ZenBlog: Blog http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) ZenBlog (ZenBlog) Fri, 26 Aug 2016 16:06:00 GMT Fri, 26 Aug 2016 16:06:00 GMT New! Add Free Pre-Selected Products to Your Packages http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/8/new-add-free-pre-selected-products-to-your-packages Instantly enhance the value of your packages by adding a free pre-selected product within the same gallery! Zenfolio Advanced Plan holders can use this feature to take their selling power to the next level. As a photographer, you may want to offer an incentive for your clients to buy packages by offering a pre-selected product (as a bonus) with the package. You choose what photo and product (or products) you will offer in advance. For example, if you are a school photographer, you may want to offer a free group class photo with your package. This feature enables you to do just that.

 

  • Add pre-selected products to both single-image and multi-image packages

  • Offer any product that is a part of the current package

  • Offer as many products as there are in the current package

  • Offer unlimited units of the free product

 

You can add a pre-selected product to a package in three steps within your Zenfolio account dashboard:

 

  1. Go to Selling > Packages > pick one of your existing packages > select the product you want to offer a pre-selected bonus for.

  2. Designate the pre-selected product that will be used with the pre-selected photo by attaching a keyword tag--use the default “preselected,” or create a custom tag.

  3. Use the same keyword, or custom tag, to designate the pre-selected photo to the product you are offering as a bonus.

 

And voila! Your client will see the free product (say, a 8x10 group class photo) when they view the package. For more detailed step-by-step instructions, check out the Zenfolio Support Center page here.

 

This exclusive selling feature is one of many tools in Zenfolio’s Advanced Plan. If you have a Starter or Pro Plan, log into your account and upgrade today to take advantage of all of the perks that come with the Advanced Plan!


Happy Selling!

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio marketing packages photographer photography professional photography selling http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/8/new-add-free-pre-selected-products-to-your-packages Fri, 26 Aug 2016 16:01:00 GMT
Zenfolio partners with the British Institute of Professional Photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/8/zenfolio-partners-with-the-british-institute-of-professional-photography

Zenfolio is proud to announce our latest partner, the British Institute of Professional Photography! A partnership founded on mutual interest, BIPP and Zenfolio share the common vision of providing photographers with the essential tools and training needed to be successful.

Founded in 1901, the BIPP began with a core aim of supporting photographers and enabling them to be the best that they could be. In 2016 this hasn’t changed, and today the BIPP is internationally recognised as one of the leading qualifying bodies for professional photographers.

A non-profit organisation, BIPP provides education and professional development for photographers by offering a challenging three-tier qualification program along with training courses, events and a number of preferential deals on useful products and services. With members worldwide across every discipline of photography, BIPP also works with a number of colleges, including the Defence School of Photography and the College of Policing, to ensure the future of the professional photographic industry.

Through BIPP’s three-tier qualification program, qualified members progress from Licentiate, to Associate, to Fellow, with a Fellowship being considered one of the highest accolades a professional photographer can achieve. With each qualification tier comes an added degree of respect and recognition among peers, while assuring potential clients that they are hiring one of the best photographers available.

 

Credit: David Wheeler FBIPP

 

Save 50% on a Portfolio Review!

In celebration of our new partnership, we are pleased to be able to offer a 50% discount on portfolio reviews, exclusively for Zenfolio members.

Portfolio reviews are 45-50 minute informal appointments with BIPP Assessors, taking place in-person as one-to-one appointments all over the UK. In a portfolio review, the photographer brings 40 low resolution images on a laptop or tablet, to go through with a BIPP Assessor. The Assessor will provide tips and input on where their work might sit within the BIPP qualification structure, offering valuable input to help them with their next steps toward becoming an accredited photographer.  

To book a portfolio review with your exclusive 50% discount, call the BIPP office on 01296 642020 or email jane@bipp.com, quoting ZenfolioReview.

Note: since Portfolio Reviews are pre-booked appointments they are subject to availability.

 

Credit: Bryn Griffiths FBIPP

 

Says Chris Harper FBIPP (BIPP Chief Executive) on our exciting new partnership:

“The BIPP has a great tradition of working with our partners within photography.  We do this to strengthen the profession and to offer the very best products and services to our members.  I’m delighted that Zenfolio has joined us as a BIPP Partner and I look forward to working with their team so we can, together, offer a series of real benefits to the professional photographers we are here to support.”

 

To learn more about the BIPP, visit their website.

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(ZenBlog) BIPP British Institute of Professional Photography UK Zenfolio association partner partnership photography professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/8/zenfolio-partners-with-the-british-institute-of-professional-photography Wed, 24 Aug 2016 09:31:51 GMT
Modern Buying Trends: A Marketer's Insight http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/8/modern-buying-trends-a-marketers-insight

 

You’ve probably all heard of the seven ‘Ps’ of marketing: Place, Promotion, Process, Physical evidence, Product, Price and People. But with things in marketing changing so quickly, it’s often difficult to keep up with new trends and ideas. And as a one-man band—as is often the case with photographers—it’s even harder to implement them.

You may have a great brand and website, amazing work and many social media followers, but are you focusing your marketing efforts in the right places, where customers are actually active? In fact, do you know how your potential customers are tending to buy?

