Selling Photography Print with Fotomoto (with Brief Fotomoto Review)

Selling Photography Print with Fotomoto (with Brief Fotomoto Review)

I’ve now started selling print and digital download on demand directly on this little space online, using a print fulfillment service called Fotomoto . I’m not sure whether there is any demand at all, but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, so I’m quite happy that I’ve finally got it started! Today, I’ll review a few options to sell prints online (with brief Fotomoto review at the end).

Free and Easy but No Control: Redbubble and Society6

I see some people using a service like Redbubble and Society6 to sell prints and other printed items. This is probably the easiest (and also cheapest, i.e. free) way, but not quite ideal for me cos I wanted to sell on my own website and have the full control over how the page looks, etc. I know this is typically me, the perfectionist. ;)

Built-in One Stop Solution: Smugmug and Zenfolio

If you still don’t have your own website, starting one with Smugmug or Zenfolio is a good idea. It’s not free, but they let you host a website with a built-in print on demand store that handles printing and shipping for you. You can also opt to use a custom domain, and SmugMug even allows full customisation of HTML and CSS (no JavaScript, though) while Zenfolio’s customisation is somewhat limited.

The reason I didn’t go with these built-in one stop solution is that I already have my self-hosted website (proudly powered by WordPress). Setting up another website with e.g. SmugMug simply defeats the purpose of having this website, and I also was reluctant to switch my alliance to SmugMug because coding with WordPress is my another passion!

Fotomoto Review: Turning Photography Website into Print on Demand Store

So I went to find a solution within WordPress and came across Fotomoto plugin that lets me sell print and digital download right on my own WordPress powered website for free of charge (there are also two tiers of paid plans called Pro and Pro Plus ). Just like SmugMug and Zenfolio, it handles printing and shipping for you, too. With Fotomoto, you can easily turn your photography website into a print on demand store, whether it’s run on self-hosted WordPress like mine, or Google Blogger, Tumblr, Squarespace and many more (see the full list of supported platforms ).

Brief Fotomoto Review

1. Canvas print and card arrived perfectly packed. Upon ordering, it took only 6 days (from U.S. to Singapore) to receive this canvas print (shipped by FedEx).
2. Upon unboxing the package, canvas print was securely sealed by plastic. Excellent protection.
3. I’m 100% satisfied with its print quality (orders made on Fotomoto are always printed by California based Bay Photo). The colours between screen and print are closely matched, which is a good reassurance for me and anyone interested to buy prints.

If you’re interested, feel free to check how Fotomoto works live on my newly-created print pages (N.B. I’ve disabled Fotomoto on mobile devices as it’s unlikely for anyone to buy prints on phone, so please access the page on your computer or tablet)! Or, Contact Me for any feedback or questions, as always. ;)

Looking Back 2016: Slow but Steady Progress

Looking Back 2016: Slow but Steady Progress

It’s so fast that 2016 is ending soon! I know I’m saying this every year! This is my most favourite time of the year as the whole world slows down and lets me have a bit of break from my 9-to-5 work. Well, I hope it does…

As with last year, let me revisit the goals I set out at the start of the year.

NO. 1: Complete writing all chapters for twilight and dusk photography tutorials and create an eBook out of it
NO. 2: Create an eBook on Singapore cityscape photography guide (i.e. where to shoot from)
NO. 3: Make my website retina display compatible
NO. 4: Post 50 satisfactory photos on my Tumblr
NO. 5: Start learning PHP coding skills

NO. 1: Half-done. I’ve finished posting all 8 chapters online (start from Chapter 1: What Is Twilight and Dusk Photography if you’re interested), but haven’t been able to create an eBook yet. I’m still keen on this idea, but considering my perfectionist nature, it’ll probably take another year to complete.

NO. 2: Done! Back in August, I released a free 6 page eBook (PDF) titled Singapore Cityscape Photography Guide that includes top 3 spots to take stunning Singapore skyline photos and detailed info on how to get to these top photography spots. Thank you for those who opted in and downloaded! Interested? Find more details and grab your copy here.

NO. 3: Done!! This is probably the most self-satisfying achievement in 2016. I simply resaved all my images as 2x by default and resize them to the original size for both non-retina and retina devices. If you’re interested, there’s a good reading about this topic: A guide for creating a better retina web .

NO. 4: I narrowly missed on this. I’ve posted a total of 45 photos on Tumblr this year. This is much more than 35 photos posted in 2015, so I’m fairly satisfied although I missed the target. ;)

NO. 5: I’ve started but found the learning curve from HTML & CSS (which I’m comfortable with) to PHP very steep. Quite honestly, I have no clue what I’m doing…! Well, I won’t give up just yet, though.

Doing My Best with Whatever Little Free Time

Looking back, 2016 has been a year of slow but steady progress. I guess I’ve done my best with whatever little free time I was left with to go take photos and create contents for this website. I wish I could’ve spent much more time on my passion, but real life comes first (I guess this is same for everyone).

