ZenBlog: Blog http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) ZenBlog (ZenBlog) Thu, 26 May 2016 15:49:00 GMT Thu, 26 May 2016 15:49:00 GMT Five Essential Tools to Help You Work Smarter http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/5-great-zenfolio-tools-you-should-be-using

by Kayla Capps

If you’re not using these five Zenfolio tools, you’re missing out! Use them to market your business, stay in contact with clients, work on the go, and increase your sales. These tools will help you work smarter, not harder.

1. Visitor Sign In

Visitor Sign In requires visitors to enter contact information before they can view a gallery, group, or collection.


Some photographers avoid setting this up because it is another thing that visitors have to click through before seeing their images, but this tool is quite beneficial to you.

You can set up Visitor Sign In so that once a visitor types in their contact information it is automatically added to your contact list, making it easier for you to communicate with your visitors in the future. You can require specific fields be filled in or you can choose to make these fields optional.

A great aspect of Visitor Sign In is when you set up a gallery as password-protected and enable the sign-in feature, the password field will be added right under all the other fields instead of displaying on a separate page, making this sign in less of an extra step and more of a security requirement.

The Visitor Sign In page is highly customizable, allowing you to type in any message you’d like to display or even add additional questions you would like your customers to answer.

Additional resources for setting up Visitor Sign In can be found here.

 

2. SEO Settings

Search engine optimization (SEO) can seem like a vast, complicated web of never-ending twists and turns. In truth, it’s not as complicated as you would think. Zenfolio offers excellent tools on the back end that you can use to make sure your website works its way to being shown at the top of search results.

Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo have their own algorithms for ranking web pages, based on the web page’s content. Depending on what a user types into the search field, search engines will try to pull the most relevant results based on these keywords. Zenfolio can help you set up your site with important and relevant information to boost your ranking.

First, we offer a tool to enable or disable the ability to have your site content be publicly searchable. In the photography world, there are just some photos you don’t want to have publicly searchable or found without a password on your site (for example, some boudoir photographs). Once you’ve uploaded a gallery, you can adjust the access control settings to not include photos and videos within the gallery in any search results. This setting can be applied and set for just your site or for search engines.

Now that you’ve determined which content you’d prefer to be publicly searchable or not publicly searchable, you’ll want to give your website a title and description. These fields are  most often used by search engines, so it is important to have a relevant and descriptive title. For example, you might set your homepage title to Jane Doe Photography and set the website description to “Portrait and Wedding Photography in and around the Menlo Park, California, area.” Descriptions like this will tell search engines exactly what your site is about.

We also offer an efficient way to use webmaster tools provided by search engines within your Zenfolio account. These webmaster tools allow you to see how search engines crawl and index your site. You’ll want to start here, add a property (your website), and grab the HTML tag that will be given to you so that you can go back to your Zenfolio settings and paste it in.

For more detailed instructions on setting this up and additional SEO tips, see this article

 

3. Triggered Emails

Triggered emails are one of our newer features, so some of our users may not be aware of this tool and how useful it is.

Triggered emails are pre-written emails that are automatically sent to a visitor after they take a specific action. One example would be to have an email sent to a visitor right after they’ve placed an order. You can set it up to have this triggered and you don’t have to do anything manually on your end. Here are additional examples of other types of trigger actions:

  • When clients sign in to a gallery via Visitor Sign In
  • When they create a Client Account under your site
  • When they create a new Favorites list
  • When they share a Favorites list with you
  • When they enter their email address on your Contact Page

 

One of the best aspects of this feature is that you can set up a time delay so that the emails are sent out X number of days after the actions are performed (you can send up to three emails in a series). This way it doesn’t feel so robotic to your site visitors.

Triggered emails can also use the same email variables when sending out invites and other email communications. So you can include links to a gallery, a contact page, etc.

We have additional resources to help you set up triggered emails here

 

4. Zenfolio Mobile App

Did you know that Zenfolio has an app for uploading and sharing?

Once you have downloaded the app and logged in you can perform all types of tasks. Take a photo, upload it and even share the photo with others. There are also additional back-end photo-related tasks you can perform to manage and edit your groups and galleries.

The app also let you create a To-Go List, which allows you to download images on to your phone to view them even when you’re not connected to the Internet.

Do you have images you want to post to social media? You can also perform this task within the app with the click of a button.

A help guide article for the iOS version of the app can be found here

You can also visit this link to download the app for Android. 

 

5. Photo Album Design Service

Our new photo album design service is quickly becoming a hit among our photographers and their clients. Photographers love this feature because it saves them time: All they have to do is take the photos and share them on Zenfolio. The client clicks a button to order, and we do the rest.

The first part of the album process is the Design phase. We start by going through all the images and making the selections for the client. We propose our selections to the client so they can either approve the images or request any revisions they want. Once the selections are approved, we design the cover and page layouts with all the selected images. When the design is complete, we then get final approval from the customer, or work out any last any final requested changes.  At this time, we collect payment, print the album, and ship it directly to the client, while you get to sit back and get paid a commission!

The albums are absolutely gorgeous, with professional print quality and stunning designs so your work is displayed beautifully.

In order to start offering this service to your clients, all you need to do is go to Selling > Photo Albums > and enable the photo album service for your clients (make sure it is marked and saved). As long as the gallery has at least 40 photos in it, this will display as an option for your clients to select and purchase.

For more details on setting this up and how things will work from the client’s perspective, see this link

Kayla Capps is a recent college graduate living and working in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is a Zenfolio Customer Support Representative and has been a professional photographer for four years. 

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio photographer professional photographer professional photography tools http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/5-great-zenfolio-tools-you-should-be-using Mon, 23 May 2016 19:22:27 GMT
"Flour Frenzy" Wins Pink Lady ® Food Photographer of The Year Award http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/pink-lady-food-photographer-of-the-year-awards-2016 The fifth annual Pink Lady ® Food Photographer of the Year awards, held at the Mall Galleries in London, has quickly become the highlight of the food photography calendar. Having been fortunate enough to attend this year, we can truly appreciate how the awards have earned their title as the Oscars of the food world!

The calm before the rush...

With more than 7,000 entries from 60+ countries, the diversity and quality of imagery submitted made for a tough job for the panel of judges, with the finalists' images setting the standard high for the food photography world. 

Hosted by celebrity food critic and TV personality Jay Rayner, the awards evening took place in front of an audience of 400 guests at a Champagne Taittinger reception, packed with celebrities from the food and photography worlds. The finalist images were showcased in finest printed form around the exhibition, with the printing being entrusted to our esteemed UK partners One Vision Imaging

A small selection of the fabulous photography on display. All prints produced by One Vision Imaging.

