Be a Valentine’s Day hero.

It’s hard to believe but yet another Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.  Maybe you are unsure what to give your loved one. Or maybe you waited too long to pick out a card and now only the lame ones are left at the drugstore. Don’t worry, we’re here to help save the day and keep love alive with a unique, thoughtful gift — a custom SmugMug photo site.

And because you are our Valentine, you can kiss 20% goodbye on the first year of any new SmugMug plan. Who loves ya baby? And even though we’ve made your Valentine’s Day much easier, don’t procrastinate too much. Love may be everlasting, but this seductive offer ends February 15.

Smug Mug Valentines Day 2016

To help you get started with a romantic custom site we’re also announcing a new theme: Love Story. This versatile design is also perfect for anniversaries, engagements, weddings, or keep it up all year…because when it comes to love (as we’ve been reminded by our significant others), every day should be Valentine’s Day. You can find our new theme under the ‘Seasonal’ category.

(Need help applying this theme or any other theme to your site? See how easy it is here.)
 
Smug Mug Valentines Day 2016
 

Please share the love once you’ve created your custom site for that special someone; we would love to see it!  Send the link our way via Facebook or Twitter so we can bask in all the feels.

So forget about the champagne and strawberries, the box of chocolates or roses. Shun the cliché. Be a Valentine’s Day hero and give them a present that lasts a lifetime.  And come February 15th, we bet that special someone will be bragging to all their friends about your gift giving skills.

 

SmugMug’s higher resolutions for 2016.

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It’s that time of year—when everyone begins their resolutions for the new year. Maybe it’s to eat healthier (for us that means upping our consumption of dark chocolate), travel more, or learn a second language. We asked our employees what their 2016 resolutions are and, of course, they revolve around the love of photography. Are any of these resolutions on your “to-do list” this year?

1. Family matters.

No matter how much we love them, for some reason we love to take photos of other places, things, and people (and food) instead of family. Last year, a group of six SmugMug employees made a pact to document the lives of their families. The rules were simple: one photo once a week, honest and unfiltered. Not only did they succeed, but they plan on continuing the project in 2016. You can check it out at Family Project.

No family living near by? Get creative with Facetime or Skype and take photos while conversing or have some fun with Photoshop and screencaptures.  You can also adopt a grandparent at a local retirement home or volunteer at a local animal shelter and take photos of your new wolf pack so they can find a furr-ever home. As Mr. Feeny said, you don’t have to be blood to be family.

2. Go for the gold.

So you’ve been working on your craft for awhile, and you think it’s darn good (and it is!). But maybe you get a hint of intimidation when you think of entering a photo contest and all the amazing competition you could be up against. Well, what your mom told you is true—the answer is always “no” if you don’t try! We believe in you; go out and kick some butt and enter a few contests with confidence! Don’t know where to start? Here’s a list of 2016 photo contests to get you started. And when you win that gold medal please let us know!

3. Make it official.

Despite the relative ease of filing a registration for copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office, many photographers procrastinate. But with the agency now accepting e-registrations, it can’t get much simpler (a government miracle!). And don’t despair—you don’t need to register each photo individually! You can submit a group registration of either published or unpublished works (but you can’t mix the two—and they need to be from the same calendar year). For all the details check out their Circular on Pictorial Works.

Is copyright law confusing for you in general? Don’t worry, U.S. copyright law protects your works whether they’re registered or not. But registering your work is important if you ever find yourself going to court over an infringement. If you have lots of questions, the U.S. Copyright Office is more than happy to answer them for ya’.

4. Tag like you mean it.

Keywording photos can seem like a beast when you’re getting started, but luckily after a little love and time upfront, it becomes a much faster process. Think of all that time spent looking for “that photo” and let that light the fire under your butt! As an added bonus: it’ll significantly increase the possibility of your photos being discovered by others (also called SEO). After all, we shoot to share. Plus, when you add keywords you can easily create a ton of cool features on your site, such as creating galleries based on keywords, generating a map of all your photo locations (a favorite of world travelers), and much more. So what are you waiting for? Release the Kraken (of keywords)!

5. Click more.

You don’t have to go on an epic adventure, have a party, get up early for a sunrise on the beach, or rent smoke machines and flame throwers to take more and better photos. All you need is a little challenge to get your creative juices flowing. For 2016 why not give yourself a daily creative photo challenge? Make it as complicated or as easy as you like. One day shoot something green. Another day take a photo by placing your camera on the ground. The next day take a photo holding the camera above your head facing behind you. The next day photograph a sound. Giving yourself a little push every day can help get you out of your comfort zone and into the creative zone.

GIVE the gift of SmugMug for 40% off, GET a 20% renewal credit for you!

