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 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%.”
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!
Our Zoom integration is now available to all of our subscribers. Your online scheduling calendars can now create Zoom meetings when a client makes a booking, and automatically update a linked Zoom meeting if they reschedule or cancel their booking.
Holding down the Alt key when navigating from the calendar to an appointment now takes you to the appointment’s parent record without opening the appointment window.
Fixed a bug where clicking the “Import” button in the Inbox for a Pic-Time order wouldn’t treat it as incoming sale data.
Fixed a crash that could occur when editing scheduling calendar availability and specifying an invalid date.
Fixed a crash that could occur when customising an appointment type’s colour.
Light Blue 2022.2 is a major update that expands the range of third-party apps that you can use with Light Blue.
New and updated integrations
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.
Your online scheduling calendars can now create Zoom meetings when a client makes a booking, and automatically update a linked Zoom meeting if they reschedule or cancel their booking.
We’ve added Square to the list of online payment processors that you can use with Light Blue’s online invoices, scheduling calendars, and contract signing services.
Pic-Time joins the list of online photo galleries that can send client orders to your Light Blue account, allowing you to import them at the click of a button and keep all of your orders together in one place.
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.
Please note that the minimum OS version required for Light Blue 2022.2 is now macOS 10.14 (Mojave) or Windows 8.1.
We’ve just released Light Blue 2022.1.2, which is a minor update that adds new features and fixes bugs reported since we launched Light Blue 2022.1. It includes the following changes:
You can now import GotPhoto orders into Light Blue as sales, using the GotPhoto orders export CSV format. You’ll find the “Import GotPhoto Orders CSV” command in the Records menu and Light Blue will offer to set up one of your shoot custom text fields to store the GotPhoto job ID and automatically link all of the orders for a particular GotPhoto job to the correct Light Blue shoot.
Added an “Open URL In Browser” button to our HTML editor’s link dialog, to allow you to test the URL.
Made the member of staff linked to a mileage claim available in the query window.
Fixed a bug where the Preferences window could show a grey bar at the top on macOS 12.
Fixed a bug that could cause the quick sale window to default to the wrong tax rate.
Fixed a bug that could show options that don’t apply to the selected type of report when changing the “basis” option.
Fixed a bug where converting a workflow message to a normal message for an appointment that’s also linked to a shoot could use the shoot’s details instead of the appointment’s details for %EventX% mail-merge tags.
Fixed a bug where Sale “next payment due date” and “next payment amount” values could be incorrect if the payment schedule due dates have been manually edited.
Fixed a bug where clicking the “Export Template” button in “Email Templates” section of Preferences window doesn’t save changes to the body of the email.
Fixed a bug where the cash basis version of the tax report can fail to show the tax amount for some individual payments.
Fixed a bug where importing sales from a CSV file and using the “Tax name” column would not save the that tax name and would instead show it as “Custom”.
Fixed a crash that could occur when editing a form that has a contact roles control that doesn’t specify any roles.
Fixed a crash that could occur when editing a quote with a percentage booking fee when using a space as your thousands separator.
Light Blue 2022.1 is a major update that introduces 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 regular availability as well as ad-hoc availability for specific types of event.
Our new online scheduling features also give you options 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.
Read on for a summary of the other new features and changes included in Light Blue 2022.1…
We’ve just released Light Blue 2021.2.3, which is a minor update that adds new features and fixes bugs reported since we launched Light Blue 2021.2. It includes the following changes:
Added an “Import Custom Translations” button to the “Template Translations” section of the Preferences window, to allow you to import a set of translations that another Light Blue user has exported and sent to you.
Added more mail-merge tags to the “Insert Mail-Merge Tag/Value” feature.
Updated the links in the Help menu to match our new online help resources.
Fixes a bug that could prevent the “Prices Include Tax” checkbox in the Preferences window from saving properly.
We’ve just released Light Blue 2021.2.2, which is a minor update that adds new features and fixes bugs reported since we launched Light Blue 2021.2. It includes the following changes:
Added an Undo command to the Edit menu that can undo changes you’ve made in the field that you’re currently editing.
The %ContactFullName% mail-merge tag when used with weddings will now use a bride/groom/partner contact’s name even if either their first or last name is missing.
If you open an email window and the screen you’re opening it on isn’t big enough to fit the previous size you opened an email at (e.g. because you’ve unplugged a bigger screen), the position of the email window is now reset.
Clicking on an HTML editor now sets the position of the insertion point.
Removed unconfirmed and cancelled appointments from the “Today’s Information” report.
Fixed a bug where using the macOS emoji picker popup would always place emoji at the end of a TextArea control, instead of at the insertion point.
Fixed a bug where using the macOS emoji picker popup could fail to work with our HTML editor.
Fixed an error message that could appear when building a query for contacts with linked contacts of a particular age.
Fixed a minor positioning glitch for custom text fields that are formatted as comboboxes on Windows.
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