UK photographer Mark Benham picked up the prize for Overall Winner, with his stunning image "Flour Frenzy" (below). Benham was presented with the £5000 prize by Andy Macdonald, who heads up Pink Lady ® in the UKheadline sponsor of the Awards. 

The winning image "Flour Frenzy" by UK photographer Mark Benham.

About the image: Taken at the Thoughtful Bread Company in Bath—one of the country’s leading artisan bakeriesMark headed down on a warm day in June 2015 to take some shots of the master bakers at work, in particular to shadow owner Duncan Glendinning, pictured in Mark’s award-winning image. 

Says Mark of the image: “It was a hot working environment, and after several hours shooting I was exhausted. In fact, I was just about to pack up, but I asked Duncan if I could take some fun shots. This is how the shot titled "Flour Frenzy" came about: a big ball of dough, lots of flour, and lots and lots of fun!"

Mark Benham received his prize as overall winner from Jay Rayner, celebrity food critic (L), and Andy McDonald, head of Pink Lady® in the UK (R).

Zenfolio would like to congratulate all the finalists and award winners in this year's competition, and we are proud to sponsor such a prestigious event each year. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the Pink Lady ® team over the coming year to help make the 2017 awards even more of a success!

The Pink Lady ® team got ready to welcome the crowds.

The Pink Lady ® girls were ready to rock! Each winner received one of these charming awards bags, complete with free Zenfolio account! Prints by One Vision Imaging. Wine by Errazuriz. As guests arrived, the champagne began to flow. The crowd gathers in anticipation. Pink Lady ® Food Photography Awards founder Caroline Kenyon was poised for action as the awards presentations began.

To learn more about the Pink Lady ® Food Photographer of The Year awards and view the full gallery of finalists and shortlisted images, please visit their website.

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(ZenBlog) Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year Zenfolio food photography photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/pink-lady-food-photographer-of-the-year-awards-2016 Fri, 20 May 2016 08:00:00 GMT
The Dashboard is Now More Efficient! http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/the-dashboard-now-gets-you-where-you-want-to-go-faster

Zenfolio has updated the dashboard to help you get where you want to go faster. We added drop-downs for quicker access to key areas on the dashboard. Why go to the selling main page when you only want to see your price lists? Now with our drop-downs you can!

We also changed the options that appear when you log in. Customization and viewing your website are now front and center. You can also easily see data on shared favorites, pending orders, and posted comments. The things that matter most are right at your fingertips.

Thanks to all who gave us suggestions that helped us determine how to make Zenfolio even better! Also watch the video walk-through:

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio dashboard photographer photography product updates professional photographer professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/the-dashboard-now-gets-you-where-you-want-to-go-faster Mon, 16 May 2016 16:01:00 GMT
Yes! You are CAN-SPAM Compliant http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/yes-you-are-can-spam-compliant

Did you know the US government, in an effort to squash non-solicited marketing emails, says you need “a visible and operable unsubscribe mechanism” present in all emails? Fear not! Zenfolio is compliant with this policy: the unsubscribe option is at the footer of all the emails that you send to your customers, automated or otherwise.

When you get visitor information from your contact page, visitor sign-in, registration, or from a placed order, this information is added to your contact list and that person is now subscribed to your emails. You can feel confident marketing to your list of clients and visitors, knowing you are CAN-SPAM compliant. 

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(ZenBlog) CAN-SPAM Zenfolio emails marketing photographer photography product updates professional photography, http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/yes-you-are-can-spam-compliant Mon, 09 May 2016 16:00:00 GMT
New! Enroll in Zenfolio-Run Client Sales http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/enroll-in-zenfolio-run-client-sales

Let Zenfolio market your business for major holidays. Enroll now and a few times per year we’ll promote your photography to your clients. We’ll send them enticing offers to help you sell more prints and products. Enroll today and watch your sales grow!

Learn how it works by visiting our Support Center.

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio marketing photographer photography product updates professional photographer professional photography selling http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/enroll-in-zenfolio-run-client-sales Mon, 11 Apr 2016 16:01:00 GMT
Optimize Your Photos for Social Media Marketing http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/optimize-your-photos-for-social-media-marketing

Social media is a must for marketing your photography these days, but how do you ensure your photos look their best? In order to get the most out of your marketing, it’s important to understand how different social media platforms compress and convert your images. Bookmark this handy guide, which gives you the optimal image sizes for each platform.

Facebook tends to compress images quite a bit, which may result in reduced image quality. Uploading PNG files to Facebook is a good workaround, since they can’t be compressed. If you’d rather post JPG images, convert them to sRGB and keep the size under 100KB to avoid compression. Here are the recommended image sizes.

  • The profile image is 180 x 180 pixels.

  • The ideal cover photo size to avoid compression is 851 x 315 pixels.

  • For images in links, 1200 x 627 pixels is the best size.

  • For timeline photos as well as albums, 2,048 pixels wide is the max size before images gets compressed. If you have large pictures (2,048 pixels wide), then select “high quality” when uploading.

You can also use your voicemail message to drive traffic to your Facebook page.

Compression is less of an issue with Twitter, but it does have uploading limitations. Here are some guidelines to follow.

  • The header image aspect ratio is 1:3, so 1,500 x 500 pixels.

  • The profile image is 400 x 400 pixels. You’ll want it to fill the frame so it still looks good when scaled down.

  • For photo sharing there is a 1:2 ratio, with 1024 x 512 pixels being ideal.

Compression doesn’t seem to be an issue with With Google+ and there are only a few dimensions to remember.

  • The profile photo is 250 x 250 pixels.

  • The cover photo is 2,120 x 1,192 pixels.

  • For sharing images, the minimum size is 250 x 250 pixels.

Based on the Light Stalking article How to Optimize Images for Social Media.

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(ZenBlog) marketing photo size photographer professional photography social media http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/optimize-your-photos-for-social-media-marketing Wed, 06 Apr 2016 22:21:36 GMT
Effortless Professional Photo Albums Now Available http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/hassle-free-professional-photo-albums

Zenfolio has made it easier for you to sell more photo albums, while saving you valuable time. We can select the photos and design the album for you! See how it works.

Photo albums are a great way to get your work noticed by more people. These high-quality, effortless photo albums will delight your clients and result in more sales for you!

You can also get 30% off all subsequent sample orders with code ALBUMSAMPLE30.


