ZenBlog: Blog http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) ZenBlog (ZenBlog) Thu, 21 May 2015 21:51:00 GMT Thu, 21 May 2015 21:51:00 GMT Friday Foto Favorites 5.22 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/5/friday-foto-favorites-5-22

  1. Have you met the man that shaved off half of his beard and filled it in with amusing objects?
  2. Amazing and surreal self-portraits taken with moving mirrors.
  3. What happens when you play dress up with a 9-year-old? 
  4. Waves with attitude. 
  5. An incredible artist with a rare neurological disorder creates stunning paintings based on what she sees when she listens to music.
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(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio best photos favorites featured photos weekly round up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/5/friday-foto-favorites-5-22 Fri, 22 May 2015 16:00:00 GMT
Behind the Shot with Pro Team Member Andrew Peacock http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/5/behind-the-shot-with-pro-team-member-andrew-peacock

A picture is worth a thousand words, sure. But have you ever wondered what was reeling in the minds of the photographer as soon as they released the shutter? We asked Pro Team member Andrew Peacock to share his personal favorite shots and the stories behind them. Here, Andrew recounts what it took to get that perfect shot.

andrew-peacock-1Antarctic PeninsulaAndrew Peacock, Footloose Fotography

Antarctic Peninsula. ​

Penguins are, of course, a prime target for photographers in Antarctica. They are always fascinating to watch but not always the easiest to take interesting shots of. This image is an unusual angle of a group of Adelie penguins on an iceberg taken while leaning precariously from a Zodiac close to the freezing water with an Outex cover protecting my camera.  I’ve been lucky to travel to this beautiful land of ice a few times now, and later this year I will be leading a photo tour there. Please consider joining me—details at www.antarcticaunfiltered.com.au.

andrew-peacock-2Hobart, Tasmania, AustraliaAndrew Peacock, Footloose Fotography

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

The view of this city from the summit of kunanyi/Mount Wellington is never less than spectacular, but on this late fall morning just before dawn, my tripod and I were treated to a phenomenon known as Bridgewater Jerry—a layer of fog that creeps up the Derwent Valley to shroud Hobart’s suburbs in thick mist on certain mornings at that time of the year. I was so glad I made the effort to get out of my warm, cozy bed so early that day!

andrew-peacock-3Great Sand Dunes National Park, ColoradoAndrew Peacock, Footloose Fotography

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado.

Who would have thought it—towering sand dunes in a small corner of beautiful Colorado, one of my favorite states. I knew nothing of this national park, but landscape photographer Bill Ellzey encouraged me to visit it on my road trip. There was only one evening available, and time was tight as my wife and I arrived to set up camp before heading out to shoot around sunset. I had two goals in mind: find an untrodden area of dunes to photograph, and make it to the top of the highest point for a sunset shot. Having a very fit wife (and model!) meant I achieved both goals as we had a lot of ground to cover that evening. Put this place on your US road trip list of spots to visit.

*    *    *

Andrew PeacockFootloose Fotography 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 BTS behind the shot footloose fotography footloose photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/5/behind-the-shot-with-pro-team-member-andrew-peacock Mon, 18 May 2015 16:00:00 GMT
Friday Foto Favorites 5.15 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/5/friday-foto-favorites-5-15

  1. This is what we’re doing to our planet.
  2. Ethereal photos highlight the wonder of nature.
  3. Ten kids; one camera.
  4. Dogs + paint equals art.
  5. What do domestic vacations look like?
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(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio best photos favorites featured photos weekly round up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/5/friday-foto-favorites-5-15 Fri, 15 May 2015 16:00:00 GMT
Peak Design System Product Review http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/5/product-spotlight-peak-design-slide-clutch-and-capturepro

By Joseph Roybal

With so many photography products in the market to choose from, figuring out where to begin almost feels like drinking from a fire hydrant. From cameras to lenses, tripods to filters—you almost want to quit before you’ve begun. You have to think about your interests, style, and budget. What product do you truly need to add to your arsenal of gear? What product is going to help you in the field, and how much are you willing to spend on this item that may or may not improve your productivity?

As a professional landscape and portrait travel photographer based in Denver, my primary focus is landscapes. This means I need a product that is lightweight, compact for my camera bag, and efficient and functional in the field. For this review, I was graciously provided several products from Peak Design and used them on a three-week trip to California’s deserts and coast. Peak Design sent me its Slide, Clutch and CapturePRO tools.

 A unique aspect of Peak Design’s product line is that in addition to being well thought out in terms of aesthetic, design and materials, everything works together in a symbiotic relationship. This makes Peak Design a one-stop-shop for your camera gear needs.

Upon receipt, I was immediately impressed: the packaging is a 10. Attention to detail from the get-go is spot on, and the materials used in construction are solid, lightweight and well thought out. Each piece is well designed and intended to make functionality and user experience a top priority. Not to mention making your camera look even sexier than it already does. It’s like a face-lift for your gear and will garner compliments from even the manliest, bearded men.

The first aspect of design that sets Peak Design apart from its competitors is its attachment system. It utilizes Anchor Links that attach to your camera via your camera’s attachments locations and can be left on at all times. And if you invest in several other products such as Clutch or CapturePRO it provides you with Arca-Swiss compatible tripod plates that screw into the base of your camera and have slots for Anchor Links, which is pretty slick. This makes for an incredibly clean and uncluttered camera body that is ready for any of Peak Design’s straps on a whim. When you want to attach a strap you simply slide the Anchor Link into the Link Clips and boom, it’s done!

I don’t use a neck strap very often, but for when I do I have tried pretty much every style and design out there—from neoprene suspension styles to other high-end manufacturers, and none have fit my needs just right. What I love about Peak Design’s Slide is it’s fast to attach and de-attach when not needed, incredibly quick to adjust length on the fly, and does not screw into the bottom of your camera, taking up valuable tripod mounting plate real estate. This last point is huge for me. It is also incredibly comfortable and sturdy.

The Clutch hand strap blew me away. No joke. I cannot tell you how many different hand straps I have used, and they are all the same: clunky, hard to attach, and difficult to adjust. I use a hand strap full-time, and one is always attached to my camera body. This product doesn't disappoint: it is comfortable, super quick and easy to adjust tension with one hand, and if you decide you would like it removed, simply un-click the Anchor Link from the Link Clip on the bottom of your camera and boom, done! I like this strap and can’t see myself switching to another product anytime soon.

The final product I want to discuss is the Capture and CapturePRO system. This product is genius and yet so simple that I think it will change the game for all styles of photographer out there. The product takes advantage of a super sturdy all-aluminum construction that is also very lightweight. The concept of this product is to have your camera in an easily accessible and convenient location outside of your camera bag, saving you from digging for your camera when that shot happens. Your camera clicks into the Capture lock that you can mount to any flat surface on your backpack, belt, etc.

For those of us who use tripods, Peak Design has thought through many prohibiting aspects trying to accommodate all of our needs. First, if you have a proprietary mounting plate that is not Arca-Swiss, you can still take advantage of this system by attaching one of Peak Design’s Clips to the tripod plate you are currently using and leave that plate clipped into your head. You will need to have a separate Clip for your bag, belt, etc., but this is a pretty neat universal design allowing shooters to use their existing system in conjunction with the CapturePRO system.

The only drawback with this product, especially for landscape photographers like me, is the lack of a better attachment method for L-bracket users. This makes for an added item to be mounted to the base of your bracket. On the positive side, it adds minimal weight, but on the negative side, it does not mount flush to the back of my camera’s body.

I have spoken to some of the guys at Peak Design about this asked and if they have any future plans for creating L-brackets for several primary camera bodies that most landscape photographers utilize and there has been no word as of late.

A potential work-around for this would be to notch out small grooves on the mounting plate itself allowing the user to be able to better fine-tune the mounting process as a dedicated L-bracket may not be necessary. I also can’t see how having a proprietary Peak Design L-bracket with the attachment portion all-in-one would save any height or weight, save a couple of grams and millimeters. But, if they do decide to do this and create one for us I know it will work well and look super sexy.

The team over at Peak Design is not just putting another product out on the market hoping for a piece of the financial pie. They are photographers who need a real product and are combining this with an educated approach to design and workflow. I like what they are doing, and I am looking forward to future product designs and improvements on the already awesome products in their line.

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Joseph Roybal is a professional landscape and portrait travel photographer based in Denver, Colorado. Check out his work at his website: http://www.josephroybal.com/

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio camera clip camera hand strap camera strap capture pro capturepro clutch joe roybal joseph roybal peak Design product review product spotlight professional photographer slide http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/5/product-spotlight-peak-design-slide-clutch-and-capturepro Mon, 11 May 2015 16:00:00 GMT
MpixPro Gallery Wraps are 25% off! http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/5/mpixpro-gallery-wraps-are-25-off

 

With spring in full bloom, now is the perfect time to create a fresh look with your wall art. Turn your photos into beautiful 1.5” and 2.5” gallery wraps and print wraps and save 25% now through May 13.

With MpixPro gallery wraps, you can feature your photos as high-end art pieces. Even better, they arrive as finished products ready to hang.

As always, no coupon code is necessary when you order through your Zenfolio account. This sale ends May 13 at 11:59 p.m. PDT, so be sure to place your orders today.

Important Details Regarding the Sale

  • This sale will be effective from 11-May-15 at 12:01 a.m. PDT until 13-May-15 at 11:59 p.m. PDT and cannot be extended outside of this time frame. The discount applies to MpixPro 1.5” and 2.5” gallery wraps and print wraps only.
  • This discount cannot be combined with other promotions.
  • For photographers placing orders from Edit View, the promotion requires no coupon code.
  • The discount applies to base lab prices and will be reflected in the shopping cart only for orders placed from Edit View.
  • This Zenfolio promotion does not change any price lists that the photographer has created, and the discount will only be visible to photographers while logged in. Customers’ orders will not show a price discount. The discounted prices will be reflected as giving photographers a higher profit for each order.  
  • For more information, please read our Sales FAQ and blog post on how to run a sale on your site.

