The Societies of Photographers Roadshow in Widnes

We’ll be at The Societies of Photographers Roadshow in Widnes on Wednesday 21st June.

It’s a great opportunity to come and see us at the free trade show as well as enjoy the fantastic programme of masterclasses:

• Catherine Connor – Refine your Business (09:30-10:30)
• Jocelyn Conway – Newborn Photography Safety (11:30-12:30)
• Terry Donnelly – What makes a good Sports Photograph? (13:15-14:15)
• David Stanbury – Confessions of a Wedding Photographer (15:00-16:00)

If you’d like to find out more about how Light Blue can help you to run a successful photography business, we’d be delighted to see you there. We’ll be running demos throughout the day, and coming to see us at the show is the perfect opportunity to ask us any questions you might have about how you can put Light Blue to work for your business.

Admission to the roadshow is free if you register in advance: http://thesocieties.net/roadshows/events/widnes-2/

 

Light Blue 6.2.2

We’ve just released Light Blue 6.2.2, our latest minor update to Light Blue 6. Here’s the list of feature updates and bug fixes that you’ll find in this latest update, which you can get hold of by using the ‘Check for updates’ command from within Light Blue:

  • When you use the ‘Add to Found Set: Document From Template…’ command, you now have the option of using a document template without saving a copy of the resulting files in Light Blue. This cuts down on the amount of disk space Light Blue will use if you’re using large document templates.
  • We’ve updated our translations to include the headings used on credit notes and the links used in the emails sent from our client portal.
  • The sales tax / VAT report now includes invoice and purchase dates in its detailed breakdown of the invoices and purchases that are included in the reporting period.
  • When checking off tasks from the Task Manager, the list of tasks could fail to redraw properly if you didn’t have the ‘Show Completed Tasks’ option turned on.
  • Fixed a problem where right-clicking on the Task Manager when you have multiple tasks selected could change the selection to just the task that you clicked on.
  • Fixed a problem with using European decimal separators when creating a sale from a quote.
  • On Windows, if you have password protection turned on for Light Blue, the ‘Change Password’ and ‘Reset Password’ buttons that appear in the initial login dialog could fail to do anything.
  • Fixed a problem where attempting to send a text message to a contact who doesn’t have a phone number (and isn’t part of a group that has a phone number) could still come up with a default phone number.
  • Fixed any crash reports that have been sent to us.

Light Blue 6.2

We regularly release free updates to Light Blue that tweak existing features and fix bugs. Today, we released Light Blue 6.2 for macOS and Windows, which adds a variety of enhancements as well as fixing a few bugs.

If you’re one of our subscribers, or if you’ve bought a standalone licence for Light Blue 6, you can download this latest update by using the ‘Check For Updates’ command from within Light Blue. If you’re using a Mac, you’ll find this command in the ‘Light Blue’ menu. If you’re using Windows, it will be in the ‘Help’ menu.

Light Blue 6.2 includes the following changes:

