Posts Tagged ‘Email’

Flickr CEO sends out email asking users to help ‘keep the Flickr dream alive’

21 Dec

In a very candid email sent out to users last night, Flickr (and SmugMug) CEO Dan MacAskill shared the current state of the Flickr platform, detailing the struggles the SmugMug team is facing regarding the financial situation of the photo-sharing network.

The email opens up by saying ‘Flickr—the world’s most-beloved, money-losing business—needs your help.’ In the full email, which we’ve embedded below, MacAskill explains how the SmugMug team has done its best to optimize the platform from both a user and financial standpoint, but it hasn’t been enough. According to MacAskill, Flickr is ‘still losing money,’ despite its new owners’ best efforts to streamline overheard and bring on hundreds of thousands of new Flickr Pro subscriptions.

Put simply, MacAskill says ‘We need more Flickr Pro members if we want to keep the Flickr dream alive.’ MacAskill doesn’t specifically state how long the ‘Flickr dream’ can stay alive in its current state, but such a letter wouldn’t be written if things weren’t heading towards dire.

In conjunction with the letter, MacAskill also announced Flickr’s end-of-the-year promotion that will get you 25-percent off an annual Flickr Pro subscription, a push to bring even more users on board to support the platform. He wraps up the letter saying:

If you value Flickr finally being independent, built for photographers and by photographers, we ask you to join us, and to share this offer with those who share your love of photography and community.

After reading through the letter, we had a few questions, so we contacted MacAskill with a few questions regarding the future of Flickr. Specifically, we asked the following:

In response, MacAskill responded with:

After the above response from MacAskill, we inquired further about the ‘follow-up contingency plans,’ but are yet to receive a response. We will update this article accordingly if MacAskill responds.

The email is an interesting one. MacAskill is known for his candor, so seeing this transparency is far from out of character for him. At some level, the email inspires would-be Flickr Pro members to subscribe to the premium version of Flickr. However, it also instills fear in current Flickr Pro members, who effectively see this email as the writing on the wall for their images and the network they’ve built on the platform. Proof of this dichotomy is clearly visible in the Reddit thread regarding this email, where users strike a balance of respect for MacAskill and the SmugMug-owned version of Flickr while simultaneously showing concern for the future of the platform in the comments.

Full email:

Dear friends,

Flickr—the world’s most-beloved, money-losing business—needs your help.

Two years ago, Flickr was losing tens of millions of dollars a year. Our company, SmugMug, stepped in to rescue it from being shut down and to save tens of billions of your precious photos from being erased.

Why? We’ve spent 17 years lovingly building our company into a thriving, family-owned and -operated business that cares deeply about photographers. SmugMug has always been the place for photographers to showcase their photography, and we’ve long admired how Flickr has been the community where they connect with each other. We couldn’t stand by and watch Flickr vanish.

So we took a big risk, stepped in, and saved Flickr. Together, we created the world’s largest photographer-focused community: a place where photographers can stand out and fit in.

We’ve been hard at work improving Flickr. We hired an excellent, large staff of Support Heroes who now deliver support with an average customer satisfaction rating of above 90%. We got rid of Yahoo’s login. We moved the platform and every photo to Amazon Web Services (AWS), the industry leader in cloud computing, and modernized its technology along the way. As a result, pages are already 20% faster and photos load 30% more quickly. Platform outages, including Pandas, are way down. Flickr continues to get faster and more stable, and important new features are being built once again.

Our work is never done, but we’ve made tremendous progress.

Now Flickr needs your help. It’s still losing money. Hundreds of thousands of loyal Flickr members stepped up and joined Flickr Pro, for which we are eternally grateful. It’s losing a lot less money than it was. But it’s not yet making enough.

We need more Flickr Pro members if we want to keep the Flickr dream alive.

We didn’t buy Flickr because we thought it was a cash cow. Unlike platforms like Facebook, we also didn’t buy it to invade your privacy and sell your data. We bought it because we love photographers, we love photography, and we believe Flickr deserves not only to live on but thrive. We think the world agrees; and we think the Flickr community does, too. But we cannot continue to operate it at a loss as we’ve been doing.

Flickr is the world’s largest photographer-focused community. It’s the world’s best way to find great photography and connect with amazing photographers. Flickr hosts some of the world’s most iconic, most priceless photos, freely available to the entire world. This community is home to more than 100 million accounts and tens of billions of photos. It serves billions of photos every single day. It’s huge. It’s a priceless treasure for the whole world. And it costs money to operate. Lots of money.

Flickr is not a charity, and we’re not asking you for a donation. Flickr is the best value in photo sharing anywhere in the world. Flickr Pro members get ad-free browsing for themselves and their visitors, advanced stats, unlimited full-quality storage for all their photos, plus premium features and access to the world’s largest photographer-focused community for less than $ 5 per month.

You likely pay services such as Netflix and Spotify at least $ 9 per month. I love services like these, and I’m a happy paying customer, but they don’t keep your priceless photos safe and let you share them with the most important people in your world. Flickr does, and a Flickr Pro membership costs less than $ 1 per week.

Please, help us make Flickr thrive. Help us ensure it has a bright future. Every Flickr Pro subscription goes directly to keeping Flickr alive and creating great new experiences for photographers like you. We are building lots of great things for the Flickr community, but we need your help. We can do this together.

We’re launching our end-of-year Pro subscription campaign on Thursday, December 26, but I want to invite you to subscribe to Flickr Pro today for the same 25% discount.

We’ve gone to great lengths to optimize Flickr for cost savings wherever possible, but the increasing cost of operating this enormous community and continuing to invest in its future will require a small price increase early in the new year, so this is truly the very best time to upgrade your membership to Pro.

If you value Flickr finally being independent, built for photographers and by photographers, we ask you to join us, and to share this offer with those who share your love of photography and community.

With gratitude,

Don MacAskill
Co-Founder, CEO & Chief Geek

SmugMug + Flickr

Use and share coupon code 25in2019 to get 25% off Flickr Pro now.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

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Terry Richardson banned by major magazine publisher, according to leaked email

28 Oct
Photo by Christopher Macsurak (cc-by-2.0)

Following a scathing piece by The Times, a leaked Conde Nast email reveals that controversial photographer Terry Richardson has been banned from working with the company’s many publications—including major names like Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, and GQ. The leak comes via The Telegraph, which claims that the email was “circulated within the media group Conde Nast International”, and follows years of sexual misconduct allegations against Richardson.

Richardson has long been one of the photographers of choice in the fashion industry for his ‘raw’ style, this despite the allegations against him. Entities working with Richardson were recently called out by The Times, which asked why the photographer is still ‘feted by fashionistas’ despite being known as ‘the Harvey Weinstein of fashion.’

The leaked Conde Nest email mentions neither The Times’ piece nor the allegations, instead reportedly stating:

I am writing to you on an important matter. Condé Nast would like to no longer work with the photographer Terry Richardson. Any shoots that have been commission[ed] or any shoots that have been completed but not yet published, should be killed and substituted with other material.

The Telegraph claims the email was signed by Conde Nast International Executive VP James Woolhouse.

The publication itself has not made any official comments about the matter; however, a representative for Richardson issued a statement about the report to the Huffington Post, saying:

Terry is disappointed to hear about this email especially because he has previously addressed these old stories. He is an artist who has been known for his sexually explicit work so many of his professional interactions with subjects were sexual and explicit in nature but all of the subjects of his work participated consensually.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

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A Quick Guide to Email Marketing for Photographers

14 Oct

Photographers are turning to social media these days to try and get their names out there and reach their target audiences. Being active on social media is critically important for small businesses these days, but more traditional online marketing tactics, like email marketing, are still very useful. Ignoring email as a part of your marketing campaign could cost your photography Continue Reading

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How to Grow Your Photography Business with an Email Newsletter

11 Sep
Sample From My Newsletter

Sample From My Newsletter

Ready for some controversy? Well, here it goes: One of the most useless things I see a lot of photographers doing with their time is trying to get popular on social media. There, I said it! Now, please let me explain.

There are certainly benefits of having a strong social media presence. I would be an idiot not to realize that. Just look up people like Colby Brown, Chris Burkhard, Nicole S. Young, Trey Ratcliff, Hilary Fox, etc. These people get flown around the world by large and small companies because of their social reach. The fact is, most of them either have unheard of work ethics or had some big breaks along the way to help kickstart their social media presence. And guess what…a lot of them have very successful and large newsletter (email) lists.

So, how much time do you spend every week posting your images to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, 500px, etc? For a lot of you, it’s countless hours. Do you ever feel like you’re spinning your wheels? How much of your income have you earned from doing so?

I started offering workshops through my photography business in January of 2014. I had done a couple local ones before, but never out of state. I started my (email) newsletter in January of 2013 and was fortunate enough to build it up to around 10,000 by the time I announced the first workshop.

So here’s the rundown: At the time I probably had around 40-50,000 followers on Google+, 5-6,000 on Twitter, 1-2,000 on Facebook and of course the 10,000 on my newsletter. When I announced the first workshop I was pretty nervous (stepping out like that and going for something I hadn’t done before on this scale). To my absolute surprise, the workshop sold out in less than 17 hours!

