Stories are breaking on sites like Fstoppers and Brandsmash about private Boudoir photos that appeared on a creepy voyeur forum. It’s hard to imagine a more humiliating nightmare for a photographer or their clients.
Photos came from several sites, including SmugMug, and we paid extreme attention over the last two days to how it happened. We tried to take some comfort in observing that in every instance, it came down to passwords that were guessable in just a few tries.
The question for us was what could we do that we weren’t already? Over the past year, we’ve done considerable work around this problem, but yesterday we decided to expose some of the alerts our systems generate to our customers.
When our systems see several password attempts on a gallery or folder, they now send an email to the owner of the SmugMug site. It identifies the gallery, gives the first few digits of each password attempt with asterisks for the rest (bou***), and adds info like time of day and geographic location the request may be coming from.
Today our Support Heroes are receiving thank-yous from people whose family members couldn’t get in because they left the caps lock key on or forgot some aspect of the password “it’s a cap O (oh), not a 0 (zero)”.
And we read two help tickets from photographers who discovered that their boudoir galleries had password guessers. Fortunately, they had long passwords that were too hard to guess, but they are still making changes like removing the word Boudoir from the title, and making the gallery Unlisted so only people who obtain the link can know of its existence.
One of the security upgrades that came with New SmugMug is we don’t store passwords in a form that could leak in any way, including a systems breach, a bug, or a disgruntled employee. We use an industrial grade, Cryptographic hash function.
The breaking stories are about Boudoir photos, but we host incredibly sensitive photos (all cloud services do) of unannounced products and even, we remember, photos of an upcoming TIME Person of the Year.
1. Set a good gallery password before uploading photos!
2. Set galleries and folders to Unlisted. Unlisted means means no one can see them unless they have somehow been given a link. They cannot guess the link because it has a random string added to its URL. The combination of strong password + Unlisted is extremely secure.
You can learn more about how to protect your SmugMug galleries here.
We hope this helps, and thanks for being part of the SmugMug family!
Chris & Don MacAskill
It’s that time of year again: lab-shopping season. As the New Year rolls in, photographers focus on bettering their businesses and we know there’s nothing more exciting than delivering a beautiful print of a beautiful photo.*
You’ve probably noticed that SmugMug offers not one, not two, but FOUR fabulous print lab options, each offering a full array of great print products. So if you’re a seasoned pro who already has a favorite, we may already be friends with them.
Four labs means a ton of amazing print options, more than 600 different products in total. But before you start sweating, here’s a quick rundown on each one to help you narrow down and pick the best fit for your photos.
No matter what, rest assured that you get a single, cohesive online presence and a full business solution when you’re at SmugMug.
Your work is in good hands.
Based just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, these guys have been a true powerhouse print lab fulfilling orders for some of the nation’s biggest event companies. But they’re more than just brawn — they put all that experience to work getting your print orders out the door quickly and economically, whether you buy one print or one thousand. EZ Prints is available to every single SmugMug user, and they fulfill all 4×8 and 5×7 photo card orders, to boot.
Our friends at Bay Photo enjoy the sun and fresh sea air each day in Santa Cruz, California. The positive effects are evident in the pride they take to their work, attention to detail, and the approach to customer service. Business and Portfolio SmugMuggers tell us that Bay Photo’s hand color correction, meticulously strong packaging and innovative product lineup are essential to the satisfaction of their clients. Plus, did you know that using Bay Photo also offers delicious Photo Extras like mats, frames, mounted prints and more, so you save a trip to the framers?
Last year we unveiled our first non-USA print lab, Loxley Colour. Situated in the outskirts of beautiful Glasgow, Scotland, they’re ready to fulfill all your highest-end print and display needs, right from your SmugMug gallery. They’re particularly popular with picky pros (and their picky customers) in the UK, but they’re happy to ship anywhere in Europe… and beyond.
White House Custom Colour
We started hearing that SmugMug Pros wanted even more print lab options, so we put our ears to the ground. White House Custom Colour won by being a crowd favorite and by passing our rigorous print quality test with flying colors. We felt confident that they met our (and your) incredibly high standards for beautiful prints each and every time. They hail from the Twin Cities in Minnesota, and opened a second and third location in Dallas, Texas and Fresno, California, to bridge pros from all corners of the United States. They’re a family-grown business just like SmugMug, proving that we have a lot more in common than just a love for photography.
Three Quick Notes
1) EZ Prints is available at all SmugMug account levels.
2) Bay Photo, WHCC and Loxley Colour are only available if you have a Portfolio or a Business level account.
3) All labs ship their goodies everywhere on the planet. But for logistical reasons, you may choose to pick the lab that’s closest to you.
Here’s hoping that you fall lens-over-heels in love with your your perfect lab this year!
* We know that DPI really stands for “Delirious Pixel Infatuation.”
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!
- How to properly show off your photos
- Let your friends upload photos to your gallery
- How to make scandalously good holiday cards
- SmugMug’s full catalog of custom photo cards
- How to master Categories and Subcategories
- Free photo editing with Picmonkey
- Free your photos with Camera Awesome
- Make and use custom discount coupons
- Events and Favorites: The easiest path to more sales
- Cart branding, Stickers and Thank You Prints
To continue SmugMug’s dedication to make you all photo stars, we’ve got an incredible opportunity you won’t want to miss.
We all know that Sandy Puc’ is an amazing woman. She’s a talented photographer, a driven businesswoman, a passionate heart, a generous soul, and patient instructor to boot. You’ve seen us post about her whirlwind tours, traveling around the country showing photographers just like you how to shoot babies, brides, bombshells and more. And how to market the heck out of your business and rock the industry.
Don’t chase the bus. This spring, Sandy is coming to you.
Tune In… and Win
In partnership with our SmugMug User Groups, Sandy is holding three 1-hour webinars about how to turn your passion for photography into a rewarding business. If you’re already part of a SMUG, talk to your leader to find out if you can tune in as a group to watch each class.
To make things even more exciting:
- The busiest SMUG wins. We’ll keep track of the SMUG that grows the most over the next three months. The winning city will get a visit from Sandy herself and an exclusive night dedicated to growing your business to success.
- The most passionate Pro wins. The SMUG member that brings the most guests to their local meetings will win a trip to Sandy’s studio in Denver, CO, for an all expenses paid, completely one-on-one marketing makeover from the lady herself. An opportunity that could change your life (and your business) forever.
Stay in touch for details
So keep your eyes peeled for an email from SmugMug with more info about this opportunity and what to expect. If you have’t yet joined a SMUG, see what you’ve been missing on their blog. You’ll find a bonus podcast from Sandy there, too, in the menu bar on the right!
Photography. Friends. Fun. What’s not to SMUG?
Find your SMUG right now.
Why a contest?
We teamed up with the good folks at Bay Photo Lab this fall to kick off a contest asking photographers to submit photos representing the theme of a perfect pair — two things that go splendidly together. SmugMug and Bay Photo are like peanut butter and jelly, ying and yang, aperture and ISO. We love Bay’s hand color correction and their crazy-in-a-good-way devotion to making the best dang prints out there. They love our seamless integration, fanatical devotion to making sure your photos look the best in our galleries and prints, and 100% guaranteed customer service. We guess you can say we’re the perfect pair for picky pros whose reputations depend on us.
Photographers from all over heard our call and submitted almost 2000 shots. The time has come to announce who the winners are, and we couldn’t be more tickled to have another reason to shout to the world how much we heart Bay Photo Lab and the awesome customers we get to work with on a daily basis. Winners of the Perfect Pairs Photo Contest were picked by a group of Judges from Bay Photo Lab and SmugMug based on their editorial discretion and your votes.
Here’s what we decided.
GRAND PRIZE WINNER
“Steam Runners” by Ric Cederholm of Waunakee, WI
We love this photo because it’s two friends having the time of their lives. The shot captures a playful and fun moment that makes us long for the days we could run with our hands in the air, hollering with joy (sure, we can do it as grown ups too, but it’s definitely cuter when kids do it). What’s better than running in the sun with the mist in your face? Maybe unwrapping your first MetalPrint. Maybe.
Ric, if you’re watching, you get:
- 5 free years of SmugMug Pro ($750 value, not including bragging rights)
- $500 Print Credit to world class Bay Photo Lab
- Photo credit in major national and tradeshow advertising, including WPPI
FIRST RUNNER UP
“Coordination” by Marc Benjamin of Fairfield, CA
This shot shows the power, elegance, and artistry that can be created when two powerhouses come together. The striking contrast stopped us in our tracks, and the poetry of these dancers forms entwined in the air sealed the deal for us.
- 4 free years of SmugMug Pro ($600 value)
- $300 Print Credit to Bay Photo Lab
SECOND RUNNER UP
“Relationship Stability” by Jesse Rather of Arcata, CA
Talk about a photo that makes you look twice. Managing a business and serving your customers is a fine balance of impeccable quality, dedication and fun, and we thought this photo channeled that feeling well. To top it off, the quirkiness, beauty, and humor made us smile. Thanks, Jesse!
- 2 free years of SmugMug Pro ($300 value)
- $200 Print Credit to Bay Photo Lab
THIRD RUNNER UP
“The Polar Pair” by JP Diroll of Pittsburgh, PA
A bit surreal, a bit Planet Earth. It’s hard enough to resist such childlike interplay in the animal world, but drop the fuzzies into a sun-streaked pool of the deepest blue and you have double the win.
- 1 Free year of SmugMug Pro ($150)
- $100 Print Credit to world class printer Bay Photo Lab
FOURTH RUNNER UP
“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Rachelle Elliott of Wymore, NE
Rub-a-dub-dub, two cuties in a tub. Parents, watch out: They’re already winning hearts!
- 1 Free year of SmugMug Pro ($150)
- $50 Print Credit to world class printer Bay Photo Lab
Thanks. We Mean It.
We we really blown away by the enthusiastic response to this contest and totally felt the love. Thanks again to everyone who entered their photos and shared their vision of “The Perfect Pair!”
Hey, Smuggers! Pros can now sell video downloads just like prints, cards and the whole shebang:
You’ve asked for this for a really long time and we were busting at the seams waiting to tell you about it. We hope you love this new feature (and all the cha-ching! it brings) as much as we loved building it for you.
While you’re soaking up the good news, let’s go over the basic deets about video on SmugMug.
How to Upload Your Videos
You probably already know that you can upload an unlimited number of HD video to every Power or Pro SmugMug account in addition to unlimited photos. Since most cameras have video functions baked right in, you’ve probably got quite a collection already.
Put your videos into your SmugMug galleries exactly the same way you already do with your photos. You can upload a slew of photos and videos at the same time if you’d like. We always recommend our easy-to-use browser based uploaders, but you can use whatever works best for your workflow.
There’s lots of different video formats out there and we accept a huge range of codecs to make it simple. In the rare case that we don’t recognize the format, write to our Support Heroes for help or try converting it to a different one.
How to Sell Video Downloads
Price them just like you would price any other digital download. If you’re not sure, look here for full details. Open up your pricing settings, click on the Downloads tab and go nuts.
You can offer up to 5 different sizes of video downloads in both Personal and Commercial licenses. Here’s what they are:
- Web: up to 320 x 240
- iPod/DVD: up to 640 x 480
- Mid-Def: up to 960 x 540
- Hi-Def: up to 1280 x 720
- Full HD: up to 1920 x 1080
Your fans can then add the video to their cart and check out. Video downloads are available immediately. Instant gratification!
A note about that “Save Movie” link: If you’ve not priced any videos, your visitors will continue to see that link in the lightbox header. It’ll disappear when you start pricing videos in that gallery, or when you enable Right-Click Protection in your Gallery Settings.
Similarly, your fans can’t download video sizes that are equal to or larger than the video sizes you’ve priced. So, for example if you’ve priced the Mid-Def size in a gallery, they can only save the Web and iPod sizes from the mouseover photo bar.
One last FYI: Video files will be included in your Gallery Downloads zip files, so make sure you price them accordingly.
Be on TV, Your Computer or Your Phone
Did you know that visitors using an iPhone or iPad, AppleTV, PlayStation (or any device that can play industry-standard h.264 videos) can also play SmugMug videos? Being tied to a computer is so 2006. Just give your fans a link to the video in your SmugMug gallery and they can watch it from virtually anywhere.
Or, try embedding videos instead. We provide easy embed codes that you can drop into your blog, forum posts or any other external site. To get it, click on the Share button in any gallery (or Owner Share if you’ve disabled it to your viewers) and choose Get a Link. Video embed codes are under the “Embeddable Links” tab. Copy and paste that code into your site and prepare to blow them away:
Tip: WordPress bloggers have it even easier. Just copy the URL for the video from the gallery and drop it into your blog editor, like this:
We’ll automatically fit the video to size:
Anyone Can (and Should) Make Movies
Even if you don’t dream of Hollywood, you can shoot and share all kinds of video that make you smile. At SmugMug, we see videos for everything like weddings, birthday parties, product reviews, music videos, demos, real estate tours to just fun, everyday clips.
But if “keyframes” and “transcoding” don’t mean much to you, we have two friends in the video biz who can get you gorgeous movies in minutes: Animoto and ProShow Web. Log in and find them in your gallery’s Buy button, then choose the “Create a Video” option. They’ll slurp in your SmugMug photos and create beautiful, engaging slideshows set to your favorite music. You can customize them, too.
The Nitty Gritty Details
As you enjoy creating, making and sharing moving pictures, keep these few bits in mind:
- Videos can be embedded into pages in two sizes: 425×240 and 640×360. If you want your fans to see the full HD version, include a direct link to the video so they can view it in your SmugMug gallery.
- Please keep your videos family-safe and don’t post any copyrighted material that you don’t have the rights to. This includes background music.
Links you’ll love:
We do everything we can to deliver you blazing speed so you can browse galleries and upload unlimited photos to your site. But we do know that sometimes things happen.
Are you having trouble with uploads, or is your site moving slower than usual? There are many possible causes for these types of issues, but the most common reason is rooted in the connection between your computer and us.
Try This First!
Keep these four tips handy. It’s a good idea to try the following if you notice a sudden change in performance on your site or on the rest of the web:
1. Check to see if you get the same behavior in a different browser than the one you usually use. See our list of supported browsers right here.
2. Clear your cache. Don’t know how to do this in your favorite browser? Just email us!
3. Reboot your computer and unplug your router and cable modem for a few seconds. Then re-plug them in to re-sync your connection.
4. If you’re online using a wireless network, try plugging in instead. This can help get you a “cleaner” connection that isn’t dependent on the airwaves.
Run Some Tests
No go? Next, log in at SmugMug and check your connection at one of these two links:
- If site navigation seems sluggish, go here.
- If your uploads aren’t working, run this test.
Be sure to run the correct test for the issues that you’re seeing! If you’re familiar with the data in those results, then great. You can use that data to troubleshoot your home network, or when you talk to your ISP.
But if it’s all Greek to you, no sweat: Just use the Share button shown at the end of the test to grab your results and email that to us.
Include some info about what kinds of problems or error messages you’re seeing, what you’ve tried already, etc. Give us as many details as you can, like:
- What browser are you using?
- What uploaders have you tried?
- Is your internet wireless or wired?
- Have you tried using another supported browser, or uploader?
- Have you tried using a different network? We suggest a friend’s house, the library or a local coffee shop with wi-fi.
There’s no such thing as too much info, so don’t be shy. Our marvelous Support Heroes are aways glad to help you (literally!) get back up to speed.
It’s Christmas in May! You can upload, store and retrieve virtually any file in your SmugVault for a fraction of the old cost.
Oh, yes. The measly $1 monthly service charge remains the same, but now:
- Storage is only $.14 per month, per GB. (Old cost: $.22)
- It costs only $.11 to upload each GB into your Vault. (Old cost: $.30)
- It costs only $.16 to download each GB back to your computer. (Old cost: $.51)
What’s this mean for you? If you uploaded an 8G CF card full of RAWs into your Vault and then retrieved them one month later:
Your old bill would be $9.24 .
Your new bill will be just $4.28 .
Best of all, this isn’t a limited-time promotional offer. Thanks to price drops from Amazon and a shiny new uploading infrastructure at SmugMug, we expect this lowered price to be permanent – until we drop it again.
Why SmugVault is Awesome
The SmugVault gives you safe, reliable, flexible and unlimited storage tacked right on to your existing SmugMug account. You’re already familiar with our interface and galleries so it’s a breeze to use. And remember that your archives are not visible (or downloadable) to anyone except you, the logged-in gallery owner.
The SmugVault can hold virtually any file up to 1GB apiece, and if you upload a TIFF and JPG version of the same image into your account, we’ll archive one and display the other to your visitors. But they’ll be bundled together for easy access in your Vault.
And when we call it a Vault, we mean it. Thanks to Amazon’s S3 service, which powers the storage part of your SmugVault, anything you archive in your SmugVault has 99.999999999% durability. In other words, if you store 10,000 files in your SmugVault, on average, we’ll lose just one every 10 million years. More details.
In fact, you can even skip the JPG part and just upload your RAW file. We’ll automatically generate a full-sized JPG that you can share – and sell – on your site.
Listen Up, Pros!
Hot tip: After a shoot, just drag your RAW files into the uploader and call it a day. Your client can browse the gallery and buy the prints she wants. When the order hits Proof Delay, you swap them with edited versions. This way you only have to edit a few required images, not the whole set.
Whatta timesaver! And you’re backed up, to boot.
Grab Your Vault Now
This is a perfect time to give the SmugVault a try. Get one right from your Control Panel, under the Settings tab where it says “SmugVault”.
Your regular galleries are great for our standard JPG, PNG and GIF files but if you’d like a little extra oompf, it’s easier (and cheaper) than ever to get your whole life backed up.
Yanno, just in case.
Lots of people have asked us: “Can I apply the gallery settings from one gallery to another? How do I apply certain settings when creating new galleries?”
Yes you can! The solution is Quick Settings.
Creating Quick Settings
These are really simple templates for your settings that you can create, save and apply to any gallery on your site. Here’s how to use them:
1) First, go to any gallery where you have your settings just the way you like, or edit the gallery settings to have your preferred settings, and save them.
2) Then, in the gallery settings under the Quick Settings section, choose “Save settings on this page as…” and then give your new Quick Setting a name.
Tip: Choose a name that is descriptive and relevant. Mention the watermark, your public/private settings, or your printing settings so you know what it is at a glance. For example, “Bottom watermark, No Share” is a much more useful name than just “New Quick Setting 1″.
3) After you give your Quick Setting a name, click Save.
Applying Quick Settings
Now that you have this Quick Setting saved, you can apply it to other galleries by opening that gallery’s Settings page, then choosing it from the drop-down list at the top:
Want to apply this Quick Setting to lots of galleries? Choose the “Apply Quick Settings to multiple galleries” link, which will let you pick which galleries and Quick Setting you want to use. Note that you can also delete that Quick Setting template by hitting the “delete template” button, visible once the setting is selected.
You can apply it to brand new galleries, too, before you even upload any photos. That option is right in the New Gallery box:
Got questions about this feature? Check out our help page or give our Heroes a shout. We’re always glad to lend a hand!