In this article, I share some of my findings in the hope that they resonate in helping you to better understand the modern buying landscape.

 

Pro Tips

 

1) People are becoming flooded with data, so they are looking for a more personal experience and less spammy approach. Break out of silos.

2) People want less ‘quick sell’ and a longer-term relationship with long-term value. They don’t want to be talked at, but talked with. Nurture is a key buzzword in marketing right now.

3) People want a fairer value exchange for handing over of personal data—consumers feel that we should consider it a privilege to have their data.

4) People have an expectation of instant, 360-degree relationship and support—and this will grow in terms of expectation: ever-increasing touch points where customers expect to be served and delighted. In-store, online, mobile, social, smart watches, smart televisions, connected devices, in the car, in the air, and many more are already available or coming quickly.

5) More ad-blocking is coming; it’s big business. So more personalised information that is relevant and targeted to raise engagement to get through this.

6) The mobile platform is going to grow even further, 'by as much as 59% over and above 2015'*, so our content needs to reflect this, and work on it. (*Kaysha Kalkofen, Cofounder, tSunela)

7) As people have so much data, they are looking for trusted sources to help make their decision. Testimonials aren’t always enough, and genuine product heroes with high credibility are becoming much more popular, as are small groups of people who are becoming influencers.

8) Data and its collection and resourcing is the currency of the future.

9) Your marketing needs to be a customer/consumer resource.

 

 

It is generally agreed in marketing circles that email—really targeted, educational and personalised email—still has a greater bang for your buck than any other form. The relationship with customer and business has also changed in that many potential clients come to you having fully researched what you offer. In business terms: who is the company and do they like you? The customer knows 85% of what they think they know about you before they have even met you. That puts the power firmly into the hands of the buyer—so they don’t want to be sold to but want to be nurtured to fully understand the value you bring. This makes your USPs all the more important, and the journey you take your customer on is vital.

So, do your research on the places your target customer hangs out in. This means understanding the various platforms and their demographics, and their potential. For example, Facebook users are 76% female and 66% male, and ages 25 to 34 represent 29.7% of all users. As of 2014 stats, 85% of Pinterest usage is female and the top three searches are for planning recipes (37%), home decoration (17%) and a wedding (14%). With 10.4 million UK users, that’s a lot of potential for wedding photographers.

Adam Scorey is a professional photographer, publisher and is the Marketing Manager for One Vision Imaging - award-winning print lab and trusted Zenfolio partner.

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(ZenBlog) OVI One Vision One Vision Imaging Zenfolio buying insight marketer marketing modern photographer photography professional photographer professional photography selling trends http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/8/modern-buying-trends-a-marketers-insight Thu, 11 Aug 2016 09:16:05 GMT
New! Approve Orders from Your iPhone and iPad http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/8/new-approve-orders-from-your-iphone-and-ipad

Now you can complete sales faster by approving pending orders right from your iPhone or iPad. Use the Zenfolio app to approve orders and send your clients a confirmation on the go.

This functionality will be coming shortly to the Android version of the app as well. If you don’t have the Zenfolio app yet, download it today!

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio Zenfolio app Zenfolio iphone app photographer photography product updates professional photographer professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/8/new-approve-orders-from-your-iphone-and-ipad Tue, 02 Aug 2016 00:06:00 GMT
5 Tips to Get the Most from your Blog http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/8/5-tips-to-get-the-most-from-your-blog

All Zenfolio accounts include an integrated blog where you can add your own custom content. You can use your blog as a marketing tool, to provide commentary, and keep customers and prospective clients informed of your activities. The blog is also one of the most useful search engine optimization tools included with your Zenfolio account. Here are the top tips to get the most from your blog.

 

  1. Use keywords in the content of the blog post you’re writing to increase your SEO. The keywords can be a location or the type of photography you are posting. Studies have shown that the ideal length of a blog post to boost SEO is between 300-1,500 words.

 

  1. When adding photos to your blog post, size your photos to make the best of the maximum space: 944 pixels or 671 pixels wide if you have a blog sidebar showing. You can select the size when adding a photo by clicking Set Layout > Image Size.

 

  1. When you add a photo to your blog be sure to add a Title, Caption, and Alt Text to the image. While this information does not show on the blog post itself it does provide search engines with useful information about the subject matter of the image, which helps your SEO. Pretend you are describing the image to a person who isn’t looking at it. Search engines will index this information. 

 

 

  1. Make sure that you show your RSS feed. This feed allow visitors to subscribe to your Zenfolio galleries and receive updates of newly posted work. You can do this in the Customize Website view by clicking Site Settings > General > Check the box for Show RSS/Atom feeds.

 

  1. Plan ahead. Write out a plan for the next week or month of blog posts. Prepare your posts ahead of time and schedule the time they will go live using the Schedule Post option. Publish posts in the morning around 8 a.m. or the time that you see the highest traffic on your site. KSchedule your best posts to be published on your highest traffic days. Mondays and Tuesdays tend to be the highest traffic days. Keep future blog posts saved as drafts. 

 

Once your blog post is live, promote it by sharing to social media. To do this, copy the URL of the blog post and share it on your social media outlets, such as your business Facebook page.

