Home > Galleries, Site design, SmugMug, smugmug > 6 Essential SmugMug Tools for Celebrating a Sane, Organized (and Profitable) Holiday

6 Essential SmugMug Tools for Celebrating a Sane, Organized (and Profitable) Holiday

Hectic holiday? It doesn’t have to be if you plan on uploading your photos (and videos) to your SmugMug galleries! You’ve already got your hands tied with hot chocolate, ribbons and last-minute gift planning, so here’s a few tips that will help make the picture sharing part of it refreshingly easy.

1) Show Off: Badges and Slideshows

This handy feature lets you build your own mini slideshow or photo mosaic to any size you wish, and gives you easy copy-and-paste code to embed it. You don’t have to know any nerd magic to get this going, and it automatically refreshes with new photos when you add more stuff to your gallery.

You’ll find this little feature a godsend for blogs, forums and websites. Anywhere that allows you to embed Flash objects. Here’s how to do it.

2) Guest Uploading for Party People

With all those folks at your house snapping away, you need a hub where guests can pool their photos and relive the glory of your massive decorating skills. SmugMug to the rescue!

Create a new gallery for your event and then open up the gallery settings. Set any word you wish into the “Upload key” box, like this:

The next time you fire up the uploader in that gallery, you’ll see a secret link at the bottom that you can copy and share. Your friends can visit that link and we’ll automagically pop up an uploader so they can easily drag and drop in their photos from the night.

Just remember that anyone who gets ahold of the link can upload to that gallery, so be aware when you share. More about guest uploads.

3) Make and Sell Photo Cards

We’ve been talking a lot about our holiday cards this year, but they’re so beautiful we just have to tell you again. And there is truly no better, easier way to take the best photos you’ve taken (or the best photos someone’s taken of you) and pair them up with custom, heartfelt season’s greetings.

Our catalog is bursting with new designs for everyone, whether your style is vintage, contemporary, minimalist or traditional. Or all of the above. Just look for the Buy button > Create a Card option in your favorite gallery and start building your 4×8 or 5×7 masterpiece!

Read all about cards, including how to price and sell them.

4) Custom Categories for Easy Navigation

Did you know that when our pre-loaded list of Categories (and sub-categories) don’t work for you, you can create your own? And that you can edit the URL that shows in the browser bar when you’re viewing your categories?

We make it breathtakingly easy to efficiently organize your site, share the URL verbally, and even get better Google juice. It’s like Christmas came early!

Take a closer look and bone up on the basics of Categories, then take it a step further and learn how to use Categories to your best advantage. This year, you’ll have your “I will be more tidy” New Year’s resolutions totally beat.

5) Picmonkey: Funky Photo Editing

Picmonkey may be our (unintentionally) best-kept secret. But if you haven’t already tried this smart, sassy tool to edit your SmugMug photos, run – don’t walk – to your nearest Tools button and find it now.

It’s built right into every SmugMug gallery and you can do everything from basic exposure correction and redeye fix to adding graphics, words, textures, frames and filters. And more. Tons, tons  more.

It’s totally free to use — even their premium features, since they’re still the new kid on the block.

Check it out now and don’t be afraid to have a little fun with your photos. :)

6) Camera Awesome for iPhone and iPad

If you’ve got an iPhone or an iPad, you’ve got the perfect excuse to leave the DSLR in your office. You can shoot up to 9 fps with our free camera app, meaning you never miss a moment. And apply gorgeous effects and filters to make them shine.

Best of all, your shots won’t stay locked on your phone where no one will see them. Share direct to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Instagram and back them up safely to your SmugMug account so you can visit them year after year. Download it free right now.

Bonus! Business features for Pros

Since there’s a lot of pros out there, here are three additional features we snuck in to remind you Business SmugMuggers that there’s a lot more to your website than just photos.

A) Coupons - A no-brainer for getting your customers a little extra nudge this holiday season! With a Business account, you can choose from 5 different types and create as many coupons as you wish.. which means you can tailor your discount codes to every client. Be sure to set an expiry date so they don’t sit on a good deal forever.

B) Events and Favorites - Intimidated? Don’t be. Events let you corral galleries into groups, so your customers can easily view only the photos that matter to them most. Best of all, they can tag and save their Favorite photos to a special gallery only they can see. All which makes browsing and buying a breeze.

C) Order Branding -This feature actually consists of three separate (and awesome) tools: Cart Branding, Stickers and Thank You Prints. All of them ensure that you and your brand stay connected to your customers until the prints are sitting in their hands. And you can easily switch up your Order Branding designs from season to season, so you look super organized…  even if you’re not.

GIVEAWAY! What’s Your Lifesaver?

In the spirit of giving, we’re digging through Smuggy’s workshop and rounding up some of our best swag items.

To enter this giveaway, simply comment below and tell us which SmugMug feature you find helps most during your holiday rush.

We’ll pick a random winner and announce it in this space on Friday, December 7th, 2012.

From all of us at SmugMug, we wish you a picture-perfect holiday! And we can’t wait to hear what you can’t live without.

**UPDATE** The Magic SmugMug 8-ball chose Melissa Ponder as our winner. Congrats Melissa and we’ll be contacting you directly. Thanks to everyone and have a great weekend!

Link roundup:

  1. December 3, 2012 at 11:00 am

    I use the “publish to Facebook” feature most often. It’s a great tool to quickly stay in touch with my clients during this busy season & show off all the family holiday portraits. I’m also pushing for them to purchase photo cards through Smugmug this year & I ordered my own personal ones last week. Can’t wait to see how they turned out!

    Tara Cope, Owner
    Full Feather Photography
    http://www.fullfeatherphotography.com
    http://www.facebook.com/FullFeatherPhotography – come “like” us!

  2. December 3, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I love the awesome designs for the Holiday Cards. As in years past I’m going to order our Holiday Cards through SmugMug!

  3. December 3, 2012 at 11:10 am

    The feature that I have been using most to get my website off the ground is the Publish to WordPress feature. I post a picture a day to my WordPress site, and then reblog that to Facebook, Google+, etc. It helps advertise.

    http://etchedinpixels.com/

  4. December 3, 2012 at 11:37 am

    I find that the Publish to Facebook feature is a favourite.

    http://www.tickledpixels.com

  5. December 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    I like PicMonkey and proof delay. I haven’t tried Publish to Facebook yet, but I think I will give that a whirl!

  6. December 3, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    There is so many cool features to choose from; the top one I love is the camera awesome for iPad, it is awesome!

  7. December 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I’m a big fan of the custom categories and really plan on expanding in the new year.

  8. December 3, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Best feature you have? Lightroom Integration. Hands down!

  9. December 3, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    I wish I was having a holiday rush, but I think I’d have to go with Lightroom integration as well for a favorite feature.

  10. December 3, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    I love everything about SmugMug but the proof delay is great especially this time of year. I just got camera awesome and I love it. Thanks SmugMug for getting better all the time!

  11. December 4, 2012 at 6:35 am

    Hard to pick just one feature, but I’ll go with online availability. Whether it’s my tablet, phone, my customer’s computer or my studio, having my photos available to everyone, all the time, is great!

  12. December 4, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I love the coupon feature – I created one a few weeks ago and got a couple sales within days. I also like how I can track each email that I’ve sent. But my favorite feature is being able to watermark all my photos, that has been the feature I’ve used most often this year.

    Happy Holidays & Happy New Year Smuggy & Smuggers!

  13. December 4, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Publish to Facebook is the one I use most often, but I also love the slideshow for the home page to show off a special gallery. Basically I love my Smugmug site!

  14. December 4, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Hmmm, Event feature is supercoolicious, I use the Smugmug & Lightroom interface for EVERY job,…

  15. December 4, 2012 at 10:59 am

    I LOVE the categories and subcategories. It helps so much! And the creating the card feature. I only wish (and maybe this exists and I don’t know it) that I could create a card (or three) for clients and save them to their gallery, so they can click on it (like as the final images) and either edit or just purchase the card. Eliminates work for them but puts them in the power of purchasing and seeing the cost without having to discuss it with me.

  16. December 4, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I use the coupons every so often. I keep forgetting I can. and I really like them. Also the sharing of the slideshow is fun for friends to see without having to navigate, If they are not computer savvy.
    Michelle Kaye Photography
    photographme@mkayephoto.com
    http://www.mkayephoto.com
    http://www.facebook.com/michellekayephotography

  17. December 4, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I love many of the features but I do like the publish to fb and being able to customise pretty much anything from the look to the categories (and subcategories) and even the print ordering & coupons and everything in between … Smug Mug just plain ROCKS ;)

  18. December 4, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I think the coupons. Can offer different things to different clients.

  19. December 4, 2012 at 11:48 am

    My favorite feature… Coupons to encourage my clients to spend a little mote!!!

  20. December 4, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    The thing that helps me the most is the ability to change multiple galleries at a time.

  21. December 4, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Options! I love being able to make every gallery different to suite my clients needs.

  22. December 4, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Lightroom to Smugmug and easy sharing…

  23. Susann
    December 4, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Custom galleries and watermarks.

  24. December 5, 2012 at 8:24 am

    I love it that I can make coupons and packages to make my clients feel like they are getting a great deal! It adds a note of professionalism when I can hand them a card with a discount code, and their gallery information. I also love that they can share their photos to facebook & etc while protecting my work, and linking back to my site!

  25. December 5, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Haven’t had a chance to use any of the new features yet…but looks like I have some great things to try out.

  26. December 6, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Excellent Lightroom integration.

  27. December 6, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Lightroom would excite me! Tell me more!!!

  28. December 10, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Thank you Smugmug Heroes!

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