Proof Delay- w00t!

So some of you are not yet using Proof Delay for your event or large volume shooting work. Let’s dig deeper into it, mkay? Today, I shot a Tae Kwon Do event. My preparation began yesterday, when I created the gallery for today’s event. Why? Simple, I needed the URL so I could put it on the flyers that I gave to all the parents. Make it easy and simple, and they will buy. OK, at the event, I set my camera to shoot RAW, plus a small jpg – yet the jpg is large enough to handle the biggest size I want to sell. But on my Canon 5D, this still resulted in JPGs of over 1mb, which makes for longer uploading times. So, I quickly made an action in Photoshop, to save the jpgs at compression level 7 (yes, 7…. remember, upon order, I’ll be replacing these with jpg 10 new files!), and I soon had file sizes of about 350-400Kb. Of course, you can also use Photoshop’s Image Processor. I’ve reached my happy medium. I have files that are large enough to support all print sizes, they look good on screen, and they’re small enough to upload fairly fast. BTW, 370 files, about 200megabytes, uploaded in 38 minutes or so. If you are doing events with lots of proofs, or have to upload many many photos at once, I highly recommend you try either (or both!) SendToSmugMug and Star Explorer. So, the first part of the workflow – make it easy for your customers to find the photos for sale, and make it easy for you to get the photos there!

OK now what? Well, the parents will now order🙂 And then, because I set a proof delay on this gallery, when they do order, I’ll get an email, telling me about it. And I can look in my control panel, pro sales, and see the order, and the crop that they customer picked. Whoops, look at how poorly the customer cropped…

Well, no worries! Proof and Retouch to the rescue🙂 Simply go to the crop button in your pro sales tool, and recrop the image. Of course, if you are retouching, or otherwise changing the photo, you’ll want to do that first, then “replace photo.” THEN do your crop adjustments.

There you have it. Hit the “ship it” button, and off it goes to our lab. Proof Delay is a wonderful tool. If you have any questions at all, just holler for me or any of our Support Heroes, we’ll be there for you!

SmugMug releases – Sept, Oct, Nov 2006

We’ve been so swamped with a certain big, massive, new feature I haven’t been keeping this blog up-to-date. I’m very sorry about that.

We’ve had probably 6-8 small releases in the last 2.5 months, many of which were extensive updates to the help sections, but here’s a short list of some of the bigger changes:

  • Pros who use the “proof-delay” feature can now modify certain settings, such as cropping and color correction, before the order is sent out.
  • Ending your free trial and paying for your account got much easier. You can do so from your homepage or your control panel billing section. Sorry about the confusion before!
  • New image uploading backend that’s significantly more reliable and less error-prone.
  • Notification emails on uploads that are CMYK or use non-sRGB color profiles, like ProPhoto and Adobe98.
  • Fixed some cases where “replace photo” wasn’t working properly. This is especially useful for Pros using the “proof-delay” feature.
  • Added a new Google Custom Search Engine to our help sections, which searches our new Wiki, relevant dgrin posts, our blogs, and the help sections at the same time.
  • Created and worked on the SmugMug Wiki. Go participate!
  • Created Andy’s FAST Start for Pros
  • Released some important new updates to the API.
  • Lots of datacenter goodies to speed up your access and increase reliability. We’re now over 6Gbps in aggregate bandwidth available, with more coming soon.

There were plenty of other, smaller changes, lots of new videos and help pages added, and other polished things. I may have to turn this blog over to Ben, instead, since I’m clearly dropping the ball with keeping everyone up-to-date. Apologies!

Oh, and if you want a sneak peek at our big new feature, you’ll have to keep an eye on the Beta page at our Wiki.

SmugMug Pro Roundtable II

Tonight, our guest was photographer Jim Fuglestad. Jim took us through his take on on-location portrait photography:

  • choosing the location
  • working with the clients to get them at ease
  • engaging your subjects (not!)
  • equipment, workflow, business

iTunes Link

RSS Link

You can also listen by telephone: Playback Number: (641) 985-5033.  Access Code: 1094243#

Next roundtable TBA in January 2007.