Thursday, October 16, 2014

Montage Makes Photo Book-Building a Snap

It is estimated that 27,800 photos are uploaded to Instagram every minute.  Another 208,300 are uploaded to Facebook in that same 60 seconds.  That’s over six billion photos per month.  Which means there’s a market out there for photo books (and every type of printed medium you can imagine).   But how many of us actually take the time to sit down and build a photo book filled with our favorite images?  Montage simplifies that whole burdensome process enabling everyone from novice to professional to create wonderful, lay-flat albums.  And get this – in an incredibly easy-to-order process with just three simple FIXED prices.  Wow.
Montage by Mixbook Photo Albums
Beautiful lay-flat books with a lovely eco-leather from Italy
Mixbook released Montage late last year. Consumer Reports rated Mixbook as its number-one rated photo book in 2014 based on their offering of templates, fonts, - and especially budget.  Mixbook’s mobile app, Mosiac, won a 2014 Appy Award and easily maneuvers between your smartphone photos and its super easy app to create gorgeous albums in record time.  Again, the price structure is so simple with no add-on costs like the competitors. 

Montage brings photo book making to a whole new level.  The process and menu selection make book-building a breeze.  First, download between 20-180 photos (currently 180 is the maximum number allowed.)  The hardest decisions you’ll have to make in the entire process are which photos to select. Montage does the rest and upon downloading your images it builds a square album in minutes.  Presto, it’s like magic! 



After your album has been created you can further customize it by selecting and playing around with various designs, add text, titles and adjust page layout. At this time text on the book spine is not an option, but you can add titles to the front cover.
The real treat with Montage is the superb quality.  Forget about flimsy paper albums. Montage delivers beautiful, sturdy lay-flat pages wrapped cover-to-cover in soft eco-friendly leather that is imported from Italy. 

Choose from Small (6-inch), Medium (8.5-inch) to Large (12-inch) albums that are price-fixed at $39, $59 and $119 respectively.  How easy and affordable is that?  No matter how many photos (within the 180 max) or pages, that’s the price.   In less than a week I had my album delivered in an elegant white logo box.  Your Montage photo album is ready to gift in minutes.  Really. 
One element I would love to see in the future is a link to the albums that I can share online or privately with friends and family.   I’m sure that will only cause folks to think about creating one of their own albums.    

Instead of taking another photo that doesn’t get printed, check out Montage.  It’s like having your own private assistant build your album right before your very eyes.  And what busy person or professional photographer doesn’t want that?

Check out:
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Reference: http://www.popphoto.com/news/2013/05/how-many-photos-are-uploaded-to-internet-every-minute



Full disclosure: I was provided with a free 6x6" album.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Photography Mini-Session Form Created with Google Docs

By:  Kristina Rust Photography

Last spring I held a Wine Tasting & Portrait Party.  I talked about it a lot on my own business blog here and here.

In a nutshell, it was SUPER fun and my guests and I had a fabulous time.  I photographed 17 women at a beautiful winery located near my home (one of the perks of living in Northern California).   I have to say that having a glass of wine before getting your headshot taken is a great way to feel relaxed and at ease in front of the camera.  :)

Anyway, I created a sign up form using Google Docs which worked out great and I thought I'd share it with you.  I was able to link this form to my invitation, embed it it in blog posts and share the form online, making it very easy for guests to sign up.  And the best part is, it is free!  Oh and when you use Google Docs, a response spreadsheet is automatically set up for you.

Here is the form I created....



To create a form like this, all you have to do log into your Google account and go to drive.google.com.  Next, click Create (located on the left hand side) and then choose Form. From there it is pretty easy. You can choose different options in terms of the type of questions, i.e. multiple choice, text, paragraph text etc. Once you've finished creating it, you can share the link or embed the form (like I did above) using iFrame. I am also going to use Google Docs to create a model release to send out to my families. Let me know if you try it and how you decide to use it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Behind The Lens: Lindsay Salazar Photography, Salt Lake City, UT

This past September I attended Click Away, a photography conference held in Salt Lake City and hosted by Clickin Moms. It was a wonderful investment in education, inspiration and new contacts. Whether it was in a class session or standing in the lunch line, I met amazing, inspirational and creative people from all over the U.S. and Canada.  I call these people I meet where we end up talking about everything my 5-minute friends, a term I stole from one of my daughter's friends. Turns out her little brother makes these 5-minute friends wherever he is. I love that concept!

So anyway, that's how I met Lindsay Salazar - we were standing in the lunch line and started chatting. Turns out Lindsay didn't have to travel far to attend Click Away.  She hails from Salt Lake City, and let me tell you, her work is wonderful.  Whether it is a sunny day at the lake or a memorable day in a backyard, Lindsay captures breathtaking images that you will treasure for a lifetime.  Lindsay's work has been featured in I Heart FacesLet The KidsLight InspiredA La ModoBrinca Dada, and Stephmodo.

It was such a pleasure to have met you Lindsay!  And now it is my pleasure to introduce you to Lindsay Salazar!

Your Name: Lindsay Salazar
Your studio/business name: Lindsay Salazar Photography
Location: Salt Lake City, UT




Your Style:

In 50 words or less, how would your clients describe your photography? One very kind client described me this way on Yelp: “She's not just a photographer - she's an artist.  Her creativity and eye for all things beautiful clearly translate into the portraits she takes.  We were so impressed by her patience and willingness to work around the chaos of our two high-energy children. Her professionalism remained constant from beginning to end. Lindsay is a pleasure to work with and her work is flawless.”

Are you self-taught or classroom trained? Self-taught. I learned by taking (and continuing to take) many online photography and editing classes. My favorite resources have been Clickin’ Moms, Brooke Snow, and I Heart Faces.

How many years have you been a professional photographer? 4 years

Where do you want to take your photography business in 5 years? I love photographing people. It makes my heart happy, and it serves as a creative outlet for me. In the next 5 years, I plan to photograph many more families and newborns. And who knows, maybe I’ll get the wedding bug and give weddings a try!

Is there a photographer who inspires your style?  Who would that be? Jean Smith because I love her point of view and editing style, Summer Murdock because she takes brilliant pictures of her kids doing everyday things, and Blue Lily because I enjoy seeing them photograph families all over the world.

Favorite location to take photos? At the client’s home. I love capturing people in their own home, because that’s where most of their memories are made.

Favorite vacation spot? My favorite place that I’ve ever been? The Amalfi Coast in Italy. A more practical destination that we try to visit each year? Newport Beach, California.



Your Business:

What was the pivotal moment when you decided to become a photographer? I had three young children (now there are four!) and in caring for them, I lost my sense of self. We decided to buy a nice camera that year with our tax return money, and I was hooked.

What’s the best marketing tip that has worked for you? Becoming friends with my clients on Instagram and my personal Facebook page. Then when their session is blogged, I put it on FB and IG and tag them so their friends see it also. It’s an amazing way to reach new people who are likely part of my target audience.

What’s the most surprising thing a customer has asked you? I had a mom ask me if I could edit a photo to make her daughter’s hair curly instead of straight. Nope, sorry.

Favorite print lab? White House Custom Color



Your Gear
Are you Canon or Nikon? Or other?  Canon

If you could only have one lens on a photo shoot, what would it be? It depends. For a family it would be the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 II, and for 1-2 people, it would be the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 II.

What brand bag do you carry your camera in? I use a Kata bag to transport my gear, and a small Lowepro bag to carry an extra lens on my waist during the photo shoot.

What gear would we find in your camera bag? Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 II, Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 II, Canon EF 50mm f/1.4,  
Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite Flash (which I’ve never used, so I don’t really carry it with me) and candy to bribe my younger clients.

Are you a natural light fan or strobe fan? Natural light, for sure!

Are you PC or Mac? PC



Your Tips and Tricks

What post processing tools do you use? Lightroom. I’ve purchased several presets, but I hardly ever use them and have ended up creating my own. I also use Photoshop if I need to switch heads or liquify. If you don’t know what liquify is, google it now and thank me later.

Do you shoot in Raw or Jpeg? Raw for clients and portrait photos of my family, Jpeg for everyday photos of my family.

Best advice you would give your 20-year old self? Major in Graphic Design, not Elementary Education.

Best advice you would give a new photographer? Practice, practice, practice, and network with other photographers in your area. It’s valuable to have like-minded friends in the same business and in the same city.

What site do you use for your photography and why? I purchased my blog site from Into The Darkroom because I like the layout. It’s unique and I love that it showcases my best photo from each session, right on the landing page.



What Else Should We Know?

What was your worst photography experience? I’m not a wedding photographer, but I shot one for a friend last year and I was so nervous I was sure I was going to throw up. I didn’t though, and it turned out to be really fun!

What would surprise people most about you, whether it is photography related or not? I’m the youngest of 5 kids and when I was little, my siblings convinced me that my real dad was Boy George. Still in therapy for that one. 

Tell us something else you’d like us to know. I’ve recently become a single mom, and while it’s challenging, I feel fortunate to be able to supplement my income with photography.




Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My Time at Click Away

by Kristina Rust Photography

I have been meaning to write up a post on my experience at Click Away ever since I got back but life has been so busy around here and  time keeps slipping away.

So before I wait another two weeks, I thought I'd give you a quick recap.......

In a nutshell, I had a fabulous time.  I met amazing photographers, learned so much and came home with a notebook full of ideas.  The conference was well organized and ran like a well-oiled machine.  The staff at Clickin Moms thought through every detail and really did a fantastic job.  I can't believe this was their first conference....it was so well done!

And Salt Lake City was a great location for this type of event.  It's beautiful and clean and of course full of photo ops...both in and around this lovely city!

There is so much more to say and I promise to give more details soon, but for now I'll leave you with a few photos from my trip.
When we arrived, we were hungry and decided to try the Red Iguana.  It did not disappoint!
Salt Lake City is so beautiful and clean.  We loved walking around Temple Square.
Yep, that is Sue Bryce.  She is just amazing as I thought she would be!
The entrance into the Salt Place Conference Center was impressive.
Me and my roomies, Suzanne and Becky.
During one of our breaks, Becky and I ran to the Farmer’s Market for a quick bite to eat and saw the cutest food truck ever!
We went on a field trip to Ogden, Utah.  The town was full of painted pianos.  I loved this one.
Suzanne and I decided to take a last minute trip to Saltair to see the sunset.  So glad we rallied to do this.  It was beautiful and I think this is my favorite photo from the entire trip!