The Best iPhone Photography Apps

The Best iPhone Photography Apps for Photo Editing

Social media integration is imperative for most businesses. This means posting on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter regularly. Often posts are image-based and quickly taken from an iPhone; most of the time natural lighting isn’t quite enough.Here are the best apps for editing photos on the go:

1. Afterlight: More than 30 filters available. Finite adjustments like brightness, contrast, saturation. Simple borders available, polaroid borders, circular cropping, light leaks. Perfect for making minor adjustments for close to a #nofilter aesthetic.

2. PicTapGo: Ability to easily layer filters, apply various levels of filter adjustments. Can save “recipes” for editing to apply the same effect to other images instantly. Perfect for quick editing.

3. Picfx: Dramatic photo filter layering such as vintage film settings, scratches, light leaks, textures, and grunge. Can adjust levels of filter application. Great for adding light variations to an image.

4. Filtergram: Clean and clear editing style filters. Lots of options. Light leaks, lens flares, blurs. Image adjusts: brightness, contrast, saturation, temperature, etc. Great for creating a crisp, professional style image.

5. Camera+: Fast photo filters and adjustments. Detailed editing tools such as soft focus (hides wrinkles!), film grain, exposure, highlights and shadows.

6. Mextures: Filters for layering: radiance, grit and grain, light leaks, emulsion (vintage photography techniques), grunge, landscape color gradients, and vintage gradients. Great for dramatic editing with an art-like quality.

7. Luminance: Quick and simple filters and adjustments: tone curve, brightness/contrast, exposure, white balance and more. Great for editing quickly.

8. PicStitch: App for creating photo grids. Almost 70 free grid templates.

9. Waterlogue: With a couple of quick clicks, turn an image into a watercolor painting. Several watercolor settings including natural, bold, luminous, travelogue, and more. Fun way to turn a photo into art.

Easy Ways to Build a Website

Easy Ways to Build a Website
I am asked often by clients, “What is the easiest way to build my own website?” So I am always on the lookout for easy solutions that won’t break the bank.If you are in the market for a low-budget website you can manage on your own, here are a few suggestions for template sites with a nice, clean aesthetic:

1. Square Space: A great spot for clean and minimalist website templates for blogs, portfolios, business websites and e-commerce. They offer custom domains, mobile versions, 24/7 support for a monthly fee. Pricing is between $8/mo and $24/mo.

2. Virb: This site has a wide variety of clean and modern themed webpages with prices beginning at $10/mo. Features include media galleries, blogs, stores, Etsy integration and more.

3. Other People’s Pixels: Minimalist websites geared toward portfolio-type content. Pricing packages are either $16/mo or $26/mo. Great site for clean, simple and modern portfolio sites.

4. Shopify: An e-commerce and hosting solution. You have the ability to edit all the HTML and CSS of these templates, which is nice but not something all small businesses want to tackle or hire out. Shopify offers great marketing, SEO, and support. Pricing is between $29-$179/mo.

5. Big Cartel: Big Cartel is for small e-commerce websites only. Pricing is between $0-$29.99/mo. Set up, check out, and customizations are super easy to implement. Custom HTML and CSS can be applied as well as additional customizable templates available for purchase.

6. Goodsie: You can create a professional e-commerce site without knowing how to write code. Pricing structure is $30/mo or $75/mo. “Genius Idea: Making a point-and-click product look like it was made by a professional designer.” –Mashable

7. IM Creator: This site has amazing, very simple templates for informational websites. The templates and customization tools can be explored on their website without signing up for an account. Domain and unlimited hosting plans start out at $7.95/mo.

8. Folio Websites: Portfolio, blog and mobile site in one. Pricing is $14.60/mo. Clean and minimalist templates, perfect for photographers. Advanced SEO.

9. Storeenvy: Storenvy has the e-commerce community feel that Etsy does, with page templates that allow for a more couture and customized look. “E-commerce Transformed With Storenvy’s Social Shopping Platform” –Business Insider

If you happen to have used other great website builders, please feel free to reply and share.

You can also follow my Pinterest board for Easy Ways to Build a Website that I will update as I discover new and different solutions.

How to Build a Successful Etsy Store

How to Build a Successful Etsy Store

I began my Etsy e-commerce store in 2008 when Etsy was fairly young. Quite a lot has changed since it was founded in 2005 and will continue to change as Etsy’s growth persists.For those of you unfamiliar with Etsy, it’s a global marketplace where you can buy and sell things handmade. If you are looking for a unique gift for a person that is hard to buy for or if you’ve thought of starting an online business to sell things you’ve made, this is the spot!

In the past 7 years, between curating an Etsy store and helping hundreds of other Etsy businesses, I’ve learned some Helpful Hints to Success:

High Quality Photos of Products.

▸ Show as many views/angles as possible. Your buyer wants to feel like they’ve seen an item in person.▸ Take photos in natural light for maximum brightness and accurate color reflection.

▸ Avoid using a flash which often causes over and under exposed areas of an image.

▸ Show product scale.

▸ Use as much white space as possible. Note that clean photos with white or neutral backgrounds most often show up on the Etsy homepage and treasuries.

▸ Develop a consistent photography style.

Give your buyers an “ah-ha” moment.

▸ Be clear in who you are and what you sell. Buyers want to feel like they “get it.”▸ Don’t curate too many various goods. A store without clear direction yields a high bounce rate.

▸ Use your friends and family as test subjects. They may point out issues you’ve missed.

Develop branding to be used throughout.

▸ The easiest way to do this is through a shop banner utilizing clean, clear text or a logo. Develop this thoughtfully as it’s the first image seen on your page.▸ Continue your branding through packaging.

Descriptive Text.

▸ Write keyword-rich item titles and descriptions. This will help potential buyers find your products.▸ If you aren’t grammatically-inclined, have someone who is proof your writing. Errors will disprove your credibility.

▸ Write text you’d like to read as a buyer. Make it an interesting read.

▸ Develop a thorough “about” page for buyers to get a further sense of what your store is all about.

Maintain.

▸ Renew Items every few days if possible.▸ Place your favorite items on your homepage.

▸ Share your items on social media platforms set up solely for your business i.e. Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+.

The Most Important Advice.

▸ Make changes one at a time to control the environment. Monitor your stats pages for web traffic to gauge what viewers are clicking and favoriting. When web traffic and purchases go up, success can be measurable.

Etsy is an ever-changing marketplace, and is no longer solely hand-made goods. In late 2013, Etsy opened their doors to manufactured products. Make sure you keep up with new posts and announcements via the community page so you are in the know on changes.

Through Etsy, I’ve found a network of incredible artists, makers, entrepreneurs and more. I’ve developed friendships and partnerships with many from around the world and can say it’s truly a community worth exploring. And if you can quit your day job and make money doing what you love, why wouldn’t you?!