Here’s the crazy part; every single person that purchased a spot on my workshop came from my newsletter. I ran the workshop with my buddy Mike and he didn’t even have a chance to announce the workshop to his followers before it sold out! Not a single spot sold from my social media following, which outnumbered my newsletter numbers almost six-fold.

You can find plenty of stats out there that say newsletter subscribers convert into sales at a rate of around 250% more than social media. In my case it’s much much higher.

Where to Start

Freddie_winkAs Lao Tzu said so eloquently, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. I highly suggest making that first step by heading over to MailChimp (note from dPS use this link to get a $ 30 credit when you sign up, disclaimer: yes we get a credit also) and getting your first newsletter set up. Their account is 100% free up to your first 2,000 subscribers, which is quite insane if you ask me! That’s a LOT of free subscribers! After you exceed that 2,000 mark you will have to start paying. In fact, my newsletter is currently pushing well past the $ 160/month mark. That’s fine though, because it forces me to make sure I send out a newsletter on a regular basis to make sure I’m not throwing that money away. And trust me, that $ 160 monthly fee is well taken covered.

MailChimp is, at least in my opinion, the absolute best newsletter engine out there. The design is fantastic, it’s easy and intuitive to use, and they recently updating their pricing methods which is saving me a ton of money. That isn’t an affiliate link to their website either, I just truly believe they are the best.

How to Make Your Newsletter Successful

This section is a bit difficult to address considering it’s a bit personal, but I’ll do my best. My experience has been that simply being open, honest, and transparent is what people want. I don’t have anything to hide, I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I think people appreciate that (at least the ones on my newsletter list do). If every newsletter you send out is selling something then you are going to start losing the trust of your subscribers. I don’t sell something through my newsletter unless I know it’s going to benefit my subscribers in some way. Instead of selling stuff at every chance I get, I fill my newsletters with free photo tips, free presets, updates on my life, my travels, my family, etc. I want to make sure that when they see my newsletter in their inbox, it will bring a smile to their faces.

Don’t be irresponsible with it

Another way to make your newsletter successful is by not doing anything irresponsible with it. Everything kind of black hat tactic to getting a bigger list in a faster manner, is shooting yourself in the foot. Subscribers cost you every month, so it would be really dumb to start trying to buy up lists of email addresses from folks who didn’t actually subscribe to your list. These will not be targeted subscribers, and your list’s health will reflect that. Even if the email addresses are industry specific, they won’t be people who actually wanted to be on your list.

Your subscribers are not for sale

Another thing you should never do is sell your subscriber list. You will get caught. There are plenty of people out there smart enough to use unique email address for your newsletter so they can track whether or not you sell their information (check this article out for more info).

Be cautious with affiliate sales

There were rumours going around a few years ago saying that including affiliate links in your newsletters (specifically with MailChimp) would get you banned. This ultimately was not true (here’s MailChimp’s response) but they suggest using caution with affiliate links. Some companies are very clear about doing this when people sign up for their newsletter (think Snapndeals, PhotoWhoa, PictureCorrect) but the basic premise is that when someone signs up for your newsletter, they are signing up to hear about you and potentially purchase things from you, not someone else. If this sort of thing gets abused and your list stats reflect spam, you could easily get your newsletter yanked. All that work, gone.

Give your followers a reason to subscribe


I’m very, very picky about which newsletters I subscribe to. I get enough email as it is already. I also read articles on plenty of websites, and have a tons of things to do for my photography business each and every day. So if I’m going to allow a person or business into my inbox, it had better be worth it. I keep that in mind every time I send out a newsletter. I ask myself, is this worth sending out for the people receiving it? I have deleted three or four entire newsletters when the answer was no.

That being said, how do you make your newsletter worth subscribing to? Well, the best way to entice subscribers is by giving away something free. I put together an entire ebook just for my newsletter subscribers called: 10 Tips For Improving Your Photography Today, and it has consistently gotten great feedback. It’s short, to the point, and each tip is truly something useful that they can put into practice immediately if they so desire.

Another method is to use auto-responders (now called Automation inside MailChimp) to send out a multi-email campaign when someone subscribes. This could be a three part series, or three different ebooks, that get sent out at specific times after a successful subscription. For example, your first free gift could go out immediately after they subscribe. The second could go out a few days later and the third a few days after that. This gets the subscribers pumped up and happy to be part of your list. Just don’t set them up for a newsletter that is non-existent or not worth reading afterwards.

