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

Observations for declined images.

My observations regarding why some images are declined but in fact the reason for declining is not apparent.

Wording declines

Sometimes I will decline an image if there is a lack of wording however there is wording but it can use more work.

For example, I see a lovely image that has the description of a dog.

Description: “My dog Biscuit on the beach.”

It would be more advisable to write, “A Golden Retriever on the beaches at Watergate Bay, Cornwall. “ – Generalize, people will remember their dog at the beach, not your dog. They will have a personal connection with that moment if you can bring them there.

Avoid using the word “MY” in the description, it means something to you, but it won’t mean anything to the average customer.

Quick examples to avoid– My wife, my dog, my cat, my hands, my feet, my friend. You get the idea.


Blown Sky

Another reason for a confusing decline is a “Blown Sky” when there is no sky in the image. It could be just written as a blown object.

A blown sky is a general term, which normally occurs in the sky. However one of the most common places it occurs is during long exposure photography and to be more specific in running water. Over the course of the long exposure, the running water will dominate the sensor and the colours and come out all white. This will cause a blown effect thus bleaching the colours around the blown area.

 

Dust Spots

A word about “Dust Spots.” Dust spots can occur on the lens sensor any part of the photography process, which just needs a quick clean and away you go.

But sometimes we can’t determine what the spot is. More times than not we know from experience that the spot is in fact a bird in the distance. The average customer will see the spot and assume is some sort of problem or defect and move to the next image. Look at your image through the eyes of customer. Does it look like it’s perfect? This is why we call it a dust spot, because it is a spot on the image and the customer cannot determine what it is.


Lens Flare

The last subject is about “Lens Flare.” This is the complete opposite with the dust spot. A customer will purchase a canvas, but when the canvas is made, a 10mm sun flare is in the centre of the picture. The customer, never saw the flare and will demand a return/refund or a re-print. Therefore please be very careful with the flares and unless it is 100% visible and part of the picture it can be flagged, refunded or a re-print which causes a waste of time for the customer, photographer (fixing and disappointment) and for us.


Copyright Infringement

Although sometimes a copyright infringement is straight forward, it can be confusing. Essentially, anything that you need permission to take a picture can be flagged as a copyright infringement. For example last week we had a churchwarden email us asking who gave permission to take and post images of the church. Due to the church being “private property” they needed permission and was flagged accordingly. Please be sure you have permission to take pictures before posting.


 Accreditation

This leads us into accreditation. Closely linked with copyright. If you are at an event which credentials given out, you must have the accreditation to post. It doesn’t matter if the stadium is empty, you are still on private property and accreds are given out at the clubs/events discretion. Failing to comply can land you in some hot water.

If you do have accreditation, then you do not need a model release.


I hope this helps clarify things.

-Mike

Emotional attachment to an image from a members perspective.

This morning I had a lovely email from Steve Purnell contact me with a great example when we mention a emotional attachment is a definite bonus.


A lot of discussion in the past has centred around the ‘emotional attachment’ behind sales.

I recently made a sale of a greeting card on another pod. The following morning I got up to find the following mail in my 'Other' box on Facebook:-
'I am the "buyer from Fairborn, Oh," lol. I wanted to tell you how your photo of the "star-crossed lovers" means so much to me. I am pushing 50, but almost exactly a year ago, my first high school boyfriend found me on Facebook. For over 32 years, we had each kept every photo, letter, momento. My health is failing and we will never be. I saw your photo a while ago when I googled "star-crossed lovers" and couldn't get it out of my mind. It is the expressions, in stone no less, but also how you so beautifully captured them in your photo. So I sought it out again to give him this card on our "anniversary" of being reacquainted. I just wanted to thank you for the breathtaking photo and thought that you might like to know how much your work meant to a total stranger.'

It is an image of a stone ornament in our garden that I never thought would sell in a million years but emotional attachment has obviously played a huge part in this.

Steve 

You can see Steve's "star-crossed lovers" Photo by going to the link below.

http://shop.photo4me.com/401472/canvas



You can see Steve portfolio by going to:

http://www.photo4me.com/profile/10630



Thanks for the email Steve!

Canvases at a reduced cost.

Letting everyone know that we were able to negotiate a better cost for our 2 largest Canvas sizes. Notice now that  (1930mm By 914mm 76in By 36in) canvas and the (1524mm By 1016mm 60in By 40in) canvas have been reduced significantly.

For advertising on your website, please adjust accordingly.

Many thanks,

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

 

Referral opportunities in Torquay, TQ2 6RQ

I received an email on behalf of a local business owners in Torquay who are looking for local photographers.


The email I received is from a Mr. Campbell,


It follows:


On Tuesday 24th February, myself and 45+ other local companies are meeting at the Livermead Cliff Hotel, Torbay Road, Sea Front , Torquay, TQ2 6RQ, to network and generate referrals for each other.

We are looking for a Artist in the area to potentially exchange referrals with. You would be interested in coming along to meet the others and see if we can all generate more business for each other?

The meeting is from 7.00am to 8.30am and includes breakfast. The cost is just £10
I'd love to introduce you to the other business owners to see if we may be able to help you. If this sounds like it could be of interest, please let me know and I can send you full details by email.

Please let me know if this is of interest.

Kind regards 

Benson Campbell

benson@bnidandc.co.uk



Please email Mr. Campbell if you have any questions or comments.


Cheers,

Mike

Stunning hyperlapse photography

A fun little post,


Check out the video below of a stunning hyperlapse photography, it's also really nice to see everyday life in one of the most closed and mysterious countries of the world.

Just incredible. Thought you all might like to have a peak.

https://vimeo.com/102051605

Which brings the question, have any of you tried hyperlapse photography?


Mike

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

Acrylics, up to 56% cheaper than before.

Announcement! Over the last couple of months, we have been working hard accessing our suppliers. We recently struck a deal with a manufacture. You will notice a dramatic reduction of base cost for the acrylics. In some cases you will see a reduction of base cost by up to 56% from the previous prices.

This has in no way changed the high quality product we expect from our manufacture and our customers upon receiving.

Please help us spread the word.

We hope this helps increase opportunities for sales for everyone.

For example, you will see the price reduction with todays editors choice: 

http://shop.photo4me.com/448086/Acrylic


Jon & Mike