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With the new year, Rachel and I decided to mix in some episodes with just she and I talking about certain topics. These episodes will have no guests.
This means that we now have a variety of episode types for you to listen or watch.
- Episodes with guests (the standard).
- Every 10th episode (like 10, 20, 30, 40) is a Q&A.
- Every episode on the "fives" (like 25, 35, 45) is a Snap episode (5 minutes or less).
- Specific topic episodes mixed in.
In today’s episode, we will be discussing some of our favorite resources for your photography businesses in 2017.
WordPress/Photography Related News:
- WordPress.com now supports 360-degree / VR content. And Jetpack will soon support it too. As 360 imagery takes off, I expect to see more plugins to offer cool functions with it.
- Automattic released the year in review for 2016. Some notable stats are:
- WooCommerce powers 39% of all e-commerce stores. Few of which are photography sites.
- Jetpack is used on 2.1 million sites
- Photon (Jetpack’s free image CDN) serves 29 million images per day
- The LawTog
- Lightroom Workflow Course
- Ultimate Social Image Template
- Design Aglow
- The Instagram Lab
- Goal Digger Podcast
- reDefine Show with Tamara Lackey
- Beautiful Together
- Fuel Your Photos
- The Photo Frontier
Scott: Welcome to episode 31. My name is Scott Wyden Kivowitz, and I am joined my cohost, Rachel Conley from Fotoskribe. Hey, Rachel.
Rachel: Hey Scott, how are you?
Scott: I'm doing well. Happy new year.
Rachel: Happy new year. I can't believe we've been doing this for a whole year now.
Scott: Yeah. It's crazy because this is episode 31 and yet it's been a year, just about, or has it been over a year? No, it's been just about a year.
Rachel: We started in December.
Scott: Yeah, because we recorded the first one in December.
Rachel: Yeah, and then we went to our every other week schedule in January-ish. Now it's really been, yeah, 52 plus weeks. It's crazy.
Scott: Yeah, it's really neat. It's going to be a milestone when we hit 50 and 100 episodes but, man, can you imagine? That's going to be like two and five years out.
Rachel: I know.
Scott: Unless we start doing more in between, which we might, who knows what the future holds. Speaking of which, with the new year for all our listeners, with the new year Rachel and I decided to mix it up a bit. What we decided to do is we are literally mixing in some episodes where just Rachel and I will be talking about certain topics.
These episodes will have no guest, they'll be similar to the Q&A episode where it's just Rachel and I talking but it will about a specific topic. For today, in today's episode, episode 31, we are discussing some of our favorite resources for your photography businesses in 2017. That's the topic for today. We will also have the news and we will also, because it's the first episode we are recording in the new year and publishing in the new year, we are actually going to do a little bit of a recap of some interesting notable things from 2016. We don't have a lot to include because we think we should listen to all the previous episodes but we will share some really important WordPress, the specific to WordPress core, to the WordPress software, some notable items.
Rachel: Yeah. We just want to recap the things that we've heard over the years, over and over, over the years, one year, over and over, in both the WordPress and in the photography space. I think it's really notable how many repetitions we hear, and then, of course, there are the one-offs and different needs that WordPress can do, but for photographers, especially in 2016 we really noticed some trends and stuff.
Scott: Yeah, so maybe what we'll do is we'll do the news and then maybe we'll talk about these trends, and then we'll dive into the resources. Sounds good?
Rachel: Great, yeah.
Scott: Okay. The first bit of news, this is a pretty big one. It relates to photographers totally, but I don't know how big it's going to be just yet. In fact we requests about this at Imagely. WordPress.com now supports 360 or VR content. Just like you can on Facebook post 360s or on YouTube post 360s, you can now do that on WordPress.com. Automattic, the people behind WordPress.com and Jetpack, the Jetpack plugin, they're going to be adding the same feature to Jetpack, which means that anybody who's using Jetpack on a self-hosted WordPress website will soon be able to use or implement display 360 degree imagery.
I've got to say, there's already plugins out there that do this but it's neat that WordPress is taking a little bit of initiative to build it into core so to speak. They're building it into WordPress.com, [core or not, 00:03:41] into WordPress.org core. Who knows what the future holds. If VR goes to the way of 3D televisions, who knows if they're going to last. Facebook's pushing it hard, YouTube is pushing it hard, but you never know. It might just be a fad.
Rachel: I haven't really seen it a lot on either Facebook or YouTube. I've seen it. I do think there is possibilities for photographer, especially if you're a wedding photographer and you shoot a 360 pano or you have a drone and you pop it up and you shoot a 360. That would definitely some kind of that cool content but I just think it's good they're building it out so that you can share it.
