New York City Sunset Photowalk on August 14, 2012

photocrati-photowalk

We are happy to share that Photocrati team member, Scott, will be joining Trey Ratcliff of Stuck in Customs in New York City for a sunset photowalk.

Guess what? You’re invited!

Scott planned a fun route for the walk and Trey has posted the event to Google Plus. Please note that having a Google Plus account is not required to join the event. That is just the easiest place to organize the event, collect RSVPs to get a ballpark count of attendance and for photos to be shared afterwards.

What to bring: Any camera, even mobile phones, and a tripod if you prefer (this is a sunset photowalk after all)

Who to bring:  It’s a family-friendly event, so bring your photo-curious kids, friends, or anyone!

When:  August 14, 2012 starting at 6PM New York time!  The sun sets at 7:54 PM that day.

Cost: Free

Where: We’ll start in the World Trade Center area and end up in Battery Park.  Here is more exact info below:

Google Map Spot:  http://goo.gl/maps/PEdHO

24 Cortlandt St
New York, NY 10006

If you do streetview and look across the street from Century 21, there is a long wall where we can meet: http://goo.gl/maps/Kauff

Sharing Afterwards:  Attach your photos to the Google Plus event and/or on Flickr, 500px or wherever else using the tag #TRNewYorkPhotowalk

Have you ever been on a Photowalk? Curious what is is?  Photowalks are basically social events for photographers to meet up and shoot, share and love the art.

All About Tabletop Photography

photocrati-creativelive

A while back we mentioned the sponsoring of Don Giannatti’s CreativeLIVE course on tabletop photography.

The course was a success, but we aren’t surprised because Don is a fantastic teacher.

In the tabletop photography class, Don started with an introduction to tabletop lighting, the tools, scrims, and DIY gear.  He then went on to educate the class on the the basic concepts of Tabletop Product Photography, finishing with advanced topics and tips like using  kicker lights, snoots, and grids.

We recommend heading back to CreativeLIVE to order the class video recording and materials.

Learn about:

  • The basics of subject centric light
  • Simple table top tools
  • Product vs. still life
  • Tabletop photography
  • Tabletop lighting
  • The business side of product and still life photography

In Don’s presentation you will see how he sets up for tabletop, what lights he uses and best of all, why he does what he does.

How about some presentation samples?

tabletop-photo-setup

lighting-essentials

seeing-light-transitions

product-still-life

velcro-photo-tool

product-photo-business

If these screenshots intrigue you, then please visit CreativeLIVE and purchase Don’s class.  You won’t be disappointed.

Don’t forget that you can learn even more by joining Don on his websites:

http://www.dongiannattiphotography.com/
http://www.lighting-essentials.com/
http://wordpressthemesforphotographers.com/
http://wizwow.blogspot.com/
http://project52.org/

 

Our First NextGEN Gallery Update Now Available

nextgen-gallery

Real quick update today. For those Photocrati users that are also using the NextGEN Gallery plugin, this is for you.

Today we announced our first update since acquiring the plugin.

For full details and instructions, visit the NextGEN Gallery 1.9.5 announcement.

Thanks for the support,

The Photocrati Team

Photocrati User, Sean Crane, Featured In Shutterbug Magazine

sean-crane-photography

We always love to hear when our customers are featured on websites, newspapers, magazines, etc.  For quite some time now, Sean Crane’s website has been in the Photocrati showcase, but when he told us about his new feature in Shutterbug Magazine, we are very excited to share this with the community.

If you’re a subscriber to Shutterbug Magazine, check out page 28 of the August, 2012 issue.

If you’re not a subscriber, we recommend stopping by your local store to pick up a copy, because it’s a great issue.  You can read about the top products of the year in addition to Sean’s feature.

shutterbug-magazine

In the article featuring Sean’s website, it mentions his portrait from the about page.  We have to agree with the statement, that is very impressive.  You can see the portrait at the top of this article.

sean-crane-shutterbug-magazine

In closing, we want to say congratulations to Sean on a great feature in an awesome and highly respected photography magazine.

