ZenBlog: Blog http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) ZenBlog (ZenBlog) Mon, 27 Feb 2017 23:24:00 GMT Mon, 27 Feb 2017 23:24:00 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 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?” After reading all of their answers, two common themes emerged: Stay true to yourself and become business savvy. 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 Tips of the Trade from a Photographer Who's Always 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.

 

Plat PackagePlat Package
 

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.

 

Gold PackageGold Package

Silver PkgSilver Pkg

Bronze PkgBronze Pkg

 

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
Visit Us at the 2017 Trade Shows and Join Our Weekly Live Q&A! http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/12/visit-us-at-spac-wppi-and-our-weekly-live-q-a Headerblog1Headerblog1

The 2017 trade show season is fast approaching, and we are looking forward to seeing you at an upcoming show.  Stop by the Zenfolio booth(s) and say hello at SPAC in January, WPPI and PSPI in February, The Photography Show in March, and RPS Digital Imaging Group Conference in September.  Check out the show details below.

 

Got questions about your Zenfolio site? Don’t save them for the show - join our weekly live Q&A where you can get questions about your site answered by an expert. Read all the details below.

 

US Shows & Dates:

School & Sports Photographers Association of California Conference & Trade Show

January 25-28

Las Vegas, NV

Booth: #23

More info: http://spac-usa.org/

 

Wedding & Portrait Photographers International Conference & Expo

February 5-9

Expo: February 7-9

Las Vegas, NV

Booth: #1143

More Info: http://www.wppionline.com/index.shtml

 

Zenfolio Ambassadors and Influencers to See at WPPI

 

Nacho Mora and Vinny LaBella

PLUS17. Hocus Pocus "Discover Your Magic"

February 6: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Class Description

Wedding photography is a complicated discipline that requires a lot of learning effort. Mastering different techniques often is not easy. We will treat the different elements of photography as the moment, the light and the composition with our particular vision. We will explain how to create images in difficult situations. We will apply all our knowledge acquired in recent years to create a photograph with your own identity. We want to discover the magic that you all carry.

 

Jay Goldman

MC59. 90-Minute Crash Course in Artistic Bar/Bat Mitzvah Photography. Fine-Tune Your Preparation, Confidence and Anticipation

Session Number: MC59

February 9: 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Class Description

Join Jay Goldman as he visually takes you through the significant moments of photography at a Bar Mitzvah. Your wedding-photographer skill set is perfectly adapted to these milestone events in a Jewish family’s life. They can be a lucrative addition to a slower wedding season and broaden your client base immensely. Goldman will teach you traditions and elements of the religious service and the flow of a Mitzvah reception.  Preparation brings confidence, which brings greater focus. Capture your version of the must-have album shots, being as creative and artistic as you want. Big albums sell, and large families hire again and again. Get a glimpse into the extravagance of the Los Angeles Mitzvah circuit.

 

Johnson Wee

PC40. Creative ways to pre-wedding lighting techniques

Session Number:PC40

February 8: 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Class Description

Master of WPPI Johnson Wee will reveal his creative techniques on various lighting setups for his innovative pre-wedding work. This includes demonstrating various light sources from natural to artificial lighting that shows his unique approach to creating his dramatic masterpiece, and how to use lighting to create depth and make your subject more tri-dimensional and stand out, which you can learn and adapt easily for your next shoot.
 

UK Shows and Dates:

The Photography Show

Date: March 18-21

NEC, Birmingham

Booth: H4

More info: http://www.photographyshow.com

In 2017, Zenfolio will be returning to The Photography Show at the NEC Arena in Birmingham. We’ll be sponsoring the Super Stage, hosting some of the biggest names in the photography world sharing their wisdom with thousands of attentive photographers throughout the four days of the show. We will also be running a show special for current Zenfolians and new customers alike. Stay tuned for more details!

 

RPS Digital Imaging Group Conference

Date: September 23

Location: Birmingham NEC

We will be hosting a booth with a show special in the trade area. Headline speakers include Glyn Dewis. More details to come!

