The Don’ts of Photography

There are a lot of do’s and don’ts in the art and craft of photography. In other articles, we had given lots of tips on the ‘do’s’, or what you can do to further improve your skills. In this particular article, we will focus on what NOT to do when practicing the craft:

Do not get stuck with shooting the same kind of images – part of polishing your photographic skills is to shoot images that take you out of your comfort zone. This allows you to discover new ways to shoot your subject, dont1 The Don’ts of Photographyfrom the lighting to how to compose it. It also gives you the chance to see your subject differently and with a creative eye. If you always take landscape shots but rarely use your camera for macro or close up shots, why not try switching styles for a change and see what lessons you can teach yourself. 

Do not ignore the manual mode – if you always use the auto mode, you would know that it can be quite convenient and easy to use since the camera decides the ‘appropriate’ settings needed. However, it can also be limited and the result may not be exactly what you would have wanted the picture to turn out. Using the manual mode would give you much more control over the camera settings and thus, the outcome of the shot. 

dont3 The Don’ts of PhotographyDo not wipe the dust off the lens with the edge of your shirt or a paper napkin – please resist the temptation to use your shirt, a piece of tissue, a table napkin or anything else that is not meant for cleaning lenses. They may look clean and spotless but their very fibers could be rough enough to leave scratches on your sensitive glass. 

Do not cover the flash with a finger – this is a common error with compact cameras where the flash is located at the corner of the camera and very close to where you would normally grip the camera when taking a shot. Always be aware of anything that might block the flash as you are taking your photo. 

Do not place a person right in front of a pole, a light post or a thin tree – doing this would give the illusion that the person in the picture has some unattractive appendage growing out of his or her head. Always be aware of your background and how you are positioning your subject in relation to it. 

dont2 The Don’ts of PhotographyDo not forget to charge your camera’s batteries – have you ever experienced a situation where you are about to shoot a once in a lifetime moment when your camera’s battery suddenly dies? Or a time when you go to an event and turn on your camera to take pictures and your camera will not even start? It can be frustrating to say the least and unless you have a spare battery on hand. 

Don’t leave home without a camera – a lot of great photo opportunities could be missed for the simple reason that you did not have your camera with you at the time. Try to have a camera with you when you go out, you never know what rare photographic moments you may encounter and want to take a picture of. A phone camera or a simple point and shoot is sufficient for the job. 

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Another 10 Ways to Turn Your Photographs in to Cash

Here are more useful ideas that may just turn you a fast buck for those photographs you have stored in your computer. Who knows, you may have a gold mine just waiting to be discovered.

1. Customize your own writing paper – many fancy writing paper come with printed designs, why not your photographs. Create your own stationary and notebooks that have your very own images printed on them and sell them in stores or online.

tocash5 Another 10 Ways to Turn Your Photographs in to Cash2. Offer your work to furniture stores – furniture stores always need a mock up living space to show their customers what their merchandise would look like when set up in their homes. There’s no better way to add a homey touch to furnishings than framed photographs. This is also a great opportunity to marker your art.

3. Offer your images to software companies – software companies are always in need for stills to use in their packaging, discs and backgrounds. Sift through your files of images and look for possible options you can offer to software companies.

tocash6 Another 10 Ways to Turn Your Photographs in to Cash4. Use your images as book covers – every year is another batch of kids moving onto the next grade and many students opt to personalize their school books by covering them in attractive paper. Print out your images on paper and market them to students to use a covers for their school books.

5. Print your images on bags – anything and everything can be placed on a bag to liven it up, why not your images. You can even design you own tote bags that can be made to order that can be personalized. Offer portrait photography services for your customers and you can print their pet or child on a bag.

6. Enlarge your images based on flat screen TV sizes – almost every household has a flat screen TV since its prices dropped, the demand for it sky rocketed. Most of them can display uploaded images and can be used to accentuate a whole room instead of hanging there drab and flat, it can be a colorful center piece.

7. Use you images to tell a story – not every story teller needs to be a graphic artist. Photography is a visual art form that can also be used to illustrate a story.

tocash4 Another 10 Ways to Turn Your Photographs in to Cash8. Use your images as a wallpaper design – almost every household has a computer and every computer needs a desktop wallpaper. Sell them online as downloadable images that any computer owner can use to liven up their monitors.

9. Offer your services to organizations – every organization that stands for a cause needs images to fire up their purpose to gain more supporters. Check out your local neighborhood organizations and start matching your images to their cause and market it to them.

