September Newsletter 2016

Schools in from summer.

Yes, it is that time of the year again. The start of Autumn or “Fall” as Mike says, that crazy Canuck, eh. The beautiful summer days are numbered, a time of year when the days get cooler, the leaves start to change colour and winter (gasp) is around the corner. In saying that, lets be positive! With this, you have a great opportunity in taking some amazing pictures of the change in season and we’re looking forward to seeing what you upload in the next month – not all that bad right?


News from the community

Lots happening this month so lets get to it shall we?
 
Stephen Mole is hosting an Exhibition with Paul Macro Exhibition at Blickling Hall (National Trust) from September 20th to October 2nd and yes he did receive permission. The manager even bought a picture off Stephen of the hall. (It was shot from the road side)
 
Liz Alderdice is opening up her Studio for the North East Open Studios 2016event where artists and makers open their studios for 8 days so that the public can meet the artist and gain an insight into the way they work. Dates are 10th - 18th  September. She can be found here.
 
Thank you to Roger Green. With excellent research Roger spoke with the Senior Counrtyside Access Office for Cumbria regarding pictures of the Castlerigg Stone Circle, who informed him that,

"It seems safe to assert that purposes 'reasonably incidental' passing and repassing includes such things as stopping to look at a view, to talk to passer-by, to take photographs, or to have a picnic on the verge'.

So in my view there would be two questioned to be answered, was your passing 'reasonably incidental' or had you gone to the site to take the photograph for commercial gain.

The other would and I would think the most important were you on the public right of way or had you strayed off it?"

Therefore, if you feel that above applies to you, please reply to the declined image, email a link, or just re-upload.


Bel, donating commission to a worthy cause.

Bel Menpes is going to give all commission payments from the sale of her work to help Kelly Turner raise £1.2 million to fund life saving surgery in the US.

Who is Kelly Turner?
Kelly is a 16 year old from Dover who has a rare form of soft tissue cancer. Tragically, Kelly has been told that without surgery she has just two years to live.

Without surgery Kelly will not have a chance to achieve all she had hoped to. She would like to help others by becoming a radiographer, and to develop her passion for art. Surgery could give her the opportunity to fulfill her hopes and dreams, and allow Kelly to live her life to its full potential.

Bel is trying to spread the word and help raise money to fund Kelly's surgery in the US, surgery she can not have in the UK.

Bel will continue donating her commission until at least the end of Feb
2017.

How can you help?
Please search on Facebook for getkellytotheUS for more details and a link to her crowd funding page can be found here.
Also follow the hashtag, #doingitforkelly


What's happening?

As all parents and grandparents are probably well aware of, school’s return is coming up or for some, has just begun. Last month we saw the conclusion of the Notting Hill Carnival and the amazing performances of all Olympians. Speaking of which, please let us not forget the Para-Olympic games start soon (Sept. 7th to the 18th), so please do your best to watch, cheer and support  these inspirational and amazing people.

What else is? There is the London Design Festival which goes from Sept. 17thto the 25th. Might be worth popping by to see and get inspiration for your own work.

Also in the city there is Proms in the Park (Hyde Park), which takes place on September 10th.

Moving away from London, you can test your fitness levels at the Great North Run, which is taking place in New Castle where more than 54,000 runners will pound the pavement. If running is not your strong point, I’m sure the spectating support would be greatly appreciated.

None of those your cup of tea? (Excuse the pun - you'll see why) There is the Autumn Steam Gala Beer Festival in Yorkshire (Sept. 30th to the 2nd of October) See trains and have a pint, we can think of worst things to do on a weekend. – Google the event for more info.


Not to be outdone, Blackpool will light up the Lancashire skies for “Blackpool’s Light Fantastic” where over a million bulbs will light up over six miles of Blackpool’s iconic Promenade – this runs until November. Below is a picture from Jason Connelly who took the opportunity to take a picture of the event a few years ago. I’m sure there will be some great photo opportunities like this.


What's new this month?

Due to the annual holidays it’s been a quiet time for development work over here. What I can tell you is that we're working on a sharing function for the site that will make sharing your pictures a lot easier. Bigger audience, bigger chance someone sees you work, bigger commissions down the road.


Top effort everyone!

We have found out the reason why when you share your images/portfolio on Facebook, and the image doesn’t come up as your own and your name is not mentioned. This is due to Facebook “scraping” the information from Photo4me is incomplete. To fix this issue, please go to your Settings page, at the bottom under “Commercial profile” add your own unique TinyURL. Once saved you can share your portfolio on Facebook without problems. Not only that, it will also make your link a lot more professional when sharing it among friends in print. For example, photo4me.com/{whatever name you chose}

We’ve noticed an influx of declines because of wrapping issues/cut subject. Remember when cropping and taking your great pictures you need to give about 1cm (on all sides) of clearance on the screen to avoid a wrapping issue.

A few of you have been a little confused when we give an explanation for a declined image, which is understandable. To clarify, we are given a list from a dropdown menu, most explanations are very general, therefore, if it is not obvious, kindly feel free to ask us to clarify and we can be very specific. Now the reason why we have dropdowns rather than the need to type each reason – it’s a time saver. Imagine having to give a specific detailed explanation for every decline, we wouldn't have time to go anything else.

With all these flags, people may feel that they are being picked on – I know getting flagged isn’t fun, but it’s for the best, and no one is picking on you. Yes, you may be getting 3-4 images flagged, it happens, no sweat. Overall we get about 100 – 200 flags over a 24 hour time span, some images are from recent uploads, some are from images uploaded 5-6 years ago. If there is a problem with the image, it’s best that we know about it now, than if a customer purchases the image and we need to stall the order or cancel the order outright. Then it becomes a little embarrassing for us and the photographer because we can’t fulfill the order on something, which we should have been able to avoid.

The flag system is to keep the quality of the images on the site to the highest standards possible.


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

April dedicated to the Members

Good afternoon everyone.

We will be dedicating the month of April solely to improve the member’s usability of the site.

Due to the popular demand, the forums will be making a return. We will also be adding folders to the members portfolio page.

We want to also work on other improvements you would like to see. Please comment IN THE BLOG -- we’ll see what is possible. We will disregard comments in the Facebook page. We will only take into account suggestions made on the blog page so it is a fair chance that everyone will be able to put in their opinion regardless if they have Facebook or not.


Going back to the survey that was asked before Christmas, please see the file below.

We have implement certain functions into the site already from the Christmas survey.

We have completed the ability to search other members:
http://mem.photo4me.com/Home/Members/

We have completed the ability to add your TinyURL. (Bottom left)

http://mem.photo4me.com/Account/Settings

We have completed the FAQ which is visible in the drop down.

https://photo4me.desk.com/customer/portal/topics/298841-member-help/articles

We would love to hear what you would like to see and improve upon.
Kind regards,
Mike and Jon

Tiny URL is up and running

As mentioned a couple weeks ago, we were working on Tiny URL's. Jon has now finished this.


You can now customize your public link to share or put on your own website.

Go to your account http://mem.photo4me.com/Account/Settings -- On the bottom left there is a form which you can enter your name or artist name. It will let you know if the username is taken or available. Once you have found a name which is available click save. Now, you can share and post your Tiny URL.


For example, my Tiny URL is:

http://www.photo4me.com/profile/michael


You can further customize this according to what you want to advertise. When going to your commercial page with the link above, use the drop downs to come up with different types of URL's.

So say I want to show my architecture pictures, select in the drop down architecture, now that Tiny URL would be:

http://www.photo4me.com/profile/michael/-/architecture/totalvotes/-/


You can customize this as much as you want according to what you want to post.


Enjoy and if anyone has any questions, comment below!


Mike & Jon

Beta testing of the new profile pages

New profile pages are ready for beta testing

In order to have a shortened URL you will need to set it within your members account settings page  http://mem.photo4me.com/Account/Settings however I'm still working on the code and it will not be available to edit for 1-2 days. For members that created a tiny URL on the old site, this feature will start to work, and you will be able to edit your tiny url within 1-2 days.

Here's an example of how they will now look: http://www.photo4me.com/profile/jon the site links will start to update with your profile links redirecting to these new pages very soon. If you have not implemented a tiny url then it will default to your member id for example in http://www.photo4me.com/profile/1


If you want to share links you can add extra filters

Search phrase
An example would be london

Category 
abstract

Sorting
totalvotes

Shape
portrait

For the filters to work you need have them in the correct order for example:

http://www.photo4me.com/profile/jon/search-phrase/abstract/sortby/shape

The easiest way to create a link is to use the filtering options in the search bar and the url will automatically refresh, then just copy the link and send to friends or use the social sharing buttons under your avatar on the commercial site.


Coming soon custom folders

This new layout of the application gives us the ability to start to give members the ability to create custom folders for their portfolios. And this is how they will work.

Within your portfolio you will soon be able to create folders to sort your images into categories. In order to get these folders to work you would simply replace the category with a folder name and the filter will work. The work on this new feature will start this week and we hope it will be live by 6th Feburary providing we don't hit any problems with implementing this into our platforms. 

 

For more information you might like to read this blog from last week:

http://blog.photo4me.com/post/2015/01/17/planned-work-for-week-commencing-17th-january.aspx



UPDATE**** Now fully functioning. See:

http://blog.photo4me.com/post/2015/01/31/tiny-url-is-up-and-running.aspx

Planned work for week commencing 17th January

Tiny URL's

This week I will be working on the new tiny URL's for members.

An example of a tiny URL would be http://photo4me.com/jon as you can see that takes the visitor directly to my portfolio page. http://www.photo4me.com/canvasprints/_/_/grossSales/_/1 (which does not roll off the tongue).

In the past when the site was smaller, it was easy to have a shortened URL like above. We can no longer have them off the main route of the site, as it is causing some application issues. and they need to be moved to either a new domain e.g. http://profile.photo4me.com/jon or have them within a folder of the main site e.g. http://photo4me.com/profile/jon.

We need to give fair warning to members that have the old style of shortened URL that they will stop working after 31/03/2015, when the new ones will take over.

We will make an announcement later this week when we have decided the new layout of the tiny URL. 

We are aware that this may cause some members issues but the work is essential and we thank you for your patience.