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Dec 16
Product Spotlight: Photodex Pro Show Web
As a portrait photographer specializing in boudoir and beauty photography, I have used several slideshow programs in the past to... show more
As a portrait photographer specializing in boudoir and beauty photography, I have used several slideshow programs in the past to display my images in a beautiful, eye-catching way on my website. I am pretty efficient at creating slideshows and was excited to try Photodex’s ProShow Web service to see how it compares to other programs I have used. As a photographer, it is important to display my work in a way that is visually appealing to clients. While doing this review, I quickly learned that with ProShow Web I could easily create a professional quality slideshow in just minutes that is polished enough to impress my clients. ProShow Web makes the slideshow creation process very easy. All you have to do is pick a theme/template, import your pictures, chose a song, click ‘create slideshow’ and you’re done. Just like that, you have a wonderful, professionally made slideshow to share with your clients. If you’re the type who likes to be more creative and have more control, you have many options. Photodex even has an app you can use to create slideshows on your phone/devices. The template selection is also quite extensive, which makes creating slideshows really easy depending on what type of photography you are showcasing. Photodex even has seasonal themes. For example, I used the new Rustic Autumn template numerous times in the past month for my family sessions. Some other designs I love are Celebration, Senior Style, and Damask Elegance. I’m looking forward to using the holiday templates as well. And for the boudoir side of my business, I always use Kiss. There are too many to name – my list could go on! But there truly is something for every occasion. With this new service, I am able to import my images directly from my Zenfolio website, making it convenient and efficient. You can also directly import images from your computer and various other sites, such as Flickr, Dropbox and Instagram. There is no limit to the number of images you can use. Plus, you can add videos. Once you add a video, you can trim it if needed so you don’t have to edit beforehand. And the animations and transition effects add a really fun effect. It comes with multiple options you can use, or you can even buy specialty effect packs, which are perfect for sports photography or weddings. I found the freebies were more than enough for me. You can also add a title page to your slideshow, which is a nice touch. It gives you the option of just a heading, or also adding a subhead. I like to put the name as the heading and the date of the session as my subhead. Another feature I enjoyed was the ability to upload my logo and place it directly into the slideshow where it appears in every frame in the bottom right hand corner. This is a great branding opportunity in case this slideshow is shared on social media or shown to any friends and family members at home. You are also able to pick a key image to be your “poster page,” which is the first image that shows up when clients click on a slideshow. This is important as you want the first image to have a real wow factor. From there, you can also have a link directly to your website that opens in a new window. This helps direct clients’ family and friends who will view the slideshow directly on your page, I just love that! See the example below: Music truly sets the mood and enhances slideshows. ProShow Web has hundreds of royalty-free music you can use for your slideshow. It is really easy to browse all the categories, and ProShow Web has every type of music, suitable for: birthdays, celebrations, holidays, and even some acoustic options. Another useful feature is that you are able to star your favorites as you review songs for later use in another slideshow. I also love that your slideshow can be up to 20 minutes long and you can fill that time with multiple songs. ProShow Web also lists the music by instrumental or vocal so you can easily narrow down what you are looking for. The system lists the music by tempo or length and top picks, making it very easy to navigate. I purchased the rights to a song for my site that I am also able to upload into the slideshow. I also use Triple Scoop Music for slideshows as it is integrated with Zenfolio, making it easy to preview and add songs as needed. There is truly something for everyone, and it is very easy to create the right mood for your clients. Last but not least, you can adjust the quality of your slideshows. To adjust the quality, you can save them as ‘basic online viewing’ all the way up to ‘true HD quality,’ with everything in between. Once a slideshow is saved, you can share online, embed it in a website or blog, or send the link to your clients. It also has a useful feature that shows you how many slideshow views you had. Overall, I would definitely recommend Photodex ProShow Web to other photographers. It was very user-friendly from the moment I started exploring the website, and whenever I wasn’t clear on how to use a feature, the extensive online help and video tutorials were right there to walk me through it. There is even online and call support, but I never needed to contact them. I have been pleased with all the creative control I have had designing my slideshows and more importantly the impact they have made on my clients’ viewing experience. To view an example, I recently created a slideshow from Photodex ProShow Web that is integrated onto my website, and I love the way it looks. Check it out here: http://boudoirbyerica.com.   Erica's passion for photography is easy to see in her vibrant and dynamic images. Based in rural Ohio, Erica has been photographing people for as long as she can remember. Her raw talent combined with a casual, documentary style approach makes her a photographer to keep your eye on. Check out her main website here: http://www.ericapeerenboom.com/ show less
