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!

National
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.

International

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

June Newsletter 2016

Warmth and leave

With the summer started, most of us are longing for a day out by the beach, coast or where ever their heart is during those long and cold winter days. Vacation time has started! Don’t forget to bring your camera and take some fantastic pictures, which may turn out be great wall art – you never know!


News from the community

As always there is plenty of buzz around Photo4me with many contributions, remember that if you want to featured, send us some relenvent P4M news and we’ll be happy to put it into the news letter.

This month brings us the news of:

Steve Purnell will have his art on display at the Rhymney Valley Literature and Arts Festival at St Gwlady’s Church Hall in Bargoed from July 1st to 3rd. Pop-in and say hi!

Congrats to Craig Preedy who made his first sale on the site, “The River Wye”.

Congrats to Lynn Bolt who finished 2nd in the RSPB's 2017 calendar competition. Her entry of "Two Gannet" will be in the calendar, goes on sale in July.


June Happenings!

We’re not going to run any promotions this month, but that shouldn’t stop you from promoting your work and trying to think of fun marketing ideas to get people interested in your work.

Keep in mind there are a few dates in the calendar. June 14th to 18th is the Royal Ascot and June 19th is Fathers day (don’t forget!). 

It might be a good occasion to take or promote your pictures of Horses like Camargue Horses By David Tyrer and nature and fishing like J.Tom L.Photography of Llyn Nantle Uhaf.

You can then promote them on social media and follow the trending # to show off your work to a larger audience.


Air-shows

Next month is the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. There will be a lot of air-shows and photography relating these air-shows. We have little doubt that these air-show pictures will grace the Photo4me website.

A word of caution: We will accept air-show pictures but they can’t be just a picture of an airplane and a sky. They need to have a second level or artistic merit to them. They need to have something that anyone with camera could not capture.

What makes a airplane picture special? Look at the great portfolios of well known and respected members like James BiggadikeKen BrannenColin WilliamsNigel HattonGary Eason and apologies in advance for those who I did not mention. These 5 are a good start on what it takes to be successful and a good example of what people are looking for. Notice that all 5 deal with planes but each artist has their own unique feel to them, please don’t copy their images or they’ll be flagged and removed – but find your own unique feel and artistic flare.

To find out more on the plane guidelines, click here.


What’s new this month?

As you all know, we launched Printshop with the help of Splat Web Works in Mid-May. 

What does this mean? This means that you can upload your pictures and print them yourself with our high quality products at a much reduced price(commission taken off). This will also give you discount than if you, your friends and family if they or you were to purchase through the Commercial site.

To do this, you will notice share buttons on the Printshop home page (only you will be able to see) after uploading, this means that you can share them with Friends and Family on Facebook, Twitter or through Email giving them deals on your work and you sort your commission out on the side. You always have the option of deleting the image after it is uploaded.

To make the Printshop more visible to everyone, we’ve also redesigned the home page, which should go live in the very near future, we’d love to let us know what you think by sending us a nice little tweet @photo4mecom or through the Facebook group.

To go to Printshop, click here.


Top effort everyone

I know it’s been the focus of a few last newsletters but please keep in mind the customer when you do your write and description. Remember to focus on the customer and not yourself. I hate to be blunt, but no one will care if you took your beautiful dog out to the beach. “My lovely Lola on the beach.” This might evoke a lot of emotion with you, but to the customer, they won’t have that connection. A better way of writing about the picture would be, “A beautiful Border Collie, sitting on Blackpool Beach after a long and beautiful sunset stroll down by the water.” Generalise. Take them to the place of remembrance.

When it comes to keywords, remember the FAQ from the past month, the search will look up keywords or phrasing that you’ve put in between the commas. For the full review go to the FAQ located here.


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? 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

May Newsletter 2016

Has summer arrived? We certainly hope so. 

After a long wait, I think we can all agree that summer is here to stay. With those warm and extra long days of sunlight there is no excuse to not get a beautiful sunset or if you’re and early bird, a fantastic sun rise.


News from the community

With the warm weather, exhibitions are popping up all over the place. Liz Alderdice has an exhibition in the John Lewis store in Aberdeen until May 13th and Phil Wareham has an exhibition in Moordown Community centre on June 2nd.

Congrats to Sean Foreman on a sale on his birthday, a nice surprise and a very happy birthday!

Big shout out to Nick Wardekker who donated all his commission from all his sales(7) to the St. Andrews’s Children Hospice. Well done and an amazing gesture Nick.


What’s happening?

The biggest news recently has been Leicester winning the Premiership and not only that, they were they were the first new team in 38 years to win top flight English Football after starting the season at 5000 – 1 odds! To put that into perspective, that's the same odds as finding Elvis alive. 

The 21st May is the FA cup final. Who’s going to take home the cup this year? Man U or Crystal Palace?

Building off the above, take pictures of football stadium or team related like Red David has of Theatre of Dreams / Old Trafford. There is a massive emotional attachment with a team and everyone has some sort of allegiance to one club or another. Remember you need permission or accreditations to take pictures inside the stadium, however as long as you’re on public property you should be fine. You're responsible for finding that out and checking before uploading. Find something that has a lot of emotion and attachment to that fan base.


Also remember that between the 24th and the 28th is the Chelsea Flower show - so there is potential to take pictures of a lovely garden or memorable place with great foliage likeDawn Cox has of this Country Manor House! Just keep in mind being on private property when and if you do take these pictures.

Last minute edit: Keep your eyes open for The flying Scotsman. A quick Google search will give you its voyages for the month in and around the UK. From what we understand, it will be running on the fife circle on the evening of May 15th. This might be a great photo opportunity to see it crossing the Forth rail bridge and getting a once in a lifetime picture.


What’s new this month?

Over here, we’ve been working a couple new projects. Our sister company Splat Web Works, who you may have noticed on your payment’s called “Splat Photo”, has launched a new version of their website www.splatwebworks.co.uk/

We’ve been working hard on updating the uploader with a new technology, which has made it a lot more stable and easy to use, and on top of that, we gave it a facelift with a sleek and modern design. The test group (a massive thank you to those kind people) has come back with some positive feedback and results. A link is on the Facebook group or email customercare@photo4me.com and we'll send you a link if you want to try it out before it goes live on the site. (If it hasn't already).

We’ve also been working on the Printshop. Customers will be able to upload their pictures and purchase their own work. Also, this means that YOU can also upload your own picture through the Printshop without your commission. In the future, we will be working on a function where you can take your image from your portfolio and put it into the printshop. This will be a feature we upgrade to later on in the year.


Top effort everyone

It was requested that we list our most popular keywords, now we can give you all a massive list, but in reality, we don’t want to over saturate the site with people forcefully using these words.

What we see from out end. People want colour or a stunning black and white picture, they want a beautiful sunrise or a sunset, they want to see the sea, the beach, they want the picture to take them away to a place that brought them happiness or a place that has significant meaning. Taking a picture of an object is OK, but what does this object do, what is this significance to someone? Why would they purchase it?

On the other hand, we do see themes all the time, we see people searching for bell bells, London, Liverpool Skyline, Manchester, beach huts, Highland Cattle, Tyne and Wear the list goes on – these are trends. If you happen to spot an early trend, jump on it, make it look professional, upload, and self advertise.

We’ve also released a new Consumer Blog, which might be helpful in what trends are taking place and what people are looking at. You can read it’s entirety here.


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? 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