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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The SmugMug Solution


SmugMug is a complete solution for photographers. They offer everything that you would need, from an online portfolio website, to password protected galleries for clients to proof and order prints from. SmugMug is easy to use and easy to customize for both the photographer and their clients.

On September 29, 2006 I was given a SmugMug account as a gift for shooting a friend's wedding. Jenn (the bride) was very thorough in her research of online printers. We had a talk about which ones she liked and why and then we both decided to go with SmugMug.

After that decision was made, I didn't give it much more thought. I figured out how to create a gallery and how to upload photos, and that was that. In hind site, I wish that I had looked more closely at all of the features of the SmugMug site as that would have saved me a ton of time and work later. Looks like I pulled the typical guy thing and did not read the directions.

Over the next few months I began to devote more and more time to building my website. The problem for me was how to integrate SmugMug into the site. The best that I could come up with was to have my “Client Login” link from my homepage lead to my SmugMug account in a new window. Not the best option... but it would work until I figured out another way to do it.

One day I was looking at some photography sites and I saw the familiar SmugMug gallery page seamlessly integrated into another photographers site. It blew me away. Here was a photographer that solved my problem. It was not just that one site either. The more I looked for it the more I saw SmugMug in other photographers website. I wanted that.

The answer was actually simple: use SmugMug for my entire site, not just for proofing and purchasing prints. If I had only gone back and looked at all of the features that were already at my fingertips, I probably would have already figured this out.

The more I looked into the customization of my SmugMug account the more I found I could do. It was not all easy though. Most of the customization that I wanted to do was beyond my very basic knowledge of HTML and CSS. SmugMug has a great forum, so I used that as a tool. Between the forum postings and the fantastic help from SmugMug help desk, I was able to design my site the way that I wanted it to be.

Once I discovered the ease of creating HTML pages the sky was the limit.

Now my entire website, with the exception of the blog, is completely SmugMug.

I just cannot say enough good things about SmugMug. From online proofing and printing, to creating a portfolio website, or creating an archiving of all of your photographs, SmugMug offers a vast array of service to both hobby and professional photographers.

SmugMug offers a 30 day free trial with absolutely nothing to lose. Head over to SmugMug.com and give it a go.

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