How To Handle The Unglamorous Part of a Photography Business

The models. The lights. The action. The creativity. The people. The images! The fun part of photography is getting into the action and creating the images.

But when the day is done, you still have to do the other, not-so-glamorous parts of running a photography business. The daily tasks that make your business a business.

One of my least favorite tasks has always been accounting. So I’ve purchased systems like Peachtree and Quickbooks, and plod along doing only what’s truly necessary to keep my business in line. I’ve also done a ton of research over the last couple of years because I wanted to move away from software applications that reside on your computer, and move to a web based application that I can take and access anywhere.

A few days ago I was emailed an introduction to Wave Accounting. Intrigued, I started doing a little research, watched their video and looked through their screen shots, and decided to give them a try.

The best part of Wave Accounting is it’s Internet based, and it’s free. Yep, they won’t give you something for free at the lowest level, then charge you an arm and a leg down the road when you move up to the next level. It’s free from beginning to end. They make their money on the offers they make to you through your dashboard – business items like phone services and office products. If you choose to take advantage of any of the offers, Wave makes money from the supplier.

What makes Wave so powerful is its automation features. When you sign up for Wave, you can link your accounting system to your banks and credit cards. This means you don’t have to double enter many of your daily tasks – they are done for you. The dashboard system gives you an instant view of where you stand today, and you can quickly move from place to place seeing the things that matter most to you. Like who you owe – and who owes you.

While I’m still getting used to the system myself, I received another email today from a Wave Communications Assistant, Kathleen. One of Wave’s target markets is photographers – which means they have special features just for us photographers.

They’ve made June photographers month, and will be offering a variety of specials exclusively for photographers during the month of June. Things like

  • Photographer of the week profiles
  • Guest bloggers
  • A photo contest
  • Tips and FAQs about running a photography business

Which means now is the perfect time for you to give Wave a try.

To get started, head over to their Photographer’s Survey – it’ll take just a couple of minutes (I did it myself) and you’ll let them know what issues you would like highlighted during the month of June.

Then click the Sign Up Now button. You’ll have access to the backend system in just a couple of minutes, and you can start using a great tool that may just make accounting a little more bearable.

Adjust and Modify Multiple Light Sources Within Your Digital Images

Have you ever shot an image with several light sources, and wish you had a way to easily adjust each light source differently? While you can do a lot with Photoshop, wouldn’t it be nice to have an easy way to adjust without having he work involved with Photoshop?

Now there is a way. Check out this video that shows how Oloneo PhotoEngine modifies light sources within a digital image file.

Oloneo PhotoEngine is currently in beta, and is a free download for you to try out. Oloneo PhotoEngine

Add a Little Style To Your Photography Blog With Animoto

Tired of just adding photo after photo to your blog? Looking for a way to add a little style?  Show your clients what you’ve got, and put together a dynamic presentation.

With some old photos I used to publish my first book, I created this video in about 2 minutes:

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.

They make it super easy to add photos, text, even video if you have it. You can rotate things and move them quickly until you have it just the way you want. Then pick out music and create. It really is that easy.

While the one I created above is a great 30 second demo, you have to leave the Animoto logo icon on the player, taking away from your look. Animoto thought of photographers, and offers a program where you can have your own branded player, linked back to your site, for less than $250 a year.

Use a quick slideshow to showcase each of your clients. Start up your own YouTube channel, and fill it up with client work. It also adds another level of protection as your images are embedded, and can’t be copied directly. Plus you build your presence on another social site. Don’t stop with YouTube. There are plenty of other video sites as well.

10 Publishing/Printing Solutions For Your Photographs

How do you present your photographs to your clients? Do you hand them a CD – or do you present their images in an album or photo book? Digital technology has made album and book options available in a variety of formats. Take a look at these 10 publishing and printing solutions, and give your clients more options than ever.

Walter’s Publishing
From yearbooks, to prom books, to sports books and posters, to wedding books, you’ll have a full array of options through Walter’s Publishing to help you reach out to your clients.

Mpix
Mpix gives you a variety of options, from online album and sales, to photo books and greeting cards. Mpix is an online division of Miller’s Professional Imaging, and has the resources to help you with all your printing needs.

Black River Imaging
Black River Imaging offers a variety of album options. Check out their Mosaic albums, with color options to match any ideas you or your clients may have.

Black River Imaging

Renaissance Albums
Take a look at Renaissance’s new SOHO albums. Designed to offer panoramic spreads throughout the entire album, they are perfect choices for your coffee table albums.
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Organize Your Photographs With PicsMatch

Have you ever spent more time searching for a file, than actually manipulating it once you’ve found it?

