Light Blue 2021.1

Reading Time: 8 minutes

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 stratightforward 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 new workflow management is a nice addition and has helped me review my workflows.”Tom Chambers
“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.

Continuing help for subscribers affected by COVID-19

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Since March 2020, we’ve been offering to reduce the cost of Light Blue subscriptions by 50% for six months for any of our customers who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. That help is still open to anyone who needs it: 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 still here to help

This is 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.

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.

Extended discounts

We hope that the photography industry is going to be able to recover as we get closer to Spring, but 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!

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.

Merry Christmas from the Light Blue team

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Although we’re still hard at work here in the Light Blue bunker, 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.

We’re here to help over the festive season, but we’re going to be taking a bit of a break and 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 Wednesday 23 December.
  • We’ll be offering limited email support on Thursday 24 December.
  • There’ll be no email support available on the UK holiday of 25 December.
  • We’ll be offering limited email support 28-31 December.
  • There will be no email support available on the bank holiday of Friday 1 January.
  • Normal email support will resume on Monday 4 January.

We’d like to take this opportunity to wish all of our customers a restful and enjoyable Christmas. 2020 has been a tough year and we hope next year will be much better for all of us. We’re here to help you make the most of the opportunities that 2021 will bring!

Black Friday 2020

Reading Time: 2 minutes

We’re here to help you get more organised, for less this Black Friday!

⬇️ Check out the special offer below. ⬇️

Bring all of your business admin together into one powerful and easy to use platform.

Work smarter

✓ Everything you need to know about all of your jobs is in one place.
✓ All of your client information and communications are linked together.
✓ Use clever templates for emails and text messages.
✓ Workflows keep you organised so that nothing gets forgotten.
✓ Email and text messages can be scheduled automatically so routine messages get sent at the right time.
✓ Never forget to send an invoice again with our automated payment reminders.

Easier to work with clients

✓ Online contract signing automatically confirms a session when your client signs, plus take a booking fee at the same time.
✓ Questionnaires and forms allow your clients to do your admin for you.
✓ Break large invoices up into manageable instalments using payment schedules.

Here to help you

✓ Light Blue can give you the big picture, which helps with making smarter decisions.
✓ Desktop and mobile apps allow you to work even when offline.
✓ Dedicated support team for easy set up and migration.

➡️ Use BF50 to get 50% off your first 6 months. ⬅️
Buy before end of 30th November 2020
30-day money back guarantee.

Buy Now

Existing customer?

We’re here to help. In case you haven’t heard about it yet, we’ve been offering a cheaper subscription to anyone who’s been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read here for more information.

Continuing our help for subscribers affected by COVID-19

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns are continuing to affect professional photographers in many countries. 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.

Since March 2020, we’ve been offering to reduce the cost of Light Blue subscriptions by 50% for six months for any of our customers who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. That help is still open to anyone who needs it: 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 still here to help

This is 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.

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.

Extended discounts

We hope that your business is starting to recover from the pandemic, but 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!

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 2020.1

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Light Blue 2020.1 is a major update that includes big new automation features and a whole load of other improvements.

Payment schedules

Payment schedules allow you to easily break an invoice down into several smaller payments. That means that you can offer a payment plan to your clients and make it easier for them to pay an invoice in more manageable instalments. Because it’s more affordable for your client, a payment schedule can help you to make larger sales or get bookings more easily, too.

Find out more about how you can use payment schedules to make it easier for clients to pay you in this knowledgebase article and video tutorial!

Automated payment reminders

Our new payment schedules feature has given us an opportunity to build another popular feature request: you can now have Light Blue send automatic email payment reminders to your clients. You can set up simple rules for your reminders and your personalised messages will help you to get paid on time.

Want to find out how to start sending automatic payment reminders? Click through to our knowledgebase!

Percentage booking fees

Quotes can still be split into separate invoices for the booking fee and the balance. This is especially useful if you want to have separate tax points for the booking fee and balance. 