One use of discount code ALBUMSAMPLE50 per Zenfolio account. ALBUMSAMPLE30 can be used multiple times per account. Cannot be combined with any other discounts. Orders must be placed through Edit View to qualify for the discount.

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio marketing photo album product updates selling http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/hassle-free-professional-photo-albums Fri, 01 Apr 2016 07:01:00 GMT
Celebrate With Us at The Photography Show http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/celebrate-with-us-at-the-photography-show

Now in its third year, The Photography Show has become one of the premier UK photography events.

The Photography Show, at Birmingham NEC Arena March 19-22, offers a lineup of world-class speakers, the latest equipment and gadgets, and a chance to meet face-to-face with the leading names in the industry. Not to mention all of the great photography on display.

This year, we’re especially excited to be returning because we’re celebrating our 10-year anniversary! Join in our celebration at stand C51, where in addition to our show special and giveaways, you’ll have a chance to win 10 free years of Zenfolio

We will also be hosting two happy hours during the show. Simply show up at C51 between 5pm and 6pm on Saturday or Monday, scan your badge, and enjoy a free glass of bubbly!

For current Zenfolians, we have something special for you this year too. Our tech guru will be flying all the way from San Francisco to host 20-minute Zen Bar appointments Sunday through Tuesday, where you can have all your questions answered to help take your website to the next level. Bookings will be taken at the stand from Saturday onwards, with the first appointment at doors-opening on Sunday. They are on a first come first served basis, so be sure to get there early!

Over the four days we will also be joining our partners Aspire and One Vision Imaging in a packed schedule of talks right at our stand, with business tips on everything ranging from websites, to printing, to training—and a whole lot more.

Elsewhere on the larger stages, Zenfolio Pro Team member Kevin Mullins will be sharing his valuable insights on the business of documentary wedding photography, and Aspire’s Catherine Connor will be imparting some inspiration on blogging, and finding your way out of your creative rut.

This year’s show promises to be another jam-packed event full of all things photography, and we look forward to seeing you there! Drop by and say hi to the team at booth C51.

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(ZenBlog) Aspire Catherine Connor Kevin Mullins One Vision Imaging Zenfolio anniversary happy hour photography show photography website professional photography the photography show http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/celebrate-with-us-at-the-photography-show Fri, 19 Feb 2016 20:52:01 GMT
Zenfolio Wins Best Website Provider and Best Professional Product at SWPP Awards! http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/zenfolio-wins-swpp-2016-awards

With another great year at the biggest photographic convention in Europe all wrapped up, we are thrilled to announce that Zenfolio has won two awards at this year’s SWPP (Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers) award ceremony.

Best Website Provider

Best Professional Product

To win these awards three years in a row is an honor. The Best Professional Product award is granted to the company with the highest number of votes in any single category, and we would like to thank every one of you who took the time to show your support. We couldn’t have done it without you!

We would also like to congratulate Aspire for winning Best Professional Training for the fourth year running, along with all the trade award winners for their well-deserved accolades.


To new acquaintances and old friends who stopped by our SWPP booth to join in our 10-year anniversary celebration, it was great to see you. Be sure to come say hello to the Zenfolio team at The Photography Show at the NEC in March. We’ll see you at booth C51!

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(ZenBlog) SWPP SWPP awards Zenfolio best website provider photography professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/zenfolio-wins-swpp-2016-awards Mon, 08 Feb 2016 16:43:01 GMT
Zenfolio Brings the Heat to WPPI http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/zenfolio-brings-the-heat-to-wppi ZenBlog: wppi 2016 &emdash; header

Zenfolio at WPPI

Zenfolio will be exhibiting at WPPI in Las Vegas, March 7-9 at booth #1213. Trade show hours are 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Come see us and take advantage of our show special: three months for $1. Zenfolio is also celebrating its 10-year anniversary.

Every attendee who scans their badge has a chance to win 10 free years of Zenfolio!

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Zenfolio is hosting two Photographer Battles on March 7 and 8 in the registration hall from 3:30-4:00 p.m. Come get a free glass of champagne and watch pro photographers debate over hot photography topics.

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FEATURED WPPI CLASSES

Sexy, Saucy, and Searchable: Website Design Best Practices + Live Critique

Speakers: Lou FreemanLaura Grier and Evan Chung

March 6 from 12-1:30 p.m. in room 309/310.

Zenfolio is presenting a master class hosted by Evan Chung with pro photographers Laura Grier and Lou Freeman. Your online portfolio is your first impression to the world, but does it give the impression you were hoping for? We’ll discuss website design, online marketing, and SEO. This in-depth panel discussion will share best practices for your photography website and critique a few websites. 

Preboard for the class here

Professional vs. Profound

Speaker: Jerry Ghionis

March 7 from 8:30-10:00 a.m. in PC19

Jerry Ghionis will show you countless ways to rise up above your competition. Anyone can be a professional, but what makes you profound and noticed by your desired audience? With more than 22 years of experience as a photographer and more than 15 years teaching, Jerry has remained at the top of his game since he started and is a master of reinvention. Jerry will teach you how to see the world differently and complete your vision with incredible lighting, posing and techniques that will take you to the next level. He will also share some of his proven sales, branding and marketing ideas that will elevate you from a pro to profound!

Preboard for the class here

Let the Light Do the Talking

Speaker: Roberto Valenzuela

March 8 from 8:30-10:00 a.m. in PC45, Rooms 313-316

Roberto Valenzuela created the Picture Perfect Lighting System to help photographers better understand and achieve their lighting goals. Learn how to assess and understand your surroundings, then manipulate and beautify light with minimal equipment. This session is for photographers who are looking for a practical solution for controlling light and creating lighting that complements clients. Learn how to bring out their best features without having to lug heavy gear or spend thousands of dollars on equipment and modifiers.

Preboard for the class here

The Next Level with JP

Speaker: JP Elario

March 7 from 8:30-10:00 a.m. in PC20

JP will discuss tips and strategies, including booking new clients, managing timelines, coordinating the wedding day first look, and delivering an awesome final product. JP will share his favorite tactics such as knocking out formal family photos in a flash and making couples feel more comfortable in front of your lens. He will also discuss his social media practices.

Preboard for the class here

La Guerra de los clones

Speakers: Dennis Berti and Chio Garcia

March 6 from 3:00-4:30 p.m. in PC15, Room 309/310

Zenfolio Pro team member Dennis Berti will be delivering the first ever Spanish WPPI presentation

Ser único, es una paradigma que todos buscamos alcanzar pero muchas veces la práctica cotidiana de la originalidad termina por convertirnos en imitadores de algo que no somos. El reflejo de nuestra propia arte se proyecta cuando nos mostramos como individuos, cuando nos replanteamos el camino y establecemos prioridades, es ahí cuando nos destacamos y dejamos de ser clones. En ésta platica compartiré mi visión sobre el mundo de la fotografía de bodas, y las experiencias que me han llevado a encontrar mi propia voz.