Scott: We get requests from photographers, actually we had one today from a photographer who wants NextGEN Gallery to support 360. It's possible; it's not popular. If we get all of our users requesting it, of course, we're going to do it.
Rachel: Right, which is probably why WordPress is doing it on WordPress.com first and Jetpack.
Scott: Right. Yeah, they'll see if it's being utilized because they'll be able to track it. If it's being utilized then they'll probably port it to Jetpack sooner than later. That's the first bit, the second bit is, this is a link and some notable points, Automattic also released their year in review for 2016. I wanted to share some of my takeaways from their year in review. I recommend checking it out because it's beautifully done. This is WordPress.com related, not specifically WordPress.org, but here is some of the notable stats. WooCommerce now powers 39% of all e-commerce stores. We know as we've mentioned that WordPress powers 27% of the internet.
Rachel: Right, which is crazy.
Scott: Yeah. WooCommerce, now that WooCommerce is a general e-commerce plugin that is owned by Automattic, powers 39% of all e-commerce stores. Amazon has their own, there's Shopify's out there. There are so many e-commerce platforms. Magento is popular, [colaro actions 00:05:51] used to run on Magento and now it runs on WooCommerce.
Rachel: Yeah. I think as more websites turn over to WordPress specific, more and more moving over to WooCommerce too, because Shopify is on its own platform, it's not a WordPress plugin.
Scott: This is for general e-commerce, this isn't necessarily for photography because WooCommerce, that's a photography extension. The best way I can explain it is the way I explained it at WordCamp Boston, was, "WooCommerce is a product centric approach to e-commerce, whereas other e-commerce plugins are actually image-centric e-commerce plugins." There's a big difference.
Rachel: Right, but having used WooCommerce, if you have products to sell it makes it easy.
Scott: Yeah, yeah it does.
Rachel: It makes it easy and quick. These products don't have to be tangible. It really handles digital products really well. I think there's a reason why 39%. A lot of the inaccuracies, inadequacies, there we go, were really taken care of when WooCommerce was purchased by Automattic and their teams merged.
Scott: Yeah. Right now there's a beta for WooCommerce; there's a big update that's supposed to speed it up and simplify some things. I'm looking forward to seeing that. Their Stripe extension is adding Apple Pay soon, which is really neat.
Rachel: That's good.
Scott: The next takeaway from that was, we'll try to go through those fast, Jetpack is now used on 2.1 million sites. That is insane.
Rachel: See, I wanted to talk about this with the VR content stuff, I think you should have Jetpack installed on your WordPress site. You should have all of the modules turned off that you don't want to use. Maybe you have only one turned on, Publicize or VaultPress, but I think Jetpack is really where the functionality of WordPress.com and the Automattic team makes WordPress.org, takes this to the next level. You just have to understand to turn off the modules that you don't want.
Scott: A little something interesting that at Imagely We've had some talks with Automattic. There's a WordPress.com desktop app that's right now in beta; its codename is Calypso. Anybody's free to use; it works with WordPress.com sites and any WordPress.org self-hosted sites running Jetpack. The thing is, what it looks like in the app actually looks like a WordPress.com backend. It's really pretty.
It's so much prettier than WordPress, the self-hosted software. Automattic's goal is to get the community to actually adopt this design for WordPress software. If that happens, WordPress is going to be the most beautiful software ever, prettier than Squarespace and any of the others, for designing websites and maintaining websites. I use Jetpack only for access to use their desktop app. That's it.
Rachel: Right, and maybe that's enough because where they are focusing their paid functionality, their paid team in terms of Automattic versus the WordPress.org, which is teams of volunteers from all over the world, their paid team is focused on these Jetpack functionalities. I think it's only going to get better. I don't know; I've met some of the team and they're so brilliant. There are some really smart people working on this stuff.
Scott: Yeah. Yeah, there are. The last bit is also related to Jetpack. They have a free CDN, a Content Delivery Network. It only delivers images from their servers. It's called Photon; it's one of the modules. I don't use this for a variety of reasons which I don't want to talk about today, but we can always talk about in the future. Photon is serving, I don't know how many people are using it, but it's serving 29 million images a day. That is a lot of images to come from one server every day. It's a cloud system.
Rachel: Yeah, it's not one server.
Scott: A CDN is a cloud, it's not really a ... Anyway, I thought that was really, really incredible. 29 million images, that's amazing.
Rachel: Yeah, that really is.
Scott: Yeah, that's the news. Let's talk about the wrap-up, what are your big notable takeaways from 2016 in WordPress?