10. Offer your specific images to auctioneers in various buying and selling websites – images help sell anything. There are numerous online buy and sell websites that have customers that need images of practically anything and everything. Photograph images of your own thing at home that are commonly sold online and offer them to sellers.

Whatever type of images you have stored there just waiting to be discovered, you’re sure to find some use for it. You just may be surprised at the earning power you images may provide. It would make a nifty side line for you.

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New Holiday eCards Available!

The holiday season is here! While the time off, superb food and great company await, why not send out a holiday eCard from your Photostockplus account wishing a great holiday season to your clients and loved ones!

We have 2 brand new Holiday themed eCards available for you just in time for the holidays:

ecard1 New Holiday eCards Available! ecard2 New Holiday eCards Available!

To send an eCard with a custom holiday message through your account, follow this quick tutorial for a step by step guide:

Now is the time so get cracking and send out those holiday eCards!

Ilan Artzy

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Using Facebook to Market Your Photo Business, Part 2

In order to have a steady stream of customers, you need to find way to market your services as a photographer. Get in with the times by promoting your photo business online in probably the most popular social networking site in the world, Facebook. We have written previously about how to use the features of Facebook for just that purpose and here are several more tips to get you going:

fb2 Using Facebook to Market Your Photo Business, Part 2Upload videos to share your ‘behind the scenes’ process – photos of how you set up your images are great but video footage of them are even better! Take advantage of the video option to share how you do your photo shoots, how you compose and light up your subjects. Video sessions are extremely popular and highly informative since clients can get to see exactly how your creative process works, from the preparations to the final result. For fans who want to learn more from you, you can also use video tutorials. There are some instructions that are easier understood when shown through a video tutorial rather than by reading them.

Build a solid client base – the strength of Facebook is in relationship marketing and less so at direct selling. Build connections and relationships with your clients and potential clients through regular interactions. You will have more success in getting sales this way plus a lot of regular and satisfied clients.

Invite people to your event by creating an event page – in case you are organizing or hosting an event for your photography business, use the Facebook event option to invite prospective and current clients. Having an event page allows you to spread the word to a large audience without much effort. It also allows others to RSVP so you know who are going and who cannot make it. This is not a substitute for formal (as opposed to virtual) invitations but it is a convenient way to make people aware of your event. The events page includes the details of the event such as date, time and location. You can also place a profile picture such as an image of the event poster. Another feature is that one can leave public comments which can be read by others and if these testimonials are positive and complimentary, then they certainly add to the appeal. You have the option to show the guest list so that others can know who else is planning to attend.

Try using the Facebook advertisement feature– with this option, you can create advertisements that appear on the pages of your target audience. This is another effective way to promote your business as well as increase awareness of your presence in the industry. Facebook does a great job of guiding you in setting up your ad campaign, and you have control over how much you want to spend to keep it running. You can set a limit to the ad budget and Facebook will stop showing your ads once you reach that limit. If it is your first time to use this feature, it would be wise to set up one advertising campaign at a time while you are learning the ropes so you can fully concentrate on it.

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More Fantastic Family Portraiture Tips

Shooting group portraits, especially those of your family, can be challenging since you are dealing not just with a single model, but several of them. Each member would be different in height, looks and personality and not only will you be focusing on how to create the shot but also how to successfully direct the family to pose. We previously explained some tried and tested family portraiture tips, and here are some effective suggestions you can use as to how to take great family portraits:

presto44 P1050391BW More Fantastic Family Portraiture Tips1. Vary the eye levels of your subjects – visually pleasing group shots usually have the subjects at different heights. Have some people sit while others stand. This will lessen the sense of monotony in the shot.

2. Make subjects interact – have the subjects in your family photographs get closer together. Minimizing the gaps between the subjects provides a sense of closeness. A family setting should connote a sense of intimacy and love. Ideally have each member hug, hold hands, or touch the person closest to them. Body language links people together and this is the perfect example to relay feelings or emotional impact when looking at the photograph. When your subjects are lined up for a photograph, position them at slight angles to each other and make sure that their shoulders overlap so that they will not look awkward. When dealing with large groups in a single shot, break them down into smaller groups to make it easier for you to coordinate the shot. You can arrange them in a diamond, zigzag or triangular formation.

family6 More Fantastic Family Portraiture Tips3. Make sure your subjects do not blink during the shot – when shooting group photographs, the hardest part is not having at least one of them blink. It is easy to reshoot for small groups but for larger groups, it is next to impossible. It does not help to shoot in continuous mode because one is bound to blink. Do a countdown to make sure that everyone is aware that you will be clicking the shutter button any moment so that they will be conscious and will not blink. A really useful tip is to tell all your subjects to close their eyes at the same time and do a countdown, then open their eyes all at once. This will surely guarantee that they will all have their eyes open at the same time without needing to blink.

4. Choose a lens that has the right focal length – the most eye-catching portrait images are created using lenses without zoom, known as prime lenses. Some zoom lenses can also give you great close-up shots. Wide-angle lenses can make subjects wider than they actually are while telephoto lenses have the reverse effect and can make your subjects appear flat. Beautiful portrait images can be captured using lenses with focal range of 50mm-100mm. Having a shallow depth of field blurs the background and brings the focus to the subject. 

family2 More Fantastic Family Portraiture Tips5. Get your subjects’ attention – when you are dealing with grown-ups and teenagers, getting their attention for a few seconds will not be as difficult compared to when you are dealing with babies, toddlers and older children. You will need to capture the attention of younger subjects to get a good shot. You may have to try hard to make them laugh, to the point of being silly. You can ask a whole group of children to do something fun together. This will give you a candid as well as a fun image. Best of all, this can make the children comfortable for the next shot. 

On a final note, remember to include yourself in your shots because you are also a part of the family. Use your tripod, a cable release or a camera with a shutter timer. While composing the group position, leave a space for you to fit in before the timer starts counting down. 

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4 New Features!

Talk about an update! Our tech team has been burning the midnight oil to kick off this year right with the addition of 4 new features extending flexibility, control and functionality through your Photostockplus account!

2 for 1

You will now have the ability to set up to 3 products with a 2 for 1 discount! Once set, using eye catching font and text, these products will automatically be advertised to your clients as they browse your galleries, making them aware of your current promotions and encouraging larger orders!

Setting up a 2 for 1 product can be done on the pricing page while editing a pricing group:

2for11 4 New Features!

For complete details on how to set these new discounts, visit our new 2 for 1 tutorial page.
Multi Image Self Fulfill Products – Improved Client Experience

For those of you providing your clients with Multi Image Self Fulfillment products, we have made some major improvements geared towards providing a smoother client experience.

Features have been modified and added at the image selection portion of the customization including:

  • New ‘All’ button to quickly select an entire album and images shown on a page.
  • New ‘None’ button to quickly remove all selections.
  • New Image Indicator to show your client which images have already been added to the product in order to avoid duplicates.

Photo Selector – Before

photoselector before 4 New Features!

Photo Selector – After

photoselector after 4 New Features!

Other modifications have been made on the product customization page itself with the following additions:

  • New ‘Remove All Photos’ button to quickly remove all current photos
  • New ‘Remove Selected Photos’ allowing users to scan through images, tick unwanted selections and remove them all with one simply click.
  • Modified image order functionality allowing users to select an image and place it before or after any image quickly.

imageorder 4 New Features!

Image Downloads within a Package!

As you have requested, the Image Download product is now available for you to add to your custom discount packages!

discountpackages 4 New Features!

Pricing Page – Reverse Calculator

Another requested feature by you, the user. You can now simply put in the final cost you wish your products to be set at and let the reverse calculator deal with the proper mark-up!

reversecalc 4 New Features!

A strong start to the year doesn’t mean that we’re slowing down though … It’s quite the opposite actually. We have many improvements in the works so stay tuned for more updates coming your way soon.

As always, the best way to stay up to date on service improvements, updates and other goodies is by following us through Twitter, Facebook or subscribing to our RSS feed .

Photostockplus Dev Team

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Holiday Email Marketing Solutions!

title9 Holiday Email Marketing Solutions!

The holiday season is around the corner and now is the ideal time to start marketing to that email list!

If you have been using the 'mandatory email login' feature for your event albums, you may export a list of email contacts you have collected thus far and market a highly effective end of the year special to these potential clients!

title8 Holiday Email Marketing Solutions!

You can run an enticing and time sensitive offer by setting up a volume discount through your Photostockplus account!

title4 Holiday Email Marketing Solutions!

We are currently offering a complete 'Email Marketing Assistance Package' for your first mailer campaign including all of the following:

  • Email Import to iContact
  • Custom Mailer Content
  • Branded Mailer Design
  • Gallery Discount Setup

For only $149, let our marketing experts help you decide on the proper promotion and take care of the complete set up and mailing of your first mailer campaign to assure a smooth email delivery without a glitch!

contactus Holiday Email Marketing Solutions!

Take a look at the following mailer for an example of the quality you can expect letting us help you with your holiday promotion!

holidaymailer2010gen Holiday Email Marketing Solutions!

For more information or to place your order for the 'Complete Email Marketing Assistance Package', contact us today!

Please note that long term and more advanced email marketing strategy maintenance and implementation is also available. Please contact us for more details.


title31 Holiday Email Marketing Solutions!

Have some HTML and marketing experience and want to run a mailer campaign on your own?

Photostockplus has partnered with iContact in order to help you send targeted visual HTML mailers (much like this one) to your email list and clients!

icontact Holiday Email Marketing Solutions!

iContact makes email marketing easy with the help of templates and a straight forward platform providing you with detailed reporting and tracking for every message sent!

Use the links provided in this mailer, or click here for a special free trial offer!

We look forward to assisting you with an effective and profitable mailer strategy this holiday season!

Best regards.

Ilan Artzy

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3 New Storefront Templates Available!

3 brand new gold storefront templates are now available for you to use for your next event or even give your current storefront or existing event and stock albums a breath of fresh air. Take a look!


New Gold Template – Royal Classic


 newtemplate royalr 3 New Storefront Templates Available!


New Gold Template – Racing


 newtemplate racing 3 New Storefront Templates Available!


New Gold Template – Torn (red)


 newtemplate tornred 3 New Storefront Templates Available!

To change your storefront or an exisiting event or stock album template, you may visit our Storefront Tutorial page where you will find links and guides to help you apply different templates to your albums as well as edit details of each template, giving them your own personal touch!

Enjoy the new gold templates and stay tuned for more great additions and updates!


Ilan Artzy

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Notification – Improved Featured Product Display on Galleries Live Tomorrow

The featured products feature had always been a popular marketing tool for our members. For those a little unfamiliar with the tool, within the pricing section of your account, you have the ability to assign up to 6 featured products for each of your custom pricing groups (which you then apply to any album you wish). When featured products are assigned, while a customer is visiting your online gallery, these featured products are displayed above the image to entice clients to purchase these products. Think of it as planting a sales seed, or making your clients aware of a product or products that they may not have otherwise thought of purchasing.

You have the ability to choose up to 6 different products; image downloads, memory mates, custom posters, museum prints, you name it. As a customer, these displayed featured products can then be added to their shopping cart in one click. In this respect, there will be no change in the marketing tool. Where the improvemnet comes in is how these featured products will be displayed as of tomorrow. Take a look …


Original – Text only

PSP Blog FtrProd1 Notification   Improved Featured Product Display on Galleries Live Tomorrow


New – Including Thumbnails

PSP Blog FtrProd2 Notification   Improved Featured Product Display on Galleries Live Tomorrow


Originally, featured products were displayed on your gallery above the image using text only. Though the area these featured products occupied was minimal, globally, photographers who used this marketing feature next to those who did not showed a higher average client order.

Taking the above into consideration, we will be increasing the visibilty of featured products by providing thumbnail images of the products you are featuring in addition to the regular text. This area will be more than twice as large, visually more appealing, and as many online marketing studies have proven time and time again, the more visual space you devote to a product, the more awareness a client will have of the available product resulting in an increase of sales.

This change will be automatic and will take place tomorrow. You do not need to opt in or change any settings through your account.

If you prefer the original text only version of the featured product display, an option will be available through the featured product section of your account where you may switch between the 2 display modes at anytime.

For comeplete details on how to assign or remove featured products from your galleries, or how to switch back from the new display to the original text version, please visit our Featured Products tutorial page.

As always, to recieve these updates as they are available, the best way is to follow us through Twitter or Facebook.

Enjoy the new feature and stay tuned for a lot more goodies and developments in the next little bit.

Ilan Artzy

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New Payment Method Option – Discover Card

We are constantly optimizing our service and making sure your client's shopping experience goes as smooth as possible. Something we would like to avoid is having your clients run through the order process only to end up at the payment stage with their prefered method of payment missing from the list. Happened to me online once and I have to say, I was far from enthusiastic settling for an alternative.

With prevention in mind, we have added an all new payment method option for your clients; the Discover card:

200910 discover card New Payment Method Option   Discover Card

210910 methods of payment New Payment Method Option   Discover Card

Of course, the 'standard' payment methods are available as well; Visa, Mastercard, Amex, PayPal. 

More updates and some great photography articles coming so stay tuned!

Ilan Artzy

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