 

 

Weekly Live Q&A

 

Do you have questions about your Zenfolio site? We invite you to attend our weekly live Q&A to get your questions answered by a Zenfolio expert. Join our live streaming Zenfolio Customer Support Q&A Sessions [https://www.youtube.com/c/zenfolio/live] on YouTube on Thursdays at 2 p.m. EST (11 a.m. PST)! There is no registration necessary to join the Q&A sessions, but you must be signed in to a YouTube account to chat.

 

We are excited to speak with you at one of the weekly Live Q&A pre-show and meet you at the trade shows!









 

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio photographer photography professional photographer professional photography trade shows http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/12/visit-us-at-spac-wppi-and-our-weekly-live-q-a Mon, 12 Dec 2016 20:01:39 GMT
Photographer Spotlight: Michelle Cox Photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/photographer-spotlight-michelle-cox-photography MCOX PHOTO (1)MCOX PHOTO (1)

It is our privilege at Zenfolio to get to work with amazing photographers all over the world, helping them build websites and online stores that reflect a combination of their personalities, work, and art. Today we are excited to highlight Chicago-based photographer Michelle Cox, who specializes in wedding photography and portraiture. Read on for her thoughts on the latest industry trends, and where she's finding fulfillment in the field: 

On the latest trends in weddings:

I've noticed that many brides (at least in the Chicagoland area) are transitioning from a large, “glamourous” wedding to something more intimate with natural elements. That is a wonderful transition from my perspective because as a photographer that loves natural light and works well with it, it excites me that brides and grooms are embracing the natural look. 

Pro Tip: Take a look at the shoot location and research when sunset will fall that day, so as to know where on location you'll get the best light. Keeping the shoot tight means more time for the couple to enjoy their day with guests. While you'll always be making calls on the fly, a little prep can go a long way! 

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On what makes her job exciting:

I love my job and I love what I do – I am blessed to work with amazing clients and I simply love weddings. This particular season I have been more excited to work with my brides because I recently got married myself (April 30, 2016). I feel like while planning the wedding, I was better able to understand what all of my brides go through and especially now I feel like I can better understand the emotions of my couple’s on their wedding days. The wedding is not about me and what I can capture – it is their day, their emotions and I need to always be respectful of giving them a moment to breathe and take it all in. 

Pro Tip: Have the couple give you a shot list ahead of time, so you don't miss a snap of the bride and groom with old aunt Sally. Weddings are a whirlwind and a reminder will keep you (and the couple) from forgetting the extra shots they want.

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On her artistic style:

I want the wedding day to be remembered naturally, as it truly was, but slightly better. I use natural light to convey emotions but manipulating the light through the photos and against my subjects. I think one of the best words that someone could use to describe my photos would be “dreamy”. My goal is to take the images on the most important day of someone’s life and create a magical image that is both memorable but also shows them just how “dreamy” and lovely the day truly was to everyone else that attended also. When it comes to posing, I also try to give my clients a very natural look, when I place them in position but then allow them to interact. I want their “love story” to be full of their love so the best way for that to occur is if they feel free to express themselves, with laughter and affection. 

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On changes in what clients want:

Since I started in photography (in 2010) I have noticed that the majority of my clients are interested in digital files rather than physical prints for proofs. I offer wedding albums to my clients and they are still very receptive of those. 

Pro Tip: Zenfolio offers integrated digital proofing within your site, and even allows you to add digital files to the price list in your online store, so clients can always find the version of your shots that they want to buy.

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On business- what sells and how to encourage a bigger purchase:

I offer Wedding Albums in some of my wedding packages and digital files with all. To increase sales, I do show my clients examples of larger albums that they could upgrade to as well as offer them additional albums (duplicate parent albums). 

Pro Tip: Show clients all of their options, they'll probably buy more! Zenfolio offers 2000+ products from leading print labs, from albums and prints, to home decor and customized accessories.

