Know Your Options

The season for weddings and summer events are upon us! Which might mean you’re already feeling a bit behind and possibly bogged down with album designs that need your attention? Well, we’re here to help…Did you know that we’ve been offering album design services, easily accessible from your albums page? If you’re already outsourcing your album design to a designer, excellent! – We encourage you to keep using the options that work best for you and your process. For those of you needing a hand or looking for a streamlined solution, we wanted to make sure you knew your options, especially since a lot of our users have mentioned to us that they’d like to be able to keep their complete album process and workflow in one place.

How It Works

It’s easy peasy and right in line with your normal AE process. First, you’ll need to be logged into your account. Second, click on “Create New Album” and you’ll see the option to “Buy a Design”, just below the normal ‘Upload Design’. Third, configure your details. Then confirm and submit…done and done! Feel free to catch up on other things while we go to work on creating a beautiful album design for you to review. Just a quick heads up, if you’re currently working exclusively with a Design Studio through AlbumExposure, this feature won’t be available to you, as you’re already getting great designs from your designer!

 

Buy Design2

 

 

Coffee Anyone?

The design style we offer is clean, classy, and modern, which we feel allows the images to really pop and makes for a timeless result. You can choose white, black, or mixed (white and black) backgrounds, keeping things simple while allowing for some variety. Our team goes to work from scratch to layout your album without templates and tell the story of your event the way it should be told.

PLUS, for a limited time (until July 8th, 2014), we’d like to treat you and a friend to coffee when you buy your first design!

That way, you can take a few minutes to relax and recharge while your album is being designed for you! Learn more and see design samples on the Design Service Page in your account. Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 1.01.15 PMHave you met our Partners?

If you’re still searching for the right design solution or need more customization than we currently offer with our design service, please check out our Design & Post Production friends on our Partners page. We’ve added several new companies to the list and all are amazing people with great design talent.

Please reach out to us with any questions, at any time, for any reason! We’re here to help you craft your perfect album process and make your life easier when it comes to albums, so give us a shout if we can help.

Cheers, The AlbumExposure Team

One great feature in AlbumExposure has always been the ability for you to customize the URL in order to make everything on the client side look like it’s coming from your website.  This way, when your clients log in to view their album presentations, it will be all about your brand in every detail.  It has always been our goal to help you keep your brand in front of your clients as much as possible.

Today, we are introducing a new method that is easier to setup than the previous one,  more accessible to all of our users, and offers higher functionality.  Some of you didn’t have access to your server files, which was previously required, so the new DNS customization method will make it easier to setup via your registrar or host.  In addition, you will have the ability to link directly to an album when using your custom domain and can send clients on a more direct path to their albums.  Also, this feature upgrade will fix a few Safari specific browser issues that some of you may have recently noticed.

If you’ve set up masking previously or if this is your first time, please follow these quick steps for setting up the newest method of URL customizing for your account.  You can view a quick video on our tutorials page or walk through the steps and screenshots below.  Please let us know if you have any questions during the setup, we’re more than happy to help get you dialed in with your custom domain!

#1 – Determine your preferred custom domain

The most common subdomain that we see used is ‘albums’ (e.g. http://albums.YourStudio.com).  You could also use ‘proofing’, ‘albumproofing’, or any other subdomain you prefer to fit your website structure.  One important item to note is that you’ll need to use an entire domain or subdomain with no directories (For example, http://YourStudio.com/albums will not work).  Before getting into the next few steps, you’ll want to make sure you know what domain or subdomain you would like to use. In this example, we’re going to set up a subdomain where clients will access our albums at  albums.garysikes.com.

#2 – Create a DNS record at your registrar or host

The first step to setting up your custom URL will not be in AlbumExposure, but rather at your registrar or host – wherever your domain’s DNS is managed.  This will be the same place as your name servers. For example, if your domain is registered with Dynadot, but hosted at DreamHost, and you’re using DreamHost’s nameservers (like ns1.dreamhost.com), your DNS is managed at DreamHost.

Locate your domain (YourStudioDomain.com) in your domain list and click to edit the DNS.  You want to add a new DNS record with a type of CNAME. The name of the record should be your subdomain (such as ‘albums’) and the value ‘albumexposure.com’, which is where you want the record to point.  Then save this new record and you’re done with the second step!  (Note: the new record will often take a minimum of an hour and sometimes longer to become active depending on your registrar or host.)

A few visuals for step #2 from our GoDaddy (registrar) account:

Locating the DNS for my domain and clicking to ‘edit’ the DNS record -

GoDaddy_DomainDetails

 

Adding a record -

GoDaddy_CName

 

#3 – Enter your custom URL in AlbumExposure

The next step will be to tell AE what your custom domain is.  Inside AlbumExposure, visit Settings > Presentations and in the ‘Masked URL’ field, type the full domain you chose in step 1. Make sure you include http:// in front too.

In this example, our full domain is ‘http://albums.garysikes.com’.