Be unique. It is a paradigm that we all seek to achieve but in the daily grind, the practice of originality ends up becoming stale and we start to become something that we are not. In this talk Dennis will share his view of the world of wedding photography, and the experiences that have led him to find his own unique voice.

Preboard for the class here

Como Ser un Mejor Fotógrafo Documental de Boda

Speaker: Dennis Berti and Chio Garcia

March 8 from 8:00-10:00 a.m. in PLUS21, Room 204

Al documentar gráficamente un suceso se busca contar una historia de los momentos tal y cómo sucedieron. La fotografía documental de bodas ha trascendido el estilo clásico al que estábamos acostumbrados y hoy va representado en un estilo fresco, natural y sin pretensiones. Es justo lo que vamos a analizar en ésta clase: Hablaremos sobre los fundamentos básicos de la fotografía documental de bodas. Como ganarse la confianza del cliente y cómo crear situaciones sin intervenir. En la clase práctica configuraremos nuestras cámaras para que sean muy reactivas, trabajaremos con nuestro mejor aliado: la luz natural. Haremos ejercicios de composición y práctica de fotografía callejera con modelos reales dónde aplicaremos lo aprendido durante la primer parte del día.

Documentary wedding photography today is represented in a fresh, natural and unpretentious style. In this class we’ll discuss the basics of documentary wedding photography. How to gain customer confidence and creating images without intervening. In the practice class, we will work with our closest ally: natural light. We will do exercises in composition and practice street photography with real models where we will apply the lessons learned during the first part of the day.

Preboard for the class here

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(ZenBlog) 10 year anniversary Evan chung Zenfolio Zenfolio anniversary anniversary dennis berti jerry ghionis laura Grier lou freeman roberto valenzuela wppi zen is 10 zen is ten http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/zenfolio-brings-the-heat-to-wppi Fri, 05 Feb 2016 15:00:00 GMT
The Zenfolio Guide to Selling in 5 Easy Steps http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/the-zenfolio-guide-to-selling-in-5-easy-steps

The Zenfolio Guide to Selling in 5 Easy Steps

One of the things our customers like best about having a Zenfolio website is that we make it easy to sell your work directly through site. For a detailed explanation about how to do this, check out our Definitive Selling Webinar. For those who prefer a quick summary, we have broken down the one-hour webinar into five easy steps and included the applicable portion of the webinar for your viewing pleasure. Plus, each section is linked to articles that you can read for more details. Get ready to sell and make more money!

1. Client Access and the Buying Experience

In this segment, we discuss how to create a gallery ID for clients to access their photos and select their Favorites. Once clients can access their images, be sure to add a Buy button to your photos so clients can easy add them to their cart. Then you can customize how your cart looks to customers on your website.

2. Creating Your Price List and Assigning It to a Gallery

In this video we show how to create a price list with products from our multiple labs, set your ordering settings, and define your prices. We also show how to assign your price list to a client’s gallery with some featured products as well as how to approve orders before they are printed by the lab.

3. Approving Orders and Selling Digital Products

If you have order approval turned on you’ll need to approve them when your orders come rolling in. You also have the option of making edits to ordered photos in Lightroom before the order is sent to the lab. This section also covers how to sell digital products with usage licenses.

4. Offering Packages and Self-Fulfilled Products

Learn how to customize and offer packages. We’ll also show how to create self-fulfilled products that you, the photographer, can fulfill instead of the lab.

5. How to Run a Sale on Your Site and Get Paid

This section shows how to use Zenfolio template designs to offer products like greeting cards, create gift certificates and coupons, collect sales tax or VAT, and request a payout.

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio marketing professional photography selling webinar http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/the-zenfolio-guide-to-selling-in-5-easy-steps Mon, 01 Feb 2016 15:00:00 GMT
How to Create Lifelong Clients http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/how-to-create-lifelong-clients

As a photographer, creating lifelong clients is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Pro Team member Sara Kauss exemplifies this process in her photography business, so we sat down to pick her brain.

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How often do you do wedding, family and newborn shoots? How many of these are new clients versus returning clients?

My business is comprised of about 50% wedding photography, 20% family portrait photography, 10% newborn photography and 20% commercial & musician photography. Seventy percent of my family and newborn photography are returning clients.

Describe the process of creating a lifelong client?

There is absolutely nothing more important to me than creating lifelong clients, mostly because lifelong clients often become lifelong friends. This story has happened so many times over the years. I will meet a couple who is getting married, photograph their engagement, and absolutely love getting to know them on their engagement shoot. Then, I’ll photograph their wedding, and typically we’ll meet for dinner or drinks the next time they’re in town or I’m in their town shooting a destination wedding or event. Then, they call and ask me to photograph their new little miracle—sometimes it’s a baby and sometimes it is a new furry friend!  

What strategies do you use to encourage wedding couples to come back as lifelong clients?

The strategy for encouraging lifelong clients has been to be myself—I love building relationships with people. And through that, organically a friendship is developed. I know the couple and their families so well that it simply makes sense that I am their photographer for all the most important moments of their lives. I recently photographed a birthday party for a previous groom. Jay’s wife, Kelly, called me and asked if I could be a part of the next milestone in their lives, Jay’s 40th birthday! I’ve been their photographer from their engagement session, to their wedding, to the birth of their two children, to now all future events. It’s something I do not take for granted and truly makes me elated when they call.

What kind of online tools do you use the most to reengage your clients?

Keeping up with previous clients on social media is a must. Facebook is such a fun way to catch up. I also send Miller’s lab Christmas cards to most of my clients who I still keep in touch with.

Do you use prints/wall art/gifts as part of your reengagement of clients?

Something fun that I’ve done is send little anniversary presents—prints and wall art from Miller’s are a personal touch to remind each person how important they are to me. I also give referral gifts of prints and folios.

How often do you reach out to old clients? How do you stay on their radar?

In 2016, I’ll be starting a newsletter to past clients, which will be a reminder to wedding clients that I would love to continue to be their portrait and event photographer for years to come. I also keep in touch with clients through social media.

How do you go about creating packages for your clients?

Our package structure is customized and yet simple. We charge an hourly photography rate that includes everything from the digital files to the Zenfolio online gallery for friends and family of the clients to purchase prints. We offer custom Miller’s albums as an add-on, and have a straightforward price list that features our album pricing, per page, gallery wrap pricing and prints.