  • When running a VAT report, the reporting period now defaults to the previous two months if you’re using Light Blue in Ireland.
  • Importing a ShootProof order now attempts to link to a matching Contact and Shoot record. We also store the email address and phone number provided by your client in the Sale record’s Notes field.
  • You can now import semicolon-delimited files in any situation where Light Blue is expecting a CSV file.
  • When importing purchases from a CSV file, we’ve improved our attempts to find a matching Contact record for the supplier by attempting to find a unique match for the supplier name instead of relying on a complete match for both the name and address. We’ve also fixed a bug that could make importing a CSV file that contains currency symbols fail.
  • You can now import a whole folder of ProSelect XML files via the Records menu.
  • On Windows, dialog windows would open on the main screen even when Light Blue is on a secondary screen. We’ve also made it so that, if you move the main window, preferences window, or background activity window onto a secondary screen then they will reopen in the same position when you next open them.
  • We’ve added a ‘Mark Found Shoots as Completed’ command to the Housekeeping section of the Records menu. This is helpful for anyone who wants to mark a whole batch of shoots as completed in one go.
  • The Housekeeping section of the Records menu and the cog menu in the Task Manager now allow you to delete all tasks that are overdue by more than a month, to assist anyone whose list of outstanding tasks has got too long to be useful.
  • The ‘Mark Stale Enquiries as Cancelled’ command in the Housekeeping section of the Records menu wasn’t working.
  • The way that quotes are displayed in the ‘Linked Records’ panel has been improved to prioritise displaying the quote’s status.
  • We’ve added support for using a proxy server to Light Blue. If you need to use a proxy server to connect to the internet, you can enter its details in the ‘General Preferences’ section of the Preferences window.
  • When printing a contact record, you can now include the contact’s history and to-do list.
  • When publishing an invoice for online payment, the email template is always reset to its default wording rather than reusing any modifications you have already made to that invoice’s email.
  • When you attempt to publish a contract where the reminder email settings aren’t valid, we now display a more helpful error message.
  • When editing a workflow, steps are now automatically deleted if they don’t contain a description.
  • When previewing a contract template, if there was an error syncing the template then the progress bar could fail to go away.
  • If you’re using Light Blue’s password protection feature, the currently logged in user is now recorded when you add a Document to the Activity panel of a record.
  • When running a tax report on a cash basis, the totals for your purchases are now displayed at the bottom of the list of purchases as well as at the top of the report.
  • Quote mail-merge tags can now be used in Form emails.
  • Fixed a problem with Google Calendar publishing that could cause the app to run slowly.
  • Fixed a bug that made it hard to select a linked shoot if you’re adding mileage via the Preferences window instead of via a Shoot record.
  • Fixed an error message that could appear when a shoot or contact is linked to more than 1,000 other records.
  • Fixed a problem where items in the Reports menu could fail to enable or disable correctly.
  • Changing a shoot session’s date could fail to update the due dates of that shoot’s outstanding tasks.
  • On a Mac, we’ve fixed a problem where some fonts would print as Times New Roman when using our built-in templates.
  • The ‘Export Financial Information’ command now correctly escapes double-quote characters.
  • Line breaks in ProSelect order files are now imported correctly.
  • Duplicating a shoot now duplicates its request groups correctly.
  • A failed MPA Cherubs import could leave Light Blue unable to save records.
  • Fixed some in correct French translations.
  • If you’re using one of our template translations, Sale records that are created from a Quote now use a localised version of the word “Quote” for its reference.
  • Fixed any crash reports that have been sent to us.

Light Blue at The Photography Show 2017

The Photography Show in Birmingham is the UK’s biggest photography trade show, and we’ll be there on stand A68 from Saturday 17 March through to Tuesday 21 March.

If you’d like to find out more about how Light Blue can help you to run a successful photography business, we’d be delighted to see you there. We’ll be running demos throughout the day, and coming to see us at the show is the perfect opportunity to ask us any questions you might have about how you can put Light Blue to work for your business.

Admission to The Photography Show is free for professional photographers, and the deadline for registration is Wednesday 15 March. You can register for the show by visiting its website.

Free one-to-one training at the show

We’re going to be running demos throughout the show for people who are new to Light Blue, but we love seeing existing customers so please come and say hello!

This year, we’re also offering free one-to-one training at the show. If there’s anything that we can help you with, or that you’d like to talk to us about, you can book a free 20 minute session with us so that we can give you our undivided attention.

We’re only able to offer a limited number of one-to-one sessions at such a busy show, so please make sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Scheduled server maintenance

We’re going to be carrying out some essential server maintenance this Sunday morning, from 07:00 GMT.

Our online services will be briefly interrupted. From previous experience, we expect the downtime to only be a couple of minutes. Light Blue’s desktop and iOS apps will continue to work while our servers are offline, but our online services (including data synchronisation, forms, and contracts) will be unavailable.

We’ll also be doing some more extended work on the servers that run our website, and that will mean that our website will be offline a bit longer. These servers are completely separate from the ones that run our online services, so even though our website might be offline then Light Blue will be fully functional!

New client portal styling options for Light Blue’s online forms and contracts

 

Light Blue’s online forms and contracts are among its most popular features, and they’ve been particularly useful to photographers who want to cut down on the amount of admin work that they have to do.

Using Light Blue’s contact forms makes it easier to keep track of enquiries and use Light Blue to convert them into bookings. Our online contract signing service makes the process of confirming a booking simpler for both you and your client. And our forms can also be used to gather all of the information that you need from your clients to do a great job for them.

New client portal styling options

We’re delighted to introduce some new styling options for the client portal that hosts all of these great features for you. These changes give you much greater control over the look of Light Blue’s forms, contracts, and online invoices, which means that you can now customise them to fit much more closely with your branding. Whether you’re embedding one of our contact forms into your own website, or asking a client to sign a contract via the client portal, these new options offer a lot more flexibility.

You can start customising your client portal right now, by logging into your account and going to the ‘Client Portal settings‘ section.

