Posted July 22, 2014 by Adam Hofmann

We will be releasing a significant update tonight from 9pm PST to 12am. Most of the site will be down during this time and not accessible. Now you’re all probably thinking, “OMG, WHAT WILL I DO?!?!?!” Rest assured, we’ve got you covered. Server Outage First things first, why does the site need to go into maintenance mode? Our backend was getting a bit messy and cumbersome which greatly slowed down the engineering team’s ability to quickly and reliably release product updates and new features. We did some pretty serious work behind the scenes and thank you for your patience. To roll this out we have to do some data migrations, backups, etc that require the site to go offline to preserve the data.

Here are the highlights of changes you will definitely notice:

Optimized Portfolio design and organization: moved all the navigation to the left, added in social links, cleaned up the image display and added new pages for your bio, stats and reviews. Screenshot of new portfolio New “Display Name” option for portfolios: now you can choose to display your real name or a custom name, such as your business. This was a popular request from those who don’t do business by their personal name. For instance, I’m Adam Hofmann, but choose to work as Adam Dean Photography. Display Name Example HTML functionality: We’ve made your bio and your album descriptions HTML ready. Now you can <strong> and <em> and </ br> to your heart’s desire. Use some basic html tags to jazz things up and make it more presentable. Custom Album Naming: Another very popular feature request! Instead of being constrained to generic names, you can name albums whatever you please. Our personal recommendation is to use something that is descriptive for that type of work. For example, instead of calling an album “Flying Through the Sky” you might opt for an easier to understand name like “Professional Aerial Photography”. It will better help customers navigate your portfolio and hire you for work. Last, but definitely not least…Categories (you should be most excited about this one)! Category List What is a Category? I think most people are familiar with the concept of categorization. For instance, I’m a photographer who specializes in Seniors, Engagements and Landscapes. These are labels that categorize the different types of work I produce and specialize in.

How To Use Categories To Your Advantage

Each album you create must be associated with at least one category. This does three things: 1. Organizes your work in a more client friendly way – great for clients who only want to see your Real Estate work as opposed to ALL of your images and videos. Also allows for categorizing a large set of images instead of categorizing each one individually. 2. Enables job matching – if you’re properly categorized for the things you specialize in, you’ll be sure to get notified of matching projects. 3. Determines (soon) which market place pages you and your work appear on. My personal recommendation is to create a new album for each type of photography or videography you specialize in and add a category or two appropriately. A word of caution – prepare to be penalized for “category stuffing”. In other words, don’t make three albums and add ALL the category tags to each one. This creates a poor experience for clients browsing your work and can also impact the notifications you receive about jobs. Would you really want to look at a bunch of pictures of dogs when you’re really wanting to look at architecture work? We hope you find these changes beneficial and useful. Expect to see an update to the job matching algorithm and a brand new marketplace experience coming in August. Thanks again, Adam and the SmartShoot Team 

About Adam Hofmann

Adam is the Head of Marketing for SmartShoot. He looks after all things content marketing, SEO, social media, customer acquisition and growth. When he's not geeking out at the office, he's off on adventures taking photographs of the world.

Keep in touch: @smartshootinc

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