Using your phone’s autocorrect to respond to enquiries in ANY app

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Notification noise is a truly modern phenomenon.

Another WhatsApp message from an unrecognised number. A Facebook DM lurking in the depths of Messenger. Even a trusty, traditional text message ping can add to the sense of overwhelm and disorganisation.

For photographers dealing with daily client communications from all these different sources, this noise can quickly waste time and energy. And potentially even drown out a new enquiry that’s inadvertently missed.

The answer? Autocorrect.

Read on to discover why this humble tool could banish the confusion and chaos, revolutionising how you field enquiries.

Continue reading “Using your phone’s autocorrect to respond to enquiries in ANY app”

Light Blue 2023.1.1 release notes

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We’ve just released Light Blue 2023.1.1, which is a minor update that adds new features and fixes bugs reported since we launched Light Blue 2023.1. It includes the following changes:

  • The “Current Events” and “Enquiries” widgets now have an option to reverse their sort order.
  • When importing orders from ProSelect, include the image filenames from multi-image layouts.
  • Added a warning if you’ve pasted what looks like a truncated Stripe API key in the “Online Payments” tab of the “Integrations” section of the Preferences window.
  • Added an option to ignore display scale factor when printing on Windows.
  • Changed the custom date range option for the task manager widget to no longer include outstanding tasks that are outside the selected date range.
  • The main window can now be made fullscreen again on macOS.
  • Removed the “Edit List” item from email server selection menus.
  • Fixed a bug that caused “Studio Closed” to appear twice in the list of time off types.
  • Fixed a bug that caused colons in scheduling calendars names to break scheduling request mail-merge tags.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when double-clicking on an item in the workflow visualiser.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when selecting the email “Tracking” field in the query dialog.
  • Fixed a bug that allowed the %InvoiceURL% mail-merge tag to be used from sections other than the Sales section.

Light Blue 2023.1

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We’re pleased to announce a major update that makes it easier for you to work with existing clients and get paid in new ways!

Light Blue 2023.1 is available as a free upgrade for all subscribers.

New online payment methods

We’ve added support for the full range of payment methods available via Stripe, including ApplePay, Google Pay, Klarna, Afterpay / Clearpay, iDEAL and Bancontact, in addition to our existing card payment option.

This makes it easier for your clients to pay you. “Buy now, pay later” services like Klarna and Afterpay / Clearpay have been popular feature requests, and in some countries there are specific payment methods that have overtaken card payments as the most popular way of making online payments.

Forms in workflows

You can now include forms as steps in your workflows, allowing you to automate double-checking your clients’ details and requests in the run-up to a shoot.

For example, you could include a “check wedding or portrait session details” step in your workflow, maybe a month before a wedding or a week before a portrait session. The workflow would automatically email the form to your client on the date that you’ve chosen and when they’ve filled it in it will appear in the Inbox in Light Blue just like a normal form.

One of the best features of Light Blue’s forms is that they are pre-filled with the information you already have about your clients and the shoot, which makes it really easy for them to fill it out because they only have to type in new or updated information. This applies to workflow forms, too: the form shows the current information about the shoot and contacts, so any changes you’ve made since adding the workflow will automatically show up in the form.

“The ability to add forms to workflows is an AWESOME addition for time-saving and staying on top of getting valuable information from clients before sessions.

Pre-wedding questionnaires are vital and having them sent automatically 3 weeks before a wedding is very useful.

Automating the collection of feedback from clients after sessions is also great!”
Jesse Starr

Scheduling requests

Scheduling requests allow you to use your scheduling calendars to book meetings or shoots with existing clients. You can send a scheduling request from either a shoot or a contact: your clients will love them because the booking form will be pre-filled with the information that you already have, and you will save time because the event that’s created will automatically be linked to the relevant records in Light Blue.

“Now when we reply to an enquiry we can send them a scheduling request and they book in themselves without loads of emails to find the right time. This makes communication smoother and less invasive.”Mark Fenwick

You can insert a scheduling request into an email or text message, and you can automate inviting your clients to book a consultation or viewing session by including them in workflow messages.

“I can send clients a link where they can choose and book a planning call (via Zoom), saving time to-ing and fro-ing to find suitable availability.”Emma Jackson

Making phone calls from the desktop app

You can now make phone calls to your clients from within the Light Blue desktop app. After clicking the “Phone Call” button a call will start using either VOIP software installed on your computer, or your mobile phone. If you make a lot of calls, you’ll save time and cut down the number of typos when dialling.

“We make over 500 calls a day through Light Blue and already by just over a couple of hours testing we have increased our productivity by 60%.”

And more…

You can find out about the other new features and changes in this release in the Light Blue 2023.1 release notes.

Free upgrade for subscribers

Light Blue 2023.1 is a free upgrade for all of our subscribers. We’ve loved seeing how our prerelease testers have been using it to get paid in new ways and streamline their admin, so we’re keen to see what you do with it!

How to Run a Successful Register to Win Campaign

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If your usual marketing tactics aren’t growing your email list as rapidly as you’d like, it’s time to think a little more creatively.

Step forward the register to win campaign, a fun, interactive way to reach new clients, showcase your photography business to a wider audience and fill up your diary.

What is a register to win campaign?

A register to win campaign is a form of lead generation marketing. You’ll have seen plenty of them out there, from modest product giveaways to more extravagant prizes worth thousands.

All entrants need to do is share their contact details to be in with a chance of winning. Add it to your marketing mix and it’s a handy way to generate numerous leads in a short space of time.

You can integrate a register to win competition into your online marketing strategy, with an ad campaign promoting it and an eye-catching landing page on your website to further persuade entrants.

Or you can personally invite people to enter at events and shows. As they fill in your form, you can take the opportunity to have a quick chat with a prospect about how the prize would work: the perfect chance to build rapport and interest.

For photographers, a popular prize to offer is a free portrait session. Limiting it to this means you’re not missing out on income from image and product orders afterwards. Or you could expand the prize to include a set number of digital files or credit towards photo purchases. Or mix it up with one winner getting the full package and runners-up receiving a free shoot.

Another idea is to consider partnering with a suitable local business, maybe a wedding supplier or children’s boutique, and adding a voucher element to the prize. This will widen your promotion’s reach, broaden its appeal and help build a relationship with a fellow entrepreneur.

Tips to maximise the chances of success

Register to win idea in place, here are a few tips to make it go smoothly:

• Think about WHEN you want the competition to run. You can link it to a seasonal event for a unique angle. For example, run it at the end of the year and you can specify that any photoshoot prize be taken between January-March the following year. Your copy can then be focused on a New Year treat and you’ll get bookings at a quieter time of year.
• Add a sense of urgency. You don’t want people to get bored seeing the same competition in their timeline for weeks on end. Build up some anticipation and then set a time limit for entries. Asking people to enter within five days of the launch, for instance, and they’ll be more likely to get it done as soon as they see it.
• Make sure you gain consent for using their data. Add a clear tick box so they can easily confirm they’re happy to be contacted.
• If you promote the campaign on socials, ask people to DM you for the entry form rather than adding a link to your website. This will please platforms like Facebook who penalise posts which direct users away from their site, helping to expand its reach.
• Committing a small sum to paid social ads will further broaden its reach.

How to get extra value from a register to win campaign

While the ultimate aim of this kind of competition is to grow your email marketing list, those extra names are worthless if they’re not genuine prospects.

While there’s no way to know that for certain, you can help yourself by asking entrants an open-ended question within the data capture form. Doing this means you can qualify which entries are more likely to be from someone you’d want to work with.

For example, you could ask them why they want to win. This could reveal stories and insights you’d never know about from a simple name and email address. Or perhaps pose a question linked to the type of session like ‘What does your dog mean to you?’ for a pet portrait session.

While it would be tempting to choose your winner based on the strength of their answer and suitability as a client, you’re ultimately bound by regulations covering how competitions are run.

If a competition is based on chance rather than skill, like a register to win campaign is, you must choose your winner randomly. Guidelines from the Advertising Standards Authority state:

“Promoters of prize draws should ensure that prizes are awarded in accordance with the laws of chance. If a verifiably random computer process is used, the ASA would expect to see evidence of this. If such a computer programme has not been used, winners must be selected under the supervision of an independent observer (rule 8.24). Promoters must have evidence to demonstrate that the winner was selected randomly.”

The same guidance states that if you incorporate an element of skill, then you must use an independent judge or panel to decide on the eventual winner.

You also need to be careful to adhere to rules set by GDPR legislation and any social media platforms you’re using such as Facebook or Instagram.

All guidelines met and once your winner has been randomly chosen, you can then prioritise who you target based on their response to your open-ended question. You may easily be able to tell that certain prospects will value your products and services which should lead to a productive working relationship.

