Camera Awesome just turned 1, and we only have one thing to say about it:
There isn’t enough cake in the universe to show how much we appreciate the support you’ve given our free iPhone camera app over the last year. Mobile photographers like you have clicked, tapped, snapped, pre-corded, filtered, cowbelled, and koala sneezed us all the way to top of the charts in the App Store, and taken us everywhere in the world.
We’ve had such a great time seeing the gorgeous, funny (and sometimes awkward) #awesomized photos that pop up on Facebook, Instagram and more.
See a slice of the Awesomverse on SmugMug.
We Heart You. Here’s Why.
Yeah, we blush knowing that so many of you swear by Camera Awesome and use it to capture so much of your lives. The proof is in the pudding: We’ve counted more than 13 million users who shot 250 million photos using the app. That’s almost twice the entire population of Japan.
And your top three favorite presets are: Blue Pill (17%), Goddess (14%) and Road Trip (12%). They’re our favorites, too, in addition to More Cowbell and More Wang (both 11% of all presets used).
And we’ve had some seriously impressive milestones that surprised even the biggest skeptics among us all:
- Last Week: Enabled volume shutter button for better iPhonergonomics
- December 2012: Tumblr integration/iPhone 5 optimization. (9 million users and 200 million photos taken)
- October 2012: iPad app launch + iOS 6 support (lucky 7 million users!)
- March 27, 2012: Released $9.99 Bundle + Instagram integration (doubled to 4 million users already)
- March 6, 2012: 2 million users in first week (1 million in first four days)
- February 28, 2012: Camera Awesome launched on iPhone at 3:33 PM
No matter who you are, where you are or what you shoot, we hope that you’ll keep taking us along for the ride, wherever you’re going for the next year… and beyond.
Oh, and One More Thing…
… Stay tuned for the Android version, coming soon.
The Camera Awesome journey (or: How you helped us turn a little idea into a total game-changer)
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
- £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:
As you get ready for wedding season, we want to send a friendly reminder to any of you out there who may still be scared of one of our favorite Business features: Events.
Don’t be intimidated, because Events are just what the doctor ordered to keep your friends, fans and family sane. If you’ve never used this feature — or its little brother, Sharegroups, available to Basic, Power and Portfolio members — here are just a few reasons why you should dive in and give it a whirl.
1. Your friends will thank you.
Instead of sending a huge catalog of links to your wedding guests, send just one. Both Events and Sharegroups are “islands” that contain as many galleries as you wish, so there’s no need for guests to get off track. Mentally, it’s an easier and more friendly approach… especially since you get to pick the URL.
In short, you share just one link and your visitors don’t have to poke around your vacation pics looking for the bride.
2. You can exercise your OCD tendencies.
Events come bundled with lots of cool features, like a place to display a slideshow of favorites and details about the shoot, the ability to add in as many galleries as you wish and arrange them, email templates for sharing and lots more. Everything stays neat and tidy, and you can use all the options or just a few. Best of all, each client (we call them “Participants”) gets their own special view of the Event, and a unique gallery to hold their Favorites. So whether it’s the bride, her mom or a favorite aunt, their selections don’t get mixed up.
Sharegroups are the simplified version of the above: Bundle all the galleries you want under one Sharegroup and share the link. Like Events, you can enter a description and sort the included galleries in whatever order you wish. You’re still able to tweak ’til it squeaks.
3. You stay in control.
You’re the star; everyone’s waiting with bated breath to see your photos. When you’re ready, release all their galleries with one click, and (if you have a Business account) keep track of everyone who takes a look. The secret? Events’ registration feature. Just toggle the Registration setting to “Required” and anyone viewing your Event will be asked for their email address.
Both Events and Sharegroups can be locked down with viewing passwords, so images don’t fall into the wrong hands.
The 2-Minute Guide to Making Your First Event (or Sharegroup)
1. Make it.
To create an Event, open up your Account Settings and look under “Business.” Click on the “Making Money” tab and you can manage your Events on the right:
For Sharegroups, look under your Accounts Settings‘ “Discovery” tab and find Sharegroups under the “Sharing” tab:
2. Give the details.
Once you’ve opened the manager, click the “New” button at the top right and fill in your details.
3. Add the good stuff.
You can add galleries and Participants right away to Events. Don’t forget to click “Save” once you do!
For Sharegroups, you’ll have to save your new Sharegroup first, then go back to add the galleries to it.
