How to Point, Shoot and Share Without an Expensive Camera – GIVEAWAY

We know you’re busy scouring the web for end-of-year deals, so we’ll make this quick.

Photographer Will Crockett makes it his mission to help you take better photos at all your festive fêtes. Don’t haul 17 lenses to your next party – take great shots with just one camera, whether it’s compact or complex. Crockett has put out a DVD on how to point, shoot, and share with the camera you’ve got, and we’ve giving away free copies to 10 lucky Smuggers.

Win This DVD in Two Words

Enter to win one of 10 copies of Will Crockett’s instructional DVD, Point, Shoot & Share. Here’s how you can get yours:

1. Browse his site HERE.
2. Based on that, fill in the blanks:

“The video will show you how to POINT YOUR CAMERA IN THE ____  ____.” (Hint: See the “POINT” info page)

3. Email your guess to pss[at]crockettco[dot]com.

Be one of the first 10 people to post the right answer and Will Crockett’s team will ship you a copy to keep or share. You’ll get great info and take better photos of this year’s most memorable moments. How’s that for a happy holiday?

UPDATE: The giveaway is now over and the winners have been contacted. Thanks so much!

Vincent Laforet’s Guide to Making Electrifying Images

If you’ve ever held a DSLR in your hands, you’ve probably heard of Vincent Laforet.

He’s the Pulitzer Prize-winning mastermind behind some of the most incredible photos seen in National Geographic, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Time and more.

Vincent earns his bread and butter using the industry’s most coveted photographic equipment. He is a Canon Explorer of Light who breaks down the barriers between Photo and Video. We’ve been behind him since his his first HDDSLR short film, Reverie, and now he’s written a book that everyone should read.

Visual Stories: Behind the Lens with Vincent Laforet

Whether you’re an avid photographer or just someone who seeks a better creative process, you’ll love taking the journey through Visual Stories.

In it, you’ll find over 200 pages of inspiring photos, personal reflection and informative technical details to help craft your unique vision. The DVD contains over 60 videos that get you up-close and personal with the photojournalist himself.

"The image tells the story of her victory from the context of the thousands of people who had witnessed the moment. This perspective gives you an appreciation for the scale of the event that you don’t necessarily get with a long telephoto lens, where the background is completely blurred out." - Excerpt from Visual Stories by Vincent Laforet

Because Laforet’s experience began in journalism, he shows you how the principles of this genre can be applied to tell powerful stories in a single image. You’ll learn how to craft this energy into any type of photograph, include landscapes, close-ups, portraits, action shots, aerials and more.

Plus, get tips on using light, shape and color to create rich photos that support your story and add intense beauty and emotion.

Vincent Makes his Mark for You

We’ve got five autographed copies of this beautiful book, ready to find their way into your hands. Here’s how to get one:

1. Like SmugMug’s Facebook page HERE.
2. Post a message on our Facebook wall telling us why you want this book.

We’ll pick five lucky winners from the list on Wednesday, December 28, 2011.

So what will it be? You can keep grasping in the dark and taking the same photos, or you can grab a copy of Visual Stories and learn how a master works his craft. Check it out now at Peachpit Press.

Why Pricelists Will Change Your Life

Hey, SmugMug Pros! We’ve revolutionized the way you do pricing with our new feature: Pricelists.

Traditionally, SmugMug pricing has been done on a gallery-by-gallery basis. It worked OK if you wanted to copy pricing over from one gallery to another, but changing it later (across your hundreds of galleries) was a different story.

But first, our co-founder and president has something to say:

What are Pricelists?

In short: Each Pricelist is like a bucket, into which you can easily drop galleries to price and sell your photos.

Start by choosing products that you want to sell, tell us how much profit you want to make, and then add your galleries (or photos) to that Pricelist. Done.

Isn’t it a thing of beauty?

Why the change?

Pros have told us that doing gallery-by-gallery pricing wasn’t working out so well once they had lots of galleries to manage. Our goal was to make it super-simple and super-fast for all Pros to easily price their stuff and get photos sold.