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The holiday season is in full swing. Your to-do list isn’t getting any shorter and those lines at department stores are only getting longer. If only there was a way to shop from the comfort of your own home (pants optional) and avoid the chaos. Well, thanks to the glorious Internet, SmugMug has an answer to your all shopping needs and desires. Yes, even sans pants.

May we introduce to you the Gift of SmugMug, the gift that gives back to you!

GIVE a new account subscription for that special someone at 40% off and GET a 20% credit (off retail price) towards your SmugMug future subscription. It’s our gift to you. That’s a total savings of 60%! And best of all, it’s delivered instantaneously, so procrastinators rejoice.

This is our BEST deal EVER on the Gift of SmugMug! You can purchase one-, two- or three-year subscriptions and rack up the savings. To break it down:

To give the Gift of SmugMug, head over here and start clicking to wipe out that holiday shopping list.

And don’t forget to point the new Smuggies in this direction to help them set up their new galleries. Fine print reminder to be read at the end of this commercial, er blog: This offer is only good on new accounts and can’t be combined with any other offers. And in order to get the 20% credit, you must be a SmugMug account holder yourself.

Here’s to getting what you give this year! And remember, it won’t last long, so be sure not to miss out.

 

The SmugMug Family

Give thanks for 40% OFF SmugMug until November 30.

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The holidays have arrived, and whether you’re the family shutterbug or a pro photographer looking to wow your clients with some holiday magic—the best thing to pair with all the end-of-the-year festivities is a tasty SmugMug photo site. In just a few minutes you’ll be able to showcase and share all those Thanksgiving memories either online or on a print, card or custom crafted photo gift.

Here are just a few reasons why so many people love SmugMug:

  • Beautiful galleries and customizable websites
  • Unlimited safe storage and advanced privacy controls
  • Heroic 24/7 customer support and reliable service (99.96% uptime)
  • Scores of sales and marketing tools for pro photographers

Go on and devour our sweetest deal of the year — 40% OFF* — right now!

Don’t procrastinate, this deal will be composted on November 30.

* Like any good pie this offer won’t stick around forever. Ours is good on the first year of new accounts. Go on and take a bite of this offer while it’s still fresh.

Get SmugMug on the go with all-new mobile apps.

With hundreds of thousands of installs and a 4+ review rating in the app stores, our iOS and Android apps have been a huge success and a helpful tool for uploading, as well as accessing photos on the go—for you, your family, and your clients.

At SmugMug, beauty never sleeps.

In the newest versions of our mobile apps, we’re taking beautiful to the next level with an attractive, consistent look across both desktop and mobile experiences. Your profile photo and cover photo are now on display at the top of your app home screen.

iOS screen on the left. Android screen on the right.

We’ll also display your featured photo as a cover photo in each of your folders and galleries.

iOS screen on the left. Android screen on the right.

What about those slideshows? 

We’ve made accessing the full-screen slideshow of your photos easier by making the play button more prominent.

iOS screen on the left. Android screen on the right.

Sometimes a picture is worth at least a few words.

Now you can see titles and captions on your photos! Add them from your desktop site and see them displayed on the mobile apps, too.

iOS screen on the left. Android screen on the right.

We just let the speed demon loose.

Now that we’ve touched on the beauty of the new apps, we’d like to also mention the beast-mode part of our equation. That’s right, we added major horsepower under the hood of the new apps, which means your photos will display up to twice as fast (and in many cases much more) as our previous versions. Welcome to the photo fast lane!

Breaking it all down.

We’ve mentioned the highlights, but if you’re interested in a more detailed list of mobile app features, have a look at them right here:

iOS features

  • Browse SmugMug folders and galleries
  • Upload unlimited photos and videos
  • Save galleries for offline viewing
  • Play full-screen slideshows of any gallery
  • Mark galleries as favorites for easy, instant access
  • Share photos and videos via SMS, email, Twitter, and Facebook
  • Follow other SmugMug users
  • Browse all folders and galleries privately shared with you by other SmugMug users
  • Enable the SmugMug extension to upload from your Camera Roll, SMS messages, and other apps
  • Delete photos from your SmugMug account

Android features

  • Browse SmugMug folders and galleries
  • Upload unlimited photos and videos
  • Save folders and galleries for offline viewing
  • Play full-screen slideshows within a single gallery or across multiple galleries
  • Mark galleries as favorites for easy, instant access
  • Share photos and videos via SMS, email, Twitter, and Facebook
  • Follow other SmugMug users
  • Browse all folders and galleries privately shared with you by other SmugMug users
  • Upload from your Gallery, SMS messages, and other apps
  • Delete photos from your SmugMug account
  • Auto-upload photos and videos to your SmugMug account
  • Cast photos and videos to your TV with Chromecast
  • View detailed photo information
  • Change download location to external SD card
  • Support for Amazon Fire TV
  • Set Android Daydream, the interactive screensaver mode, to display photos from a SmugMug gallery

Ready to get more beauty and more beast-mode from your SmugMug app? Head on over to the Apple App Store or Google Play, grab the latest update, and prepare for awesome photos on the go.

SmugMug’s 2015 survival guide for holiday photos and gift giving.

The holidays are fast approaching, and soon we’ll all be deep into the holiday shopping madness. Here’s SmugMug’s 2015 Survival Guide for Holiday Photos and Gift Giving! Do all your shopping from the comfort of your SmugMug account. Upload once—and send joy around the world.

Get ready to make a lasting impression. Whether you’re creating photo gifts for yourself, or a pro photographer looking to wow your clients, prints make perfect—and lasting—gifts. They’re personal, they stop time and make lasting memories, and they can be larger than life.

So, how do you go about making prints with all the great photos you’re displaying on SmugMug?

Start by selecting the photos you want to print. Once you’ve got your photos uploaded to SmugMug, it’s easy to add any image to the cart. One-stop shopping at its finest—just click that BUY button to get started. You don’t have to decide on the size of print or quantities just yet. There’s opportunity to adjust the items added to your cart later.

Once you select a photo, click the BUY button and choose a product category.
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Ordering is a breeze on desktop or mobile.

Tip: If the photos you want to print or turn into gifts are scattered throughout several galleries on your SmugMug site, you can gather them all together into a single gallery using the Collect tool or by setting a Smart Gallery ruleThat way, when it’s time to place your order, you can work from inside a single gallery on your site.

Consider the type of print you want to give. You’ve got four different paper types to choose from: Glossy, Matte, Lustre (the choice for portraits), and Metallic (particularly suitable to high-contrast scenes). You’ve got multiple standard, square, and panoramic print sizes at your fingertips. And, for that extra special someone, there are ready-to hang items such as box framed prints and mounted canvases.

Make sure your photos are ready for the spotlight. For you high-tech types, we’ve got all the nitty-gritty details you could ask for to prepare your photos for printing. BUT, rest assured that if you’re a low-/no-tech person, our great print labs will do the heavy lifting for you. All our labs offer a color correction service so your photos will be the best print that they can be.

Go beyond paper prints and wall art. There are great personalized gifts available from your SmugMug account as well. We’ve got mugs, puzzles, magnets, buttons, and much more.

Turn your photos into holiday cards. Send end-of-year wishes to family and friends by creating original cards right from your SmugMug photos. Choose between 5×7 folded and 4×8 flat varieties on beautiful heavyweight card stocks.

Make sure you order in time so your gift arrives on time. Check our shipping dates calendarand don’t forget that your prints and photo gifts need time to process as well as ship.

Perhaps our best gift suggestion (and we’re probably a little biased here)… Why not share your love of SmugMug with the people you love by Giving the Gift of SmugMugThis one’s great for last-minute gifts, and it’s guaranteed not to be re-gifted.

Happy Holidays from your friends at Smugmug.

Strap Yourself in for Climbing Ice – The Iceland Trifecta

In January, we called up Tim Kemple, an acclaimed photographer and filmmaker with clients like The North Face and Land Rover. When we got him on the phone, we had one burning question on our minds:

“Do you have a project that you’ve always dreamed of doing?”

This question sparked a storm of ideas, and in a matter of weeks, we had hatched a plan: bring together Tim and two world-class climbers, Klemen Premrl of Slovenia and Rahel Schelb of Switzerland, as they attempted to climb the Iceland Trifecta—an iceberg, the ceiling of an ice cave, and a very deep iceberg crevasse.

All these ice climbs would be technically challenging—some would say even impossible and too dangerous to attempt—and, from a filming perspective, we had no idea what kind of adventure we’d find once we got to Iceland. Normally, it’s exactly this uncertainty that you try to control. But for the team here at SmugMug, and for Tim, Klemen, and Rahel, embracing that uncertainty is exactly the kind of “adventure” we wanted to pursue, regardless of outcome. “Adventure” means pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone, embracing uncertainty, and using your technical expertise, physical stamina, and mental moxie to attack the photographic and climbing environment. And so we commenced the adventure of a lifetime.

On November 6, attendees of the 40th Banff Mountain Film Festival got a sneak peek of the film, which was selected as a Finalist, but today, this film makes its online premiere. We hope you enjoy the ride.

Read more of the behind-the-scenes.

Ready to go on your own adventure? These photo and and climbing tips articles will help you.

SmugMug’s Filmmaker Anton Lorimer at the Banff Film Festival
SmugMug’s Filmmaker Anton Lorimer at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival