Assisting photographers affected by COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting all of us in a variety of ways. We’re a small company and the whole Light Blue team is either currently or previously a professional photographer, so we understand the difficulties that you are going through at the moment.

We’re here to help people run a successful business, and one of the ways that we can do that is to reduce the cost of Light Blue for any of our customers who are in difficulty.

If you already subscribe to Light Blue and your business is affected by the pandemic, and you need to reduce your expenditure, we’re offering you 50% off your Light Blue subscription for three months. 

Click here to register for assistance.

We’re a small, independent company too and this is a difficult situation for all small businesses, but we can’t just stand aside while our friends in the photography industry suffer. We want to do what we can to help. We’ll get through it together by supporting each other as best we can.

We’re keeping the offer of three months’ reduction in subscriptions available until the end of 2020, so if you’re doing OK at the moment but think you might need help in a few months’ time, then we’ll still be here to help you.

We want you to be able to carry on using all of Light Blue’s tools to ensure that you make the most of the opportunities that come along, whether that’s nurturing your existing clients with automated messages, helping postponed shoots to reschedule with our online contract signing service, working out which clients you want to market to when things get back to normal, or using our contact forms to handle new enquiries.

If you need any help, please email us or book an online 1:1 meeting.

With love from Tom, Ian, and Dani.

Come to our virtual trade show!

The Photography Show 2020 has been postponed until September due to the coronavirus outbreak. We always enjoy meeting and chatting with photographers who are interested in using Light Blue to save time and grow their businesses so it’s a shame that we won’t be able to do that in person next week, but we completely understand that postponing the show was the right thing to do.

We’re not letting this stop us from helping photographers to run successful businesses. We’re going to run our own online trade show and we’d love to see you there!

We’ll be presenting demos online and making ourselves available for 1:1 meetings throughout the original show dates, so this is the perfect opportunity to ask us any questions you might have about how you can put Light Blue to work for your business.

1:1 demos and meetings

Do you want to find out more about what Light Blue can do for you? Or are you already using Light Blue and want to ask us anything about how you’re using it to run your photography or video business? Book a chat with one of the team so that we can help you!

Dani, Ian, and Tom are all available for online meetings during The Photography Show’s original dates (Saturday 14 March – Tuesday 17 March). You can book a 1:1 session to get a demo of Light Blue, ask questions about how you could use it in your business, or get help with getting the most out of it.

Click here to book an online meeting with us!
Light Blue team photo

Show offer & competition

Missing out on The Photography Show doesn’t mean that you have to miss our show offer. In fact, we’re making it even better and extending it to everyone!

If you subscribe to Light Blue by the end of April 2020 and use offer code TPS2020, you’ll save 50% off your subscription for the first six months! That gives you plenty of time to try Light Blue for free for 30 days, get in touch with us if you have any questions, and make the most of the free 1:1 help sessions that we offer all new subscribers.

We’re also running a show competition for everyone who books a 1:1 meeting with us. Everyone we speak to during the show dates will be entered into a prize draw for a free 12-month subscription!

Click here to book an online meeting with us!

Get in touch

We’re here to help your photography or video business grow and succeed, so book a 1:1 meeting at our virtual trade show or get in touch with us if you prefer using email.

The Photography Show 2020

The Photography Show at the Birmingham NEC is the UK’s biggest photography trade show, and we’ll be there on stand A68 from Saturday 14 March through to Tuesday 17 March.

If you’d like to find out more about how Light Blue can help you to run a successful photography or video business, we’d be delighted to see you there. We’ll be running demos throughout the show, 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 11 March. You can register for the show by visiting its website.

Getting the most out of The Photography Show

We’ve been exhibiting at this show for eleven years, and we’ve learnt a thing or two about how to get the most out of it 😉

Make sure that you register as a professional photographer. That gets you free entry to the show, and also lets you use the exclusive Pro Lounge to take a break and have a coffee.

The show’s speaker programme has improved a lot over the years, and you’ll find lots of big names on the main stagesWe’ll be tweeting about presentations we think you’ll find interesting throughout the event!

Finally, there are definitely quieter and busier times at the show. If you’re able to get there as soon as it opens at 10:00, you can often get to the stands you want to visit before they get busy! Monday is a very busy day for pro-focused stands like ours, but you can beat the queues by visiting our stand at the beginning or end of the day.

Can’t make it to the show?

If you can’t make it to show, we’d still love to give you a chance to see how Light Blue can help you to run a successful business. You can try Light Blue yourself by signing up for a free trial on our website, and we’d be delighted to chat to you about how it can specifically help you and your business by setting up a one-to-one demo.

Light Blue 8.2.7

We’ve just released Light Blue 8.2.7, which adds more new features and some bug fixes.

You can update to Light Blue 8.2.7 by using the “Check For Updates” command from within Light Blue. You’ll find that in the Light Blue menu if you’re on a Mac, or in the Help menu if you’re using Windows. You can also download the installer for the latest version of Light Blue by logging into your account on our website.

Here’s a list of the changes that we’ve made in this update:

  • Removed warnings about sending emails via Light Blue’s own email servers, because the Gmail now respects the “Reply To” header in emails. Previously, we encouraged you to use your own email account because Gmail sometimes didn’t respect the “Reply To” header and that could cause client’s replies to your emails to not be sent to you.
  • Google account authentication for our Google Calendar publishing feature is now handled in your default web browser, instead of a browser embedded in Light Blue. This is because Google no longer allow embedded browsers to be used as part of their authentication process. If you’re already using our Google Calendar publishing feature then you won’t notice any difference with this change, but if you’re setting up Google Calendar publishing then you should make sure that all of your computers are using Light Blue 8.2.7 or newer.
  • When printing a contact or shoot record, line breaks are preserved in any notes that you include.
  • Added a UK flat-rate VAT scheme version of our accrual basis tax report.
  • Importing an order from theimagefile no longer creates an unnecessary Purchase record.
  • Fixed a problem on macOS where adding or deleting branding files could fail to “stick” after reloading the preferences window.
  • Fixed a problem where an email template with unusual formatting could sometimes fail to be displayed properly.
  • Fixed a couple of rare crashes that have been reported.

On the road with The Societies of Photographers

Ian is going to be on the road with The Societies of Photographers, attending their roadshows in Stirlingshire, Tyne & Wear, and North Yorkshire on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th of March.

There’s a free trade show from 09:30, which is a great opportunity to meet a wide range of trade suppliers, including us! 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.

You can pre-register for any of Roadshows free of charge and they are open to Societies members and non-members alike.

Tuesday 3 March 2020: Stirlingshire, Macdonald Inchyra Hotel, Polmont Falkirk

Wednesday 4 March 2020: Tyne & Wear, Rainton Arena, Houghton le Spring Tyne and Wear

Thursday 5 March 2020: North Yorkshire, York Racecourse, York North Yorkshire

Light Blue 8.2.6

We’ve just released Light Blue 8.2.6, which adds more new features and some bug fixes.

You can update to Light Blue 8.2.6 by using the “Check For Updates” command from within Light Blue. You’ll find that in the Light Blue menu if you’re on a Mac, or in the Help menu if you’re using Windows. You can also download the installer for the latest version of Light Blue by logging into your account on our website.

Here’s a list of the changes that we’ve made in this update:

  • Added “Most Recent Payment Date” and “Most Recent Payment Method” fields to the Purchases section. These fields can be included in list view, queries, or when exporting data.
  • Added buttons to save and reload field import orders to the “Import Purchases From CSV” command.
  • Accepting a contract that doesn’t include a form now takes you to the linked shoot record, just like accepting a contract with a linked form already does.
  • The %SaleInvoiceNumber% mail-merge tag is now blank when you use it in the wrong context, rather than making it look like it was used from an uninvoiced sale.
  • Renamed the “Send Now” buttons in the workflow email and text message dialogs to make it more obvious that clicking the button will convert the message from a workflow message to a normal message.
  • Changed the character encoding of our CSV data exports to UTF8 with a byte order marker. This ensures that Excel and other apps will open the correct encoding.

Merry Christmas from the Light Blue team

Although we’re still hard at work here in the Light Blue bunker this week, we thought we should take some time out to let you know when we’ll be available to help anyone who’s going to be busy over the Christmas and New Year period.

Whether you’re a wedding photographer who’s looking forward to dealing with all of the new enquiries that tend to come in after Christmas, or just someone who’s using Light Blue to maintain their ‘Naughty or Nice’ list, we’re here to help. We’re going to be taking a bit of a break though, so we won’t be answering emails quite as quickly as normal between Christmas and New Year.

  • We’ll be offering our normal email support hours until Monday 23 December.
  • We’ll be offering limited email support on Tuesday 24 December.
  • There’ll be no email support available on the UK holidays of 25 & 26 December.
  • We’ll be offering limited email support 27, 30, and 31 December.
  • There will be no email support available on the bank holiday of Wednesday 1 January.
  • Normal email support will resume on Thursday 2 January.

