PhotoDeck teams up with WHCC!

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Fantastic news for our American members! We’re very excited to announce that starting today, they can have their print sales automatically fulfilled by the good folks at White House Custom Colour, a leader among US professional printing services.

This follows our previous integration with One Vision Imaging in the UK.

Easy, and with full control

To start selling a wide range of prints and canvas, all you need to do is create a new pricing profile. The products and their prices are naturally easily customizable.

Enabling fully automated fulfillment and delivery is as easy as connecting your PhotoDeck account to your WHCC account.

Best of all, PhotoDeck takes ZERO commission on your sales!

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See our video and step-by-step guide to get started quickly and easily!

Not a PhotoDeck member yet?


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TIP // Managing your site from a mobile device

The PhotoDeck administration space is a desktop-class file management utility and backend, but that doesn’t mean it’s limited to desktops and laptops. Your administration space retains full compatibility with mobile devices, letting you create and manage your site just like you would on a regular computer.

PhotoDeck on iPad

We sometimes get the question: Can I create and maintain a PhotoDeck website using only an iPad? The answer is yes, with some minor limitations. Due to the nature of web apps, drag-and-drop is not supported, but rearranging thumbnails is still possible using the built-in sorting tools.

Uploading from an iPad

Uploading multiple files requires the Adobe Flash plugin, though individual files can be uploaded using the web uploader. You may also use one of the many available FTP upload apps to put multiple files onto your PhotoDeck account while on the go. So whenever you need to make a change to your site or add a file, you can do so even when you’re on the go.


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Negotiation 101 for photographers

Tricia ScottTricia Scott is the owner of MergeLeft Artist Agents, an agency representing amazing photographers for 20 years in New York City.

As an agent, one of the top reasons a photographer comes to me is to help them negotiate with clients. A negotiation is defined as a mutual discussion and arrangement of terms of a transaction or agreement. A complaint I hear from photographers is that there is no negotiation, just them agreeing to whatever the client will give them. This doesn’t have to be the case. The best negotiators do their homework and ask questions. The clients who don’t like to give much info typically are not serious about you shooting for them.

You need to know what the goals are in the negotiation. What are both parties needs? Whenever I am approached about a job I ask, what do we want from this job? We have three criteria, and we hope they all apply, but this isn’t always the case. If one of these things is not in the equation, we pass on the job. No reason to negotiate if you aren’t getting something out of it.

  • Money
  • Access
  • Creativity

When you are estimating a job, ask the right questions. Negotiation requires discussion. They have come to you because you can fulfill a need they have. What is that need? What can you do for them that no one else brings to the table?

Things to think about:

  1. Is this is new client or returning client? If it’s a new client, the more questions you ask, the more you will know if are really in the running for the job. Most jobs are triple bid these days, with a few exceptions. Ask who the other photographers are, and who is the favored photographer. Some clients won’t tell you, but most do. This will give you an idea if you are all in the same league. It also will tell you whether they are looking for a “local” photographer, a cheap photographer, or if you are just an additional number.
  2. Ask for the budget. I find that most long time clients will tell you their budgets and ask what can be done. For new clients, if they say they don’t know their budget, try to find out if it’s a 10K job or a 200K job. This can quickly educate you on what type production it’s going to be. Ask about their history of budgets. What have they done in the past? Are they trying to up the ante or just get something done quickly and cheaply? This is also a place where some negotiating can happen so it doesn’t come out of your fees. If they want more than can be afforded, expectations have to be scaled back. Less number of shots, less days, less talent. What can be scaled back so they get the most for their money, and you aren’t feeling taken advantage of? Do you really need a video casting or can you do a stills casting? Can they back off on usage rights to bring costs down on you and the talent? Can you license additional images on the back end?
  3. Make them HAVE to use you. Jobs are awarded to photographers whose numbers are higher if the client really wants to work with them. Your discussions with the client about the job, your knowledge of their product or service and your enthusiasm to collaborate and create together can make the decision to find more money or negotiate with you much more palatable. Even more so if you are an awesome, nice person! And vice versa, if it’s something you’ve always wanted to do, and you have to give a bit to do it, it’s not the end of the world. The three criteria again.
  4. Keep emotions out of it. Your work is personal to you, and putting a value on it is hard. But you run a business.