 

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio gallery wrap sale mpixpro print sale sale http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/5/mpixpro-gallery-wraps-are-25-off Mon, 11 May 2015 07:01:00 GMT
Friday Foto Favorites 5.8 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/5/friday-foto-favorites-5-8

  1. Top iPhone editing apps for better photos.
  2. Star Wars Day was this week. These individuals took advantage to help promote pet adoption.
  3. Yes, it’s come to this. Introducing the selfie arm.
  4. A ray of sunshine? Try a beam of moonlight.
  5. Artfully fed
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(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio best photos favorites featured photos weekly round up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/5/friday-foto-favorites-5-8 Fri, 08 May 2015 16:00:00 GMT
Travel Series: The Beauty of Nepal http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/5/travel-series-the-beauty-of-nepal

Spring has finally sprung, and you know what that means: travel season is here. In this series, we take a look at the lives of travel photographers who climb, crawl, and photograph their way to the ends of the earth to feed their biggest passion.

 

Our second installment takes us to Nepal. With all the chaos and disaster currently taking place, it’s important to focus on the good, and how to help. We encourage you to donate to the Red Cross to aid in their relief. Here we talk to travel photographer Jill Schneider about her time in her “second home.”

How did you get started in photography?

I first started getting interested in photography in high school. I was never at the top of my class, but I loved it. I went to college at the University of Arizona and majored in psychology and family studies. I took photography classes, but more as a hobby. When I graduated, I did not feel I was ready to go and get a masters in psychology so instead I went abroad and spent seven months traveling on my own in Europe, Morocco, Nepal, India, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. Digital photography was just starting to get popular, and I set off with my 4-megapixel camera. I took photos along the way and didn’t think anything of it. When I returned home, I saw a travel photography exhibit at a café and thought to myself, ‘My photos may be just as good. Perhaps I should try to get into the show.’ I was accepted into the coffee house exhibition, and that led to me getting into multiple gallery shows. I bought a better camera and kept traveling. Still not ready to commit to psychology, I got a job in real estate. When my photographs started selling, I decided to quit my job to get my Masters in photography at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. This was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

What camera do you use?

I used the Canon Rebel XTI for several years, but when I decided to complete my Master’s thesis project in the Himalayas, the Academy of Art recommended that I buy a better camera. I got the Canon 5D Mark II, and I’ve been using it ever since. It is a great camera! People always ask what cameras and lenses I use. The truth is, there are many great cameras on the market. The most important thing in photography is learning how to see. The gear is secondary. You must learn how to see light, understand composition, learn the technical aspects of photography, and most importantly, learn how to see and capture a moment.

Why Nepal?

Visiting Nepal changed my perspective on the world and myself. It was challenging at times but also very beautiful, and I met amazing people along the way. Being there was the first time I thought ‘Wow, there is a whole other side of the world that I didn’t know existed.’ Once I started taking photography classes, I wished that I had my newfound skills when I went the first time. Because of that, I decided to go back and complete my thesis project in the Himalayas in 2010. I spent nine months traveling throughout Nepal, India, Kashmir, Bhutan and Tibet. Nepal was my home base. The people are really wonderful and kind. There is so much to see and do in Nepal; the culture is very interesting; and the Annapurna Mountain range is the most beautiful landscape I have ever seen. I have always had very positive experiences there, and that’s why I am always drawn back.

You did a thesis project in Nepal called Dharma Path. Tell us about that.

I was not sure what direction my project would go when I first arrived in Nepal. During my first week there I photographed a street sign that said Dharma Path. At first this meant nothing to me; it was just a picture. But the longer I spent in Nepal, the more sense the sign made. My entire trip turned out to be based much more around religion than I originally thought it would. Religion is a very important in that part of the world, and just by being there I was exposed to Buddhism, Hinduism and subsets of that. Throughout the duration of my trip, I encountered many similarities and contrasts between the different cultures. What remained constant among the people were their strength and generosity, unwavering faith and spirit, and hope for a better life, otherwise known as dharma. Being in this part of the world made me realize we worry about things that are so significant in our eyes, but related to the rest of the world we really have absolutely nothing to complain about.

How do you get people to open up and allow you to take their photograph?

Going on this trip, I didn’t want to just take photos and have it solely benefit myself. I wanted to find some way to help and give back. I decided to volunteer during my travels so my photographs would get a bit deeper than the typical tourist shot. I wanted to get immersed into a specific community and really get to know the people that I was photographing. I learned that when people feel comfortable around you, they will open up to you photographically. Many times, people feel very flattered that you want to take a photo of them, and they love seeing it afterward on your screen. During my time in Asia, I volunteered teaching English at a school in a slum, taking care of babies at an orphanage, and teaching monks English.

When I returned back to San Francisco after I completed my project, I had a fundraiser at a gallery to raise money for the various organizations I worked with while abroad.

You lead student trips for National Geographic. Can you tell us about that?

I’ve been leading trips for National Geographic Student Expeditions for the past four summers. I have led photography trips in Ecuador and the Galapagos, Iceland, San Francisco, and Prague. This coming summer, I will be leading a photo workshop in Barcelona. Since my first summer working with them, I have been saying that they need to have a trip to Nepal. Finally, they agreed and sent me to Nepal this past summer to scout two new community service trips. I spent two weeks meeting with contacts, visiting hotels, and different villages as potential community service sites. Two wonderful trips have been planned. Unfortunately, with the circumstances around the earthquake, these trips have been canceled for the summer due to safety reasons. They will be up and running again next year, and I think it will be a life-changing trip for the students who get to participate.

