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Anyone Heard Of Smugmug?

Posted by: Larysa Luciw on 08/23/2013 - 3:29 PM

Just wondering if anyone has a smugmug account. Do they print your images for you? They say you keep 85% of the profit but I was unclear whether they actually to the printing. Anyone know?


Oldest Reply

Posted by: Greg Jackson on 08/23/2013 - 3:34 PM

I'm not a member there, and don't know if they do any printing, but I've heard that their annual fee are pretty steep.


Posted by: Larysa Luciw on 08/23/2013 - 3:38 PM

Yeah it starts at $40 to $100 I think but there does not seem to be much different between their basic and premium memberships. I think with premium you can completely create what you page looks like (colours everything) and not just use their templates.


Posted by: Loree Johnson on 08/23/2013 - 3:56 PM

Before I joined FAA, I did a lot of research. I had narrowed it down to Smugmug, Zenfolio, and FAA. The thing that made my decision, for the most part, was that on FAA everything is a custom size. You don't have to crop your images to fit in some predetermined "boxes." I love to shoot panoramas, and the other two just couldn't reasonably accommodate that for me. This was a few years ago, and I have heard that they recently revamped Smugmug, so maybe things have changed. I'm happy here, so I haven't bothered to check into it. I did suggest a friend of mine look at it though. She shoots local high school sporting events and I believe it might be the better option for her to sell images to other parents, since they offer "sheet prints" and stuff like key chains, etc. Much like the school portrait packages, which I believe her market would like because of the familiarity.


Posted by: Chuck De La Rosa on 08/23/2013 - 4:17 PM

I have a basic SmugMug account. I have been there for at least 6 years or so. It has a lot of advantages. I really like the customization options, the ease of setting up hidden galleries, and the overall presentation of my work. Its also a photo sharing site so they make it really easy to link a photo without violating the rules of a lot of forums. I considered the professional account for a time, but its pretty expensive. However, the professional account allows full customization of your web site. They use decent printing services from 3rd parties, but in the end I use FAA for fulfillment. FAA handles the business end, the printing, framing, etc. All I do is upload my work and promote myself. Also, FAA allows you to keep your crop. That's a big issue with me to be able to keep the 2x3 format of my photos and not force "accepted" crops for larger prints.

I still maintain my Smugmug account. The price I pay never goes up because that was part of the deal at the time, $30 a year for the basic account. Anything I have for sale has a link back to my FAA Artist's web page with the shopping cart. Its easy to do because they allow HTML tags in the descriptions. I also keep it because I can hide galleries and keep personal stuff out there for friends and family.

Wow, I just discovered that they stripped all the HTML code from my BIO block. That's a point against them.


Posted by: Larysa Luciw on 08/23/2013 - 4:30 PM

Chuck... So do you have to do any printing or do they do it all for you? I would like to check it out but do not want to be responsible for any printing at this time.


Posted by: Chuck De La Rosa on 08/23/2013 - 4:36 PM

Larysa, FAA does all the printing and framing. That's where the term fulfillment comes in. Smugmug has a 3rd party do the printing, so again, you don't have to deal with it. To set your own prices though, you need one of thier professional accounts, starting at $150 a year. FAA is only $30 and you make that back with one sale. Plus with FAA you get 10% of the materials cost.


Posted by: Philip Sweeck on 08/23/2013 - 4:36 PM

You can use several photo labs that do the printing and shipping, with personalised branding in the packaging for the pro accounts.


Posted by: Larysa Luciw on 08/23/2013 - 4:39 PM

Thanks for the info.


Posted by: Dan Carmichael on 08/23/2013 - 6:16 PM

I was on smugmug. Good place for portrait, wedding, event, etc. photographers to display and sell their work.

Lousy place for fine art sales.


Posted by: JC Findley on 08/23/2013 - 10:15 PM

They stripped a LOT of customization there Chuck. Happened at the beginning of August I think...

We are getting a lot artists coming over now a days.


Posted by: Joann Vitali on 09/28/2013 - 1:19 PM

I've had SmugMug for almost 6 yrs now. I was a pro user for the first few years and after becoming a member here I decided to bring it down to power user. I liked the site because it allowed me to place my links from FAA in my galleries for when I sponser pages.

In August they changed the entire site so that you are supposedly able to customize your pages much better. They do have a lot more options and templets that you van use as well. They are giving users 2 years to switch over to their new platform.

My main concern was that when I switched, would I lose all the links to sponsered pages from FAA.? I emailed support and they confirmed that I would lose all my links....that they would not be carried over to the new platform. Now I have well over 200 sponsered links to FAA, so I'm not taking this very well, but I really don't have a choice. Support told me that I can switch over to their preview mode and create my "new" website with them, adding all my old links, all the while maintaining the "old" website. Customers will not see the new website until I decide I want to make it live. They say I have up to 2 years to do this before they switch everyone over permanently. It's going to be a lot of work.

Has anyone here with a SmugMug site switched over to the new platform yet and how o you like it compared to the old one? Do you use the sponsered page links here on FAA on your SmugMug site?


Posted by: Wingsdomain Art and Photography on 09/28/2013 - 1:28 PM

How do they handle the administrative side? Do they take care of the entire exchange of money process? Do they have a 30 day return policy? And what happens if there is a return, do they handle the entire return process and also just eat their own cost portion of the print?



Posted by: Joann Vitali on 09/28/2013 - 2:58 PM

Wings, they operate through PayPal and take care of everything...printing, shipping, etc.. But you have to become a premium member or the one just under it to take advantage of their selling options. When I used to be a premium member I used to mark up as much as I wanted, same as here. Not sure if anything has changed now.


Posted by: Wingsdomain Art and Photography on 09/28/2013 - 3:06 PM

Thanks Joann. I will have to revisit smug, I tried it for free a year ago, forgot why I didn't stick with it, maybe it was the cost, don't know. I revisited zenfolio recently and though it's gotten a little easier to use, the interface is still a little clunky. Hope to see smug with better offerings. -W


Posted by: Michel Soucy on 09/28/2013 - 3:20 PM

Tried them for two years, not one sale with them. FAA has been the best bet for me thus far.

~Michel Soucy


Posted by: Bartlomiej Zalucki on 09/28/2013 - 3:23 PM

I heard about samsung.


Posted by: Wingsdomain Art and Photography on 09/28/2013 - 3:31 PM

Both Smug and Zen are definitely a BYOC (Bring Your Own Clients). I don't think there is a global search for user images in the Smug site proper, it's not intended for that purpose, it's intended for the user to take complete control for success or failure. -W


Posted by: Joann Vitali on 09/28/2013 - 4:02 PM

I sold a few things when I was a pro user but have not uploaded there for a while and it's basically there now for sponsoring pages for FAA. I will be working on getting the new format working for me over the next couple of years and improving on the overall look of my SM site. I mostly want to use it for directing customers to FAA, and it's far from that right now. I've ignored it since joining FAA.


Posted by: Wingsdomain Art and Photography on 09/28/2013 - 6:20 PM

I see that you can put a single uploaded image into more than one galleries by using the single image edit and then selecting the share->collect option.

- Can you add more than one image at a time to a different gallery? For example, can you highlight a number of images and then add them to another gallery (not more, but add/copy)

- Can you add one or more image at a time to more than just one gallery at a time?



Posted by: Jim Hughes on 09/28/2013 - 7:37 PM

If FAA could let you customize your site like Smugmug, we'd have the best of both worlds.


Posted by: Renee McDaniel on 09/28/2013 - 8:55 PM

Michel Soucy how long did it take you to make a sale on FAA?
Could you review my profile and make suggestions that you think might help me to make a sell?

People from all over are viewing my art, but not buying.

Renee McDaniel


Posted by: Joann Vitali on 09/28/2013 - 9:34 PM

Wings, not sure I never tried doing that. I'll let you know when I try it.

Jim that would be so awesome but I bet we'd be paying a lot more than $30.


Posted by: Paul Gulliver on 09/29/2013 - 3:42 AM

I used to be with Smugmug but switched to Zenfolio because of price difference and I liked the end result that Zenfolio gave me. One big advantage with Zenfolio over FAA is the ability to create discount codes that better be clearer to the buyer (giving % discounts off final price rather than off markup) and creating different price lists - (you can create a sub-set of images and give them a new price for a fixed time for promotions ) and the ability to sale downloads.
I tend to get quite a few visitors to my galleries but not a lot of sales, whether its worth the 80/year? - probably not
If anyone wants to look its here


Posted by: Adam Jewell on 09/29/2013 - 4:30 AM

I have a Smug account -

It's the $150/yr level so prints can be sold at a markup. In about 18 months there not one thing has sold. Not sure if I'll keep it or not. Also haven't updated it much lately. FAA sells more than enough to pay for the FAA account and the Smug account.


Posted by: Jim Hughes on 09/30/2013 - 12:31 PM

My thing is customization. I want to make a site look the way I want, and I hate clutter. So the FAA 'artist' web site definitely does not meet my needs.

I used to have a SmugMug site, but I gave up on it because customization was a huge PITA, mostly involving tedious tweaking of CSS and Javascript files to get rid of unwanted junk and add your own content. And every now and then SmugMug would change things, messing up your stuff and forcing you to revisit all of it.

Is it still like that?


Posted by: Heidi Smith on 09/30/2013 - 12:37 PM

I used to have a SmugMug pro account. It was pricy and sales were few and far between.


Posted by: Heidi Smith on 09/30/2013 - 12:39 PM

Last I heard, the pro account went up to $300.00 per year.


Posted by: Vivienne Gucwa on 09/30/2013 - 1:05 PM

Yes. I use them as my main portfolio site. Here is my portfolio there:

The reason I have it is purely as a portfolio site. I love the customization and look and when I have had clients purchase work from me there (I use Bay Photo Lab), the results have been consistently good.

That said, I make more sales here on FAA (yes, really!) than I do over there on a yearly basis and I do make pretty decent sales there but it really comes down to showcase vs. practical marketplace when you compare the two. I think FAA is more successful due to their customer base and their marketing/marketplace.


Posted by: Jim Hughes on 09/30/2013 - 1:45 PM

Vivienne - nice looking site. How tedious/tweaky is the customization? Is it still a thicket of CSS and Javascript?


Posted by: Vivienne Gucwa on 09/30/2013 - 2:06 PM

No. It used to be! And it was a pretty terrible user experience.

They just changed the way customization works a few months ago though.

I did all of that just using their tools (no coding whatsoever).

And thanks!


Posted by: Larysa Luciw on 09/30/2013 - 8:38 PM

Thanks all for your comments....much appreciate.


This discussion is closed.