Feathers by Tomasz Nowicki

Feathers - Portrait of Kinga Nowicka

A very talented and beautiful model from Poland – living in the UK.   We had planned this session for a while – our aim was to create something unique – different from all the other portraits that I have in my portfolio.  A headdress has brought a different look to the whole portrait.

This is something completely new to me, because most of my portraits are very simple – but I think I will explore this kind of photography little bit more.

New SmugMug Site - Rafal Gawelda - Wildlife Photographer by Tomasz Nowicki

I have just finished designing and customizing another SmugMug site.  This time for one of my friends, who is a great wildlife photographer from Poland – Rafal Gawelda.  He was looking for a clean design that would showcase his beautiful photos in a nice and clean way.  SmugMug is a perfect platform to do this.

For many months Rafal has been looking at SmugMug – he was not sure if the platform were the right one for him.  After showing him some examples and possibilities that SmugMug has to offer – he was convinced that this is the perfect home for his photos.

Photos from Leicester Pride 2014 by Tomasz Nowicki

In 2009 Leicester Pride returned to the City.  Following a short hiatus, the festival celebrating the diversity of the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities has returned to Leicester this year.  A week after the beating of a local lesbian and a 'monk' posting hate post through local homes, Leicester Pride celebrated with more people, LGTB and our allies, then ever before!  One Love, One Community - Celebrating LGBT Freedom:  this year's theme.  Bigger and better than ever.

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How to add a Newsletter Signup form to your SmugMug site by Tomasz Nowicki

newsletter-signup-form-on-smugmug

A great way to gain followers on your SmugMug site is offer a free newsletter.  A newsletter is a great way to keep your customers informed of promotions, deals or even your latest image post.

This tutorial is divided into three sections - the first section is about creating an account on a great newsletter service - MailChimp.  The second section is creating an account on Wufoo - to easily create a nice looking signup form, which we connect to our MailChimp account.  The third and last section is about embedding your Wufoo form on your SmugMug site.


For the first part of the tutorial we will need to start with MailChimp - this is one of my favourite services that provides a very easy way to create beautiful looking newsletters without using any code { drag and drop editor }.  You will need an account on MailChimp to store all the email addresses of your subscribers.  They offer a free subscription as well  {Send 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers for free. No contracts, and no credit card required. It’s free forever}.

Great!  Now your MailChimp account is active – you have to create your first mailing list { this is a list where all the email addresses of your subscribers will be saved }.  To create a new mailing list – > please login to MailChimp – > click LISTS – > CREATE LIST  { button located on the top right side of the page }.


Now it is time to create an account on Wufoo. Wufoo is a great service that allows you to create online forms that you can embed on any site.  Wufoo offers free and paid accounts – depending on your requirements and usage. I am using their free account on my SmugMug page.

After you have created your Wufoo account – please login to your account – > click the FORMS tab and then click the NEW FORM! button { see my screenshot }:

Let's start by giving our form a title and a description { both will show on your SmugMug site}.  Please click the FORM SETTINGS tab – located at the top of the page.

Now, please click the ADD A FIELD tab that is located at the top of the page – this will bring you to a drag-and-drop form creator – where you can create your form.

For this newsletter – we will only use one field – the email address field { you can add name field as well – if you wish to collect this information from your visitors }.

Please grab the EMAIL field and drag it to your NEWSLETTER { see my screenshot }:

After you have finished editing your form – please click the SAVE FORM button that is located at the bottom of the form creator.  When you click the SAVE FORM button – you will be presented with a popup window with 3 options – please choose the second option:

SETUP EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS FOR THIS FORM

This will open a page with 3 sections – please concentrate on the third, last section – we are going to connect your WuFoo account with your MailChimp account.

Please choose from the dropdown menu MAILCHIMP and then click the ADD INTEGRATION button.

A green box will be created with a big CONNECT TO MAILCHIMP button – please click it. Login to your MailChimp account and authorise the connection. This will close your MailChimp page and will bring you back to the Wufoo site.

You will see that in place of the big CONNECT TO MAILCHIMP button – two dropdown menus will have appeared.

Now you will need to choose the name of the MailChimp list that you have created in the first step and click SAVE.  This will open a popup window where you will need to map the field that you have created on your Wufoo form – with the field on your MailChimp form.  Since I have only added one field – I need to map the email address field { see my screenshot }:

Save your settings and let's go back to the FORMS list { click the FORMS tab located at the top of the page }.  You will see that your NEWSLETTER form is located in this section. Underneath the form you will find a few buttons – please click the CODE button { see my screenshot }:

Please copy the PERMANENT SHORTLINK URL – we will need this for the last part of the tutorial.


