Featured Vendor + Giveaway: ShootProof

Today we have the always amazing ShootProof on the blog. Take a moment to learn more about their fabulous photo proofing service for photographers.  Be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a One-Year Subscription ShootProof’s 15,000 Photo Plan ($300 value)!

About ShootProof

ShootProof is the best way to share and sell your photos online. With beautiful client galleries, easy administration, and absolutely no commissions on your sales, ShootProof is the professional solution that saves photographers valuable time in their workflow and helps impress clients!

From weddings to sports, schools to corporate events, and babies to boudoir, ShootProof’s system is customizable with features suited for all styles of photographers. ShootProof is now used by tens of thousands of photographers in 11 languages across 27 countries. Easily create private or public galleries that are integrated with your brand, and choose to protect your images with watermarking, passwords, and archiving. Galleries are viewable on computers, tablets, and smartphones, with no downloads necessary for your clients. Review a list of ShootProof features that will help grow your photography business.

ShootProof provides flexible digital download options based on the arrangement with your client, from free one-click digital downloads, to a set number of included digitals, to only allowing purchasing of digital files if you choose to offer them. Sell prints and other products that you choose, set your own prices, and keep 100% of your profits. Your photos can be easily uploaded via the ShootProof Lightroom Publish Service, Desktop Uploader, or of course any web browser. Interested in collecting emails during an event, such as a wedding or corporate event? Check out the new ShootProof Event Emails iPad App that will sync emails right to the gallery in your ShootProof account to share the photos with guests when they are ready!

Utilize ShootProof’s optional archiving as an alternative to cloud storage and a safer option than hard drive backup. Because you can upload files up to 28mb in size, you can easily store your full-resolution images for years to come. And, it’s easy to reactivate a gallery when a client wishes to make purchases from his or her event again in the future; all settings are saved and you’re ready to sell!

Integrate music with your galleries and slideshows for the ultimate client experience. Choose from over 13,000 songs to stream and create an unlimited number of playlists, and then set music to play automatically when the client enters the gallery or only in the slideshow view. ShootProof’s partnership with Triple Scoop Music means you can supercharge the emotional energy of your galleries!

One of the most amazing marketing features for your studio is word of mouth, so create mobile apps for your photography clients through ShootProof that keep them talking about your studio! Choose up to 40 photos for each client’s custom app that they can download to their mobile devices or tablets and show with friends and family. Add your logo and the ability for clients to share the app via social media, if you wish, for maximum visibility. Increase referral business and gain new clients in a snap!

Print fulfillment by one of their professional photo labs makes the the entire process absolutely seamless. With no price markup on your lab products, ShootProof’s extreme flexibility allows you the option to self-fulfill your own prints and products, use any of their partner labs, or have digital images sent directly to your clients via email or one-click download.

Your transactions are always safe with ShootProof’s secure credit card processing. The full shopping cart and ecommerce experience make online sales a snap, with no other accounts or integration necessary.

The low monthly subscription is based on the number of photos you have online at any given time, so you only pay for what you need. Choose the plan that is right for you right now, and move up and down between plans at anytime. There is even a free plan for beginners, which includes all of the features that the most seasoned pro will have.  The flexibility of plans all at one low hassle-free cost, along with their unique zero commissions pricing, makes ShootProof a great fit for any photographer.

Who is ShootProof?

ShootProof is a small team, part photographers, programmers, engineers, and above all customer service fanatics. We’re an eclectic group that brings a fresh look to the proofing world. We’re innovative, we listen, and we care about helping you grow your photography business. ShootProof stands for simple, intuitive design and freedom of choice for photographers.

One of ShootProof’s founders, Robert, is married to a wedding photographer, and in helping her search for the perfect proofing service, discovered that it did not yet exist. He teamed up with Colin and together decided to created the ideal solution. Of course, ShootProof had to be shared with all of the many photographers in need of this service.

Best of all, you can try ShootProof via their 30 day free trial!

Enter the Giveaway for a chance to win a One-Year Subscription to Shoot Proof’s 15,000 Photo Plan ($300 value):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hurry! Giveaway ends on Tuesday, April 15th . Winner will be announced on Saturday, April 19th.

LEGAL STUFF: This promotion is in NO WAY sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You will NOT be notified publicly via Facebook if you are a winner. You MUST be 18 to participate. By entering this giveaway, you are providing information to Rock the Shot and NOT to Facebook. Prizes do not have cash value. There will be no returns/exchanges on any of the items.

Congratulations to Leslie Maron on winning a One-Year Subscription to ShootProof’s 15,000 Photo Plan! Leslie, please email me at karlen@rocktheshotforum.com in the next 48 hours to claim your prize. Thank you all for participating and have a wonderful weekend!

Creating Unique Newborn Sessions For Your Clients

by Guest Contributor Sandy Summers Russell

Do you ever feel like you’re shooting the same thing over and over again with your newborn portrait sessions? Do you wish you could bring not only more creativity to your images, but give your clients a truly custom photography experience? Creating a successful custom newborn portrait shoot doesn’t just start with triggering your camera’s shutter release. You have to lay the groundwork ahead of time, and I’d like to share how I do that with a recent newborn session at my studio.

This little baby’s mama is a very talented hair and makeup artist who works extensively with the local photographer community. So I knew when she contacted me about pictures they would need to be beautiful and stylish images.

All of my portrait sessions include an in person pre-session consultation. That’s where we sit down about a week before the baby’s due date and talk about the portrait session in detail. It is so critical to collaborate with your client, so your final images turn out exactly as they desire. They should complement their individual tastes, so they can be beautifully displayed in their home.

When I can, I like to do this consult at the client’s home, so I can immediately get a feel for their personal style. When I met with this client I knew exactly what her distinct aesthetic was. It was soft neutrals, blushes, and gold accents; a gorgeous mixture of hard and soft, romantic and masculine. Very much a Restoration Hardware look than say Pottery Barn or West Elm home. Imagine if this consult hadn’t been done, and I had chosen reds and greens or something too bright for the baby portrait colors. It wouldn’t have gone with her decor at all! That’s why a custom photographer is truly that, an artist who creates unique images for a client’s home. They’ve commissioned me to create art and to document a monumental time in their life. They should be perfect, and exactly what they’ve always dreamed of.

For this session the mother wanted to use her Vera Wang wedding dress. “Would that interest you?” she asked. Are you kidding! I was beyond excited about it. I thought a vintage dress form would be the perfect way to show off the gown. She found one at a local boutique she had close ties with, and they graciously let us use it for the shoot. We also picked a bench from her home, and she brought her Jimmy Choo shoes she wore for the wedding. Talk about a beautiful set of props to work with. The mother also surprised me that day with two absolutely perfect fresh baby’s breath halos from her favorite local florist. What a perfect compliment they were.

For the beanbag images, while I had plenty of blush and cream colored backdrops, I didn’t have anything gold. So I went to one of my favorite places to find backdrops, Jo-Ann fabrics. When you’re searching for a good beanbag backdrop fabric you should look for something with texture, a thicker material, and a little stretch. There, I found this gold sweater knit backdrop with sequins. Perfect! Even better it was on clearance for $6 a yard. You need only two yards for a beanbag backdrop. The hats, headbands, and wrap I got from my favorite source, etsy.com. Many of them I already had in my prop stash; however this session was done on Valentine’s Day, so I found an adorable bonnet with a wooden heart accent for her to wear.

For the mother and daughter shots, I always think simple is better. The mother, of course, did her own hair and makeup, and it really shows what a professional can achieve. She had brought some solid color neutrals to wear, but I had another idea. I took blush colored sheer fabric and wrapped it around her chest, and another fabric background in a loose sweater knit and wrapped that around her body, and then I secured them both behind her with a backdrop clip. Instant designer gown, or at least it looks that way. It also leaves her shoulders bare to snuggle against her daughter.

We had grandma jump in for a three generations shot towards the end. Aren’t they all gorgeous together?

The final set of props the client brought was for her husband. She wanted to make a special image for his office. He’s an avid hunter, so she brought his collection of elk antlers. Oh my goodness, they were giant! How cool they were to work with. I placed them so they created a half circle around her with varying directions and heights. I then pared it with a sheepskin shearling I found on Ebay for $19, a naturally knitted blanket, and a driftwood slab to give it that mixture of hard and soft used throughout their home. I adore how it turned out. The images are serene and beautiful, like a baby Norse goddess.

All of this might sound like a lot of work for one session, but that’s what makes it custom photography. As long as your business model compensates you for the time and money spent on each session, you should be able to create something unique for each client at every portrait session. In the end you’ll have achieved your goal of creativity, and your client will be overjoyed with distinctive art made just for them.

Prop Sources:
vintage dress form: Melange
baby’s breath haloes: Twigs and Petals
gold beanbag fabric: Jo-Ann Fabric
cream hat: Baby Le Cradle
cream lacey wrap: Devoted Knits
cream beanbag fabric: Stylish Fabric
lace head scarf: Manly and Pretty Little Things
blush beanbag fabric: Roses and Ruffles
wood heart accent hat: Blue Stone Sky
blush sweater fabric on mom: Stylish Fabric
sheep shearling: Leatherwise
knit blanket: Devoted Knits
driftwood slab: JD Vintage Props

About the Author: Sandy Summers Russell is a former metro newspaper photojournalist who fell in love with a small-town farm boy. She married him, moved to the middle of nowhere, became a mom, and started Summerland Photography in exactly that order. Now, instead of shooting breaking news, professional sporting events, and heartrending human interest features, she photographs brand new babies, fleet-footed toddlers, and jubilant weddings.

Visit Sandy at her WEBSITE | FACEBOOK pages today!

April Photo Challenge: Water

April showers are starting to arrive here in the Midwest, and what would be more appropriate for an April Photo Challenge theme than “WATER“.  This month, get creative, think outside the box and enter your favorite image of “WATER”. Interpret the theme in any way you wish: rain, beaches, rivers, oceans, pools, water reflections – it’s totally up to you – the only requirement is that water is somehow incorporated into your photo.  Everyone is invited to participate!

Special thanks to our very generous sponsors for the AMAZING prizes for this months challenge!

Here are the prizes you can win:

1st Place PRIZE: One-Year Pro Membership to StickyAlbums { $224 Value}


Book more clients with StickyAlbums. We help you create a custom mobile app for each of your clients so they can share your work right on their own phones or iPads. Clients love having their face right on their very own app! They can access their album – complete with your branding and contact info – via their iPhone, Android or iPad, and they can share the album face to face, or send it directly to their friends and family. StickyAlbums makes it so easy for your clients to refer you to all their friends!

SPECIAL OFFER:  During the photo challenge all Rock the Shot readers can click here to save $40

2nd Place PRIZE:  $150 Gift Certificate to Little Sweet Designs


Inside the Little Sweet Designs shop you’ll find an array of beautifully designed Photoshop templates and marketing solutions to WOW your clients and increase your bottom line. Little Sweet Designs helps photographers with design and marketing solutions; think of them as your marketing support service consultant. They provide and supply you with tools, products and know how that allows you to take your business to the next level without the ‘designer’ price tag. Save yourself hours in design time, increase your average sale and become the talk of the town with Little Sweet Designs marketing tools and Photoshop templates.

SPECIAL OFFER:  Use coupon code: PARTY60 to save 60% off storewide

3rd Place PRIZE16×24 Canvas from Canvas by Blossom {$137 Value}


Here are the details for entering your submission:

1. Create a post on your blog and include ONE photo submission for the challenge. If you like, include some fun facts about the photo, and any tips or tricks you might like to share about how you captured and/or processed your image. For this month’s submission the only requirement is that the photo must include WATER in the image.
2. Include the Rock the Shot Button and type the link www.rocktheshotforum.com in your post. DO NOT include http://
3. You can also link your submission from public Facebook pages, Flickr, Pinterest, etc. Just be sure to include the link www.rocktheshotforum.com within your post. If you are having trouble with this method, check out our step-by-step video tutorial HERE
4. Submit the link to your post using the InLinkz button below. You must submit the actual post link (permalink), not just your website URL. NOTE: do not include http:// in your link
5. You may submit your photo at any time during the challenge – the deadline for this month’s submission is April 30, 11:59pm (CST).
6. The winners will be announced on May 6, 2014.

LEGAL STUFF: This promotion is in NO WAY sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You will NOT be notified publicly via Facebook if you are a winner. You MUST be 18 to participate. By entering this giveaway, you are providing information to Rock the Shot and NOT to Facebook. Prizes do not have cash value. There will be no returns/exchanges on any of the items.

By submitting your photo, you grant Rock the Shot permission to re-post your photo on our blog and/or Facebook page.

March Photo Challenge Winners

We are so excited today to announce the WINNING photos for our March Photo Challenge.  Our theme last month was “GREEN”, and as usual, the images were AMAZING!!   We want to thank all of our readers who submitted entries for the challenge, and a warm THANK YOU to our sponsors Cris Passos Photography; Photographer Depot; and Canvas by Blossom, for their generous prize donations to the challenge.

Here are our winners for the “Green” photo challenge.

1st Prize: #2 by ljholloway Photography

2nd Prize: #32 by Jennifer Sharp Photography

3rd Prize: #74 by Lindsay Williams Photography

Honorable Mention 1: #83 by Wings4Photography

Honorable Mention 2: 43# Alyssa Hollis Photography

If you’re one of our top five, proudly display the button “Top 5 Photo” button on your blog and Facebook pages. This button can be found HERE.

Winners, please contact Karlen at karlen@rocktheshotforum.com 

Thanks to everyone who entered, and STAY TUNED for our April Photo Challenge…

Featured Vendor + Giveaway: FotoTale Designs

Today we are so thrilled to welcome back our friend Sarah from FotoTale Designs to the Rock the Shot Blog.  Head on over to their website and check out all of their gorgeous templates for photographers.  PLUS… they are offering Rock the Shot readers the chance to win a fabulous $200 Gift Certificate to their shop! Enter the giveaway below, and find out about a very special LIMITED TIME offer!

About FotoTale Designs

Welcome to FotoTale Designs! Our designs are perfect for photographers who are looking for professional, easy to use templates to set themselves apart from the competition, and impress their clients.  We offer a little bit of everything from holiday cards, graduation announcements, albums, accordion albums, blog-it boards, FB timeline covers, marketing collections, collages/storyboards and much more.

All of our templates are layered .psd files.  They are compatible with Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.  Our designs are very user friendly.  We use clipping masks for easy photo insertion.  All colors and text are customizable, so you can easily match your clients’ style and needs.
Because our templates are fully layered, you can switch up each design to work for different occasions.  For example, our birth announcements can easily be adjusted to become birthday invitation, holiday cards, etc.  The possibilities are endless!

Our template prices are some of the lowest in the industry.  Currently we are offering all individual templates for only $1!

We pride ourselves in offering top notch design and customer service, while you can stock up your ‘design shelves’ without breaking the bank.  We are here to help you save time, effort and money, while impressing and serving your clients.  They are sure to love our fun, modern designs!

About the Owner: Hello. My name is Sarah Jimenez.  I am the owner and co-designer of FotoTale Designs.  I live in beautiful Southern Utah.  I have been designing for  4 years, and I love my job! I feel so blessed to be able to work from home with my two small children (and one on the way), who are my world.  I love knowing that my designs are helping save you time, so that you can focus on your loved ones and building your business.
When not working, I love to go hiking, biking, boating and camping.  Family and neighborhood game nights are my favorite!
Thank you for your continued business and support.  We love and appreciate our customers!

Visit FotoTale Designs on their WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST | GOOGLE+ pages today!

Enter the Giveaway for a chance to win a $200 Gift Certificate to Fototale Designs!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hurry! Giveaway ends on Tuesday, April 8th. Winner will be announced on Saturday, April 12th.

LEGAL STUFF: This promotion is in NO WAY sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You will NOT be notified publicly via Facebook if you are a winner. You MUST be 18 to participate. By entering this giveaway, you are providing information to Rock the Shot and NOT to Facebook. Prizes do not have cash value. There will be no returns/exchanges on any of the items.

Congratulations to Kayte McCoy on winning a $200 Shopping Spree to FotoTale Designs! Kayte, please email me at karlen@rocktheshotforum.com in the next 48 hours to claim your prize. Thank you all for participating and have a wonderful weekend! 

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