 

For a complete guide to setting up blog posts, check out this Help Guide article, which features a useful video tutorial.

 

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio marketing photography photography blog professional photographer professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/8/5-tips-to-get-the-most-from-your-blog Mon, 01 Aug 2016 16:00:00 GMT
Zenfolio Partners with the Master Photographers Association http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/zenfolio-partners-with-the-master-photographers-association As part of Zenfolio's ongoing commitment to providing professional and aspiring photographers with the essential tools and training to reach their goals and be successful, we are proud to announce our latest partner, the Master Photographers Association!

Established in 1952, the MPA is one of the longest standing photographic associations in British history, offering training, mentoring and a qualification program exclusively for professional wedding, portrait and commercial photographers. As internationally recognized leaders in setting the standards of professional photography, the MPA has helped develop some of today’s top professional photographers.

Much like Zenfolio, the MPA is run by photographers, for photographers, and is committed to helping develop professional photographers as well as aspiring photographers who are just starting out. The MPA firmly believes that by educating the ambitious professional, they set the standards for the future of professional photography as well as the present.

Photo credit: Johnson Wee, FMPA and Zenfolio User

With a three-tier qualification system, qualified MPA members progress from Licentiate, to Associate to Fellow, with only a handful of members each year achieving the prestigious Fellowship level. With each level, a photographer commands an added degree of respect and recognition among their peers, while assuring potential clients that they are hiring one of the very best professional photographers around. 

In celebration of our new partnership, Zenfolio members can enjoy an exclusive 2 months free with the MPA! Simply use the code MPAZF16 when enrolling on the MPA website, and see what the MPA can do for you.

To learn more about becoming a Master Photographer and to redeem your free two months, visit the MPA website

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(ZenBlog) Johnson Wee MPA Master Photographers Association UK Zenfolio association benefit mentoring partners partnership photography professional photography training http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/zenfolio-partners-with-the-master-photographers-association Fri, 29 Jul 2016 08:00:00 GMT
Jeff Cable Goes Behind the Scenes at the Olympics! http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/jeff-cable-goes-behind-the-scenes-at-the-olympics

 

Sports and event photographer Jeff Cable has shot every Olympics since 2008, and we are excited to announce that he’ll be sharing behind the scenes photos from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero on his blog. The Zenfolio Ambassador recently stopped by and told us about his exhilarating summer plans.

 

What are you most looking forward to on your upcoming trip to Rio for the Olympics?

 

I get excited about every Olympics, but this one has a little more excitement than most. There has been a ton of press (mostly bad) about Rio, which makes me even more anxious to get down there and see it for myself. But, I most look forward to capturing really great photos to share with the team, my followers and to add to my portfolio.

 

Which event are you most excited about photographing while you are in Rio?

 

I will be the official photographer for USA Water Polo (both men and women) and hope that I can photograph gold medal matches for both teams. Along with that, I look forward to pushing the limits and capturing photos of as many sports as possible that are both artistic and unique. That is not easy to do when you are shooting with 2200 other photographers!

 

How do you use Zenfolio while you are traveling and photographing at the Olympics?

I love that I can easily add photos to my Zenfolio website from anywhere in the world. When I photographed the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014, I was adding new photos to my homepage and Olympic gallery almost every day. Even though I will be working 18-hour days, the process is simple enough for me to execute within minutes. And the galleries always look awesome, which makes me look good. 😄



Be sure to follow Jeff’s blog, where he’ll be sharing inspiring shots from this year’s Olympics. We’re excited to see his photos!

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(ZenBlog) Jeff Cable Olympics Zenfolio photography professional photography sports photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/jeff-cable-goes-behind-the-scenes-at-the-olympics Tue, 26 Jul 2016 16:01:00 GMT
New: Vibrant, Durable Aluminum Art! http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/new-vibrant-durable-aluminum-art

Show off your photos in a new, contemporary way with Aluminum Art from Zenfolio Photo Products US. These lightweight, waterproof aluminum prints are created using a dye-sublimation process for durability. The inks are infused directly into the specially coated Chromaluxe aluminum sheets, so your art will last longer than traditional prints. Offer your clients these vibrant metal showcase prints in a range of sizes from 5”x7” to 30”x40”.  

View Aluminum Art and all the products available from Zenfolio Photo Products US, and add them to your price list today!  

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio aluminum art aluminum prints product updates professional photography selling http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/new-vibrant-durable-aluminum-art Mon, 25 Jul 2016 16:01:00 GMT
Shopping Beta is Paused http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/shopping-beta-is-paused After three weeks of testing by thousands of intrepid photographers, we are putting the Shopping Beta on pause as of July 22, 2016 in order to make improvements.

 

Over the past few weeks, thousands of you have signed in and offered great feedback on the direction so far and how we can improve the shopping experience. We feel we have enough information to analyze all of the feedback, make improvements, and come back with an update that will move the experience forward.


We will be back with an update shortly. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write to us at shoppingbeta@zenfolio.com

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio photography professional photography shopping beta http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/shopping-beta-is-paused Sat, 23 Jul 2016 07:39:24 GMT
Top Zenfolio Site Design Examples http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/top-zenfolio-site-design-examples

This article is a follow up to our blog post Top Tips for Designing a Successful Website.