Rachel: It's so interesting, when we decided to talk about what happened in 2016 both Scott, and I really focused on our favorite products, which we're going to talk about later, but as I was thinking about the episode today I was thinking like, "Okay, what are the questions that I got time after time after time?" There were really two points in 2016. The first one was the update 4.5, in which image compression was taken from ... What was it? I think just around 80 to ... Or, I don't ...
Scott: 60 or something.
Scott: [crosstalk 00:10:49] dropped down to 60.
Rachel: Right. In the core, image compression was taken down, to the point where photographers are noticing and saying, "What changed with WordPress because my images don't look great?"
Scott: It's not the original sizes, it's the resized version that they're compressing. If you insert an image and you choose the large size, which maybe let's say is 800, whatever your preferences are set to. That 800-pixel image is being compressed a lot.
Rachel: Right, and there wasn't necessarily a big giant notice about it. We knew, but I'm amazed at how many photographers are noticing like, "Okay," and then think, "Is it BlogStomp? Is it JPEGmini? Is my color profile?" When truly it is just the native image compression as they update from 4.5 and on.
Scott: The worst part is that there's a lot of image compression plugins out there and I have my recommended, you might have yours. There's one that I really don't like, and I won't say the names but there was somebody in a group, a photographer that was having an issue with image compression. It turned out that it was actually a mixture of two things. One, it was the plugin that they were using, the one that I really don't like. It compresses beyond the WordPress compression, so if your compression is 60 by default for WordPress, it's compressing big time beyond it and actually destroyed the images, they did not look good at all.
It also turned out that she was having a video card issue or something, so the colors were shifting dramatically for her. That's a big one. There's a plugin that you can install to bring the compression back to 100% so that it doesn't compress. If you're concerned about it, I would recommend installing it and ridding yourself of compression, and using a good image compression plugin or just use JPEGmini Pro. The next bit was related to WordPress 4.7, right?
Scott: WordPress 4.7, that was another big update and something important for photographers. In all previous versions of WordPress when you would upload an image WordPress would automatically take the ... If there was no ALT tag or if there was not title or description pre-made in your EXIF data, in your metadata in Lightroom or Photoshop, then if there was then WordPress would take that and fill it in on the upload. It would fill in your ALT text based on your title and the caption would be your description in your metadata. If there wasn't a title set already then WordPress would take the file name and make that the ALT text. Now as for 4.7 they don't.
Rachel: Right. The benefit of that is that you could rename your images with keywords into a program like BlogStomp or Fundy image collaging. You could do all the collaging even in Lightroom. Then you could just upload them to WordPress, and you wouldn't necessarily have to worry about adding those extra keywords in the ALT tags. You could; you could still do the manual process. The more ALT tags you have with keywords, even though the ALT text is actually for e-readers and for people with disabilities, but Google ranks it. There's so much confusion around all this, but the point is now, is you not only have to rename your images before you upload them, but you also have to touch the ALT text for every image if you want that extra boost of keywording part of it.
Scott: Right, yeah. There are also plugins that can fill in your ALT text for you if you want. You have to think about it. Now as a photographer you have to think about it more than you did in the past. You always had to think about it but now that WordPress took it out, and I understand why they took it out, because people weren't paying attention to what the automated system was doing and they [inaudible 00:14:58] useful ALT text, so now think about it.
Rachel: Most people don't worry as much about their images as we do.
Scott: Yeah, exactly, exactly.
Rachel: You know, like a blogger who's focusing on the text and has one image as the header, they're not as worried about their keywords in the images as photographers are. Your images are your business, so the way that you treat them online and the way that you keyword them is important, more important than any other business.
Scott: Right, yeah. Okay, let's move into the resources. The way we're going to do resources is we're going to split it between WordPress and photography resources. Let's talk about the WordPress specific. Now some of the photography ones can relate to WordPress, but they're not WordPress specific, so that's why we're separating them. I guess, do you want to go first or should I go first?
Rachel: I think number one we heard probably in every single recording was the Yoast SEO plugin, install it. If you have the all-in-one SEO installed, uninstall Yoast because they had some security issues, which they fixed. They updated it but the Yoast SEO is the industry standard. Literally, every guest talked about it.
Scott: Yeah. Yoast, the team, actually works with Google directly to make sure that they're using best practices and they're up to date with all those new standards. For example, all the time I get asked, "What sitemap plugin should I use?" There's only one answer; Yoast is the only one that works with Google to make sure the sitemap is exactly what Google wants.
Rachel: Right. The only caveat that I have to that is they did an update where they have the SEO but they also have readability. For Fotoskribe we write blogs for a living, we have a hard time getting the readability to be green, like the SEO. That's the one caveat, they're really good at the SEO but they're trying to cater to the lowest common denominator with the readability and if you're telling a story and you're using a good sentence and your readability is still orange or even red, I don't worry about it as much.
Scott: Yeah. I think, if I'm not mistaken, there's an option to turn off the readability thing.
Rachel: That's good to know. I didn't know that.
Scott: Yeah, I think it's new. I think there's an option. I remember seeing it and then wanting to mention it, so now I'm mentioning it.
Rachel: Okay, awesome.
Scott: The next was, we often get asked, "What podcast plugin should we use?" It's interesting, we even talked to multiple people, like, "Should I do webinars and podcasts for my clients?" If you're thinking about it and you want a podcast plugin, there's two that I would recommend. You can listen to episode number one, Rachel and I actually talk about exactly how we build this podcast.
Rachel: Right, and our process hasn't changed. Again, it's been a year but we're still using the same infrastructure [crosstalk 00:17:55]
Scott: Yeah, a little bit has changed here and there, but for the most part it's identical. The only thing we've added since then is a system called Zencastr, which is fantastic.
Rachel: Right, but that's not within WordPress. We should say that it's outside WordPress.
Scott: Not yet, that's not within WordPress. That's actually on the recording audio side.
Scott: The podcast plugin we use is called Seriously Simple Podcasting. It used to be owned by a guy who works for Automattic. He recently sold it to somebody else. Apparently it's supposed to be built up even more but remain extremely simple. I went with that one for us because it is extremely simple. It's beautiful. There's another one that's very popular, probably more popular than Seriously Simple Podcasting, it's called PowerPress. That one's very robust, it has all the bells and whistles. If you want bells and whistles that's the one to check out. Two different plugins, they do the same thing but in a different way. There you go, podcasting plugins.
Rachel: Awesome. Then the other one that we really hear a lot about is CoSchedule. In episode 24 we spoke with Nathan from CoSchedule. It was a great interview, we talked about how photographers use it, how other people who have small businesses or large businesses use it. Essentially it gives you the functionality of having social media within your WordPress dashboard. They are constantly adding to it. They're constantly making modifications. It is a premium plugin, so it is a paid plugin and they have different levels. Their highest level is now quite expensive. Again I think it's for bigger enterprise level businesses, but their first tier level for having it all in one place is pretty good.
Scott: Yeah. I was using CoSchedule since the day they launched their beta. I was using it for a long time. I was on their tier that had their requeue feature, which was sort of the automation. It reposts your social posts for you, automatically. When they officially released requeue out of beta, their price went up, and it was beyond what I was going to pay for the software, so I canceled my account after well over two years.
It was sad to leave CoSchedule behind but I was also using Buffer at the same time. I actually switched to a plugin called WordPress to Buffer Pro, which does some of what I was doing with CoSchedule, whereas I have a schedule for my posts that go out and you can set different schedule for different categories and things like that. When I publish a new post it automatically goes into my buffer in a certain way and goes out to all my social channels, including Instagram and all that. I use WordPress ... There is a free version of WordPress to Buffer but WordPress to Buffer Pro is far more robust in what you can do, and it has a re-Buffer feature, where I can re-add all content from a certain date range and category into my Buffer queue with one click of a button.
Rachel: That's nice. Part of this is that we use these tools because social media and blogging can be a full-time job, and as a photographer, as a solopreneur, who's got time like that?
Rachel: Some of these, WordPress to Buffer Pro is a premium in that there's a price, CoSchedule is a premium in that there's a price, but imagine hiring someone.
Scott: Exactly, yeah.
Rachel: That's what you're paying for.
Scott: Yeah, if you have a full photography studio, but you don't have the staff to handle the social and editorial calendar, I would go with CoSchedule because that is less than the cost of an employee, but as a freelancer it was above what I was willing to spend, so I stuck with just ... I already owned WordPress to Buffer Pro, so I just stuck with it.
Rachel: I think that sometimes when these plugins become successful and ubiquitous for industries, if Coca-Cola uses CoSchedule they're obviously at a different price point than a solopreneur working from their house.
Scott: Yeah, and CoSchedule has a whole series of plans for different levels of businesses so check them out.
Rachel: Yeah. Then finally for WordPress your hosting plan is your most important. I will recommend Imagely; I use them for my host. They cater to photographers. There have been 1,000 different times I feel like that we have brought the conversation to how important your hosting is. There are shared hosting; there's managed hosting. As a photographer weeding through all that can be really overwhelming so I think the people at Imagely are amazing.
Scott: Thank you.
Rachel: Any time.
Scott: We try.
Rachel: All right, that's my plug.
Scott: Yeah. All right, now we're going to move into the photography resources. There are more on the photography list than the WordPress list, but again a lot of these relate. I don't think we have any order . Specifically, we'll just chat about these because of we both ...
