Hey, Smuggers! You’re our light, our life and our reason, so it’s high time we turned the spotlight on you. Post a pic of “Smuggy” (the SmugMug logo) or SmugMugPro on our Facebook wall for a chance to be Smugger o’ the Week.
Where in the World Was Smuggy?
Back in ancient times (four years ago), one of our customers painted a sheep green for us, which sparked our incredible Where in the World Is Smuggy? contest. In the following weeks we were buried in a deluge of creative, adventurous and often hilarious photos featuring our favorite grinning green mascot.
History shall repeat itself. We’re bringing it back… with a twist.
(Don’t worry, no sheep were harmed in the making of this pic. He’s smiling!)
Post on Facebook and be our Smugger o’ the Week
Grab your cameras! This time we invite you to take a pic of Smuggy or SmugMugPro in exchange for fame:
1) Find our little mascot hidden like Waldo in the big wide world, construct your own* with artistic materials, or creatively model a piece of official SmugSwag: hats, t-shirts, straps, stickers, etc. In short, we’re looking for Smuggy himself or our SmugMug Pro logo.
2) Post that pic to our Facebook wall.
3) Each week, we’ll pick one and dub the lucky winner our Smugger o’ the Week. They’ll get their Smug Mug featured on our Facebook page for seven splendid days. And remember that by posting your pic, you’re giving us permission to use it on our FB page or for promotional stuff. You still own it and the copyright’s yours.
Hit up the gallery of entries and view all the pics submitted so far.
Get Your Smug Stuff
Our blood flows green. What about you?
* We hope this goes without saying, but while we know you love SmugMug, we ask that you don’t damage or deface property for this contest. Gracias!
The Card Catalog
To kick off the new year, we’ve launched a brand-new way for you to browse photo cards. Check out our new catalog!
Browse by occasion and sort by type. It’s intuitive, bright and easy. Just the way it should be.
If something grabs your eye, click it to get more details. Love it? Hit Make this Card to fire up our card creator and start dropping in pics.
If you’re a Pro selling cards to your clients, they’ll still need to get started from your gallery’s Buy button. Of course, you can send them to browse the new catalog and see the full array of tasteful templates.
As always, let us know what you think! And if you’re new to our photo cards, look here for help.
Smashing SmugMug Sites
Was “Customize” one of your New Year’s resolutions? We’ve updated our examples page so you can feast your eyes on some of the juiciest, sexiest and most creatively customized SmugMug sites that totally flick our Bic:
Remember that you can always change your site: Everyone can do it with Themes. Power Users and Pros also have the super-simple Easy Customizer and Advanced Customization is ready and waiting for your code. We even provide lots of help and a forum. What are you waiting for?
If you’re still unsure, we’ve provided a lengthy list of talented, certified customizers that earned our seal of approval. They know SmugMug and they know the photo biz. Trust them to listen to your specific needs and whip up a site that makes you (and your clients) swoon.
Check them out, browse their portfolios and contact one for a quote. There’s something there for every Smugger… and every budget.
Need to Nudge? Share a Buy Link
In case you’ve got friends, fans or clients who need a subtle hint, we’ve added an additional URL under the first two tabs of the Get a Link feature:
Copy and share that with anyone you wish. When they click it, we’ll present them with our shiny shopping cart all prepped for them to add some prints and check right out.
Of course, we’ll only show that line if you’ve enabled printing in your Gallery Settings. Share on!
Size Does Matter
Pros: Bay Photo is amping up your custom order branding with bigger, bolder, better stickers. Now your message, logo or design will be 2×4 inches stuck on the outside of your clients’ orders. That’s twice as big. There’s absolutely no question who took those gorgeous pics with that staring them right in the face.
New to order branding? Look here.
- Some IE7 Pros were having trouble getting their 1099s, but everything should work great now. (What-what?)
- We made the Digital Zoom ratio in your Photo Info box match up with what your camera says.
- Spirited keyworders noticed that keyword links were wonky when clicked instantly after being entered. This is now fixed.