 

Your website is key to the success of your business, and having a good site design is essential. Website design expert and Zenfolio partner Shari Warren provides site design and training service through her company Warren Creative Design. We asked her how she approaches the design process and to share her top Zenfolio site design examples.

 

How do you approach designing a site for a customer? 

Since my design and business consultation services are tailored to the photographer’s goals and design esthetic, my first step is a phone consultation. I learn their specialty, such as portraits, weddings, fine art; who their customers are; and their perceived competition. This helps me determine what type of website design might be most successful for their business.  

 

I also ask them to make a list of the URLs of photography websites they like the look and feel of. We review those sites together and then brainstorm design, gallery and web page organization ideas for their own website. Sometimes, I will mock-up design options using some of their photos in Photoshop, so we can further determine the design direction that appeals to them the most, before designing a new theme in the Zenfolio theme designer.

 

What are your favorite Zenfolio sites you designed? 

Pam Jones of Paris Mountain Photography has a wedding photography site that really takes advantage of some of Zenfolio’s features. A clean, modern design shows off her stunning photos. Rather than her Contact page being just a solid color, I had Pam choose one of her photos to use as a background image for her Contact page. This gives the page a new dimension and continuity to her specialty as a wedding photographer. I also suggested using a custom page for her About page and to show a slideshow of Pam in action shooting. This gives customers a sense of Pam as a professional photographer and adds credibility to her already impressive portfolio.

 

 

Susie Talman of Susie Talman Photography wanted to have fun quotes as an overlay to her gallery thumbnails to add her personality to her portrait and lifestyle photos. She picked a fun font, and I created the overlays in Photoshop and then uploaded the images to her galleries and then selected those photos as the cover thumbnails 

 

 

Nancy Merrill of Nancy Merrill Photography desired a vintage, scrapbook design look for her family and newborn photography website. Using files of antique paper and elements from her logo to create a background pattern, I created a custom theme, giving her site a tasteful photo book look. Also, on her custom investment pages, we used a collaged banner image for each of her specialties.

 

David Hanson of Hanson-Carlen Architecture & Construction wanted their website to look like a beautiful luxury online magazine showcasing photography of their residential project photography. The website really takes advantage of the full-screen homepage layout with a centered logo. For their blog, I took advantage of the banner header layout and created a collage of photos showing their team in action with a text overlay naming their blog “Latest Musings” to give a sense of the company’s personality as a lead in to their stories.

 

Shari Warren of Warren Creative Design has provided design, training and business consultations to hundreds of Zenfolio photographers since 2011. With her background as an art director in the software and publishing industries, she brings a creative, objective eye and marketing savvy to help portrait, wedding and fine art photographers showcase their photography and set up their websites and shopping carts to help accomplish their business goals.

 

 

Taylor McGregor, a native of Silicon Valley, is a customer service representative at Zenfolio. She has a BFA in photography and graphic design. Her passions are photography, the great outdoors, and racking up frequent flier miles.

 

 

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(ZenBlog) Shari Warren Zenfolio professional photography website design http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/top-zenfolio-site-design-examples Sat, 16 Jul 2016 00:01:00 GMT
Try Our New Shopping Beta Experience http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/try-our-new-shopping-beta-experience

We are very excited to announce the beta launch of the start of a new shopping experience. Thanks to the feedback that many of you gave us over the past several months, we are redesigning the shopping experience to make it easier and more intuitive for your clients to shop for products and packages.  

 

Starting July 8, photographers will be able to opt in to the new shopping experience beta.

 

To access the beta shopping experience,

  • Log in to your Zenfolio account.
  • Click on the link in the header of your dashboard to Opt-into the new shopping experience.
  • The new shopping experience will be live to all of your clients.

 

 

The Zenfolio blog is the place for you to get the latest updates so you have the information you need to participate in the discussion. We will launch the new shopping beta experience periodically and incrementally. This means you will see the new shopping experience evolve over time, and this approach presents a great opportunity for us to interact through the process and get your feedback as we iterate.

 

You can also find additional information by reading our Shopping Beta FAQ.

 

If you find any bugs or issues, please contact support right away. We look forward to this journey together and thank you in advance for your participation and support.

 

Be sure to bookmark our Shopping Beta Updates blog post, where we will unveil the latest updates as they happen. 

 

July 22 Update: Shopping beta is paused. More details are available in this new blog post.

 

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio product updates professional photographer selling http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/try-our-new-shopping-beta-experience Fri, 08 Jul 2016 22:04:44 GMT
Shopping Beta Update: What Launched on July 8 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/shopping-beta-update-what-launched-today-july-8

Hi Zenfolio photographers!

 

Here's what you can expect with the first phase of the new shopping beta that we just launched.

 

For the first phase of the project, we are launching

 

  • A redesigned homepage to shop for packages and products

  • Personalized photos from your client galleries appear on the products

  • Package contents are more prominently displayed than before

  • A shipping estimator in the cart page to help view order total quickly  

 

Please use the features above and tell us what you think about it. Please email us your feedback at shoppingbeta@zenfolio.com.