Scott: Yeah. The first one is legal documents. Our friend Rachel Brenke from The LawTog, she is a lawyer, she is a barred attorney who is also a photographer. She owns I think two studios in Virginia. She's fantastic, very knowledgeable. She sells legal documents, like contracts and releases and all that kind of stuff, templates that you can buy from her, fill in the blanks and make it for your business. If you don't have certain documents in place check out The LawTog. Again we will link to all of these resources in the show notes. Check out The LawTog and see what legal documents that you don't have that you need and pick some up. Tell Rachel that we sent you because [crosstalk 00:23:54]
Rachel: The links in our posting are going to be affiliate links, and I think that that's another thing to consider, if you use an Amazon link in one of your blog posts, there is legal language that you should have on your website too. She has all that stuff for you too. I was on one of my photography boards and they asked me, "Oh, I'm going to hire a lawyers and I'm going to get everything built up from scratch," because The LawTog isn't my lawyer.
Scott: She's not.
Rachel: It's true, she's not your lawyer, but you can buy those templates and then go to your lawyer and have it modified for a fourth, a quarter. You're saving so much money by having those templates that are specific to photographers, so it's sort of a no-brainer.
Scott: The only change would be going from a general thing to something slightly specific to your state.
Scott: That's really the biggest change that would happen when you bring your template to your lawyer, would be location specific.
Rachel: Right, which for them, instead of paying them four hours you're paying them for 20 minutes.
Scott: Yeah, exactly.
Rachel: It's a huge difference price wise.
Scott: Yeah. I've got a couple, I don't know if Rachel is as familiar with Blake Rudis' system as I am, so I'm just going to talk about this, and then we can move on. Blake Rudis, he runs f/stop Elite.
Rachel: We had him on here.
Scott: I'm sorry, f.64 Elite. Yes, we did have him on, I think early on, episode five or so, something like that, somewhere around there. Check out Blake Rudis. We actually talk about his migration from everyday HDR to f64 Elite and that process. Blake puts out one course every month. Every month he puts out a new course on f.64 Elite. He recently put out a Photoshop workflow course, and it's fantastic.
I'm not a Photoshop guy, I can use Photoshop, I don't enjoy it. Blake is so, so knowledgeable and so clear with his education that if you need help with Photoshop in 2017 for your photography business, Blake is the guy that I'm recommending for you to go check out and learn from. If he doesn't have a course or lessons, free lessons too, on what you're looking to learn, contact him, I guarantee you he would make it.
Rachel: Yeah, he's great. He's really great.
Rachel: The next one is Lightroom workflow, because if you're not a Photoshop person and you're a photographer that means you're probably a Lightroom person, which I am. I love Photoshop too but for me it's just for the really hard retouching work and I do all of my general work in Lightroom. Which I think is where a lot of photographers are moving to if they're not there already. Scott you have a course about Lightroom, do you want to talk about it?
Scott: I do. Yeah, it's called Lightroom Workflow Course. Camera to Completion, Lightroom Workflow Course. It is me showing my workflow. It's intended to not say, "This is the best practices," it's me showing why I do certain things in Lightroom the way I do. For example, a good example is I'm colorblind so I don't use the color blocks when I'm doing my culling, I use stars because I can't tell the difference between the colors because the colors aren't clear enough.
Rachel: Right, how does that affect you as a photographer?
Scott: I've written about this a lot actually on my blog if you're really interested. Go to my blog, scottwyden.com/blog, search for colorblind; you'll see I think two or three articles about this.
Scott: It makes things a little bit more difficult. I rely on color calibration heavily, color checker heavily and also my wife.
Rachel: Maybe in some ways, because you can't see and you're relying on the tools, your colors may actually be more accurate than someone who is just relying on their eyes.
Scott: True, true. Your work comes out different, like Brian Matiash. Brian Matiash is colorblind red; he cannot see red. A lot of his imagery is blue and green.
Rachel: That's awesome.
Scott: I like telling this, whenever I am photographing with Brian, and I always forget that he can't see red and I point out something red, and he's like, "What? Where? What? What am I looking at?"
Rachel: I love that. I think it's so fascinating, especially being a mom, because I wonder the things that I'm teaching my son, I often wonder, I'm telling him this is the color red but does he see the same red that I see? Do I see the same red as someone else may see? I love stuff like that.
Scott: Yeah. The other morning my wife put pants on our daughter, and I'm like, "You're putting on blue pants with that?" It was actually purple, I couldn't tell.
Rachel: It's so fascinating.
