Review: Lumapix FotoFusion

This isn’t really a review so much as it’s a giant, stinky, slobbery dog-kiss on the people who make this program. I can’t believe I waited so long to buy it.

First, a quick rundown of what I use: Adobe Photoshop CS3 for retouching. Bridge for sorting, naming and RAW conversion. Proselect for client viewing and matted framing. StudioPlus for scheduling and invoicing.

The problem with current software is that no matter how hard a company may try to do two things well, they can never do it as well as a company that is just doing one thing. For example, StudioPlus has tools for proofing and presentation but they can’t touch what ProSelect offers. Proselect has invoicing but no where near the studio management capabilities of StudioPlus (in fact, ProSelect has a tool for exporting your invoices to StudioPlus.) Proselect has album design tools that I thought were pretty good until I finally broke down and bought FotoFusion.

Oh FotoFusion…. where have you been all my life. I’m so sorry that I shunned your advances for so long.

The truth is, I just didn’t want to learn another piece of software. Some days you’ve just had enough. Can I please go one week without having to learn some new software or online ordering process? Pretty please?

But I broke down and did it. I bought the software and I spent a couple of nights deep in it’s guts, rooting around like an armadillo in search of a grub worm (you should see my yard… it looks like a minefield).

It’s AWESOOOOME. Soooo friggin’ sweet, really! ( wait, is that too juvenile?) Okay, it’s truly a nice piece of software.

First off, it’s easy to use. Second, you can design a page from scratch in about 10 seconds and then save the page as a template. The program will remove the pictures for you and save, ready to be re-used again and again. Now, I’m not much of a template guy when it comes to albums… I like to look at the pictures and let my creative juices flow (I keep a towel by the desk). However, the templates are great for things like “Save the Date” cards and the like. I took a picture, dropped it on a background with a drop shadow, put my name across it for copyright protection and saved it as a template. Now it takes me about two seconds to prep any print for online viewing and they are all consistent.

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Third, the auto-populate feature is incredible. Some people will fill an entire book from “auto-populate” but as I said, I’m more hands-on. However, if I want to take a bunch of images and jumble them together on a page…. one button and I’m done.

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Want to have sloppy borders? Drag and drop. Text? Drag to re-size.

But all these features pale in comparison to the real treat that’s in store for you. Let’s say you are designing a promo card and it’s 4×6. Once you have finished with the design, you realize that you would really like a version that is 8×10 as well. No problem, just open up the “canvas” dialogue and change the canvas size to 8×10, then, sit back and watch as FotoFusion re-sizes all the elements of your design to the new canvas size! You only have to design something one time and you have it available at any size you need. It’s probably my favorite feature in the software. As great as the software is at designing (and it’s pretty great) it’s just so nice to know that you only have to design something one time and it’s available in all possible formats. Joy!

I strongly recommend FotoFusion for any photographer who is serious about offering any sort of design products.

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