Still, hobbies are a big part of my life, something I can’t live without. I’d work around other commitments in life and continue to share my experience and knowledge with fellow aspiring photographers on this little space online where the heart of my passion lies!

Happy holidays to all and I’ll be back very soon!

Stop Comparing Your Photos with Others

Stop Comparing Your Photos with Others

I guess this is not just me, but I used to compare my own mediocre photos with those popular ones online and felt quite discouraged, thinking that my photos are no match and felt like quitting photography altogether. Not just once, many times indeed. It went to extremes that I even stopped seeing other photographers’ photos for a while by staying away from places like 500px and Flickr.

Then came a realisation that it’s hard to photograph something that can go beyond self-satisfaction. In fact, self-satisfaction can be the biggest reward we photographers get from photographing what we truly love. Photography is not a race or anything. I’m not competing with any other photographers. I don’t have to.

Setting My Mind on Bettering My Own Photography

Once this thought has taken root in my mind, I’ve stopped comparing my photos with other photographers’ (and lifted my self-imposed ban on visiting 500px and Flickr), and instead set my mind on bettering my own photography. In a way, I’m competing with the yesteryear’s myself to improve and take better photos, better than when I got started, better than last year, better than ever.

So, don’t compare with other photographers’ photos, compare with your own, and strive to take better photos than any photos taken to date! Happy shooting. ;)

2016 Plans and Hopes

2016 Plans and Hopes

Happy New Year to you all! Another year has started!! Excited and determined, but will see how long this uplifted mood can last. There will be ups and downs in the next 12 months for sure, but what matters at the end of the day is continuity (talking to myself here!).

There are many things I want to get done this year, and as with last year, I’ll list my top 5 plans and hopes for 2016 to hold myself accountable.

NO. 1: Complete writing all chapters for twilight and dusk photography tutorials and create an eBook out of it
NO. 2: Create an eBook on Singapore cityscape photography guide (i.e. where to shoot from)
NO. 3: Make my website retina display compatible
NO. 4: Post 50 satisfactory photos on my Tumblr
NO. 5: Start learning PHP coding skills

Not sure if I’m too ambitious here, but I’ll try my best to make more progress this year!

Outside this website, I’m just an ordinary husband and relatively new dad working 9-to-5 and feeling stressed out from time to time, just like everybody else. Photography was primarily for my self-satisfaction and escape, but 2015 took a turn to develop this website to be a resource for twilight and dusk photography. I’m nobody, but hoping to be a help those of you interested in twilight and dusk photography but haven’t started yet, just like me back in 2009.

So, stay tuned for more photos and contents to come in the next 12 months. Wish you all the best in 2016!

Looking Back 2015: I’m Getting There

Looking Back 2015: I'm Getting There

It’s so fast that 2015 is ending soon! Although there is no snowing in Singapore, I like this time of the year most, as everyone in the world slows down, and I can safely get away from my 9-to-5 work for a while without getting flooded with emails when I’m back.

Today, I’m revisiting the goals I set out at the start of the year.

NO. 1: Create a free eBook for Tumblr tips or dusk photography guide
NO. 2: Make my Tumblr and main website mobile responsive
NO. 3: Create my own Tumblr custom theme and release to public
NO. 4: Design LASTLIGHTS.NET t-shirt

NO. 1: Done! I released my first ever free eBook, Taking Your First Very Long Exposure Shots at Twilight and Dusk in October. Thank you for those who opted in and downloaded!

NO. 2: Done!! Around this time in 2014, both my main and Tumblr websites weren’t mobile friendly, but I managed to edit the theme code to make them mobile responsive (check this site on your mobile phone if viewing the full site now!). Probably the most self-satisfying achievement in 2015. ;)

NO. 3: Failed to get done. This has slipped down my priority list, and I probably won’t be doing anytime soon.

NO. 4: Done but not posted online yet. I designed three t-shirts earlier this year and had a casual model shoot just last week! I promise to post on my Tumblr in early January 2016! (Update on 8 January 2016: It’s posted )

Getting a Sense of “I’m Getting There”

Looking back, I feel like I’ve got a ton done in the last 12 months. I’ve worked a lot on this website to improve functionality and added quite some contents, including my first ever free eBook which I hope will be a milestone for bigger things to come in 2016. I’m getting a sense of “I’m getting there”. ;)

Last but not least, I talk about what matters most, i.e. photography!! In 2015, I’ve posted a total of 35 photos on my Tumblr. This is way short of my initial aim of 50 photos a year, but still quite satisfied, as 2015 is the best year in terms of the number of favourite photos I’ve been able to shoot. Now I’m really looking forward to 2016 to add more favourites to my Gallery Page where my best photos go.

Happy holidays to all and I’ll be back very soon!

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