Rachel: [crosstalk 00:28:37]
Scott: Yeah. I also released something else that's new. This I released just before the ball dropped, it's called The Ultimate Social Image Template. Actually, part of the proc- Because I'm not a Photoshop guy by trade, I'm a Lightroom guy, I actually got, sought some helped from Blake on this. Basically, I created this template in Photoshop that allows you to have one image to create multiple images for social media and your website.
Rachel: I love that.
Scott: You create your image inside of this Photoshop template and then using the included Photoshop actions you can actually export the image for the right size and crop for Pinterest versus Twitter versus Facebook versus Instagram, et cetera.
Rachel: That's cool.
Scott: It's probably 98% automated because Photoshop actions can't actually save to desktop for you. I get you to the save dialog, and you just hit save.
Rachel: That's awesome.
Scott: The template, I made it very affordable, it's $25. I actually threw in a whole bunch of stuff. I threw in Lightroom export presets that are great for websites. I also threw in three or four mini-courses; I think four mini-courses, included with this, on different things related to it. Like image compression in WordPress, before WordPress, and preparing your image for your website and what is Open Graph. Things like that, I talk about all this in the mini course.
Rachel: Cool, I love it.
Scott: $25, well worth it in my opinion.
Rachel: Yeah, absolutely. That's the hardest thing, how do you make the same image a different size for all these different social medias and stuff, I know.
Scott: Yeah. I just simplified it for so many people. I hope that people find it valuable, as valuable as I did, as valuable as Blake did, because he was gung ho when I showed him what I was doing.
Rachel: Our next recommendation is the planners from Colorvale. I have one and I love it. I have the briefcase, which I think is her ... Stacie is the owner over there. She has one specific to photographers and then the briefcase I think is specific to just small business owners in general. Yeah, love her.
Scott: I have mine somewhere here. I don't have time to figure out where it is. I've got books everywhere, so it's somewhere.
Rachel: I know, me too. I was just looking, the same thing. It's here somewhere.
Scott: Yeah. Stacie has multiple planners as we just said. She's got a blogger's one, a social media one, the small business one. I think she [inaudible 00:31:10] have a studio planner type thing, like [crosstalk 00:31:13] and stuff.
Rachel: What I really love about these planners is they have the marketing section so you can track things like, "I did a Facebook post, and it was sponsored, and it got this many views." Things like that you don't think to keep track off necessarily, but this has it all in one place and I love it.
Scott: She also has ... They're in print, but you can also buy the digital version and print it yourself if you want just a PDF.
Rachel: See, I'm paper and pen for all my geekiness.
Scott: Yeah. The next is the Instagram Lab from Jenna Kutcher. Jenna is so knowledgeable when it comes to many things in business but Instagram specifically, she knocked out of the park. She's got strategies down that gets her tens of thousands of followers with very little effort. She's doing very well with it. The Instagram Lab, definitely check out Jenna. I had the honor and pleasure of speaking alongside her at a photo convention in Toronto in 2016. I learned a lot from one hour of her talking, all about Instagram.
Rachel: There's a lot of knockoffs of her specifically to this.
Scott: Yeah, yeah.
Rachel: We really want recommend you to go straight to her because it's great.
Scott: Yeah. She also has a new podcast that's called The Goal Digger.
Rachel: Yes. It's really good.
Scott: Yeah. If you want another podcast, it's really designed for women, but anybody can listen because it's educational. If you want a new podcast to listen to that is photography business related, or really small business related in general.
Rachel: Yeah, she's really good.
Scott: The Goal Digger.
Rachel: Not gold, goal, G-A ...
Scott: Goal, like, "I'm reaching my goal."
Rachel: G-O-A-L, I can't even spell.
Rachel: We're recording this later than we normally do.
Scott: Yeah. We're actually much later, so if you hear noises in the background, it's our kids that are ready to see us.
Rachel: Children and colds. Yeah. Then branding templates from Design Aglow. I love Design Aglow. I love, I actually have the Aglow Magazine right here. They're on number four.
Scott: [inaudible 00:33:22] bookshelf.
Rachel: I think this is number one, right?
Scott: Yeah, that's number one. Actually, Blake's in that one.
Rachel: The whole series now, which has been four they've released seasonally, quarterly I guess. I can't say ... See, the cold, sorry guys. I can't say enough good things, really. Again, photography entrepreneur in general but any small business owner can benefit from these resources.
Scott: Yeah. Design Aglow has a whole of branding templates from your logo to your letterhead, all this matching branding templates, literally what that is. It's your whole brand in Photoshop files that you can add your name to and get it printed. Of course, the Aglow mag is amazing. Now I used to do SEO education at Imagely. We had a side company called Photographers SEO Community; we stopped, and we sold it. The person we sold it to shut it down. We were very sad to see it go away.
