Nine months later, the sky hasn't fallen. The Cloud has risen.

Posted on April 07, 2011 by ShootQ

Many of you have been with us a long time. Many, since the beginning.

You were there when ShootQ started, as it grew, when it was acquired by Pictage nine months ago, and when folks said the sky was falling. Okay, there were moments when we did too!

But as ShootQ grew with you — from the ground up — we established important tenets. Tenets are principles on which a theory is based. Since you've been on this journey with us, you know that we draw inspiration from Apple. Two of our top tenets mirror theirs:

1) We believe in saying no to thousands of projects so that we can focus on a few meaningful ones.

2) We have the self-honesty to admit when we're wrong and the courage to change.

With those tenets in mind, there's no sugar-coating it: we've prioritized other projects and slowed down on ShootQ. You've noticed and you've voiced frustration. Thanks for being so honest. You're right; we can do better.

So, let's talk about what's next. Where we're going together is what matters!

ShootQ's core team is still here, working our tails — and hearts — off for you! We're dedicating more development resources to ShootQ. We're also expanding our team so we can tackle more problem-solving.

Since ShootQ became a Pictage product, we gained resources that help us do lots of stuff better.

Here's an overview of the cool things that are happening:

Building a better ShootQ

  • Live phone support: Now we've got a group of ShootQ gurus on call to support you. Call 'em: 888-9-SHOOTQ.
  • Awesome integrations with two leading sales solutions, ProSelect and RedCart.
  • Free iPhone App
  • Free Business Reports for every ShootQ photographer.
  • Integration with Pictage: When linked together, your Pictage + ShootQ accounts improve your workflow more than ever before.
  • P3 payment processing: ShootQ photographers can accept credit card payment using P3 (Pictage Payment Processing). P3 can replace more expensive services like Authorize.net, and no credit check is required — with your ShootQ and Pictage memberships you're already approved.

The Photo Life

We've put the minds behind Pictage and ShootQ together to create a combined community platform called The Photo Life. It's a one-stop educational resource that helps you develop as a photographer and business owner. The Photo Life brings essential elements of your photographic life together in one place so you can build your business and feed your creative spirit. Check out The Photo Life blog, podcast and monthly Dispatches.

You're also invited to PartnerCon and to local PUG groups, community gatherings where egos are checked at the door and sharing happens naturally!

Nimbus

Last but not least, the team behind ShootQ is bringing you Nimbus. It will change the way photographers use the web. Until now, your portfolios, proofing, business management, blogs and slideshows were fragmented. Imagine a place where everything is connected, from portfolios to proofs, bookings to blogs, sales to slideshows. Nimbus will be the hub of your business online, in the Cloud!

We're still getting the hang of balancing new projects like Nimbus with ones we already have out in the wild. Thanks to your feedback, we understand what you need — and deserve — from us. After all, ShootQ exists for you. Our driving dream is to create tools you need to succeed, so you can pursue your hopes, your aspirations, your dreams.

The Revolution will be Reported!

Posted on February 04, 2011 by ShootQ

Screen shot 2011-02-04 at 3.15.24 PM

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Hey, look, ShootQ reports are a trending twitter topic!

We never thought business reports would be so popular, but we're glad you think they're important. We do too.

We hear you. And we think you're right. 

Starting Monday, every ShootQ member will have access to valuable business reports. It doesn't matter whether you're a Startup, Studio or Hub member. You will get the reports you need.

Our goal is to help photographers be profitable and purposeful. A big part of that mission is giving you access to the analytics you need to succeed. 

So, do dig in. Know your numbers.

As you check out the reports, please share your ideas on improving them. We love hearing from you guys.

Together, we succeed.

 

 

From the Front Porch to Barn Raising.

Posted on November 15, 2010 by ShootQ

Barnraising

The one thing I value most from PartnerCon is this image. And it's not because I like the photo. It's because I like the image, the memory it evokes.

It's an image of a barn raising.

In the Amish tradition, a barn raising is when a community comes together to raise a barn for one of its households. Barn raisings aren't pretty. In fact, they're pretty dirty. Everyone gets their hands dirty by lifting planks, sifting dirt or cooking food. It's not pretty, but it's beautiful.

That's how I felt last week watching you. You guys got your hands dirty; you reached out to help each other. You sat down in the dirt to teach a new friend how to understand composition. You slogged through the French Quarter late at night, trying to help an old friend track down a stolen bag. You loaned cameras to colleagues. You shared rooms and meals and tears too. You shared your vision with families in LaFitte and children at the Boys & Girls Club. You created memories for yourselves and for folks in New Orleans.

I think PartnerCon is basically a big barn raising. It unifies an entire community, and it's done without a lot of ego. In fact, getting together and helping folks seems like the most ordinary thing in the world.

And that's what makes it so powerful.

A Front Porch Community

Posted on November 03, 2010 by ShootQ

Sam_porch_small

My grandmother is my hero. She shares more wisdom in a short story and a wink than I could learn in a lifetime.

During my last visit with her in Mississippi, I opened her door and glanced over my shoulder to say goodbye. I glimpsed her porch and noticed it was sagging, a few worn pine boards sloping gently. I casually commented, "Are you going to fix your porch? It's sagging."

She met my gaze, paused and firmly replied, "Of course not. That's where all my people have gathered."

I stood there like a beanpole, breathless and dumbfounded.

Like many Southern homes, my grandmother's house has a prominent porch whose presence plays a vital role in daily life. 

A front porch is the ultimate gathering place, a clearinghouse for celebration and a shelter from suffering. We gravitate to front porches because we can check our egos at the stairs and enter a welcoming place where everyone is equal under the eaves of a home.  

On the front porch, we interact face-to-face with folks from all walks of life. It's a threshold for real, human community where new connections are welcomed and old connections are strengthened. It's a place for all of us.

The front porch illustrates the hospitality we would show if only we weren’t so damn busy being busy. So, let's slow down a bit. Let's sit for a spell, sip some drinks and share some stories and show folks that the ShootQ & Pictage community is a front porch, not a fortress.

 

Take a Test Drive

Posted on November 02, 2010 by ShootQ

Get into the Driver's Seat

Experience the power of ShootQ at your own pace.

  • Yup, you heard right. You've got unlimited time to get to know ShootQ!
  • If you've always wanted to see how ShootQ can help your business, take it for a FREE spin.
  • Go ahead – kick the tires for up to five shoots!

Introducing High Speed Booking

  • Your sales system just got turbocharged with ShootQ's new booking system.
  • All of the proposal and order building interfaces have been replaced so they're package-centric.
  • Any faster, and it would be considered dangerous!

All in the Family

  • New family grouping & relationship management lets you keep tabs on profitable connections.
  • Place relationships together into “groups” which show an integrated view of profit & key dates.
  • Make your clients feel like a million bucks by subscribing to a new calendar feed that keeps track of key dates like birthdays & anniversaries.

Your Pricing just got Prettier

  • Want clients to see the finish, color & size of your products? You can include now “options.”
  • Include variations of products like “Large Red Album” or “Small Black Album."
  • Check out the new tool that lets you raise or lower your pricing across the board by a percentage or a fixed amount.

Unclutter Your Workflow

  • Newly revamped workflow manager lets you place entire workflows "on hold" while you wait on tasks that are out of your control to be completed.

You Asked, We Listened

  • Calendar feeds now include shoot remarks in the “notes” field.
  • Plus, you've got increased control over automated emails, and have the ability to BCC yourself for automatic emails.

Other Cool Stuff

  • Your ShootQ calendar now has a dedicated tab for easy access.
  • ShootQ has a swanky new text editor.
  • You can enable Skype-integration, which will dial phone numbers using Skype in a snap!

GET SCHOOLED on the new features TODAY

 

Geek Out with Us

Posted on September 09, 2010 by ShootQ

ShootQ featured on Joyent

Always wondered what's under ShootQ's hood? Listen and learn as ShootQ's VP of Product Development, a.k.a Code Poet Laureate shares details about what powers ShootQ and frees us to focus on the most important feature: YOU, the Q Community!

Thanks Jonathan for constantly innovating for photographers!

The Parallax View: All Work & No Play Makes My Brain a Dull Place

Posted on August 31, 2010 by ShootQ

Kauai 

I've been in paradise. I traveled thousands of miles to play. But that's when my real work happens.

It's not surprising; my right brains kick into high gear when it's in "play mode." 

Brain scans reveal that when you think you’re not thinking, your unconscious mind is doing sprints searching for solutions.

Einstein’s theory of special relativity came as an epiphany after he daydreamed he was riding on a beam of light. 

Greg Swartz, director of innovation at golf giant PING, claims he creates the best tees and loftier drives by stargazing. After immersing himself in golf, he hangs out in his backyard at night and lets his mind settle into what he calls a “hyper state.”

As photographers, we are content creators. And content doesn't create itself; it's born from your brain.

So, give your brain a break. Disconnect from reality and connect your brain to its core creativity. You might have a eureka moment when you least expect it.

Rachel
 

ShootQ Integrates with ProSelect

Posted on August 17, 2010 by ShootQ

 

What's new with Q?

Experience the new integration between ShootQ & ProSelect, the revolutionary presentation, projection & sales software that transforms your client's cozy living room into your sales center!

ProSelect Integration learn more...  ProSelect Screenshot
 

  • Create an experiential sales environment in your client's home or in your own studio.
  • Boost your sales by using projection tools to sell photos.
  • Crop and compare photos in real-time.
  • Project actual size photos onto walls.
  • Easily export client orders from ProSelect and import directly into ShootQ.
  • Correspond Products in ProSelect with Products in ShootQ.
  • Include those products in reports for a refined view of your business growth.
  • Connect orders from ProSelect with existing clients and shoots in ShootQ.
  • Impress your clients by displaying their orders and invoices in their private client portal!

  • Photo thumbnails for ProSelect orders are imported into ShootQ and shown to clients.

  • Benefit from ShootQ’s invoice tracking & reminder features with imported ProSelect orders!

    ProSelect sold separately.

Cooler Calendaring

  • When you send appointment requests to clients, events from your external calendars will respect the “Busy/Free” setting on individual events.

Don't be Duped

  • Importing contacts into ShootQ via vCard? Cool. We'll detect duplicates so you can update your records.

Other Cool Stuff

  • The Quick Lead form now enables you to enter partial-day events on the fly.
  • Toggle "on" or "off" the visibility of Lead and Booked events in your monthly, weekly, and daily calendar views.

The Parallax View: Making Your Mark

Posted on August 03, 2010 by ShootQ

Slide12
 

Humans love to create. 

We have an uncanny, universal desire to make our mark. 

It's why we photograph and paint. It's why we build towers and businesses.

One of my favorite shows, MadMen, dedicated a scene to the concept of human creativity. The scene lingered in my memory for weeks.

Two characters are discussing a Kodak marketing campaign about memory and legacy. 

Harry says to Don: 

"I've always been fascinated by the cave paintings at Lascaux. The bison get all the attention, but there are also these handprints, tiny by today's standards...It's like someone is reaching through the stone right to us, saying "I WAS HERE."

These cave paintings are among the earliest known works of art. They were discovered in 1940 near the village of Montignac in central France when four boys stumbled into a cave. Inside, they found paintings that were nearly 17,000 years old.

Secluded cave walls bear real imprints of humans who created the most beautiful Stone Age art. Something about these ancient human handprints is magical.

I remember when I first saw them. My Art History professor turned off the lights and projected an image of tiny handprints onto the classroom wall. The class was hushed, as if we were hearing a sacred secret.

Why does something so simple impact us so deeply?

I think it's because we're witnessing a tangible legacy left by fellow humans who responded to their desire to create. They made their mark. They reached through stone to tell us WE WERE HERE.

How will you make your mark?


Rachel

What's the Word - iPhone App

Posted on July 28, 2010 by ShootQ

Big News for You & Q! Iphone

With Pictage's support and resources backing us, we're announcing that ShootQ's iPhone App will be FREE!

How to get it?


  • The latest version of the App is live in the App Store.
  • Simply update the App directly from your iPhone.

You're Good to Go - On the Go!


Already bought the app?

We've got you covered. You'll automatically receive a $39.95 credit toward your next month of ShootQ service.

ShootQ empowers photographers to create profitable and purposeful businesses by providing them with the tools they need to succeed.
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