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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Smug Mug experiences and some questions.
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07/30/2008 06:14:25 PM · #1
Does anyone here have a Smugmug account? Do you like it? Do you also have a Flickr account to compare it with?
I understand that I can setup my photos to be printed directly from smugmug, I can even set print prices with the professional account.
Now, a big question, is it legal to set print prices to make a little extra $$ with photos that I have taken in various events in the past. They were a originally volunteer work and the involve identifiable faces in the pictures. I do not have any written weaver on file.
thanks
07/30/2008 06:46:41 PM · #2
I have smugmug and its great no problems at all and no complaints I have used flickr and I dont like it. I prefer smugmug much more, I like all the custom options I have when it comes to designing my website also all the many other options I have over flickr.

If you do use it here is a code referal gRqDsQdX03m9M this will save you a few bucks during signup. But about your question about selling photos you took at a event I am not sure if its legal or not.

If you want you can take a look at my smugmug site //www.lamontphotography.com/
07/30/2008 07:05:16 PM · #3
With no model release, other than selling for editorial use by a publication, you are opening yourself up for legal action--unless the people in the photo won't be able to recognize themselves.

Smugger since May 04, pro account, love it. Sales to date, 1,282 orders. Mostly events. The companion forum here is a great resource and a tight community.
07/30/2008 08:26:31 PM · #4
I have been going back and forth between getting a smug mug, zenfolio, or creating my own site.

I have a Pro flickr account and imo it isnt even close to the same thing. flickr is my junk drawer. when i shoot 300 shots of the 5th grade car wash and dont PP most of them, they go on flickr. when i need to host images for ebay, it goes on flickr.

If you are looking to do things in a more professional capacity, then go another route like smugmug.
07/30/2008 08:30:13 PM · #5
I've been using SmugMug for the last couple months...I have a lot to learn about the place (capabilities yet), but so far I'm happy with them.

They do have the 30 day trial option if you want to take them for a test run...
07/30/2008 08:32:23 PM · #6
they were giving a discount to flickr users coming over too. Just type on flickr in the discount box. I got half off the first year on a pro acct.

I have had mine a few months, still working on it.

www.essickphotography.com
07/30/2008 09:30:54 PM · #7
Originally posted by gwe21:

they were giving a discount to flickr users coming over too. Just type on flickr in the discount box. I got half off the first year on a pro acct.

I have had mine a few months, still working on it.

www.essickphotography.com


Did you really?!?! I want in now!

Originally posted by onesaint:

I have been going back and forth between getting a smug mug, zenfolio, or creating my own site.

I have a Pro flickr account and imo it isnt even close to the same thing. flickr is my junk drawer. when i shoot 300 shots of the 5th grade car wash and dont PP most of them, they go on flickr. when i need to host images for ebay, it goes on flickr.

If you are looking to do things in a more professional capacity, then go another route like smugmug.


This is starting what it is coming down to for myself. Flickr seems just a step up from Myspace, cluttered, almost no options for customization, and not organized enough.
Whereas Smug Mug, I feel it's exceptional to use as a professional on profile.
I think I have made my decision to go with Smug Mug.
07/30/2008 09:34:00 PM · #8
Here is my smugmug site: //www.penrodstudios.com Ultimately customizable once you figure out how. ;)
07/30/2008 09:38:50 PM · #9
I have both. I consider them to be targeting very different markets.

I use smugmug for proofing and sales. I use flikr for more of a social aspect.

For example, I only send my customers to my smugmug account. That's where they can see their proofs and make their purchases. And although smugmug allows comments, it's not really a big thing.

Flikr, on the other hand, has comments and forums. People can fairly easily talk about pictures in the forums and leave comments on the images and get feedback from others. In other words, Flikr is more comparable to DPChallenge itself. Except that it doesn't have challenges and it seems to have a much more diverse audience.

So I post images on smugmug for customers to see. I post images here for photographers to see and critique. And I post images on flikr for friends and or people I don't even know to see and critique. Of the latter two, I value DPC feedback more than Flikr, but even on Flikr you can tell what is working for people and what isn't.


07/30/2008 09:42:26 PM · #10
BTW, since even Flikr tends to be a bit "photographer oriented", I also post images on Facebook as a means of attracting new customers.
07/30/2008 09:45:17 PM · #11
Originally posted by idnic:

Here is my smugmug site: //www.penrodstudios.com Ultimately customizable once you figure out how. ;)


Your site is looking really good Cindi! Me likey! :-)
07/30/2008 09:51:50 PM · #12
Originally posted by idnic:

Here is my smugmug site: //www.penrodstudios.com Ultimately customizable once you figure out how. ;)


Holy macaroni and cheese batman. I wouldn't have known that was a smugmug account other than the "Powered by Smug Mug" at the bottom.
07/30/2008 09:56:18 PM · #13
Originally posted by thegrandwazoo:

Originally posted by idnic:

Here is my smugmug site: //www.penrodstudios.com Ultimately customizable once you figure out how. ;)


Your site is looking really good Cindi! Me likey! :-)


Thanks!! It even comes with its own handy-dandy splash page if I want to send you the long way: Http://penrodstudios.com :D

I've worked on my page for a while now - 'bout 2 years. Everything you ever wanted to know about customizing can be found at digitalgrin.com or just ask and someone will help you.

07/30/2008 10:10:00 PM · #14
Here's my smuggy www.sharonbushman.com

When I set up the site I was aiming specifically for Headshot photography. Recently I've branched into engagement and weddings. I still need to update my pricing and faq info accordingly.

I think Smugmug is a pretty good deal all around. I plan on customizing even more in the near future, but for someone who knew NOTHING about setting up a website, I think I did a pretty ok job! Dgrin was absolutely an essential part of the customizing process. I'd absolutely recommend Smugmug.
07/31/2008 12:23:27 AM · #15
Ben4345,
check out Bluedomain as well. i hear their customer service sux, but the sites are great.

great sites everyone!

I notice a lot of SMug sites are similar in that the all have the basic htlm table (a header with the column down the center). Can you put flash into your site hosted with them? Can you with a pro account? Do you have to stick to that basic structure?

tyia.

07/31/2008 03:48:56 AM · #16
Originally posted by Rompy:

Here's my smuggy www.sharonbushman.com

When I set up the site I was aiming specifically for Headshot photography. Recently I've branched into engagement and weddings. I still need to update my pricing and faq info accordingly.

I think Smugmug is a pretty good deal all around. I plan on customizing even more in the near future, but for someone who knew NOTHING about setting up a website, I think I did a pretty ok job! Dgrin was absolutely an essential part of the customizing process. I'd absolutely recommend Smugmug.

I think your site looks great Sharon. It's clean, elegant, and very professional looking. For someone that didn't know what she was doing, you did a wonderful job. It's much better than mine is and I'm a programmer. I guess I'm a lazy programmer. :D

The other sites mentioned here look great too. I have some catching up to do.

To the OP, I also recommend a smugmug account. I've had my smugmug site since 2004 and I'm very happy with it. The site pays for itself and even earns me a bit of money, and I'm not even a professional photographer. Even though I'm not a pro, I started getting requests to shoot weddings and other events for friends and family. I needed a place where they could see the photos and buy prints and stuff. I even sell a few prints to strangers, and Iíve sold licenses for some photos to people that just happened to stop by the site a saw photos they wanted to use. Itís worked out great.

BTW, if anyone needs a discount coupon, my code is qzDagz7w1S78w. If you use it in the 'Referred by' field on the signup form, it will make us both rich. :D


07/31/2008 04:04:51 AM · #17
Originally posted by onesaint:

I notice a lot of SMug sites are similar in that the all have the basic htlm table (a header with the column down the center). Can you put flash into your site hosted with them? Can you with a pro account? Do you have to stick to that basic structure?

You can customize to your heart's content. I think the reason many sites are similar is because many sites are not customized at all, or only very little. The basic setup works just fine for many people. Lots of folks have smugmug accounts just to share photos with friends and family. For some, customizing their site is overkill or just too confusing. It's definitely easier if you know a little HTML and CSS coding, or know someone that does. If you want it though, most of the customizing you'll want can be done by simply cutting and pasting pieces of code from the tons of samples and tutorials that are available. Check out the Smugmug Customization forums on DGrin.com and you'll see what I mean.


07/31/2008 12:42:14 PM · #18
Thanks Mick!

Message edited by author 2008-07-31 12:50:07.
07/31/2008 03:51:31 PM · #19
Originally posted by onesaint:

Thanks Mick!

You're very welcome.

Since you asked about Flash on Smugmug, I thought you might be interested in this...
Smugmug - New Flash player for video embeds

I dislike most of the Flash stuff that I've seen on websites. Especially if you're forced to wait for it to load before you can do anything else on the site. It's just too slooooooow on my satellite connection. Once we all have T3 bandwidth (and I'm holding my breath waiting for that to happen), then it won't be so bad. Of course, by then they'll have a dozen other things to slow me down. :D

07/31/2008 04:05:25 PM · #20
Originally posted by ben4345:

Does anyone here have a Smugmug account? Do you like it? Do you also have a Flickr account to compare it with?


I'm so glad you posted this thread. I've been trying to figure out SmugMug as well as I just got a new account. I'm having a blast figuring it all out, and seeing what others posted here is very helpful. My goal is not to reinvent the wheel (wasn't it Mozart who said, "why invent something bad...when you can borrow something good"?!), but just to have the experience of setting it all up. I look forward to seeing your new site!
07/31/2008 04:24:12 PM · #21
Again Thanks Mick!

As ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', '/') + 1) . ' ben4345 is I am looking at smugmug and have a flickr account. But if Im goign to step up from my junk drawer (flickr) then i want something elegant. and to me galeries like this arent very in teresting and take time to load anyway. So i might as well make it look smooth and nice.

Smugmug uses xhtml, css, some flash, and javascript. So it seems unless you want a variation of their basic set up, you need to google a lot or be able to code.
07/31/2008 06:12:24 PM · #22
I had a smugmug account for one year and it's a great deal for the price. I also like Zenfolio, but the customization options are more limited and their entry page your your site isn't very exciting.

I got a little frustrated with smugmug because when I looked at the google indexing for my site it looked more like an add for smugmug rather than being about my site. I also got a little frustrated by the fairly standard navigation between the front page... list of icons for galleries followed by more lists of icons to click on. When I looked at other pro level lists for wedding and portrait photographers I saw what I thought was nicer presentations with less focus on browsing galleries.

A couple of months ago I just created my own site with html and a little flash slide show player and then I use zenfolio for online proofing and ordering. I still don't know that this is the right approach.
07/31/2008 06:17:43 PM · #23
great shots Nusbaum! Ive heard of people doing this with basic smugmug accoutns as well.
07/31/2008 08:01:53 PM · #24
Originally posted by Nusbaum:

I had a smugmug account for one year and it's a great deal for the price. I also like Zenfolio, but the customization options are more limited and their entry page your your site isn't very exciting.

I got a little frustrated with smugmug because when I looked at the google indexing for my site it looked more like an add for smugmug rather than being about my site. I also got a little frustrated by the fairly standard navigation between the front page... list of icons for galleries followed by more lists of icons to click on. When I looked at other pro level lists for wedding and portrait photographers I saw what I thought was nicer presentations with less focus on browsing galleries.

A couple of months ago I just created my own site with html and a little flash slide show player and then I use zenfolio for online proofing and ordering. I still don't know that this is the right approach.

Correctly keywording your site will help you rank higher in search engines like google. For instance, the alternate text for the photo on your home page is "undefined". If you add an ALT tag with some helpful keywords (see below) it would help improve your search engine rank. Smugmug gives you lots of ways to add keywords for photos and galleries.

<a href="//www.davidnusbaum.com/entry.html">
<img src="/images/CRW_6769-sepia.jpg"
width="625" height="500"
alt="Fashion, artistic, and senior portraits at David Nusbaum Photography"></a>

You say that you're frustrated with the "standard navigation" on smugmug sites. What would you prefer to see? The site you have now isn't much different from a lot of smugmug sites that I've seen. You have a single photo on the home page that links to a page of galleries. The galleries have slideshows instead of individual photos. You could do all of that with a smugmug account. And you can do it without loosing all of the other functionality that comes with an account. I can create a new gallery for a customer and upload hundreds of photos with just a few mouse clicks. Then the customer can go view the photos and buy prints and I don't have to lift a finger.

If you want a portfolio site just to show off your work, then you could do something like Ben Rudick's smugmug site.

07/31/2008 08:36:50 PM · #25
Originally posted by Mick:

Originally posted by Nusbaum:

I had a smugmug account for one year and it's a great deal for the price. I also like Zenfolio, but the customization options are more limited and their entry page your your site isn't very exciting.

I got a little frustrated with smugmug because when I looked at the google indexing for my site it looked more like an add for smugmug rather than being about my site. I also got a little frustrated by the fairly standard navigation between the front page... list of icons for galleries followed by more lists of icons to click on. When I looked at other pro level lists for wedding and portrait photographers I saw what I thought was nicer presentations with less focus on browsing galleries.

A couple of months ago I just created my own site with html and a little flash slide show player and then I use zenfolio for online proofing and ordering. I still don't know that this is the right approach.

Correctly keywording your site will help you rank higher in search engines like google. For instance, the alternate text for the photo on your home page is "undefined". If you add an ALT tag with some helpful keywords (see below) it would help improve your search engine rank. Smugmug gives you lots of ways to add keywords for photos and galleries.

<a href="//www.davidnusbaum.com/entry.html">
<img src="/images/CRW_6769-sepia.jpg"
width="625" height="500"
alt="Fashion, artistic, and senior portraits at David Nusbaum Photography"></a>

You say that you're frustrated with the "standard navigation" on smugmug sites. What would you prefer to see? The site you have now isn't much different from a lot of smugmug sites that I've seen. You have a single photo on the home page that links to a page of galleries. The galleries have slideshows instead of individual photos. You could do all of that with a smugmug account. And you can do it without loosing all of the other functionality that comes with an account. I can create a new gallery for a customer and upload hundreds of photos with just a few mouse clicks. Then the customer can go view the photos and buy prints and I don't have to lift a finger.

If you want a portfolio site just to show off your work, then you could do something like Ben Rudick's smugmug site.


First of all, thanks for the hint on the alt tag. I'm still finding pieces that I have missed, like the alt tag on images, which would be another advantage with smugmug because they have already worked through all of this. You are also right in saying I could almost build the same site with smugmug, in fact I had almost exactly the same site over there. This will sound silly to some, but there were small things like "David Nusbaum Photography - powered by SmugMug" that really poked at me. I pay for the service yet they stick their brand on the title for my site. I know it's a minor issue, but I work hard to build my own brand and it just seems a little inappropriate to take that space to promote their own brand. Perhaps building my own site to keep my own brand independent is a bit extreme, but at the time is seemed like a good idea. Outside of this one issue SmugMug was a great value.
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