We’d like to take this opportunity to wish all of our customers a restful and enjoyable Christmas, and best wishes for a successful and prosperous 2020; thank you so much for choosing Light Blue.

Light Blue 8.2.5

We’ve just released Light Blue 8.2.5, which adds more new features and some bug fixes.

You can update to Light Blue 8.2.5 by using the “Check For Updates” command from within Light Blue. You’ll find that in the Light Blue menu if you’re on a Mac, or in the Help menu if you’re using Windows. You can also download the installer for the latest version of Light Blue by logging into your account on our website.

Here’s a list of the changes that we’ve made in this update:

  • Worked around a change in Google’s account authorisation page that could prevent you from authorising Google Calendar publishing on Windows.
  • Changed the character encoding of our CSV data exports from UTF8 to UTF16 to work around a problem where Excel can fail to decode some characters properly when it reads a UTF8 file.
  • Fixed an error message that appeared when you create an email from the Resources panel of the Preferences window.
  • When you accept a contract that includes quotes, Light Blue now only reject other quotes for that shoot that were included in that contract. Previously, it would reject all other quotes for that shoot, even if they weren’t included in the contract.
  • Fixed a problem where mail-merge tags that should contain multiple lines (e.g. %ContactAddress% or %ShootSchedule%) are being displayed on a single line when used in an email.
  • Fixed a problem where the “Check For Updates” command on Windows could display the “you already have the latest version of Light Blue” message twice.

Light Blue 8.2.4

We’ve just released Light Blue 8.2.4, which adds more new features and some bug fixes.

You can update to Light Blue 8.2.4 by using the “Check For Updates” command from within Light Blue. You’ll find that in the Light Blue menu if you’re on a Mac, or in the Help menu if you’re using Windows. You can also download the installer for the latest version of Light Blue by logging into your account on our website.

The main focus of this update is on improvements to our Google Calendar publishing feature and adding some new fields that are particularly helpful when using Light Blue’s powerful querying and marketing tools. For example, you can now limit a query for contact records to just those contacts that are the head of a group (e.g. so that you can build a query for all of this year’s family portrait clients but limit the results to just your main contact).

Here’s a full list of the changes that we’ve made:

  • When you switch on Google Calendar publishing, you’re now given the option of using one of your existing calendars instead of creating a new one. The “Reset Google Calendar” button also allows you to reset your current calendar, rather than creating a new one.
  • Reduced the number of Google Calendar API problems that would cause the “Publish To Google Calendar” checkbox to be automatically un-ticked.
  • Added “head of group” fields to the query dialog, list view, and export fields for contact records.
  • Added an “Is Head Of Group” field to contacts.
  • Added “All Contact Names” and “All Contact Names And Roles” fields to the query dialog, list view, and export fields for shoot records.
  • Reinstated the popup that appears when you click on a link in our HTML editor, so you can edit, clear, or visit the link’s URL.
  • ShootProof orders are now always imported with tax-exclusive pricing, because that’s the pricing that their API provides.
  • Typing into the Inbox search box now only runs the search when you finish typing.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when importing a CSV file with bad character encoding.
  • Fixed a problem that could cause text to be accidentally deleted when you’re drafting an email.
  • Fixed a problem on macOS where PDFs and printed output would use a slightly larger font size than in previous versions of Light Blue.
  • Fixed a problem where applying a positive font size adjustment didn’t work.

macOS Catalina

tl;dr: Light Blue 8.2 is fully compatible with macOS Catalina and is a free update for all of our subscribers.

Apple have just released this year’s major macOS update, macOS Catalina. Catalina includes some really big changes behind the scenes, including dropping support for 32-bit apps and introducing new security and privacy measures.

We recently released Light Blue 8.2, which is fully compatible with macOS Catalina. You can update to Light Blue 8.2 by using the “Check For Updates” command in Light Blue or by downloading the installer from your Light Blue account.

Mandatory health warning: As with all major operating system updates, it is a very sensible idea to be cautious about updating all of your computers and mobile devices at the same time. If you rely on Light Blue to run your business, we would therefore recommend holding off from updating your operating system as soon as the latest version of macOS comes out. At the very least, if you absolutely must update on day one, make sure that you have at least one computer on the ‘old’ operating system until you’ve had a chance to test that all of the apps that you depend on are fully functional.