ZenBlog: Blog http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) ZenBlog (ZenBlog) Sat, 25 Jun 2016 00:12:00 GMT Sat, 25 Jun 2016 00:12:00 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 organizations for photographers in the UK, the RPS promotes all aspects of photography and image making while offering comprehensive support to help photographers achieve and maximize their potential.

The Royal Photographic Society was founded in 1853, and throughout its history has played an important role in photography, 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.

In addition to supporting the growth of photographers and helping them to achieve their goals, as a charity the RPS also undertakes a significant number of activities for the public benefit.

We are proud to be associated with such an established and prestigious organization. We look forward to working together and providing the essential tools and support to help photographers grow their businesses.

To learn more about the RPS, please visit their 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 economy 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. You can also set up automated email responses, such as a Thank You email, so visitors remember you and your website. Edit your contact page today!

 
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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
Jenny Heyworth Joins the Zenfolio Pro Team! http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/jenny-heyworth-joins-the-zenfolio-pro-team

What makes a professional photographer successful? It’s all about finding your niche. The Zenfolio Pro Team represents a wide variety of photographers, from photojournalists to wedding photographers and everything in between.

We’re pleased to introduce the newest addition to our growing UK Pro Team, Jenny Heyworth of Jenny Heyworth Photography and Aspire Photography Training! A multitalented photographer, trainer and mentor, Jenny joins our extended family with a focus on food photography. 

Growing up in the south of France immersed in the delightful colours and smells of the local food markets, food has forever been close to Jenny’s heart and a strong influence in her journey as a food photographer. A self-described foodie and hopeless romantic, Jen also happens to be engaged to a chef who runs a busy restaurant—so the art of food and food photography is sure to remain an integral part of Jenny’s life.

First published in Professional Photographer magazine in 2012, Jenny’s photography has been on a stratospheric rise ever since. Food photography is just one of the many styles of photography Jenny excels in. She also does commercial, weddings and portraiture and still finds time to inspire, train and mentor upcoming photographers in her role with award-winning Aspire Photography Training.

We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Jenny into our family and are looking forward to seeing more of her work! To learn more about Jenny visit her Pro Team page, and check out her impressive Zenfolio site here complete with drool-worthy images!

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(ZenBlog) Jenny Heyworth Pro Team Zenfolio food photographer food photography photography professional photographer professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/jenny-heyworth-joins-the-zenfolio-pro-team Tue, 07 Jun 2016 23:55:01 GMT
Announcing Two New Website Design Presets! http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/new-website-design-preset Looking to freshen up your website design? Presets let you update the look and feel of your site with only one click, and we are excited to announce our two newest ones—Circe and Leto!

Circe features a full-screen slideshow on the homepage with modern fonts and neutral colors.

Leto features a square photo grid on the homepage with a minimalistic menu and slate blue accent colors.

Learn more about presets and watch the informational video below. Then try one out today!

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio photographer photography preset product updates professional photographer professional photography website design http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/new-website-design-preset Mon, 06 Jun 2016 17:39:50 GMT
How to Avoid Getting Stuck in a Creative Rut http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/how-to-avoid-getting-stuck-in-a-creative-rut

by Tiree Dawson

As technology advances, the mastery of the mechanical and scientific side of photography is becoming increasingly easy to achieve. Because of this, our creativity is more important than ever. Sometimes, in a crowded marketplace, individual style is the only real differentiator.

If you identify as a creative then you may not see this as a worry. But what happens when creative ideas, well, just don’t happen? Maybe you’re faced with a blank frame and you can’t think of how to fill it. Maybe your clients book you for your bright ideas, but your mind is feeling a little less shiny than it was last week—what happens then?

Sometimes these moments pass quickly:  a few floundering attempts at composition or posing, some muttering under your breath, and you’re back on your way, clicking happily. Other times the lack of ideas becomes worrisome.

There’s no surefire way to avoid these darker moments, but here are a few suggestions that can minimise the chances of them happening.