AE_EnterMaskedURL

 

#4 – Use your custom domain in your Send Link email template

Your last step will be to edit your send link email template to use your custom domain. Inside AlbumExposure, visit Settings > Communications and inside your template, replace the merge tag ‘{url}’ with ‘{masked_url}’.

AE_EditMergeTag

 

Now on every new album you create moving forward, when you click on Send Link within an album, you’ll see the url populate automatically for you with your custom domain to provide to your client.

AE_ProperLinks

 

Let’s take a look at the results!

Now your clients will only see your custom URL, like it is coming from your website every time.

Your client’s presentation view -

AE_ClientPresentation

 

Please let us know if you need any help getting setup or switching from the old method.  Quick note regarding the old masking method:  If you have any active album links out to clients, you’ll want to leave it as is.  It will not effect the new method or new album links moving forward and album links you have out to clients for the old method will still work properly.  Once all old albums are archived, you can always delete the old masking folder from your server, but leaving it alone will not hurt anything going forward.

If you have any questions or need help setting up your custom domain, feel free to reach out to us at support@albumexposure.com!  We hope this feature update makes it even easier for you to create a great experience for your clients while they enjoy their beautiful album designs.

Best,

The AlbumExposure Team

Updated User Interface!

January 14th, 2014

Hello friends and Happy New Year!

As you may have seen, we’ve kicked off the year by releasing a new update to our User Interface today!

Overall, the design is cleaner and the interactions are more efficient.

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 9.45.25 AM

 

The navigations have also been reorganized.  So, you’ll now find “preferences” under “settings”, where the different types are more clearly separated.  We’re confident this will make it easier for you to manage email and communications now that it’s more readily accessible. As for “billing”, this has been renamed to “subscription” and appropriately moved under “account”, where you can better manage all account items in one location.  Additionally, under “account”, you might notice the ability to have multiple payment methods and addresses. This is a structural change that may benefit you in the near future, but won’t have any immediate impact or require any of your attention currently.

Songs is still a primary navigation, but we’ve updated the page for easier management of your music and better listening tools for previewing songs as you decide what to pair with a particular album design.

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 9.48.02 AM

 

It was time to update the affiliate resources as well, so you’ll see new banner designs and a cleaner interaction.

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 12.36.44 PM

 

So, the primary purpose of the UI update today is to improve the look, feel, and efficiency of interactions. Underneath it all, this release will also include several structural updates that will set us up to release more features and improvements over the next several months. We hope you enjoy it and look forward to the roll out of more features as well as fun things in the weeks and months to follow.

As always, please feel free to reach out to us at support@albumexposure.com if you have any questions or need help dialing in your workflow!

Cheers, The AlbumExposure Team (Gary, Jared, Jeff, Chris & Ayca)

Hi Friends,

We wanted to update you on a couple of new features. You may have recently noticed that every page uses https and a small lock icon shows in the URL bar, which means AlbumExposure is now even more secure! We’re always being mindful of your security, so we’re excited to have made this improvement.

Another feature we added is the ability to indicate whether the first and/or last spreads of an album are actually representing the front and/or back cover. If either of these are marked as a cover layout, they will be indicated as such in the spread/page count during presentations. The benefit here is that your spread/page count will remain accurate, rather than including covers in the count.

There are currently two ways to create a front cover for an album. One, you can design a spread with the left-hand side blank and the right side as a mock cover (flat color or leather texture). If the cover has an inlayed image, include it at the appropriate size and in the proper place on the right side, as a layer on top of your texture. Two, if your design software forces you to export as individual sides, you can still design the right side as the cover and just ignore the blank left-hand side. Then, when uploading sides instead of spreads and converting all sides to spreads in AE, don’t forget to indicate by checking the box that says ‘Album Starts on Right’. This will create an appropriate spread for your album’s dimensions with the cover on the right side as desired. If you’re including a back cover, you’ll want to take a similar approach, but with the opposite orientation. Design your layout with a blank right-hand side and the back cover design on the left-hand side. Again, if working with sides, rather than spreads, upload your cover as the last side in your set of layouts and it will convert to a spread, leaving the right side appropriately blank for a back cover.

See below for an example of what this looks like, both in your account for choosing cover layouts and in the presentation view for your client’s experience:

 

Oberports1

Oberports2

Oberports3

We know this will clarify page counts for your clients and hope this streamlines your process even more. Please contact us at support@albumexposure.com with any questions – We’re here to help :)

Cheers,

The AlbumExposure Team

Brand New Shiny Email Templates!

September 9th, 2013

Hey friends, We recently pushed out an update that we think you’ll be really excited about! All of the emails sent to your client and branded with your logo are now much cleaner and dare we say pretty!  This includes the Send Link emails as well as all client notification messages.  Here’s an example…

 

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 12.54.39 PM

Your logo will now be at the bottom of the emails, and if a client ever decides to reply to the email or forward it to someone else, the background is now white instead of grey! Hope you love this change as much as we do :)

Cheers,

The AlbumExposure Team

Howdy Friends,

Hope this finds you well as you’re busy preparing for the upcoming summer shooting season!  Many of you have asked for more education on AlbumExposure’s features, so we’ve created a new Tutorials section for you on our website.  We want you to get the most value out of your AE account and this is a perfect way to learn about things that will improve your album proofing and sales, starting with this summer’s events.  You’ll find videos for both Photographers and Design Studios, covering an array of features and functions, such as setting up preferences & branding, creating new albums, managing communications, promoting your work, managing multiple designers, as well as general workflow tips.  If there’s a topic you’d like to learn more about, and don’t see it, simply click on “Request a Video” to let us know what subject you’d like us to cover.

Start watching: http://albumexposure.com/tutorials

We’re here to help make your life easier and keep your album workflow smooth, so please don’t hesitate to send us an email at support@albumexposure.com if you need anything or have any questions.

Cheers!

The AlbumExposure Team

Hey Friends,

Wanted to let you know about some exciting happenings over here at the AlbumExposure headquarters! Today we are launching a new version of AlbumExposure that has been specifically crafted for design studios. With this new edition has come several improvements to the current photographer edition, so we wanted you to know that you’ll notice a few little changes and updates when you log in the next time. For those of you working with a design studio, post production company, or album company to complete your album designs, you’re going to love the new interactions and if your design studio isn’t using our new edition, you’ll want to tell them about it ASAP.

If you have any questions at all, shoot us a quick email at support@albumexposure.com. We look forward to connecting with you and look forward to hearing your thoughts on the new updates.

This is just the first of some really cool new things we have for you this year, as you discover your perfect album process, so stay tuned and we’ll see some of you at WPPI next week!

We’ll be posting again in the next few days with more details on the new Design Studio Edition, so look for that as well.

Cheers!
The AlbumExposure Team

The Times They Are a-Changin…

October 30th, 2012

Hey there!

In the last couple years we’ve been moving away from Flash technology so we can continue to provide a solution that works flawlessly across all your devices. In an effort to continually embrace cutting-edge technology and increase device support, we’ve just performed a major upgrade to AlbumExposure’s engine.

As a part of this upgrade, we’ve moved away from using Flash technology in our image uploading tool, which means that the image uploading doesn’t work like it used to in older versions of Internet Explorer, but there’s a good reason we’ve gone this route:

Usually technology improves in minor increments, but every now-and-then, a big leap is made. Oftentimes, to take advantage of these, some older technology (like Internet Explorer) has to go the way of the buffalo. Right now, we’re leaving behind Flash technology in our image uploading system so we can make your overall experience better across more devices—especially mobile devices. In other words, to make a yummier omelette, we have to break a few eggs.

In our move away from Flash, we realized more than ever how slow Internet Explorer is to adapt to changing browser technologies. We were aware that earlier versions of IE wouldn’t be compatible with these changes, but we found that IE 9 also does not support the advanced capabilities that we know our users need. Internet Explorer 10 will work, but only if you use Windows 8 as an operating system. Therefore, the easiest solution is to download Firefox or Chrome. We understand this will be a change for some of you, but we promise these browsers have much more to offer and you won’t be disappointed with your decision to move forward.

We’re excited that this update allows for faster uploads, uploads from iOS devices, and the capability to use all features of AlbumExposure on your iPad!

If you have any questions about this change or anything else, please feel free to contact us at  support@albumexposure.com

Thanks!

The AlbumExposure Team

 

P.S. Bob Dylan has approved this message.

 

… Lindsay J.C. Lack!

We absolutely loved the way you told Stacey & Steve’s story through your photographs and album layout. Your pictures were vibrant, emotive, and made us feel like we were in attendance as well!

You can view Lindsay’s winning album design here and check out her website as well. Below is just one of many stunning images that were included in her album.

 

 

Everyone submitted such great albums and we really enjoyed looking through all of them. We’re so impressed by the talent all of you have!

Thanks for taking the time to enter your albums, and congrats again, Lindsay!

Cheers,

The AlbumExposure Team

 

Album Design Contest!

September 24th, 2012

Hey folks!

Have you recently designed an album you want to share with everyone? We’re hosting an Album Design Contest and would love to see your submissions!

Guidelines are simple…

We will choose the winner based on quality of images, strength of design, and ultimately on which layout tells the story of the event best!

If you already have an AE account, you’ll simply pick the album (or upload a new one) you’d like to submit, and email the link to support@albumexposure.com with the title “Album Design Contest”.

If you don’t already have an AE account, you can sign up for a free trial here and then once you’ve uploaded your album, send us the link at support@albumexposure.com with the title “Album Design Contest”.

This contest is starting TODAY, September 24th and we will accept submissions through Tuesday, October 9th.

Last but not least, the winner of this album design contest will win a $50 gift card to Amazon.com and get featured on our blog along with a link to the winning design!

Please tell your friends… and when you do, don’t forget to use your affiliate code so you can get paid if they upgrade in the future.

Cheers,

Ayca :)