How to do effective follow-up using your business management software

Once your competition has launched and you’re acquiring leads, you’ll want to make sure you have a solid system in place for reviewing and acting on them.

The objective here is to sort those entries into the ones you think are valuable and worth pursuing, and those that aren’t. You’ll want to reach out to all of them, as well as congratulate the winner to get the ball rolling with their booking.

A dedicated photography CRM like Light Blue can automate the entire campaign process from start to finish:

• Use a form to gather all the entries, e.g. a Facebook lead-ad form, Light Blue’s contact forms feature or a third-party system such as Kartra, Active Campaign or Mailchimp.
• Send that data into Light Blue, directly if you used the integrated form, imported from a CSV or via Zapier.
• You’ll then have a contact record for each entrant, including the answer they gave to the question logged within the notes.
• Saving all this information as a query will display all entrants at once.
• You can then tag the winner, any runners-up and any leads you’re not convinced are worth following up.
• Adding a workflow for the winner allows you to list every step you now need to take from the initial “Congratulations, you’ve won!” message to prompts to follow up with a phone call.
• Using notes in the contact record lets you log all call attempts and responses (voicemail left, asked to call back at a different time etc).
• When you get hold of them and have arranged the shoot, create a shoot record including the date, time and location. As they’ve won a free shoot, you won’t need to add whether they’ve paid a holding fee to confirm the slot.
• If they’ve not yet confirmed the date, leave it as an enquiry.
• For runners-up who’ve not responded to phone calls, you can send an email template inviting them to check your online scheduling calendar. This could prompt them to take action.
• Measure the success of your register to win campaign by running a query that finds all shoots with a contact who came directly from it.
• You can also view a list to see the total amount of sales connected to those shoots.

Campaign, client follow-up and evaluation all complete, you’ll easily be able to assess if a register to win campaign is worth doing all over again.

New online scheduling features

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Light Blue’s online scheduling feature is very popular with our subscribers because it they make it really easy for your clients to book shoots or meetings with you without needing to send messages back and forth to find the perfect time. We’ve just added a new feature to our scheduling calendars, and more are coming very soon…

First of all, you’ll notice that the booking confirmation page now features “Add to Apple Calendar/Outlook” and “Add to Google Calendar” buttons. Your clients can use these to quickly add their booking to their calendar, and of course you can use Light Blue’s powerful workflows feature to send automated reminders via email and text message.

Today, we’ve started beta testing another new scheduling feature: you can use scheduling requests to book meetings or shoots with existing clients. Your clients will love them because the booking form will be pre-filled with the information that you already have, and you will save time because the event that’s created will automatically be linked to the relevant records in Light Blue. Please let us know if you’d like to join our list of beta testers so that you can start using this feature today!

Christmas & New Year support

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We’re still here to help over the festive season, but we’re also going to be taking a bit of a break so won’t be answering emails quite as quickly as normal between Christmas and New Year:

  • We’ll be offering our usual support hours until 5pm UK time on Friday 23rd December.
  • There’ll be no email support during the public holidays on Monday 26th & Tuesday 27th December.
  • We’ll be offering limited email support 28th-30th December.
  • There’ll be no email support during the public holiday on Monday 2nd January.
  • We’ll return to normal hours from Tuesday 3rd January onwards.

Wishing you all the best,

Tom & the Light Blue team

Looking back on 2022

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We hope that 2022 has been a successful year for you. It’s been another rollercoaster, with emerging from the pandemic being a real highlight but plenty of other challenges along the way.

We always like to take stock at the end of the year and reflect on the things that we’re particularly proud of and we hope you’re able to do the same!

“Best Professional Software” award

We’re here to help professional photographers to run a successful business, so we’re delighted that so many of you voted for us in the “Best Professional Software” category at The Societies of Photographers convention awards. Light Blue was up against giants of the photography industry such as Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop in this category, so it’s an enormous achievement for such a specialised product to win.

We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who voted for us, and to our customers for placing their trust in us to look after such an important part of their business. We’d love to win again in 2023, so we would really appreciate you casting your vote for us in the “Best Professional Software” category!

Major updates and new features

This year has been a great year for launching new features that are helping thousands of photographers to book more shoots and keep themselves organised.

Light Blue’s new online scheduling calendars allow your clients to book shoots and appointments directly into your diary. You no longer need to send messages back and forth to find the perfect time, or rely on complicated integrations with third-party tools. This has been a really popular addition and we’ve had great feedback from customers, old & new.