 

July 22 Update: Shopping beta is paused. More details are available in this new blog post.

 

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio professional photographer selling http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/shopping-beta-update-what-launched-today-july-8 Fri, 08 Jul 2016 21:48:59 GMT
How to Build a Photo Gallery Wall http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/how-to-build-a-photo-gallery-wall

By Amanda Burse

 

Photo gallery walls are a big trend these days, but making your own can seem like an overwhelming task. As a professional photographer, I have helped many of my clients design photo walls but had never made my own until now. Being a mom of four, I have many family photos I wanted to put on display so I was eager to get started.

 

The first step was choosing a location, since that would determine how many photos I could feature and what size my gallery wall would be. In a perfect, Pinterest world I would have a photo wall in my hallway. In real life, the hallway was not ideal because I have toddlers, teenagers and a feline that is prone to sporadic and unpredictable jumping spasms. So I decided to put my gallery on this wall instead. 

The most difficult part for me was choosing the pictures. I combed over hard drives and years of documented memories—I wanted to hang them all. With sweat on my brow, I started grouping favorites in a folder. I would put one in, take two out, and stare at the folder on my desktop. After much deliberation, I was able to decide as to what images to feature on my wall.

 

The design part was easy, because I already had an idea in mind. I have a favorite photographer who featured her own photo wall project on her blog several years ago, and it has stuck with me. The general rule of thumb is to have a sense of order, whether you go with an asymmetrical or grid layout. I went with a grid. As far as the size of the pictures, I have always preferred large photographs. I made the mistake of buying the standard sizes when I first started photographing my children, and the pictures were lost in a sea of wall. The first time I bought a 20 x 30 print, I knew I was never going back!

 

There are so many printing options to choose from: canvas, prints with frames, acrylics, and more. After spending a great deal of money on canvas in the past, I didn’t want to go with that medium for this particular project. While I love canvas, I wanted to be able to change the photographs as the kids grew.

 

I finally decided on clip frames. I have a small house, so every inch matters. Clip frames are unobtrusive to the space and have clean lines. They are also inexpensive, so I was able to buy more photographs! A big thank you to Quadro Frames for helping me choose the best frames to fit my space.

The tools I used to complete the project were patience, cute kids, a small hammer, photographs printed by Mpix Pro, and a laser level. I am a terrible judge of levelness, so I cannot stress enough how much easier this project was with the laser level.

 

I just love how the finished project turned out, and I feel like it is something that the space has needed for a long time. My gallery wall has a lot of photographs, including a mix of black and whites and color. Initially, I was worried that it would be too busy and visually overwhelming. But my wall is 100% reflective of my family—chaotic and perfectly imperfect.  

If an overwhelmed, self-proclaimed photo commitment-phobe like myself can put a photo gallery wall together, so can you. Don’t put it off another moment. Show off your work so you, your family and friends can see and enjoy it!

 

 

Amanda Burse is a devoted wife and mom to four children between the ages of three and 13. She is part of the Zenfolio Customer Support Team and has been a professional photographer for nine years. 

 

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(ZenBlog) Amanda Burse Zenfolio gallery wall photo wall photographer photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/how-to-build-a-photo-gallery-wall Fri, 08 Jul 2016 21:46:43 GMT
Pro Tips for Designing a Successful Website http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/top-tips-for-designing-a-successful-website

Designing your site can sometimes be a daunting task, but we are here to help. Website design expert and Zenfolio partner Shari Warren provides site design and training service through her company Warren Creative Design. We asked her for some insider tricks on how to create a stunning website or portfolio.

 

Getting Started

"The first task when designing a website is to determine the structure and organization of the web pages needed. This process can be done in many ways, such as a bulleted list with categories and subcategories, a rough pencil sketch on paper, or a diagram drawn in a graphics program with boxes and lines to represent the pages (referred to as a site map)," Shari said.

 

 

"A portrait or wedding photographer’s website will typically consist of the homepage, portfolio galleries, client galleries, about page, and contact page. It may also include additional pages such as testimonials, blog, investment and session prices, FAQs and what to wear."

 

"A fine art photographer’s website will have a homepage, portfolio galleries, about page, and contact page. It could also have pages for awards and achievements, show/exhibit schedule, classes and workshops."

 

Determining Your Site's Look and Feel

Another great tool to help you get started building your Zenfolio site is our Getting Started Guide. Some photographers can hit a roadblock when trying to accurately reflect their brand through the design. Here are Shari’s suggestions to achieve this.

 

"Any photos that are not their personal best should be edited out and left off the website. Then the task is to determine the right colors, fonts and layouts that truly best showcase their work. Once the site design is established, it is important to use the same design, colors and fonts for their other promotional materials so they are consistent in their brand identity."

 

There are several easy ways to edit the look of your Zenfolio site—presets, themes, layouts and page options. We recommend trying our presets if you’re looking for a quick way to apply a template. Once you have one in place you can customize it. Check out our help guide for more information on using presets. See below for two preset examples.

 

leto-preset

Selecting Images for the Homepage

Once you have decided how you want your site to be represented, the next step is is choosing the images to feature on your homepage. Here’s what Shari recommends.