What products seem to get the biggest reaction from your clients?

Archival wedding or portrait albums. We all are computer and digitally driven these days. However, the printed photograph album has withstood the test of time. No one can sit around the couch comfortably and hold a USB drive and show off their images. An album is a timeless, beautiful display of the art that we’ve created as photographers.

How do you use social media to promote your business?

Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest are all so vital in creating a great online presence. It’s important as a photographer to utilize these tools and also utilize the great SEO that Zenfolio has. I also frequently use Zenfolio to quickly share images from galleries I’ve created.

Which social channel works best for your brand? Is it important to use them all?

Each social media channel serves its own purpose. Facebook is great for tagging your clients and sharing blog posts with clients’ close group of friends. Instagram is great for communicating with vendors connected with an event you photographed, or hopping on the hashtag of your client’s wedding or event. Twitter can connect you with celebrities who you may not have access to otherwise. Pinterest is a must if you photograph weddings! Brides search Pinterest all day long, planning and sharing ideas for their big day. 

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(ZenBlog) Sara Kauss Wedding photography Zenfolio lifelong clients portrait Photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/how-to-create-lifelong-clients Mon, 25 Jan 2016 16:52:12 GMT
50 Shades of SEO: The Secrets of Social Media http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/50-shades-of-seo-the-secrets-of-social-media

50 Shades of SEO – Part 4

The Secrets of Social Media

By Eugen Feygin

SEO may not be the sexiest topic, but it’s crucial for a photographer today to know all about it. Why? Having SEO implemented will drive more traffic to your site so you can gain more clients and sell more. In the fourth installment of our SEO series, we talk about using social media to improve your business and website SEO.

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

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

Read 50 Shades of SEO Part 3: Keywords are Your Best Friend

Which social media platform should I use?

There are many social media platforms to choose from, and it can be overwhelming to utilize more than one at a time, but that’s the world we live in. For photographers, the most impactful networks are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. I highly recommend Instagram and Pinterest since those channels focus mainly on photographs. However, Facebook and Twitter are the largest social media networks, so you can’t disregard them. For some that is too many social media accounts to manage, but you can automate some of the tasks (make sure you have a consistent custom URL for each (for example, facebook.com/feyginfoto).

When you post to Instagram (make sure your accounts are connected in Instagram) you can automatically post to Facebook and Twitter at the same time, so now all you have to do is figure out Pinterest and you’re set! Or you can go an alternative route and just post to Facebook and automate it to autopost to Twitter.

Why do I need so many social media channels?

By utilizing all the major social media channels that relate to your industry you are increasing your chance of being found by potential customers. You also want to make sure you are active and respond to people; don’t just post things and ignore your followers.

Why is no one liking or sharing my photo?

I had this dilemma and spoke to several social media experts about it. The answer was that I was posting content to show what I can do, but I was not engaging. An engaging conversation on a topic they care about is much more effective. 

Experiment with asking your followers questions—find ways to get them to react or engage with a post. For example, consider making a small video collage of some of the funniest wedding photos you have taken in the past month, and ask people about the funniest moment they have experienced.

I recommend sitting down and writing out all the ideas you have and questions you could ask, and scheduling everything. You may also want to do some Facebook advertising to get the ball rolling. If the post is doing well naturally  it’s not be a bad idea to advertise it to get the ball rolling even faster!

How often should I post?

I recommend posting at least three times a week to ensure that you’re engaging with your audience. With Facebook, if you do not post enough over a certain period of time—and then decide to finally post—your existing followers might not even see what you posted. Even if you have 5K followers, if you don’t post for, say, a month or longer and then start to post, you will notice a huge drop in the amount of likes you will get. If you are in this situation, there are a couple of solutions.

Consider doing Facebook advertising and only target your followers to ensure that you get the engagement metrics back, and then branch out a little bit by targeting their friends. Just make sure you set budgets and specify exactly where and who you want to target. Facebook advertising can add up very quickly—do not expect a return based on the amount you invest into this. This is more about branding and engaging with your followers.

Consider doing email-marketing campaigns to target new followers, and retarget existing ones by offering a promotion, or try to converse about certain topics in your industry.

Try to be consistent with your marketing efforts. Make sure you have a predefined target market and try to understand that market as much as possible before you engage with them.

Tools:

Latergramme: Schedule Instagram posts from mobile (Free option available)

Hootsuite: Schedule posts from a desktop computer to publish later (Free option available)

MailChimp: Email marketing software (Free option available)

How do social media channels affect my Google ranking?

This question has been evaluated a lot recently by the search community. It may not be a large signal in the overall metric over your rankings, but it does play a role in the decision.

Google AI

Google continues to invest a lot of time and money into AI research. It correlates with the fact that they are trying to index the world as much and as quickly as possible. They also want to better understand their customer and provide the best answer to any question. Because we post and interact on so many channels across the web, it would be reckless for them to disregard these channels as attributes that define who we are.

Google tracks users through the following free products that they insist you stay logged into to use (There are a lot more).

  • Gmail: Scans all your emails to understand context and saves all that information and provides a lot of capacity to ensure that you refrain from deleting data that can be utilized to identify you
  • YouTube: Tracks all videos you watch, how you interact with them, and what you upload and contribute to the platform
  • Google Maps: Tracks all your movements and keeps address search history
  • Google Search: Records time spent on a page when searched for a specific phrase, monitors what you click and if you like the result, and changes the results based on your previous behavior combined with the search algorithm
  • Google Chrome: A browser that tracks all your history and insists that you stay logged in to use it
  • Google Calendar: Provides you with notifications across all your platforms and saves all of them as well as all the information added

Google creates free products for people to use in order to gain access into our lives. If you consider that so many people now use social media, it would be reckless for them to disregard that information as another piece of data in learning your online behavior. They can use this information to draw a rough picture of who you are as a person, how big your following is, who you influence, and even shopping behavior.

Not all social media channels choose to share their data with search engines, but Google still finds ways to get to any public pages.

Recap

By ignoring social media channels for your photography business you are giving your competition an advantage over you. They may have a large following that they have developed over the years, and that following can be leveraged to expand their business even further. Once you get the ball rolling it is much easier to push it just a little, but that initial jump into the game does take time. Also keep in mind that Google can actually understand sentiment behind a brand and if a brand is perceived in a positive light based on reviews, followers, comments and so fourth, which can give catapult you to the top. 