Dec 09
Photographer's Corner: How to Achieve Consistency with Prints
When it comes to printing, we all want the best. We want our images to come out sharp, snazzy, with great color or tonal range, and... show more
When it comes to printing, we all want the best. We want our images to come out sharp, snazzy, with great color or tonal range, and just as we saw them on our monitor, right? However, as some of us have realized, there is always the potential for images to not come out in printed form as we expected (sad trombone). So, why does this happen, and what can we do to get printed products that more closely match the images on our monitor? Continuing our dialogue on the importance of color management and monitor calibration, I would like to introduce another topic that is incredibly important for achieving consistent results: soft proofing. Soft proofing allows you the opportunity to view your image through the filter of the profile that was created for a specific product’s surface. A profile is a mathematically defined map of color (color space) that can be reproduced through any particular device. Because it is not yet possible to reproduce all the colors that can be seen on your monitor, especially if you photograph in larger color spaces such as ProPhoto, soft proofing allows you to actually see what colors can be printed on that product. This means that you will be able to have a more realistic expectation for how your image will appear on a given product and make important adjustments to your file before it is even uploaded to the lab. Sound like a miracle? We think so, and miracles happen all the time in the world of color management.         Soft proofing is only one piece in the large world of color management. In order to have accurate results with this step, it would be best to consider the following three points: 1) First, in case you had your headphones on and missed the announcement, it’s really important to calibrate your monitor. To keep extremely consistent results, I recommend calibrating your monitor on a regular basis. On older monitors, colors are more likely to drift quickly (meaning they will morph into a different color) and you may want to consider calibrating your monitor at least once a week. 2) Second, it is important to be aware of your work space and prepare an environment that works well for accurate color viewing and correction. For example, a consistent light source is best so that you do not have to recalibrate every time the light changes. If you have the luxury of working in a room without windows, consider lighting your space with daylight temperature bulbs. I recommend SoLux bulbs, which were created precisely for this purpose. (My former boss and I swoon when hearing the word SoLux). When preparing your lighting configuration in your workspace, be sure to avoid shining any light directly on your monitor. When testing the luminosity of the space, if you find that your light sources are still emitting too much light during calibration, you can purchase grids to diffuse the light and also purchase a monitor hood to keep light from shining directly on the monitor.   3) Third, it is best to be mindful about the colors found in your environment. For example, that beautiful print of a sunset probably should not be hung right behind you where you are working. Why? Because the reflections of these colors in the monitor can affect how you perceive the colors in your images. You might also consider wearing neutral colors while sitting in front of your monitor for the very same reason.       In order to soft proof your files, you will need two things — and I am not talking about a bottle opener and a case of Sam Adams. First, you will need the profile (defined map of printable color) that was created specifically for the product you are going to have your images printed on. These are called ICC profiles. ICC stands for International Color Consortium. This council was formed in 1993 to help standardize how we view and print color consistently across many different devices. Zenfolio works with several labs that have custom profiles created for specific products, including: the ICC profile for metal prints with Ivoke; a fotoflot profile; and print profiles for One Vision Imaging, Mpix, MpixPro and Nulab. You can download these from their partner pages or from our Help guide. Second, you will need software that enables you to install ICC profiles for proofing. Programs such as Adobe Photoshop Creative Suite or Lightroom will allow you to do this. Unfortunately, this feature is not available in Photoshop Elements. However, Windows users can download a plugin called Elements+ that allows you some ability to soft proof in Elements. (Download this here) After you download a profile to your computer, you will need to install it and then load it into your editing software. Step-by-step directions that explain how to install your profile onto a PC or Mac, and then load it into Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop CS, can be found here. Directions on how to load your profile with the Elements+ plugin can be found here.       