Most recently, Light Blue 2022.2 is a major update that expands the range of third-party apps that you can use with Light Blue. Linking your Zoom account to Light Blue makes scheduling online meetings with your clients even more convenient and you can now configure your scheduling calendars to automatically create a Zoom meeting when a client makes a booking. Light Blue’s new Zapier integration is the most comprehensive in the photography industry, with triggers and actions that allow you to use Light Blue for all of your day-to-day work while taking advantage of industry-leading apps and services in a totally automated fashion. We also launched new integrations with Pic-Time, Square, and GotPhoto, helping you to make the most of other apps while keeping Light Blue at the heart of your business.

Out and about

Things definitely felt like they were getting back to normal in the UK by the Spring, so it was great to be able to get back to seeing photographers face to face at trade shows including The Photography Show, The Societies of Photographers convention, and the The Newborn and Portrait Show.

If you’d like to come and see us in person to find out more about how you can use Light Blue to organise and grow your business, your first opportunity in 2023 will be The Societies convention in London in March.

What’s next?

We’re always working hard for you, helping photographers to succeed with Light Blue and building new features that will help your business in exciting new ways.

Our prerelease testers will shortly be getting their hands on features including forms in workflows, scheduling requests that make it more convenient to use online scheduling calendars with existing clients, and new online payment options for anyone who’s using Stripe with Light Blue. All of this work is happening alongside work on our Android app, so if you’d like to get early access to any of these features then please let us know.

Meanwhile, we’re always available to help you get started with Light Blue or to make the most of any of the features that are designed to help you make the most of the opportunities out there while delivering a great service to your clients. The Help section of our website lists the ways we can help you, from our getting started guide through to booking a Zoom call to give you a hand with anything that you need to get 2023 off to a great start.

Wishing you all the very best,
Tom & the Light Blue team

Black Friday deals for photographers 2022

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Email template giveaway

Get 37 email templates for your business, absolutely free!

Get more organised for less this November.

Save money on Light Blue’s time-saving software for photographers, making your admin simple so that you can focus on nurturing relationships with your clients and growing a successful business.

Continue reading “Black Friday deals for photographers 2022”

Light Blue 2022.2 integrates with thousands of other apps

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Light Blue 2022.2 is a major update that expands the range of third-party apps that you can use with Light Blue.


Zapier is a service that saves you time by connecting the apps and services that you use and automating them for you. Light Blue offers a set of triggers and actions that allow you to use it with thousands of other apps. With Light Blue at the centre of your business, you can use it for all of your day-to-day work while taking advantage of industry-leading apps and services in a totally automated fashion. You can also use Light Blue’s Zapier integration actions to send information to Light Blue.

Light Blue’s new Zapier integration is the most comprehensive in the photography industry, with triggers and actions that allow you to use Light Blue for all of your day-to-day work while taking advantage of industry-leading apps and services in a totally automated fashion.

“Invoices are now automatically sent from Light Blue to our accounting system, clients unsubscribing from our mailing system update Light Blue, and we can send bulk emails through our mailing system by tagging contacts in Light Blue! With the latest updates, all of these tasks just happen. Thank you Light Blue!”Rose Stacey


Linking your Zoom account to Light Blue makes scheduling online meetings with your clients even more convenient. You can now configure your online scheduling calendars to automatically create a Zoom meeting when a client makes a booking.


Pic-Time offer beautiful client galleries and art galleries with smart sales features, so we’re delighted that you can now link your Pic-Time account to Light Blue. Doing so allows Pic-Time to send client orders to Light Blue’s Inbox, from where you can import them at the click of a button and keep all of your orders together in one place.


Making things more convenient for your clients makes them love working with you even more, and the feedback that we get from photographers is that their clients love using Light Blue’s online scheduling, contract signing, and invoice payment services. Using an online payment option with any of those services helps you to get paid more quickly, so we’re pleased to be able to add Square to the list of online payment processors that you can use with Light Blue.


Schools photographers using GotPhoto can now import batches of orders into Light Blue and automatically link them to the right shoot, enabling you to combine Light Blue’s planning and reporting tools with GotPhoto’s sales tools.

And more…

You can find out about the other new features and changes in this release in the Light Blue 2022.2 release notes.

Free upgrade for subscribers

Light Blue 2022.2 is a free upgrade for all of our subscribers. We’ve loved seeing how our prerelease testers have been using it to streamline their admin and make the most of the other apps they use in their business, so we’re keen to see what you do with it!