Customizing Your WordSwag Images to Your Brand - Tutorial

Do you ever post promotional images on Instagram or Facebook that contain text? Have you found the amazingly easy and fun app WordSwag? If not, check it out right away, because it is one of the most simple and quick apps out there, with tons of options - for making the perfect text or text overlay images for social media!

I have been using WordSwag for a couple of years now, and I just realized recently that there is actually a very simple way to customize your backgrounds and text colors to match your exact branding colors! I used to get as close as possible by using the eyedropper tool that lets you drag a little sampling tool over a huge rainbow spectrum of color to approximate your desired shade, but NOW all I do is use the exact hexcode for my branding colors, and voila! Perfectly branded backgrounds and text! If you don't know how to find your hexcode for your branding, there are many ways to figure this out, but the easiest way is to either open your desired image that you use for your branding in a "color picker" tool from the app store. Then use the eyedropper tool to sample your desired color, and it will give you the hexcode.

Now that you know what a hexcode is and where to find it, let's get started on the step-by-step process of making a perfectly branded image in WordSwag!

WordSwag opening screen...

WordSwag opening screen...

This screen is what you see when you first open WordSwag. If you tap on the icon with the camera, you can take a picture with your iPhone camera right away and add text over it, and if you tap on the Polaroid photos icon, you are directed to a screen where you can either select from their sample background images, or use a photo from your camera roll. So, tap on that second icon!

WordSwag Background Image Selector

Step 1

Either select a background provided by WordSwag (you can see some examples above) or click on the button at the top right to choose an image from your phone. You can also search their Pixabay database for specifically themed images, but I haven't used those myself. For this tutorial, I selected a charcoal gray background shown above on the left.

Step 2

The next screen gives you the option to crop the background image to specific sizes for different applications. I always use the square cropping option, because I can then know exactly how this will look on my Instagram account page, after Instagram crops it to fit the square grid.

Steps 3 & 4

This is the next screen you will see after cropping. There are SO MANY text styles to choose from! For this example, I used "swift brush", and if you double tap on the text, you can edit it, type in your own custom text - or like I did here - use one of their built in quotes or phrases. When you tap on the different numbers 1-5 below the image, or the icon of the 2 dice, it changes the layout of the words. You can see how I edited mine by looking at the difference in the two images above.

Step 5

Now to change the color of the text to your custom branding color! Tap on the "color" icon, just below the image preview. See the eyedropper swatch all the way on the left in the image above left? Tap on that next. Now, the screen you see above center is what you will see next - tap on the # symbol on the right side. After you tap on the # symbol, the screen above right is what you will see. Simply either type or paste your hexcode - which should have 6 numbers and letters in it (hence the HEX in hexcode) and tap OK.

Using WordSwag to Match Your Branding

This is what you will have after performing those 5 steps!

Optional Steps

You can stop right here, or, as I did, you can tap on the little "invert" icon on the bottom right, and it will swap the background and text colors. (See below) Also, I decided that I wanted the charcoal gray color of the text to be a bit lighter, so I tapped on the "image" icon on the right side, and dragged the brightness slider to the right a tad. This applies brightness only to the text, which is affected instead of the background because I inverted it earlier.

Step 6

Now, tap on "SAVE" at the top right corner of the screen and it will automatically save to your camera roll. OR, you can additionally export straight to a social media app, or you can also "RE-SWAG", which is an optional step 7 that you can see below. This basically goes back to the previous screen, but adds a new layer of text on your image.

My final (re-swagged) image below! ;-)

WordSwag Tutorial

Squarespace Tutorial - Sell senior grad cards from your website

If you're like me, and you actually don't do in-person-sales (GASP!) and you've been looking for a more streamlined way to sell grad cards, I have an answer for you! Well, if you have a Squarespace website I have an answer for you...

I ADORE Squarespace. It is elegant in its design; easily used without coding, yet still extremely functional and beautiful. Squarespace sites can be minimal, or more detailed. The beauty of Squarespace is this - it is what you make it, and you don't have to write even one line of code to do it.

Now, back to the problem at hand. Graduation Announcements, or Grad Cards, as I like to call them - are not easily sold if you don't do in-person-sales. The problem is this: each card has more than one image on it, as well as multiple lines of text. If you try to sell Grad Cards on your Shootproof, Pixieset, etc. there is not a very easy way for the client to select multiple images to go with one product - roadblock.

If you send your clients a PDF with all of the card designs in it, and ask them to email you back with the design choice, as well as the file numbers of the images they want on their cards, and the verbiage - all back to you through email - then it is cumbersome. Do you then ask them to call you with a credit card number? Mail you a check? Send them a SEPARATE email with an invoice attached? #headdesk

I decided that I was going to solve this problem to the best of my ability this year - and I did! Read on for a step-by-step tutorial on how I accomplished this using the power of Squarespace...


Step 1

Create a new page to house your Grad Card "product". You must have the proper type of Squarespace account to sell products on your website. See this page for more info. You will also need to be set up with Stripe in order to collect payment before you even embark on this tutorial. So get that all set up first, then follow along.

I chose to keep this page off of my homepage's navigation, so I used an unlinked page.

Click the + sign to add a new page.

Click the + sign to add a new page.

Step 2

Tell Squarespace that your new page should be a Products page.

 Squarespace Tutorials for Photographers

Step 3

Once the new page pops up, you will see a little plus sign at the top right of the new page - click on that plus sign to add a new product to your page.

 Squarespace Tutorials for Photographers

Step 4

Start building your new product. The first step for me was loading all of the sample images that were numbered so my clients could see all 18 designs I had for them to choose from, and they could then click on them to enlarge into a lightbox (default for Squarespace products) so they could see them close up and make their choice.

Editing screen for your Grad Card "product".

After I loaded all of the design preview images, I wrote a detailed description in the space to the right - where you describe your product. You can style your description multiple ways - using heading styles, as I did, as well as bold, italic, bullets, etc.

I made my most important text in the description "Heading 2" to style it and draw attention.

I made my most important text in the description "Heading 2" to style it and draw attention.

Step 5

Now, the tedious part of the product set up has arrived! After loading all of your sample images, and writing your description, click on the next tab - Pricing & Variants. This is where you will create a new line for each design, times the number of options each design can be purchased in.

This is the tricky part. I will give you an example:

I sell my Grad Cards in 3 different types of cardstock and I have 18 designs to choose from.

I need to make a separate line (that has its own SKU - done automatically by Squarespace!) for each of these options.

So, for Design 1 I make three lines:

SKU1234 $40 Design 1 Linen

SKU1235 $40 Design 1 Pearl

SKU1236 $40 Design 1 Smooth

I repeat this process for each design I have, for a total of 54 variants. I ignore the dimensions, and weight, and for "stock", I choose "unlimited" because I don't want to limit how many a client can order. That "+" on the right side of the window adds a column for another option. I only had 2 options, design and cardstock. They are all the same price - if yours are different prices, you will need to have a different price for each separate line that has a different price. I charge the same no matter which cardstock my clients choose.

Entering all of the product variants.

Entering all of the product variants.

Step 6

Next, you can enter in any "additional info", but I don't use that because whatever you place in that part of the product is far at the bottom and I fear clients may not see it. So, on to the Form that they will fill out when they purchase. This is where they will tell me which image numbers and which verbiage they want on the front and back of their cards.

Click "create new form" at the bottom to make your form that clients fill out when purchasing.

Click "create new form" at the bottom to make your form that clients fill out when purchasing.

Add the "text area" fields so your clients can tell you image numbers and verbiage.

Add the "text area" fields so your clients can tell you image numbers and verbiage.

 

Step 6.5

Add fields to the form, by choosing the "text area" field, naming each field appropriately, and giving them a short description so they know exactly what you want in each field. They will need to have their gallery handy or their USB if they purchased digital files - so they can look up the file names.

Editing fields on the purchase form.

Editing fields on the purchase form.

Step 7

Choose a thumbnail for your product. If you don't upload a thumbnail image for your product, Squarespace will automatically use the very first image you uploaded in the description area. You can also make this a "featured product", use a custom Add to Cart button, or change the URL of the product if you would like to.

Upload a thumbnail image and enter a custom URL if you desire.

Upload a thumbnail image and enter a custom URL if you desire.

Step 8

Now, click on "save" to make sure your product is saved and published on your site! You can see what my final product looks like below.

Close up of the final product page that my clients see.
Dropdown menu showing options as my clients see it.

Dropdown menu showing options as my clients see it.

The form filled out with purchase as my clients see it.

The form filled out with purchase as my clients see it.

I hope this has helped you tackle selling those Grad Cards in a more seamless manner! Please comment below if you use this tutorial and let me know how it goes!

Erin

Dayton, Ohio Fine Art Film Portraits - Brianna

Brianna and I met several years ago at a one day workshop for photographers - she was one of the models. She struck me with how bubbly, friendly, and talkative she was right away. Brianna is also a natural model and completely gorgeous! She contacted me wanting to work together again on an impromptu shoot just for fun. By the time we were both available though, the weather had turned into a cold, cloudy, dreary Ohio Fall. I never, I repeat - never shoot on cloudy days. I crave the blasting sunshine. However, we didn't really have a choice, and I figured it might be fun to push myself to do something a bit different anyway.

Below are my favorites from our shoot - both film and digital images. The color film images are Kodak Portra 400, and the black and white film images are Kodak Tri-X 400 (self developed and scanned with the help of Dave Schmaus - his work is amazing and you need to go check it out right after reading this post!) 

OUR SECOND LOOK

Dayton, Ohio Senior Portraits - Korrine - Class of 2017

Korrine is a very fun and exuberant person! She is also the second from her family to have her senior portraits made by me... I had her sister Jacqueline first, who is equally fun and exuberant! And did I mention they are both drop dead gorgeous??? No? Well, see for yourself. Jacqueline won my LuxBook Covergirl Contest two years ago, pictured below.

Jacqueline's winning cover, from the Class of 2016 LUXBOOK.

Jacqueline's winning cover, from the Class of 2016 LUXBOOK.

Now, I don't want Korrine to think this post is going to be all about her big sis, so I need to definitely show you how beautiful she is too! But get this - they have another younger sister! Yay! Can't wait to work with Kennedy next! My favorite images from Korrine's Lux Session are shown below...


Love this entire session! Thanks again Korrine - you'll have to come assist me on Kennedy's session! ;-)

Hair and Makeup by: Trista Noe Makeup Artistry