After you have loaded your profile, you might see quite a shift in color when you soft proof your image. This is because the profile itself was created to show the colors that can be reproduced in printed form for that product. Colors that are not represented in the profile fall out of range, or out of gamut, and it is the rendering intent that determines how those new reproducible colors will be found in the software. There are no rules to follow for what changes should be made. Sometimes edits are not necessary and the color looks great, but other times there are decisions that have to be made. Ultimately, this is a subjective process, and only you know how you would like your images to look.   If you find that you need more help learning how to make specific changes to your images, there are many Photoshop and Lightroom gurus out there who teach exactly this. For example, Julieanne Kost is a Lightroom guru, and you can check out a video tutorial she made about soft proofing here. You can also check out Digital2you.cc’s blog. It posts a lot of interesting topics regarding color management and hosts seminars in different areas around the U.S. It also has great deals on calibration devices. Rendering intents are important because they determine what to do with renegade colors. Instead of going on strike or having a meltdown, the printer can happily continue with its printing duties because the software is able to communicate to the printer what colors should be printed. There are two primary rendering intents used for photographic images: perceptual and relative colorimetric. Most often, the rendering intent is determined when the profile is created, and this is why it’s important to use the suggested rendering intent (if provided by the lab) when soft proofing. If the perceptual rendering intent sees a color that is out of gamut, it will compress the entire gamut of the profile in the image to fit inside the printer profile’s gamut. This means that other colors that are not out of gamut may also shift in the process. Relative colorimetric, on the other hand, does not shift any colors that can be reproduced in gamut; however, colors that are outside of gamut will be pulled to the nearest point on the edge of the profile and this color will be printed instead. Please note, if you are using relative colorimetric, it is necessary to have black point compensation turned on.       It is always exciting to receive the package with your final order, and you may wonder how to tell if the changes you made while soft proofing were effective. Please remember that the comparison between the file for soft proofing and the final product are not going to be exactly the same because they are being viewed with different light sources. The printed object is going to reflect light and the colors in the print, while your monitor is going to be emitting light through the image. This can create two different perceptions of color; however, you can still get a pretty good idea of whether they are close.    When you are viewing your printed product, also keep in mind that the color of light you are viewing it under is going to affect how you perceive the color. If you view your print under a SoLux bulb or outside in direct sunlight (the most neutral color of light possible) and then look at the image on your monitor, you can experience a more accurate perception of color. When you compare the two, you should be able to tell whether the colors are similar in hue and value and if it is close enough for you to feel like your soft-proofing endeavor was an initial success. Sometimes they do not look the same, and this is good information for you to have. For example, if you notice anything consistent about how the profile treats a specific aspect of the print (i.e., the overall value shifts slightly darker), you may want to double-check the brightness level of your calibrated monitor, and if this is correct, consider making a slight shift with your files to brighten them up for future prints. Knowing this information can help you prepare for the success of future orders.       Simply put, all devices have different ranges of possible color representation. Because it is not always possible to reproduce the exact colors you see on your monitor, with soft proofing you will be able to better anticipate what you will see on your printed product and make controlled decisions ahead of time with your files so that you can achieve your desired results. In the end, even if your customers don’t notice these details, you can, and you’ll feel more confident about the images you are sending out into the world.         Zenfolio Member Benefit: Discount on Datacolor calibration equipment: www.zenfolio.com/zf/benefits/datacolor.aspx X-rite color management equipment and tutorials: www.xrite.com Color management equipment, tutorials, and blogs: www.digital2you.cc/ SoLux lighting resources: www.solux.net   Laura Hall not only helps Zenfolio users with their websites, she is also a product specialist and photographer with a strong color management and digital photography background. Before migrating to California to join the Zenfolio team, she helped to implement color management systems for digital photography programs, wrote educational and technical materials and provided consultation services on color management and printing. To see some of her current photography projects in the works, please visit: http://www.lauraswork.com show less
Dec 02
A Day in the Life of a Customer Support ZenMaster
Have we met? Quite likely. Whether in-person at a trade show, during a webinar, on our community forum, through email, or via... show more