Booking fees can now be a fixed amount or a percentage of the quote. You can set up a default booking fee for each of your price lists, and when you raise a quote from a shoot Light Blue automatically fill in any booking fee you’ve set up for the price list you’ve chosen for that shoot.

Email tracking

When you send emails from Light Blue’s email servers, you can now track whether those emails have been opened or if the links in them have been clicked. This is optional, and you can turn the feature on via the Preferences window.

To see whether an email has been opened or a link clicked, open it up from the Outbox or the relevant Activity panel. You’ll see a summary of the tracked email’s status that you can expand to see more details, including when the event happened and the IP address that triggered it.

Click here to find out more about email tracking!

And much, much more…

This update includes hundreds of improvements and changes to make Light Blue faster, better, and more efficient. You can read the full release notes here.

A free upgrade for all of our subscribers

Subscribers to Light Blue’s online services can update to Light Blue 2020.1 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 2020.1 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.

Public beta for new Light Blue features

Reading Time: < 1 minute

We’re really excited to announce that we’re launching a public beta of Light Blue’s latest features. Light Blue 2020.1 is a major update that includes big new features and a whole host of other improvements:

  • Payment schedules allow you to easily break an invoice down into several smaller payments, helping you to make larger sales and get bookings more easily.
  • Automated payment reminders help you to get paid on time.
  • Email tracking features that help you to gauge your clients’ engagement.

If you subscribe to Light Blue, we’d be delighted to give you access to these new features before their official release. You’ll be able to use all of its new features while we’re putting the finishing touches in place for the final release.

To find out more about Light Blue 2020.1, get access to the beta, and learn how it can help you to be even more organised, please join us for next week’s beta webinar at 16:00 BST on Tuesday 25 August. Click here to register for the webinar!

Want to join the beta but can’t make it to the webinar? Email support@lightbluesoftware.com and we’ll send the webinar recording to you as soon as it’s available.

Extended assistance for subscribers affected by COVID-19

Reading Time: 3 minutes

We make tools to help photographers to manage & run successful businesses. As a small, independent business ourselves we recognise the challenges that our customers face and we’re keen to help.

In March, we offered to reduce the cost of Light Blue subscriptions by 50% for any of our customers who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. We’re now in mid-May and it’s clear that we’re not out of the woods yet and that our customers would still benefit from a helping hand. That’s why we’ve taken the decision to extend our financial help on subscriptions for another three months.

If you’ve already had this discount applied to your account then there’s nothing you need to do: you will continue to pay your subscription at the reduced rate for a further three months (i.e. six months in total).

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 here to help you in other ways, too

Our help and support isn’t just financial. We’re working hard to make sure that our customers are in the best possible shape to bounce back as things start to get back to normal:

  • We’ve published a series of guides to help with some specific challenges that you might be facing right now.
  • We’re continually offering free 1:1 screen sharing sessions to help you to get more out of Light Blue and to be ready to start working with your clients again.
  • On Wednesday this week, we’re holding a special day of screen sharing sessions where you can chat with Tom, Ian, or Dani to get help and advice. Click here to book a meeting!

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.

We’re here for you.

With love from Tom, Ian, and Dani.

Assisting photographers affected by COVID-19

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Updated 18 May 2020: we’ve extended our pandemic assistance discount from three months to six. Please read this update to find out more about how we’re helping photographers through the pandemic and lockdown.

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.

Classes to catch at The Societies’ of Photographers 2020 Convention

Reading Time: 3 minutes

We’re really looking forward to attending The Societies’ of Photographers convention again this January. As well as an extensive trade show with exhibits from a wide range of industry suppliers, including Light Blue, there’s also an array of classes presented by industry experts.

Meet Light Blue at the convention trade show

We’ll be on stands 65 & 76 from Thursday 23rd January to Saturday 25th January. Come and meet us to discover how Light Blue can help you to manage and organise your business, saving you time and helping you to focus on the more important things.

Our pick of classes

There’s a lot to take in, so we’ve compiled a list of some classes that we think are worth your consideration: