Who do you turn to for advice on growing your photography business? Whether you are an emerging photographer, or a more established one, having a network of peers is not just a “nice-to-have”. It is essential to running a successful photography business.
If you are an established pro then you probably already have a peer network that you turn to as needed, perhaps for tips on ecommerce or how to run an effective workshop. On the other hand, if you are starting out or are in career transition, you may need to focus on making new connections and building your network.
I want to share five tips with you that have helped me build my personal photography network:
Participating in groups on LinkedIn has become my reliable go-to networking source. Surprised? Often photographers think of Facebook, Flickr, and other social media platforms as a means of getting their work out and may consider LinkedIn less for creative networking. Well, think again.
There are more than 200 million professionals on LinkedIn, worldwide. These include gallery owners, museum curators, art collectors, and commercial and fine art photographers. Identify and join relevant groups. Once you join you’ll be able to participate in discussions with other group members. For instance I’ve used these groups to ask for advice about the best way to ship a print to a client and the amount of emphasis art collectors put on artist statements.(more…)
For our existing customers there are a couple features we are retiring that you should know about.
We are taking our Lightroom integrated approach that has been very popular with our Mosaic View product and expanding it to include online RAW photo backup.
Our photo viewing app has also gotten a complete redesign. The new version of the App is faster, more stable, and also works on smartphones including the iPhone. You will also be able to see which photos are backed up from the Mosaic App.
Backing up using Lightroom data has a lot of advantages including the ability to better manage your cloud backups.
Photographers take a lot of photos (and videos) that generate a lot of data. As any photographer knows, not every photo is amazing…. or even good. One of the things we love about Lightroom is the ability to keep track of your “good photos”.
Many customers said to us that they didn’t want to pay to have their 50 bracketed photos backed up when really they only cared about the 1 complete HDR image. Why not automated this process?
Backing up images within Lightroom allows the flexibility to backup automatically by Lightroom metadata. You will be able to backup using stars, flags, dates, and/or collections automatically and easily. Or just automatically backup everything in Lightroom. This keeps your costs down while giving you all of the benefits of an automated backup solution.
This does however mean we will no longer backup any documents that are not in Lightroom.
If you are a current customer who uses Aperture, you are most likely asking, what about us? We are sorry to say we will not be supporting Aperture moving forward.
Another major change with this release is that we are moving our data infrastructure from our own servers and data center to Amazon. When we first launched Mosaic there was no scalable, offsite, redundant and cost effective cloud storage solution for photographers. So we built it. This changed when Amazon launched their Glacier service.
This is a win-win. Amazon are experts at keeping data safe. They have a stellar track record in large data management. This also frees up development resources on our end to work on the customer facing stuff as opposed to server side stuff. This should allow us to pump out more releases and features more quickly going forward. (We are also hiring!)
One temporary result of this change is that we will not be accepting new hard drive shipments. We will reactivate the service in the future.
All Mosaic Archive customers will have complete access to anything in Lightroom from our App included in their subscription fee.
We know these changes are going to delight many customers. But for others, Mosaic may no longer be a good fit for your online backup needs. Customers can cancel their accounts at any time using the “My Account” link at the bottom of our webpage. We sincerely hope that we can keep your business.
At some point in the near future, we will be shutting down our data center and discontinuing support for our current product. Lots of notices will be given before this happens.
We are very excited about this release. If you are interested in trying this service in beta, please email us. We will add you to the list!
We have lots of ideas about how to improve our product and give you more options in your Lightroom workflow. This is just the beginning!
Please never hesitate to reach out to us directly if you would like to share your thoughts or ideas.
Thank you again for your support.
Gerard and Andy
Co-Founders of Mosaic
Are you measuring your photography website? That question while simple can have a profound impact on how you approach updating and managing your website, and if you are selling your photography the process of sales occurring. Just like you are likely measuring revenue from photographs being purchased, it’s important to know and measure some of the basics of web analytics. Google Analytics is a free software tool for just that purpose, and can help answer the following questions (and much more):
Before going into more depth on the information you can get from Google Analytics, let’s briefly talk about why this is important.
Let’s say for example that you have 200 photographs on your website of all different categories; portraits, weddings, landscapes, birds, and more. You likely have an assumption of which category, and even which set of photographs are the most popular on your website based on your own preferences. Maybe it’s the birds that are your favorite and you have been posting a lot of pictures in that category recently.
By installing Google Analytics, you will not only be able to tell which photograph and category is the most viewed but see all of them in order of views. If it turns out that your gut was correct and birds are your most popular category then you can carry that into your next set of image uploads to the website, which will likely mean additional web traffic and more purchases.
Now let’s take a high level view at the Google Analytics interface, which will give you most of the information you need up front:(more…)
I love Lightroom. (Obviously, we built Mosaic for Lightroom users.) I know there are more Photoshop Elements users out there than Lightroom users. I think Lightroom is a better program for many photographers who are tempted to buy Elements. When I talk to many Photoshop Elements users, they want much of the functionality in Lightroom and don’t use many of the more sophisticated graphic design types of features of Elements.
Elements comes at a very friendly price for prosumer/amateur photographers who want to get more out of their photos. My fear is that customers see that Elements is cheaper and go for that product instead of Lightroom which would be better served their needs.
The world knows what Photoshop is. It has become part of our pop culture lexicon. “To Photoshop” is a brand name verb much like “to Google”. Most consumers don’t need the true power of Photoshop. They just want to make their pictures of their kids, vacations, pets, family and parties look great. They also want to keep track of all of this digital content.
Because Photoshop is so universally recognizable as a program, it is easy to choose to buy Photoshop Elements. Lightroom doesn’t have nearly the cache in the general public so it makes selling Lightroom an uphill battle. (This is most likely why it is officially called “Adobe Photoshop Lightroom” when everyone just calls it Lightroom.)
Here is where I am torn. Lightroom should charge a premium for this advanced functionality. It is not that Lightroom is too expensive, but that Photoshop Elements is too cheap. I believe if you took the price difference out of the equation, than many more people would choose Lightroom.
Because the price has been set for Elements, you need to make Lightroom cheaper. I am a big believer in Lightroom. Help get it in the hands of more customers. Lower the price.
CEO of Mosaic
Today marks the halfway point of our trip and what better place to send an update from than a Starbucks in Hawaii. We’ve got a few hours to kill before our plane takes off back for Seattle where we will continue on our second leg through the rest of the continental U.S.. I know that it seems crazy to be sitting here writing an update when we have beautiful Hawaii at our fingertips, but sitting down and writing an email is a luxury we typically don’t have the time for, so the sandy beaches can wait.
Just in the past 24 hours, we’ve explored an active volcano, walked through underground lava tubes, played with a zebra, camped next to a playground to escape the noise of a Hawaiian rave still going at 3 in the morning, and cliff jumped off of the most southern point in the U.S.. While I’ll admit that it’s not a typical day, it’s not very far off. We’ve also canoed through underground rivers in Connecticut, barely missed getting run over by a train in Vermont, got to watch a Cleveland Indians baseball game from a private suite in Ohio, shot 8 different types of guns in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and ran for our lives in fear of getting chased down by a buffalo in Wyoming. Somehow in there, we’ve managed to find the time to send out around 450 postcards per state too.
The workflow of the day usually goes like this: wake up, pack in all of our gear (in most cases we’re camping in various state and national parks), eat breakfast and plan out a loose route for the day, type “coffee” into Google Maps and drive at unreasonable speeds in that direction (this is when the realization that we’re on a 3 month, 50 state road trip sets in), zig zag trails across the current state we are in, searching for the next postcard photo (usually shooting anywhere between 400-1,000 photos per state), get to our final destination point for the day, set up, edit, print, label (this whole process takes about 3 hours or so), climb into our respective tents, sleep, and the circle of life continues.(more…)
I have to admit that I wasn’t fully bought into GooglePlus before the conference. Sure, I had a profile and I even maintained it. Mosaic had a profile as well. But it wasn’t top of mind. Now it very much is.
I want to hear from you on what we should be doing on G+! I am going to host a Google Plus hangout this Monday, June 4 at 2 PM EST/11 AM PST. This will be on the G+ Mosaic Page. I want to provide useful content to our customers and fellow photographers. This is your chance to help us shape this content.
We have been getting a steady stream of customers and visitors to our website from GooglePlus. In April, for the first time, GooglePlus provided more traffic to our website than Twitter. Although honestly this is still well below the number of visitors from Facebook. However, GooglePlus sent us more engaged users than Facebook, with G+ visitors spending on average 1:01 minutes more on our site. Visitors from social media are more likely to convert to customers than visitors from any other source.
So social media is real business for us. But as importantly, it is were we learn from photographers about parts of our product that people like… and don’t like. And nothing has been more valuable in figuring out new features we need to build.(more…)
What is exactly is “Cloud Storage” and what does it mean for me as a serious or professional photographer? This is a perfectly legit question. The “cloud” seems to be everywhere. Let’s go over what it is and how it could help your photography business.
Saving photos to the “Cloud” really refers to saving photos to an off-site storage system and accessing those photos over the Internet. Substitute your local hard drive for an Internet accessible remote hard drive and you have the basics of cloud storage.
Just as we get our electricity and water from remote sources and pipe them into our homes, the cloud pipes computing power into our homes via the Internet.
Typically a cloud storage company wouldn’t just store data on one drive. They would store the data on multiple drives. This way if one drive dies, the files are still safe.
Also, usually cloud storage companies store multiple versions of the files in multiple locations. This is another layer of protection. This is offsite protection for your offsite protection. (more…)
Professional and amature photographers are very difficult group to define. As the CEO of a online photo storage company, I speak with a lot of both professional and prosumer photographers. I have noticed that photographers tend to fall into a couple of general buckets. As I said, photographers are not easily defined. So these large buckets are certainly not hard-and-fast rules. There a lot of photographers I have met that do not fit these descriptions, but these are some general trends that I have noticed.
This group tends to be the most technically advanced. Because these photographers learned their craft with rolls of film and sometimes with hours of labor in the darkroom, they make the most of every shot. They learned how to deal with white balance using a gray card – not by dialing in temperature values in Lightroom or Aperture.
As the group of photographers with the most gray hair, some came over to digital kicking and screaming. They are the group that is the least likely to embrace new technologies. I have heard some of these photographers say things like “HDR photography is cheating.”
Film converts are also the group that have the most defined digital asset management workflow. This is seemingly because of their healthy skepticism of technology. They know that hard drives fail, DVDs don’t last forever, and that format obsolescence really is something to worry about. (more…)
Adobe has recently announced a new product called Carousel. The more I think about Carousel, the more confused I am on the products direction and use. Adobe is a company I have immense respect for. Lightroom, Photoshop and the rest of the Adobe Creative Suite are revolutionary products with amazing capabilities. (Obviously we like Lightroom since we built our first product as a Lightroom Plugin.)
As explained on the the Carousel website, “Easily bring all of your photos together in a complete library you can access, edit and enjoy from your iPad, iPhone and Mac – no storage issues or syncing hassles.”
Carousel is seemingly a consumer focused product. It doesn’t (yet) support RAW or DNG photos or integrate with Lightroom. I find this interesting since Adobe typically aims at the higher end of the market – the creative professionals. There are many more photography novices and enthusiasts than professionals and prosumers, so Adobe must believe this service can appeal to the masses currently undersevered by their products. (more…)
When Andy and I had the idea to create an online service to store professional photographers’ images, we needed to come up with a business name. After hours of brainstorming, we chose Mosaic. We feel that a mosaic is a great metaphor for our business.
Mosaic is the art of collecting smaller bits of materials to create a larger image. We feel the same way about a photographer’s collection. The individual photographs are beautiful in themselves, but viewed as a collection they are something extraordinary.
Although most of our clients perceive our value as a service to help them backup their images offsite, another advantage is access to their entire image collection instantly through their Lightroom catalog.
In a mosaic, when you look at the individual components, the whole picture might not be evident. Beyond the economic value of having any photo you have ever taken at your fingertips, our goal is that when you are able to step back and look at your entire photographic canon, that the artistic value of your collection will shine through.
Often photographers cannot access their entire collection. Technology has gotten in the way. They have some early images on external drive #1 and some later images on external drive #5. We eliminate the technological challenges of archiving RAW photos, so that professional photographers can focus on doing what they love. Good digital asset management isn’t just about properly cataloging images; a good DAM process should help you grow as a photographer.
So when we think of a mosaic, we see your individual photos combined to create the image of your digital legacy . . . a beautiful mosaic. It is our honor to store these images.