So first and foremost, know your cost of doing business. What does it cost you to run your business everyday? All money decisions and negotiations should be based on that. Ask other photographers or people in the business. Photographers are a private bunch, not wanting to give away their big secrets, but ask questions, find out what people are charging for certain things if you don’t know.

A few things NOT to consider in negotiations:

The promise of more work, and lots of it. That carrot is nice to think about but it’s not a guarantee. If you can get them to guarantee it in writing, go for it but it’s not a common occurrence.

Bigger fees next time. If they think of you as the cheap photographer once, they always will. Be careful of that. The same goes the other way, if you are immediately thought of as non-negotiable and way too expensive, you might get passed up on a great project that has a tight budget but great access or amazing photos.

In the end, you should walk away from a negotiation feeling good about how it was resolved, and both parties should feel content with the decisions. The goal is to make great photographs, make money, make the client happy, and enjoy it. And always over deliver. That will certainly put you in the “worth more money” category. Win-win.


Posted in Photography business | Tagged , ,

TIP // Get more visitor stats with analytics integration

Your PhotoDeck website comes with great analytics and timelines to keep track of activity on your site. If you’re hungry for even more data, you can also easily integrate with Google Analytics and StatCounter. Both are free tools that provide extremely powerful insights including visitor acquisition, in-page analytics, demographics, and much more.

Google Analytics

To integrate with these services, go to My Website / General Settings / General Options / Analytics. Enter the provided analytics code for Google Analytics or StatCounter, save the page, and you’re done! In addition, you can also set up Facebook insights.

It is normal to see significantly less visits reported via Google Analytics or StatCounter. Google Analytics uses Javascript for tracking, so visitors need to have Javascript enabled for their visits to be recorded. In addition, it is easy for visitors to forbid Google Analytics tracking.


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TIP // Editing your mobile design

PhotoDeck websites offer a great deal of customizability, and that also includes the mobile versions designed for smartphones. In fact, with the exception of custom code, the mobile design offers almost the same degree of customizability as the desktop version.

Mobile Design

Editing your mobile design is very similar to customizing the desktop version. First, head over to My Website / Design, then click on Mobile >, as seen in the screenshot below. Use the different tabs to access the styling options, just like you would for your desktop design.

Mobile Settings

Once you’re in the mobile design edit mode, you can customize anything from colors and fonts to icons and spacing. You can even choose one of our pre-configured color “recipes” by clicking on More Info just below the mobile theme. Try to keep a consistent style with your desktop design if possible!


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Essential characteristics of a successful Pro

Zoe_WhishawZoe Whishaw is a independent commercial photography consultant and mentor. She works with photographers on a one-to-one basis and runs seminars and workshops in and around London.

As an experienced editor, art director and commissioner of photographers, I thought it might be useful to consider some of the fundamental attributes I believe a photographer needs in order to build strong client relationships and so be more likely to be re-hired and recommended to others.

Now it goes without saying that everyone is different and this difference can be a powerful means of separating yourself from your competitors. These days it’s true to say more than ever that a photographer’s ‘personality/persona’ has currency and sway in terms of getting hired.

That said, there are a number of underlying characteristics that I think are essential for any photographer to possess if you want to be successful and get re-hired aside from possessing a stand-out body of inspiring work.

I won’t attempt to write a psychological piece here nor be exhaustive in my suggestions… rather I want to draw your attention to some strong top-level qualities that through my experience I believe to be important to cultivate and perhaps in some instances develop further in order that you feel secure in your practice. If you feel confident in these arenas there is every reason to have a loyal customer base and indeed find referrals coming to you via happy clients.

  • Show your professionalism: be dependable, efficient, timely, on budget, organised, polite, an expert in your field, committed, collaborative, flexible and not a clock-watcher. Keep your emails and invoices professional.
  • Be a good communicator: presenting yourself and your work effectively to clearly define your vision and services; handling and getting the best out of your crew (producer, stylists, models, etc). Pleasant and polite demeanour in all handlings with your client and your clients’ clients. Be responsive – pick up the phone and be a good listener.
  • Be solution-oriented: always a creative thinker and practical problem -solver willing to go the extra mile to work through challenges. You freely offer up ideas and solutions at the trickiest of times.
  • Be patient & tenacious: strong work ethic and you certainly don’t give up easily. Money can’t be your first motivator.
  • Have a thick skin: there will be plenty of knocks and rejections on your journey as a photographer. You need to feel able to embrace (and even welcome) criticism and be willing and able to learn from it.
  • Demonstrate enthusiasm and drive: this can be wonderfully infectious and can help you to stand out in what is an incredibly competitive industry.

