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May 2012

The slower late-winter/early-spring months are finally coming to an end, and summer season is just around the corner! We hope that you have had a chance to get out there and visit some workshops, seminars, trade shows, etc., and that you are all geared up for what's to come. It's an exciting time of year to be a photographer, and we appreciate the opportunity that we have to be here supporting you and your businesses.

To help you get the most out of this upcoming summer season, we have been busy working on some very big changes here at Instaproofs. Although we are providing just a preview of what's to come, we hope that you are going to be as excited about the changes as we are! Here are some of the biggest things that we have been working on:

•  High resolution image storage
•  Direct fulfillment integration
•  New storefront design
•  Our very own blog

In addition to the changes listed above, we have also been busy working on quite a few smaller (though still awesome) things, including:

•  Event-level minimum purchase requirement
•  Using EXIF information for image searches
•  Lower minimum payment requirement
•  Android application

And for good measure, we will also throw in some details about upcoming discounted weekends in this newsletter! Read on for details about each of the items mentioned above.

Discounted Weekends

We'll go ahead get the details for this one out of the way before jumping into some of the more technical stuff. :) Here is a list of scheduled upcoming discounted weekends:
•  May 25th through 27th (Memorial Day weekend)
•  Aug 31st through Sep 2nd (Labor Day weekend)
•  Nov 23rd through 25th (Black Friday weekend)

The discounted fee for your storefront orders throughout each of these weekends will be just 6%. Take advantage of the discounts, and put on a few sales of your own during the same times!

The Small Stuff


Event-level Minimum Purchase Requirement

There has been a minimum purchase requirement setting in the “preferences” page for quite some time, but there are some times that you may have an event that you would like the setting to be a bit different for. Maybe you have photographed a charity event and would like no minimums, or maybe you have shot a very formal wedding and would like to have higher-than-normal minimums. In either case, you can now set the minimum purchase requirement on each of your events individually.

Using EXIF Information for Image Searches

Sometimes searching for images by name just isn't enough, and searching by keywords and descriptions would be more useful. For example, in sporting events, racing events, pageants, and other events with large numbers of participants, your visitors may wish that they could search through the images by bib number, jersey number, last name, etc. Using the new “Enable Keyword Searching” option within the event setup area, you can now enable that functionality.

The way to use this option is to first go through your images in Lightroom (or other similar program) and add the appropriate keywords to your images before uploading them. Then, when you are creating your event click the checkbox labeled “Enable Keyword Searching.” That's it! When your clients view your events that have this option enabled, the search results from the image search box will also include the results for matching keywords.

Lower Minimum Payment Requirement

We have reduced our minimum payment amount from the previous amount of $50 to just $20. Enjoy! :)

Android Application

Our Android application is now available for downloading! Through the app you can view and manage your events and your orders. Using your Android device, you can download it from here: http://t.co/V14TlsWo

The Big Stuff


High Resolution Image Storage

You asked for it, and we've listened! Since you are already uploading your images to us, we'd love to store the images in high resolution for you and allow you to easily access them from anywhere. Here's what we're offering:

Price: $50/yr per 200GB
Availability date: Late May, 2012. Receive notice when it goes live.
What's included:
  •  Upload and store your images in high resolution (up to 20MB per image).
  •  No time limits on your events or their images.
  •  High resolution instant downloads through your storefront.
  •  Download your high resolution images from anywhere, at any time.
  Additional benefits to come at a later date:
       •  Access to an optional direct fulfillment services
       •  Inclusion in an optional stock photography storefront
       •  Instantly receive any new benefits offered to subscribing members
More info: http://bit.ly/J7VkNi

Direct Fulfillment Integration

We've been working on this one for quite some time, and we are happy to tell you that we are extremely close to making this available!

Availability date: Summer 2012. Receive notice when it goes live.
What is it? Direct fulfillment is a way for you to submit your orders to a professional photo lab, directly from your Instaproofs account. This is an optional service that will be available only to those that have subscribed to a high-resolution subscription plan.
How will it work? When an order is placed, your will receive notice exactly the same as you do today. On the manage order page there will be an option to submit the order for fulfillment. Clicking that option will take you to a screen that will allow you to adjust the image crops, select a shipping address, etc. Once you have reviewed the order and made any necessary adjustments to it, the order will be submitted to the professional lab for fulfillment. Once the order has been submitted to the lab, it will be printed and shipped within approximately 1 business day. Click here for a short demo video of this process: Demo Video.
How much will it cost? The print prices will be made public when the service goes live. They will be very competitive with other professional lab prices.
Why would you want to use it? Fulfilling orders can sometimes be time consuming and a little bit of a pain; we would like to eliminate as much of that pain for you as possible. Since we already have copies of your images, along with their custom crop information and your clients' shipping information, submitting your images through our system is a very simple process. Additionally, once an order has been submitted for fulfillment the order's status will be automatically updated as it moves from the Ordered status to the Shipped status, and a tracking number will be provided for the order once it has shipped. It really couldn't be any easier.
Is it optional? Absolutely. If you have a lab that you love and a process that you are already comfortable with, please feel free to continue doing things the way that you are doing them.

New Storefront Design

The last major overhaul of our storefronts happened multiple years ago, and it's time again for a refresh!

Price: Free, of course. :)
Availability date: Summer 2012.
What's new?
  •  Modern, updated design.
  •  Larger thumbnail sizes (2-3x the current size).
  •  Quicker, easier image purchasing options.
  •  More consistent flow between pages.
  •  Non-flash slideshows.
  •  Easier color customization.
  •  Designed with social networking in mind.
  •  And much more!

It's a big step up from our existing design, and we think you're going to love it!
Is it optional? Yes! Once the new design has been launched, you can continue using the old (now current) storefront design for as long as you would like. The one caveat is that any future changes will only be put into the new storefront design and the old one will remain as it is today.
More info: Click here to view a small slideshow showing some of the different pages that can be found within the new design: Demo Slideshow

Our Very Own Blog

There is always so much going on around here that we thought it was about time we had our own blog!

Availability date: May 10, 2012.
How often will it be updated? The blog will be updated weekly.
What will it contain? We will be giving sales tips, highlighting functionality that you may have forgotten, shining a spotlight on special photographers, holding small photo contests, giving hints about some of the items that we are working on for the storefront and admin pages, etc. We will also be talking about some of the mistakes that people make with their storefronts, and what can be done instead.
What's the URL? When it goes live in a couple of days, the URL will be http://blog.instaproofs.com.

We're excited for the opportunity to go through things in a little more detail with you, and we will hopefully show you some of the things that can help you Sell More Printstm.

Conclusion

And that wraps us up for the month! We still have a fairly long list of requests that we are going through, so you should see even more options and enhancements available shortly.

Thank you for your support and your suggestions, and we'll see you here again in about a month!


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And the Winners Are...

In February we sent out a call for images from anyone that wanted to be considered for a spot on our corporate website, and the response was spectacular! Hundreds of you sent in your images, and it was difficult for us to whittle it down to just the final winning images. Thank you to everyone that submitted your images! The winning entries are displayed below:

Jessica Rayborn Photography Nicole Lopez Photography Kierstan Correnti Photography Priscilla B. Varner Photographie Justin Hackworth Photography Images by Sheila Kurtz Film Reel Productions Daniel Dunlap Photography James Stokes Photography Mike Wiesman Photography Mandy Davis Photography Val Lemieux Photography InkedFingers Photography Digitalive Images and Design Debra Thornton Photography Briana Snyder Photography Mike Wiesman Photography John Bryant Photography April D. Green Photography Sharon Johnson Photography