscribers. To add an elegant touch to your clients’ holiday orders, we recommend choosing Mpix Pro’s Boutique Packaging shipping method.

One Vision Imaging

Based in the UK, One Vision Imaging offers a number of traditional and non-traditional gifts and products. From acrylic “ice” prints to magnetic prints and even jigsaw puzzles there’s something for everyone on your list.

PhotoBox

PhotoBox’s state-of-the-art labs in London and Paris deliver high quality prints and photo products throughout Europe and around the world. PhotoBox is also an extremely eco-friendly company and is always looking for greener ways to do business.

NuShots and Nulab

Customers in Australia and New Zealand can choose high-quality prints, gallery wraps, and more from these cutting-edge labs. Nulab is only available to Premium Business subscribers.

fotoflōt

fotoflōt products are an elegant way to display photos without frames. Your clients are sure to be impressed by the innovative magnetic mounting system, which allows you to avoid glare and enables you to swap photos in seconds.

Imagine Your Photos

Imagine Your Photos offers a wide range of unique photo products from mouse pads and coasters to mugs, shirts, and magnets. IYP uses the latest imaging and transfer technologies on a variety of surfaces. IYP’s unique photo products make great holiday gifts.

ivoke

ivoke™ makes innovative, personalized products from your digital images ranging from high end, custom aluminum panels and iPhone cases to basics like mugs, mouse pads, and coasters.

PictureItPostage

 

If you plan on mailing greeting cards or sending thank you cards to clients, personalize them with custom postage stamps from PictureItPostage. You can have your brand, portrait, or any other image placed on a US postage stamp in many denominations. The high-quality stamps are printed large and add a special touch to any piece of mail.

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(ZenBlog) Miller's Mpix MpixPro NuShots Nulab One Vision Imaging PhotoBox PictureItPostage Zenfolio fotoflōt galleries holiday shipping ivoke marketing photo photographer photography portfolio professional photographer professional photography selling http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/holiday-shipping-deadlines-2014 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:00:00 GMT
Q&A with Summer Photo Contest Winner Dan Wenc http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/q-a-with-summer-photo-contest-winner-dan-wenc

The winner of this summer’s Zen Photo Contest is Dan Wenc of DM Wenc Photography. The man behind the camera explains how his hobby became a side business and why he doesn’t stick to one genre.

 

Tell us about your photo business.

What started out as hobby photography several years ago has evolved into a small side business. Some of my photos that began as hobby photography resulted in interest from some businesses, which purchased some of my work for use in their promotional material. Another portion of my business is portrait photography.

 

What was happening when you shot your winning photo?

I was away with my wife at Hampton, New Hampshire, as part of an anniversary weekend getaway. Out for a night walk on the beach while they were having fireworks, I brought my camera and tripod along, and it was my first try at shooting fireworks. In this photo I wanted to capture the fireworks, the beach and the boardwalk at night in the background.

 

Who are your main clients?

Portrait clients make up the majority of my revenue clients, with many return clients over the years. I don’t do much advertising; I rely on email newsletters, social media and word of mouth referrals to gain customers. A secondary category of clientele are those who purchase my photographs for display in their home or business, mostly of my scenic, landscape and railroad photography work. Using Zenfolio, my followers and customers have a choice of purchasing metal, canvas or standard prints to showcase my work. I’ve found that Zenfolio is the perfect place to host my photos.

 

What kind of photography do you specialize in?

It’s not necessarily specialized; it’s wide open and evolving. Railroad photography was my specialty when I first started. My photographs have appeared in several railroad publications and other industry works. Over the past few years, I’ve taken interest in other areas of photography, such as landscape and local points of interest in the Southern New England area. I also strive to find new ways to improve portrait photography, as that makes up most of my actual customer base. This summer, I got into photographing classic cars and concert/music photography. Concert photography is my current point of interest, and it’s inspiring me to get more involved and experienced in it. I don’t want to limit myself to one specialty in photography—I like to have the freedom to photograph what interests me and inspires me at that particular time in my life, depending on where I am and what I see.

 

What do you love most about photography?

Freedom and creativity are my favorite parts. It allows me to be creative with the capture of time and events the way I see it through the camera, and to produce some captivating images. Photography allows me to explore various subjects. And at the end of the day, if someone purchases a print or other work, it makes it all that much more worthwhile.

 

To see Dan’s work, visit his website at www.dmwencphotography.com

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(ZenBlog) DM Wenc Photography Dan Wenc Zenfolio marketing photographer photography professional photographer professional photography selling http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/q-a-with-summer-photo-contest-winner-dan-wenc Mon, 20 Oct 2014 16:00:00 GMT
Behind the Shot http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/behind-the-shot A picture is worth a thousand words, sure. But have you ever wondered what was reeling in the minds of the photographer as soon as they released the shutter? We asked several photographers to share their personal favorite shots and the stories behind them. From pulling all-nighters to capture the best lighting to traveling the corners of the globe to touching life tales of their subjects, here’s proof that there’s much more to a photo than simply pointing and shooting. Here, three seasoned photographers recount what it took to get that perfect shot.

Selfie by Gene X Hwang

“After the San Francisco Giants won the World Series in 2012, the city was abuzz with the excitement of another championship. The parade was a huge celebration, and it ended at City Hall where many dignitaries were on hand. There was a piano out front that it turns out was for Tony Bennett who sang his iconic "I Left my Heart in San Francisco" to the packed crowds. This moment happened right after he took a bow on stage. Giants reliever Sergio Romo was just as much a fan of Bennett and took a selfie onstage with the musical icon. ”

 

Three Generations by David Jordan Williams

“This triple portrait of Robbie Robertson, his son Sebastian and Sebastian's son Dylan sprang out of a portrait I had taken of Robbie with his eyes closed back in 1995 as part of a project I worked on with Robbie titled "Music For The Native Americans." The portrait became somewhat iconic for Robbie.