*   *   *

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

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(ZenBlog) 50 shades of seo Zenfolio business marketing facebook instagram pinterest seo social media social media marketing twitter http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/50-shades-of-seo-the-secrets-of-social-media Mon, 11 Jan 2016 15:00:00 GMT
New Year Updates from Zenfolio http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/new-year-updates-from-zenfolio

Fellow Zenfolians, I wish you all the best for 2016.

The platform challenges we faced in 2015 are behind us, and I look forward to a successful 2016 together! Here are the updates from Zenfolio.

Platform Performance

We successfully upgraded the Zenfolio platform last week. The upgrade caused some unexpected side effects through January 1, which have all been resolved. As a result, your experience, and your customers’ experience, on Zenfolio will be faster and smoother. In the future, no downtime will be required when we release new features.

Product Feature Updates

Later this month triggered email functionality will be available, so that customizable emails can automatically be sent to a customer based on specific triggers that you set. Choose from a list of email templates and when to send them. Once you’ve set up a series, sit back and let us do the work for you.

Also, our Customize Visitor View is also getting revamped with an improved workflow. You’ll be able to organize and customize your site menu with fewer clicks and easier navigation. 

These new features will be released by the end of January:

  • Automated Customer Emails (Triggered Emails - Pro/Advanced accounts only). Customizable emails can automatically be sent to a customer based on specific triggers that you set. Choose from a list of email templates and decide when to send them. 
  • Inline toolbox editing for photo details. Make edits to your photos directly in the toolbox with full view of your photos. Change caption, title, keywords, categories, and other metadata. 
  • Customize Visitor View updates. You’ll be able to organize and customize your site menu with fewer clicks and easier navigation. 
  • HTML5 slideshows. Slideshows are the last thing on Zenfolio still using Flash. We’re now moving them all over to HTML5. HTML5 is the new web standard, loads faster, and is supported on more browsers on desktop and mobile.
  • Shared Favorites updates (Pro/Advanced accounts only). The name of the person who sent the Favorites set will now be linked to their contact details. This way, you can see if the client has ever placed an order, what galleries they’ve visited, or if they’ve shared any past Favorites sets. We also added our Compose Email editor to Favorites in Edit View.
  • Favorites for mobile apps (Photo Moments and Zenfolio)

Zenfolio has a new VP of Engineering

Nadav Vansover joins the team as VP of Engineering. With more than 20 years of software development and executive management experience, he will drive the continuous improvement of the Zenfolio platform.

Imaging USA 2016 Trade Show

Imaging USA is the longest running national photographic convention in the United States. Join us at booth #1626. We can’t wait to meet you on January 10-12, 2016.

Thank you for your continuous support. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me directly at askarnaud@zenfolio.com.

Sincerely,

Arnaud Collin  |  General Manager  |  Zenfolio Inc.

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio new features, product updates http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/new-year-updates-from-zenfolio Tue, 05 Jan 2016 16:42:18 GMT
Wildlife Images from the Galápagos Islands http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/wildlife-images-from-the-galapagos-islands

Zenfolio Pro Team member Andrew Peacock recently visited the Galápagos Islands and was kind enough to share some of his images with us. Read about his experience, and don’t be surprised if you get inspired to book your ticket there.

Director of Photography for Lindblad Expeditions Ralph Lee Hopkins puts it well when he says "What makes Galápagos special for photographers and nature lovers is the full-frame, up close and personal experience. It’s like few places in the world."
I was delighted to find myself on a trip to the Galápagos in 2015 aboard Lindblad’s National Geographic Endeavour in my role as an educator for Expedition and Wilderness Medicine. It was a fabulous opportunity for me to shoot portraits of the unique endemic wildlife there.

Adding to the fun was a chance to test out the relatively new full-frame Canon 5DSR camera body. The exterior of the 5DSR is almost identical to my 5D Mark III with the bonus that it fits my current Aquatech water housing, so I was ready to shoot in and above the water from day one. The seven-day itinerary covered a lot of ground in this well-protected environmental habitat. Naturalists on the ship accompanied groups of passengers on daily shore walks and into the water snorkeling in relatively protected deep waters, so it was an educational experience.

There is no question that the best wildlife photos come from taking the time to slow down, watch, wait and really observe and understand the behavior of an animal. If you want to see a wonderful example of this approach, watch this video by French photographer Vincent Munier.

His unique photos of arctic animals really stand out. A long telephoto lens is also a good idea so you can get in close and capture interesting details, perhaps showing an aspect of the animal that is not usually obvious. The huge file size captured with the 5DSR meant that I also had the option to crop in tightly in post-processing and still have a decent size file to work with. The extreme close up of the marine iguana in this series is a good example of that.

Photographing in the water requires a new set of skills, which I am still working on acquiring. Testing everything before getting in the water and preplanning the camera settings is essential because only some camera functions are available once the camera is in the housing. I like to use a fisheye lens and a large dome port, which allows for the classic under/over photo, but it is still hit and miss much of the time—experimenting with angles and light direction is all part of the game. I was pleased with the photo you see here of a snorkeler interacting with one of the inquisitive sea lions.

I particularly enjoyed learning about Darwin's finches, the endemic birds of the Galápagos that were highly significant in the development of the theory of natural selection. The most important differences between species are in the size and shape of their beaks, and the beaks are highly adapted to different food sources such as cacti in the case of the cactus finch pictured in this series.

After visiting the Galápagos Islands, I see why that region is on many travelers’ bucket lists. Many more trips would be needed to bring back some really unique wildlife photos, and I hope to get the chance to go again in the future. I certainly recommend this brilliant travel destination, and a ship-based journey is the most efficient way to see the islands.

*    *    *

Andrew Peacock takes adventure travel to a new level. As a medical doctor who volunteers his time in far-reaching places like India and Nepal, he feeds his photo habit by capturing the beauty and grandeur of every place he visits. With a gift for helping people as well as creating breathtaking images, Andrew has found his calling as a traveling adventure shooter. You will find the Australia-based photographer all over the globe using medicine and photography to make the world a better place.

Check out Andrew's extensive portfolio here: http://www.footloosefotography.com/

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(ZenBlog) Andrew Peacock Canon 5DS Galapagos Galapagos Islands Zenfolio marine iguana website portfolio http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/wildlife-images-from-the-galapagos-islands Tue, 05 Jan 2016 15:00:00 GMT
Pink Lady ® Food Photographer of the Year 2016 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/pink-lady-food-photographer-of-the-year-2016 Pink Lady ® Food Photographer of the Year 2016

Pink Lady ® Food Photographer of the Year is now in its fifth year as the world’s leading awards recognizing the art and diversity of food photography and film from around the globe. These prestigious awards saw almost 6,500 images from 56 countries in 2015, and more than 20,000 images have been submitted since 2011.