 

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio cox galleries marketing michelle photography professional photography selling http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/photographer-spotlight-michelle-cox-photography Thu, 08 Dec 2016 17:00:00 GMT
Celebrate 10 Days of Giveaways with Zenfolio! http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/12/celebrate-10-days-of-giveaways-with-zenfolio Zenfolio is celebrating the holidays with Ten Days of Giveways! Join us December 1st-10th on Facebook and Instagram: Each day we'll be giving away fantastic prizes, courtesy of one of our partners. Featuring gifts from Lensbaby, Spiderholster, Miller's prints, and more. See Terms & Conditions

 

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio marketing photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/12/celebrate-10-days-of-giveaways-with-zenfolio Thu, 01 Dec 2016 16:00:00 GMT
Promote Your Business with a Cell Phone Case and Save http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/12/promote-your-business-with-a-cell-phone-case-and-save WOYC-Header (1)WOYC-Header (1)

Our new high-quality cell phone cases are 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.

 

Now, from December 8, 2016 to January 8, 2017, US-based Zenfolio members can save $5 off base lab prices on any Zenfolio Phone Cases US purchase. Order one for you, your studio staff, and as a product sample to show your customers.

 

You can also extend this savings to your clients! Encourage them to order before December 18 to get the case by Christmas, or they can purchase one as a post-holiday accessory for their new smartphone.

 

1. Add the Zenfolio Phone Cases US products to your price lists.

2. Create a $5.00 coupon for your clients to redeem.*

 

Zenfolio Phone Cases US are made using the highest quality materials, inks, coatings, and decoration processes available, and are backed by a lifetime warranty that covers defects/product failure. Learn more about Zenfolio Phone Cases US.

 

Grab the attention of potential clients today!

 

*If you create a coupon for your clients to redeem, the $5.00 discount will apply to all photo products you currently sell.

 

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio business tools cell phone cases marketing marketing tools photographer photography professional photographer professional photography selling smartphone cases http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/12/promote-your-business-with-a-cell-phone-case-and-save Wed, 30 Nov 2016 17:45:00 GMT
Get a New View With Drone Rentals From Lumoid http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/get-a-new-view-with-drone-rentals-from-lumoid  

 

Lumoid BlogfeatLumoid Blogfeat For 15% off your Lumoid rental, use code ZenLumoid15. If you’re looking for a holiday gift to remember, check out Lumoid for great gear: drones, cameras, audio equipment, and more. Click here to explore. 

Interested in exploring drone photography, but not sure where to start? As hobbyist photographers, my husband and I were curious about using drones to capture sky-high shots, when we discovered a drone rental service called Lumoid. Lumoid, which rents out an assortment of drones as well as other photography, video, and audio equipment, seemed like a great way to try out the new tech to see if it would be a good fit for our photography lifestyle. Here’s how it went!

The Rental Process:

Lumoid has an impressive assortment of drones available, with pricing ranging from $5-$45 per day. There’s also a variety of accessories to rent (like batteries and controllers) to optimize the experience. We decided to go with the “AirDog Action Sports Drone,” because as a couple that surfs and skis on a regular basis, we were interested in the “hands free” option for birds-eye-view sports shots.

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Ordering was quick, but there are a few steps involved: For first time rentals, you’ll need access to a scanner or camera-equipped smartphone because proof of residence, (like an addressed utility bill) and a copy of your photo ID is required. While it takes an extra few minutes, it’s an understandable and easy way for Lumoid to avoid fraud and theft. The good news is, this info is stored for future rentals. There’s also an insurance collateral of a few hundred dollars that is set aside to make sure the drones are returned from their renter. This is, of course, 100% refunded at the end of the rental.

Delivery

We decided to rent over a weekend so we could get a few days to experiment! The drone was delivered on a Friday, and we planned to ship back on Monday.

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What’s In the Box

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The kit included the drone itself, detached propellers, charging accessories, and a “leash” for us to carry so the drone could follow our movements. The one thing that was missing was an instructional guide for setup. As a not-particularly-tech-savvy person, this meant that my husband had to do some Googling. It took about 20 minutes for him to figure out the process, which was actually great because we got to watch a few instructional videos that gave us a better idea of what this baby could do. (A support rep later told me that they normally include instruction manuals with drone delivery, but the one for the AirDog wasn’t quite ready yet).

 

Taking It for a Spin

For our first flight, we went to a flat, open area near our home (it used to be a shipping dock). We figured avoiding trees and obstacles was smart for the first pass.