Have we met? Quite likely. Whether in-person at a trade show, during a webinar, on our community forum, through email, or via live chat, I’ve had the opportunity to help a number of people over the past few years. My name is Brian Bussiere, and I have a beard. Not just any beard, but a large gingery beard. It’s the kind of beard that just screams “wisdom”… which is perfect because I’m a member of the support team and we are always looking for the answers. Answering emails is my main bread and butter most of the week, but there is always something else that begs for attention as well. I help moderate the community forum, for example. I also teach webinars from time to time. They even let me assist in writing some of the help documentation. I try to spread my wisdom as far as “they” will let me, and so far so good! While our job revolves around helping people out, be it a problem or question, we help each other out as much as we help our customers. Witty banter is common – at least we think we’re being witty. Tossing out a movie reference to see who bites, or belting out a partial song lyric to see who can finish it keeps the energy up and the minds sharp. Where on The Great Onion Divide do I fall? I’m Onion all the way. Wasn’t when I was younger, but grew into it and I couldn’t be happier. The amount of delicious complimentary flavor that they can impart on so many foods makes them quite versatile. As a hobbyist griller/smoker/BBQ aficionado, I use them all the time. Pickles, on the other hand… It’s like a big family here at the office, and with that, always a little friendly competition. There are a few fellow Zennies that I have had the privilege of smacking down during a nice little ping-pong tournament. Don’t get me wrong, I lose my share of these Thunderdome-style matches. But that just makes the wins that much sweeter. There is a fondness of Karaoke that permeates the office as well, consistently spilling out into our favorite karaoke bar.  The holiday season is a big time for all of us, and we all celebrate things in our own ways. That said, I shall leave you with this little treat (well, I hope it’s a treat at least!). My customer support version of  “Twas the Night Before Christmas”           show less
Celebrate Cyber Monday with 50% off (almost) everything
Here at Zenfolio, we fully support the biggest online shopping day of the year. To celebrate, we are offering 50% off almost... show more
Here at Zenfolio, we fully support the biggest online shopping day of the year. To celebrate, we are offering 50% off almost everything on our site! Be sure to take full advantage of our biggest sale of the year and save 50% on new subscriptions, upgrades, prints, and products today only – until December 2 at 11:59 p.m. PST.   To save on new subscriptions or to upgrade your account, visit the pricing page, and select the plan that’s right for you. Enter code cybersale at checkout to save 50% on your new account. With more than 500 products to choose from, you will be sure to please every client, just in time for the holidays. With all of our global partners participating, anyone can take advantage of the sale. To save on prints and products, it is not necessary to enter the code to receive the discount; items placed in your cart will automatically be marked off. Simply: Log in to your account, sign up for a new account, or open a free trial. Upload your photos. Place your order. This sale only lasts until December 2 at 11:59 p.m. PST, so take advantage of our biggest sale now. This one-day-only sale ends tonight at December 2 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Discount applies to: prints, products, new subscriptions, and upgrades. To save on new subscriptions and upgrades, enter code cybersale at checkout. For new subscriptions the offer applies to the first year of service. All Picture It Postage stamps are discounted $5. The sale does not apply to: fotoflot products, add-ons, shipping, gift subscriptions, and renewals. There are no refunds on orders placed prior to the sale. This discount is only applicable to orders placed through the Zenfolio website. It cannot be combined with other offers. If you want to pass this sale along to your customers, please refer to our Sales FAQ. show less
Nov 25
Product Spotlight: Spider Holster Large Lens Pouch and Spider Monkey
As a dedicated portrait and landscape photographer, I am always looking for a means to carry my gear and have everything accessible... show more
As a dedicated portrait and landscape photographer, I am always looking for a means to carry my gear and have everything accessible in a quick and easy fashion. From hiking up a trail and seeing a great mountain shot to working overseas shooting portraits of locals, I rely on my gear to perform and work with me, for me, and to follow my workflow. What I noticed immediately upon receiving the Spider Camera Holster and accessories was how robust and well made everything is. The Spider Holster team has gone to great lengths to make a product that photographers will love and one that will stand up to their abuse. From the heavy-duty belt with a safety lock on the holster to the mounting plate and pin, this product is made from quality materials. I was thoroughly impressed and after using the product in several real-world shooting situations, I can say it is not simply another product in the market vying for a position. It is something that can benefit many different shooting styles -- portrait, wedding, landscape and more. The setup to the system is simple and straightforward with all tools and hardware provided. To begin, mount the plate to the base of your camera with the