Pink Lady ® Food Photographer of the Year is fast becoming one of the world’s most well-respected and creative niche photo contests” says Advanced Photographer magazine. The finalists have their work displayed at the world-renowned Mall Galleries in London and are invited to the Champagne Taittinger reception where the winners are announced, building up to an overall winner who will receive £5000 GBP as well as global publicity.

More than just pretty pictures of food on a plate, the categories range from the Politics of Food to Food for Celebration, from Food for the Family to Bring Home the Harvest. The awards are open to both professional and amateur photographers. There is something for everyone, not just classic food photographers but also landscape photographers, travel photographers and garden photographers. Importantly, every image is judged anonymously.

The categories are devised to show the culture and production of food. They also include Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year and unearthed ® Food in Film categories for both documentary and non-documentary shorts.

The contest has evolved over the years—in year three Pink Lady presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to the legendary photographer Tessa Traeger. This year it has a new category: Marks & Spencer Food Adventures, vibrant images of people and food from across the Americas.

Pink Lady has an influential and respected judging panel, which includes Emily Luchetti, chair of the James Beard Foundation, USA; David Loftus, Jamie Oliver’s photographer; Curtis Stone, Australian chef, TV host and New York Times best-selling author; Dan Havlik, Editor-in-Chief of Shutterbug Magazine; and Chris Beetles of Beetles & Huxley, one of the world’s leading galleries specializing in photography.

Past winners include French photographer Jean Cazals, Laos-based UK photographer Tessa Bunney, Alexandrina Paduretu from Romania, and 2015 winner UK-based Australian photographer David Griffen for his shot of a street chef taken in Kuala Lumpur.

Go through your own archive and see if the winning image is already tucked away there. In just a few months, you could be rubbing shoulders with the VIP celebrities of the food and photography world in London!

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio photographer photography photography contests pink lady food photographer of the year professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/pink-lady-food-photographer-of-the-year-2016 Mon, 04 Jan 2016 17:00:00 GMT
Last Downtime for Zenfolio Scheduled Maintenance http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/12/last-downtime-for-zenfolio-scheduled-maintenance

Fellow Zenfolians,

 

I am excited to share with you a couple of updates regarding Zenfolio.

 

Platform Performance

As I announced before, Zenfolio is investing heavily to improve the platform performance. We will migrate to our new platform on Wednesday, December 30, and the Zenfolio site will be offline for six hours starting at 3 p.m. PST on December 30. As a result, your experience, and your customers’ experience, on Zenfolio will be faster. Also, no downtime will be required anymore when we release new features.

 

New Search

I am happy to let you know that we have rebuilt our search functionality. The new Search will be released on Wednesday, December 23, and will be much faster.

 

Photo Moments App

The app has been updated, and your clients can now select and share their favorites sets directly from the app. Check it out here.

 

Beta Testing Program

The Zenfolio Beta Testing program is up and running. A select group of photographers will be testing new features before they are released to help ensure the features match your needs. Interested to join? You can apply here.

 

Thank you for your continuous support.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me directly at askarnaud@zenfolio.com.

 

Sincerely,

Arnaud Collin
General Manager
Zenfolio Inc.

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(ZenBlog) downtime maintenance http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/12/last-downtime-for-zenfolio-scheduled-maintenance Wed, 23 Dec 2015 15:00:00 GMT
Vote Zenfolio for the Best Professional Website Provider http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/12/vote-zenfolio-for-the-best-professional-website-provider

VOTE NOW


Nataly Huff

Marketing Director, Zenfolio Inc.

“Over the past 10 years, Zenfolio has grown from humble beginnings (four friends in a coffee shop with a passion for photography) to becoming the greatest online business partner to more than 100,000 photographers worldwide. We are privileged and humbled to be in the position we are today, and couldn’t have done it without your support. From day one, the needs of photographers have been at the core of our values, and as photographers ourselves, we have always made it our number one goal to build a service we would want to use. In 2015, we are thrilled that so many of you feel the same way.

To win three years running, along with our fantastic partners (without them we wouldn’t be where we are today), would be simply be the best 10-year birthday present we could ever dream of!”

Derek Poulston

Managing Director, One Vision Imaging Ltd.

 
“Winning the Best Professional Photographic Laboratory for the third year running would be a dream come true. All of us at One Vision Imaging are extremely proud of what we do; we love the business of photography and we love the role we play in it. We will do whatever we can to ensure professional photography is recognised as a skilled and respected profession as it so well deserves. We accept and relish the challenge our photographers bestow upon us each year to become even better and to deliver exciting and innovative products to market. Being voted number one is the best way for photographers to tell us we’re on the right track, and it spurs us on to try even harder. “

Catherine Connor

Managing Director, Aspire Photography Training

“Winning Best Training Provider means a great deal to the team at Aspire Photography Training. We devote a great deal of time to showering photography businesses with our expertise and knowledge whilst influencing so many on the road to success. The SWPP annual trade awards are incredibly important to all that participate, and each year the benchmark gets higher and higher! If we win it will be our fourth successful year in a row, and like every year, we crave this award most of all. We love this award not just for the industry acknowledgement and accolade. It is a celebration of  the Aspire team, the trainers, and the photographers! It is a moment where the photography industry raises its glass to all those that give to the industry, continually, with passion, commitment, and belief in a bright and fruitful future.”

VOTE NOW

With voting now open, we’d love it if you took a moment to vote for Zenfolio, and our partners One Vision Imaging and Aspire in this year’s Societies’ Trade Awards.  

https://swpp.co.uk/secure/trade-awards.htm

Zenfolio

Best Professional Website Provider

Best Professional Software

Best Professional Customer Support

 

One Vision Imaging

Best Professional Lab

Best Professional Frame

 

Aspire

Best Professional Training

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio awards best website provider swpp swpp awards http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/12/vote-zenfolio-for-the-best-professional-website-provider Mon, 14 Dec 2015 21:46:08 GMT
Animal Rescue with Amiee Stubbs http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/12/animal-rescue-with-amiee-stubbs

Zenfolio pro team member Amiee Stubbs sat down with us to chat about her adventures with Animal Rescue Corps. She discusses how she got involved with photographing shelter pets, and how it can saves animals’ lives.

What led you to get involved with pet rescue?