If you want all the details about how these features work, check out our help pages for all the info. We’ve got a few other articles in our resource center for Pros on the endless benefits of Events, too.
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.”
No matter what you shoot, we’re pretty sure that all photographers need a little privacy every now and then. So whether you’re looking for a safe photo-home for an exclusive (reclusive) client or just for your mom, look no further than SmugMug. We’ve got a number of safeguards that can be mixed and matched to create the perfect bouquet of privacy.
Your Options, in a Nutshell
1) Unlisted Galleries. Often called “private” galleries by some, these galleries aren’t visible on your website to anyone but logged-in you. The only way fans can see one is if you give them a direct link.
2) Gallery Passwords. Provide a password and nobody can open it until they enter it right. You won’t be asked for it when you’re logged in to your account, because we know it’s you. Unsure? Look for the teeny yellow lock icon next to the gallery’s name.
3) Hello World! and Hello Smuggers! These toggles ensure that your stuff does or does not show up in web searches. ”World” = Google, Bing, etc. ”Smuggers” = SmugMug search. Set this site-wide from your Account Settings, or on a gallery-by-gallery basis via Gallery Settings.
Then, Take It Further With…
4) Hide Photo. Like unlisted galleries, but for individual photos. You can check the box under any image or video in your gallery to hide it, and only you, the gallery owner, will ever know it’s there.
5) Hide Owner. This gallery setting makes your URL generic. It doesn’t mean that your gallery isn’t visible, but it does remove your customizations and your nickname from the link so that viewers can’t trace it back to you. If you want, you can add a gallery password and/or make your gallery unlisted, too, when you use this feature.
6) Sharegroups. Share multiple unlisted galleries with one link using Sharegroups! These are amazingly useful for guiding friends, clients and family to specific galleries from your latest shoot, without having to worry about them being seen by the public eye. And better yet, they won’t get lost. You can put passwords on the galleries in your Sharegroups, if you wish, but you can also set a master password to let your viewers unlock them all at once.
7) Events. These are Sharegroups on steroids, available only on Business-level SmugMug accounts. You create Events with additional flashy features (slideshows, user registration, etc) and add galleries, give special people (e.g. clients) their own unique viewing link, and the ability to tag their favorite photos. Together, it makes browsing and buying photos a breeze.
8) Site-Wide Passwords. Not for the faint of heart! Lock your whole site from the top down. Anybody visiting links to your galleries will have to enter the correct password before they can see a thing. Even your homepage.
The Privacy Ripple Effect
- Lockdown doesn’t mean your images can’t be shared. Anyone who can view the gallery can still click Share or post a link to Facebook. Please think about whether or not you want your friends’ friends passing your links (and potentially viewing passwords) around. Feeling queasy? You can hide the Share button from your viewers by toggling Easy Sharing to “No” in your Gallery Settings.
- Keywords and searchability take a hit. This is a no-brainer to some, but we still sometimes get asked by photographers why their fans can’t find hidden photos via their site’s search box. In short: Only you as the logged-in site owner can search for (and find) images in unlisted and passworded galleries.
- Photos can’t be collected from unlisted and passworded galleries, unless it’s by you. As the logged-in owner you’ll always be able to collect your own photos, but guests won’t see the orange Collect button if the gallery is protected in any way. If the photo is collected from an unlisted gallery then your visitors won’t see a link back to the original. Photos collected from public, passworded galleries will be visible, but fans will need to enter the viewing password when they follow the link to see more.
- Feature a photo to make your locked gallery’s thumbnail pretty. We won’t display any part of the gallery when your gallery is protected with a password, and this includes thumbnails of the images within. But you can always swap the generic thumbnail for any image in that gallery — just use the gallery Tools button > This Photo > Feature.
- Unlisted and Passworded galleries
- Hello World! and Hello Smuggers!
- Everything about your Account Settings
- All about Gallery Settings
- How to hide individual photos
- Sharing multiple unlisted galleries: Sharegroups!
- Events, Favorites and how they work for Pros
- Site-wide passwords, and making your whole website private
- Keywords and searchability on SmugMug
- Collecting Photos, or putting photos in multiple galleries at once
- How to choose the thumbnail for your gallery
The Austin SMUG welcomed John Langford, a successful commercial, advertising, and editorial photographer, to their SMUG. Two years ago he decided he wanted to travel the world with a camera. He sold everything he owned and embarked on a journey around the globe that he dubbed "The Rompin' Stompin' Circus of Love Extended World Tour." His travels have taken through over 20 countries, and the Austin SMUG was lucky enough to have him speak during a brief layover in Austin before he heads out for another year of world travel.