Posted in Photography business | Tagged

TIP // Expiring Galleries

Expiring galleries make it easy for you to automatically revoke gallery access or free up server space at a time of your choosing. The built-in expiry tools are flexible and easy to set up. The idea is that you can “set it and forget it”. If you agree to make images available for a client for a certain period of time, you can set up expiry and not need to keep track of it.

Gallery Expiry

You can set up gallery expiry by navigating to the gallery in the My Images & Videos panel, then going to More / Gallery expiry. There are different kinds of behaviors you can set up for your gallery for different purposes.

Gallery Expiry

Gallery never expires. This is the default setting for all galleries. No changes are made to the gallery, and it will remain available to your clients indefinitely.

Gallery expires, make gallery inaccessible at expiry. Once the chosen date of expiry is reached, the gallery will be made inaccessible to visitors. You can make it accessible again via the Authorizations panel of the gallery.

Gallery expires, delete gallery at expiry. The gallery is deleted, but all images are simply “unpublished” and kept on the server. Get easy access to your unpublished files by using the pre-existing Not Published smart collection, found at the bottom of the left-hand-side panel.

Gallery expires, delete gallery and its content at expiry.This setting permanently deletes the gallery AND the contained images. This cannot be undone! Use this setting to automatically free up space on your account when the images are no longer needed.


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TIP // Spice up your buttons

You’ve chosen a design for your website, uploaded your photos, and added pricing profiles to them. To refine your design, you can customize the buttons on your website to make them more visible and enticing to your clients or potential clients.

Customized Buttons

Under My Website / Design / Style / Buttons and controls, feel free to choose a color that you like and think would go well with your design. Keep in mind that complementary colors can be effective in making them stand out, though you probably won’t want to distract from your images.

Button Options

Once you’ve chosen a color, you can proceed to change the look of the buttons. Less rounded corners, a darker overlay, shadows – all can be customized. We’ve already chosen a default color that matches the rest of your design, but you have total control over small details as well, so have fun!


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On Heartbleed and security

You’ve probably heard by now of Heartbleed, a critical flaw in the de-facto security component used by most web services. This flaw makes it possible for attackers to access part of the memory of servers using OpenSSL for encryption, and steal data from it.

Over the weekend, a few members have asked us where we stand on the issue.

In short, PhotoDeck relies on the affected component, but we took the appropriate steps swiftly, and don’t believe there is a meaningful risk to your data. As a precaution, it is always a good idea to change your password, and especially to make sure you don’t re-use the same password across different services.

This is not the first (nor the last) time in PhotoDeck’s lifetime that a major security bug surfaces. We actively monitor security issues on a continuous basis and make sure we are able to react swiftly when such issues arise.

As a result, we were able to implement a correction to our system as soon as it was available, within about 21 hours of the bug being announced. This is a relatively short window, and from a hacker’s viewpoint there were far higher-profile targets to exploit than PhotoDeck. We have no evidence of data being compromised.

Still, what is the risk exactly?

PhotoDeck does not process (and therefore we don’t store) credit card numbers, and all financial traffic goes directly to our payment providers, so no financial data is accessible through PhotoDeck. In fact, in our setup the affected component only has access to data in transit (active sessions), not to the database. Similarly, the image and video files are out of reach.

Nonetheless, in theory, some users login credentials could have been compromised. So as a precaution, you can change your password (ME / Change my password).

More importantly, make sure that you don’t reuse the same password across services.

We will keep monitoring closely the Heartbleed situation, as well as security issues in general.


Posted in Behind the scenes | Tagged

TIP // Custom order IDs

If you’re using your PhotoDeck website for ecommerce or download galleries, you know that orders are created on your website to keep an overview. You may be familiar with this view on your Orders page:

Orders

Now, the default system for order numbers has its time and place. However, if you want to create custom order numbers, you can. This may come in handy when your business already uses an existing syntax for order numbers, or when you want to simplify your bookkeeping.

Custom Order Numbers

Head on over to My Business / Checkout Settings / Advanced Settings and check the box for Use my own format. You can make the order ID’s as simple or as complex as you like. For example, if you simply want to use a running number for your orders, enter %@ in the ID format field. You can also incorporate the year, month, and day. The syntax is shown on the page, so head on over to your checkout settings and take a look!


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