What’s your biggest takeaway from travel photography?

Traveling and travel photography make me appreciate my life. I have learned more traveling than I ever did in school. I love experiencing different cultures around the world. It’s an addictive thing. When you travel, you see many incredible things. You learn to slow down and appreciate what you are surrounded by. Some days can be challenging, lonely or tiring, but it makes me feel alive to get out there and explore, especially with my camera.

Traveling makes me a more resilient person. It shows me my strengths and weaknesses and has proven to me over and over again that I am stronger than I thought. It has made me much more confident and self-reliant. If I can open people’s eyes up to the world, show them something new, and make them feel an emotion with my photographs, I have done my job as a travel photographer.

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Jill Schneider is a travel and freelance photographer based in San Francisco, California. To learn more or view her work, visit www.jillhsphotography.com or follow her on Instagram @jillhsphotography.

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(ZenBlog) Jill Schneider Nepal Nepal earthquake Zenfolio red cross travel photographer travel photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/5/travel-series-the-beauty-of-nepal Wed, 06 May 2015 16:01:00 GMT
Photographer's Corner: The Secrets of Creating a Beautiful Portrait http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/5/photographers-corner-the-secrets-of-creating-a-beautiful-portrait

An Interview with Florence Finburgh

“I will never have a studio, because I want my images to be different,” says Florence Finburgh, a portrait photographer based in London. The talented fashion wholesaler-turned mom-turned photographer credits her career to her two children: Sebastian, 16 in June, and Mathilda, 12. “I just love being surrounded by children, and I think it’s the innocence that every child expresses that is just so wonderful.”

We learned the secrets to her successful portrait photography business and why she will never have a studio.

How did you learn photography?

I’m completely self-taught and learned by practice mainly on my children. I think that’s the best way because you don’t get influenced by anyone and you can really find your style. That is important because you can get lost when you look at other people’s work and think, ‘oh I just want to be like her,’ and then you take the same images but it doesn’t really suit you.

Who are your main clientele?

I specialize in pregnancy, newborn babies, children and family portraiture, and I’m also a school photographer for different schools in London.

Which is the most difficult to shoot?

Newborns. I do quite a lot of newborn photography, which is completely different than [photographing] children because with a newborn session, you’re much more involved with the parents. What I like to do is show the love between the parents and the child; I think it’s very important. It’s very tricky. It’s probably the most challenging part of my job, but it’s also the one I enjoy the most.

What is your secret to getting children to stay still and smile?

You have to make them feel at ease and feel comfortable, especially since I do a lot of close-ups. I’m very much involved with the child when I take their portrait. I think also if you work with children, it’s best to work alone and not have the parents around. The last thing you want is to have the parent behind you saying ‘Say cheese!’ I think children react differently when they’ve got their parents around. I also like to praise them to say that they do a good job because it gives them confidence, which is very important.

Nikon or Canon?

When I was 18 my father gave me a film camera so I started with Nikon. Now I shoot with D3S, but I’m planning to upgrade to a D4S. The lens I use for most of my shoots are the two prime lenses: the 50 and the 85, the 1.4.

What products are your bestsellers?

I sell a lot of prints as small as 5x7 and up to 12x10. I also offer hand-painted frames which are actually my bestsellers. I didn’t want to offer a frame my clients could find anywhere. The frames I offer are hand-painted and hand-picked by me.

What is the secret special sauce you use in your photography?

I never use any flash or any reflectors, so I really have to understand the light. I also don’t have a studio. I want the challenge of actually not knowing where I’m going. Some of my images are shot in parks. We’ve got so many beautiful parks in London or outside London that are fantastic. A lot of my family sessions are done at private homes or in the garden.

If you’re an artist, you really can see the world differently. I’m constantly shooting or admiring what’s around me, whether it’s people walking, interacting with their children or even nature. It’s just the beauty of the world, and that inspires me tremendously in my work.

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Florence Finburgh is a portrait photographer based in London. For more information visit her website at www.florencefinburghphotography.com

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(ZenBlog) Photographer's Q&A Zenfolio beautiful portrait corner" florence florence finburgh interview photographers corner professional photographer professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/5/photographers-corner-the-secrets-of-creating-a-beautiful-portrait Mon, 04 May 2015 16:00:00 GMT
Friday Foto Favorites 5.1 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/5/friday-foto-favorites-5-1

  1. The destruction and devastation in Nepal is real. See for yourself.
  2. Is it a commune? An island? A boat? Or all of the above?
  3. Are these the earliest color photos known to man?
  4. Honey on humans proves to be very artistic.
  5. Gorgeous opera houses around the world. 
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(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio best photos favorites featured photos weekly round up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/5/friday-foto-favorites-5-1 Fri, 01 May 2015 16:01:00 GMT
Celebrate Cyber May Day with 40% off Everything! http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/5/the-big-may-day-sale-40-off

Here’s the skinny: for the second year in a row, we’re declaring our own holiday—Cyber May Day. Get 40% off an upgrade with code mayday40 for today only AND save 40% on prints and products from Ivoke, IYP, Mpix, MpixPro, Nulab, NuShots, One Vision Imaging and PhotoBox.


