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The Professional Photographer's newshttp://www.poundslabs.com/
Texas School 2006 
Pounds was proud to sponsor the 2006 Texas School of Professional Photography held April 23rd through 28th on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station.  With over 970 students and the finest instructors in the industry it was easy to see how TSPP has grown into the largest state affiliated school and the premier educational event in professional photography.  The instructor images we have seen are fantastic and the students we talked to were inspired by what they experienced in class each day.  The instructor galleries from this year’s classes will be posted within the next few days and can be viewed by clicking on the Texas School link from our home page. 

Photo Magnets
Pounds has added Photo Magnets to its product line.  These wallet-sized magnets come in units of four and are die-cut with rounded edges.  You can order them with a standard portrait, a portrait with personalized text, as well as select digital graphics.  [more…]

Customizable Proof Book Covers
New options have been added to our Proof Pages catalog to enhance the presentation of this prominent product.  Customers now have the ability to place a background image or select from our background art offerings.  In addition we have added the vignette options to these covers which produce standout effects.  On top of those additions, customers also have the option to adjust the opacity of the background, thus providing an encompassing fade effect.

Creating Your Own Layouts in PROS
The PROS Layout Tool is our newest addition to the PROS user interface.  This powerful new tool allows our customers to completely modify any layouts from the “Layout Tool” catalog.  Image and text nodes can be custom created, moved, resized, or rotated and set to accept the images, text, vignette masks, and backgrounds that customers would like to add. Furthermore, the Layout Tool’s “Montage” node creation function allows our customer to set various node creation offsets and then add a random set of nodes spaced throughout the selected layout at the touch of a button.  Together with the ability to add text colors, image opacity, drop shadows, and grid constraints, our customers will have the freedom to easily create their own unique products. Any new products that are created can be saved and organized in “My Templates” for future use.  Moreover, custom templates can be moved onto multiple workstations in our customer’s studio. [View the User Guide]

Second Quarter Promotions Continue

Sample Program Through PROS
Starting in April you have been able to use PROS to place sample orders which are billed at 50% of our book prices.  We have had many customers take advantage of this program but many more have not yet done so. We are particularly interested in having you make sample prints using the new graphic products that are now available through PROS, but you can also use this program to update your large print samples and to create sample sets of your work.

We want you to take advantage of the program so that you can sell more to your customers. We do monitor orders submitted through this program to make sure that it is being used in the manner intended.  And, in the vast majority of cases we see photographers building sets of metallic paper prints, sports offerings, senior graphics, etc. to be used to help them better present the products to their customers. 

And now the fine print:  We are offering this substantial discount to encourage you to build a custom set of samples to use as sales tools.  By selecting the sample order option, you are stating that the order is not for re-sale. Pounds Labs reserves the right to monitor a customer’s use of this special and may elect not to produce orders that we deem are likely meant for re-sale instead of samples.  These orders may not be rushed and are subject to our regular minimum charges.  We ask that there be at least 5 prints in each order and that each one be a different combination of print size, graphics and/or finishing. 

Wallet Special
Just in time for senior season, save up to 20 percent off book price on wallet prints.  Submit them through PROS, OEFTP or a negative mounted on a Pounds crop card.  We offer free die-cutting on wallets if requested at time of ordering. 

Tid Bits

Metallic Paper Pricing Continues
Your response to our Metallic Paper special has been phenomenal, so we’ve decided to keep it going for a while longer!  Prints ordered on Metallic Paper through PROS will continue to be priced the same as prints ordered on E Surface Supra paper.  If you haven’t tried Metallic yet now is the time!  Remember that the magic of Metallic is in the high gloss surface and deep metallic sheen.  It is best not to order spray or texture on Metallic paper prints.

RAW Workflow in Testing 
Many people have asked if Pounds will ever accept camera RAW files.  The answer is an unqualified maybe!  We are testing a workflow now that will allow a photographer to submit camera RAW original files and pay a nominal charge to convert and color manage those files.  This service would be ideal for photographers who want the extra resolution and tonal quality of a file captured in RAW but don’t want to deal with any of the post-processing that is normally required in RAW workflow.  Many of the photographers we’ve talked to equate it to taping a negative to a camera card and letting us determine the best flesh tone for printing and handling all the retouching and artwork.   We would be interested in hearing your thoughts on Pounds handling your RAW files.  Please e-mail your comments on camera RAW to comments@poundslabs.com.

Web Hosting
We are considering the possibility of hosting a Web site for our customers to use to present their images and take orders online. You would be able to set your own prices and service offerings and would be able to configure the schema of the Web site such that it fit in with your existing Web site.  Your logo and contact information would take center stage. The only place the word Pounds would appear would be as part of the URL address. We would also offer simple single page sites for customers who do not have their own Web sites.

Pounds would keep your full size images on our servers for some period of time so that as orders were placed against those images there would be no need to upload the image again.  There will need to be some limits set on number of images and the length of time they could remain active. Web orders would be downloaded directly to Pounds meaning that the photographer would not need to create the order, it would be created for you automatically.

You would maintain your own galleries of images, making them active and then removing them.  Accepting orders and directing them on to Pounds.  If there is enough interest, as an extended service, Pounds could take on that roll for some agreed upon fee. 

We think that we can offer the basic service at no additional charge to you other than the costs (about three or four percent) associated with processing payments through a third-party payment processor (PayPal or something like it).  If we help you sell more pictures then we will profit from the additional print volume generated.  If the online images generate little additional print volume then we will have to evaluate the feasibility of maintaining the site.

If you think you might be interested in such a service please respond to comments@poundslabs.com. We would like to know what if anything you are doing now and any questions you have about the service.  We will compile your responses and answers to your questions and follow up with a blanket email to those who express an interest. 

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Date of Publication: May 15, 2006
Pounds Photographic Labs, Inc. • 901 Regal Row, Dallas, TX  75247 • (800)350-5671
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