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SmugMug online image sharing

June 14th, 2008


I’m loving using an online photo-sharing service called SmugMug. There are many services that offer ways to store images, show galleries, distribute, sell licensing, and print on the web: Flickr, Shutterfly, Digital Railroad, Photo Shelter, etc. I’ve worked with many of these and they all have their strong and weak points. SmugMug combines many of the features I like in other sites into one easy to use service. The gallery design choices are far superior to other sites. The interface is intuitive and easy to use.


This image is being shared from a SmugMug link. It isn’t really here on the blog, it’s on a SmugMug server and I’ve added a link to it. It’s possible to store all your images on SmugMug and connect to them easily from just about anywhere on the web.


I was able to easily include my own header as you see in the gallery above. I’ve only started to play with SmugMug’s customize functions. I’ve seen some really nice customized galleries done by other users. The customize dialogs allow you to add html/javascript code in a way that makes the entire gallery completely editable. Below is a screen-shot of the Cascading Style Sheet window. There are other code windows for Header, footer, etc.

SmugMug is a great family run business, their founders Chris (left) and Don (right) MacAskill are shown in their Sorcerer makeup. They call their Customer support staff Heroes and their programmers Sorcerers. You can read all about them in this LA Times Article.

The Google search box shown below is an example of some nice sorcery. The Sorcerers have included good search engine positioning and the ability to search SmugMug directly from Google.

Here are some of the key features for me and how I use them:
1. Easy uploads: There are six ways to upload including a Lightroom plugin.
2. Galleries can have three levels of security and you can set it so your viewers can download the file or buy a download. Smugmug isn’t quite setup for stock sales, but it would be a simple step for them. I plan on contacting them about some consulting on how they can make these changes. I would love to be able to license stock image usage from their system.
3. Customizable galleries that really look nice and are simple to modify.
4. User defined pricing with markup: Pros can sell prints and make a profit. You can upload low res and replace it with high res when someone orders a print. SmugMug uses EZprints for print and product fulfillment. EZprints is a reputable company that provides ICC profiles and calibration prints.

______________Cost | $Price | Profit

SmugMug is full of photography technology that’s extremely useful and very well done. I highly recommend the service for pro and amateur photographers alike.

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