 

"For portrait or wedding photographers, the homepage photos should represent a selection of their best work from each of their portfolio galleries. And for fine art photographers, the photos would also represent the specialties they shoot, which should include some of their best sellers to date. I recommend no more than 10-15 photos for the homepage. Visitors’ attention spans are extremely limited when web browsing (think of your own time spent when viewing websites), so you have to show your most stunning images in the first 3-5 photos on the homepage. This exercise forces the photographer to only select images they feel best represents their unique style."

 

Once you are ready to begin working on your homepage, this guide covers all the tools and options available to help you create an amazing first impression.

 

Choosing a Site Design

It’s important for photographers to stay up-to-date with design trends. Even if your photos are current, if the design looks old your visitors will wonder if the body of work on the site is old too. Below, Shari covers the popular current website design trends.

 

"Most of the photographers I have been working with are looking for a clean, modern, elegant website with either a light- or medium-toned neutral color theme. The full screen or photo strip layout is a popular trend for the homepage, and grid layouts, similar to the Instagram or Pinterest layouts, are popular for the galleries. That being said, there are opportunities to strategically add some graphics or textures in the header, footer and even backgrounds to further complement the photographer’s style."

 

Making your site user friendly is a great way to make a first impression and conveys a sense of professionalism. Shari has five tips on how to do this.

 

Easy Navigation

"Make sure your menu items are clear and that only important info is included. Too many menu items can confuse your visitors. If you have many galleries or custom pages, consider using drop down menus where appropriate."

 

Simplify Your Pages

"Only show photos and text that are important. Too much visual clutter looks unprofessional and disrupts the viewing experience."

 

Large, Readable Fonts

"Make sure your fonts are at least 13 pixels or larger so the text can be easily read by viewers of all ages. You should also view your website on a mobile phone to be sure your text is large enough to read. Limit your choice of fonts to three or less, and be consistent using those fonts on all pages, including custom pages. Use decorative fonts sparingly, and only use them as an accent or main headers."

 

Curate Your Photo Galleries

"It is more impressive to show 20 to 25 of your best images than 80 photos of varying quality. Visitors don’t have a large attention span and will not keep scrolling to view all your work. If you do need to show a lot of images, consider creating sub-galleries for a more streamlined viewing experience."

 

Backgrounds and Colors

"Limit your color scheme to neutrals, or if you want to use non-neutral colors, be sure the colors don’t clash with the colors shown in most of your photography. Using a graphic or textures, such as in a header, can add to the personality of your website. But again, be sure they work with your genre of photography and do not appear more important than your photography, which should be the focus of your website."

 

This article explains how to customize your site menu, which will improve site navigation for your visitors. If you’d like to edit the color scheme and font in your theme, we recommend editing your theme in Theme Designer. You can learn more about Theme Designer here.

 

 

Design Mistakes to Avoid

Now that we have covered best practices and elements of good design, let’s discuss what design mistakes to avoid. We asked Shari to share the common design mistakes she sees.

 

"Design Mistake #1. Using a dark or all-black color scheme on a portrait or wedding website. When you shoot portraits or weddings, you are capturing a joyous occasion and memories full of light, colors and emotion. Those dark colors overshadow those sensitive moments and don’t let your photography shine. Dark colors work well for more dramatic and moody fine art, architectural, industrial or sport event photography.

 

Design Mistake #2. Script or italic fonts for paragraphs of text. While these font choices can be fine for occasional headers or testimonials, they are generally difficult to read, especially on mobile phones.

 

Design Mistake #3. An ugly logo. Having a clean, professionally designed logo is necessary if you want people to trust that your work is professional. If you don’t have the graphic skills to design a nice logo for yourself, ask some of your colleagues to recommend a graphic designer that they trust. You can also find a designer online. Remember that your logo is an investment in your brand that you will use for all promotional materials and social media for years to come as you grow your business."

 

So what qualities does Shari think make a photography website great?

 

"A great website has beautiful and compelling photography that is showcased, organized and invites the viewer to see more and provides a call to action to contact the photographer for services or to purchase their photos."

 

 

Shari Warren of Warren Creative Design has provided design, training and business consultations to hundreds of Zenfolio photographers since 2011. With her background as an art director in the software and publishing industries, she brings a creative, objective eye and marketing savvy to help portrait, wedding and fine art photographers showcase their photography and set up their websites and shopping carts to help accomplish their business goals.

 

 

Taylor McGregor, a native of Silicon Valley, is a customer service representative at Zenfolio. She has a BFA in photography and graphic design. Her passions are photography, the great outdoors, and racking up frequent flier miles.

 

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(ZenBlog) Shari Warren Zenfolio photography portfolio professional photography website design http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/top-tips-for-designing-a-successful-website Thu, 30 Jun 2016 16:49:24 GMT
We’ve Added New Watermark Designs http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/we-ve-added-new-watermark-designs

We’ve added new watermark designs to give you even more design options for protecting your photos while ensuring optimum presentation. Try them out, and play with the opacity and placement to see which one works best for your brand.

 

 

Watermarks never affect your original photos. They are only applied to the resized versions that appear on your website. See the new watermarks and choose your favorite!