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As newbies, it took us a few minutes to figure out how to  “pair” the unit with the leash, but after takeoff, we were TOTALLY on-board with the drone trend!

After playing around with it for a while, I can honestly say that it’s a blast even if you have no intention to use it for photography. The “leash” that you carry makes it follow you around taking continuous footage, so you don’t have to think about it being in the right spot to capture you. We spent the better part of half an hour just taking turns flying it around before we started thinking about getting some shots. When we took a look at the capture, it was really cool to see that bird's-eye view.

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If we were to do another rental (which we fully intend to do), we would probably go for a model that lets you see what you’re shooting as it flies. That said, I can see us bringing an AirDog up to the mountains when we ski, to catch some footage of our friends on the slopes.

The experience as a whole both with Lumoid and the AirDog was really easy. If you are interested in seeing if a drone is a tool that might work for you, I’d suggest taking a test flight with Lumoid first. It’s a great way to test out a particular drone that you might be interested in purchasing, before committing. If you aren’t looking to own a drone, but enjoy playing around with the latest tech for one-off projects or for shooting special events, Lumoid is a great solution!

 

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio drone drones equipment photography rental http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/get-a-new-view-with-drone-rentals-from-lumoid Mon, 28 Nov 2016 17:00:00 GMT
Maximizing Your Holiday Marketing With Animoto http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/maximizing-your-holiday-marketing-with-animoto You may have heard of Animoto- the video tool that is changing the game for small businesses who want to make videos to market their work but don't know where to start. We sat down with them to get the low-down on how easy it is to build videos with Animoto, and to hear how photographers are finding success using their tools to land new clients, and boost sales with current ones. 

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How exactly does Animoto make video-creation accessible to the average person?  

Animoto makes it easy for anyone make quality video slideshows and marketing videos through a drag-and-drop interface that’s user-friendly and intuitive, as opposed to timeline-based professional editors that require expertise and training. Animoto lets you combine video clips, photos, text, logos, and music together into a professional-looking video.  We’ve done all the fancy design work to create professional transitions and backgrounds for you, offering over 100 templates, or video styles, that will determine how your video looks.  All you have to do is upload your photos or video clips, choose a song, add some text if you feel it needs it, and then hit produce.

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What makes video such a compelling media for promotion?

Photographs set to music create a mood and evoke emotion within people, helping them develop an instant attachment to the photographs.  

Also, since the introduction of social media, people are also less inclined to read about a product.  In fact, in a recent survey conducted by Animoto, we found that 4 times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it.
A combination of these two factors makes video the ideal platform to boost your business, using video as a tool for sales and marketing.

What tools does Animoto have that would help photographers grow and market their businesses?

Animoto itself is a very powerful video tool that photographers have been using for years to grow and market their business. But, under the hood, we have several features that streamline their workflow:

  1. Triple Scoop Music: Animoto offers an extensive library of commercially-licensed music.  Animoto Professional includes over 3,000 songs cleared for commercial use plus over 1,000 from Triple Scoop Music. Triple Scoop Music has been providing world-class music to creative professionals since 2006. They have a diverse and impressive catalog of songs from Grammy & Emmy award-winning artists.
  2. Native export: Once you have created a video, Animoto makes it easy to upload it directly to each social media or video site. You can easily share to Facebook, YouTube, and a number of other sites straight from your video’s play page.
  3. Styles designed by photographers: Animoto has over 100 video styles, or templates, to choose from that will dictate the look and feel of your video. Some are quite animated but, for the professional looking for a simple solution, there are also a number of cleaner styles that allow the images to provide the wow factor.  In creating many of these styles, we teamed up with some of the industry’s best wedding and portrait photographers, including Tamara Lackey, Jerry Ghionis, Kelly Brown, and Jen Rozenbaum.  These Premium styles are specifically designed by photographers for photographers.

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What kind of success are your users seeing with their Animoto videos?

For the longest time, photographers have used Animoto in the sales room to reveal the entire collection of images to the client at the beginning of the sales session.  Many photographers also claim that the client will most likely want to take the slideshow home with them, giving the photographer the opportunity to offer it as incentive to upsell.  