And while you’re at it, share the Zen love with your family and friends! Today your referrals can score the Cyber May Day discount in addition to your 10 percent referral discount. That’s more reasons for them to sign up and more referral credits for you! Learn more about our new stacking referral discounts.

 

You dig?

Important Details Regarding the Sale:

  • This sale will be effective from 1-May-15 at 12:01 a.m. PDT until 1-May-15 at 11:59 p.m. PDT and cannot be extended outside of this time frame.
  • The promo code is only valid on new subscriptions, upgrades and add-ons. Prints and products will be automatically discounted (no code needed).
  • The discount does not apply to renewals, fotoflot, PiP or Miller’s products.
  • A single new account promotional code can be combined with a referral code.
  • The discount applies to base lab prices and will be reflected in the shopping cart only for orders placed from Edit View.
  • This Zenfolio promotion does not change any price lists that the photographer has created, and the discount will only be visible to photographers while logged in. Customers’ orders will not show a price discount. The discounted prices will be reflected as giving photographers a higher profit for each order.  
  • Please read our Sales FAQ and blog post on how to run a sale on your site for more information.
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(ZenBlog) Cyber May Day IYP Imaging Ivoke Mpix MpixPro NuShots Nulab One PhotoBox Vision Zenfolio marketing photography portfolio sale selling http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/5/the-big-may-day-sale-40-off Fri, 01 May 2015 07:01:00 GMT
50 Shades of SEO: Link Your Way to the Top http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/50-shades-of-seo-how-to-link-your-way-to-the-top  

Link your Way to the Top

By Eugene Feygin

SEO: it 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 first installment of our SEO series, we talk about link building, a crucial element in gaining traction to your website.

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Why are links such a dominant part of SEO?

The point of getting a link from another website is that search engines use this as one of the leading metrics in deciding who ranks at the top of the page.

Imagine that you are an expert at photographing corporate events, and your friend works at an industry-leading corporate company and tells his friends that you’re the best. Linking is basically the same concept, but when a site links to your site they are publicly endorsing you (kind of like LinkedIn). When they use certain phrases such as “best corporate photographer” to link back to your site from their corporate site, search engines see that as a signal that a website may be relevant to a user’s search for the best corporate photographer. If they are authoritative enough, that endorsement alone can boost you toward the top of search results.

You might read this and say, “Well then I am going to try to get a lot of links from all of my friends linking back to me with the phrase or keyword I am targeting.” Due to manipulation over the years, that is a bad idea.

Search engines have spotted this technique and have caught on that their algorithm simply needs to get better at sifting through those types of strategies. Regardless of this advancement, links are still a huge aspect of your rank or position on Google.

How do you get more links?

Here is where it gets a little dicey. Search engines do not want you to ask for links, and yet they are still important.

Since links are a critical piece to the game, asking for links needs to be a strategic process. For starters, it’s important to consider the text that makes up your link—not the destination link, but the actual text that is clicked that links a visitors to your page. Sometime it’s a graphic that links to your page, but ideally it would be text so that a bit more information is provided when the site is indexed regarding what the link is directing to. This text that links to your page is called anchor text. Your best bet is not to specify the keyword(s) you want the website to use when linking back to you. This will ensure there is enough variety, and even if they just link back to you with your website address it is still a signal to search engines that an authoritative figure is linking back to your site as a qualitative resource (even if it’s a nofollow link).

What is a nofollow link?

When a site links to another site they are in essence saying that this is a great site and we are backing it 100 percent. A similar idea would be this: You work at a large company and your best friend wants a job. You go to HR and you put his/her resume on the table and tell them that you vouch for them. You are in essence increasing their chances of getting the job simply because you already have authority/importance at the company. In link building, this would be associated with a dofollow link (a typical link). In that same workplace example, if your best friend wants the job but you simply tell them where to apply, you are essentially helping them get the job but you are not vouching for them in any way. We would call this a nofollow tag.

Typically if you’re linking to any website outside of your own, you need to be careful who you link to. Otherwise, simply use a nofollow tag to not associate with the website. Most people use this tag if they are promoting a product or are being paid for advertising, or they simply want to provide a resource to their readers but not pass their authority onto the resource. By default most links are dofollow links.

What is an authoritative figure?

In the past, marketing experts relied on the page rank of a site to determine authority on the web, but that metric is slowly being phased out. Instead, think of authority in a different fashion. Some experts have mentioned that this metric may be removed completely as it has not been updated in more than a year. However, until that happens we are still stuck with this as our online yardstick.

Often an authoritative individual or company in an area will have a strong presence in the community as well as on the web. In the end, it depends on who you assess is your target market and where you can intersect that market utilizing the authority of several key players in your area. Don’t think of finding a person just to get a link to your site or a retweet. Think about how they can help your business as a whole. Maybe you can partner with other companies in your field to create a stronger brand that can offer multiple services and at the same time support one another. Photographer Central is a great example of a specific referring site with authority in the photography industry. In the end, it all boils down to your marketing strategy.