We had three dogs when I became a full-time professional photographer, so I’d already spent years photographing them just for myself. I went back to college for photography, and had to choose a subject for a semester-long project for one of my classes. I decided to follow a local dog rescue and document what they do to help the community’s animals, and get their pets adopted. Plus, I had always felt like I connected with animals, dogs especially. Understanding animal behavior is vital to photographing pets, for your safety and theirs. I had been doing rescue photography for two years when Animal Rescue Corps approached me; they asked if I could photograph a rescue operation in July 2012. I’ve been volunteering with them ever since.

HurricaneIsaacHurricane Isaac Response (natural disaster)

MaconCountyMacon County Horse Rescue (neglect/cruelty)

What do you do photography-wise for them?

Animal Rescue Corps is an international animal protection organization based out of Washington, DC. We work directly with law enforcement on large-scale rescue operations, such as natural disasters, puppy mills, dogfighting, and animal hoarding. I document the rescue operation and edit selected photos for real-time media updates, which are critical in engaging supporters and communicating needs for additional volunteers, supplies, and donations. After the rescue operation is over, we set up an emergency shelter, where I continue to document the animals as they improve. I also take official portraits of each animal once they’ve settled in, usually after their first grooming. I have a special gallery on my website that features all of these newly adoptable animals, and we share it with our placement partners across the country. Then those placement partners (rescue groups and shelters) bring the animals into their programs and find them forever homes. I also teach the photography portion of our animal rescue course that we offer around the country a few times each year.

Broken ChainOperation Broken Chain (dog fighting)

Tell us more about the organizations you’re in.

In addition to Animal Rescue Corps, I’m also a member of HeARTs Speak, a global network of artists & advocates that provide pro-bono services to animal welfare organizations. When area rescues or shelters need help, I volunteer to photograph their adoptable animals. Good photos help them get adopted more quickly.

image-1Operation Liberty Dogs (puppy mill)

New DayOperation New Day (hoarding)

What is your favorite part about working with these organizations?

The best part of my work with Animal Rescue Corps is watching the animals transform. I’ve seen some horrible things, such as dogs who were literally matted into rusty cages. We get to pull these dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, rabbits, chickens, parrots, etc. away from horrific conditions, and watch them make the journey into loving homes. To see a dog walk on grass for the first time—there’s nothing else like it.

With HeARTs Speak, artists come together for the worthy cause of getting more animals adopted from shelters/rescues. So many talented photographers are part of the HeARTs Speak team, and I’m honored to be included among them.

image-3Left to right: Operation Midnight Run (hoarding), Operation Delta Dogs (dog fighting)

What’s the biggest misconception people have about animal rescue organizations?

A major misconception about rescue animals is that the animals are a less safe choice for adoption than buying a pet from a breeder; nothing could be further from the truth. With the limited gene pool of many sought-after breeds, physical and behavioral issues can be quite common in certain purebreds.

With regard to organizations, the biggest misconception is that all large animal rescue groups are extremists that attack those that do not agree with them. While certain organizations have earned a reputation for extreme behavior in pursuit of media attention, it’s not true of all of them, and certainly not the groups I choose to work with. It is impossible to effect meaningful change without being inclusive and open to discussion with people of differing views.

Autumn Angels_01Operation Autumn Angels (puppy mill)

How does photography help animals get adopted?

Typically, shelters are overwhelmed with physical care of the animals, and pictures are frequently just taken with webcams when the animal first arrives, and it is usually terrified. When this is the only photo, it is difficult for a potential adopter to emotionally connect with that animal in the short time frame that many shelters have. Strong photos increase the odds of someone making this connection. You want people to look at the photo and immediately want to make that pet a part of their family. You want to capture the animal’s personality. To make the images more engaging, the photos need to be sharp, with the animal’s eyes in focus, and I recommend being at eye level, too. If you’re a photographer looking for a way to help animals, please reach out to a local rescue or shelter and offer your time. You’ll make a big difference, and you’ll help save lives.

CLICK HERE for examples of Amiee’s work in helping animals get adopted.

image-5Operation Unbridled Spirit (puppy mill)

What are you most passionate about in terms of initiatives people are making for animals? What can we do better?

Spaying and neutering is an initiative that needs to continue to be emphasized. Pet overpopulation is the major driver of so many animals dying in shelters every day, as evidenced by the ASPCA statistics that approximately 7.6 million pets enter shelters and 2.7 million are euthanized.

One way we can do better is to increase the legal penalties associated with owners profiting from animal cruelty. Outside of a few exceptions, people profiting from cruelty to animals often receive punishments that are not harsh enough to curb the behavior. This has begun to be addressed by treating dog fighting as a felony at the state and federal levels, but we need to similarly address deplorable conditions in large-scale breeding operations. Legal definitions of cruelty should also be updated, as they are often insufficient to prevent long-term suffering.

*   *   *

Amiee Stubbs specializes in contemporary pet portraits and commercial pet photography. She also photographs for several animal organizations. Amiee lives in Nashville with her husband and six dogs.

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio amiee stubbs animal cruelty animal rescue pet photographer pet photography saving animals http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/12/animal-rescue-with-amiee-stubbs Mon, 14 Dec 2015 16:00:00 GMT
Zenfolio Academy Wrap Up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/zenfolio-academy-wrap-up

That’s a wrap. Zenfolio Academy has come to a close. Through this workshop tour, we were able to educate and connect with photographers in the Zenny community. We laughed, we cried, we customized websites. Then we hopped on a plane to do it all over again in a new city. We had a blast! Thanks to all the attendees who were able to join us.

Where did we visit?

The Zenfolio team visited ten US cities and one UK city: Atlanta, Miami, Denver, Chicago, New York, Boston, Austin, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, and London.

What topics were covered?

We started with the basics and moved to the more advanced topics over the course of the full day workshop. Our goal was to help folks who were just starting with Zenfolio to customize their website and sell from a gallery by the end of the afternoon session. The evening session covered marketing, custom pages, the apps – the more advanced topics.

And the verdict is…

Overwhelmingly positive. Thank you for all the feedback we received throughout the tour. The comments and feature requests have been noted and will be instrumental in future events and releases.

Attendees found the workshop to be helpful and inspiring. In fact, here is a quote from one awesome Zenny who attended the Seattle workshop.

I missed it! Is there a recording?

You bet! Each session is 30-45 minutes in length. You can watch all the different sessions listed below:

Thanks for helping to make the Zenfolio Academy a smashing success!

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(ZenBlog) Website training Zenfolio Zenfolio Academy evan chung justin miller photography workshop zoom zoom tour http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/zenfolio-academy-wrap-up Mon, 30 Nov 2015 16:00:00 GMT