small extenders facing forward, toward the lens. Tighten the plate down with the provided Allen key (hex wrench) that is conveniently stored in the base plate itself (slick). Next simply insert the provided pin into one of the holes on the plate. I shoot right-handed and want the camera to hang with the lens facing backward and away from the direction I walk, so I went with the furthest away from the plate. This setup will help protect the lens from getting bumped. It also helps distribute the weight of what is mounted on the belt evenly. Another awesome feature of the Spider system that landscape and portrait photographers will find beneficial is its ability to accommodate your tripod’s quick-release plate or L-bracket. The SpiderPro’s plate mounting holes all accommodate the standard 1/4-20 thread, so mounting your accessories should be a snap. Simply attach the SpiderPro plate first and then your system to it. This is very easy and does not get in the way while shooting. The only work-around in mounting your L-bracket to the plate is now your accessory ports on the left side of the camera may be a bit obstructed due to the downward shifting of the bracket. Typically, you do not need these while shooting, so if this sounds like a setup that would work for your style, it is great to have the ability to go from a quick hand-held portrait setup to throwing your camera on a tripod.  I also got a chance to try the SpiderPro Large Lens Pouch that can easily carry a 70-200mm lens with lens hood attached. This bag is pretty sweet -- being made out of a soft neoprene material, it packs down flat for travel and attaches to any Spider belt system or any other belt you are wearing. It also has an attached rear-lens-hood-tethering solution that eliminates the fear of losing or misplacing your rear cap. I also utilized the Spider Monkey utility attachment system. This little gem was pretty amazing. One end works as a clip and attaches to the Spider belt and the other attaches to whatever you wish; flash, light meter, etc. I attached mine to my off-camera flash, allowing me to use it when needed, and then I can take it off my camera and hear the click when reattaching it to the belt system. Now, let’s jump into a real-world shooting situation that truly tested the system’s capabilities and shows how I utilized the Spider Holster system. My first field experience with this product was photographing a wedding in my gorgeous home state of Colorado. For this wedding, I was using two camera bodies: one on the Spider system and the second around my neck. I was also using a Lowepro utility bag attached to the Spider belt to carry extra lenses and batteries along with the Large Lens Pouch with my 70-300mm lens inside. I used this pouch to rotate between my 17-35mm and 70-300mm lenses and loved it. What I initially noticed when putting the belt on was how well the weight from the camera and accessories was dispersed on my hips. Weddings are hectic in nature, and this day was no exception. The wedding party was staying in a lodge in the mountains; the girls were having their hair and makeup done down in town; and the wedding and reception was up on the ski hill later that day. The other wedding photographer and I were running all over the place and needed our gear with us at all times as we didn’t have a dedicated area to stash everything. The Spider system allowed me the opportunity to grab what I needed out of my main bag at each location and then leave it in the corner, making mobility and freedom a reality. I was able to grab my camera, take a portrait shot, reinsert it into the holster, switch lenses, and be back in action in a matter of seconds. What I also loved about this setup was how easy it was to go between cameras when needing different focal lengths and how free this kept my hands and upper body as well.  At one point in the day things were getting a bit crazy and I ended up carrying all of my gear along with the other photographer’s gear and had to keep shooting. The Spider system allowed me to have both main camera bags and continue shooting from the hip without impediment. I loved it and have since found the system to be indispensable to my portrait photography. After having used the Spider Pro System in several situations from weddings to editorial portrait shoots, I have come to love how it genuinely assists photographers in doing what they are supposed to do: make beautiful images. It has earned a position in my arsenal of photographic tools and when I am out on assignment or shooting an event, I love how it makes everything come together easily.   Based in beautiful Denver, Colorado, photographer Joseph Roybal is one to keep an eye on. His extensive portfolio of landscape images and travel portraits give viewers a rare glimpse into the wondrous and colorful cultures that he visits. Joseph’s images not only tell a gorgeous story of each place that he travels to, they also showcase the true heart of each location. Check out more of his work at his website: http://www.josephroybal.com/   show less
Nov 20
Make Extra Cash This Holiday with Templated Cards
We could all use some extra cash during the holidays, especially after shopping for every friend and family member on your list... show more