Recently I had his son Sebastian over to the studio for a portrait session with his son Dylan. We were shooting, and Sebastian looked at me and we almost simultaneously said "Let's try one with my eyes closed and head up." The result was a portrait that had a very similar feel to the one of Robbie. We then thought, why don't we do the same with Dylan. Well, that portrait had the same impact, and I thought it would be interesting to put the three portraits together in one image. I spent a bit of time composing and balancing the three heads and shoulders, and it just jumped off the screen. I call the piece "Three Generations." I love it.”

 

Crystal Fighters Cave Rave by Martin Hobby

“This was my first time working abroad; I was commissioned by a UK music magazine to fly to Spain and photograph Crystal Fighters play a “Rave in a Cave.” How could I refuse?

The rave took place in a village called Zugarramurdi in the Spanish Pyrenees. The journalist and I travelled out to the site with people from the band’s record label, and a couple of the DJs who were playing as well. I think I left home around 7 a.m. and after a car journey, flight, taxi and then a few hours on a coach we finally arrived at our destination in the late afternoon.

I had an AAA (Access All Areas) pass so I was allowed backstage before the show. We met and interviewed the band, and I took a few portrait shots of them against the beautiful natural cave setting. Then it was show time.

As anyone who shoots music knows, the general rule is “three songs, no flash,” and even though this event was taking place in an unusual venue that rule remained, so after the first three songs, myself and the other photographers were ushered off the rocks in front of the stage.

 

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(ZenBlog) Behind the Shot David Jordan Williams Gene X Hwang Martin Hobby Zenfolio behind the scenes commercial photography event photography galleries marketing photo photographer photography portfolio portrait photography professional professional photographer professional photography selling http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/behind-the-shot Mon, 20 Oct 2014 16:00:00 GMT
Flash Sale! Save 50% on Large Prints for 24 Hours Only http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/flash-sale-save-50-on-large-prints-for-24-hours-only

Get ready to live large during our one-day flash sale. On October 21, save 50% on photographic prints sized 8x10 and larger from Mpix, MpixPro, One Vision Imaging, PhotoBox, Nulab, and NuShots.

With savings this big, now is the time to turn your images into high-quality prints that you can frame or give to loved ones.

As always, no coupon code is necessary when you order through your Zenfolio account. This sale ends October 21 at 11:59 p.m. PDT, so be sure to place your orders today.

Important Details Regarding the Sale:

•   This sale will be effective on October 21, 2014 from 12:01 a.m. PDT until 11:59 p.m. PDT only and cannot be extended to orders placed before or after this time frame.

•   This discount cannot be combined with other promotions.

•   The following vendors are participating in the promotion: Mpix, MpixPro, One Vision Imaging, PhotoBox, Nulab, and NuShots.

•   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.  

•   If you are looking to pass this sale on to your clients, please read our Sales FAQ.

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(ZenBlog) Mpix MpixPro Zenfolio photo photographer photography prints professional photography promotion sale selling http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/flash-sale-save-50-on-large-prints-for-24-hours-only Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:00:00 GMT
Friday Foto Favorites 10.17 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/friday-foto-favorites-10-17

 

1.     Award-winning photos of family life in Ukraine.

2.     This couple traveled to 177 countries in 26 years.

3.     Every day life, underwater.

4.     PBS on the film vs. digital debate.

5.     If you like cars, and color, check this out. 

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(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio favorites galleries marketing photo photographer photography portfolio professional professional photographer professional photography selling weekly round up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/friday-foto-favorites-10-17 Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:00:00 GMT
7 Steps to Making a Great First Impression http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/7-steps-to-making-a-great-first-impression

Whether it’s on your website or in a directory listing, sharing information online about your photography business is crucial when it comes to putting your best foot forward. Follow the tips below to make sure you’re wowing your prospective clients and making a great first impression.

 

1.     Showcase Multiple Shoots
Prospective clients won’t get to see your range of skills if they’re only looking at pictures of the same subject against the same background with the same lighting. A wide range of variety lets a client know that their photo shoot isn’t going to be an exact replica of someone else’s and will assure them that the results of their shoot will be unique, personalized, and special. Sharing shots from multiple jobs also conveys that you’ve had more than one client. Show off your experience!

 

2.     Limit Your Genres
You might be adept at shooting in seven different categories, but someone looking through seven vastly different portfolios might get overwhelmed. If you specialize in boudoir sessions and high school senior portraits, it might get confusing looking at all of those images together. You can also consider separating each genre out into separate sections or pages so that clients can choose to only look at the ones they’re most interested in.
 

3.     Don’t Skimp on Styles
If you shoot in photojournalistic, black and white, with natural light, and more, clients benefit from seeing examples of every style. For those who aren’t aware of the differences, doing this can actually help them realize their preferences when it comes to style, and better communicate that when it’s time for a consultation.


 

4.     Highlight Your Contact Info
If someone is ready to call you and set up an appointment, they don’t want to spend more than a few minutes looking for that phone number so make sure your contact information is easy to locate.
 

5.     Bios Should Be Short and Sweet
Your bio section is a great place to show a bit of personality, but clients are going to get a better feel for who you are as an individual when they’re ready to meet you. By limiting your text, you’re also making sure that your work stays front and center.


 

6.     No Distracting Watermarks
Some photographers are adamant about including watermarks on their photos. If you’re one of them, just make sure the watermark is used in a way that doesn’t prevent people from actually seeing the work you put in to creating that image.


 

7.     Include Some, But Not All, Pricing
Starting prices can be helpful, especially to give people an idea of whether you realistically fall within their price range, but you might also be able to do custom packages that can only be priced after you better understand a specific client’s needs.

 

That first impression could make or break your next client’s decision to contact you and, ultimately, book you as their photographer. So invest some time into making sure all of your online marketing channels are in tip top shape. To boost your online presence, create a profile on Photographer Central – a directory specifically built to showcase photography businesses of every genre – and apply all of these tips to create the ultimate listing. For more information, visit www.photographercentral.com.