The new look is clean and modern, and this renovation makes it easier for us to add shiny new features down the road… like new products and foreign currency support. (*hint, hint*)

What does this mean for me as a Pro?

We can think of four big benefits for you right off the bat:

1. Manage all of your pricing from one place.
2. Manage your pricing across hundreds of galleries with a few clicks.
3. Easily maintain different pricing for weddings, sports, or family photos.
4. Decide how much profit you make on each sale.

What do I need to do?

If you’re a veteran Pro with existing pricing, we’ll ask you to migrate to the new system.

Migration is quick and painless. We’ll comb through the pricing on all of your galleries and fold them into Pricelists. The whole process takes just a few minutes and we’ll email you when we’re done. Here’s a new help page (with video!) to help you do it.

During the migration you won’t be able to make any changes to your prices, but your current pricing will remain live and your customers will continue to have the ability to purchase your images at your current pricing.

After migration, your pricing will appear unchanged to your customers, but you’ll have more power to edit them, behind the scenes.

Upgrade to Pricelists in 3 Steps:

1. Log in and visit your Control Panel.
2. Look under the Pros tab > Pricing > Set Prices.
3. Choose “Migrate My Existing Pricing.” That’s it!

You can choose to start over and just build new pricing from the ground up. Or you can delay your choice a little longer. On March 1st, 2012, we’ll migrate everyone over to use the new system automatically, keeping your current pricing structure but giving you instant access to Pricelists.

Anything else I should know?

We thought you’d have questions. Here’s some answers.

  • There’s almost zero risk of accidentally selling something with no gain to you. In the old days (like, uh, yesterday), you had to price something at $0 to remove it from your cart, and unpriced items were sold at-cost. Now you manually add in each item you want to sell.
  • Digital Downloads now have a minimum cost: $0.49 $0.01 for individual photos and $.99 for gallery downloads, plus a $0.50 fee if your download order subtotal rings up under $10. Want to offer these for free? Enable Originals in your gallery, create a backup file to share, or create a Coupon to nuke the charges at checkout.
  • You determine your markup, not the final price shown in the cart. UPDATE! You can set your profit OR your price. Set a general percent increase over the whole Pricelist, or you can fine-tune the amount for each product you offer. We also give you the option of rounding up your pricing to make the displayed cost easy on the eyes.
  • Choose between Bay Photo and EZ Prints the moment you create the Pricelist. If you change your mind on an existing Pricelist, you’ll need to create a new one with the lab of your choice. Need to compare the two labs to make a choice? Check out the full catalog.

If you still have questions about migrating your pricing over to Pricelists, look right here and check out the video tutorials. And for everything else, check out our pricing help page that’s been updated with a video series on all the details.

So go migrate, play and sell some prints. As always, we’re hoping to add to and improve this feature as 2012 rolls in, so tell us what you think and how it’s working for you.

Merry money-making Christmas!

Create, Edit and Sell Custom Photo Cards

Big news today for people who love to make photo cards: We’ve brought you a more powerful, more flexible card builder that lets you edit designs before you buy.

Build Your Cards

Try it now right from your galleries. Find the first photo you want to use, then click Buy > Create a Card.

It’s so simple to pick a design, then click and drag in the photos you want. You can even edit the images by zooming, aligning, or even doing a quick conversion to black and white:

Next, type in whatever text you want. In many cases you can even edit the font, which you couldn’t do before.

When you’re done, you can hit Save to stash your progress, or just choose how many you want and add it to your cart.

Edit Your Cards

One of the most-requested requests we’ve gotten about cards was for you to be able to edit them. Now you can.

When you clicked “Save” in the card builder, we stashed your project in your “Cards” gallery. Simply find it and click Tools > This Photo > Edit to open up the card creator:

Make as many edits as you wish and when you’re ready, add it to your cart. Voila!

Check out our help page here to guide you through the new process. Remember that Pros can still set a custom price for all of our 4×8 and 5×7 card options, so their customers can design and order their own holiday greetings and make you money.

Enjoy! Got any feedback, ideas, or just have a question? Let us know.

More ways to spice up your holiday with SmugMug: