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12/04/2009 12:40:59 PM · #1
Wow, I'm surprised to not see this already mentioned here on DPC because I think it is TREMENDOUS news! Smugmug finally has coupons! And just in time for Christmas.

It's obviously a "pro-only" feature (since only pro accounts can set their own prices). But if you have a smugmug account, you should definitely be checking into this.

More info on their blog: http://blogs.smugmug.com/release-notes/

Yay!!! :)
12/04/2009 12:47:18 PM · #2
call me stupid, but how do we do this.

i've got a pro account, but i'm seeing NOTHING on how to set up or activate the coupon.
12/04/2009 12:48:44 PM · #3
nm, i found it!
12/05/2009 06:36:07 PM · #4
Does anyone sell any prints through Smugmug? Is it basically a hosting site rather than a site that sells fine art prints?
12/05/2009 07:24:54 PM · #5
Originally posted by Jac:

Does anyone sell any prints through Smugmug? Is it basically a hosting site rather than a site that sells fine art prints?

I've sold prints to family and friends of the kids on my son's soccer team. :-)

Besides that, Smugmug is setup where you could sell prints quite easily...it's a matter of marketing. Make that location your primary web presence and then direct traffic to it, as you would any business.

ETA - besides prints, you can also sell digital downloads of your photos (with licensing, etc...) - and there's also a ton of "stuff" other than prints also, like shirts, magnets, stickers, buttons, ...

Message edited by author 2009-12-05 19:26:29.
12/05/2009 11:05:15 PM · #6
Originally posted by Jac:

Does anyone sell any prints through Smugmug? Is it basically a hosting site rather than a site that sells fine art prints?


I sell prints there, but I've sold more on DPCPrints.

I personally think it's more tuned to selling event pics than art pics. Which suits me for my theatre work, but it's an odd match for my landscapes. It's a bit weird for someone to buy a landscape or fine art shot and have the opportunity to buy the "wrong" aspect ratio, or crop the print at checkout!

Although I haven't sold any prints there yet, I like the way Artwanted is set up. I can specify exactly the print sizes I want to sell and the price. I have to do the printing and shipping though (but you can drop ship from DPCPrints or WHCC for that, or just ship yourself). I don't even think ArtWanted takes a piece of the action anymore unless a credit card is involved.

Message edited by author 2009-12-05 23:05:36.
12/06/2009 04:36:58 AM · #7
I sell lots of prints from my Smugmug site, fine art as well as event photos. I've also sold licenses for some of my photos as digital downloads. I don't advertise anywhere, yet I still get lots of traffic daily from people all over the world. And I'm not even a professional photographer.

With Smugmug, you have the freedom to customize your site any way that you desire. For instance, if you want to limit clients to buying certain image sizes, aspect ratios, or disallow cropping, that can be arranged. You can even create multiple looks (themes) for your site and switch between them at will--like skins. You can have slideshows, video, Google maps, etc., etc. If you need help customizing your site, the nice folks at DGrin.com are there to help. Or you can hire someone to do it for you. I customized my own site (several times), and I've done sites for a few others as well (I work cheap). DGrin even has a list of 'customizers-for-hire' that you can choose from.


12/06/2009 05:01:47 AM · #8
I think this is awesome. I've been waiting a couple years for this!
12/06/2009 07:55:31 AM · #9
Thanks for your replies folks. :) I find the jump from 60 to 150 dollars steep for a pro account but being able to fix your own price must be worth the extra cash I think.
12/06/2009 09:10:00 AM · #10
It is, and I'm really not sure why this thread was moved from the Business of Photography forum. After all this change really effects us that make a bit of cash from Smugmug.
12/06/2009 03:18:03 PM · #11
If your Smugmug professional account is for a real business, then $150 per year is a mere pittance. If it were my company, I would be willing to pay much more than that because a website can be extremely important to a company's image.

12/06/2009 04:04:07 PM · #12
Originally posted by nshapiro:

It's a bit weird for someone to buy a landscape or fine art shot and have the opportunity to buy the "wrong" aspect ratio, or crop the print at checkout!


"Set Prices", clear all prices for prints, then only set a price for the correct aspect ratio for the image (or gallery, if all the images in the gallery are the same ratio). Easy!
12/06/2009 04:23:48 PM · #13
Originally posted by MaryO:

Originally posted by nshapiro:

It's a bit weird for someone to buy a landscape or fine art shot and have the opportunity to buy the "wrong" aspect ratio, or crop the print at checkout!