We could all use some extra cash during the holidays, especially after shopping for every friend and family member on your list while trying to host that perfect party. Put your mind at ease this season by featuring the Zenfolio Template Designer on your website. This tool allows clients to create a completely customizable holiday card in just a few clicks. “If clients can upload photos to Facebook, they can order these custom products,” says Pro Team photographer Sara Kauss, who also mentioned that the custom template design option was her favorite new product from Zenfolio in Professional Photographer magazine. Creating the cards is easy. You select which designs to sell on your website from our wide selection, and then clients can choose the design and card style of their choice. They then: 1)    Upload photos directly onto the card using our drag-and-drop tools 2)    Write a personalized message on the text placeholders 3)    View what the final product will look like before adding it to their shopping cart For more details and step-by-step instructions, read our template designer help article. Even the most technically challenged can create a beautiful product. When clients are creating their cards, point-and-click directors guide them at every step of the way. You can also feature these custom design cards all year round; they work for any occasion. And cards aside, there are additional products, such as magnets, which Pro Team member J.P. Elario says are a big seller on his site. “They are a great product for photographers to use as an upsell with wedding clients. They love the idea of sending engagement save-the-dates as a keepsake magnet instead of just mailing their guests a paper card,” he says in Rangefinder magazine. And adding a personal touch is what attracts customers. “My clients have the ability to take a photo they love and create custom text describing details of their child’s birth or the name of their high-school graduate,” says Kauss. And with many designs to choose from, including ones you make yourself, clients have a lot of options. “Even for photographers who don’t want to create their own templates, Zenfolio already has a lot of gorgeous templates and fonts that clients will respond to,” says Elario. This allows for a streamlined shoot-to-print process that means clients won’t have to run from place to place. “It enables you to be a one-stop-shop for your customers, and you don’t have to rely on other printers or go to another lab,” says wedding photographer Evan Chung. “I just did a family shoot and they were expecting it to take a week or two to get the photos and then go order them some other place, and instead they can purchase it directly from my website. They had to come to the website to get the photos, but then they never have to leave.” By adding this feature to your website, you can make clients feel like they have more freedom to create exactly what they want, when they want. Make the holidays extra special this year for you and your customers with this exceptional feature.   show less
Nov 18
It’s that time of year again: Trade Show Season has begun
Whether you are a seasoned photographer with decades of experience or you are just starting out in the biz, it is always helpful... show more
Whether you are a seasoned photographer with decades of experience or you are just starting out in the biz, it is always helpful to keep abreast with the latest, newest and best photographic products and techniques. Trade shows are a great way to brush up on your skills; be the first to learn about new products; and meet other like-minded and talented individuals to learn from, network with, and draw inspiration from. Not to mention the fabulous discounts and free goodies you’ll receive! Read more about why you should attend trade shows in this blog post. The best part is, you will get to see us Zennies live in action! Each year, we have new account specials and goodies, and expert Zenmasters are there to chat with you on the spot -- and this year is no exception. Here, we break down the trade shows in the US and UK we will be attending and what you can expect at each one. Hope to see you there! Imaging USA – January 12-14, Phoenix At the largest annual convention and expo organized by professional photographers, you will learn how to build a more profitable business, all the while feeding your creativity. Build a support network and learn from other pros who love the industry just as much as you do. See product demos and talk over deals more efficiently and effectively than you can via emails and phone calls. Discover new cutting-edge products and solutions deals and grow your technical, artistic, and business know-how. The Societies/SWPP – January 17-19, London At the 2014 Photographic Convention, an event for our UK members, you will get hours upon hours of education. Choose from more than 150 hours of Masterclasses, full-day seminars, Photographic Superclasses, and more than six hours of Business School classes. Dress your best and acknowledge the highest talent at the Photographer of the Year Awards Night, and compete in the 20”x16” Print Competition. The Photography Show – March 1-4, Birmingham, UK There is plenty to keep you entertained and enlightened at this popular convention. With several stages and a catwalk, there is constant activity. Listen to photography legends share their techniques and stories on the main stage, get up close and personal with fashion, portrait and wedding photography on the catwalk, and enjoy step-by-step advice from a professional on how to take great images of unusual subjects on the live stage. There’s also a flower garden with simulated wind and rain to practice your craft. WPPI – March 3-5, Las Vegas The WPPI Conference & Expo is the premier industry event for wedding and portrait photographers. Every year, nearly 13,000 professional and aspiring photographers attend to learn new techniques from industry leaders, build new relationships to grow their business, and experience new products and solutions from major manufacturers to improve productivity. This weeklong event combines educational seminars with major industry trade show and networking events. There’s even a film all about this productive week in Vegas. show less
