January Newsletter 2017

New Years Resolutions!

Ah yes new years resolutions. This year will be the year you say to yourself, I'll go to the gym, stop smoking, get organised, stop spending and save more etc etc... And that might last for about 4 days and we all fall back into old habits.

Note: 8% of those who do make resolutions follow through, in case you were wondering.

Our New Year's resolution is to continuously work on the site to improve customer interactions, member interactions and overall site satisfaction. On a more personal level, we want to take the time to capture and upload new images to the site. 

Share with us your resolution and let us know how it's coming along through the year and we could feature it in the newsletter!

News from the community

Big congratulations are in order to Lilian Marshall. Her festive picture will be featured on the towns card going to the Queen. You can read the article here. Well done Lilian!

As mentioned in the October newsletter - James Biggadike donating his commissions to the Poppy Appeal. This year was no exception and James donated over £165.00 of his poppy commissions from mid October to mid November to this amazing cause.

Congrats and thank you to all the Photo4me photographers for their help and support over the busy Christmas period. 

What's happening?

Interesting national and international dates for the month.

As mentioned above, lots of New Years resolutions are going to be spoken of and you'll always get the popular "Dry January" after a little over indulgent from the holiday period, but besides that, here are a few things to keep in mind this month!

Chinese New Year January 28th-29th - Celebrate the Year of the Rooster in London. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people descend on the West End to wish each other "Xin Nian Kuai Le" (Happy New Year in Mandarin) or "San Nin Faai Lok" (in Cantonese). The day usually kicks off with a colourful Chinese parade around the West End, followed by stage performances in Trafalgar Square including the grand finale with fireworks and a spectacular show.

During the bleak period of January (18th - 22nd), it's good to laugh. Head to Bristol to enjoy the 13th annual Slap Stick festival. Enjoy comedy from the roaring 20's all the way to the 50's with some delightful and entertaining events. See their website here.


People in the USA will get a federal holiday on the 16th of January as it is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It celebrates the life of Dr. King for his tireless work regarding civil rights movement.

Our Icelandic friends will celebrate "Husband's Day/ Man's Day" on the 20th. According to the old Icelandic Calendar this day falls on the first day of the month Þorri. Women would give their husbands a small gift or special attention and cook an Icelandic smoked lamb called hangikjöt. Icelandic women will celebrate their Wife's Day/Woman's Day in February, which is very similar to valentines day.

And finally, Canada will have the all important National Non-Smoking Week from 15th to the 21st. Started in 1977 to educate people of the dangers of smoking, smoking prevention and helping people quit. The "fesitvites" hit a climax on Wednesday called "Weedless Wednesday" in which smokers are urged to refrain from smoking on this day. The intention is to kickstart the process of quitting smoking.

Fun eh?

What's new this month?

This month we did little house keeping jobs around the site rather than work on one large project.

- Products with a cut edge - no more! (Details page). Now the bottom part of products won't be cut off, which happened from time to time.

- Product on the details page are portrayed more accurately in size. Namely panoramic images.

- Products are more clear in the "living space." We hope that people will be more confident with bigger sizes and that the picture won't pixilate or stretch. Hard to see well by the screenshot, but check it out for yourself!

- We have continued to work on Printshop and we have been able to significantly reduced the cost by about 30% on all personal prints.

- Uploader: We have stopped images from being upload sideways/rotated so everything should be uploaded the way it was intended to be.

- Lastly, we've changed the pay period to make it a "true" 28 days before payment. Previously it was set to 21 days before we saw it was due. This caused some issues where clients would make a claim or claims were unresolved by day 25-26 but the photographer was already paid and we were not able to put a hold on the payment.

Payments will be paid around the 28-30 period and will be sent on Mondays and Thursdays. Therefore you may see payment as minus a couple days but not to worry, payment will be made. If it gets longer than minus 6, email us and we'll look into it.

Top effort everyone!

We had a few people question the Facebook group. Is the group exclusive to just Photo4me members or can anyone join?

Although the group is primarily for members of P4M, anyone who has interest in photography is welcome to join the group and contribute, however they will be held to the same standard and rules as everyone else.

Some people like to learn or get a feel for the community before joining the site and then make a decision and that's perfectly fine.

As for the question regarding adding people to group, anyone can invite someone into the group, but they must be approved by a group admin.

Who joins the members Facebook group and who gets accepted hasn't changed in the past 2 years. We've accepted everyone as long as they were not bots or spammers and those that do slip through get removed pretty quickly.

The vast majority of the members in the Facebook group are P4M members. Those who have come in and are not members are either quick to leave after realising this isn't the group for them or they just watch the passing parade and harm no one. Everyone that joins the page are under the same rules and guidelines. Those that came in to stir the pot are spotted quickly and then leave or are removed. 

If you are concerned over pricing and giving away trade secrets, the information is readily available on the site. Those who were desperate to know how commissions work could figure it out pretty quickly and would have no need to join a closed Facebook group. Moreover, people could simply email us and pretend to be a perspective member and ask us. There are many ways to get information you want without having the need to register as a member. Lastly, who's to say this information isn't anywhere else on the web... It's the internet after-all.

The Facebook group isn't a secret society, if people want to take a peak and get a feel for the group before joining the site, great. If they don't then they leave, no harm.

Don't knock people down who join the group but are not yet members. These people enjoy photography, don't ostracise them, but make them feel welcome, encourage them to join and simply be nice, what's the harm in that?

Let's all get along folks =)

We’re always looking for something to report or to announce, anything that would interest the community. Would you like to write up a blog? Start a photography club in your area? Have any tips? Locations? Advice? Let us know and we’ll be more than happy to read and even put it into the newsletter.

Have a great month everyone, and thank you for being part of the community. 

Best wishes,

Jon & Mike

Opening the Phone lines.

We are always looking to facilitate the customer’s journey on the site. As of last Monday, Photo4me has started to openly mention on the site that customers can call customer service to ask questions regarding products and placing orders.

We feel this has given us great feedback on how the site works and how to improve user ability and where we need to add information.

We have added these calling info bars on the following pages:

http://www.photo4me.com/canvasprints/ (all search pages)

http://shop.photo4me.com/776/canvas (all details pages)

https://secure.photo4me.com/cart/cart.aspx (cart)

https://secure.photo4me.com/cart/sign-in-choices.aspx?pg=intial (customer signing/creating page)


We hope this gives the company a better personal touch and really gets to know the customer and what their expectations of the site is. Customer input along with member input really helps make a difference.

One of the big changes we made from these phone calls was the products information page.

Previously, we when a customer was on the product details page and clicked the “i” button or “about our PRODUCT” it created a slide down effect with the information mentioned, however some customers were not finding this information.

We have now created a new pop-up feature, which we believe will be more helpful to everyone. We are currently updating the pop-up information to helpfully give as much information to the general public as possible.

Let us know what you think!

All the best,

Jon & Mike