Now it is time for the third and final part of this tutorial – adding your Wufoo form to your SmugMug account. First thing you will need to think about – where would you like to put the form on your account. I have created a special page for your newsletter signup form – using this tutorial:

When you have opened your freshly created page - > click CUSTOMIZE - > CUSTOMIZE SITE - > in the content area – please open the SERVICES tab and there you will find the WUFOO content block – see my screenshot:

Please drag the Wufoo Form content block to your page.  When you drop the content block to the location of your choice – a popup window will open.  Here you will have to paste your Wufoo Form shortlink.

You will see your Wufoo Form appear on your SmugMug page – now you just need to publish changes that you have made on your SmugMug page and there it is :)  


NOTES

You will probably ask yourself why do we have to use all these services for this [ MailChimp - > Wufoo - > and SmugMug ] ?

MailChimp – you need a place where all email addresses for your subscribers will be stored + you need a great tool to create beautiful looking newsletters that you can send to your subscribers.

Wufoo - you need a bridge that will connect your newsletter signup form with MailChimp.

SmugMug - I do not need to explain this one :)  The best looking online galleries!

THIS TUTORIAL IS WRITTEN FOR THE NEW SMUGMUG ONLY


Blast from the Past - Ewa Marzec by Tomasz Nowicki

I remember like this was yesterday - Ewa came from Poland to visit me in the UK.  She asked me if I can take few photos of her for her Facebook profile.  I have set one light in my living room + dark background and we did a short photo shoot.  We had loads of fun - she is a great person to work with.

You can see more photos of Ewa - here

Happy Dancer by Tomasz Nowicki

dancer-rome.jpg

I have been going through photos that I took in Rome last year and I came across this one.  The Happy Dancer - he had just joined the band that was playing in the background and he started dancing.  It was really funny, because the band was getting a little bit annoyed that The Dancer was getting more attention from the crowd than they were.

This photo is also available on my SmugMug portfolio page - here.

Streets of Rome by Tomasz Nowicki

Two shots from the beautiful, vivid and busy city of Rome.  First image represents the famous Spanish Steps - The Spanish Steps are a set of steps in Rome, Italy, climbing a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, dominated by the Trinità dei Monti church at the top. The Scalinata is the widest staircase in Europe.

The second photo represents a Russian Accordion Player whom I was able to photograph in one the of many squares of which this beautiful city has plenty.  No matter which alley you take - you will always end up in a beautiful square filled with artists, little shops, fountains and accordion players :)

Inspiring story from SmugMug by Tomasz Nowicki

SmugMug just released a beautiful - inspiring video from their SmugMug Films Series.  This movie is about a great photographer - Ben Von Wong.  

"SmugMug Films is a new film series that gives a behind-the-lens look at the world's most epic photographers, our heroes. Ordinary people who--with camera in hand--capture the human experience, the impossible shot, the world beyond imagination. It's our hope that these stunning video shorts will inspire passion, ignite possibility, and encourage you to throw your own shutter wide open to the wonders of the world."

Make sure that you subscribe to SmugMug Films Series YouTube channel - there is more creativity to come!

Spiral Stairs - Vatican Museum by Tomasz Nowicki

Spiral Stairs - Vatican Museum, Rome.  This is a very famous place in the Vatican Museum - especially amongst photographers :)  

The Spiral staircase is located in the Vatican Museums and was designed by Giuseppe Momo in 1932. If you go up this grand spiral ramp you will be moving from the street level up to the floor of the Vatican Museums. The Vatican Museums are among the most important museums in the world. In the Vatican Museums the vast collections collected by the Roman Catholic Church throughout the centuries are displayed. As seen today, the Vatican Museums are comprised of several pontifical galleries and museums that were assembled by several Popes. The display includes the Raphael rooms and the famous painted ceiling of the Sistine Chapel as well as other masterpieces.

Tip:  You can take your camera to the Vatican Museum - but there are some areas, where taking photos is not allowed - for example the Sistine Chapel.

Shoottokyo by Tomasz Nowicki

shootokyo-city.jpg

Recently I had a chance to work with a great photographer Dave Powell on his new SmugMug portfolio site.  He was looking for a clean design with focus on his beautiful street photography.

I created a minimal design with full screen background images that change every time a person visits his homepage.  Thanks to the tools that New SmugMug is offering; this was very easy to implement on Dave’s site.  Within a few hours his site was ready to be published.

Make sure that you visit his SmugMug portfolio - http://portfolio.shoottokyo.com/ and his main site http://www.shoottokyo.com

Here are some screenshots of his SmugMug homepage:

Gabbie by Tomasz Nowicki

gabbie-social-resized.jpg

Portrait of the beautiful Gabbie Bryan - Leicester based model.  I am a big fan of slightly desaturated colours on my portraits {as you can see in my portfolio}.  This time I was aiming to do something different - preserve the natural, warm tones of the skin tones.  After playing with Curves in Adobe Photoshop I was happy with the result.

If you like this portrait - you can buy it as a beautiful print - just click here.