Acknowledge that your subscribers are your #1 fans, and act accordingly

When I click Like on a photographers Facebook page, I’m not really any more committed to them than I was before. I just want to keep up with them more. When I start reading their blog on a regular basis they have really struck a chord somewhere, and I am very interested in what they have to say. For me, to subscribe to their newsletter means that I am a huge fan of whatever they are doing. Be sure to remember that when you conduct your business!

My newsletter subscribers are first in line for everything. They get access to workshops before I announce them publicly. They get exclusive discounts that nobody else gets. They get random free stuff like presets and video tutorials. They get a deeper look into my personal life and what drives me. Essentially, I make sure they are taken care of because I truly, honestly, appreciate and value their time and their willingness to follow what I do.

So What Would You Use a Newsletter for?

I sell products (ebooks, presets, textures, video courses, etc.) and workshops through my newsletter. I realize not everyone does that. But if you are in business (making anywhere from 1-100% of your income through photography) then you have something to sell. Use your newsletter to primarily keep in touch with your clients and keep them updated on the happenings of your photography business. This keeps you in their sights and makes sure they don’t forget about you. Clients love connecting with the people they do business with, and a newsletter is perfect for this. From time to time you can send discounts for photo sessions or on print orders, do giveaways where you send a winner a free print, and so on.


I’ve been wanting to write this article for a long time now. Having a good, healthy newsletter is almost like having this huge secret that nobody else seems to be pursuing. I see so many photographers out there grinding it out on social media while their efforts could be spent so much better at getting a newsletter started.

I would be remiss if I didn’t invite you join my newsletter after writing an article about the importance of one. If you join through this link I’ll make sure you are taken care of handsomely! Not only will you get my standard free ebook and a discount code to my online store, I’ll also throw in my best selling ebook Tack Sharp as well as a set of 20 Lightroom presets – all totally FREE. On top of that, you’ll be able to read my newsletter that I work so hard on and extract some tips from how I use it.

If you really want to brighten up your inbox, be sure to also sign up for the dPS Newsletter (sign up box at the top of every article). I’ve been subscribed years and love it!

The post How to Grow Your Photography Business with an Email Newsletter by James Brandon appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Email Insiders Only: 2014 SEO Guide for Photographers

05 Jul

Your portfolio website could be the most beautiful, functional and user-friendly site in the world, but if no one ever sees it, then what’s the point? If no one visits your precious site, it wouldn’t do you any good. So you have to make search engine giants like Google, Yahoo or Bing notice you and send loads of targeted traffic Continue Reading

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[MODIFIED] Electronic Mail – Free E-Mail Providers

25 Aug

Websites that list where you can get even more free electronic e-mail Inboxes.

Looking for another free e-mail account? You may know about the most popular services such as Gmail from Google, Hotmail, and Yahoo! Mail.

However, if you need more addresses, desire variety, or are concerned about privacy practices, the following web sites contain lists of providers of free electronic mail. Some providers are web-based, others support POP3. Some allow large attachments, and a few even let you store seemingly unlimited amounts of e-mail on their servers for free. Remember that you get what you pay for – services can go up and down on a moment’s notice, but hey, it’s free e-mail!…

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New Computer and Technology Help and Tips – MalekTips.Com

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Resizing for the web and email: Photoshop CS5 for Photographers from

26 Nov

Watch the entire course at PhotoshopCS5 for Photographers provides comprehensive Photoshop training targeting the needs of photographers. In this course, author Chris Orwig demonstrates the fundamental skills used to enhance digital photos, including managing and correcting color, sharpening, making selections and adjustments, retouching, and printing from Photoshop. In addition to teaching the techniques that enable photographers to refine and publish their photos, the course includes live-action segments that encourage thinking photographically, and shoot with Photoshops capabilities in mind.


Microsoft Outlook 2010 – Display Formatting Marks When Editing Email

20 May

Display formatting marks for paragraphs, spaces, tabs, and other characters when editing e-mails and other items in Outlook 2010.

You may have Microsoft Word 2010 configured to show formatting marks when editing documents. Examples of these marks include dots to signify spaces (to help ensure you don’t have too many between words), right arrows to signify tabs (to differentiate between tab characters and just a group of spaces), and pilcrows to signify new paragraphs.

If you are accustomed to seeing these marks you can enable them in Microsoft Outlook 2010 when editing e-mails, even when doing so in plain-text mode:…

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[MODIFIED] Google Gmail – Change Your Name When Sending E-Mail

20 Dec

Use a nickname or your business name when sending e-mail from Gmail.

Normally when you send e-mail from Gmail, your e-mail’s “From” name is the name you used to sign up for the service. However, if you’d rather use the name of your business or your favorite nickname, you can make this change.

1. After signing onto Gmail, click “Settings” on the top-right of the Gmail webpage….

Read more at MalekTips.
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