Oct 29, 2013
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You can get $25 off  your christmas cards and your envelopes addressed for free!  Minted.com is offering new customers $25 off their first order of $50 or more.  Perfect timing for getting a jump on those Christmas cards.  They also sell business cards, party supplies, journals, stationary, and other paper goods.

Minted.com has a new service that sounds awesome.  They will print recipient addresses on your envelopes for free!   Minted.com has several ways of entering addresses.  You can send emails to people requesting their address.  You just list the email addresses and they receive an email that includes a link for them to enter the information and boom, it’s in your address book.  You can also use Facebook to request addresses through a private message or as a Facebook post.

If you have your addresses written down or already in a spreadsheet, the Address Assistant program is designed to help you load them.  Currently the Address Assistant is in beta, and there is no customer support available yet for this feature.  I tried using it to upload some of my addresses via a .cvs file with several failed attempts.  I decided to try cutting and pasting the addresses individually, however the software would not let me paste.  I was able to type in a few addresses though.  I think the service will be great once they get the software bugs figured out.  It’s worth a try to see if the import feature works for you.  Sometimes programs behave differently on Macs and PCs.  I tried it on a Mac.

I was a little concerned about privacy and handing over the addresses of my friends and loved ones, so I looked into it.  ”We’ll never share your address book with anyone,” is stated on the website.  That satisfied me but if you are still concerned, their privacy policy gets into more detail.

If anyone has a tip on getting the .cvs file to load, please comment below and share your tips.

Sep 24, 2013
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24-Sep-13This year as you are preparing for your family portrait, please please PLEASE listen to this family photography tip: Just Say No to Dad Jeans!

I know how it goes… the kids get cute new outfits, mom puts together a nice little number for herself, and dad is lucky to get a new shirt.  I get it.   Dad often doesn’t like to shop and is the most agreeable to wearing, well, whatever.  But don’t let him wear dad jeans.  You know the pair I’m talking about…they are high waisted with a light or faded wash and a tapered leg.  As a general rule, dad’s pants shouldn’t be lighter than his shirt.   If he doesn’t have any dark jeans, it might be time for a shopping trip.

Please don’t be confused by all the recent articles on Dad Jeans being back in style.  If you are an IT nerd sporting a pair of jeans you bought from Sam’s Club seven years ago, they aren’t talking to you!  I don’t care if the President wears them.  Instead, go out and buy a new pair.  What should you look for? Try a dark wash, straight leg cut, and a lower rise waist.

saynotodadjeans

Sep 18, 2013
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My delivery method of choice for sending large files is Hightail, formerly known as YouSendit.   This has saved my bacon on more than one occasion.  Hightail is great when I shoot with other photographers and I need to send images quickly.  Gone are the days of mailing or hand delivering a CD or flash drive.   I can finish vetting and editing files at midnight, send them off and not have to worry about it.   This came in handy very recently.  I shoot and design wedding albums for a photographer who lives about an hour away.   We used to send the 10-15 GB worth of files to each other through the mail on a blu-ray disk.  If we were in a time crunch, one of us would have to make the drive across town.  I had a late night designing cram session recently and needed to get the files to the photographer because the bride was very anxious.   Hightail totally saved me a trip (and the cost of a blu-ray disk).

I’ve also used this for clients who buy the digital negatives (although I still usually follow up with a cd later) and when I shoot events.  If you decide to use Hightail for this purpose, make sure you give them instructions on downloading and unzipping the file.  I always try to follow up with an email sent from my email address letting them know I sent the file and to contact me with questions.   If the client is looking for a file from your email address they might miss it (trust me…I’ve been there).

Hightail has a free plan that lets you send up to 50 MB at a time, so if your zipped file is larger than that you might need to send two smaller files.   Doing it that way works fine, it just requires more steps on your part and for the person on the receiving end.  Hightail lets you know if the person has downloaded the file.

The Professional Plan is $14.99 a month but has several features that do not exist in the free plan.  You can send files up to 2 GB with secure data encryption and you get unlimited storage.  You can also send files from your mobile phone using their app.  I haven’t tried the app feature yet but for some businesses I can see where this would be very handy.  You can use this link and receive a 14 Day Free Trial of the Professional Plan.