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
You’ve probably taken a spin through our catalog of 2012 holiday cards and seen how easy it is to build, buy and sell photo cards through your galleries. But if you’re still trying to decide on what to send, here’s a few tips that may help you narrow it down based on what’s important to you.
Holiday shipping deadlines! If you’re shopping for someone this season, be sure that you get your orders in no later than the following dates for December 24th delivery. (For domestic US and UK orders only)
- 6-10 Business days: December 5th, 2012
- 3-5 Business days: December 12th, 2012
- 2 Business days: December 17th, 2012
- 1 Business day: December 18th, 2012
1) Cards For Word Nerds.
Had a busy year? You can tell your friends and family all about it in these templates that give you tons of space to say anything you wish. Fill it with your family newsletter, your favorite recipe or a festive poem.
Inside you’ll see plenty of space to write whatever you wish, perfect for inviting your readers to curl up with a mug of hot cocoa and read what’s new with you:
2) Cards For Studios
We get asked a lot if any of our cards include a text box on the back panel to add a business name. The answer is: Yes! If you want to type in your studio name, website URL or even a surprise message on the back of your card, look no further. These designs rock a little text field so you can have the last word.
Find them in the “Back of Card Text” category in the card builder.
Here are two fabulous examples:
3) Cards For Multi-taskers
Christmas comes but once a year, but there are so many more occasions worthy of great photo cards. We offer several designs that let you simply change the text and photos, so you can take your favorite card from “New Year” to “New Baby!”
These designs boast clean layouts or multiple color options, so you can dress them up for any event.
4) Cards For Happy Snappers
For those of you who love to share lots of photos and can’t pick out just one or two, try these. We offer lots of designs that give you space to drag and drop in up to 8 different images.
You can easily find all the photo-heavy card designs in our catalog. Simply look at the top and click the “Sort by: Number of Photos” link you see there.
We hope that you’ll find the perfect card in our catalog to suit any photo and any holiday greeting you’re dreaming up.
Happy holiday planning from SmugMug!
Tips, info and inspiration with cards:
This post is a result of the passionate feedback many of you gave us after our pricing change—and some incredibly moving stories we heard about your photography.
It’s been two months since we created two Pro accounts, Portfolio and Business, where once there was one. The main difference between them was the ability to price & sell.
Today we’re adding the ability to price & sell to Portfolio accounts. This account level is designed for up-and-coming photographers on a budget who don’t need the features higher-volume Pros use, but who want a gorgeous site, protected images, and the ability to earn profit through our Pro print labs.
Portfolio accounts include:
- All the features of Basic and Power accounts, including deep site customization.
- The ability to set your own prices (one Pricelist active at a time).
- Complete image protection including Watermarks, Printmarks, and Backprinting.
- Proof Delay to edit your photos after the sale.
Business accounts include:
- All the features of Basic, Power and Portfolio accounts.
- The ability to set gallery & photo specific pricing with multiple active Pricelists.
- Powerful sales tools including Coupons, Packages & Personal Delivery.
- Powerful marketing tools including Events & Favorites, Order Branding, Cart Branding and Boutique Packaging.
You can find a complete list of differences between the accounts on our updated features page.
As we mentioned two months ago, storage is one of the big drivers behind our decision to split Pro accounts. When we dug into the data, it became clear that heavy storage usage was highly correlated with accounts using advanced Business features, including multiple Pricelists. We also heard great feedback that you needed better visibility about how much storage you’re using, and what you can do about it. We’ve taken that feedback to heart and will provide better tools in the future.
Two months ago we announced that renewals at the new rates would begin October 15th. Many Pros have noticed, however, that we’re still renewing at the old rates. That’s because we didn’t want anyone to renew at the Business rate if they would have been a better fit with Portfolio after this change. With this change, renewals at the new rates will begin early Saturday morning.
Our price change was honestly scary and emotional. Two months later, we’re relieved that it’s providing us the ability to invest more in engineering because sales are up. We are gratified by the support we’ve received from so many of you and hope that this change will offer wonderful up-and-coming photographers a chance to pursue their passion.
We’ll continue to listen to your feedback and adjust our account levels accordingly, so keep it coming.
All the best,
Chris & Don MacAskill
Founders, photographers, regular guys