Have you ever put a photograph into a file – knowing its location made perfect sense when you originally put it there – yet even a few days later you have no idea where it is?

PicsMatch can help you find what you’re looking for, and even help you organize based on what your plans are for the photograph.

PicsMatch - photo recognition software for photography studios

PicsMatch is a facial recognition software that assigns an ID for anyone in a photograph, and will sweep through your hard drive finding any other matches for that facial ID.

Once you have your images together, PicsMatch gives you a variety of tools to work with the photos. You can use one of the tools in the Zoom Editing Suite, such as the crop or sharpen edit options, or choose an effect such as the black & white feature.

Once you find your images, create a special album folder with the images you select. You can even share the images using the PicsMatch tool bar, and choose to print, burn to disc, or share with family and friends on your Flickr account.

At $49 for a downloadable copy, it’s a tool that’s easy to use just about anywhere. PicsMatch is compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems – so if you are PC, this may be a great tool to add to your toolbox.

Using Reverse Image Search Tools For Copyright Protection of your Photographs

Have you ever been just a bit nervous about putting an image online, not sure who’s going to copy it and claim it for their own? You can head over to Google and search for the file name to find out if anyone has duplicated it. But what about finding an exact match for your images?

Enter reverse image searches. Upload your image into the search tools, and it will scour the web looking for matches without worrying about keywords, copy, or file names.

TinEye is a new entry into the world of reverse image searches, and is by far coming out as the leader in this category.

tineye reverse search tool

TinEye allows you to submit an image and find out where it came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or find higher resolution versions. The technology is pretty cool. When you submit an image, it creates a “fingerprint” and then compares that fingerprint to every other image it retrieves through searches. It won’t find similar images – only things that are an exact match, even if its been cropped, resized or adjusted. [Read more…]

Play With Your Photos – 8 Sites To Create Something New

Since its Friday, I thought I would share fun sites where you can play with your photographs and turn them into hundreds of different images. (And maybe you’ll get some ideas to share with your tween and teen customers!)

PhotoFunia

photofunia

PhotoFunia is an online photo editing tool that allows you to have fun with your image. Upload your image, than add a cool photo effect. Over 100 different effects to choose from.

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10 Tools To Help You Manage Your Photography Business

Genbook
Genbook is an online appointment scheduling service that makes it easier for you to book appointments with your clients. No more email or phone tag. Customers can now click the “Book Now” button on your website or blog, or other online site, and turn your traffic into appointments.

genbook

PhotographersQuote
Looking for more business? Sign up for PhotographersQuote. This service provides you the opportunity to give quotes to people looking for photography in your area.

photographersquote

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Photography Tools – 21 Firefox Add-ons For Photographers

Firefox is my favorite browser! With so many great features to use, how can it help photographers? We put together a list of our favorite Photography Firefox add-ons to help with your daily tasks.

Cooliris – Full-Screen, 3D — Cooliris is simply the fastest and most stunning way to browse photos and videos from the Web or your desktop. Effortlessly scroll a “3D Wall” of your content from Facebook, Google Images, YouTube, Flickr, and hundreds more.

ColorZilla – Advanced Eyedropper, ColorPicker, Page Zoomer and other colorful goodies.
With ColorZilla you can get a color reading from any point in your browser, quickly adjust this color and paste it into another program. You can Zoom the page you are viewing and measure distances between any two points on the page. The built-in palette browser allows choosing colors from pre-defined color sets and saving the most used colors in custom palettes. DOM spying features allow getting various information about DOM elements quickly and easily.

fox FoxSaver – Turns Idle FireFox into a ScreenSaver and Photo Viewer! Nice non-offensive pictures updated daily! Or your own pictures. FullScreen. Works great on Linux or dual monitors! Resouce Efficient! Support Media RSS. Recommend your own favorite pictures! [Read more…]

Use Fotomoto To Sell Your Photographs

Do you sell your photography online? How difficult is it to set up?

A new entry to the photography world is Fotomoto, an e-commerce system specifically designed for photos. No matter how large or small your photograph database is, Fotomoto lets you sell your work directly from your own website or blog. And it’s a free service to start – you only pay a fee after you create the sale.

While many systems out there are linked directly to your professional lab, or require you to take on a monthly fee, Fotomoto makes it easy. With a couple lines of code dropped onto your site or blog, you can begin selling your images immediately right from your own community.

fotomoto2

Some of the things I really like about this service:

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