- Interested in working with our API? Our welcome email points you to the proper page on our Wiki.
- URLs with %s in them should now properly convert to active links when entered into caption fields.
Here’s to wowing your fans together,
The SmugMug Family
Did you wait? It’s never too late! All of us at SmugMug put our noggins together to share our best, most gratifying gift ideas for photo nuts like you.
We know it’s a shameless plug but we do think that completely unlimited, safe and secure photo sharing is a pretty perfect present for just about anyone. With our newest Gift of SmugMug, you can easily bestow your budding photographer friends with just a few clicks. Choose between three account types and even save them the fuss of renewing with two (or three) years.
It’s quick, simple, and we promise to be nice to them. From $35
Camera Phone Fisheye, Wide-Angle and Macro lenses
They may be small, but these deceptive little doodads will open up your camera phone in a big way. Give the gift of focal length with this great little stocking stuffer. From $25
It’s beefier than an iPhone lens, but Lightroom will revolutionize the way you edit photos. Period. This could be life-changing, folks. What will you do with all that free time? $249
Eye-Fi Connect X2
Wireless photo transfers from your camera to your computer (or your SmugMug gallery!) Need we say more? $49.99
Moo Mini Cards
It’s never too late to make an earth-shattering, job-booking first impression. MOO prints up gorgeous, thick, smooth, pro-grade business cards in funky little sizes. They’re business cards with a twist. We love usin’ ‘em! From $19.99
Tickets to Sandy Puc’s The Power of Passion Photography Tour
The best investment is education. Treat yourself (or a friend) to an invaluable seminar that will kick start your business and give you an edge. They’re starting in early 2011 so snag a seat and don’t miss out. $99
Spice up your photos by turning them into arresting, hands-free videos. No more snoozing through your holiday slideshows, cuz even grandma will be dancing to your tunes.
You pick the theme. You pick the music. Animoto does the rest. $30/year
Gift Certificate for Kevin Kubota Image Tools
Inspire your photo friends with custom filters, actions and other creative image tools. Their workflow is worth it. From $50
3-in-1 iPad Camera Connector
Don’t let a perfectly good iPad go to waste. Load photos directly to it from your camera and free up more space for shooting those holiday party shenanigans. $29.99
Re-Stickable Wall Decal Frames
A fun and totally non-permanent way to dress up plain spaces with your best faces. Change your mind? Peel it off and pick a new spot. We use them to decorate Smuggy Central! From $20
If you’re still stumped, don’t forget to check out ClubSmug for awesome, exclusive deals on photo-centric goodies. Log in and tell them Smuggy sent you.
We hope our list has refueled your gift-buying mojo. And if you’ve already done all your shopping, we just helped you get a 12-month start on next year.
Here’s to making photographers happy together!
The SmugMug Family
We’re thrilled to announce the release of our long-awaited Android app: SmugMug Mobile! Just like it says, you can shoot and share your pics from wherever you are, whenever you are.
Snap photos and videos from your phone and send them up to your site in seconds. You can even choose multiple photos from your Android gallery and queue them up for SmugMug in one go.
Best of all, the included Browse feature makes it easier than ever to whip out your best at a moment’s notice. Show off at home, the office, or while out walking the dog. Full details here.
New to SmugMug? Join us for a free trial through the app and you’ll automatically get 50% off your first full year.
The app is free, so grab it from the Android Market and let us know what you think.
Here’s to making mobile media magical!
The SmugMug Family
It’s our job to make your jaws drop, but ours hit the floor when we heard we’re on the Best Web Apps of 2010 list on Appstorm.com.
When SmugMug started 8 years ago, none of us ever dreamed of being ranked alongside such giants as Google and Facebook. But here we are and we’re tickled fuchsia with excitement. It’s awesome to see the dedication for what we do reflect in moms, dads, grandmas, students, pros and everyone their photos touch each day.
