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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> Smugmug-Is it worth it for the Amateur?
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02/19/2011 11:03:27 PM · #1
I have been oogling Smugmug for a while now, and just today started a 14 day free trial just to try it out.
I really like how the site is set up and I have been looking for a way to create some sort of portfolio for myself.
However, the price tag is pretty lofty, especially for a college student who does not make any money off of photography.
I am conflicted because I WANT it, but I don't know if it is WORTH it.

What are your opinions on smugmug for amateurs?
Would I be wasting my money, getting a site just to put up my pictures and possibly get a bit more publicity? If I would not be wasting my money, why not?
Just trying to get some opinions before I make a decision I might regret.

Thanks guys :-)
02/19/2011 11:41:30 PM · #2
Geez. Photo hosting, plus lotsa useful features, and a great looking, ad free platform. You KNOW you want it. Find a way to earn $40. It shows that you're serious.

Compare it to a portfolio on Flickr! Naah.

Good Luck!
02/19/2011 11:59:45 PM · #3
$40 is what? 8 fast food meals? a weekend's worth of partying? 4 cover charges? a half a pair of shoes?

it's probably the best place to start and if you ask, you can probably get more than a couple discount offers.

other than referrals, there is no better way to get work than to have an online gallery that represents what you consistently produce.
02/20/2011 12:31:16 AM · #4
I love it, but it does have its limitations for customizing, especially if you don't know HTML code. I just went through a brain melting session with a friend, trying to choose her headshot selections. Either I'm missing something, or it's really hard to use it for clients. But I still love it, especially for the money.
02/20/2011 12:50:13 AM · #5
Thanks Fiora for posting your question; Smugmug looks good and I think I'll be giving it a go. :)
02/20/2011 12:59:47 AM · #6
I took a weekend lighting workshop with Don Giannatti a couple of years ago. As part of it we each were given a 1 year free Pro Smugmug account. Once I loaded my galleries and saw the built-in pricing mechanism, I got a business license ($20 here in Washington), business cards, and started to feel professional, well sort of. But it is cool to have your own website.
//dobrushken.smugmug.com/
02/20/2011 02:09:59 AM · #7
You have some great photos there Frank!

Message edited by author 2011-02-20 02:10:12.
02/20/2011 02:13:38 AM · #8
Thanks Heather.
02/20/2011 04:04:24 AM · #9
I think I read somewhere that if you sign up to a new account with the android or iPhone app (not computer) you get 50% discount for the 1st year :)
02/20/2011 04:06:48 AM · #10
I've had my Smugmug site since 2004. Back then my pro account was $100 per year. I paid for the first year and haven't paid a dime since. I actually make a little on the site, even though I'm not a pro. I sell a few prints every year, and, combined with discounts from referrals, it pays for itself and a little extra.

When Smugmug raised account prices a few years ago, they didn't raise the price on existing accounts. I still pay $100 a year, even though a pro account is now $150 per year. I think that was rather decent of them.

If you want to save a few buck$ on a Smugmug account, use my referral code (qzDagz7w1S78w) when you sign up. It saves you money, and I get a little discount too.

If you need help customizing your site, let me know. I've done several for other people. I can help you if you have questions, or I can do the whole thing for you for a small fee. You can also get help by asking questions at DGrin.com. If you would rather pay a professional service to customize your site, there are a few of those available at DGrin too.

Good luck!

02/20/2011 04:21:23 AM · #11
Sounds great Mick, thanks!
02/20/2011 05:11:55 AM · #12
And if that code doesn`t work you can use this one ZWkbFKOC2mebs ;-)
02/20/2011 08:55:09 AM · #13
Or 9ASbRnzAAv3Js

hahahahahhahaha. (the laughter is all of us giving our referral codes. the codes are a good idea for anyone trying it though. knocks a few bucks off).
02/20/2011 11:07:17 AM · #14
Originally posted by Skip:

$40 is what? 8 fast food meals? a weekend's worth of partying? 4 cover charges? a half a pair of shoes?



Haha, this really made me laugh Skip. Because I...do not eat fastfood, do not have to spend any money going to parties, had to ask what a cover charge even was, and cringe when I have to pay even 30 dollars for a pair of shoes. Lol
I am an extremely frugal person (probably the Mennonite in me), which is why this was a big question in the first place. Getting a DPC membership was the first money I ever spent on getting some form of internet privileges on a site.

Anyways, I guess I will probably end up getting it. Thanks for the advice everyone. I do really really want it, and it will make me feel a bit more professional. Also, my parents said they thought it was an ok investment, and they are even more frugal than me ;-)
02/20/2011 04:21:42 PM · #15
This is like the Oscars: whose referral code will win?!?!?

[mumbles eheR5cLI3r9dc] :D

Message edited by author 2011-02-20 16:23:25.
02/20/2011 07:13:08 PM · #16
Heck why don't we all join the club. Here is mine!

bupcH1TQ04YmU

or you can just use my e-mial address that can be found on my profile, they take either.
02/20/2011 09:19:00 PM · #17
Sounds like a good idea to me, I will open up an account, have been thinking for some time to have my own site. Loved your photos Mick.
02/21/2011 12:17:23 AM · #18
Originally posted by heatherd:

Sounds like a good idea to me, I will open up an account, have been thinking for some time to have my own site. Loved your photos Mick.

Thanks a lot, Heather! Be sure to post a link to your site when it's up. :)

02/21/2011 02:08:35 AM · #19
Will do!
02/23/2011 12:02:28 PM · #20
I've been on smugmug for a few years now and love it. I went pro and so far have made my money back every year. I love the way I can password protect a gallery so people or events I shoot can go on and order prints directly. At big events I just do a quick post process in Lightroom, then if I get an order in I have it set to a 7 day delay in processing so I can go in and do final processing of the shots they chose. Plus I can sell digital downloads "as is". I love the Bay Photography prints too. Great quality and they do color correction if you want them to for a few cents more. And don't get me started on their aluminum prints, super quality and out of this world color. You can see my site HERE.
02/23/2011 09:01:21 PM · #21
you could host your own...
02/25/2011 09:43:53 PM · #22
Well, I finally paid for a years membership. Just the basic for now.
Unfortunately I was not able to use any of your codes, as while I was signing up it never asked me for that. I just assumed it would come up in the next step, and all of a sudden I was done signing up already.

Here is my site:
Clicky

Its a little spare right now, but I will eventually get all of my photos on there.
Its interesting because all of the photos on there right now were taken in 2010. Guess I am improving a bunch, cause my 2009 stuff didn't make the cut for me.

Message edited by author 2011-02-25 21:44:33.
02/25/2011 11:27:36 PM · #23
Originally posted by Fiora:

Well, I finally paid for a years membership. ...


(Smiles)
02/26/2011 12:17:10 AM · #24
Just for grins (or groans) here is mine
02/26/2011 05:48:42 AM · #25
Just added full screen slideshow. Check it out here.
This for about £40 a year i don`t think can be beat.
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