Articles by ‘Steven Snell’

25 Beautiful Free Lightroom Presets to Enhance Your Photos

Adobe Lightroom has been popular with photographers for several years, and in the past couple of years it has also increased in popularity with designers and hobbyist photographers. While Photoshop offers all kinds of possibilities for photo editing there are a few significant benefits of using Lightroom. Most significantly, Lightroom includes very useful features to help you keep your photos organized through its Library Module.

Professional photographers obviously have a large volume of photographs, so organization is critical. For designers and hobbyist photographers its very easy to build up a large number of photos rather quickly. As you may have found, managing and organizing a growing number of photos can become quite cumbersome. Lightroom helps by allowing you to create catalogs and collections, use keywords, ratings, flags, and color labels to organize and sort your photos. While Lightroom’s Develop Module is where you are likely to spend the majority of your time, the Library Module is really what separates it from Photoshop and other alternatives.

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13 of the Best Hosted CMSs

Open-source content management systems like WordPress and Drupal get a lot of attention on design blogs, but they are not the only options when it comes to choosing a CMS. There are a number of hosted CMSs available that are popular with designers and their clients.

While the features vary form one hosted CMS to another, several of the primary benefits are common to all or most of them. Things like having the hosting included, the possibility for designing and developing sites very quickly, availability of pre-designed templates, and support tend to be listed among the benefits of choosing a hosted CMS.

Some hosted CMSs allow designers the opportunity for a private label, meaning that designers can brand the CMS as their own. In this case clients will see the designer’s branding rather than that of the company behind the CMS. In many of these cases the designer can also earn a commission on monthly hosting fees, which provides a nice stream of residual income for designers who use the CMS with a number of clients.

Here is a look at some of the best and most popular hosted content management systems…

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Best WordPress Hotel Themes of 2014 (so far)

If you’re looking for a solution for a quality hotel website the options can sometimes be underwhelming. Whether you are looking for a website for your own business or working on a client project for a hotel, inn, or bed and breakfast, WordPress presents some attractive options. There are an increasing number of quality WordPress themes that are created specifically for hotels. Most of these themes have attractive designs, custom features, and can be purchased at a reasonable price…

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Exclusive iStock Promo Code for Our Readers

A few years back I launched what was called “Vandelay Premier” to test my ability to sell “premium” stock graphics. While I would only consider it a moderate success, one main thing I quickly realized was that it was nearly impossible for a blogger like myself to provide enough specific content to make everyone happy. I still get emails every week from our members requesting specific items that I just don’t have the time or resources to provide.

My goal with this website has always been to create enough quality content to keep my readers engaged, happy, and coming back for more. Since it is impossible for me to provide millions of stock photos and graphics in our shop, I might as well send you off to a place where you have a much higher chance of finding what you need…

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65 Amazing WordPress Photography Themes on the Market This Month

wordpress-photography-themes

WordPress is an excellent content management system for photographers, in part because there are so many outstanding themes available, both free and premium. With so many quality themes/templates available either for free or for less than $100, most photographers can get a site that meets their needs without hiring a designer to create a custom theme. Whether you are looking for a minimalist theme that will allow your photos to stand out, a theme with a full-screen background photo to wow visitors, or a responsive theme that will provide a good user experience on any device, you’ll have some options when it comes to choosing a WordPress theme.

In this post we’ll showcase 65 themes created specifically for photographers that are the best of the best…

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5 Reasons Why Every Graphic Designer Should Also Be A Professional Photographer (And How to Get Started If You’re Not)

Erika

Many web and graphic designers enjoy photography as a hobby, and some even offer both design and photography services to clients. If you haven’t yet taken much interest in photography or attempted to improve your understanding and appreciation for photography there are a number of ways that it can actually benefit your work as a designer.

In this article we’ll take a detailed look at the subject of photography from a designer’s perspective, as well as providing some tips for how you can get started. We’ll also cover some basic and essential principles of photography that can serve as foundational knowledge and allow you to experiment and learn as you go.

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7 Actionable Ways to Build a Strong Client List from Scratch

build your design business

You’ve undergone the army training on Codecademy, you’ve read every possible article there is on A List Apart, and there isn’t a single Photoshop brush that you haven’t tried already. You’ve excelled in graphic design, and you’re ready to take on some new clientele, possibly your first ever.

We read and we learn that selling something is as easy as sending out an email to multiple companies at the same time, or we get told that websites like 99designs is where the elite is residing and that, if we would like to make a lot of money and have great reviews, we should apply for every single job, because working hard is what it is all about.

In my experience, it has been more than sending out emails or reading blog posts on how to become a sales expert. It has been hard work combined with dedication and ultimately, the craving for achieving my goals as well as having fun while doing it. Lets dive into some starting points for designers who are looking to expand their horizon.

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12 Tips for Designers Using Pinterest to Drive More Traffic and Exposure to Your Website

Pinterest Tips For Designers

There are all kinds of social networks and websites where you can get involved, gain exposure for your work, and even send traffic back to your website or blog. Probably the most difficult part is deciding which social networks justify the time and effort, and managing to use those networks effectively without being tied to them for hours every day.

One social network that designers should consider is Pinterest. Pinterest is visually oriented, so it’s naturally a great fit for designers, photographers, and others in creative fields. The fact that Pinterest’s user base and popularity has grown so quickly provides plenty of potential for getting exposure to your work.

In this article we’ll take a detailed look at Pinterest and how designers can use it effectively and efficiently.

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68 Easy Ways to Promote Your Design Services for a Steady Flow of New Clients

easy-ways-to-promote-design-services

With the huge amount of freelance designers, small studios, and agencies out there offering web and graphic design services it can be difficult to maintain a steady flow of new clients.

While it would be nice to have all the clients you need coming to you for work, the reality for most designers is that some type of promotion, marketing, or networking needs to take place in order to maintain a full work load.

The good news is that there are plenty of different ways you can go about promoting your own design services. Some are more aggressive than others. Some will require only a small amount of your time, and others will require more time and/or money.

In this article we’ll look at more than 65 different things you can do to promote your services. Of course, this is not a suggestion that you need to do all of these things, but if you are looking to pick up more client work browse through the list and find some options that are a good fit for you.

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