New Retina and hi-res image options

We’ve also added support for Retina or hi-res header images in the client portal. You’ve always been able to customise the client portal by uploading a header image that contains your logo and extra branding, but now you can make it look great on computers, phones, and tablets of all sizes and resolutions by providing an optional hi-res image as well as the standard lo-res image.

Find out more in this week’s webinars

If you’d like to find out more about Light Blue’s new client portal styling options, or more about our online services in general, we’re hosting two special webinars for you on Wednesday.

An introduction to Light Blue’s online forms and contract signing webinar, 13:30 GMT on Wednesday 8 March. This free webinar will show you the benefits of using Light Blue’s online forms and contract signing features, including how to set them up and how to use our new formatting and styling options to make your client portal fit in with the rest of your website and branding.

Styling Light Blue’s client portal to match your company’s branding, 15:00 GMT on Wednesday 8 March. This free webinar will show you how to use Light Blue’s new formatting and styling options to make your client portal fit in with the rest of your website and branding.

Meet our SWPP stand team – Suzanne Black

We’re really luck to have Suzanne Black joining us one our stand at the Societies Convention 2017. Suzanne is an award-winning professional Scottish wedding photographer offering a bespoke client service, shooting all types of weddings from intimate elopement weddings to grand Scottish castle weddings and everything in between.

Working from her studio on the family farm in Fife, Suzanne also shoots maternity, baby and family portraits, as well as offering commercial photography.

Suzanne Black, Wedding Photographer in Scotland

Light Blue has been fantastic helping me run my business. I shoot weddings portrait and commercial work so keeping in top of all the admin is essential. I love the fact that the workflows and online forms and payment keep everything so streamlined. I spend a lot of time traveling so efficiency in my business is important to me. I can quickly import an enquiry, send them a response from my template emails or booking form and payment request with the push of the button whether sitting at my desk or on the go from the iOS app.

Suzanne Black, Wedding Photographer in Scotland Suzanne Black, Wedding Photographer in Scotland Suzanne Black, Wedding Photographer in Scotland Suzanne Black, Wedding Photographer in Scotland

Meet our SWPP stand team – Mark Ashworth

We’re delighted to have Mark joining us on our stand at the Societies 2017 trade show. Mark Ashworth has been a full time photographer for over 20 years, and prides himself on the very best in professional photography and unsurpassed customer service. His studio specialises in portrait photography for all ages and a variety of genres.

Mark is also a very accomplished wedding photographer. Covering Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Essex, Norfolk and Hertfordshire and also international destinations too.

LightBlue provides the answers to my questions when running my business. I love photography and I love LightBlue because it helps me to enjoy my photography while it takes care of the business. If my client needs something, if I need to check on the orders, if I need to send my accountant stuff, if I need to check availability, LightBlue is there with the information required. If you intend to run a business in photography, having this system as a backbone will ensure that you can focus on photography and gives peace of mind that you business will run smoothly.

 

Meet our SWPP stand team – Jay Emme

We’re excited to have fine art film wedding photographer Jay Emme working with us on our stand at the Societies 2017 Convention. Jay has a tremendously relaxed and fun approach to her wedding photography which you can see on her website.

Jay Emme, Relaxed Fun Wedding Photographer

I’m an international film wedding photographer, and run my business from my office at home. As soon as I saw Light Blue and met the team, it just all made sense! I’m no longer scared of finances, and no longer have a hatred of admin – I never thought that day would come. Also, once I’ve actually input my invoices ready for tax returns (oh man tax returns – NOW. SO. EASY.), I no longer have bits of paper stacked up in the corner. To-Do lists are right there on the home page, and they keep yelling at me until I actually DO them (because it’s so easy to ignore them if they’re under a stack of invoices).

The iPhone and iPad apps, are great, too. The option to carry a condensed version of my business, in my bag/pocket? Yep, I’ll take it please and thank you. Being able to use it on my iPhone and iPad is IMMENSE. Copy and paste notes and schedules for weddings days, and I’m not dealing with unprofessional bits of paper falling out my pocket.

And I love how ridonkulously fast the Light Blue Software team come back to you when you have a query. All issues (and there haven’t been many!) are resolved very quickly, with lots of help and advice along the way.

Jay Emme, Relaxed Fun Wedding Photographer

Jay Emme, Relaxed Fun Wedding Photographer Jay Emme, Relaxed Fun Wedding Photographer Jay Emme, Relaxed Fun Wedding Photographer