We work hard, but we wouldn’t be where we were without our fantastic, ecstatic, loyal and totally honest array of customers.
As sweet as it is, we won’t be resting on our laurels. The New Year is just around the corner and we’ve got to hurry and get started. If you thought 2010 was full of goodies, wait ’til you see 2011.
Here’s to making beautiful pictures together,
The SmugMug Family
Today’s guest post is by Jared Bauman from ShootDotEdit. For those of you looking to learn more about the costs and benefits of self-serve versus outsourced post-processing, this is a worthwhile read.
With digital becoming the standard over the past 5+ years, there have been an onslaught of new opportunities and challenges for photographers. One subject is Post Production. Nowadays, there is so much involved after capture, or after the image has been taken. No longer can a photographer simply take an image and expect it to look its best. Rather, tweaking the image for proper exposure, color, and other details now is a requirement. Even further, many photographers learn how to use Photoshop and other programs in order to enhance the image. Photoshop Actions, or scripts that run predetermined activities on photos, allow photographers to achieve dramatic results.
Digital Post Production has allowed photographers to create unique and dynamic images unlike ever before. However, the byproduct of this has been an increased workload. Rather than just shoot, now the photographer has to spend hours upon hours in post production. On top of that, the photographer has to be an expert in photography and post production! Eventually, every photographer reaches the point where their increased activity in post production is met with the limits of their available time.
“Why should I let go of my post production?” That’s the question we hear the most … And it’s a valid one. Remember when you decided to allow SmugMug to handle your print fulfillment and drop ship to your clients? Yeah … it’s like that. Every photographer seems to struggle with the topic at one point or another. Letting go of your post production is not an easy decision, because images are the reflection of the art each photographer creates. Many determine that letting go of the post production is letting go of the creative process, and letting someone else determine the look and feel of their final image.
So why let go of the post production? Well, in the end, editing is not a part of your business. You’re a photographer – not only is that what you love to do, but its what you get paid for. And, beyond that, editing is not the main component involved in why your clients book you. They book you because you’re you and because of the images you take. Have any of your past clients asked what color temperature a photo was?
SmugMug has allowed you to remove the burden created by printing, shipping and safeguarding your images. Once that was removed, you were able to experience the time and energy to do the things that matter most: create images, meeting with clients, and network with others in your industry. This is why SmugMug and ShootDotEdit work so well together!
We understand the importance of quality, turnaround time, and customization because we’re professional photographers, too. Both myself and Garrett have successful wedding studios in Southern California, so we understand the integral demands on today’s wedding photographer.
Since we love SmugMug so much, we are offering a 20% discount off all jobs over $100. Use promo code SmugSDE to get the deal through December 20, 2010!
We’ve got a hole to fill: Someone ready for fame. Someone willing to stand in the light and be praised by a million discriminating eyes. Someone who knows that we’re not for the faint of heart.
We need someone who’s ready to rock.
Design for us and we’ll make it all true.
SmugMug needs a ringleader to spec out new features, organize and prioritize, measure metrics, write guidelines for our team and make sure we’re always on the mark. Must be agile, willing to wear many hats and to keep a hand in all the cookie jars at HQ.
We know you’re out there.
See more info and additional opportunities right here.
Here’s to making magic together,
The SmugMug Family
This week we’ve added progress bars to our newest member of the uploader family, HTML5. We were flooded with requests for this (very useful) feature, so now you should see indicators showing just how fast we’re slurping your files.
Things may look very slightly different for Firefox users, but all browsers (Firefox, Safari and Chrome) should get the overall progress bar at the top.
We also fixed a bug that was causing erroneous “File too large” error messages when files of the correct size were dragged in.
Finally, we added an extra measure of security to the Done button at the bottom and the red ‘X’ at the top. If you hit those in the middle of an upload we’ll double check to make sure you really did want to stop and close the window.
… and remember, our Simple uploader is always ready and waiting if HTML5 didn’t sweep you off your feet (or if you’re using Internet Explorer.)
We love delivering the stuff you want but it’s up to you to tell us what that is! So keep the feedback rolling in.
Here’s to uploading beautiful pictures together,
The SmugMug Family
Over the last few months, we’ve been working hard to revamp SmugMug’s look and feel. We polished our home page and updated the new user experience, while continuing to iterate on your feature requests. As part of this process, we’ve also spent a lot of time updating our logo.
But first, a bit of history
The evolution of our logo hasn’t been without drama. Originally we were a gaming company called ModGods, a place where geeks could customize online games and make them their own. But as small companies do, we quickly changed direction and suddenly the name didn’t seem to make much sense anymore. After many weeks of brainstorming, debate and consultations, we finally decided on SmugMug. Baldy, President and Co-founder, wasn’t a big fan. He thought it sounded too unapproachable and, well, smug. Don, our CEO, who’d always been a fan of comic books, decided to use Comic Sans for the logo font and added a smiley with a sideways “D” to soften the image. And voila, the SmugMug logo was born.
Don didn’t fret too much about the way Smuggy looked. He had planned to change it after a few weeks, anyway. Who would have thought it would take 8 years to make a change?! Well, much to our surprise, the logo stuck. We’d wear it on our t-shirts, hats and jerseys and people loved it. Something about Smuggy was friendly and inherently humble. When we tried to change it a few years back, our loyal customers very nearly incited a riot. And when we tried to crowd-source a new version, we were so overwhelmed with the response, we couldn’t pick just one. Even internally, discussion of the slightest tweaks have sparked raging debates. Who knew the attachment ran so deep?
Though we’ve always loved the humble origins of the first SmugMug logo, we’ve grown up a lot over the past eight years and thought it was time that our signature brand did, too. We wanted a logo that’s both fun and professional, something new enough to showcase our values of working hard and playing hard, but not straying too far from our roots.
To make the change, we polished the “Smuggy” logomark and replaced the infamous Comic Sans typeface with ITC Officina Sans in bold. We kept Smuggy (the semicolon eyes and sideways “D” smile), brightened the colour and did some slight re-alignments. The new logo as a result is a bit more grown up, just like us.
Our Pro logo needed polishing as well. We learned through user feedback, and from our experience here as photographers, that the logo had to be a neutral color. So, we removed the blue and replaced it with a metallic silver grey.
We also thought it would be important to make the Pro logo distinct from our normal Smuggy logo. Pros, after all, have a different goal when compared with our Basic and Power users. We wanted to showcase a sense of professionalism, elegance and maturity, so we added a “PRO” badge. After experimenting with various textures we settled on brushed aluminum.
Brushed aluminum portrays an image of quality and detail (think about Apple’s logo). Though we considered numerous other metal treatment options like titanium, silver and chrome, we chose to go with brushed aluminum because it enabled us to create distinct texture details. All of the other materials looked very bland. Think about timeless pieces of design, like expensive watches, cars, photo products (i.e. metal prints, albums, frames) and professional gear, all incorporate the brushed metal look somewhere in their branding.
As you can see, the new SmugMug Pro logo on the right does better justice to the subject’s blue eyes when compared with logo on the left.
The Process (for design nerds)
We knew that in order to make the logo exciting and interesting, we had to approach it from a different angle. We decided to go 3D. And instead of doing it the easy way (with some automatic drop shadow effects), we decided to create the look from scratch. Doing it ourselves gave us the flexibility to render the logo at any size for every use case possible (i.e. the website, posters, printed materials, banners etc).
To ensure that it looked just right on every screen and on any type of background (bright, dark, colored), we had to optimize the logo pixel by pixel, at 1200% zoom. The image below shows the slight differences between the original logo (on the left) and a pixel by pixel recreated version (on the right). You can see that by adjusting the color of just a few pixels, it’s possible to change the texture, sharpness, legibility and alignment of the image.
So that’s our story and we’re sticking to it. We hope that you love our new logo as much as we do!
By: Vilen Rodeski, UI Designer