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio photography portfolio product updates professional photography watermarks http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/we-ve-added-new-watermark-designs Mon, 27 Jun 2016 16:00:00 GMT
Zenfolio Partners with the Royal Photographic Society http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/zenfolio-partners-with-royal-photographic-society

Zenfolio is excited to announce our latest partner, the Royal Photographic Society!

One of the most prestigious organisations for photographers in the UK, the RPS promotes all aspects of photography and image making while offering comprehensive support to help photographers achieve and maximise their potential.

The Royal Photographic Society, founded in 1853, has throughout its history played an important role in the photography industry, both in the UK and internationally. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, many of the great photographers and scientists were proud to call themselves RPS members, and this trend continues today.

Zenfolio is proud to be associated with such an established and prestigious organisation. In celebration of our new partnership, we are offering an exclusive 20% discount on membership with the RPS until the end of 2016! Simply use coupon code ZEN16 after confirming your chosen level of membership from this page.

We are looking forward to working with the RPS to continue to provide the essential tools and support that helps photographers grow their businesses.

To learn more, please visit the RPS website

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(ZenBlog) RPS Royal Photographic Society UK Zenfolio association partner partnership photography professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/zenfolio-partners-with-royal-photographic-society Sat, 25 Jun 2016 00:11:31 GMT
Mpix and MpixPro standard shipping is now faster! http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/mpix-and-mpixpro-economy-shipping-is-now-faster

Mpix and MpixPro have improved their delivery times so you and your clients can get your orders faster. Now you can expect packages that are shipped economy to be delivered in 4-8 days.

And don’t forget, MpixPro still offers free overnight shipping for orders where the base lab costs are $100 or more. For complete shipping information, check out our labs page.

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(ZenBlog) Mpix MpixPro Zenfolio photography product updates selling shipping time http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/mpix-and-mpixpro-economy-shipping-is-now-faster Mon, 20 Jun 2016 16:01:00 GMT
Zenfolio + Aurora Borealis = a Photographer’s Dream http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/zenfolio-aurora-borealis-a-photographer-s-dream

By Laura Grier

 

As an adventurer and travel photographer, I have always considered myself an explorer of light. I will go anywhere and do anything to get the shot. I don’t just travel in search of photos; sometimes a photo finds me and sparks an epic quest to go to an amazing place. This was how my adventure began to trek to the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Northern Finland to capture the Northern Lights, otherwise known as the Aurora Borealis.

 

One day I came across a photo online of a thermal-heated igloo hotel.  The photo looked so surreal to me that I couldn’t believe a place like this existed. Imagine sleeping in your warm hotel room that has a glass igloo ceiling where you can see the Northern Lights from your bed! I took one look at that photo and I knew that I had to go, so I started researching how to get there.

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The Science

 

The Northern Lights are particles from the sun hitting our magnetic field that protects our Earth from radiation and causing a disturbance. These electrons and protons flow along the Earth's magnetic field lines, like the vibrations of guitar strings, and collect in the polar regions where they interact with oxygen and nitrogen to produce the magical red, green and purple dancing light show in the night sky. This is why you have to travel north of the Arctic Circle to be able to have a better chance of seeing them.

 

Right now, the sun’s surface temperature is at its highest, called the solar maximum, which is when the lights are at their most intense. When the sun’s surface cools, there will be fewer particles to ride the solar wind toward Earth. So, the occurrence of the Northern Lights will become rarer and a lot less vivid. In other words, if you put off seeing them this winter, you will have to wait 11 years for another chance to set your eyes upon them!

 

The Destination

 

When my friends and I arrived, armed with our cameras, hand and toe warmers, many layers of thermal underwear, brightly colored ski suits, and passports, we knew we were well on our way to experiencing the trip of a lifetime. Everything in Kakslauttanen was covered underneath a thick blanket of snow. The land was pristine, white and frozen over.

 

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The Hunt

 

Northern Finland is considered Aurora-hunting country. It is the best place in Scandinavia to see the lights due to its northern location. Part of the challenge for hunters is to find the darkest locations possible so they can see the brightest skies. For us, that meant taking off in the middle of the night on snowmobiles in search of the Northern Lights.

 

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Within minutes of jumping on our snowmobiles through howling winds, we parked at the top of a hill and the sky started glowing green in one spot as if on cue. Then it grew and started spreading like veins across the sky in neon green, disappearing and reappearing in different places. It was a challenge to photograph, because by the time you got your frozen hands and camera set the way you wanted on your tripod, they had moved and started becoming more vibrant in another area.

 

They danced and moved in front of our eyes and looked like someone was blowing bright green sand around. Then they started dripping a hot pink color, like fireworks after they burst and start falling and disappearing to the ground. It is impossible to describe in words the powerful emotions I was feeling. It was spiritual, even though I knew the science behind what was causing it. I was in a state of awe and disbelief that something so beautiful and bewildering could be created in nature.

 

We were incredibly lucky to see the lights four nights in a row. No one wanted to go to sleep for fear of missing a moment of this dramatic display.

