Retouchup Blog

26
Jul
Uploading files in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

Have you recently upgraded to Mountian Lion on your Mac?

Then you may have seen the following error while trying to upload an order:

By default, Mountain Lion has a new security feature.  It only allows programs to run if they came from the Mac store, or from one of their trusted partners.

As such, we need to disable that in order to run an applet in your browser that can access your local computer to read your photos.

  1. Open your Preferences
  2. Choose “Security & Privacy”
  3. Click the yellow padlock in the lower-left corner to allow changes to be made
  4. click “Anywhere” under “Allow applications downloaded from:”
  5. Close Preferences

The window should look like:

You should now have the ability to “Allow” an applet to run on your OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Mac!

 

NOTE: By making this change, you open up a potential route for malware to run on your Mac that Apple feels should be closed up, which is why they set up 10.8 to block apps this way.

If you wish to keep security turned up high, you can reset your security back to normal after clicking the “Allow all applets from ‘www.retouchup.com’ with this signature” checkbox and running the applet.  It will not block again after you have run the applet at least once.

 

This tip can be found at: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/11136805/java-applet-with-self-signed-certificate-on-os-x-mountain-lion

 

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28
Nov
Don’t Be a One Man Band

One Man Band

According to Malcolm Gladwell, it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become truly great at something.  Maybe 9,000 for some, maybe 11,000 for others, but they say that more or less, it’s this amount of effort is what it takes to become a guru.

When you see a symphony full of 60-80 musicians, can you imagine 600,000-800,000 hours of practice on their specific instruments?

A One Man Band, on the other hand, can’t devote too much time to any one instrument.  The whole thing is a gimmick with a limited range of tunes – sure, one man can play a whole lot of instruments, but none of them extremely well.

Look at the photographer above – a “One Man Band” trying to do everything, every day, all by him/herself.  Can you tell based on what he/she spends the most time on which activity makes the photographer his/her money?  What sets the photographer apart from his/her competitors?  Where this photographer gets the most satisfaction?

Don’t squander 1,000 hours on retouching pimples and stray hairs.  Invest them in yourself and your craft.  In the end, there will be a noticeable difference between those who use RetouchUp.com as a part of their retouching solution, and those who insist on playing every instrument themselves.

Our bets are on you.

 

 

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11
Aug
Clipping Path Service Now Available

Clipping path edits are now available at RetouchUp.com.

These edits aren’t just useful for catalog work!  Clipping paths are used for innovative collages and posters, and even used for some pre-production on acrylic statuettes or other photo products.

Our clipping path edit selects a subject from their background, while preserving hair and other details to the best of technological capability.  All returned as a .png with transparent background, within our amazingly low turnaround time. 

To order a clipping path edit, start a new order like always, then select and upload your file, then click “add instructions and confirm order”.  You’ll see a page like this:

Select the appropriate clipping path type.  You’ll then see this page:

Now, this page should look familiar as it’s similar to the regular ordering page – if a clipping path edit is the only edit you need, you’ll want to select “No Additional Service” – this leaves the edit pricing with just the clipping path alone.

*IF* you’ll also need retouching done to the image, you’ll want to select the appropriate retouching category below.  We have a low-cost clipping path service, and if additional retouching is required, you can order it here by choosing the appropriate retouching service and typing in your instructions below.

Try out our clipping path service and find out if we can make life easier for you! 

Thanks for working with us.

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21
Jun
Free Upgrades

This cute picture of a kitten just improved your quality of life! Not all improvements cost big money!

When determining what could be done to improve your business, I find that it’s easy to come up with improvements that cost money.  Spend more on marketing, spend more on your employees, give rebates, bonuses, prizes.  And they surely bring about improvement – but often the improvements only last as long as the money keeps getting spent on them.

I’ve always been interested in the tweaks that can bring big results but without the price tag.

Our average turnaround time has dropped from 0.67 days to 0.47 days in just three weeks as we implemented just these types of tweaks.

The dispatcher and quality review teams suggested extending their hours of operation to accommodate orders that come in very early or very late (we know that photographers keep ALL SORTS of hours!).  The dispatcher and quality review teams came up with their own proposed schedules to bring their own plan to reality.

This change cost nothing to the business, but appear to be a successful part of our overall drive to drive our turnaround time even lower.

Are there tweaks that can be done around your studio (that cost nothing) that might improve your customer’s experience, or even just your own enjoyment?

 

 

 

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13
May
Insist On Using The Rework Tool

Our reviews are outstanding, but our artists are still mortal.  If you receive an image that requires more work – avoid the temptation to adjust it yourself – all reworks are included at no charge.