"Set Prices", clear all prices for prints, then only set a price for the correct aspect ratio for the image (or gallery, if all the images in the gallery are the same ratio). Easy!


Yes, but it's a pain because not all my prints are the same aspect ratio. And they can still crop. It would be nicer if I could set let all the prices set per the gallery, but then have it only show the ones with the right aspect ratio for the print. After all, they can see the aspect ratio! There is an option to show only the ones that don't need cropping, but it's not a "photographer level" (or gallery-level) option, it's the user that determines it for their own cart.

Message edited by author 2009-12-06 16:32:15.
12/06/2009 04:43:56 PM · #14
Originally posted by Jac:

Thanks for your replies folks. :) I find the jump from 60 to 150 dollars steep for a pro account but being able to fix your own price must be worth the extra cash I think.
Yeah, may be kind of steep, but I've found that I've been able to make up that amount in a few weddings (handing out business cards linked to the gallery such as http://www.ecola.us/MikeAndSarah). So I've found it to be quite useful. And now coupons will make that even more cool!
12/06/2009 04:58:25 PM · #15
Originally posted by Jac:

Thanks for your replies folks. :) I find the jump from 60 to 150 dollars steep for a pro account but being able to fix your own price must be worth the extra cash I think.


Don't forget that if you refer people to smugmug, they get $5 off when they sign up, and you get $10 off your renewal.

I point this out because, the only time I have ever paid full price was the very first year I signed up. I've had referrals for all of the rest of the years (5 years now). And, in fact, the last two years I've had enough referrals to completely pay for my renewal with no out-of-pocket expense. :)

I do wish some of their print prices were a little bit lower and that maybe the smugmug fee on top of profits was lower. But on the other hand, they handle the hassle of fulfilling orders for me and let me concentrate more on the photography and I like that and don't mind parting with some cash to let someone else do the work.


12/06/2009 07:38:45 PM · #16
Originally posted by nshapiro:

Originally posted by MaryO:

Originally posted by nshapiro:

It's a bit weird for someone to buy a landscape or fine art shot and have the opportunity to buy the "wrong" aspect ratio, or crop the print at checkout!


"Set Prices", clear all prices for prints, then only set a price for the correct aspect ratio for the image (or gallery, if all the images in the gallery are the same ratio). Easy!


Yes, but it's a pain because not all my prints are the same aspect ratio. And they can still crop. It would be nicer if I could set let all the prices set per the gallery, but then have it only show the ones with the right aspect ratio for the print. After all, they can see the aspect ratio! There is an option to show only the ones that don't need cropping, but it's not a "photographer level" (or gallery-level) option, it's the user that determines it for their own cart.


This might be a workaround -- do the "proof" before it starts to print, and then you can still control the crop or whatever. maybe?
12/06/2009 07:41:04 PM · #17
Originally posted by nshapiro:

Originally posted by MaryO:

Originally posted by nshapiro:

It's a bit weird for someone to buy a landscape or fine art shot and have the opportunity to buy the "wrong" aspect ratio, or crop the print at checkout!


"Set Prices", clear all prices for prints, then only set a price for the correct aspect ratio for the image (or gallery, if all the images in the gallery are the same ratio). Easy!


Yes, but it's a pain because not all my prints are the same aspect ratio. And they can still crop. It would be nicer if I could set let all the prices set per the gallery, but then have it only show the ones with the right aspect ratio for the print. After all, they can see the aspect ratio! There is an option to show only the ones that don't need cropping, but it's not a "photographer level" (or gallery-level) option, it's the user that determines it for their own cart.


OK, I lied. Set all prices to 0, then set prices for the ratios you want. When a customer adds the image to the cart the only options they will see are the ones you set actual prices for. I just tested it with a square image; worked like a charm! NO cropping.

But yeah, it would be cool if it recognized the aspect ratio and disallowed other sizes if the owner specified "no cropping" for an image or gallery. Worth suggesting to them.
12/06/2009 07:43:33 PM · #18
Originally posted by karmat:

Originally posted by nshapiro:

Originally posted by MaryO:

Originally posted by nshapiro:

It's a bit weird for someone to buy a landscape or fine art shot and have the opportunity to buy the "wrong" aspect ratio, or crop the print at checkout!


"Set Prices", clear all prices for prints, then only set a price for the correct aspect ratio for the image (or gallery, if all the images in the gallery are the same ratio). Easy!


Yes, but it's a pain because not all my prints are the same aspect ratio. And they can still crop. It would be nicer if I could set let all the prices set per the gallery, but then have it only show the ones with the right aspect ratio for the print. After all, they can see the aspect ratio! There is an option to show only the ones that don't need cropping, but it's not a "photographer level" (or gallery-level) option, it's the user that determines it for their own cart.


This might be a workaround -- do the "proof" before it starts to print, and then you can still control the crop or whatever. maybe?


That's true, too. If you set "proof days" you get the opportunity to edit the order before it prints. I'd want to double-check with the purchaser before making a drastic change in the order, but I've adjusted crops many times.
12/08/2009 11:27:05 AM · #19
Originally posted by MaryO:

Originally posted by karmat:

Originally posted by nshapiro:

Originally posted by MaryO:

Originally posted by nshapiro:

It's a bit weird for someone to buy a landscape or fine art shot and have the opportunity to buy the "wrong" aspect ratio, or crop the print at checkout!


"Set Prices", clear all prices for prints, then only set a price for the correct aspect ratio for the image (or gallery, if all the images in the gallery are the same ratio). Easy!


Yes, but it's a pain because not all my prints are the same aspect ratio. And they can still crop. It would be nicer if I could set let all the prices set per the gallery, but then have it only show the ones with the right aspect ratio for the print. After all, they can see the aspect ratio! There is an option to show only the ones that don't need cropping, but it's not a "photographer level" (or gallery-level) option, it's the user that determines it for their own cart.


This might be a workaround -- do the "proof" before it starts to print, and then you can still control the crop or whatever. maybe?


That's true, too. If you set "proof days" you get the opportunity to edit the order before it prints. I'd want to double-check with the purchaser before making a drastic change in the order, but I've adjusted crops many times.


Yes, I should have done it. I just had someone order a 4:5 aspect ratio portrait in 2:3 without noticing it would be cropped. Unfortunately, I didn't set the proofing delay, so it's too late to stop it. It will be ok, but it will be too tight on the sides. (The irony of course is that I cropped the original to 4:5 to provide it in standard frame sizes.)

12/08/2009 11:44:39 AM · #20
I upload nothing but full size images to smugmug. Smugmug is my "off-site backup" (storing over 87,000 files and 436G of data right now).

If someone orders anything other than 2:3 aspect ratio, I'll double-check their cropping and fix it if necessary. In just a few cases, I may have to do some minor stretching (of non-subject sides) to get a 4:5 ratio or in a few very rare cases, have them cancel and resubmit their order for a different crop. It's so rare (5 years now with smugmug) that it's not been much of a hassle and smugmug has been great about working with both me and my customers.


12/08/2009 02:06:22 PM · #21
Now if they get packages done, I'll be satisfied. Another thing they're working on is pro branding through delivery. Spending $150 a year (less referrals) and 15% of sales is worth it for the new features they're constantly adding, as well as the degree to which it is customizable by the user. I use it for both event stuff, as stock viewing galleries, for private galleries for commercial/individual clients, for fine art prints. Over $25K in sales through Smugmug, they are "industrial strength", and with answers from the help desk within an hour of querying, that is priceless.

On the fine art prints I make sure only the correct aspect ratio has prices so nothing else will be visible. I set a 2 day proof delay on finished images just to insure they haven't done something stupid in cropping. Most of my galleries are set to 7 days proof delay because of my travel, and the event galleries just have Lightroom proofs.

I get 5-6 referral credits a year from people who get accounts there, which is a nice little extra feature.
12/08/2009 08:33:16 PM · #22
Originally posted by lynnesite:

and with answers from the help desk within an hour of querying, that is priceless.


Yes! I can't say enough about their support staff. I've never personally waited more than about 15 minutes for a reply from them. And the amazing thing to me is that I've sent them messages both in the middle of the day as well as middle of the night and the response has been the same.


12/08/2009 08:58:45 PM · #23
150.00 per year steep!! Holy Not! Not if you are selling seriously.

I've been with them for at least 4 years and have sold tens of thousands of dollars of prints. Probably 95% of my sales. Their Support is phenomena land fast. Just the other day I had a client email Smuggy help to try to upgrade her shipping (a BD was arriving) and they told her they'd up it at no charge and also let me know so I could prepare them faster. (I use the proof delay, big time so I can check everything. You can set it from 1-7 days and you can ship sooner if you're ready).

