Friday, September 26, 2008

Online Photo Proofing Services

I've been holding off on doing this post for quite a while because I'd prefer to give you very detailed information about each service and what it offers. However, I understand that several people have been stranded recently by their current provider and are looking for another solution- which makes this a more urgent issue. Before you decide on any proofing solution, I think you need to make sure you're only going to pay for what you're going to use. In other words - don't invest in a full service solution if you really want to do most of the work on your own. Likewise, don't underinvest in a solution that's only going to solve half of your problems. This is a key part of any professional photographer's business, so it is essential that you ask the right questions of yourself and of the company you're looking to sign up with.

First decide which services you need or don't need. Here are some options to consider:
- Online Hosting (their server or yours)
- Web or Computer Based Software
- Payment Processing (paypal, credit card, etc.)
- Password Protection (client privacy)
- Categorizable Galleries
- Sepia or BW previews
- Client Favorites or Folders
- Customizable to match branding
- Website Integration
- Guestbook/Data Collection
- Print Fulfillment or Self Fulfillment
- Lab Partnerships (do they work with a lab you trust)
- Backup Storage (do they store small or full res files - for how long?)
- Product Offerings
- Digital Downloads
- Watermarked Images
- Monthly/Annual/One Time Fee
- Commissioned sales
- Order Packaging
- Training & Support Services

I'm sure there are more options I'm not including, but this is to get your started in thinking about which services are valuable to you and which ones aren't. Now onto the online proofing solutions, (eventually I'd like to create a metrix comparing services and features, but for now I offer you a list)...


Into The Darkroom



More Photos



Photo Cart


Exposure Manager





Gallery Director




Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mass Photo Sharing Simplified

Why would you want to share your photos in so many places? Doesn't that just open your work up to be stolen or copied? Yes, yes it does. However, if you've watermarked or branded your images in a way that will lead people back to your website, this also means that you're essentially advertising your work to many different people all at once! It's free, it's easy, and now there's a way to make it more efficient!! I'm happy to let potential wedding planners and clients borrow my branded images for their blog or wedding idea page! The more the merrier!

Check out this great tip on about sharing your photos in multiple places with just one click!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Joy of Risk

I wanted to share some personal thoughts that have been spinning around in my head lately. I hope they reach the eyes of someone who needs to see them...

If someone had told me before I started that I'd have to build my business three times, in three different states, over the course of three years, I would have laughed an unnatural and ridiculous laugh and then looked them dead in the face to say they were crazy. Yet, somehow I've managed to survive. Each change has brought unexpected good things which I never could have anticipated or planned for, and the future just keeps looking brighter.

There are a lot of naysayers to tell you that you can't do this, or shouldn't do that, and to them I say... phooey! Make your own path. Do what YOU love. Your passion will shine through and people will find you no matter where you are. Use risks as an opportunity to learn something new. Give yourself permission to not know everything, to be under-prepared, to make mistakes, to be vulnerable, and to learn something new from it. Take a leap on pure faith that things will work out for the best. Allow room for something unexpected to happen in your life- you might just be surprised by what it brings to your doorstep.

It's really amazing how the universe steps in to catch you... but only after you've already stepped off the cliff (figuratively, of course!) I still have fears about what the future holds... but I've been learning to spend more time focused on the possibilities rather than the potential pitfalls. Fear can be so paralyzing, but the lack of fear is infinitely powerful. - Anne

If my words aren't enough, here are a few more...
Famous Failures
The Last Lecture
Asking for What You Want
Make Some Damn Mistakes

Friday, September 5, 2008

Opportunity of a Lifetime - Image X '08

If you haven't heard of Image X, you've probably been hiding under a rock or buried in work. Some of the top photographers in the wedding and portrait biz are hosting three days of all out intense learning capped off with a whole lot of New Orleans fun!! Fortunately for ONE photolovecat blog reader, there's a spot open for you and it's HALF OFF!! Instead of the $1699 price tag, I'll be paying your deposit so that you'll be able to attend for $849- which INCLUDES your hotel stay at the fabulous Omni hotel- WOO HOO! All you'll have to do is get there! I believe that workshops are a great way to expand your knowledge and to find out how other photographers (and not just presenters) are making it all work!

Since it's only a month away, I don't want to waste any time! So, I'm just going to give it to the first person who leaves a comment with their website address! If you already see a comment, go ahead and leave your info just in case someone backs out! Good luck!! - Anne

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Album Design Software

Laura Siivola ( wrote in to let PhotoLoveCat know about some research she had done into album design software. She originally put this together during her first year in business and just recently updated it just for us! Here's what she had to say back in 2006:

"I've put together a list of Album Design Software I've found just to get my bearings. There are so many to choose from and so many questions I don't even know where to start- it's very overwhelming! Hopefully this will help other photographers out there looking for this very thing. I'm a lucky person to be a part of some very helpful online communities which have been a big part of compiling this list. I'd love to hear your thoughts on any of these programs you may have used. If I've missed any just let me know- I want to have all the options available here for anyone to view. The software I've listed are (I believe...) all available for output to any lab or binding service… which means you can choose! (Yet another mind boggling experience I'll save for another day!) :0)"

And her update 9 months later:

“Just an update, for ya- I decided to go with the LumaPix Fotofusion and I love it! If you're interested in what it can do, here’s a couple of wedding albums I designed using the software.

Scottsdale, AZ wedding photography at Sassi

Cave Creek, Arizona photo wedding album

I'm learning how to add cool borders and other fun things too! I'll be sure to post more as I design them :0)”

Check out her beautiful designs via the links above, and then use this table to help you with your own album design software decisions!

(If you're viewing this table via blogger, you may not be seeing the last column "demo/trial available"...I'll keep working on trying to fix that. - Jillian)



Templates available?

Save your Templates


Demo/ Trial

Page Gallery

Yes but cannot save your own.




Dg Foto Art

Yes- As separate purchases


$249- $649


You Select It





Kubota's auto album

As per Page layouts



LumaPix FotoFusion


Yes- Studio/Pro version

$39.95- $299.95


Gary Fong’s Digital Album

Unsure (auto assemble)



Adobe® InDesign

Yes- From outside sources




pixel creator pro





Album DS








$495 or license per year


A huge thanks (and a hug) to Laura for being such a love cat and sharing her information…this information can be tough to track down and gather! Be sure to add her blog to your blogroll!