“There is nothing more vulnerable than creativity.”  Brene Brown

Getting stuck in a creative rut is simply part of the process. Aiming to never to fall into a creative rut is as futile as claiming you’re going to drive a car all your life and never get stuck in traffic. You can take routes to avoid getting in a jam, but sometimes the odds aren’t in your favour, and through no fault of your own the journey you are on (creative or otherwise) may run a little slower than you hoped.

Pro Tip: Go easy on yourself, know that you’re doing the best that you can, and trust that things will soon get moving again.

“Art is the means we have of undoing the damage of haste.”   Theodore Roethke

Be aware of your own well-being and be sure to take time out. I find it helpful to take a break before I get stuck—when things are flowing well. It can be hard to take time out, but it certainly makes it easier to go back.

You may also find it useful to have several projects going at once. Try building flexibility into your workflow where possible. That way if you’re not feeling inspired to shoot at a certain time then editing or marketing can be another option.

If you are really struggling with something but have to get it done, then try to squeeze in a quick break or change of scenery. Even in a high-pressure environment like a wedding shoot it is usually possible to grab a few minutes to centre yourself and re-energise, whether that’s by having a strong coffee or doing a brisk lap of the gardens. When you feel under pressure on a shoot, be confident enough to know that you don’t have to be taking photos constantly to do a good job. Your clients should trust that you will do what is right for them—and this could mean taking breaks, pausing and thinking rather than running round at 100mph releasing the shutter at every opportunity.

Pro Tip: Know how you work best and gently communicate this to everyone in advance of the shoot.

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t you’re right.”   Henry Ford

Facing a lack of creativity can be hugely demoralising. If you’re feeling disheartened, try writing down some of the things you’ve achieved with your photography in the past year. Perhaps you’ve been featured in some publications, been shortlisted for an award, taken more bookings than the year before, or simply met your clients’ expectations while keeping your family fed, watered and loved.

Pro Tip: Looking back through your past work can also provide an emotional lift when you’re feeling down. Track your progress and congratulate yourself on the new skills you have learned and the confidence you have gained.

“If you’re the smartest person in the room then you’re in the wrong room.”

Surround yourself with brilliant and funny people who are great at what they do. This brings endless inspiration and support. Join a local networking group, or if you can’t find one you fancy, then set one up yourself. It’s great to spend time with other photographers, but sharing challenges and best practice across industries can also be very valuable.

Pro Tip: To give a networking group focus and energy, try setting up a tangible project to work on together, like a styled shoot, or a co-written blog piece. 

“When was the last time you did something for the first time?”

Spending time with others is important, but so is making time for yourself. A personal photography project can really kick-start your creativity. Ironically, it’s often the imposed constraints of a finite project that help. By limiting yourself to a certain lens, a certain subject or a tightly restricted palette, you can give yourself the opposite of that overwhelmingly blank canvas. Be as strict as you like—you’ll be surprised at the ways your creativity will come out!

Pro Tip: Why not document a day in the life of someone close to you, commit to taking a shot at exactly the same time each day for a month, or visit a local not-for-profit organisation and work together to design a project that will allow you to be creative while helping others.

“Indulge your imagination in every possible flight.”   Jane Austen

Create a series of source books in a way that suits you. I find Pinterest the easiest, with different boards for clients, genres, ideas and plans. Take photos on your phone of anything and everything that inspires you—when you’re reading, travelling or just going about daily life. It could be a photo in a cookbook, a shadow across the path, a shop window, or someone’s outfit. Whatever it is, don’t rely on just mentally remembering it; get it captured in one form or another and file it away in a useful place. When your mind does go blank, you’ll be glad you kept a tidy library packed full of all those ideas!

Many people set up a Pinterest/mood board after they start a new project. Try to preempt this by gathering ideas before you even get the booking. Want to do more food photography? Then pin the kind of images what you want to shoot. Start getting together the right props and setups—the booking will come, and when it does land in your lap you’ll be ready.