As for the aspect ration issue.... well. Photographers have been making various sized prints from standard sized negatives for years and years. I would assume that a Pro could plan for a print being made into multiple aspect ratios from one preparation (when using proof delay so you can see what your client did!) if they can plan for various sized prints to be made from one negative in the first place. I don't have any issues with that as I have learned to shoot AND prep accordingly. You can also override any crop the customer chooses. (you would be surprised at just how many try to chop off their own heads!)

You CAN, however, based on your pricing, completely block some aspect ratios out of the running on certain pics if you want. You can choose 4x5 instead of 4x6 to sell as well. It's also now easy to price certain galleries in bulk.

IMO Smuggy is awesome, but I will have to second that package pricing want.

ETA: I set all my posted proofs to the 5x7 ratio because it's kinda in between the 4:5 and the 2:3 and most of my clients order 5x7s. I also show only ACR'd "proofs" until they order, hence the love of the proof delay. I set that to the max because I travel a lot.

Message edited by author 2009-12-08 21:02:02.
12/08/2009 09:35:14 PM · #24
Originally posted by Ristyz:

150.00 per year steep!! Holy Not! Not if you are selling seriously.

I've been with them for at least 4 years ...

IMO Smuggy is awesome, but I will have to second that package pricing want.


I stopped putting a proof delay on orders because then orders are delayed pending my review--which may take some time. But I wish I had in this case. But it would not have done me any good to change the crop--she ordered a 10x15 and 2x3's instead of 8x10 or 11x14. I would have had to change her order completely. And I presume the pricing would have changed.

It would be nice if their system had an option to "fill prices" for the applicable aspect ratio only. Or an option just to restrict it at the point of sale. Their fill in options are nice, but there's no automatic way to go through and price all the right products.

IMHO the system just doesn't work well for fine art or landscape photography sales. It seems a wrong fit for a customer to be offered a crop in the first place for landscape or fine art. And as I told them, I have mixed sizes in a gallery. In order to remove products that don't match an aspect ratio, I have to go through the photos one by one, look at the ratio, and then configure the pricing. Their suggestion from support was to separate out the prints into galleries based on aspect ratio or print size. I imagine that would not be a very professional look.

I do think I have a "more professinal" solution. I can just not offer the items through the order sytem on Smugmug, and use it just like an ordinary website, with information on how to order (of course, then if not for the theatre photography, I then wouldn't need smugmug at all). I guess I would just need to figure out how to link in a paypal system, or take orders through e-mail.

Another alternative would be to refer them through ArtWanted, but while I like their system for setting up products, it's not a "customized" look, and the free site does have limits on how many items you can have in your portfolio. But it's a good contrast--it's a much better site for landscapes, not applicable though for event photography. Check out how an order page looks there...that's much better for that kind of thing IMHO.

Which brings me back to the conclusion that Smugmug definitely is geared mainly for event photography, senior portraits, etc. Not for selling landscapes and fine art. I just wish they'd do more to accommodate that. Otherwise, the site is a good deal considering the unlimited storage, galleries, and general features.

Message edited by author 2009-12-08 21:36:01.
12/08/2009 10:21:44 PM · #25
Yup, I can definitely go with the geared towards event and other high volume photography... Thank goodness as that is what I do!

They recently redid some stuff and the bulk pricing got a lot easier. I discovered that you could set prices for one gallery and then go back an tell as manny galleries in as many categories as you wanted to use that pricing. I wonder if that would work on a per image basis too allowing you to set one image's prices based on it's ration then transfer it to all other images of that ratio.

I see your issue with the cropping and fine art that you want exactly the way you prepared it . Would be nice to turn if off for your particular type of use. Sound like you need a website with a "buy this print" button and like 3 size choices per image. My old site was more like that in that they bought it and paid via CC (I used breezebrowser to set up a shopping cart... well my web person did, then I got a message from paypal saying it was paid and which images in what size. Then I prepped, printed, packaged and shipped the prints. but if you already have them on Smugmug, then you can order them yourself on smuggy and have them drop shipped to the customer.

I still can't think of any service that any of my peers use that are as slick as smuggy for the kind of selling I do. Not even Exposure Manager (constantly re-scrolling, every page, every image to see the whole image and having to use the mouse to navigate it all the time (Smug lets you use the arrows on your keyboard to move to the next image and also remembers how far down the page you last scrolled. ) A minor thing that makes me very happy and frustrates the heck out of me on ExMan.

Have you told any of this to Smugmug? They are always open to suggestions. Perhaps they need to know that some out there need a different kind of set up for fine art type selling and allow you to pick a selling format in the control panel. A whole secondary system. (I would probably hate me I if were a programmer!)


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