 

(Photo credits: Laura Tillinghast Photography, Leon Brauer Photography, Brian Bussiere PhotographyBrandon Vaccaro Studio)

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(ZenBlog) Photographer Central directory marketing photographer photography professional photographer professional photography selling http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/7-steps-to-making-a-great-first-impression Fri, 17 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT
How to Help Clients Choose Frames that Fit Their Style http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/how-to-help-clients-choose-frames-that-fit-their-style

Two Mpix frame masters explain the benefits of offering multiple styles and sizes and how to make more money upselling frames.  

As a photographer, the idea of selling a new product to your customers can be daunting. But what if the product isn’t really new at all, just one that you have overlooked and one that your clients are already using regularly? Framed prints, a timeless option for preserving memories and seemingly always displayed prominently in homes and offices, are a great way to upsell clients who are interested in buying prints from your sessions. There are several things you want to keep in mind when selling frames: the style of your imagery, your clients’ tastes and the architecture of their homes.

Traditional vs. Contemporary

If your photography features a traditional style, your imagery will translate well to a classic frame style with a conventional look. Beaded Mahogany, Bronze Ornate, and Black Rounded frames are popular options with classic designs available through Mpix and MpixPro. Traditional frames also work especially well in older homes and those with conventional architecture.

For those outside of the US, take a look at the frame options offered on the partner page.

On the other hand, if you shoot in a more contemporary style, your imagery may be better suited for a modern frame style with a clean, simple feel. The most recent additions to the Mpix and MpixPro frame selection—Blond Maple, Espresso Walnut and White Flat—have proven popular for this approach. Black Metal and Silver Metal frames are also favorites for those who prefer a mod look.

Cropping Tips

One question we often receive from our customers is how the frame will affect the cropping of an image. If you are ordering an 8x10 or 11x14 print (a different ratio than what comes straight out of the camera), cropping will occur. With an 8x10 print, you lose two inches off the longest size of your print. It is also worth noting that depending on the frame style you select, the frame can cover up to ¼ of an inch of the print. If you’re unsure about how the image will display, we highly encourage you to review the finished product in your cart or visit the Framed Prints page on Mpix and drop in a photo to view how your photo will display.

A common add-on item with frames, especially those in the classic style, is a black or white mat. For customers looking at specific frame sizes, it is important to note that adding a mat to a framed print increases the width and height by 4". For example, an 8x10 print that is framed and has a mat will end up being 12x14 plus the width of the frame.

With so many frame styles and options available, the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference. Remember, your clients will be making the purchase, so you should focus on their preferences, even if their favorite styles are not what you would display in your home. The first step is getting to know the tastes of your client base.

Pro Selling Tips

To get a feel for what types of frames your customers like, try sending out a questionnaire to each person before their session. This is particularly helpful if you shoot multiple styles of photography or cater to a wide range of clients, and it also serves as a way to start the sales process before the session has even begun. Ask clients how they would frame photos for their homes if they were doing it on their own. Ask about color patterns in your client’s home and what other types of home décor items they have so you can match a new frame to their existing design aesthetic. By getting this kind of input from your customers, you remove your own preferences from the equation, allowing your client’s style to shine through.

Additionally, consider providing clients with a visual list of frame options, making it easy for them to visualize the potential styles in their homes and further catering your online sales to their needs. Mpix offers a Frame Sample Kit for purchase, which includes corners of each of the 16 frame styles available through Mpix and MpixPro. When you consider how much an increase in framed print sales could mean to your bottom line earnings, the $40 cost to purchase a Frame Sample Kit is an inexpensive investment that could pay off in a big way as frames become a larger part of your product offering.

If you have any questions regarding framed prints, feel free to reach out to Mpix or MpixPro via Facebook or Twitter.

 

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(ZenBlog) Mpix MpixPro Zenfolio framed framed prints frames framing framing prints galleries marketing photo photo frames photographer photography portfolio printing prints professional professional photographer professional photography selling http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/how-to-help-clients-choose-frames-that-fit-their-style Mon, 13 Oct 2014 16:00:00 GMT
More is More. Save 20% on OVI Multi-Aperture Frames http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/more-is-more-save-20-on-ovi-multi-aperture-frames One is good, but more is better. Display multiple photos in one frame with One Vision Imaging multi-aperture framed prints and save 20% through 15 October. Multi-aperture framed prints are perfect for showcasing family portraits, holiday photos, and more.

As always, no coupon code is necessary when you order through your Zenfolio account. This sale ends 15 October at 23:59 GMT, so be sure to place your orders today.

Not a Zenny yet?

Fine Print:

  • This sale will be effective from 13 October 2014 at 00:01 GMT until 15 October 2014 at 23:59 GMT and cannot be extended to orders placed before or after this time frame.
  • This discount cannot be combined with other promotions.
  • The following vendor is participating in the promotion: One Vision Imaging.
  • 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.  
  • If you are looking to pass this sale on to your clients, please read our Sales FAQ.
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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio coupon discount galleries marketing photo photographer photography portfolio printing prints professional professional photographer professional photography promotion sale selling http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/more-is-more-save-20-on-ovi-multi-aperture-frames Mon, 13 Oct 2014 07:01:00 GMT
Upgrade your living room with Modern Metals & save 20% http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/upgrade-your-living-room-with-modern-metals-save-20 Want to add contemporary elegance to your living room? Order Mpix Modern Metal prints and save 20% now through October 15.

These stunning aluminum prints are perfect for showcasing wedding or family portraits, landscapes and more. They also make great gifts.

As always, no coupon code is necessary when you order through your Zenfolio account. This sale ends October 15 at 11:59 p.m. PDT, so be sure to place your orders today.

Not a Zenny yet?

Fine Print:

  • This sale will be effective from October 13, 2014 at 12:01 a.m. PDT until October 15, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. PDT and cannot be extended to orders placed before or after this time frame.
  • This discount cannot be combined with other promotions.
  • The following vendor is participating in the promotion: Mpix.
  • 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.  
  • If you are looking to pass this sale on to your clients, please read our Sales FAQ.
     
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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio coupon discount galleries marketing photo photographer photography portfolio printing prints professional professional photographer professional photography promotion sale selling http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/upgrade-your-living-room-with-modern-metals-save-20 Mon, 13 Oct 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Friday Foto Favorites 10.10 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/friday-foto-favorites-10-10

Each week, we scour the web to find the most off-kilter photos, gear and articles so you don’t have to. Happy reading and have an even happier weekend.

  1. Soldiers need yoga, too.
  2. This camera slices cheese. Literally.
  3. Moments during the day, frozen in a single photo.
  4. Beams of light, illuminated throughout the house.
  5. A photographer’s manifesto. Preach.

 

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(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio favorites galleries marketing photo photographer photography portfolio professional professional photographer professional photography selling weekly round up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/friday-foto-favorites-10-10 Fri, 10 Oct 2014 16:00:00 GMT
How to Make More Money with Print Sales http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/how-to-make-more-money-with-print-sales

What’s the best way to boost sales? The answer is simple: have a sale. Everybody loves a sale, and more importantly, customers are much more likely to buy—and in larger quantities. Having a sale is simple. Set up your discounted pricing and then advertise your sale. You choose the time frame, which products are eligible, and the size of the discount. Or, you can choose to have a free shipping sale. Here, we guide you through the steps of setting up a sale through your Zenfolio account. The options are seemingly endless.

      1. Create a Coupon

Why? With a coupon, customers are more inclined to come to your site, shop and buy—no one wants to let a coupon go to waste. Coupons apply to prints and products, digital downloads, self-fulfilled products and shipping costs.

How? Decide which coupon you want to feature. Zenfolio offers coupons for face value, percentage discounts, “at cost” discounts, shipping amount discounts, and shipping percentage discounts. You can determine the number of uses, order minimums and coupon start and expiration date to coincide with the sale dates. Simply create the coupon of your choice and then come up with a coupon code users will enter at checkout.

     2. Create a Dedicated Price List

Why? Price lists contain the products you would like to offer for sale. Create a dedicated price list specific to your sale, so customers can see the breakdown of the sale by product. In addition, there might be only certain products you want to discount, so you can make sure only the discounted items will be featured in your price list.  

How? Begin by creating a custom price list, and then add products you would like to offer, whether they are those offered by Zenfolio partner labs or your own self-fulfilled products. Or, you can simply duplicate an existing price list, adjust the pricing to the products you wan to promote with the sale and then assign the price list to galleries or individual photos. You will be able to switch back to the original price list at the end of the sale, if you wish to duplicate it.

     3. Create a Special Package

Why? Packages give you the option to put multiple products together and sell them for one set price. This multi-product package may include vendor partner, self-fulfilled, and digital products. When customers see a discounted price for a bundle of products, they’re more likely to buy it.

How? Create your package, which can be one sole image or multiple different images, and then put sale items in the package so clients know they are getting the most for their money.

Once you have your sale items ready, you’ll need to advertise to get the word out.

       1. Email Blasts

Why? The easiest way to communicate with your entire client list is through email. You can send an email to clients about a sale, notify them about news, or even invite them to view their gallery.

How? You have the ability to store a contact list of your friends and clients. You can send emails to your entire contact list regarding the sale.

        2. Social Media/Blog

Why? Social media is an extremely easy and popular way to advertise in today’s digital age. It’s important to be active on social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, to keep clients in the loop and display your work. And social media is a great outlet to advertise a sale to current and potential new clients. Every time you have a sale, blog about it, and then share it on social media. This will drive new and current clients to your website to see your work and get excited about a discounted item.

How? Post about your sale in a blog post. Then, you’ll want to share your post via social media by posting an image and link to your site. You can also enable social media buttons on your website for easy sharing. The buttons to Tweet, Google+, or post to Facebook are not set to show by default, but you can easily add them to a gallery or photo page.

       3. Expiring Galleries

Why? Nothing gets people to act fast quite like setting a deadline. Groups, galleries and collections may be given an expiration date, at which time access is changed to private. To boost purchases during a sale, you can set the deadline to the last day of the sale.

How? Select the gallery, group or collection you would like to set to expire in the Organizer. Set the expiration date as the last day of the sale, so that customers will be prompted to buy ONLY during the sale, which means more profit for you.

        4. Order Minimums

Why? Setting an order minimum can push customers to place larger orders with a variety of products during the time of a sale—possibly making more money for you. You can require that they reach a minimum in order to get the sale discount, which also nudges them to buy more. (This feature applies to Premium Business users only.)

How? If you have defined a minimum shipping cost or set an order minimum, the orders will not be completed unless the minimum is met. You can adjust the minimum amount required in your price list.

        5. Featured Products List

Why? A featured products list is a list curated by you that features a list of products that will appear directly on gallery or photo pages in the Visitor View. It vastly increases the exposure of products and pricing, and it encourages your visitors to purchase (especially when the products are on sale).

How? You first need to create a price list in order to create an associated featured products list. Then, create your featured products list exclusive to sale items.

         6. Sale Homepage Slide

Why? Make sure each and every site visitor is aware of your sale. Advertising sale details in the first image of your homepage slideshow is a great way to make sure everyone is in the loop.

How? To add a sale graphic to your homepage slideshow, create a new image with the details of the sale. Upload it to your slideshow gallery, and make sure the slideshow is not set to random for your homepage.

         7. Create a Website Banner

Why? Nothing says sale quite like a banner. You can create temporary website banners promoting the sale in galleries, groups or on the homepage.

How? A banner can be added to any group or gallery page and will display a photo, video, slideshow or photo strip horizontally below your site menu or header from 200-800 pixels in height. All of this can be modified in the Customer Visitor View.

The sky is the limit when advertising sales on your website. Incorporating at least one or two of the above tactics will surely get more sales and revenue for you, and more of your products in the hands of clients.

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(ZenBlog) Mpix Zenfolio galleries marketing photographer photography portfolio prints professional professional photographer professional photography promotion sale selling http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/how-to-make-more-money-with-print-sales Thu, 09 Oct 2014 16:00:00 GMT
Photographer’s Corner: Being Brand Savvy in the Digital Age http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/photographer-s-corner-being-brand-savvy-in-the-digital-age Documentary wedding photographer and Zenfolio Pro Team member Kevin Mullins explains why it’s OK to stop stressing over SEO and focus more on your brand.

Let me tell you a little story. I used to be a member of several Facebook groups for photographers. As always with these groups, there were some people who thought the only way forward was to belittle everyone else, try and promote themselves as a rock star, and brag about bookings and fees (which, incidentally, they are either lying to their peers about, or lying to the VAT man… but that’s another story). These were generally the same people who had partaken in some very dubious SEO practices and were, in fairness, reaping the punishments.

I would echo the warning words of Google: don’t try and fool them. They will catch up with you in the end.

And Google did. Google had ejected many of these ultracrepidarian fools, because they didn’t listen. They didn’t listen to Google and they didn’t listen to what the marketing world had been saying about SEO—they saw themselves above all of that. The ones who understand that SEO is just a small portion of the whole branding message and partly responsible for marketing, too, will not have such a sour experience.

The analogy I like to use is to consider that Google is “just another person.” Treat it like a person you are trying to expose your services to, and it will treat you with respect. Treat it like an imbecile, and it will kick you about like a deflated football.

I recently spent three days in different parts of the country running workshops on Branding, Marketing and SEO for other photographers. Most of the folks who attended the seminar did so because of the SEO element. However, I purposefully spent a whole morning, before moving onto the technicalities of SEO for photographers, discussing branding. Yawn… you might think, and there were some faces in the audience when I explained this that did seem to do just that.

During the course of each of the mornings, though, I saw all these little light bulbs ping on one after another. It was like a microwave testing factory. Ping, ping, ping…

What had happened? Well, I spent all this time talking about branding because without a solid brand, I don’t think you can have a solid business.

Branding is different than marketing, and marketing is different than advertising. And neither of them are much related to black hat SEO.

And where does it all start? With your brand. Yes, you can put a website together very quickly, but your brand is your persona. It’s the “voice” of your business, and it’s the opinion that you hold in the mind of potential (and past) clients that ultimately will lead to longevity in an industry that is littered with the carcases of fast burn businesses.

What would happen if Jeff Ascough got booted off of Google? Nothing. What would happen if Jerry Ghionis got booted off of Google? Nothing. Extreme examples, perhaps, but relevant nonetheless. When we think of Jeff we think of gorgeous black and white documentary weddings. When we think of Jerry, we think of beautiful, artistically flavoured fashion wedding photography.

The reason for this is because their brand is working, and they have a place in our mind. Their style is in our mind. If they lost their spot on Google they would still trade.

Too few of us consider our overall brand as part of our visual and psychological identity. I frequently get asked how I manage to get clients who really want wedding photojournalism. And I mean “really” want it. The answer is both simple and very complex; it’s my brand. 

I’ve spent five plus years building a brand where I shoot the way that I want to shoot. My website, my online collateral, my PR, everything, is authentic to my brand. I don’t deviate. I don’t show lots of group shots on my website (in fact, I don’t show any) because my brand does not support that. My brand, your brand, OUR brands are more responsible for the longevity of our businesses than flash-in-the-pan SEO or get business quick schemes.

So, let’s rewind a little to the Facebook groups full of those willy wavers: “I earned 18K from this weekend’s wedding.” – really? And you are still not VAT registered. “I’m shooting three weddings in Australia this summer.” – really? And I presume you have the relevant work permits for that?

What are they achieving? Apart from “bigging” themselves up to the other kids in the playground? Not a lot, as it turns out. They are not helping themselves, and they are not  helping the industry.

There is a great marketer named Al Reis (check out his books). He was cowriter of “The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding”. Some of the core laws of branding state:

I think this is very important for everyone in the wedding photography world right now. There is a degree of positive momentum in the minds and eyes of the clients right now. Social media and the accessibility of photography have been seen by some as detrimental to our businesses (everyone is a photographer, right?). But I think it’s helped elucidate photography for people, and they can see what is good and what isn’t.

It’s up to us, as an industry, to keep that momentum going—to heave the boulder over the crest of the hill. One of the points I make at my seminars is that I’m as candid as it gets with my knowledge and my experiences. Other trainers have told me that I give too much away, but I see it like this; if I’m lucky enough to be in the position where people want to listen to me, and are paying for it, then it’s my responsibility to give then uncontrived information. If I do so, hopefully, the industry will become stronger, albeit in a tiny fashion. If we all do so, then the industry will become stronger in a huge fashion.

The core fundamentals of branding are not about your logo, your font, and your business card (although they do play parts); they are about so much more. It’s about what people think about you and your business and services. It’s in the mind, more than anything else, and is something that is continually evolving and always needing attention.

When I explain to people how I attract clients who want the style of photography I offer, it always comes down to the brand doing the work for me. My website, my emails, my PDFs, my persona online, the “voice” of my website, the types of images I promote, the competitions I enter, even the type of cameras I use, are all core facets of the brand. This, primarily, is what prevents people who would rather not have documentary-styled wedding photographs from contacting me.

So, instead of constantly worrying and stressing about SEO, instead of fretting that you have dropped from #3 to #5, think about your brand for a while:

At this point, people always come back with: “There is no such thing as a USP (unique selling point) in photography.” Those people are being quite blinkered in my opinion. You don’t have to have a USP to be unique. Think back to the brand—stop thinking for one moment about Off Camera Flash, about using a 300mm lens, or about using CSCs. Think about your uniqueness in the marketplace. Your brand is all part of that. What makes up your brand is what makes you unique.

I spent a few hours a while back with a new photographer. He had a very strong business, but things weren’t clicking in terms of the marketing and branding. I asked him to let me know what his typical breakdown for marketing was. By far the most time he was spending in a week was on Google Plus; around four to five hours a week. I asked him why (although I already knew the answer)… ”Err… because it’s good for SEO.”

After I pointed out that the chances of any of his target clients being on Google+ were slim and that he would reap far more rewards by spending that time as a trusted contributor on mums.net or by building custom target audience ads that appear at 2 a.m. (during the feed!) on Facebook than spending time shouting in an empty room, the penny dropped.

SEO of course has a place, but it’s only a part of the overall marketing effort that ultimately helps define your brand.

So, think about yourself and your business. Think about how you want to be perceived in the minds of real people. Now, remember what I said at the beginning of this article: think of Google as one of those real people. If your brand, marketing, ethical SEO and social media are good for real people, then they will be good for Google too.

Kevin’s images are a breath of fresh air for the wedding industry. Shooting primarily in B&W, his documentary approach to capturing all the special moments that happen throughout an event really brings out the emotion, character and complexity of his subjects. As a leader in the wedding industry, Kevin is not only a photographer to watch, he’s also one to learn from. Read his case study on workflow here [http://www.zenfolio.com/z/help/free-guides/case-study-workflow-integrated-lab], and see his professional website here: http://kevinmullinsphotography.co.uk/

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(ZenBlog) Google Jeff Ascough Jerry Ghionis Kevin Mullins SEO SEO for Photographers Zenfolio branding galleries marketing photographer photography portfolio professional photographer professional photography selling wedding photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/photographer-s-corner-being-brand-savvy-in-the-digital-age Mon, 06 Oct 2014 16:00:00 GMT
Friday Foto Favorites 10.3 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/friday-foto-favorites-10-3 Each week, we scour the web to find the most off-kilter photos, gear and articles so you don’t have to. Happy reading and have an even happier weekend.

  1. Take a look at these beautiful photos, animated.
  2. What if you could transform ads into artwork? With this app, you can.
  3. This photo shoot dispels stereotypes.
  4. How to stitch together a beautiful aerial shot.
  5. Tips for improving your Instagram photography.
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(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio favorites galleries marketing photo photographer photography portfolio professional professional photographer professional photography selling weekly round up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/friday-foto-favorites-10-3 Fri, 03 Oct 2014 16:00:00 GMT
Everything You Need to Know About Our Latest Release http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/everything-you-need-to-know-about-our-latest-release

We hear your feature requests and work very hard to make them happen. Here, you’ll find the highlights of our latest feature release, which will let you do and sell more amazing things right from your Zenfolio website. Prepare to smile.

French & German Languages Available

With Zenfolio users all over the globe, we decided it’s time to expand our websites to other languages. Now your website and shopping cart can be set to display in French or German. From Edit View to Visitor View to the Shopping Cart, everything has been translated and can be presented in the native language of your visitors.

To change your website language, go to the new Language tab in Site Settings. You’ll be able to preview this change before your publish so you can update your site menu and other content to match your preferred language. More help here.

An added bonus: you can keep your Edit View language separate from your public website simply by using the language switcher in the footer.

SWITCH LANGUAGE

Collect Auto-Calculated Sales Tax

Leave the accounting to us. Now you can collect auto-calculated sales tax in multiple different locations in the United States and Canada, and in accordance with your local laws, you can set up your cart to collect taxes on shipping and/or digital projects.

To set up sales tax, go to the Sales Tax page under Selling and choose where you want the sales tax to be collected and what it should be applied to. The correct amount will automatically be calculated at checkout based on current rates and the location of the person ordering. Any taxes collected by Zenfolio will be remitted to you for easy filing with your local tax authorities. More help here.

SET UP

Mpix Holiday Card Designs

Just before the holiday craze sets in, we have 19 new Mpix designs for the 5x7 and 5x5 circle flat cards. Add the new designs to your price lists today and notify clients so they can start thinking about the holidays. Read for additional product details here.

ADD DESIGNS

MpixPro Signature Album Covers

We’ve added two new stunning cover types for MpixPro Signature Albums. Linen covers offer a beautiful blend in an assortment of colors to highlight your imagery. The Custom Image cover uses your design and wraps around the entire cover of your album. The cover design is printed on E-Surface photographic paper with a coat of high gloss lamination applied. Read for additional product details here.

ADD COVERS

But wait, there’s more. Head on over to our news page for full release details.

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(ZenBlog) Mpix MpixPro Zenfolio feature galleries marketing new feature release new features photographer photography portfolio professional photographer professional photography selling http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/everything-you-need-to-know-about-our-latest-release Wed, 01 Oct 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Behind the Shot http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/9/behind-the-shot

A picture is worth a thousand words, sure. But have you ever wondered what was reeling in the minds of the photographer as soon as they released the shutter? We asked several photographers to share their personal favorite shots and the stories behind them. From pulling all-nighters to capture the best lighting to traveling the corners of the globe to touching life tales of their subjects, here’s proof that there’s much more to a photo than simply pointing and shooting. Here, three seasoned photographers recount what it took to get that perfect shot.

Operation Liberty Dogs by Amiee Stubbs

“I’ve worked as the photojournalist for Animal Rescue Corps since July 2012. We do large-scale animal rescues, in situations like hoarding cases, dog fighting rings, natural disasters and puppy mills. It’s emotionally taxing work, but highly rewarding. We were called to a suspected puppy mill in Virginia on July 3, 2014. We worked with law enforcement to remove approximately 120 animals from horrific conditions. As dogs were removed from cages, they would each wait with a handler for an on-scene preliminary veterinary exam. Near the medical tent, I looked over and saw this defeated English Bulldog waiting in a shady spot with her rescuer. I noticed a wooden American flag leaning against the house behind her. I quickly moved closer and caught her attention just in time to get this shot. Our rescue was called Operation Liberty Dogs, and I think this image perfectly represented that day. She may not have realized it, but this dog was about to know freedom and independence for the first time in her life.”