Take a look at our book collection: save 20% on Mpix photo books
There really is something for everyone with our ever-growing collection of completely customizable photo books. Starting today,... show more
There really is something for everyone with our ever-growing collection of completely customizable photo books. Starting today, November 18 at midnight PST, save 20% on all Mpix photo books until November 21 at 11:59 PST. (Hint: Photo books also make perfect holiday gifts) Create personalized photo books directly from your website. Using the drag-and-drop tools, you or your clients can easily put together a customized photo book with our wide selection of designs, sizes, papers, and layouts. Add the photos and you’re done -- it’s that simple. As with all sales and special offers there is no coupon code necessary to get the discount as long as the order is made from your Zenfolio account. The sales ends November 21 at 11:59 PST, so be sure to place your orders today! If you do not have a Zenfolio account you can still order by starting a free trial with Zenfolio and then: Upload your photos (no software download required) Select your products Place your order This sale is open to all customers with a destination address in the United States or Canada (extra shipping charges may apply). The sale price applies to your base price; items added to your cart will reflect the already discounted price. Visit the Mpix partner page to see the standard base price and the discounted price. If you want to pass this sale along to your customers, please refer to our Sales FAQ.     show less
Nov 11
Streamline your events workflow
Premium Business subscribers can now take full advantage of our new events features. This new functionality allows you to create a... show more
Premium Business subscribers can now take full advantage of our new events features. This new functionality allows you to create a keyword-searchable mini site for a multi-subject job. Events can either be set to allow for an open keyword search, or for additional privacy you can restrict access with individual passcodes. Keyword your photos with a unique identifier for each participant and they’ll be able to easily find their own photos. show less
Photographer’s Corner: Using Music to Enhance Marketing and Grow Your Sales
Music can enhance the emotional impact of your stories, supercharge your marketing, and help you to sell more prints, albums,... show more
Music can enhance the emotional impact of your stories, supercharge your marketing, and help you to sell more prints, albums, slideshows and sessions. But how does music licensing actually work for professional photographers? What is legal? How do you choose the best songs for your project? My team at Triple Scoop Music and I have dedicated the last seven years to helping creative professionals around the world grow their businesses with award-winning music. We make music licensing incredibly easy, fun and affordable. The partnership between Zenfolio and Triple Scoop Music provides special music options directly within your Zenfolio account. The new TSM 10K subscription includes unlimited streaming access to more than 10,000 hand-picked songs. During the month of November, all Zenfolio users get a free trial to access Triple Scoop Music’s award-winning songs. To take advantage of this offer click on the Free TSM 10K Trial link when customizing a gallery or embeddable slideshow.    First, I’ll go over a few common questions about the basics of music licensing. Then, I’ll cover how using music in your slideshows can help you grow your business and enhance your marketing.   What is a music license?  Simply stated, a music license provides permission to use a song within your business. Various types of licenses allow for uses such as: Adding (synchronizing) music within your marketing slideshows, videos, and sales presentations Sharing slideshows and videos on your website, blog, Facebook and YouTube Using music in TV or film projects Creating (and selling) slideshows and videos for your clients Do I really need a license? Absolutely. Using music without a license is not only bad form, it can create serious legal issues for your business. As a business owner, you should not be using anyone else’s content without a license (you wouldn’t want other people making unauthorized copies of your photographs, for example). The responsibility is yours, and making the right choice is a smart way to protect your business. Can I use CDs I’ve already purchased, or the music I bought on iTunes for my business? No, that would be illegal. When you purchase a music CD at a retail store, or when you buy a song from iTunes or other consumer music sites, you are only allowed to use the music for personal listening, not for professional use. If you want to use music within slideshows and within your business, you will need a license. What if my client brings his or her own CD, or provides the MP3 file? Even if your client is the one who purchased or downloaded a song, it is still not legal for you to use the music in videos or slideshows you create for them, unless they (or you) have a proper music license. What type of music license do I need?  To license a song for use within slideshows or videos, permission must be granted by:             1) The owner of the audio recording (usually a record label).             