Archive

Archive for September, 2011

New Video Downloads: Shoot, Sell and Share

September 30, 2011 82 comments

Hey, Smuggers! Pros can now sell video downloads just like prints, cards and the whole shebang:

Sell video downloads

You’ve asked for this for a really long time and we were busting at the seams waiting to tell you about it. We hope you love this new feature (and all the cha-ching! it brings) as much as we loved building it for you.

While you’re soaking up the good news, let’s go over the basic deets about video on SmugMug.

How to Upload Your Videos

You probably already know that you can upload an unlimited number of HD video to every Power or Pro SmugMug account in addition to unlimited photos. Since most cameras have video functions baked right in, you’ve probably got quite a collection already.

Put your videos into your SmugMug galleries exactly the same way you already do with your photos. You can upload a slew of photos and videos at the same time if you’d like. We always recommend our easy-to-use browser based uploaders, but you can use whatever works best for your workflow.

There’s lots of different video formats out there and we accept a huge range of codecs to make it simple. In the rare case that we don’t recognize the format, write to our Support Heroes for help or try converting it to a different one.

How to Sell Video Downloads

Price them just like you would price any other digital download. If you’re not sure, look here for full details. Open up your pricing settings, click on the Downloads tab and go nuts.

You can offer up to 5 different sizes of video downloads in both Personal and Commercial licenses. Here’s what they are:

  • Web: up to 320 x 240
  • iPod/DVD: up to 640 x 480
  • Mid-Def: up to 960 x 540
  • Hi-Def: up to 1280 x 720
  • Full HD: up to 1920 x 1080

Your fans can then add the video to their cart and check out. Video downloads are available immediately. Instant gratification!

A note about that “Save Movie” link: If you’ve not priced any videos, your visitors will continue to see that link in the lightbox header. It’ll disappear when you start pricing videos in that gallery, or when you enable Right-Click Protection in your Gallery Settings.

Similarly, your fans can’t download video sizes that are equal to or larger than the video sizes you’ve priced. So, for example if you’ve priced the Mid-Def size in a gallery, they can only save the Web and iPod sizes from the mouseover photo bar.

One last FYI: Video files will be included in your Gallery Downloads zip files, so make sure you price them accordingly.

Be on TV, Your Computer or Your Phone

Did you know that visitors using an iPhone or iPad, AppleTV, PlayStation (or any device that can play industry-standard h.264 videos) can also play SmugMug videos? Being tied to a computer is so 2006.  Just give your fans a link to the video in your SmugMug gallery and they can watch it from virtually anywhere.

Or, try embedding videos instead. We provide easy embed codes that you can drop into your blog, forum posts or any other external site. To get it, click on the Share button in any gallery (or Owner Share if you’ve disabled it to your viewers) and choose Get a Link. Video embed codes are under the “Embeddable Links” tab.  Copy and paste that code into your site and prepare to blow them away:

Tip: WordPress bloggers have it even easier. Just copy the URL for the video from the gallery and drop it into your blog editor, like this:

We’ll automatically fit the video to size:

Anyone Can (and Should) Make Movies

Even if you don’t dream of Hollywood, you can shoot and share all kinds of video that make you smile. At SmugMug, we see videos for everything like weddings, birthday parties, product reviews, music videos, demos, real estate tours to just fun, everyday clips.

But if “keyframes” and “transcoding” don’t mean much to you, we have two friends in the video biz who can get you gorgeous movies in minutes: Animoto and ProShow Web. Log in and find them in your gallery’s Buy button, then choose the “Create a Video” option. They’ll slurp in your SmugMug photos and create beautiful, engaging slideshows set to your favorite music. You can customize them, too.

The Nitty Gritty Details

As you enjoy creating, making and sharing moving pictures, keep these few bits in mind:

  • Videos can be embedded into pages in two sizes: 425×240 and 640×360. If you want your fans to see the full HD version, include a direct link to the video so they can view it in your SmugMug gallery.
  • Please keep your videos family-safe and don’t post any copyrighted material that you don’t have the rights to. This includes background music.

And of course, check out more information on our video feature on our help pages. If you’ve got questions, feel free to write us at the help desk. We’re always happy to help.

Links you’ll love:

Photog Tip of the Week: Sell Smarter with Smart Galleries by David Evertsen

September 26, 2011 5 comments

Today’s guest post is by sports shooter and Smugger David Evertsen of Phabulous Photos. Any event shooter understands how tricky it is to manage and organize large volumes of files, particularly when parents, friends and fans are beating down the door to see photos and buy prints. Since the fall sports season is ramping up, we thought this post would help you manage your workflow and feed happier customers. Here’s how he used a program called Photo Mechanic and SmugMug’s Smart Galleries to give his fans the pictures they want to see.

by David Evertsen

For the past 3 or 4 years that I have been shooting high school sports there’s been one hurdle: Parents only want to see their own child when looking through sports pictures on my site. While they enjoy looking through the galleries, it’s a completely different story when it comes to choosing prints to buy. Sports galleries are quite large and it becomes a chore for parents to look through everything to find shots just of their child.

Then think about how one photographer shoots many games per sport, several sports at a time and the problems start to multiply.

I’ve used Smart Galleries from time to time on my site combined with simple keywords assigned in Lightroom, but I needed something more powerful that could help simplify the keywording process without writing a sentence for every image. Here’s a solution that worked for me.

Step 1.  Build your Code Replacement file in Photo Mechanic

I started working with some other photographers that are required to caption and upload images to a newspaper or press site and noticed they used a product called Photo Mechanic from Camera Bits. Photo Mechanic uses something called Code Replacement. This feature is perfect for photojournalists and sports photographers: they create a simple code replacement file that acts as a library, so that they type a few keystrokes and the info (like name, position, team and number) is automatically entered into the captions. This means fast, consistently accurate information with minimal work.

First I need to show you what code replacement is and how it saves me time. Code Replacement is a form of short hand that allows you to enter in anything you want by only pressing a few keys.

Here is an example of five of keywords I put on an image:

1; bk1 ;Kevin Kyle; Boone Varsity Baseball; 2010-2011

And here’s what that means, so you can do something similar for yourself:

  • 1 – Players Jersey Number (used for reference in file)
  • bk1 – A SmugMug keyword I use to build my Smart Gallery
  • Kevin Kyle – The player’s name.
  • 2011 – Year, also used to build my Smart Gallery.

Now what keys did I press to get the bold line above added as a keyword in Photo Mechanic for the picture?

1” and “\

How this works: You build a master list of shorthand codes you want to use and define which keyword terms you want entered when you type each code. This is just a simple text file that Photo Mechanic will use to automatically plug in keywords when you type the right codes.

Tip: Remember that SmugMug keywords have to be an minimum of 3 letters to work unless you enclose them in quotes.

Step 2. Choose Your Keywords

Let me show you what I had to think out before I built my code replacement file. You’ll want to write up keywords and macro codes that make it simple for you to remember but are specific to each event you shoot. I had to create a master list of sports that I use all year round so I don’t mix up the schools and sports. That would cause disaster!

Here are a few additional example sports in the same format as the above example:

bl Boone Boys Varsity LAX
bjl Boone Boys JV Lax
bgl Boone Girls Varsity Lax
bt Boone Track
bs Boone Varsity Softball
bjs Boone JV Softball

Make the codes easy to remember – after all, the point of this is to make your job easier.

What does the Code Replacement file look like? My file is really long and includes all the sports I shoot. As the seasons start the numbers and names of the players per sport are added. The final file can contain many schools and many different sports. Here are just a few other examples:

bk1 1; bk1 ;KEVIN KYLE; Boone Varsity Baseball; 2010-2011;
bk2 2; bk2 ;FRANK  THOMAS; Boone Varsity Baseball; 2010-2011;
bk3 3; bk3 ;TRIPP CABLE; Boone Varsity Baseball; 2010-2011;
bk4 4; bk4 ;MITCHELL BOMBER; Boone Varsity Baseball; 2010-2011;

Tip: Use semicolons between the terms to ensure that they get entered as complete keywords in the SmugMug gallery when I upload.

Step 3. Create your Smart Galleries

Smart Galleries are an easy way to automatically group together your photos by keyword. At the beginning of each year I go in to the season and set up a team subcategory (Under a custom school year category) and then individual Smart Galleries (one for each player).  In this case, I’ll use one Smart Gallery to pull in the photos with the “bk1″ and “2010-2011″ keywords in one place.

I make one gallery for each player on the team. Then I go into settings for each gallery and add Rules to pull in the keywords:

Rule #1: Include > My Photos > Keyword > 2011
Rule #2: Include > My Photos > Keyword > bk1

Then I’m done. Setting up the Smart Galleries takes a little time at first but you only have to do it once.

Step 4. Apply your codes in Photo Mechanic

Next I finish my post processing. I do my adjustments and use Lightroom’s bulk keywording feature to automatically enter the first portion of the Code Replacement macro, bk\ , to all of my files. This saves me time later.

I then open Photo Mechanic, click on the folder I created when I exported and double click on the file information. Up pops the info window where I can save and change the keywords. Then I press “1\”. The opening “\” (added by Lightroom to all my files) and the closing “\” (that I just typed into Photo Mechanic manually) means, “look up in your designated code file and insert the following line.” The string of keywords gets entered:

1; bk1 ;Kevin Kyle; Boone Varsity Baseball; 2010-2011

SmugMug indexes only 30 keywords per photo so take it easy on the number of keywords, lest you run out. I use about five, as shown here.

When I am done with the keywords on each individual image I click the Save button in the info pane and it brings the next one up. I do not keyword every player if I can’t tell who they are or if they are on the opposing team; they are not the primary focus of the shot.

It takes only about 10-15 minutes at the end of my processing to add the keywords.

Step 4. Upload Your Photos

I then use Photo Mechanic to upload to the team gallery and my work is done. When all the images are uploaded I make a lot of customers really happy because the Smart Galleries automatically pull in the specific photos I’ve set for them. I did the initial leg work but SmugMug does all the heavy lifting for me. I realized how important this was for sales when I set the Gallery Download price for my galleries and sold a bunch of player-only photos.

Each sport is different and the complexity varies by how many players are on each team. But even if a player plays only a few times in the season, you can easily find them by keyword. Then you can keep looking to shoot more shots of them later in the season.

I hope this helped you learn how to do something that will make your customers able to find the pictures they want to see and purchase them easily. I have talked to people on the Digital Grin forums that are using this workflow for all types of sports where the participants have numbers. Quick Code Replacement combined with Smart Galleries saves you time and helps drive up your sales.

Good luck!

Other links you’d like:

Get In Motion Before It’s Too Late

September 19, 2011 1 comment

If you think “I can’t give my clients the video they want,” you’re wrong.

A beautiful, emotional video can make the difference between a satisfied client and an ecstatic client. You want the latter. Here’s why:

Get In Motion and Get Familiar with Your Tools

For all you’ve been hearing about DSLR video and “fusion” photography, video is just getting warmed up in the pro industry. And while motion and stills are two different sides of the same coin, you can already do a lot with what you’ve got. They’ll show you how.

Quick Tip for Better Video: The 180 Rule

The quickest way to start shooting like a pro is to order yourself a pizza and learn the 180 Rule. What’s that? Image that your subjects are in the middle of that pizza and, without harming your subjects, saw the pie in half. You’re drawing an imaginary line down the center and you sit and shoot from one side of the crust. Simple as that:

Why does this rule exist? Simple perspective! The audience, or viewer, is not standing on the set with you so you have to tell them where the subjects are. You do that by keeping your subjects on the same side of the frame in every shot. As a viewer we see the screen and associate the framing with things we can’t see. We assume the position of your subjects, and sticking to the one side of your pizza helps make sure you don’t mix them up and confuse your audience.

Why Get In Motion?

Because the 180 Rule is just the beginning. Invest four hours of your time and you’ll walk away a changed pro. Learn how to create engaging stories, evoke emotion, use those switches and dials, how to pick the right lens and (of course) how to polish and present your final piece.

They’ll hit 40 great cities, so catch them near you and get $10 off the regular ticket price with our exclusive SmugMug code: ILSMUG

  • 9/18 – Atlanta, GA
  • 9/19 – Tampa, FL
  • 9/20 – Orlando, FL
  • 9/21 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • 9/25 – Philadelphia, PA
  • 9/26 – Raleigh, NC
  • 9/27 – Charlotte, NC
  • 9/28 – Indianapolis, IN
  • 10/02 – Minneapolis, MN
  • 10/03 – Chicago, IL
  • 10/04 – Detroit, MI
  • 10/05 – Columbus, OH
  • 10/09 – Nashville, TN
  • 10/10- St. Louis, MO
  • 10/11 – Kansas City, KS
  • 10/12 – Omaha, NE
  • 10/16 – Irvine, CA
  • 10/17 – Burbank, CA
  • 10/18 – San Diego, CA
  • 10/20 – Phoenix, AZ
  • 10/23 – Dallas, TX
  • 10/24 – Austin, TX
  • 10/25 – Houston, TX
  • 10/27 – NYC, NY (Free)
  • 10/30 – Washington, D.C.
  • 11/1 – Baltimore, MD
  • 11/2 – Denver, CO
  • 11/3 – Salt Lake City, UT
  • 11/4 – Calgary
  • 11/5 – Vancouver
  • 11/6 – Seattle, WA
  • 11/8 – Portland, OR
  • 11/9 – Sacramento, CA
  • 11/10 – San Francisco, CA
  • 11/13 – Boston, MA
  • 11/14 – Newark, NJ
  • 11/16 – Ottawa
  • 11/17 – Toronto
  • 11/30 – Honolulu, HI

Click here to register now!

It’s time to stop shooting b-roll and be ready to sell that award-winning tearjerker. Your new, empowered life starts nows.

Bombshells, Baby! Learn Sexy Pin-up Portraiture with Sandy Puc and Mike Long

September 12, 2011 1 comment

There’s more to those classic, flirty poses than lipstick and heels. If you’re looking to add a retro edge to your style, check out the latest tour from photo business diva, Sandy Puc:

You know Sandy through her Power of Passion Tour with Jerry Ghionis and her most recent Creative Kids Tour. Through these teachings she pairs up with the industry’s most talented and inspiring photographers to help you become a better shooter, marketer and businessperson.

This time she’s teamed up with Portland pinup photographer Mike Long to teach you how to achieve that sassy, sexy look in your own studio. Join them on their upcoming US tour and learn everything from makeup to post-processing to how to market your business for this classic style.

The Lucky 13

Swab the decks! The 2011 Pin Up Alooza tour is scheduled to sail through these fine cities:

  • Sept 17 – Denver, CO
  • Sept 19 – Phoenix, AZ
  • Sept 20 – San Diego, CA
  • Sept 21 – Los Angeles, CA
  • Sept 23 – San Francisco, CA
  • Sept 24 – Sacramento, CA
  • Sept 26 – Seattle, WA
  • Sept 28 – Minneapolis, MN
  • Sept 29 -Chicago, IL
  • Sept 30 -Philadelphia, PA
  • Oct 2 -Atlanta, GA
  • Oct 4 – Houston, TX
  • Oct 5 – Dallas, TX

Click here to buy tickets and use the code SMPP11 to get $20 off.

See you at the show!

Photojojo’s Got Photo Shiz For You

September 7, 2011 242 comments

Tripods, light stands and battery grips may get your juices flowing but even the biggest gear nerds like to cut loose and have a little fun.

That’s were Photojojo kicks in. Their motto is “We find the best photo shiz anywhere” and, boy, do they mean it.

Cool toys for everyone

Photojojo has long been a part of our ClubSmug, offering registered Smuggers a sweet little deal on everything in their shop. Check out their site for all kinds of cool, unique and fun goodies! You don’t have to be a full-time professional to enjoy their loot. Or a full-time millionaire.

In fact, they prove that everyone is a photographer at heart.

This contest will prep you for anything

We know it sucks when you spot a Sasquatch and your DSLR is back at the hotel. But the best camera is the one you have.

So this week we’re teaming up and giving away a set of adorable (and useful) camera phone accessories that will give that little lens a big boost. They come in four sizes: Fisheye, Wide Angle, Macro and Telephoto, all to let you shoot whatever you wish from your trusty pocket gadget.

The best part is they’ll all fit in your pocket.

Fisheye, Macro, Wide Angle and Telephoto Phone Lenses at the Photojojo Store!

To enter this giveaway:

1. ‘Like’ Photojojo on their Facebook page here.

2. ‘Like’ SmugMug on our Facebook page here.

3. Post a comment below and share a link to your favorite camera phone shot.

We’ll announce a winner right here in this space on Wednesday, September 14th so you have a full seven days to dream up what you’re gonna shoot.

Good luck! Maybe this year your holiday cards will feature a pic snapped from your phone (of your family, not bigfoot). Don’t tell ‘em the truth and they’ll never know.

______________________________________________________

WINNER!

The giveaway is now wrapped up, and one lucky photographer has been randomly picked to take home Photojojo’s neat cell phone lenses. Big congrats to Lesley Myrick! Check out her cool cell phone shot here.

Thanks everyone for participating, and as always, check back again soon for another chance to win big.

Categories: Gifts, photography Tags: ,

How to Get Famous for Free

September 6, 2011 30 comments

Looking for a little exposure?

From now through September 30th, we’re looking for one great photo that captures the fun, free spirit of our doe-eyed partnership with Bay Photo Lab. The winning image will be used in print, digital and trade show media and get you more exposure than you can shake a stick at.

What’s in it for you? (apart from photo credit in major national and trade show advertising)

  • 5 free years of SmugMug Pro. That’s half a decade of safe, secure and unlimited uploads and a one-stop shop for your photo business. More info.
  • $500 in Bay Photo print credit so you can build your own Hall of Photo Fame.
  • Total bragging rights at shows like WPPI. (“I made this!”)

Get your entries in by Friday, September 30th, 2011. Click here to enter now!

Vote, vote, vote

After you submit your best, tell the world which ones are your favorites by using the Twitter and Facebook icons under each image in the submissions gallery. Or have your friends post a comment with their love.  Our judges at SmugMug and Bay Photo will choose the one that fits the theme best… and consider the ones that got the most attention from fans.

Voting ends on October 7th and we’ll announce the winners on October 12th.

Good luck!

Who’s Bay Photo?

Since our launch with pro lab Bay Photo almost three years ago, we’ve shouted from the rooftops how much we love this amazing photo lab from a little seaside town in California. They’ve fulfilled orders from thousands of our customers, printed tons of goodies for us and we’ve been roomies at trade shows everywhere.

They’re our Pro-only lab here at SmugMug. We chose them for a number of awesome reasons, including their consistent quality, rich color, attention to detail, durable packaging and their hand color-correction services for photographers who just want to shoot.

They also offer some of the most innovative print products on the market that keep your photos off the boring mat and frame.

Don’t you want to be connected with awesome folks like this? We do.

Fixes and Things

September 1, 2011 11 comments

We let off a little pre-Labor Day steam in the form of these miscellaneous bug fixes:

  • Pros working in IE9 should be able to change the color correction or print lab in their custom pricing screens… and have it stick.
  • We tightened up the email address field on the signup page so peeps can’t enter spaces when they type their address.
  • If you delete a gallery, we’ll redirect visitors who go to the old link to the closest Subcategory or Category.
Have a great weekend and don’t get (too) stuck in holiday traffic.
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,890 other followers

%d bloggers like this: