Archive for January, 2012

New: Sync Your Photos with Lightroom’s Latest Plugin

January 31, 2012 146 comments

Calling all Adobe fans! We’ve heard that Lightroom’s built-in SmugMug uploader has been one of your favorite ways of getting photos into your sites. So we thought we’d let you know about our most recent update.

What’s New in the Latest Version

  • Previously, syncing went in one direction only: from Lightroom over to SmugMug. Now it’s a two-way street. Lightroom will find any images you’ve previously uploaded to your SmugMug galleries and match them to existing images in your library. Synchronicity, baby!
  • Pros who use Events will find that their clients’ Favorites get pulled into into a separate Collection in Lightroom.

  • Finally, we’ve heard your cries about how your innovative, snappy image titles were getting left at the door. You now have the option to publish your Titles or Captions (or both) in the SmugMug image caption field for all to see.

No plugin? Get it now

If you’re coasting on an older version and want to upgrade to the shiniest version, look here.

Questions? Follow the instructions on our help page to get started.


We Want to See You in Las Vegas!

January 26, 2012 5 comments

It’s that time of the year again.

We rock it in Vegas for WPPI and we know you do, too. As per Sin City’s traditions, we don’t talk about what happens in the booth, but we have pictures to prove that we love meeting Pros like you.

Come visit. Talk to us. Tell it to us straight.

Plus, the event gives you the chance to pick the brains of amazing greats like SmugMug Pros Bambi Cantrell, Scott Robert Lim and more.

Why should this year be any different?

Photo Courtesy of

"You better come party with us."

Photo Courtesy of

Snag a Discount

Option 1. If you’re not the chancy type, go ahead and grab a discounted pass for just $95. Use the coupon code: WFREGR

Option 2. Want to skip the lectures and just say hi? Click here to get a free pass to the trade show floor.

See you in Vegas, baby!

Categories: Contest, Current Events, SmugMug Tags: ,

Total Geekdom: SmugMug’s New Engineering Blog

January 24, 2012 1 comment

A quick note just to announce that the Sorcerers of SmugMug have finally staked their claim on a place to totally geek out. Check out SmugMug’s new engineering blog right here:

From the comments you guys leave here, we know that there’s a lot of you who will find it interesting and, hopefully, useful. :)

Here’s to SmugMug’s Sorcerers!

SmugMug Censored in Protest of SOPA and PIPA

January 18, 2012 22 comments

In protest to SOPA and PIPA, we’re rallying for action on our homepage and shuttering ADVrider, one of the largest motorcycle hangouts on the web.

We, like so many sites on the web, feel very strongly about web censorship. Today’s blackout could be a taste of things to come if you don’t take action now.

Congress has the power to kill the internet and all of your favorite sites: places that we all swap ideas and share opinions every day. Read about the Stop Online Piracy Act here.

If you value free speech, the internet, ideas and entrepreneurship, please take ten minutes out of your day today to contact your local representative. Visit to see the many ways how:

  >>>>> <<<<<

Plan Your Next Adventure with Trey Ratcliff’s 2012 Calendar

January 17, 2012 29 comments

HDR Master, Travel Photography celeb and SmugMug Pro Trey Ratcliff kicks the year off right: With calendars!

Check out his exclusive, all-new photo beauty here. Twelve famous photos are printed on high-quality, thick glossy paper and saddled stitched for durability. It’s the perfect way to stay inspired and plan your own around-the-world adventure.

Win Yours on Facebook

He’s sharing the love with fellow Smuggers and offering 10 copies of this lucious wallhanger to 10 lucky fans.

To enter:

1. Like our Facebook Page HERE.
2. Share this blog link or contest FB post with your friends.
3. Post one of your best Travel photos and tell us the story behind the shot. You can post your photo on our FB Wall or in the comments below.

We’ll pick 10 winners on Thursday, January 19, to win a calendar, PLUS free Smuggy swag for themselves and a friend. That means you AND a friend have a chance to win, so spread the word and share the love :)

Happy travels!



Huge thanks to everyone who entered this contest. We loved seeing all of your photos and hearing your stories. Here are the randomly-selected winners, in no particular order. They will each win a 2012 Stuck In Customs calendar, PLUS cool Smuggy swag for themselves and a friend.

Phaeton Place

Suzanne Kammann

–Jonathan Wilson of JawSnap

–Knapp Hudson of Stone Coast Photography

–Bernardo Franco of Framing Colours

Shirley Ann Dees

Sheena Leazenby

Ashley Curella

Christian Mejia

Kyla Ford

Congrats everyone! Katherine from our team will get in touch with you in the next few days with info on how to collect your prize.