With less than 24 hour turnaround time (sometimes as quickly as an hour or two) your artist can do the adjustment him/herself, saving you the time, but more importantly discovering more about your preferences and learning from their mistakes.

When mistakes happen, please insist upon US fixing the issue.

We greatly appreciate your business.

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10
May
Service Policies

Turnaround Time

Average turnaround time fluctuates throughout the year.  Our goal is to have a 24 hour maximum turnaround time.  This can be impacted by holidays and our reduced weekend schedule.  During peak times of our peak season, we can receive many multiples of our average daily volume.  We are prepared for these – but even with preparation turnaround time can exceed 24 hours.  During most of the year, our average turnaround time is much faster than 24 hours.

Resources to use if you have a hard deadline include the Rush tool, which can cut several hours off turnaround time, or calling us directly at (888) 700-3686.  You’ll find that we’re always willing to speak with the artist to see how we can push along an order you’re concerned about.

Working together, we’re sure we can meet important deadlines.

 

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20
Apr
Priorities

You have a fixed number of hours in a week, but numberless possibilities for what to do with them.

If you had to prioritize the following activities according to what will make the biggest difference to your business’ growth, where would retouching fall?

  • Staying in better contact with past clients.
  • Finding new ways to market to the community.
  • Asking for referrals from existing clients.
  • Building a social network following (twitter/facebook/blog).
  • Researching which up-sell products are most popular.
  • Streamlining your studio workflow.
  • Spending more time with each client.
  • Creating (new) seasonal promotions.
  • Creating alliances with related businesses.

Does retouching blemishes and stray hairs make the list?

By rearranging what we do with our limited time, we can make a big impact on our job satisfaction and business growth.

If you found RetouchUp.com in response to a retouching emergency, consider exploring using us as a business tool to allow you to reallocate limited hours.

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15
Apr
Time Well Spent: Our Auto-Responder Series

Some activities we do can pay long-term dividends.  Others are necessary, but once they’re done, the benefit is over.

One activity has continued to pay dividends for a long time, and that’s the auto-responder email series we created to welcome new clients.

This series of 4-6 brief emails (writen about a year ago in an afternoon, but revised regularly) is sent out to new clients over time.  All we have to do is give iContact that week’s new signups – and they will get a brief, helpful email introducing them to features they’ll need to know about. 

Not only is this helpful for new users – it’s a useful way to get people information over time, not through a firehose all at once – it’s a great way to keep us in their mind. 

An auto-responder series can be useful anytime you have a series of information you’d like to keep in front of willing recipients. 

How about a “Top Ten Wedding Tips From a Wedding Pro: Advice from someone who has attended hundreds of weddings from Alpine to Payson.”  Perhaps each wedding tip is sent out three days apart.  A wedding photographer’s site might be visited by many brides-to-be comparing galleries – what an advantage it would be to capture these potential clients’ email address with the promise of some juicy tips on having the best wedding possible…  Then to stay present in this person’s mind as the 10 tips unfold.

We email our new clients, but you could have a web form collect them on your site.  iContact is the company we use.  They can do auto-responders, email newsletters, as well as email tracking.

For us, our auto-responder series has really been time we felt was well spent and continues to pay dividends.

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11
Apr
Choosing The Better Part

What gets you going about photography?  Which interactions make your day?  Which parts of the job are the most satisfying?  How would you spend your ideal (working) day?

The odds are that retouching the typical stray hairs and blemishes doesn’t rank high on these questions.

If you can trade the hum-drum parts for the parts that keep you engaged, satisfied and most happy – you can bet your bottom dollar that it’ll affect your bottom line as well.

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28
Mar
Little Fixes

How many pixels does it take to change a lightbulb?

 

Imagine a growing family looking for a new home.  They find a beautiful home in a great neighborhood, and the price is right.

Can you imagine overlooking this home because of a couple nail holes in the wall, or a burnt out lightbulb?  It wouldn’t make much sense – these things can be fixed so quickly, and at little cost.

Each day, your clients see “holes in the wall” in their own images – imperfections that they don’t want immortalized in their portraits or family pictures.  They may not want to seem hung up on how their neck looks in a certain photo – or how a certain bit of facial shine draws attention to their nose – but often that is what is happening.  This can result in a smaller final sale.

Make sure your clients know that if they see any “burnt out lightbulbs” in their images, that you’re able to switch them out through the power of retouching.

Would it be appropriate to take 30 seconds and show a customer 3-5 examples of before/after of common concerns being edited away prior to reviewing the proof prints?  Could a few simple 8×10 before/after pairs help the customer see past the little fixes, and net you more sales?

Don’t let their ignorance of how easily these things be corrected keep them from purchasing more poses.

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