Today we’re pushing a free auto-update to ProPhoto4 for users on auto-upgrade-capable web hosts. This update is a maintenance update, primarily with a pile of small bug fixes for rare configurations, plus a few small improvements and enhancements. If you’re interested in the gory details, read the changelog below.
-GOTCHA- If your host doesn’t do auto-updates, you can download the latest build from within your admin area under ProPhoto => Customize => Site Settings => Misc => ProPhoto Updates. Tutorial for updating from downloaded zip can be found here.-/-
[designerSpotlightHeader designer_slug=”design-aglow” alt_bio=”http://www.prophoto.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/lena-bio1.jpg”]
We’re very excited to announce the latest addition to our designer network, Design Aglow. Over the last several years, Design Aglow has become a go-to spot on the web for Photographers looking to start or grow their business. From stunning design kits to brilliant photography guides, their resources achieve a level of excellence that have carved them a prominent place in the photography industry. We’re happy to be a part of their latest offering, full site designs utilizing the ProPhoto theme.
We’re kicking off this new partnership with a Designer Spotlight interview below, and by launching 3 new Design Aglow designs in our store that will be available at special introductory pricing for our first week: 15% off all Design Aglow designs for ProPhoto. Valid Monday, June 10th through Sunday June 16th at Midnight EST. (Introductory price is $85, regular price is $100.) Included in the 3 is a “Project Life 365” design that is specifically set up as a photo-a-day blog design. See more info about the new designs at the bottom of this post.
PP: Where are you based out of?
DA: West Palm Beach, Florida.
PP: Tell us a bit about yourself. Are you married, do you have kids?
DA: I am an artist, entrepreneur, wife, mom, and traveler! I have a background in art education and I am truly a teacher at heart. I have been a portrait photographer for 15+ years now and 7 years ago I co-founded Design Aglow, which was the first online resource of its type for professional wedding and portrait photographers. I am passionate about helping photographers achieve a higher level of success and preserving the integrity of our industry. I work about 60 hours a week, so I reward myself with several great family trips per year where we can make memories together….and take lots of photographs!
PP: How did Design Aglow start out and how has it evolved since?
DA: We started out in 2006 with the Design Aglow Magazine, which was filled with solid business-building content and creative inspiration for photographers. Four years later we brought in a line of fantastic business tools in addition to the design templates we were becoming well-known for. We now employ 10 of the best employees on the planet, as well as involving writers, industry leaders, business consultants, and attorneys in our detailed product creation process to make sure everything we do is the absolute best in our field.
“We never want to follow the trends in our field…we want to create them! Our customers feel the same way and appreciate our efforts to make them look their best.”
PP: How would you describe your design style? From where do you draw your inspiration?
DA: Our style is clean, modern, and always aims to enhance a photographer’s imagery rather than compete with it. We are inspired by fine art, fashion, film, and travel! We never want to follow the trends in our field…we want to create them! Our customers feel the same way and appreciate our efforts to make them look their best.
PP: Is there a favorite design project that you’ve done, or a recognition that you’ve received that stands out, something you’re particularly proud of?
DA: We are so proud to have been the first at so many things that are now standard in the industry, from multi-sided card templates, marketing suites, wall gallery templates, studio magazines, and posing cards. A few years ago, we were approached by Random House to create two books based on our popular posing guides. I am proud to announce that Design Aglow’s Portrait Posing Guide for Family Portrait Photography launches internationally this August and the companion, Design Aglow Posing Guide for Wedding Photography, will be released in December! Along with simple and modern posing how-to’s, both books will feature the imagery of some of the best photographers in our industry including the likes of Elizabeth Messina, Jose Villa, and Anna Kuperberg. Very exciting!
PP: Can you tell me a bit more about Design Aglow’s values?
DA: At Design Aglow, it is our mission to elevate the industry of professional photography by providing empowering education and expert design tools to help photographers achieve success. We believe in preserving the artistry of the profession, and are dedicated to offering materials that develop effective business practices and raise industry standards. I think this philosophy has contributed to our long-term success and to our reputation in the business.
PP: What’s your favorite thing about your job… and/or about partnering with ProPhoto? 😉
DA: We always love to connect with like-minded companies and individuals in our industry and ProPhoto is no exception! We are excited to bring our designs to life in ProPhoto’s popular platform and to see what photographers do with technology we were never able to offer before…until now!
And speaking of that…. we would LOVE for photographers to send in their Design Aglow ProPhoto site URL’s to us so we can share and inspire our community at DesignAglow.com/blog – look for the “share” link!
[designList designer_slug=”design-aglow” designs=”modern-minimalist|typographic|my-project-life-365-blog”]
Hello, and welcome to our new Spotlight blog series. In these blog posts, we’ll be interviewing a variety of people who help to design, develop and support ProPhoto.
We’ve had the opportunity here to work with some really talented designers; from freelancers who are relatively new to professional graphic design, to larger, more established design firms with decades of experience. Our series starts with a recent addition to our ProPhoto designer network, Ellen Petty of Identity Kitchen. Be sure to look at the bottom of the post for the brand new designs from Identity Kitchen that launched in our store today!
PP: Where are you based out of Ellen?
ELLEN: Los Angeles
PP: Have you always been there?
ELLEN: No, I moved out here 10 years ago. I’m a New Yorker. I lived upstate New York, and moved to New York City when I was 18. Almost 10 years ago, after my daughter was born, my husband is in the entertainment industry, we decided to come out to the West Coast and give it a try. It was post 9/11 and things in New York was still in a heightened alert state. It was time.
I had a studio in New York; 10 employees. I did a lot of work with some big name clients, World Bank, Bristol Myers Squibb, Matrix, Columbia University, New School University. I had given up my studio before our move out here and had some time to think about what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to continue with design, and took some time to consider how I would re-emerge.
PP: Tell me a bit about yourself, are you married? Do you have kids
ELLEN: I am married, it will be 15 years this August. He is a pianist, composer, and a session and touring musician, and an all around fantastic human being. I have two beautiful daughters, ages 10 and 8. They keep me on my toes, and are my true joy.
“That’s one thing that I tell a lot of photographers that I work with is don’t be afraid to really focus. If you really want to be successful, focus in one or two areas, and don’t be afraid to be know for that.”
PP: You mentioned you were with a firm in New York, was that your first design job? Tell me a bit about your education and experience
ELLEN: I went to the fashion institute of technology and I graduated with a BFA in advertising and graphic design. My first love is advertising, and I worked for some big NY advertising firms like Ogilvy & Mather, and Kirshenbaum and Bond. It was fun and challenging, but I quickly realized in the first couple of years that I was much more a graphic designer. And the advertising field was not for me. I went back to school and did some post graduate graphic design classes and reworked my portfolio. Then I worked for a couple of smaller design firms, and then I started my own firm called “Wee Small Hours Design”, in New York.
PP: How long did you own “Wee Small Hours”?
ELLEN: That was…um, 6 years. It was a really exciting time. We grew the company to a team of 10 at one point. We had some dot com companies, but mostly brick and mortar, and not-for-profits. We were able to expand and contract depending on our work load and survived the bursting dot com bubble, which many design firms did not. It was a crazy time, and after six years I was feeling a little burnt out. Then 9/11 struck. The New York economy took a big hit, and I was ready to start a family and move on to the next phase of my life. The company had previously gotten so large that I really wasn’t designing any more. I was doing a lot of managing, and you really get away from your first love because you’re, you know, managing employees, managing clients, and doing a lot of directing. I really missed design, so as I was thinking about how I wanted to structure identity kitchen, that was one of the first things, was that I really wanted to make sure that I was able to focus on designing.
PP: Sure. So you took some time to re-evaluate and think through what you really wanted to be doing, and came up with Identity Kitchen. Talk to me about how that took shape and what you’ve got going there now.
ELLEN: I kind of looked at some of the mistakes i’d made with my old firm, and I was really young when I started it, I was 28, and I was just happy to get any gigs that I could. We were just all over the place. We were doing annual reports, brochures, websites, identities, and I knew that if I wanted a nice small firm, then I needed to focus on one area. We had done a lot of work for dot-com companies that had a name, but no brand, and I realized that was the aspect that I really loved, branding. I loved going in there, figuring out what their business model is, what their product was, what their philosophy was, and kind of pulling that out of them; almost like therapy.
So then I met a photographer friend when we got out here and she said I should do this for photographers. I thought, “What are you crazy? How many photographers are there? You can’t base a whole business on doing branding for photographers.”, then I went to WPPI.”, and I then I thought “Wow. Okay, maybe you can”. Identity Kitchen was born.
PP: What’s more satisfying to you, the process of pulling the brand out of the client, or the hands-on graphic design work giving an actual appearance to the brand?
ELLEN: Of course the most satisfying is when you feel like you’ve pulled out this thread or core piece and you’ve been able to turn that into something that is graphic, that tells the story, and then the client loves it. I love talking to people, I love hearing about what makes them tick, what makes them love photography, what do you want to do with it? For a lot of photographers that I work with, it’s the first time asking themselves those questions, so I love trying to pull that out of them.
“I love talking to people, I love hearing about what makes them tick, what makes them love photography, how they want to grow their business”
PP: How would you describe your design style?
ELLEN: It really is all about the process, and the design style is really secondary, because it’s just a tool to express that process.
PP: So you’d say your style ebbs and flows depending upon the application?
ELLEN: Totally, I would say my style is personal. In other words, it personally tells the story of the studio behind the brand. I think I can hit a pretty wide range, but you know, no matter how hard I try to fit a wide gamut, but that being said there are certain design tendencies I tend to lean toward. I am a bit of a typophile, which means I tackle a type solution first.
PP: Looking back, is there a particular project you’re done that really stands out to you, something you’re particularly proud of?
ELLEN: There’s this one project for a restaurant in New York called Thalia, it was my first restaurant design and I just loved it. I worked with two friends of mine and their architecture firm, and it was actually the last project that one of the partners did before he passed away. It was a very personal project. I worked with the architects and the three owners and the chef, and they all had something to say. It was literally too many cooks in the kitchen. We worked really hard to get the brand just right and I feel like that identity is still relevant today. I was just in New York a couple months ago and walked by, and there it was. Its almost 15 years ago and it still works. I feel like I still have a presence in New York and that really makes me feel good.
PP: Yeah, it’s got to feel great to have such a tangible representation of your work.
PP: So we first talked to you about designing for our store last year. When did you first start using ProPhoto?
ELLEN: Well, i’ve been aware of ProPhoto for a long time because I was actually a co-owner of a company that was in competition with you. So i’m pretty versed in understanding your product. So when I left this other company I had to find something to fill that void, so I started working with ProPhoto last year, and I was really pleasantly surprised with how easy ProPhoto is to use. There are some things that we were trying to develop, and you guys have just taken it into the end zone. Really nailed it. You’ve just done a really nice job, and I am proud to offer my clients customization on your sites.
PP: Thanks Ellen, and thank-you for taking the time to let us know a bit about yourself.
Check out these designs from Identity Kitchen just added to our store today:
[designList designer_slug=”identity-kitchen” designs=”notebook-sketch|chalkboard|bohemian-ribbon”]