SmugMug Help Chat: Now Playing in a Browser Near You

January 11, 2012 6 comments

Ever wish you could just talk to a Support Hero?

Now you can!

Our new chat system is perfect for getting quick questions answered fast! Got something more involved like a gnarly customizing problem? Don’t be afraid to send us an email like usual.

To get started, visit our help portal and look for the little tab in the bottom corner. Then just sign in and start chatting away.

Just one tip: In order to prevent a log jam, be sure to have all of your info ready to go: order numbers, links to your homepage or problem images, anything that will help us help you faster.

It’s really easy to use, so give it a try and let us know what you think.

See you soon!

Hash Bang: How We Beef Up Your Google Juice

January 10, 2012 29 comments

It may just sound like a breakfast item to you, but hash bang is something we did to your gallery URLs to improve your SEO. Sitemaps was one, but we’ve tinkered with your gallery links to make it even more powerful.

Confused? Let’s start from the beginning.

Why the change?

To help Google index your gallery pages and get you found. Our old URLs made it easy for search engines to list the gallery, but not the individual image links due to the way they were dynamically created.

Our newest update makes it easier for Googlebots who are trying to crawl your site to index your gallery images on search engines. (Better indexing for AJAX-based pages, for you tech-minded folks.)

If you’re feeling daring you can check out the Google specs here and see exactly how and why this works.

How do I make sense of the new URLs?

Pull up your favorite gallery and zoom in on the URL. You used to see something like this:

Now you’ll see this:!i=131487110&k=FdKeW

Note the new “i” for image and the “k” for the image key. Those numbers and scrambled letters still mean the same things:

  • Album ID: 2504559
  • Album key: TrBCmb
  • Image ID: 131487110
  • Image key: FdKeW

Opening the lightbox looks just a little different, too, but see if you can spot the “lb”:!i=131487110&k=FdKeW&lb=1&s=A

And if you click to another page in the gallery, you’ll see a couple of additional things in the URL:!p=1&n=20

  • P: Page number (page 1, here)
  • N: Number of images per page (20 images, here)

If you get a direct image link, you’ll see that it looks pretty much the same as it did before:

Will my old page links break?

No way, José! We’ve made sure that your site, images and your business remain unchanged for smooth sailing through the week. If you do notice anything funny with your site, be sure to ping our Support Heroes and send us the deets.

What changes will I see in the coming weeks?

Better indexing, possibly more traffic and fanfare from new clients. :) Now that we’ve made all these changes, we can start cooking up even more exciting URL-based improvements to help folks who use SmugMug on Chrome, Firefox and Safari. All modern browsers that we love.

Don’t want your site to be found? Just like before, you can always enable SmugMug’s many privacy options and be left out of search results, search engines and Google Images.

And here’s further reading:

Heroes You Love to Know: Josh

January 9, 2012 3 comments

Support Hero Josh Lawson is our resident rock star. He leads a double (really, triple) life working for SmugMug, being a musician and acting as agent at our print labs. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s hear the man himself. You’ve probably met him if you’ve ever written to our help desk with an order problem, uploading issue, or pretty much anything else.

Spotlight on Josh

What’s your hiring story?

After college I started working for Kodak/Qualex doing tech support for one-hour photo machines, Kodak Picture Makers, and Kodak C-41 and RA-4 chemical process control.  In 2005, my girlfriend decided to go to graduate school out in Santa Cruz, so we packed up and headed west from North Carolina to California.

I ended up working customer service for Bay Photo for the years we were there.  In 2009 we decided to move back east, but I kept working remotely for Bay Photo part-time, just a few hours a week.

That winter, Bay asked me if I’d like to work the WPPI trade show with them. An all expenses paid trip to Vegas for a (mostly) unemployed guy?  I jumped on it.  And I’m so glad I did.

I met a bunch of Smuggers there at a party.  Larry from Bay Photo put in a good word for me, and Andy asked me if I was interested in being a hero. It sounded like an awesome job description! I started ringing Andy’s phone off the hook.

About a month later I got an interview and the rest is history.

How does music fit into your life?

During my stint in Santa Cruz, I decided to try a career change and did a trade program for luthiery (stringed instrument repair and construction). While I was working with Bay Photo I also landed a job at the Santa Cruz Guitar Company, building guitars.

Now I play drums for Wild Order and you’d have to pry my Korg MS-20 analog synthesizer out of my cold, dead hands.

Most Smuggers collect cameras and glass. I collect vintage drum machines and synthesizers, and that’s one of my faves.  A beaut from 1978.  It does sounds from hard techno to smooth 70′s fusion jazz to bizarre drones. Lots of knobs to twiddle, and endless sonic possibilities.

We affectionately call you the SmugMug Lab Rat. Why’s that?

I’m a great lab contact because I know first hand how a lab operates from the inside, how each product is physically created, and I know how to spot a potential issue when I run across one. I collect feedback from all the heroes (and thus our customers) and relay it to the labs so that we can keep the quality of our work top notch. I have phone meetings with each lab every week, and email various people at both labs daily in management, operations, and customer service.

I also do things like keep the flow of orders transmitting between both the labs. And lord knows that’s no small task, as there are thousands of orders sent to the labs every day. Communicating with the lab IT people, sometimes hacking up a bit of XML to get an order to process, repairing corrupt jpgs, etc. I keep a close eye on my order babies to make sure they get to the lab and process quickly. I keep track of orders that are late and do things like upgrade shipping when something is lagging behind.

Sometimes I feel like the Wizard or Oz pulling levers behind a curtain to keep the order machine well-oiled and finely tuned.

Shout one tip from the rooftops to SmugMuggers!

Proof & Retouch:  USE IT!  We make it easy to place orders, but it’s *always* helpful for Pros to review their clients’ orders before they’re sent to print.

Customers may not always crop their photos properly, so reviewing orders before they print is something I recommend to all Pros.  An ounce of prevention….

Check out these features Josh mentioned:

Capture Camera Clip System: How to Lose 20 Pounds in 3 Seconds

January 5, 2012 19 comments

Hey, Smuggers! Today’s guest post features one of our newest partners, Peak Design, the creators of a new and ingenious solution to the too-much-gear-no-hands-free problem. It’s called the Capture Camera Clip System, and you may have heard about when it raised a whopping $364,698 on crowdsourcing funding platform, Kickstarter. The Capture Clip System  is an accessory that rigidly secures your camera to the gear you already own. Heck, life is full of great moments and incredible adventures; we didn’t want to miss a moment of it pawing through our camera bags, and neither should you. Keep on reading for the story of how the Capture Camera Clip System came to life – straight from creator Peter Dering. Plus, at the end of the post, you’ll find info on how to win your own:

By Peter Dering

I’ll tell you why so many SLR cameras are sold – it’s because humans like beauty, our brains can only hold so much of it, and most of us are crappy painters.

Call me a sap, call me a romantic, but I get deeply moved when I see the rolling green landscapes of Cambodia, or gleaming snow-covered back-country bowl in Yosemite, or my 6-month old daughter drooling on our ottoman. The world abounds with unfathomable beauty, and I want to capture it, but what is the point of taking a fancy camera to the fringe of civilization if it’s squirreled away in a Pelican Case? Have you ever tried to wear a Baby Bjorn with a full-frame camera around your neck? Likewise, what’s the point of having a fancy camera swinging around your neck if it can be destroyed with one foul swing into harm’s (or drool’s) way? Like many photographers, I struggled to get off the shots I wanted because my hands and neck were always tied up.

The Idea

I got serious about photography in 2007 when I traded in my Canon Powershot G1 (3.34 megapixels) for a Nikon D80 and an 18-200 Nikkor lens.  That setup (along with a 50mm 1.8) became my beard.  Although it never once struck me as “convenient,” it was with me all the time.  It was only a matter of time before the photography bug got the best of me, and I decided I needed to do it full time.  I took a leave of absence from my job, and in June of 2008, landed in Hong Kong with a backpack, a camera, a few lenses, a laptop, and that’s about it. Through Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, India, Singapore, New Zealand, and Australia, I traveled by motorcycle, scooter, and foot, with a pack on my back and a camera swinging precariously around my neck.

It seemed crazy to me that no one had invented a way of rigidly attaching a camera to a backpack strap.  Needless to say, that’s when the mental creation of Capture started taking place.

The seed of the idea crystalized in February of 2010, while I was backcountry skiing in Yosemite. The beauty of the park was stunning, yet I was completely hamstrung.  When you have to ski with 50 pounds of gear on your back and poles in your hands, you can’t have a camera swinging around your neck, and you can’t use a sling bag in conjunction with a backpack.  The only way to take pictures was to stop, plant my poles, undo my backpack straps, hoist it down, take out the camera, get my shots, and then reverse the operation.  When you have to travel 9 miles on the snow before the setting sun erases the path in front of you, this process gets burdensome fast.