This is called a “Master Use“ license.             2) The copyright owner of the song and lyrics (usually a publishing company).             This license is called a “Synchronization” or “Sync” license. You must have permission from both the record label and the publisher in order to use the recorded song. The tricky part is that many songs have multiple, independent owners that each must approve the music use. This tends to make licensing through record labels and publishers extremely time consuming, expensive and restrictive. At this point you may be asking (or yelling) to yourself “Why is music licensing so complicated?” Don’t worry — you’re not alone! We felt music licensing should be easier, so we started Triple Scoop Music to provide a simple, affordable way for professional photographers, event filmmakers and businesses to license hand-picked music. Here are some easy tips for creating great slideshows that will resonate with your clients: 1. Write one simple sentence on the story of your slideshow. Is the slideshow for promoting your business? Is the slideshow for a client?  If you’re 100 percent clear on what story you plan on telling, you’re more likely to stay on track. For example, “This story is about Sarah and Chris Smith’s romantic wedding in New York and the love between them.” Or “This story is about my family portrait business and the passion we have for making families smile.” Notice how each of these sentences help you to focus on a specific story.  2. Write down three words that best describe the feel or mood of your project. For example, if the project is a wedding slideshow perhaps the three words would be: elegant, romantic, and timeless. For children’s photography perhaps your three are: playful, innocent, and happy. For a sporting event, your three words might be: aggressive, intense, and fast. These words are important to define the overall energy and feel of your slideshow. 3. Pick your images, music and graphics. Make sure that everything matches the three words on your list and the story of your slideshow. This includes the images and music you pick, to any graphics and even the fonts. Anything that does not match should not be used. Remember, when every element of your slideshow is helping to tell the same story, it will have a much more powerful impact. 4. Choose the slideshow “speed” that best matches your mood and the music. A great feature of slideshows is that you can adjust the transitions from slow to fast. Experiment with speed to best match the feel of your story, images and music. If the tempo of the music is fast, the images should transition faster, (great for sports, teens, celebrations/receptions and parties). Likewise, a slower transition speed may work best for slower songs (great for romantic slideshows, nature slideshows, newborn/baby slideshows). Spend some time experimenting to see what works best. As simple as these steps are, I guarantee following them will ensure that your slideshow is more focused, emotional, and effective for you and your clients. When the client feels the powerful, emotional match of music with your images, you’re creating an opportunity to sell more prints, albums and sessions.   Music’s emotional power can help supercharge your business in many ways. Here are a few simple starting places: 1. Marketing videos for social media Create slideshows showing your very best work for your website, blogs, and social media. This is one of the best ways to find new clients. Always make sure to include an ending slide with your logo and website. 2. In-studio sales presentations The right music can create the perfect environment to inspire your clients. Creating a “multi-sensory” environment with music + images will help you close more sales of sessions, prints, albums and more. Consider starting every presentation with a two or three minute slideshow with great music to set the mood. 3. Same-day videos or slideshows Presenting a slideshow or video with music at a wedding reception or live event is a great way to thrill your clients (along with all of their guests!) and build referrals. This approach has proved to work wonders for many successful photographers and event filmmakers. 4. Behind-the-scenes content Create “behind-the-scenes” slideshows or videos with uplifting music to show potential clients how much fun they will have working with you. Include on-screen testimonials from happy clients. Let your personality and professionalism shine through. Post these on your website or blog. 5. Client slideshows & videos Are you selling slideshows and videos to your clients? Many photographers include a video or slideshow with music as a perk for their higher-priced packages. This also helps you to sell more prints, albums and photo products. Make sure these projects include an ending credit with your logo and website. Encourage your clients to share them on social media (a great way to build referrals).  These types of projects can benefit from the Pro Photographer or Event Filmmaker music licenses available at: http://TripleScoopMusic.com   These days, the top creative companies, photographers and brands set themselves apart with independent music that is unique and captivating. The music should enhance your story and make your images the true star of the show.   I hope this article gets you thinking about the ways music can help you take your art (and your profits) to the next plateau. To your success!   Based in Los Angeles, California, Roy Ashen is the CEO and Cofounder of Triple Scoop Music, the world’s leading music service for professional photographers and event filmmakers.   show less