I absolutely love SmugMug. This article explains exactly what it is, and why I use (and highly recommend) it.
What is SmugMug?
SmugMug’s a place to store your photos online. Each photo – or group of photos – can be stored privately, shared with a group of people you select or open to the public – whichever you prefer (and you can change between these easily, as often as you want).
And if you want to sell them (as prints, jigsaws, coffee mugs – whatever you like), you can do this too. It’s extremely flexible.
How Do I Use It, And When?
I use it in a few ways, all via Lightroom :
1) As a backup. I create a ‘Best of … ‘ smart collection in Lightroom, automatically including all of my favourite photos (based on their ratings). I then upload all of these to a private gallery on SmugMug, just in case. If there’s a fire/flood/break-in here then I know that at least there’s another copy of my photos available.
2) For sharing with friends & family. Again using Lightroom’s ‘Smart Collections’, I automatically sort all new photos (based on their keywords) into various galleries. I upload the best of these to location-centric galleries on SmugMug, so I can then point people to my best photos from a particular location.
3) For sales as prints & downloads. Many of the above mentioned galleries are set to ‘public’, making it possible for anyone to buy prints & downloads directly from the site (without asking my permission each time). As I’ve already set the prices and determined which images are for sale, I can focus completely on creating new images rather than selling existing ones.
What Does It Look Like?
The simplest way to show you all of this is to point you to my own site, scottbirdphotography.com . This site is based on the ‘Sierra’ theme, which was easy enough to modify (to fill it with my own images, and point to my own ‘about’ and ‘contact’ pages). Setting it up took all of a half hour or so.
I’m currently using the ‘Business’ plan, though you can do much of the above with one of the others. You can check them all out here.
NB : if you check them out and decide to purchase one, you can get a discount using the code :
I get $ when you do that, and you’ll get a % off your chosen plan. Everyone wins.
I’ve been using SmugMug since 2005, which gives you an idea of how I feel about it – and how it relates to other photo-sharing services. Whether you’re simply looking for a way to back up your images, share them with friends & family, or sell them to clients; SmugMug’s ideal. If you haven’t done so already, give it a try : it really is the best.