For those who would like to see Sean’s website and photography, visit Sean Crane Photography and browse around.

Thanks for reading,

Scott

Photocrati Acquires NextGEN Gallery

photocrati-acquires-nextgen-gallery

We’re thrilled to announce to the Photocrati community some big news that has been in the works for nearly six months: Photocrati has acquired the NextGEN Gallery WordPress plugin!

As most of you know, NextGEN Gallery is the single most popular gallery management plugin for WordPress with over 5 million downloads. The acquisition is part of our effort to consolidate the best WordPress solutions for photographers under one roof.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR PHOTOCRATI USERS?

Needless to say, the acquisition has big implications for the community of Photocrati users.

Best of Both Worlds. Our ultimate goal is to bring you the best of NextGEN and Photocrati, plus lots of improvements on both, all as a seamless part of the Photocrati theme. We are currently working on Photocrati 5.0. This major update will replace the existing Photocrati Gallery systems with a new system that merges both NextGEN and Photocrati.

NextGEN Gallery Management. NextGEN will act as the underlying engine for gallery management in the theme. That means Photocrati users will automatically have access to lots of new functionality, including centralized gallery management, the ability to custom crop thumbnails, and the ability to apply watermarks to images, all of which have been popular feature requests within our community. In addition, you will be able to display images using NextGEN-style galleries.

Photocrati Displays & Functionality. We’ll be layering Photocrati-style functionality on top of NextGEN. That means you will still be able to display galleries using Photocrati slideshow, thumbnail, filmstrip, blog-style, and ecommerce style displays.

New and Improved Ecommerce. As part of this project, we’ll also be introducing a more powerful and elegant ecommerce solution with options like the ability to enable ecommerce across all gallery types and to buy and download digital images.

BIG PLANS FOR NEXTGEN TOO!

We’ll also be making some major improvements to NextGEN Gallery itself. For more on our plans with NextGEN, see our announcement on the NextGEN blog here: Plans for NextGEN.

IS THERE A TIME FRAME FOR ALL OF THIS?

The integration of NextGEN and Photocrati represents a huge project. Our software engineering team has already been working on this for months, and we plan to move into testing phase in mid-summer. We’re refraining from committing to any dates for a final launch since we just don’t know how long certain components of the project will take.

We know you’ll be looking forward to the update, and we will keep you posted on the progress via our blog and email updates.

To ensure that we get through this project as quickly as possible, we also want to let the community know that we’ll be avoiding, if possible, intermediate updates between now and the launch of Photocrati 5.0.

WE’RE HIRING AND LOOKING FOR BETA TESTERS

As part of this expansion, we’re hiring for a range of positions over the coming six months, including software engineers, happiness engineers, a systems administrator and a webmaster. If you are interested, please check out our jobs page.

We also plan to introduce a beta testing program. If you are interested in being a beta tester, please contact us.

We’ll have more news soon. If you are not already, please stay informed by joining us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

Photocrati Sponsoring CreativeLIVE With Don Giannatti

photocrati-creativelive
Don Giannatti, also known as Wizwow, is a commercial photographer and graphic designer out of Arizona. Don is kind, funny, honest and on top of everything, enjoys educating other photographers. That is why we are proud to sponsor his next class on CreativeLIVE.

From June 21st to the 24th, Don will be teaching a free class to the online CreativeLIVE community. As I said, it is free to watch live, so just visit the class page to enroll.

The class is called Tabletop Product Photography. On June 21st Don will lead a half-day introduction to tabletop lighting covering tools, scrims, DIY gear and how to organize your shoot around a tabletop to bring everyone up to speed. Then June 22-24 Don will teach you the basic concepts of product and still life photography. Finally, Don will ramp up to more advanced topics adding extras such as kicker lights, snoots, and grids that can bring your work up a notch.

To top it all off, we will be giving away one free Photocrati WordPress theme each day of the class. So make sure you watch, listen and interact during the class for your chance to win.

Thanks for reading and see you there,
Scott

Updated Swagger Means More To Come

photocrati-design

The Photocrati website has gone through a redesign process.

Why is this important to you?

Our intentions are to make the experience for you easier, faster and more enjoyable.

So with that in mind, we worked hard to clean up the flow of the website.  The colors are bright and inviting.  The images pop off the screen.

In addition, we cleaned up the page menu and blog – making it easier for you to find what you’re looking for.

With over 12,000 photographers using the Photocrati theme, we know that it is important to provide new features and new looks.  So with that said, we have big news coming soon!  I guarantee you do not want to miss it.

*Teaser Alert* Photocrati’s relationship with the photography community is about to grow immensely. You might even say it’s growing by 5 million.

Thanks for reading,

Scott

Introducing Photocrati 4.2!

We’re happy to announce the release of Photocrati 4.2! After the release of 4.1, we decided to move toward shorter update and release cycles. So this update comes just two months after the release of Photocrati 4.1. For a list of what’s new in Photocrati 4.2, visit our Developer’s Corner.

How to Update Your Photocrati WordPress Theme

If you are an existing Photocrati customer, you can update automatically by logging into your WordPress dashboard, going to Help / Support, and clicking the green auto-update button! You can also download the latest version of the theme from the Member’s Area.

A Review of Photocrati – Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Heading

Over the last year, Photocrati has experienced incredible growth. This post is a behind-the-scenes glimpse what’s been happening, a fairly open review of where we’ve come from in the recent past and where we’re heading.

Before diving in, the first thing I want to do is to thank everyone in the Photocrati community – especially the 8,000 great photographers using our theme – for sharing this journey with us. It’s exciting for all of us at Photocrati to be a part of something that’s moving so fast and taking on a life of its own. We’re thankful and we feel a great deal of responsibility to give all of you the best experience that we can.

A SENSE OF HISTORY: WHERE WE’VE BEEN

People now know us as a maker of one of the leading photography WordPress themes. But as late as March/April 2010 (15 months ago), we weren’t primarily a theme seller. We were a general photography blog that happened to sell WordPress themes.

Our front page was a blog style front page, and we had a great team of writers covering diverse topics from gear reviews to travel photography. Below is screenshot of Photocrati.com from April 2009 (a little over two years ago). That was before we had themes at all. You’ll see some Google Adsense boxes and even a donation request on the sidebar!

We released our first theme in August of 2009. It was a clumsy first effort. We decided to recode it from scratch and we finally released what people know as Photocrati in April 2010.

In short, our main business is now 15 months old.

Since then, however, it has been a wild ride. We have:

  • Added 7,000 customers.
  • Doubled our team in the last 8 months. We’ve hired two new rockstar developers to improve our theme code and get releases out more quickly and we’ve added a second full time support person. Even with these additions, Photocrati is still just 7 people serving 8,000 customers and managing all of our other projects (below). We are a small, close-knit family, and we’ve been lucky to bring together some great people.
  • Launched Photocrati versions 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 3.0, 3.01, 3.1, 4.0, 4.05, 4.06, and 4.07. 4.1 is coming soon.
  • Launched our own, built-in gallery management system (until V3.0 in October, we still based our theme on NextGen, the free gallery management plugin).
  • Launched the first full-blown ecommerce system for photographers using WordPress. This is now a distinctive feature of our theme, but it is only 5 months old.
  • Re-launched our members’ area to improve how we provide help and tutorials, and to increase the speed with which we reply to incoming support queries. This has dramatically improved our response times.
  • Sponsored the first developer-focused WordCamp conference in Vancouver to give back to the WordPress community.
  • Launched the Photographer’s SEO Community to help our users as well as others learn how to optimize their websites for search engines. I believe this is the most important thing that most photographers – or any businesses for that matter – can do to ensure success. Visit the Photographer’s SEO Community to learn more.
  • Launched Best of Wedding Photography to promote excellence in wedding photography. BOWP is an invitation only association for some of the world’s top wedding photographers. Visit Best of Wedding Photography to learn more.
  • Organized and given away our first two $5,000 Photocrati Fund grants, one for a project on Chilean fisheries, and the other on a conservation and development project in northern Canada. See 2011 winner and top finalists here: Photocrati Fund 2011 Finalists.

ROADMAP: A GLIMPSE AT THE FUTURE

In short, we’ve had a rockstar year.

That’s great news because it means we’re doing a lot of things right. But such rapid growth has created significant new challenges and demands that we need to tackle for the sake of our user community. We are in transition from a small photography blog and a small-time theme shop to an established software and hosting company, and that requires a completely new way of operating.

In the next 12 months, we’re planning for major changes, additions, and expansion, including:

  • Putting in place best-practice systems for handling code updates and releases, as well as a completely new way of handling in-bound support queries, escalating them to developers, and delivering fixes quickly to customers.
  • Photocrati 5.0. We’ll be recoding our theme framework to give it world-class foundations. This will be an epic and time-consuming undertaking, but we know it will be worth it. The recoded version, Photocrati 5.0, will be more robust and will provide a platform for awesome new features.
  • Doubling our team by bringing on critical new people, including:
    • A full time designer to improve our branding and theme styling.
    • A full-time SEO professional to manage our SEO communities and help with SEO across our current sites.
    • A third world-class developer.
    • A dedicated system administrator to manage our hosting infrastructure.
    • A community point person to blog, build social media followings, and to build a stronger sense of community around Photocrati.
    • Two more support staff with outstanding WordPress expertise.
  • Launching a Photocrati Gallery plugin that will make our gallery and ecommerce systems available to those using non-Photocrati themes.
  • Launching a hosted solution that allows non-technical users or those new to WordPress to just set up an account with us and have their sites up and running in minutes. By this time next year, our hosting service will be as integral to our business as our theme is now.
  • Beginning to tackle awesome new features like integrating with online print labs for automatic order fulfillment of ecommerce orders and creating a store in which designers can sell designs they create and export using our backend theme options.
  • Making constant ongoing improvements to Photocrati’s other projects, including Best of Wedding Photography, the Photographer’s SEO Community, the Photocrati Fund, and a few new projects we have up our sleeves.

Our core team has been aware of these plans for a while, but we haven’t, until now, communicated them publicly.

We constantly get questions from our community about what we’re working on and when we’ll be delivering certain features. Normally, we respond individually to specific questions. What I wanted to do here was take a step back and provide a “big picture” view.

Thanks again to everyone in the Photocrati community. Without you, none of this would be possible. We look forward to creating and sharing an awesome future with you.

Erick Danzer
Photocrati Founder

Michael “Nick” Nichols launches iPad app

Our good friend and world-famous photographer Michael “Nick” Nichols is launching his own app in the iTunes store.

Here’s the scoop:

In his first iPad app, Michael Nichols, National Geographic Editor-at-Large for Photography, has compiled over twenty years of photography and stories from locations all over the world.

The app features:

– Fifteen photo galleries and over 160 photographs (some never published until now) that will bring you up close to far off cultures and wild animals from all around the globe.

– Exclusive behind the scenes video of Nick photographing owls, tigers and elephants while on assignment for National Geographic magazine

– Links to buy limited edition prints and signed books

Join Nick, a pioneering wildlife photographer and former member of Magnum Photos, as he provides an intimate and behind-the-scenes look at his groundbreaking work in the most remote corners of the world. Nick has devoted himself to producing photography with a purpose that results in raising environmental awareness and protection. His work with conservationists, such as J. Michael Fay and Jane Goodall, has resulted in numerous books, as well as the creation of thirteen national parks in Africa and reform in captive chimpanzee care. Nick has photographed 25 stories for National Geographic including “Ivory Wars: Last Stand in Zakouma” (March 2007) that helped raise awareness and funds to protect the embattled elephants of Chad.

Check out Nick Nichols‘ website for more information on his new app.