Pro Tip: In addition to storing the images, take time to think about them critically. Why are you drawn to them? Is it the composition? The colours or textures? The subject? Make notes on these observations and aim to introduce similar elements into your own work.

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”   Pablo Picasso

Experiment constantly. I strongly believe that even in your most important client work—especially, in fact—you should be playing and experimenting. If you’re afraid of experimenting when working for clients, then you need to find a way to get over this.

Making sure that you have technically mastered all of your kit can help—that way you know you can get a few “safe” shots up front and still have time left to play. When it comes to the first dance at a wedding, I’ll shoot wide with a flash to make sure I have the standard shots covered, then I’ll allow myself to play around with wider apertures and more inventive lighting, reflections and angles.

Pro Tip: Always try to stay fresh. If things are working and you’re getting good feedback, it can be hard to be brave enough to change anything. Just remember, even if you’re doing well, if you’re not changing anything then you’re in a rut.

“Purpose is the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s needs.”   Frederick Buechner

When all else fails, this is the one that helps me. Remind yourself of why you’re a photographer. Spend time looking at old family photos. Dig out your wedding album and pour a glass of wine. Celebrate the fact that you have an honourable job: to communicate meaning, feeling and stories in a way that is internationally understood. Take pleasure from the capacity and responsibility you have to enlighten, influence and educate others.

Pro Tip: Contact some of your clients and ask them to share with you which of the images you took for them are the most important and why.

 

Remember, when your energy is low there’s no shame in feeding off the excitement of your clients. Whether you’re photographing a wedding, a handmade cushion, a plate of food or a tennis match, you’re documenting that scene because someone loves it. Somewhere along the line, at least one person has poured their passion, determination, energy and resilience into making that thing in front of your camera what it is at that very moment. What’s more, you can bet that at some point on their journey they felt tired, dejected and uninspired. But they did it. They made it happen, and so can you! 

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(ZenBlog) Tiree Dawson Zenfolio creativity photographer photography professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/how-to-avoid-getting-stuck-in-a-creative-rut Wed, 01 Jun 2016 19:12:18 GMT
Five Essential Tools to Help You Work Smarter http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/5-great-zenfolio-tools-you-should-be-using

by Kayla Capps

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

1. Visitor Sign In

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


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

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

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

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

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

 

2. SEO Settings

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

3. Triggered Emails

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

4. Zenfolio Mobile App

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

5. Photo Album Design Service

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The calm before the rush...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learn how it works by visiting our Support Center.

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

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

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

  • The profile image is 180 x 180 pixels.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • The profile photo is 250 x 250 pixels.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Website Provider

Best Professional Product

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

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


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

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

Zenfolio at WPPI

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

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

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

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FEATURED WPPI CLASSES

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

Speakers: Lou FreemanLaura Grier and Evan Chung

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

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

Preboard for the class here

Professional vs. Profound

Speaker: Jerry Ghionis

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

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

Preboard for the class here

Let the Light Do the Talking

Speaker: Roberto Valenzuela

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

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

Preboard for the class here

The Next Level with JP

Speaker: JP Elario

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

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

Preboard for the class here

La Guerra de los clones

Speakers: Dennis Berti and Chio Garcia

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

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

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

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

Preboard for the class here

Como Ser un Mejor Fotógrafo Documental de Boda

Speaker: Dennis Berti and Chio Garcia

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

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

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

Preboard for the class here

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

The Zenfolio Guide to Selling in 5 Easy Steps

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

1. Client Access and the Buying Experience

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

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

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

3. Approving Orders and Selling Digital Products

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

4. Offering Packages and Self-Fulfilled Products

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Describe the process of creating a lifelong client?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do you go about creating packages for your clients?

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

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

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

How do you use social media to promote your business?

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

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

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

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(ZenBlog) Sara Kauss Wedding photography Zenfolio lifelong clients portrait Photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/how-to-create-lifelong-clients Mon, 25 Jan 2016 16:52:12 GMT