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Let’s Connect at WPPI 2014 in Las Vegas

February 27, 2014 Leave a comment

If you’re a portrait or wedding photographer bound for WPPI next weekend in Las Vegas, please come see us! SmugMug will be hitting the expo floor from Monday, March 3rd through Wednesday, March 5th, so stop by, say hello and ask us your burning questions. Let’s connect!

We’ll have two great ways for you to win great stuff next week:

1) Photo Critique with David Beckstead 

Become a better photographer in minutes! Submit your best wedding photo now for an in-depth critique by one of the Top 10 Best Wedding Photographers in the World, David Beckstead. Details here.

2) Snap a Smuggy Selfie

Snap a fun self portrait with one of our SmugMug Booth Babes (or just with the SmugMug logo), tag it and share to win part of $2400+ worth of prizes. Winners announced each day of the WPPI expo. Details here.

We’ve lined up an impressive list of totally free seminars and SmugMug demos led by pro photographers (who also happen to be SmugMug friends) ready to impart their knowledge of marketing, business and the craft with you. You’ll also get the chance to talk with some of SmugMug’s Product Managers, Engineers and Design teams, so bring your feedback, suggestions and a winning smile.

Find a complete list of times, dates and topics right here on the handy reference page we’ve built for you here. Bookmark it, love it, keep it close at hand.

http://school.smugmug.com/WPPI

See you soon, wedding pros!

Vote for SmugMug: Best Bootstrapped Startup

January 15, 2014 3 comments

Holy moly, SmugMug fans! Because of your amazing support, SmugMug’s been picked as a finalist for the 2013 Crunchies Awards.

Pinch us, it’s real!

We’ve been bootstrapped for 11 years with millions of customers and billions of happy photos. Would you help us take it all the way and become the “Best Bootstrapped Startup” of 2013? If you think we are and want to make your photos proud, we’d love to have your votes again.

  • Simply visit the Crunchies site and start voting now! You can vote once a day through 11:59pm PST, Sunday, January 26, 2014.

SmugMug’s always been known for support, but your votes have shown us what “support” really means. Thank you for all that you’ve given us over the years: your comments, your shares, your likes, your stories, your ideas, and above all the glaring hard truth when we needed it most. We’d never have made it this far without you. :)

Exhilarating photo of SmugMug Support Hero Ana Pogačar taken by… Ana Pogačar!

Categories: business, Contest, SmugMug, Users

Small World: How SEO and Social Media Close the Gap Between You and Your Fans

April 18, 2013 4 comments

They say it’s a big world, but it’s not always true: Photographers (and anyone, really) on the internet are coming to know that search engines and social media are two extremely important ways to bring the world – and new clients – right to your doorstep.

Please join us for our upcoming podcast and webinar that will help you be a better, more reachable photographer on the web.

Plus, read to the end to see how you can use social media to win $50 of SmugMug subscription credit!

Social Media Basics with Aaron Hockley

We’ve recently recorded a podcast all about social media. In it, we define what social media is, discuss how social networking can help your photography business by meeting your mentors to finding new clients. From getting started to becoming a pro with social media– we cover everything!

Aaron Hockley is a professional photographer with a strong tech background, and founding organizer of a conference for WordPress bloggers. He knows the detailed ins and outs of social media for photographers, and we sat down with him to hear his thoughts on common social media questions.

We ask the following:

  • How can social media help a photographer?
  • What do you think the first steps are in jumping into using social media for a photography business?
  • Can you rank some of the social media platforms you use in order and how often you use them?
  • How do you integrate social media into your work day?
  • To share or not to share?
  • What mistakes have you made along the way with social media?
  • How do you measure success?
  • How do you stay current on social media changes, news, research and methodologies?

Download the podcast and listen on iTunes!

Essential SEO for Photographers with Jason Grubb

What is SEO? Why is it essential for photographers? View this free webinar to learn the bare essentials for becoming findable by your clients on search engines like Google. This webinar will cover the basics of SEO and what you need to know to get started.

Jason Grubb is a Denver-based wedding photographer who developed a niche SEO consulting firm serving photographers around the world. We’ll talk for an hour about SEO and why it’s important, and answer your questions, too.

April 25, 2013 at 8:00 PM ET
Duration: 1.5 hours
Register now at GoToMeeting

During this webinar you’ll learn:

  • What search engine optimization is and why it’s important
  • How search engine ranking works
  • The bare essentials to implement on your website/blog for solid SEO
  • How to develop strategic content on your site for SEO
  • Simple off-page SEO, what it means, and how to do it

Jason will be giving two lucky photographers 25% off an Advanced SEO for Blogs Package from his site, Be Findable. All you have to do to enter is to join the webinar! We’ll announce and contact the winners on April 26, 2013.

And a SmugMug Giveaway! Share What You Learned and Win

Tweet @SmugMug during the webinar and tell us about one cool thing that you learned. We’ll randomly pick one person to win a $50 credit towards a SmugMug subscription (new and existing SmugMuggers are welcome). Winners announced April 26, 2013 on Twitter.

Are you ready to close the gap? We’ll see you online!

Going to WPPI 2013? Come say hello!

March 6, 2013 Leave a comment

Since we’re big on meeting our customers, we love going to WPPI each year and seeing a slice of the wedding and portrait world. Viva la Vegas!

If you’re going, too, say hi! We’re here to hear what you think, share what we can and shed some light on any of your burning questions. So swing by, shake our hands, bend our ears, grab some swag and take part in the fun.

Meet Us in Booth #1529

Apart from our shining faces, you’ll see:

  • A giveaway for current Smuggers. Win a total website makeover by one of our amazing Certified Customizers: FastLine designs. It’s your chance to get the beautifully branded, professional website you’ve always dreamed of. ($665 value)
  • A giveaway for everyone: Enter to win a mind-bending prize package from SmugMug + friends, including one year of SmugMug Business ($300 value), print credit from Bay Photo Labs ($300 value), a gallery wrap print from WHCC ($300 value), two-year membership at PhotoTraining4U ($390 value,) Perfect Photo Suite 7 Premium from OnOne Software ($299 value), “Design, Print & Bind” Album from Zookie Pro ($300 value), and $150 credit from Blurb books. Whew!
  • A fun, free photo booth so you can seal the experience with a(n infamous) Smilebooth pic! We’ll have creative props for you to use and an online photo gallery to share all the fun. We don’t always believe in all that “What happens in Vegas…” stuff.

And we’ll have some big-name photographers like Jeremy and Zabrina from JeZa Photography hanging out with us to answer questions about the photo biz and share tips on how SmugMug fits into the successful pro’s workflow.

Make Time for Awesome People We Like

If you’re seeking words of wisdom from your favorite pros, here’s when you can catch them over the course of the week. Check the WPPI directory to find exact locations:

Corinne Alavekios
Photographic Essays: From Ordinary to Extraordinary
3/10/2013 9 AM – 10:30 AM

Suzette Allen
Retouching Power with Photoshop CS6
3/13/2013 8:30 AM- 10:00 AM

David Beckstead
In the Box, Through the Box, & Out of the Box with a Videolight!
3/11/2013 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Bambi Cantrell
Beyond Boudoir
3/7/2013 9 AM – 5 PM

Lawrence Chan
Content Marketing and Social Media: The Secrets to More Bookings and Online Engagement
3/11/2013 4 PM- 5:30 PM

Tony Corbell
“Between Light and Shadow”- An Educational Conversation About the Craft of Photography
3/13/2013 3 PM- 4:30 PM

Bob and Dawn Davis
Llevando un Pequeño Negocio Local al Éxito
3/12/2013 9 AM- 10:30 AM

Kay Eskridge
Beyond Boudoir
3/11/2013 8:30 AM- 10 AM

Gustavo Fernandez
Second Shooting: Learn the Wedding Business FAST
3/11/2013 3:30 PM- 5:50 PM

Mike Fulton
Wireless Flash and Strobes Tips and Tricks – Both Manual and TTL
3/11/2013 6:30 PM- 8 PM

Zach and Jody Gray
How to Avoid What Small Businesses Do: Fail
3/10/2013 3 PM- 4:30 PM

Vanessa Joy and Rob Adams
How to Start Your Photography Career Step-by-Step
3/10/2013 11 AM- 1 PM

Kevin Kubota
Pimp Your Speedlight! Location Lighting Tips and Techniques
3/10/2013 9 AM- 10:30 AM

Scott Robert Lim
Crazy, Stupid, Light: Amazing Off Camera Lighting Techniques
3/10/2013 3 PM- 4:30 PM

Denis Reggie
Beyond Cliche: A Case for Authenticity in Wedding Imagery
3/13/2013 3 PM- 4:30 PM

Dane Sanders
Going to Market: Maxmizing Portrait and Wedding Profits
3/10/2013 9 AM- 10:30 AM

Matthew Jordan Smith
10 Secrets to Building a Powerful Photography Career
3/11/2013 4 PM- 5:30 PM

Kirk Voclain
Lighting and Posing Today’s High School Seniors
3/11/2013 8:30 AM- 10 AM

Moshe Zusman
Shedding Light on the Wedding Venue
3/11/2013 3:30 PM- 5:30 PM

Are you ready for the most amazing year in the wedding and portrait industry yet? We can’t wait to meet you!

XOXO,

The SmugMug Family

Are All Weddings Created Equal?

March 4, 2013 52 comments

It’s a question that probably wasn’t often asked in the past. But lately, we found that there were quite a few wedding photographers wondering if it’s finally time to address the creative conundrum of photographing same-sex weddings.

So we sat down with two of the experts in this field to talk about their experiences, where they think it’s going, and what traditional wedding photographers need to consider before taking on same-sex couples as clients.

The Pioneer and the Veteran Pro

Kathryn Hamm founded the web’s leading online boutique and same-sex wedding resource, GayWeddings.com. Thea Dodd has been photographing gay and lesbian couples since 2005. Together they’ve pooled their knowledge and published a brand new book, Capturing Love: The Art of Lesbian & Gay Wedding Photography, to fill the void and provide guidance to the many photographers who have been — or want to begin — taking on same-sex weddings.

Photo by Jen Lynne Photography

Photo by Jen Lynne Photography

The Art of Photographing Same-Sex Couples

In our featured podcast, SmugMug’s community director Rocky Bowles asks Kathryn and Thea why the traditional approach doesn’t always work for same-sex couples. They talk about why it’s important to not just be gay-friendly, but good at what you do to succeed in this market. Which includes serious issues to consider, such as:

  • Why you can’t use traditional wedding and engagement poses
  • Why you should be mindful of what your photos are communicating
  • What you shouldn’t assume, or take for granted about your clients
  • Navigating the potential difficulties of family relationships
  • Privacy needs and why it’s particularly important for same-sex couples
Photo by Maggie Rife

Photo by Maggie Rife

Podcast on iTunes

Take a listen to the podcast on iTunes now. The book Capturing Love is also available for purchase at their website, and is full of gorgeous, inspiring, beautiful examples of gay and lesbian photos.

The book is also a wonderful resource for couples, looking to find the right wedding photographer. So pick it up , be inspired, and be better at what you do!

Photo by Meredith Hanafi Photography and Leslie Barbaro

Photo by Meredith Hanafi Photography and Leslie Barbaro

Giveaway! Win a Signed Copy of “Capturing Love”

As we’re ramping up to the festival of love (A.K.A. WPPI 2013), we’re giving away one signed copy of Capturing Love to a lucky person who wants to learn more about this genre of wedding photography.

To enter:

1. ‘Like’ SmugMug’s Facebook page HERE.

2. ‘Like’ Capturing Love’s Facebook page HERE.

3. Then, post a comment below answering this question:

What is your one favorite thing about photographing same-sex couples?


Get your entries in by March 8th, 2013 and we’ll pick one random winner and announce it in this space.

UPDATE March 8, 2013: We spun the wheel of destiny and our random winner is… Amy Wurdock! Congrats Amy and we’ll be in touch with you via email so you can collect your prize.

Photo by Kat Forder Photography

Photo by Kat Forder Photography

Special Edition, Special Discount

The ladies of Capturing Love are celebrating their first week of national release by offering SmugMuggers a exclusive discount on their special-edition hardcover books purchased through their website.

Books will ship starting March 10th, so be sure you reserve your copy soon.

Good luck, and we hope that you all capture a little love this year!

Offer valid through March 31,2013 and cannot be combined with any other offer.

The Best Reason to Come to Focus on Imaging 2013

February 26, 2013 Leave a comment

Attention all on-the-fence pros: If you were unsure about whether or not to come out to Focus on Imaging in Birmingham March 3-6, 2013, we’ve got some exciting news that may tip the balance in your favor.

Our Massive Giveaway

We’re joining forces with our friends at Loxley Colour and PhotoTraining4U to give four lucky photographers a jump start to 2013.

  • £500 Loxley lab credit
  • 1 year SmugMug Pro Membership AND full customisation
  • TWO years of Academy Pro membership at PhotoTraining4U

Each day of the show, they’ll announce one winner who will get ALL of the above. That’s four possible chances to win and over £1,400 worth of prizes that give you everything you need for a successful business: A website. Gorgeous prints. And two years to learn how to put it all together.

How to Enter

Simply show up at NEC Birmingham between March 3-6, 2013 and come to any of our three booths and let us scan your badge. (Or you can do things the old-fashioned way and fill out an entry card.) That’s it!

Note that you can enter at any of our booths, but only one entry will be count per person, per day.

Find us here:

SmugMug: Booth #C9
Loxley Colour: Booth #M1
PhotoTraining4U: Booth #Q20

We can’t wait to see you at Focus! Good luck to all of you entering to win. :)

Links to love:

Categories: business, Contest, SmugMug

Stay In Touch With SMUGs and Win a Boatload of Prizes

January 21, 2013 8 comments

Have you been to one of our SMUGs? Whether or not you have (or are planning to), the only thing you need to know is that FisheyeConnect is your key to finding out where and when the next event meets.

In fact, it’s the only way to be 100% sure that you know what’s going on and where all those great photos came from last weekend.

Don’t be left in the dark!

How does FisheyeConnect Work?

It’s easy: FisheyeConnect is a website devoted just to photographers and photography workshops, so you can be sure to find something that fires your strobe.

1) Visit their Advanced Search page.
2) Type “SMUG” into the Instructor or Company box. You can also plug in your zip code if you wish.
3) Browse the results and click to open details for the SMUG nearest you.

You can sign up for the specific workshops listed there, but these change each month as they plan great new stuff. Your best bet? Hit the orange “Subscribe” button to get all updates about future events they’re offering.

Will I get spammed?

No way! FisheyeConnect is extremely particular about how your information will be used (like SmugMug), but you can view their privacy policy on their website.

But I’m already on Facebook!

We know that every SMUG has its own Facebook page, too, but while Facebook is a great place to spark discussions we think FisheyeConnect’s strengths lie in their ability to manage  registration and  head counts for SMUG events. Please use both!

The Giveaway

FisheyeConnect is giving away a pile of photog-friendly goodies to one lucky winner in the USA who signs up to a FisheyeConnect SMUG group from January 21st to February 21st, 2013.

Here’s the complete list of prizes:

TO ENTER:

  1. Browse the list of SMUGs on FisheyeConnect.
  2. Subscribe to your local SMUG so you can be notified of future events.
  3. That’s it!

No SMUG near you? Just sign up for our virtual SMUGs mailing list and you’ll get entered into the pool, too.

We’ll pick one lucky random winner on February 22nd, 2013 so keep your eyes peeled here, on our SMUGs blog and on your SMUG’s Facebook page.

Good luck and stay sharp, stay focused!

Categories: Contest, Current Events

OK, We’ll Bite: SmugMug’s Black Friday Deal

November 22, 2012 18 comments

Getting good post-Thanksgiving deals doesn’t always have to involve waking up camping overnight and fighting off mobs of fellow shoppers. With just a few clicks, you can get ahead on your holiday shopping.

Save 30% off new accounts

We’re kicking off Black Friday with the biggest deal of the Smuggy season. Use code SMUGGYTHANKS30 (expires November 25, 2012 at 11:59pm PT)  to get 30% off any SmugMug subscription (normally priced between $40-300 a year) when you sign up for a new account!

There are 4 great SmugMug account types to pick from. Don’t take our word for it though. Watch the videos below to see why all kinds of photographers trust SmugMug with their photos.

Bonus Contest Alert!

Everyone who signs up for SmugMug using code SMUGGYTHANKS30 this weekend will get entered to win an additional prize package of $200 in Print Credits, a Smuggy Swag care package, and a $100 Gift Card to BorrowLenses.com. We’ll randomly pick two  winners on Monday, November 26th, 2012. Follow @SmugMug on Twitter or check this blog post on Monday for the winners announcement.

Already a SmugMug customer? 

We want to say thanks to you too! Help us spread the word by tweeting the message below:

Use code SMUGGYTHANKS30 to get 30% off, plus enter to win over $300 in additional prizes. More info: http://smu.gs/TeIYJ5. Pls RT.

You’ll be automatically entered to win a free year of SmugMug (any account level), $200 in Print Credits, and a $100 Gift Card to BorrowLenses.com. We’ll randomly pick one winner on Monday.

From our family to yours, we hope that you’re having a safe, delicious, fabulous holiday! (Remember to take lots of pictures.)

__________________________________________

UPDATE: WINNERS!

We tossed all the names in a hat and randomly picked Michael Edwards and Craig Dyni to win $200 in Print Credits, a Smuggy Swag care package, and a $100 Gift Card to BorrowLenses.com.

The winner of the free year of SmugMug, $200 in Print Credits, and a $100 Gift Card to BorrowLenses.com goes to Susan Crutchfield. Congratulations everyone and happy holidays!

Categories: Contest

Topaz Labs: Taking the Pain out of Processing

August 3, 2012 4 comments

Scared of processing your photos? Don’t be. There’s lots of ways to skin a cat but you shouldn’t need an engineering degree to make a great pic.

Our friends at Topaz Labs are here to rescue folks with post-processing anxiety. And stay tuned to see how to win your own SmugMug account and Topaz tools, a perfect starting point for the ambitious digital photographer in you.

Plugins for Every Look

We’re featuring their plugins today to tell you about their quick and easy tools designed to cut down on your computer time and make finishing photos a breeze. Stunning photos with zero pain. What’s not to love?

Check out Topaz’s site to see their incredible variety of filters and effects. They’ve got everything from HDR to noise reduction, and everything in-between.

Not sure? You can contact them for a free, no-strings-attached 30-day trial and see how they work for you.

Will it work on my computer?

All photo editing programs are plugins to photo editors you probably already have, like:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Photoshop Elements
  • Lightroom
  • Aperture
  • iPhoto
  • Irfanview
  • PaintShop Pro

See full compatibility details here.

SmugMug + Topaz + You

We’re giving away three SmugMug accounts and three sets of Topaz software to three lucky digital photographers.

To enter, follow @SmugMug and @TopazLabs and Tweet this:

Enter to win prizes from @SmugMug and @TopazLabs. More info: http://smu.gs/QocA87. Please RT. #SmugMugTopazGiveaway

We’ll randomly pick three winners on August 10, 2012, who will win:

  1. SmugMug Basic account + Topaz Adjust program (A $89.99 value)
  2. SmugMug Power User account + Topaz Adjust, B+W and Simplify programs (A $209.97 value)
  3. SmugMug Pro account + Topaz Bundle, which includes 10 Topaz programs: Adjust, DeNoise, Simplify, Clean, ReMask, B&W Effects, Lens Effects, Detail, InFocus and DeJPEG. (A $449.99 value)

As always, we’ll announce the winners in this space, so stay tuned.

Are you ready for post-processing zen? Good luck!

__________________

WINNERS!

We randomly picked three lucky photographers to win sweet prizes from SmugMug and Topaz Labs. Congrats to 1st Prize Winner @TAMclean, 2nd Prize Winner @Spirotron, and 3rd Prize Winner @loopion!

Thanks everyone for getting in on the fun and stay tuned for more goodness, coming soon.

Categories: Art, Contest, photography

Win a Year of Membership at SmugMug Pro and Borrowlenses

March 19, 2012 4 comments

Our buddies over at BorrowLenses.com have put together a fun contest over on their blog with some great prizes that celebrate our joint awesomeness: A year of membership at BorrowLenses.com and a year of SmugMug Pro.

Win Great Perks

In case you weren’t already familiar with their membership program, it’s more than just a login. Members automatically get a 10% discount on all lens rentals, priority rental availability and a free t-shirt. It costs $99 per year, but enter to win and you could get yours for free.

Once you’ve got one foot on the red carpet, you can easily upload, sell and share all your photos on SmugMug Pro.

Make sure to get your entries to their blog HERE (not below!) no later than Friday, March 23rd, 2012.

Good luck!

Categories: Contest
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