How do I get a recommendation from this authoritative figure?

Strategies vary greatly. You can guest author on blogs since blogs need content and will provide an attribution link at the bottom of the post. Another option would be to simply provide some kind of service that can benefit the followers in their industry. You need to understand that, as an industry leader, the industry looks at that individual or company constantly for insight and direction. If that leader is absent or not being proactive then they are downgraded from their status. Ideally the goal is to become an industry leader, but to become one is tougher than to stay one.

Additional link-building opportunities:

  • Sign up for authoritative directories in your industry such as PhotographerCentral.com.
  • Create content or information that will be useful to your industry and promote it heavily. For example, tips on proper lighting techniques, types of lenses to use for different applications, or how to properly price prints as well as your service. People will link to this information (also known as link bait) and in return provide you with authority from their site.
  • Provide photography service for a charity or an event that could potentially link back to you when they post the photos with your credit link. Make sure to not specify the keyword for them to use.
  • Examine authoritative sites that already link to your competitors within your area as well as beyond and see if any of their links are broken (go to nonexistent pages). Then ask if they would be interested in linking to your company instead.
  • Examine what links your competitors have pointing to them and find out how you can be included.
  • Reach out to local universities and schools where your knowledge could benefit their students’ education—from teaching a class on lighting to showing the latest Photoshop editing techniques.
  • Try to get in the news by releasing case studies or controversial information (such as the case in Indiana right now—maybe you have an opinion you would like to voice).
  • Sponsor a local organization or club.
  • Get on review sites, such as: Yelp, Google+, Facebook, Angie’s List, etc… This is crucial for brand perception and most photographers ignore these channels!

Not all links are created equal

Consider the relationship. If Annie Leibovitz recommended you to her friends for a photo gig versus your friend next door (who knows nothing about photography), think of the impact that recommendation or link can have on your business. If a link comes from a site that is not related to your field it may have less influence on your position in search—even more so if that link comes from an individual who has very little authority in the field.

Giving helps you grow

It’s important to examine how you can help other people and/or organizations in your community. This will help you establish your company in the offline and online world as an industry leader. Think about the last conference you went to and how many speakers presented on a variety of topics? These individuals/companies are not only educating but also promoting their business, and most likely the event has a website that will list links for each speaker and more information about them. Think about how you can help your community with your skill set and just maybe they will help you in return. Whether it’s a link or simply a recommendation, either one grows your business.

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

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio authoritative figure eugene feygin fifty shades of SEO links marketing seo seo links seo marketing http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/50-shades-of-seo-how-to-link-your-way-to-the-top Mon, 27 Apr 2015 16:00:00 GMT
Our New Referral Program Gives Your Friends an Extra Perk http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/mayday-sale-share-your-referral-code

We’ve made updates to our Referral Program, so now your friends have even more of an incentive to sign up. When a sale is happening, your friends can now use BOTH their referral discount AND the sale discount stacked to get a better deal.  

Here’s how it works: Let’s say Zenfolio has a Fourth of July Sale, where everyone gets 35 percent off their favorite prints, products and new subscriptions. Your best friend signs up with the Fourth of July Sale promo code to get 35 percent off his new account. And now, he can stack on your referral discount of 10 percent off, giving him the greatest deal possible.

What does this mean for you? When we’re having a sale, you get more referral credit. Simply promote our sale to family and friends and tell them to use your referral code for an additional 10% discount. Just like before, every time a friend or family member signs up and uses your referral code, you get both 10 percent off an account for them, and credit for you! Use this credit toward renewals or print and product orders. If you receive enough credit in one year, you’ll get fabulous prizes!  

Read more about our updated Referral Program in the Help Guide.

Spread the word!

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio photography referral credit referral discount referral program referrals http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/mayday-sale-share-your-referral-code Mon, 27 Apr 2015 13:01:00 GMT
Friday Foto Favorites 4.24 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/friday-foto-favorites-4-24

  1. Did you celebrate Earth Day? Here are some spectacular aerial shots.
  2. A rescued bird quickly becomes part of the family.
  3. The photographer that no one knew, but should have.
  4. The beauty of having daughters.
  5. Is it a human? Is it nature? Or are they one and the same

 

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(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio best photos favorites featured photos weekly round up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/friday-foto-favorites-4-24 Fri, 24 Apr 2015 16:01:00 GMT
Take Advantage of Mother’s Day to Make More Money http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/take-advantage-of-mother-s-day-to-make-more-money

You do everything right to market your photo business: you send out regular emails to clients, blog about your most recent shoots, and post your work regularly to social media. But there’s more you can do: taking advantage of the holidays. And guess what’s coming up? Mother’s Day!

Holidays are a great time to make more money: you can host a sale on your site for those special days, which could be a discounted session or prints and products. Take advantage this Mother’s Day so clients will have an incentive to buy something for mom. Here are some ideas:

  1. Feature Mother’s Day gifts on your homepage such as a photo mug, photo book, or framed print.
  2. Create a Mother’s Day package.
  3. Discount a family portrait session just for Mother’s Day.
  4. Have a surprise gift that comes along with purchases just for mom.

 

Once you come up with an idea, promote the sale! Read our guide to having a sale on your site in our comprehensive guide.

Oh, and don’t forget to call your own mom and wish her a Happy Mother’s Day!

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(ZenBlog) Mother's Day portraits Zenfolio marketing photographer photography professional photography selling http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/take-advantage-of-mother-s-day-to-make-more-money Thu, 23 Apr 2015 16:00:00 GMT
Behind the Shot with Jeff Cable http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/behind-the-shot-with-jeff-cable

A picture is worth a thousand words, sure. But have you ever wondered what was reeling in the minds of the photographer as soon as they released the shutter? We asked Pro Team member Jeff Cable to share his personal favorite shots and the stories behind them. Here, Jeff recounts what it took to get that perfect shot.

“Early in 2014, I was fortunate to photograph my fourth Olympic Games for Team USA. I love this shot from the US vs. Canada semifinal hockey game because of how much is going on in this one frame. There is a mass of humanity in front of the net, the goal tender intensely watching the play, and the puck in the frame. The idea of photography is to tell a story, and this single frame shows how hard both teams were fighting to win that game.”

“This race car shot is very special to me because it was taken at the Indianapolis Speedway at 1/40 sec with me panning along with the car. It is tough enough to pan handheld and get a clear shot of the car, but I had never tried shooting a fast-moving race car at such a slow shutter speed. I was happily surprised to see how perfectly sharp the car was, with perfect focus and panning speed. I started panning at 1/100 sec, and then moved to 1/80, 1/60 and eventually tried to push myself to see if I could grab this frame at 1/40.”

“I recently returned from a week of photography in Costa Rica; I went there hoping to get a nice shot of these beautifully colored tree frogs. On my second day in Costa Rica, I was lucky enough to get this tree frog as my subject. After shooting numerous photos of him, he put his hand up as if giving me the signal that he had enough posing. The expression on the frog’s face still makes me laugh.”

 

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(ZenBlog) Behind the Shot Jeff Cable Olympics Photography Sports photographer Zenfolio professional photographer http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/behind-the-shot-with-jeff-cable Mon, 20 Apr 2015 16:00:00 GMT
Save 25% on MpixPro Photographic Prints! http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/save-25-on-mpixpro-photographic-prints

You work hard to take the best photos, so why choose anything less than professional quality prints? Now through April 22, all MpixPro photographic prints are 25% off!

 

As always, no coupon code is necessary when you order through your Zenfolio account. This sale ends April 22 at 11:59 p.m. PDT, so be sure to place your orders today.

Important Details Regarding the Sale

  • This sale will be effective from 20-Apr-15 at 12:01 a.m. PDT until 22-Apr-15 at 11:59 p.m. PDT and cannot be extended outside of this time frame. The discount applies to MpixPro prints only. This discount cannot be combined with other promotions.
  • For photographers placing orders from Edit View, the promotion requires no coupon code.
  • The discount applies to base lab prices and will be reflected in the shopping cart only for orders placed from Edit View.
  • This Zenfolio promotion does not change any price lists that the photographer has created, and the discount will only be visible to photographers while logged in. Customers’ orders will not show a price discount. The discounted prices will be reflected as giving photographers a higher profit for each order.  
  • For more information, please read our Sales FAQ and blog post on how to run a sale on your site.
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(ZenBlog) MpixPRO sale Zenfolio mpixpro print sale professional photographer professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/save-25-on-mpixpro-photographic-prints Mon, 20 Apr 2015 07:01:00 GMT
Friday Foto Favorites 4.17 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/friday-foto-favorites-4-17

  1. Don’t have a crew? This photographer got extremely creative.
  2. What it looks like from a drone’s perspective.
  3.  This couple decided to go underwater for their wedding portraits.
  4. This is the generation of beards.
  5. What a lion looks like right before he attacks. 

 

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(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio best photos favorites featured photos weekly round up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/friday-foto-favorites-4-17 Fri, 17 Apr 2015 16:00:00 GMT
Product Spotlight: Lexar Professional Workflow System http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/product-spotlight-lexar-professional-workflow-system

For all the time that we spend scrutinizing our gear and workflow, sometimes our focus in one area can leave a gaping hole somewhere else. The weak link in the chain is not made apparent until the right tool makes it more efficient. Then, like a lightning bolt, you wonder why you didn’t make that change years ago. That was exactly my experience when first using the Lexar Professional Workflow system.

Let’s travel back to a time, not long ago, before I had examined my file transfer and backup workflow. Upon returning from a wedding shoot, I would dump all the cards on the desk, plug the first one directly into the computer CF card reader port and another into a generic USB CF card reader. I’d walk away and come back later hoping those were done, so that I could repeat the process with two more cards until all the cards were downloaded. I then backed up the whole set onto two other external drives—one that lives on my desktop and another portable one that goes with me for culling on the road. In hindsight, it’s kind of sad and almost embarrassing to share my old file transfer flow with you.

Luckily, I had someone show me a different way. Zenfolio Pro Team member Jeff Cable introduced the Lexar Professional Workflow system to me through his previous Favorite Things giveaway since it was one of his prizes. But it got me thinking about my own workflow and wondering why it was one of Jeff’s favorite things. It turns out there are a few obvious benefits that make the Lexar Professional Workflow system worth examining.

1. It has a modular system

Lexar has made the whole system around the Workflow Hub, a 4-bay tower that accepts any of the many types of Workflow units. There are two types of Workflow units: card readers and backup flash-based drives. There are different card readers for your needs, including CF, SDHC, SDXC, XQD, and Cfast. You also have your choice of 256GB and 512GB storage devices. Each of these units can be used directly with your computer without the hub, or you can insert any combination of the units into the Workflow Hub. I’m currently using all CF cards to download my wedding shoot images, and then I’ll slot in a 512GB storage drive to back it all up. Then I take that little storage drive with me to cull the set on my laptop when I’m away from my main workhorse desktop computer.

2. It has fast downloading and even faster file transfer

The first noticeable difference is the blazing speed. USB 3.0 is much faster than almost all other options out there, and it considerably reduced the time it takes for me to download my files to my computer. Transferring files from my computer to the D512 drive unit was extremely fast. This is particularly rewarding when you have just patiently waited for all the cards to download and now the whole backup of the set takes only as much time as a single card. I’ve gone with the HR1 version, which is a USB 3.0 reader, but Lexar also has a version called the HR2 that uses USB 3.0 as well as Thunderbolt 2.

3. It has a sleek design and is lightweight

Using Lexar’s workflow system is not quite as minimal as what I was doing before since I now have tons of extra USB 3.0 cables laying around, but it’s much more efficient and convenient. Those are the two big ingredients I look for to improve my workflow. An added perk is that it’s pretty easy on the eyes—sexy even. If I have to have another tower on my desk to improve my file-transfer workflow, at least it has a sleek design and doesn’t detract from the overall aesthetic of the workspace. I also appreciate the lightweight design as I take the units along with me—they are much lighter than my previous drives.

All in all, I’m a fan. It’s certainly another big item to have on the desk, but in the end it’s improved my workflow for file transferring. I highly recommend it—especially to those who, like me, have a functional workflow in place but haven’t examined it in a while. This may be a refreshingly helpful tool that you didn’t know you needed.

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Evan Chung is a San Francisco Bay Area wedding photographer and an expert in online web presence. His beautiful and engaging images showcase his love for people and capturing emotions on camera while his photography seminars and workshops display his passion for website excellence. It is easy to see his dedication to his craft and his desire to reinvest back into the photography community. Check out his work at www.EvanChungPhoto.com.

 

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(ZenBlog) Evan Chung Zenfolio file transfer lexar product spotlight professional photographer professional photography professional workflow workflow http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/product-spotlight-lexar-professional-workflow-system Mon, 13 Apr 2015 16:00:00 GMT
Save Big and Earn More Cash with Free Mpix Shipping http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/save-big-and-earn-more-cash-with-free-mpix-shipping

Get ready to fill up your shopping cart! From April 13-15, get free standard shipping on Mpix orders with a base price of $15 or more.

The $15 minimum applies to your base prices, and the free standard shipping option will appear during checkout. This special offer will automatically be applied to your clients if their orders exceed $15 of base lab cost.

Plus, if you’re a Premium or Premium Business subscriber, you can also extend the sale to your clients to make more money! There are several ways you can offer the sale to your clients, including creating a coupon, creating a banner on your site, sending out a promotional email, and more. We walk you though all the options and details in our print sale guide.

If you have order approval turned on, don’t forget to approve all orders during the sale. Learn more about hosting sales by reading our Sales FAQ.

Spread the news and make more money!

Important Details Regarding the Sale

  • This sale will be effective from 13-Apr-2015 at 12:01 a.m. PDT until 15-Apr-2015 at 11:59 p.m. PDT and cannot be extended outside of this time frame. The discount applies to prints and products from Mpix only on orders with a base lab cost of more than $15.
  • Only orders with a destination address in the United States are eligible for free USPS shipping.
  • This discount cannot be combined with other promotions.
  • For photographers placing orders from Edit View, the promotion requires no coupon code.
  • The discount will be visible to both photographers and their clients in the shopping cart if the order is valid for this promotion.
  • This Zenfolio promotion does not change any price lists that the photographer has created.
  • For more information, please read our Sales FAQ and blog post on how to run a sale on your site.
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(ZenBlog) Mpix Zenfolio mpix mpix sale mpix shipping photography professional photography sale shipping sale http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/save-big-and-earn-more-cash-with-free-mpix-shipping Mon, 13 Apr 2015 07:01:00 GMT
Friday Foto Favorites 4.10 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/friday-foto-favorites-4-10

  1. Surf’s up!
  2. What turning 30 means to these individuals.
  3. This photographer let his imagination come out into his art.
  4. From Eric Clapton to Joni Mitchell, Lookout Mountain proved to be the sanctuary where music magic was born.
  5. How to overcome the social obstacle of photography.

 

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(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio best photos favorites featured photos weekly round up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/friday-foto-favorites-4-10 Fri, 10 Apr 2015 16:01:00 GMT