Now Zach Prez, who had Photography Spark, sold that off to somebody. I don't know what's going to happen to that site. At WPPI last year, I guess technically it was 2016. Yeah, 2016 WPPI, I met Corey Potter from Fuel Your Photos. He does a lot of SEO education. Actually, I partnered with Corey on the page builder comparison that's on the Imagely blog.
Rachel: Yes, which we definitely, if you are looking for that, we will link to it again because it's a great resource and it's being being updated.
Scott: Yeah, page builder. Yeah. Corey has a website called Fuel Your Photos. He's got SEO education, he's got a membership and course and all this great stuff. If you want to learn about SEO, he's the guy I'm sending you to. He is incredible, incredibly knowledgeable on it. He's got a striving, I think a 2,000 member, Facebook group all talking about SEO. Corey is doing a lot of free website reviews. I did say that on the podcast. He's doing a lot of free website reviews. You want to join his community and interact with Corey, get to know him. You're going to be seeing a lot more of Corey. We're going to have him on as well, we just have to get to him on our guest list, but he's going to be on the show as well.
Rachel: We should say that 2017 we have some really awesome guests coming on. This is a precursor, getting 2016 out of the way and really have some exciting people coming up that we're talking to in 2017. All about WordPress and branding and marketing and SEO, and all the things we talked about before. The next one is the Photo Frontier for creative inspiration education. I'm going to let Scott take that one as well.
Scott: Yeah, if you're looking to do something more with your photography that's not your typical, "I'm going to join this online school and watch these videos," but you want to actually get your hands dirty and watch videos and actually go out and shoot with projects and assignments so to speak that are more on the creative side, not the technical side, then the Photo Frontier is where you want to go. Photo Frontier, I'm actually considered an artisan in residence at the Photo Frontier. I'm one of the educators that's creating content for you to learn from.
The Photo Frontier just started a new project that they did in 2015, they relaunching it in 2017. It's called WE35. It is a project where you are only using a 35mm lens to do a certain assignment. It's basically like a Project 52 or a Project 365, except it's one project a month and it's curated. You don't have to think about what it is; they're telling you, "This is what you're photographing, this is what you're supposed to think about while you're photographing it. Now go out and do it and share it. Let's talk about it with the community." The Photo Frontier is incredible, besides, from this project, there's a lot of other education and courses available. I recommend checking that out.
Rachel: Awesome. That actually triggered something for me, I love the ReDefine Show, which is on Adorama TV. Tamara Lackey is the host, we've had her on the show here. It's really great because it's small five to 10-minute videos of her interviewing another photographer. You get these really great glimpses into their careers, how they started, what they focused on. It's not like The Creative Lives, where it's four hours courses, it's 10 minutes of time, almost like a podcast. You can listen to it and really gain a ton of insight, inspiration, information. I highly recommend those too.
Scott: Yeah. She is amazing, one of my favorite people in the world right now.
Rachel: Yeah. If you are looking to contribute to a wonderful charity, I also recommend her Beautiful Together, which helps children around the world, orphans specifically, but children in need. She's taking her love of portrait and family and children photography and turned it into a resource where she can help give back. Isn't that why we're all photographers? To capture these moments and to give back? She's really made it a viable thing, so only good things.
Scott: I'm happy to say as well that Imagely hosts the Beautiful Together website for free as a way of contributing what we can to Beautiful Together. Man, 2016 was a good year.
Scott: The last two we want to talk about, one is ShootDotEdit. We had Jared on the show, way back when he first started. ShootDotEdit is the go-to outsourcing company for so many things, like post processing.
Rachel: They are the number one post processing place for wedding photographers specifically.
Scott: Exactly. Yeah, I don't think they take anybody but wedding photographers now, right? They used to.
Rachel: No. Yeah, it's really niche, but the team is wonderful. I should know because Fotoskribe has merged with them. If you're looking for editing help and you're a wedding photographer, I can't say enough good things about them, truly. They are really good people.
Scott: Yeah. Their workflow for you sending the images and them editing it to your standards and sending it back, it's so flawless. They've got it down like it's the back of their hand. Now again, like you just said, Fotoskribe and ShootDotEdit are now kind of one and the same.
Rachel: Yeah, we are partners.
Scott: Fotoskribe is a separate product of ShootDotEdit now. Fotoskribe is staying Fotoskribe, ShootDotEdit is staying ShootDotEdit, but Fotoskribe is still now part of ShootDotEdit. Fotoskribe is ... Yeah.
Rachel: Fotoskribe is a blogging, but we should spell because it's F-O-T-O-S-K-R-I-B-E. Everyone always asks, "What is it? Why can't I find it?" I tried to be Swedish, and it didn't work.
Scott: Again we're going to link to this in the show notes so you can always find it. If you've been listening to the podcast you know Rachel founded Fotoskribe. This merger with ShootDotEdit was very recent, in fact, we're going to be talking about it more in a future episode, but we wanted to get this one done, this recap beforehand. Fotoskribe does outsource blogging for photographers, again mostly wedding photographers.
Rachel: Portrait and wedding. We do [crosstalk 00:41:29] those, yeah.
Scott: Portrait and wedding, yeah. Fantastic service, even people like Tamara Lackey use Fotoskribe for different things. I think [inaudible 00:41:40] used it at one point, didn't they, or [crosstalk 00:41:43]?
Rachel: Yeah. I've been really fortunate to work with a lot of partners in this industry. We take the pain out of blogging and make it a task. We get you on a schedule because 60% of the web is made up of Google robots, so by blogging at the same time every day, every week, it really helps you rank higher. If you can blog every day you're going to rank pretty high, but that again is a full time job. As photographers, what can you do to market? We help take the pain out of blogging and do as much as we can and still capture your voice and help you get it out on a regular and consistent basis.
Scott: I don't remember who said it but I was listening to someone recently who said that one of the reasons why they're so successful in their wedding business and that they have so much free time in their wedding business is that they're outsourcing as much as possible. Imagine this, instead of hiring ... With having CoSchedule, going back to CoSchedule, it's like having another employee there to handle your social media posting and your editorial calendar, but then you can outsource your post processing to ShootDotEdit and outsource your blog creation to Fotoskribe. Now you have basically cut out having to hire a bunch of employees. That means cutting out extra insurance, cutting out health insurance for those employees, the benefits, all that kind of stuff that comes with it. It's a beautiful thing.
Rachel: You're hiring experts. You're hiring people, like I've done over 2,000 blogs with photographers all over the world. ShootDotEdit had done thousands upon thousands of images. Instead of hiring one studio manager who's kind of a jack of all trade, you're really partnering with experts in their fields to get what you need from them. The whole point here is that you don't lose your voice. We at Fotoskribe use a system of forms to capture your unique point of view as an artist.
ShootDotEdit has a really great image profile system so that you can call the skin tones, how they are. The way that you see the images is also the way they're going to see the images, they're just going to consistently give you back a product color corrected all the way across the board. We're consistently going to give you a blog every week that is BlogStomped the same way, written in the same voice, et cetera, et cetera. There are benefits. It is letting go, which is hard for artists, but imagine how much more you can do with your client communication when you don't have to worry about image correction or blogging or social media.
Scott: Yeah, that's for sure. It's such a big time saver. That's a lot of resources, a lot of great information for all photographers to think about for 2017. 2016 was a great year for WordPress, a great year for photography. 2017 has so much more promise. I know a lot of things are coming up and it's really, really exciting. If you're going to WPPI definitely check out Tamara talking, look for Corey. I think Corey Potter might be there again.
Rachel: I wonder if Jen is going to be there. If you can find her, ShootEdit has a big booth so make sure to go see them. Is Imagely going to be there?
Scott: No, Imagely will not be there this year. We've got too many big projects we're working on to take time away.
Rachel: Getting the work done. Yeah, definitely make sure you see Fundy there, another great resource. Andrew Funderburg himself is doing a big initiative about printing your images and telling a story through your albums and in person [tales 00:45:54]. Steve Saporito is a great resource for in-person sale. As photographers and as WordPress people there are two really great communities that want to help you make your business better. Some of these things are free, some of these things are paid. Identify what hurt you in 2016 in terms of time and what you want to focus on for 2017 and then I promise you the resources are out there.
Scott: Yeah. We're going to ask a favor, if you enjoyed the podcast in 2016, if you enjoyed every episode up to now, 31 episodes, or if you're just listening to episode 31 for the first time, of this show, please if you enjoyed it go to iTunes, search for the podcast, leave us a review because that is the way that more people are going to learn from the podcast. By you leaving reviews it means that more people will have access to seeing it in search results closer to the top.
Rachel: You sound like the NPR guy, like, "You know this is good, pay the money." A big thank you for listening to the end of this episode too.
Scott: Yeah. We really appreciate everybody who is subscribing and listening. Either you're listening through whatever you're listening to or watching the videos, we really do appreciate the amount of time that you're taking to pay attention to what we're sharing. We're glad that you're learning from us and we hope that you can learn even more. We will continue to make WordPress as simple as possible for your photography business.
Rachel: We will try.
Scott: I promise. With that, please leave us a review. You can find the show notes from today's episode, all links to the resources and news that we talked about, at imagely.com/podcast/31.
Scott: Yeah. Until next time.