 

Serendipity, Zenfolio, and How We are All Connected

 

On the night of March 17, an even more magical moment happened. We woke up at 3 a.m., because it felt like someone was shining a flashlight in our faces. What we woke up to see was the entire sky dancing and swirling in the most intense green I have ever seen. We held hands and couldn’t believe what we were seeing was real. I grabbed my camera and held my breath with it resting on my chest, and took this photo through our igloo ceiling. 

 

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It was my life’s dream coming true and such an emotional moment for me. I felt like it was my own personal green display for St. Patrick’s Day, and I wanted to share it with my friends back home immediately.

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I was able to download and edit the above image and get internet in the main lodge, so I trudged through the snow from my igloo to the lodge in the middle of the night and posted that photo on my Facebook page. I got this response from a friend:

 

Molly Hauge:

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

 

Laura Grier:

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

 

Molly Hauge:

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

 

So here I am in the Arctic wilderness far from civilization having a celestial moment that I have waited my whole life to have, and I was able to share it with people back at home. I even touched a family and was able to give them solace during a time of grief.  It blows my mind that out in the wilderness of Lapland using my phone I was able to share that image, upload it to my Zenfolio website, list it for sale with different print choices, and have it arrive across the world in a couple of days to make it for the funeral of a man who always knew he would pass away in spectacular fashion on St. Patrick’s Day! Zenfolio is amazing—and it’s another reason that I love what I do. 

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It just was the finishing touch that made the journey even more awesome.  I feel so lucky that the heavens and conditions aligned for us to witness the most beautiful phenomenon that exists on Earth and that Zenfolio allowed me to touch other people’s hearts even from the most remote place on the planet.

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(ZenBlog) Laura Grier Northern Lights Zenfolio photographer photography professional photographer professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/zenfolio-aurora-borealis-a-photographer-s-dream Sat, 18 Jun 2016 04:00:00 GMT
Picking the Right Preset for Your Website http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/picking-the-right-preset-for-your-website

 

Zenfolio strives to make your life easier and your website setup quick and painless. If you are a new user, you might have already chosen a preset that was suggested to you based on your photography genre during when you first signed up. However, if you have yet to select a preset and don’t know which one to choose, here are some tips on how to pick one that will look great with your style of photography.

 

Stunning full screens | Circe, Aura, Hestia

Great for: Wedding, landscape, nature, fashion/editorial

 

These full-screen layouts are dynamic, striking, and let your photography be the star of the show. They are great for slideshows that showcase the best of your work and immerse the viewer without distractions. Circe is a minimal but bold preset that features a top menu, is incredibly versatile and would work for all genres. Aura features a dark bottom menu with a teal accent color that works great with fashion and editorial photography. Hestia is another minimal preset with a bottom menu that would beautifully feature nature, landscape, and travel photography. Full-screen presets are no fuss and easy to use, although they aren’t the best option for very close-up shots, like headshots or simple portraits.

 

Clean grids | Leto, Nox

Great for: Portrait, family/seniors, wedding

 

Grid presets are an effective way to showcase many images in a quick glance, getting your viewers familiar with your style in one go without relying on a slideshow. Grid layouts may look involved but all you need to do is create a special group of images that you’d like to feature on the homepage when you apply the preset. Leto is a new preset that features a square grid and a minimal top menu, which makes it quite versatile. Nox features a neutral color scheme, a left menu, and a dynamic vertical grid that works beautifully with portrait and wedding photography. This preset is preferable if you have images of varying sizes and don’t want any cropping to occur.

 

Striking layouts | Vesta, Concordia, Ares

Great for: Wedding, nature/landscape, portrait, pet

These presets have a layout that works well for displaying certain features like a Welcome Message, social media buttons, or playing with accent colors. Vesta is an elegant preset with mint and charcoal accents,a top menu and a right-side welcome message. It looks professional and is striking with wedding and portrait photography. You also have the ability to edit the accent colors. Concordia features a left-side welcome message and floating menu, which really pops against the backdrop of your photography. It has a neutral color scheme and is very versatile, but looks great with wedding and nature/landscape imagery. Ares features a distinctly feminine typeface and color accent, and has a large, square grid on the homepage. Although you can easily swap out the fonts and colors, this preset is quite playful and pairs nicely with portrait/family, pet, and newborn photography.


 

If you’d like to try a new look for your Zenfolio website, experiment with different presets to see which one you like best. The great thing about presets is that you can change them whenever you want!

 

For more information on how to change or apply a new preset to your website, view our video tutorial below.

 

 

 

 

 

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio design gallery genres layouts photo photography portfolio preset professional template website http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/picking-the-right-preset-for-your-website Wed, 15 Jun 2016 16:24:36 GMT
Use Your Contact Page to Get More Info http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/use-your-contact-page-to-get-more-info

Having a contact page is essential to ensuring visitors can get in touch with you. But you can also use it to get information from them.

We’ve updated the contact page with the option to add additional question fields. Edit your contact page today! Need help? Here's how to edit your page

You can also set up automated email responses, such as a Thank You email, so visitors remember you and your website. 

 
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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio contact page marketing photographer photography product updates professional photographer professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/use-your-contact-page-to-get-more-info Mon, 13 Jun 2016 16:00:00 GMT