Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Enterprise accounts for professional photographers

A new type of account is availabe for BlueMelon users :  the Enterprise account. This account type has been created bearing in mind the needs of professional photographers who seek to present and sell their work.

The presently only supported payment method is PayPal. For all salles there is a common 12% profit fee :   12% of the net profit of each sale is taken to cover the additional hosting, order and payment processing, and the customer service.

Anything you can do with a Power account or a Pro account, you can do with an Enterprise account as well - this is the top level account available. For an account comparison click here.

Having this account, you can :
  • create unlimited text and image based watermarks
  • assign your watermarks either to photos or to all photos in an album at once
  • sell digital copies of your photos in various dimensions (chosen by you)
  • sell prints, posters, and other products
  • easily manage prices using price-lists which can be assigned either to photos or to all photos in an album at once
  • you can review and approve orders of your photos - you can replace the ordered photos with higher quality ones

There are two types of watermarks available :  text watermarks and image watermarks. You can see the watermark creation window for each of the types in the following screenshots :

Once a watermark is created it can be simply assigned to either all photographs in your albums or to photographs one by one (there is no limit to the amount of photos a watermark can be assigned to)

Creating digital products

To sell your photos in the digital form, you first need to create digital products :  a digital product is defined by a name, a description, a license and a resolution restriction. If you, for example, want to sell a photo of yours in 500px by 500px, all you need to di is create a digital product with this resolution, add it to a price list and set your price. One digital product can be assigned different prices in different price lists. Thus you can simply sell your photos in various resolutions and under various licenses. There are three default licenses available, but these are editable and you can use whatever licenses you prefer.

The digital product creation panel can be seen in the screenshot below :

Creating price lists

To easily manage prices of your photos and their prints, you can create price lists :  these are lists of products with prices assigned to each - you can hide some of the products entirely and - on the other hand - feature some of the products so that they are easier to notice and access. You can adjust your prices in bulk and filter the dispalyed products by various criteria.

You can see a price list being edited in the screenshot below :

Once a price list has been created, it can be assiged to either all photographs in your albums or to photographs one by one - much as the watermarks can. There is no limit to the amout of photographs a price list can be assigned to.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Create professional videos from your images using Animoto

BlueMelon has partnered with Animoto in order to make it possible for you to simply and quickly create professional videos from your photographs stored at BlueMelon.

There is a new option at the bottom of the album "Tools" menu :  "Create Animoto Video". After clicking this, a panel is shown where you can select the photos you would like to have included in the video. Then, all you need to do is click the "Create" button at the bottom of the panel and you will be redirected to the Animoto website.

After creating a free account - or optionally creating an advanced account - you can choose a theme and music to be played during the video. Free account allows you to create videos of up to 30 seconds, each featuring up to 12 photos. For more details concerning the available Animoto accounts click here.

You can see an example Animoto video below :

Monday, June 7, 2010

Protect the originals of your photos with a password

Pro and power account users can hereafter enjoy the feature of limiting the resolution in which their visitors can access their images.

Presently, they can choose from 400x300, 600x450, and 800x600 as the maximum resolution in which their images will be accessible. This can be done in both, the Control Panel and each album's settings. When this setting is applied, the photos in a thus protected album are always resized to the chosen resolution and are not accessible in any resolution higher than that.

However, if they so decide, they can make the protected originals available after their visitors enter a password. The owner chooses a password and when someone wants to download a photo from a protected album in a higher resolution they are asked for the password - if they enter the correct password, they are granted access to the images in any resolution available for that photo. This applies to the full album downloader as well.