 

Angelina by Jeremy Jones

I tend to shoot professional sports, classic automobiles and urban landscapes that are then pretty highly processed in post. While my style does get me attention and earns me clients, it is this one relatively unprocessed, simple monochrome photograph that stops folks in their tracks every time. Most viewers see it as a stunning portrait of a beautiful young girl. The emotion in her face is intense, and it conveys something different to each individual viewer. JPG Magazine recently awarded this photo the Grand Prize in a contest, and that win scored me a $1,400 lens as a prize.

In contrast to the pull of this photograph, however, the story behind it is rather mundane and normal to anybody who has ever been the parent of a six-year-old girl.

We were at the local swimming pool on a late summer's day. The air and water were both cool enough that Angelina's lips were beginning to turn blue (literally), and she was shivering—yet she did not want to get out of the water. As parents, we had to make the decision for her that it was time for a break, and the picture you see is the last of about five or six that I took of her as she went through a six-year-old's emotional meltdown. This picture is about five minutes after her tears and wailing finally subsided, and there was nothing left on her face but sheer sadness and weariness.

 

I hope he speaks English by Bala Murali

I am a wildlife photographer from Kenya. I was recently at the Maasai Mara National Reserve and was following a cheetah from afar and taking continuous shots as it moved. All of a sudden the cheetah jumped onto my vehicle and sat barely two feet away from me. I was thrilled and very quickly changed my lens to a super wide angle and shot a few photos. After some minutes, the cheetah came down from my vehicle and jumped onto another, which was not far from me. Although, I have been to all the game reserves in Kenya in the past 20 years, this was the first time I had such an experience. It was just fantastic.

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(ZenBlog) Amiee Stubbs Bala Murali Behind the Shot Jeremy Jones Zenfolio behind the scenes galleries marketing pet photography photo photographer photography portfolio portrait photography professional professional photographer professional photography selling wildlife photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/9/behind-the-shot Mon, 29 Sep 2014 16:00:00 GMT
Save 30% on Mpix prints for three days only http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/9/save-30-on-mpix-prints-for-three-days-only Autumn leaves are falling, and so are the prices on Mpix prints. From September 28-30, save 30% on photographic prints only from Mpix.

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

Not a Zenny yet?

Important Details Regarding the Sale:

  • This sale will be effective from September 28, 2014 at 12:01 a.m. PDT until September 30, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. PDT and cannot be extended to orders placed before or after this time frame.
  • This discount cannot be combined with other promotions.
  • The following vendor is participating in the promotion: Mpix.
  • 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.  
  • If you are looking to pass this sale on to your clients, please read our Sales FAQ.
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(ZenBlog) Mpix Zenfolio coupon discount galleries marketing photo photographer photography portfolio printing prints professional professional photographer professional photography promotion sale selling http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/9/save-30-on-mpix-prints-for-three-days-only Sun, 28 Sep 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Friday Foto Favorites 9.26 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/9/friday-foto-favorites-9-26 Each week, we scour the web to find the most off-kilter photos, gear and articles so you don’t have to. Happy reading and have an even happier weekend

  1. John Malkovich reenacts famous photos.
  2. Tips on food styling and photography.
  3. Abstract photos of America the beautiful.
  4. 5-year-old paints stunning artwork.
  5. What life can look like with different partners.
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(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio favorites galleries marketing photo photographer photography portfolio professional professional photographer professional photography selling weekly round up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/9/friday-foto-favorites-9-26 Fri, 26 Sep 2014 16:00:00 GMT
Jerry Ghionis on How to Be a Better Photographer Every Day http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/9/jerry-ghionis-on-how-to-be-a-better-photographer-every-day New Jersey wedding photographer Vanessa Joy recently interviewed Beverly Hills and Melbourne, Australia, photographer Jerry Ghionis about what it takes to become a better photographer. It’s not easy with so much education out there and so little time to absorb it in between shoots and managing a business. Everything you need to know about exposure, gear, off-camera lighting and much more is covered below.

A longtime Zenfolio user, Jerry is coming to a city near you in his first-ever solo tour of 33 North American cities. And here’s a nice perk: you get $10 off registration at www.HowtoWowTour.com with the code HTWZEN

Find more of Jerry’s work at www.JerryGhionis.com, and learn more about Vanessa at www.LearnPhotoVideo.com.

 

What got you into photography?

I was given my first camera by my brother when I was only 15 years old and loved photography immediately. I’ve now been shooting as a professional photographer for more than 17 years and starting specializing in weddings almost straight away. When I began, I approached a very prominent studio at the time and assisted them for a year and a half with no pay, carrying bags until they finally hired me full time as a professional photographer. I’ve been photographing weddings, portraits and fashion professionally ever since.

What’s one thing you wish you could change about yourself?

I’d wish for a faster metabolism and to be less hairy.

What’s the number one thing, in your opinion, that seasoned photographers always need to keep learning and working on?

I strongly believe that education is vitally important to any photographer. For some, that may mean a dedicated photography course. But whether it is a school, seminars or workshops, the key is to educate yourself. Seminars and workshops can literally change your life. After all, knowledge is power.

Constantly marketing yourself and also adapting your style and your brand to the changing market around you is another key thing. It is a tough industry to be in at the moment, where there are so many great photographers available at an affordable price. Certainly some photographic styles are similar, but what ultimately separates you from your competition is you: your customer service, consistency in your images, presentation and approach.

How can photographers keep from getting stagnant in their shooting style while still maintaining a consistent brand image?

There have been a few times in my career where I felt my work was getting stale, although my clients have always been happy. I use competitions like WPPI's annual 16x20 print competition as a vehicle to reinvent myself year after year. It forces you to think differently on every shoot you do. Also, simply going on vacation and developing personal shoots for yourself can do wonders for your creativity. In 2015, I have given myself several months in my schedule to develop my personal work for the first time in years.

Who is your inspiration in life?

Having been married for more than three-and-a-half years now, and being the happiest that I have ever been, I focus on making my wife and life happy—and she does the same for me. We are each other’s constant inspiration.

How can photographers avoid burnout?

Just as you would book yourself on a wedding day and religiously get there on time and be committed to doing an amazing job, you should be just as committed to knowing when to shut off. Melissa and I have an agreement that at 6 p.m. each evening, we’ll turn off our computers and become a husband and wife and forget about business for the rest of the evening. On weekends, if we don’t have a wedding booked, we enjoy the weekend off. Make that time sacred, the way it would be if a client booked you for that day.

What’s the best way to learn off-camera light?

First, you need to be taught the principles behind off-camera light (or any kind of lighting for that matter). Once you have learned the fundamentals, then it all comes down to repetition, practice and gaining experience. 

Why does Nikon win in comparison to Canon?

I believe Nikon shines above the rest mainly due to their constant innovation with their faster focusing system, more accurate focus points, and incredible quality at high ISOs, among many other things. 

If you’re a new photographer, what is the best way to understand exposure?

Understanding your camera by reading the manual fully will certainly be a good start. I’d suggest photographing a series of test shots on aperture priority, making sure to photograph scenes with different tones in them. Then diagnose why the camera overexposed or underexposed that image based on the camera’s metering mode.  Then, learn how to compensate for that while photographing in manual.  Again, repetition, experience and practice will always be your best teacher.

Widely regarded as one of the top five best wedding photographers in the world and WPPI’s most awarded photographer, Jerry Ghionis is based in Beverly Hills and Melbourne, Australia, where he travels frequently on international photography sessions and speaking engagements. Jerry uses Zenfolio to host his photos, and is currently on his first-ever North American solo tour, How to Wow, which is scheduled in 33 cities. For more information, visit http://howtowow.mzed.com.

 

 

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(ZenBlog) How to Wow Tour Jerry Ghionis marketing photographer photography portfolio professional photographer professional photography selling wedding photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/9/jerry-ghionis-on-how-to-be-a-better-photographer-every-day Wed, 24 Sep 2014 15:38:43 GMT
Product Spotlight: SpyderCHECKR 24 Camera Color Correction for Photo & Video http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/9/product-spotlight-spydercheckr-24-camera-color-correction-for-photo-video It’s all very well going out to shoot professional images, but there’s often a part of the workflow that falls by the wayside—getting the colours that you see on set to be correct when your images go to print and web.

There is no doubt that colour calibration is an absolute must if you are shooting professionally, and nowadays it’s very affordable to calibrate your monitor. It’s important that your display shows the right colours, and then you can make adjustments based on these settings. 

For those a little unfamiliar with colour calibration, it ensures that at every step of the way you are doing your best to guarantee a standard set of colours that will move through your workflow up to the final point of delivery. 

At the very least, you should do this so that you have accuracy when dealing with your clients. If you shoot a red dress in a fashion shoot, how do you guarantee the red that is printed is the same red that you saw when you took the shot initially? You need to ensure what the client gets is as near as possible to the original. 

The calibration journey starts at the very point of capture—to do this you need a standard set of colours that has a set of known values. Enter the  SpyderCHECKR 24 from Datacolor

What you have is a bunch of coloured squares on one side and some grey squares on the other. The colours all have known values—so the red is a red with a set density and quality. When you load in the accompanying software, the software knows the value of this red, as well as the other colours. The ‘target’ has 24 patches with specific spectral color values. The other side of the SpyderCHECKR 24 can be used for setting the white balance in your editing software and is very handy to have nearby. 

Here’s how to use it:

Pop the SpyderCHECKR 24 into the scene you’re shooting, light with a single light source with no reflectors or diffusers, and make it as evenly lit as possible. If you want to do this outside, try and avoid direct skylight because the sky diffuses and skews the results. 

It’s important to leave a border around the card and not fill the viewfinder with the target as some lenses may vignette and go softer at the edges. You can always crop it later. The target should be as square onto the lens as possible so that the rectangle is even on the screen. It’s quite easy to use live view for this, and you’ll probably find a tripod useful as well. 

Ideally you’d want to be shooting in manual mode, but you can also use Aperture Priority. In a pinch fully automatic settings are fine. Also, you need to be shooting in Raw format. Once you’ve taken your shots it’s time to head back to your computer to process the calibrated shots. 

Calibration presets are produced in formats for use with Hasselblad Phocus, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, and Adobe Bridge. From Adobe Camera Raw, presets can also be exported in sidecar file format (.xmp) for use in any other applications that utilize sidecar file formats.

You can tweak the grey side image using the grey patch and the white balance settings; this is usually the eyedropper in most editing packages. 

Once you’ve done this, crop the image so you can see the rectangle and not much else. Next, edit this image with the SpyderCHECKR 24 software. It will process your image and load all the colour patches. 

The software then looks at the known values of the patches with the patches in your shot and compares the two. Then you can save this calibration setting with the camera name, and perhaps light source or lens for future use. And then you are done.

Once you’re back in your editing package, you will need to apply the saved preset. In Adobe Lightroom this would be a user preset. 

If you don't see a HUGE jump in colour between the non-calibrated shot and the calibrated shot it’s because your camera is shooting quite accurately. However, this will vary from camera to camera and location to location. That’s pretty much it—of course if you’re on the shoot and you change lenses, then you’ll need to shoot another test chart because each lens will have it’s own optical signature and affect colours differently. All things considered, the SpyderCHECKR 24 is a very useful tool to have in your camera bag.

Rick Bronks of Satureyes Photography loves crafting together great images and stories. His background as a TV producer has helped him create strong narratives and visual themes with his photos. Over the last decade, Rick has established himself as a leading photographer and video artist of live events. You can see more of his extensive portfolio on his website: http://www.satureyes.com/
 

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(ZenBlog) Datacolor Product Spotlight Rick Bronks Satureyes SpyderCHECKR 24 Zenfolio color calibration colour calibration galleries marketing photo photographer photography portfolio printing prints professional professional photographer professional photography selling http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/9/product-spotlight-spydercheckr-24-camera-color-correction-for-photo-video Mon, 22 Sep 2014 16:00:00 GMT