More recently, in a world where digital technology, social media and the internet dominate our lives and business, traditional advertising has evolved into the world of content marketing - specifically video content.  Kristina Houser, a  wedding and portrait photographer from Tampa, Florida recently created an Animoto video to promote her headshot sessions and posted it as an ad on Facebook.  She saw an increase of 60% in her headshot bookings that month and 27x increase in traffic to her website.  After creating her first ever marketing video, Australian newborn photographer Carolina Pante posted her video to Facebook and spent a mere $15 to boost it for 3 days. The result was over 5000 video views and 10 inquiries from people  who had seen the video, 3 of which booked a session within those 3 days.

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 What advice do you have for a photographer creating videos with Animoto for the first time?  

  • Keep it short. 45 - 90 seconds is usually the optimum length your video should be.
  • Tell a story. You want to keep your viewer engaged and interested.
  • Use text. Text will help you accentuate your message, as well as stand out on social media, where videos typically play silently.
  • Set the tone with music. Choose the right style and pace to suit the message you’re trying to convey.

See how Animoto can impact your business, and get started here. 

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio marketing photography professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/maximizing-your-holiday-marketing-with-animoto Fri, 25 Nov 2016 08:30:00 GMT
Tips for Shooting in a Cold Climate http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/tips-for-shooting-in-a-cold-climate Cold-Climate-Prep-HeaderCold-Climate-Prep-Header

By Andrew Peacock

 

A cold environment can be attractive to a photographer for all sorts of reasons, but getting the shot when it’s cold presents a set of challenges for outdoor photographers. Here, I share my tips on how to conquer these challenges.

Landscapes of ice and snow allow for abstract and striking compositions, and often the air is clear and the light clarity can be extraordinary. The accompanying photo I took of the mid-winter night sky above a snow cave in New Zealand is a good example of the sort of image I am talking about.         

apeacock_nz_140724-37097apeacock_nz_140724-37097New Zealand, South Island, Otago. Karen Vejsbjerg enjoys a rest after a day spent constructing an igloo on a wilderness medical course.

Successfully getting that shot meant having control over three aspects of the photo process unique to a cold environment, which on that occasion was definitely below freezing. First and foremost is personal preparation aimed at the ability to function for a length of time in an extreme environment. Second is ensuring the camera can function as it’s meant to. Finally, the ‘in camera’ creative process may need some tweaking in situations where extremes of lighting contrast are at play.

 

Personal Preparation

Rarely does a decent camera fail in the cold; it's more common for the photographer to give up because of personal discomfort. As an Expedition and Wilderness Medicine doctor, I teach about the subject of hypothermia—and I emphasize that prevention is far better than cure. For the photographer handling a cold metal camera on the go or standing still next to a tripod as night falls in winter, the risk of getting too cold is very real, and a drop in core body temperature can begin to subtly affect creative decision making (and the standard of your photos) even before significant signs of hypothermia start to show.

apeacock_nz_150811-35700apeacock_nz_150811-35700Hiking through the snow, Pisa Range, Otago, New Zealand.

Layers of warm clothing (don’t forget your head), good wind protection, warm fluids to drink, and fuel in the form of high-energy snack food to keep the fire burning inside you are all important. So is sufficient protection for your precious extremities. Good insulating footwear and most importantly, warm gloves that allow for finger dexterity are imperative.

apeacock_nz_140729-38239apeacock_nz_140729-38239New Zealand, Otago, Wye Creek basin. Ice climbers, Zac Trembath-Pitham and Mark James crampon past a chandelier of blue ice.

In a really cold situation beware of water and wind making contact with exposed fingers, because the time to irreparable freezing will be short. It’s not uncommon for an Everest summiteer to whip off down gloves for an all-important selfie on top of the world only to suffer frostbitten fingers as a result. Gloves that allow for the operation of camera controls are a very useful item. Having said that, if anyone has found the perfect solution in that regard please let me know because I haven’t as of yet!

 

Camera Preparation

There are some simple rules to adhere to so that your camera will behave itself in the cold. Alaskan landscape photographer Carl Battreall (www.photographalaska.com) has spent his fair share of time in the frozen mountains of that beautiful US state. He has one golden rule, “Let the camera stay cold but keep batteries warm.” The primary culprit when it comes to camera failure is the battery.

Carl explains “You don't want the battery to drain prematurely while in the camera in the cold; it is difficult to warm up to an operating level again in the field once it has died. When really cold [it’s a matter of degrees!] I don't have a battery in the camera unless I am ready to take a photo.”

I like to keep camera batteries close to my body where they can stay warm. As a battery in my camera drops to around 50% power I will take it out and rotate with a warm spare. Needless to say it’s important to carry spare batteries with you for this system to work.

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To improve battery life become familiar with the camera menu and lens options available to reduce power consumption. Turn off all camera beep functions, turn off screen review after every shot, minimize use of live view, and turn off any lens or camera image stabilizer function (if available). Mirrorless cameras require that you use the power-hungry LCD screen for composition, and for that reason many outdoor photographers I know prefer cameras with an optical viewfinder option that allows you to compose without using power. 

apeacock_antarctica_131223-1080apeacock_antarctica_131223-1080Adelie Penguins, East Antarctica.

Cameras and lenses at the more professional end of the spectrum (i.e., more expensive end) are better weather sealed and will resist moisture ingress. So in regard to cold weather photography it’s a case of buyer beware when it comes to what you can expect. The danger is that your cold metal equipment will form condensation on and within itself when brought into a warmer environment. Then, if returned to a subzero temperature before that moisture can evaporate, ice crystals may form and damage the sensitive electronics of your digital equipment. Cameras with better weather sealing are less likely to have this problem.

apeacock_antarctica_121226-8791apeacock_antarctica_121226-8791Iceberg, Paradise Harbor, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica.

When I’m on a ship in Antarctica, after shooting outdoors I remove the camera batteries to take back to a warm cabin but leave the rest of my gear in a bag under cover outside in the cold. Similarly Carl leaves his gear outside his tent when in the mountains and he also suggests putting the camera in a ziplock bag to help keep condensation from forming on the camera.

 

The Photographic Process

Snow and ice in a scene force the photographer to make creative decisions because there are often extremes of contrast. The bottom line is that we want the snow (and other elements) to look ‘right’ in the final image and to include whatever detail there was present in the original scene.  

apeacock_alaska_160625-4552apeacock_alaska_160625-4552McBride Inlet, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, USA

Our eyes can perceive detail in shadow and in bright areas within the same scene that our cameras cannot. What the camera can record is represented by a histogram, which is a graphic representation of the dark to light spectrum of light (from left to right) captured for each photo. Find the menu option to turn on the histogram on your LCD screen either in live view or on the photo review screen to give you feedback.

The lightest part of your photo, snow or white ice, will register on the right of the histogram. The key is to get that edge of the graph to extend to the far right without peaking beyond what the camera can record in the light part of the spectrum—a tall line will appear on the right if this occurs. Then detail in the whites will be retained. I also monitor this by using a menu setting that causes any overexposed areas to ‘blink’ when I review an image on the screen. Note that I’m now recommending using the LCD screen to review image histograms to help your creative decision-making. This will use more power and needs to be considered in the cold!

apeacock_nz_140715-35383apeacock_nz_140715-35383New Zealand, Otago, Westland Tai Poutini National Park. Climbers, Sabina Allemann and Damien Gildea crossing the Fox Glacier neve on snowshoes.

Importantly, an inherent characteristic of camera sensors is that there is more tonal detail able to be recorded to the right-hand side of the histogram than the left. Any detail on the left side can’t be as easily recovered by post-production software ‘shifting’ of the histogram without compromising the quality of the final photo. So getting exposure correct in camera is important. An underexposed file is not the basis for a high quality photo with snow and/or ice as a main feature.

apeacock_nz_140727-37388apeacock_nz_140727-37388

Exposure compensation for a scene with ice and/or snow can be done via a menu function allowing you to override the camera metering and adjust the exposure upward. Given time to set the shot up I will experiment with just how much I increase the exposure and fine-tune it based on histogram feedback. Once set then I leave it like that while shooting in that environment. Don’t forget to turn exposure compensation off afterward otherwise you’ll find your next set of photos from a more neutral contrast situation will be way overexposed.

apeacock_antarctica_131219-2428apeacock_antarctica_131219-2428Adelie Penguins, are marching at the fast ice edge, Commonwealth Bay, East Antarctica.

One last important point is that I highly recommend selecting Raw file output rather than JPEG in your camera menu settings to improve your ability to get a great shot from a high contrast scene. JPEG files have already been interpreted and processed by your camera, and if you do make a mistake with the exposure on a unique, one-off, shot it’s very difficult to fix it afterward unless it’s a Raw file. Of course that means having the time to first learn and then use a Raw file editor like Adobe Lightroom to process your files.

Photography in cold environments can be fun and very rewarding. With careful planning you and your camera will perform flawlessly, so get out there and be creative.

 

Dr. Andrew Peacock is a widely published adventure travel photographer based in Queensland (admittedly not the coldest of places!) and is a Ted’s Cameras Master and Zenfolio Ambassador. More of his images can be found at www.footloosefotography.com

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(ZenBlog) Andrew Peacock Zenfolio cold weather photography outdoor photography photography professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/tips-for-shooting-in-a-cold-climate Wed, 23 Nov 2016 21:36:07 GMT
Sweet Pup Portraits with the Lensbaby Twist 60 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/sweet-pup-portraits-with-the-lensbaby-twist-60 22

twist 60 photo by louise zabriskie

The perfect gift for the photographer with a penchant for pups, (or really, any eye-catching portraiture), Lensbaby's Twist 60 lens captures shots with a dynamic bokeh that gives every image a unique spin. Take $40 off the Twist 60 lens through 11/23, and create one-of-a-kind images that really make your subject pop. Get yours today. This post is brought to us by Lensbaby, originally posted on their blog.

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twist 60 photo by greig reid

Our 60mm f/2.5 Twist 60 lens makes the subject of your images pop by surrounding them in deliciously twisty, swirly blur and subtle vignette. Twist 60, like any of our lenses, takes a little practice and forethought in order to create those magical images you envision in your head.

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twist 60 photo by ben hutchinson

Keep these guidelines in mind, and you’ll get to the magic part quicker! Key ingredients for composing dog portraits like these are:

  • shoot at a bright aperture like f/2.5 or f/2.8
  • position the camera relatively close (a few feet or so) to your subject
  • make sure there are several feet of separation between subject and background
  • place your subject against a background that has plenty of texture

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twist 60 photo by ben hutchinson

A pooch adoringly looking up at you (or that treat in your hand) provides natural separation between subject and background. And the ground – be it grass, gravel, or pavement – is naturally textured, making Twist 60 a particularly fun lens for dog portraits.

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twist 60 photo by keri friedman

If the swirly bokeh is a bit too intense for you, it’s easy to dial it back. These dog portraits below have less separation between subject and background, and the subject is further from the camera. The background also isn’t as textured. Twist 60’s subtle vignette still makes your subject POP, but without so much swirly bokeh.

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twist 60 photo by greig reid

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(ZenBlog) Lensbaby Zenfolio gear lenses photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/sweet-pup-portraits-with-the-lensbaby-twist-60 Sat, 19 Nov 2016 17:00:00 GMT
Optimized Shop Home in the New Shopping Experience http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/update-to-the-new-shopping-experience-shop-home-page Shopping-Update-HeaderShopping-Update-HeaderNew Shopping Experience - Update to Shop Home Page

The New Shopping Experience delivers better selling features for you and a more intuitive browsing and buying experience for your clients. Two updates to share:

 

  1. With a focus on showcasing what you sell, the Shop Home page has been optimized to shorten your client’s path to purchase by listing sub-categories within each category. This update to your Shop Home page makes it even easier for your clients to hone in and quickly make a purchase.

  2. Based on photographer feedback, we’ve removed the client photo behind the packages. This makes the packages section easier to shop with a cleaner look and feel.

 

Driven by your feedback, e-commerce, and marketing best practices, we are progressively rolling out updates in phases. The New Shopping Experience is available to turn on for all Zenfolio accounts in all regions--take advantage of it today!

 

For more details and frequently asked questions regarding the New Shopping Experience, 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/2016/11/update-to-the-new-shopping-experience-shop-home-page Fri, 18 Nov 2016 07:59:00 GMT
Pink Lady ® Food Photographer of the Year 2017 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/pink-lady-food-photographer-of-the-year-2017 PLFPOTY 2017 headerPLFPOTY 2017 header

 

Now in its sixth year, Pink Lady ® Food Photographer of the Year is widely acknowledged as the world’s leading photographic awards celebrating the art and diversity of food photography and film. With more than 30,000 images and films submitted from around the world since the first awards in 2012, and a star-studded awards evening held each year at the Mall Galleries, London, it isn't difficult to see how the awards have quickly earned their title as the 'Oscars of the food world'. 

 

This year, legendary chef, author and restaurateur Gary Rhodes OBE, and Buzzfeed Global Photo Director Wajmah Yaqubi are just a few of the luminaries on the judging panel, alongside the chair of judges, Jay Rayner (The Guardian, Observer, BBC Radio 4, Kitchen Cabinet, Masterchef, The One Show), and David Loftus, Jamie Oliver’s photographer.

 

PLFPOTY's diverse categories are designed to suit all types of photographers—from wedding photographers shooting celebratory images at a reception, to landscape photographers capturing images of produce growing in the field—and have also been expanded for 2017. Now available alongside the previous year's categories are World Food Programme Food for Life—seeking images of the humanitarian aspect of food—and InterContinental London Park Lane Food at the Table, for images of ready-to-eat food in hotels, restaurants, gastropubs and bars anywhere in the world.

 

Credit: Mark Benham - Overall Winner, PLFPOTY 2016

 

Documentary, travel and event photographer Mark Benham was crowned Overall Winner in 2016 with his joyous image 'Flour Frenzy' (above), scooping the £5,000 prize and international media coverage from the BBC, which was shown in more than 200 territories. If you have a taste for food photography, wherever and however the food may be presented, be sure to enter your best food images before 5 February 2017 for a chance at the prize. 

 

 


 

New for 2017: Membership Program

 

PLFPOTY founder Caroline Kenyon welcomes a new member on board

 

Building on the success of the past five years, this year the Pink Lady ® Food Photographer of the Year team has launched their exciting new membership program, offering a great range of industry benefits including discounts on specialist insurance, training, box framed prints, websites, and FIVE free image credits to enter Pink Lady ® Food Photographer of the Year 2017. As an added bonus, there is even an Early Bird Prize draw to win a versatile Elinchrom D-Lite RX One/One Softbox To Go set worth £499 for anyone joining the membership program before the end of 2016. So don't hesitate—sign up today! 

 

 


 

Train with a Zenfolio Ambassador

 

Credit: Jenny Heyworth

 

Need to brush up on your food photography skills? Zenfolio has you covered! As part of our continued support of Pink Lady ® Food Photographer of the Year and our dedication to helping raise awareness of the art and diversity of food photography, this year we have added our first food photographer to our team of Ambassadors: Jenny Heyworth of Aspire Photography Training.

 

Jenny has been making strides in the food photography world this year—not only with her own excellent images which you can view on her website—but by expanding her training courses with Aspire to include dedicated food photography sessions, where you can learn the art of styling, lighting, and capturing food to perfection. 

 

A part of Aspire's award-winning training program, Jenny's courses are sure to inspire and leave your clients salivating at your new-found food photography skills. Book online today, and save 20% with our exclusive discount code 'Zenfolio'. 

 

 


 

Good Luck!

 

Credit: Susan Bell

 

Good luck to all who enter! For those lucky enough to win, we look forward to seeing you at the awards evening in April. 

 

 

 

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(ZenBlog) Lady PLFPOTY Pink Zenfolio awards competition food photographer photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/pink-lady-food-photographer-of-the-year-2017 Tue, 15 Nov 2016 17:53:06 GMT