Light Blue wins “Best Professional Software” award

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We’re delighted to have won the “Best Professional Software” award at The Societies of Photographers convention!

These trade awards are some of the most prestigious in the photography industry and voted for by thousands of professional photographers. In this category, Light Blue was up against giants of the photography industry such as Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop, 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. It’s been a tough couple of years for the professional photography industry but we’ve come through it together and we were touched by all of the feedback we had at the show from everyone that we’ve helped during the pandemic.

We’re looking forward to an exciting year ahead, building upon our recent major updates with exciting new features and improvements that continue to help photographers grow their businesses and streamline their admin.

Light Blue wins "Best Professional Sofware" award

Light Blue 2022.1 available with new online scheduling features

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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. 

We’re excited to announce launch of the latest version which is available as a free upgrade for all subscribers.

“Light Blue’s online scheduling automates another task that helps me focus on improving other aspects of my business, and makes the whole experience much more professional and seamless for my clients.”Michael Love

Streamline enquiry management

Online scheduling simplifies the booking process for your clients whilst providing tight integration with Light Blue’s other powerful features such as contracts, forms, payments, and workflows (including automated emails and text messages), so you have all the important details together in one place.

“I can’t always reply to client’s calls and emails when they want to book me. Now they can check my availability and book without waiting for me to get back to them. It saves so much time for me and is a better experience for the client!”Jane Jordan

Avoid double bookings

We know that you have to juggle all sorts of commitments so, as well as automatically blocking off times that clash with events in Light Blue, we’ve also made it possible to link your scheduling calendars to Google Calendar or calendar feeds that you can use to stop clients from making bookings that clash with your personal commitments.

Your availability is updated in real-time as you (and your clients!) schedule events in your diary, and it’s easy for you to set up weekly availability as well as ad-hoc availability for specific types of event.

“It’s a really good way to streamline booking in smaller sessions so you have to do very little, but from the client point of view it’s extremely efficient and straightforward. You can also set options to make sure you aren’t overwhelmed and ensure that your client has all the information they need to proceed without having to send a million emails. Plus, when you open Light Blue, everything you need is at your fingertips.”Angela Ward-Brown

Free upgrade for subscribers

This has been a really popular feature request and something that we’ve been keen to implement for some time, so we are really pleased to have had such positive feedback from our testers and are delighted to offer this feature to our subscribers for no extra cost.

“Having CRM and scheduling in the same program saves a ton of time and money. Plus it saves all the headaches of trying to make two separate systems integrate.”Julian Austin

Get started by updating to Light Blue 2022.1  and then adding a scheduling calendar via the Preferences window. Learn more about how to set up and use online scheduling calendars in our detailed help article.

You can find out about the many other new features and changes in this release in the Light Blue 2022.1 release notes.

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 24th December.
  • There’ll be no email support during the public holidays on Monday 27th & Tuesday 28th December.
  • We’ll be offering limited email support 29th-31st December.
  • There’ll be no email support during the public holiday on Monday 3rd January.
  • We’ll return to normal hours from Tuesday 4th January onwards.

Wishing you all the best,

Tom, Ian & Dani

Our new online scheduling calendars are available for testing

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We’re delighted to let you know that our next major update is in prerelease testing and includes one of our most popular feature requests: an online scheduling tool that allows 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.

Setting up our online scheduling tool is quick and easy, and you can choose which types of shoot or appointment are available online. Your availability is updated in real-time as you (and your clients!) schedule events in your diary, and it’s easy for you to set up weekly availability as well as ad-hoc availability for specific types of event.

Our new online scheduling features give you the option to include a customised booking form, contract, and booking fee when a client is scheduling a shoot, making the online booking process easier than ever. It’s also tightly integrated with Light Blue’s automation tools, so the reminder emails, text messages, and tasks from your workflows help you to deliver great a great service for your clients.

Want to start using our online scheduling calendars right now?

We’ve opened up testing to any of our subscribers that want to take part. So, if you’d like to start offering online booking to your clients, or you’re interested in replacing a third-party scheduling system with our own, tightly-integrated scheduling system, please get in touch and we’ll let you know how to get involved.

Black Friday deals for photographers

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Get more organised for less this November

Save money on our 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.

Ask an existing Light Blue customer for their referral code (ending _BF21) and get 50% off your first 6 months when buying before the end of November.

The offer includes a 30 day money-back guarantee, which essentially gives you a risk free trial.

There’s not long to claim the offer, so act now to save on your subscription.

Interested in the offer but can’t find a code? Use BF2130 to save 30% off your first six months, instead.

Steps to claim the offer:

Existing customer?

Save on your subscription by sharing your referral code with others.

Set up and customise your referral code via your account page.

Other ways photographers can save this Black Friday

We’ve also assembled a list of some great Black Friday offers and deals available from friends around the industry:

Continue reading “Black Friday deals for photographers”

Light Blue 2021.2 – see your business your way with the new Home screen

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We’re delighted to announce the release of the latest version of our time-saving business software for photographers, which brings some some big improvements to Light Blue’s Home screen. Light Blue is used by a wide range of photography businesses, so in Light Blue 2021.2 we’ve built on our strong customisation options to help you to run your business the way that you want.

The tasks you do every day just got a little faster; you can see at a glance what the day, week, or month ahead holds in store; and you can do all of this while keeping an eye on the bigger picture and your long-term goals.

Continue reading “Light Blue 2021.2 – see your business your way with the new Home screen”

Public beta for new Home screen features

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We’re really excited to announce that we’ve given all of our beta testers access to a major update that brings some big improvements to Light Blue’s Home screen.

Light Blue’s new Home screen lets you see your business in a completely new way. You can now customise the Home screen by choosing a selection of widgets that give you unique and powerful ways of looking at your business as well as customising the look of Light Blue.

We’ll be sharing more information about Light Blue 2021.2’s new features when it becomes generally available. If you’re a Light Blue subscriber and would like to join the beta so that you can start using the new features, please send us an email!

Continuing support for photographers affected by the pandemic

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Continuing to help photographers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Today marks the first anniversary of the UK entering lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so we wanted to mark the occasion by reiterating the support that we’ve been offering our customers. Although the situation is starting to improve in the UK now and many of our subscribers are going to be getting back to work over the next few months, we know that many photography businesses throughout the world are still facing enormous challenges and we will continue to do all that we can to help you.

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. Since 18 March 2020, we’ve been offering all of our existing and new subscribers 50% off their Light Blue subscriptions. If you need assistance but haven’t applied for our offer yet, you can do so by clicking here to log into your account. We’re happy to extend this assistance until the pandemic is under control, so if you’re not yet able to afford your full Light Blue subscription then send us an email and we’ll extend your 50% discount for another three months. We want you to be able to use our tools to bounce back from this!

We’re still here to help

This has been a challenging time for all of us in the photography industry, so we wanted to remind you that we’re here to help you make the most out of Light Blue so that it can support and aid your business. Now that things are starting to improve, we’re also here to help you bounce back and rebuild your business.

We’ve been helping business owners to 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 and workflows to handle new enquiries. If there’s anything that we can do to help you use Light Blue to its full potential, please get in touch to let us know.

Spreading the word

We’re a tiny company, so we always appreciate it when customers ask us whether there’s anything that they can do to help us, too.

Telling other photographers about Light Blue and how we’ve helped your business always means a lot to us! If you know anyone who would benefit from using Light Blue, you can use our referral scheme to give them a discount and earn credit towards your own subscription too.

Light Blue 2021.1

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We’re excited to announce the immediate available of Light Blue 2021.1. This is a major update to our desktop app that improves lots of the features that you use every day.

Entering shoot details is faster

Adding a new shoot has been streamlined, with the “New Shoot” window efficiently guiding you through the process. Light Blue can also include the shoot type when it automatically generates a title for your shoots, making it easier to keep track of the different types of job you’re doing for your clients.

“I like the new way that workflows can be tied automatically to specific inquiries, saves having to go and choose the workflow I need at that time, saving me time”Jean-Marc Robin

Dealing with form submissions is easier

When you’re dealing with form or API submissions, we’ve simplified the old “Import as New Record” and “Update an Existing Record” buttons to a single “Import” button that works out what you probably want to do with that incoming data. We’ve made it much easier to use contact form and API submissions to work with existing clients.

“I like how importing enquiries etc now checks for duplicate contacts.
Light Blue has always made our business more streamlined, and with every update… even more so.”
Grahame Smith

Crafting the perfect message to your clients is simpler

We’ve made it easier to create emails and text messages from a variety of places, and added more helpful tools that make it quicker than ever to communicate with your clients.

“I LOVE something as simple as the little email and text buttons that make it even more straightforward to contact clients with ease. I am excited about the workflows as well. THANK YOU for making the effort to make this software more user friendly.”Anita Watkins

When you’re composing an email or a text message, a button in the toolbar makes it quick and easy to insert one of Light Blue’s powerful mail-merge tags. Mail-merge tags are a fantastic time-saver because they pull information into your emails from the record that you’re sending a message from, and having them available within the app saves you from having to look up the available tags from our knowledgebase.

“The latest version of Light Blue makes my admin even easier. My communication has been made far easier by no longer having to go back to the Light Blue website to find the tags to add fields into my e-mails to customers.
I spend less time doing admin and more time doing the things that help my business!”
Rich Dyson

We’ve also made it possible to insert an email template into an email that you’re composing. This allows you to set up templates that you can use as snippets and drop them into emails whenever they would save you time. 

If you realise that you’re composing the perfect response to a client’s query, you can now save that email as a template. This makes it easy to reuse whenever you find yourself dealing with a similar query or situation. 

Preferences & workflows are easier to understand

We’ve reorganised parts of the Preferences window to make some of Light Blue’s powerful customisation options easier to understand, and one of the biggest reorganisations makes workflows easier to set up and understand. 

“The improvements to workflows are great. The latest updates are making this so much easier for me.”Georgina Reid

Workflows are a great tool for helping you to convert enquiries into bookings and deliver an excellent service to your clients, and the new workflow visualiser shows you how your default workflows will create tasks, appointments, emails, and text messages based on the key milestones of your shoots. You’ll find the workflow visualiser in the “Shoots” tab of the “General” preferences, and in the “Shoot Types” section where you can apply different workflows for any types of job that need to be handled in their own unique way.

Workflows now have a type, and if you use a lot of workflows then this makes sure that only appropriate workflows are shown when you’re selecting them. When you’re in the “Workflows” section of the Preferences window, you can also see where each workflow is being used and set it as a default without having to leave this section.

And much, much more…

This is definitely one of those releases that we’d recommend reading the release notes for, because it includes hundreds of small improvements. 

“I love the housekeeping button to tidy up stale enquiries etc. Suddenly my dashboard looks so much neater and manageable. All with the click of one button!”Jenny Beckett
“It’s simple but I like that you’ve added the “preferences” button to the menu bar… it’s such a regularly used part of the software”Bob Foyers
“The Light Blue team listens. If you think that something could be improved then they will look at it and let you know of any improvement and feed back to you immediately in the first instance and later if it is at all useful or just to update you. I also love the fact that they are only a small team. If you need Team LB then it will be there for you.”Anthony Von Roretz
“I would not be able to keep track of my business without Light Blue. I really like the flexibility of Light Blue in terms of its layout and the fact that it can be so easily customised in both how it looks and also performs to suit everybody’s own business set up. It’s invaluable as an asset for my business.”Graham Stockton

A free upgrade for all of our subscribers

Subscribers to Light Blue’s online services can update to Light Blue 2021.1 by using the ‘Check For Updates’ command within the Light Blue desktop app.

If you already have a Light Blue licence, but don’t subscribe to our online services, the best way of upgrading to version 2021.1 is to add a subscription. As well as being able to upgrade for free, subscribers have access to Light Blue’s most popular features, including our online contract signing service, forms, online invoices, and enhanced email and text messaging features.