How It Works

I designed, prototyped and field tested numerous creations over the next several months and yakked the ears off of countless photographers. By the Fall of 2010 I had a design I was ready to run with — a simple, metal clip that allows photographers to secure any camera to their backpack strap or belt. It was small, lightweight and strong – something I could trust to keep my SLR secure and accessible no matter what I was doing. It held my camera rigidly to prevent swinging and swaying, and it had a quick-release button so I could take the perfect shot when it presented itself, not 10 minutes later. This was the device that would help me capture all that beauty, and that’s why I called it Capture. The graphic below shows the different parts of the system:

A Dream Come True

I found Capture a manufacturer, used my retirement funds to pay for tooling, got a job as a busboy to get me through the winter, and crossed my fingers that this plan would work. I launched Capture on Kickstarter in May of 2011. To my amazement, 5,258 people across the globe put down $364,698 in 75 days towards funding the manufacturing of my system. Three weeks later, each one of those folks had a Capture Camera Clip System in their hands. The reviews came in… the thousands of folks out there who shared my problem were rejoicing in the solution.

Capture was here to stay, I was done with my old career as I knew it, and I could finally afford diapers for my newborn daughter.

Made For Photographers Like You

Today I am doing everything I can to steer Peak Design in a direction that will let photographers all over the world change the way that they interact with their camera to capture the beauty around them. The workload is staggering, but I love it. As often as I can though, I get to do something else I love. I head out on a hike with my daughter, her mother, my D90, and Capture. I am instantly reminded of why I made this product in the first place, and the three of us let out a little squeal of giddiness. And there I am, camera in hand, ready to Capture it. Happy shooting everyone.

Win Your Own Capture System

The Capture Camera Clip System wouldn’t exist today without the support of photographers like you who believed in the system and and backed it with their hard earned money.  Now, along with the folks at SmugMug, we’re giving away complete Capture Camera Clip systems to 3 lucky Smuggers. It’s our way of wishing you a lighter, hands-free start to 2012.

To enter, follow these instructions:

  1. Show us some love! Like SmugMug AND Like Peak Design on Facebook.
  2. Share some beauty that you’ve captured! On Peak Design’s Facebook page post a link to one of your own shots on SmugMug, and say a little something about it.
  3. Tweet the deets! Post the following message on Twitter: Enter to win a Capture Camera Clip System from @SmugMug: #PeakDesignGiveaway. Please RT.

Winners will be chosen based on your photo entry on the Peak Design Facebook page.

The winners will get:

  • First Place: 1 Capture Camera Clip System, plus 1 free year of SmugMug Pro
  • Second Place: 1 Capture Camera Clip System, plus Smuggy Swag
  • Third PLace: 1 Capture Camera Clip System

Winners will be announced on Friday, January 13 Good luck and enjoy!

P.S. Smuggers will get a discount on their very own Capture Camera Clip System in Club Smug, our dedicated place for deals from partners we love. Stay tuned for details next week!



You came, you read, you posted! Huge thanks to everyone who entered this contest for a chance to get their hands on a Capture Camera Clip System. The good folks at Peak Design have picked 3 winners below:

First Place: Bob Lionel

Sometimes even good friends get into arguments while playing a friendly game of frisbee. This is a shot of two of my dogs. I’d hoped to get an airborne shot of Rook (the border collie) as he caught the frisbee. Instead, Brodie wanted to play too. Rook didn’t agree with him and as dogs will do they had to have a quick test of wills that lasted all of 7 seconds and ended with them both still friends. It is amazing how when you freeze that moment of disagreement how savage it looks… 

Copyright Bob Lionel of OFFCAMBER Photography

Second Place: Debbie Webb Clifton

Brotherly Love – Took this silhouette last Easter of my nephew kissing his little brother :) It was number one for several days in the Daily Photo Gallery on Smugmug :)

Copyright Debbie Webb Clifton of Candidly Creative

Third Place: Jerry Barton

Getting that “moment” is tough. Changing lenses and getting the other body out of the backpack take too long. Anything to shorten that time (or eliminate it) is great. 

Copyright Jerry L. Barton


All winners will be notified by email. Didn’t win? No worries!  Enjoy a Smuggers-only discount on your very own Capture Camera Clip System by logging into your SmugMug account and then going here.  Congrats everyone!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,863 other followers

%d bloggers like this: