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Posts Tagged ‘pro features’

New: Customize Your Right-Click Protection Message

August 12, 2014 18 comments

… and use your powers for good, not evil.

A quick update this morning for pros who use right-click protection to stop thieves from grabbing your pics: we’ve added the ability to customize the message that displays when viewers right click your protected photos.

This is something that you could do using CSS customization in Old SmugMug, but we think it’s such an important piece of building a great experience on your site, we wanted to make it drop-dead simple for you to do this in the new, beautiful SmugMug.

Get It Set Up

 

 

Visit your Account Settings and look under your Privacy tab. Scroll down a bit and you’ll see a brand new “Right-Click Message” field. Fill that out, save your changes, and test right-clicking on photos in your protected galleries to see how it looks. Here’s more help.

Tip: We recommend being firm but friendly. If you have prints for sale, ask them to look for the Buy button to grab one of your photos in a legit way.

A Word About Image Theft

As always, we want to share some helpful info about image protection and what to expect. After all, if you’re paying us for a pro-level account, you should get the best bang for your buck!

We hear a lot from ambitious pros who rely on tools like Right-Click Protection way more heavily than they probably should. Why’s this bad? Right-Click Protection is just a deterrent, and if someone really wants to download a free copy of your image, there are several things they’ll try. For example, they can snap a screen grab, so be sure to use the full suite of image protection tools if you’re really worried about this. Here’s a quick review of your options:

  • Right-Click Protection. Displays a popup window when any part of the gallery is clicked. Fabulous when coupled with a warm, friendly message encouraging fans to buy.
  • Display Size. Limits the size of the images viewers can see. Great for foiling screen grabbers.
  • Watermarking. Logo or text placed over your display copies. Add your URL, enable sharing, and you’ve got yourself a ton of free advertising for your biz. The best bit? Your prints still print clean.

We hope this helps those of you who are new to SmugMug, are new to photography, or who just haven’t fiddled with your site lately and are looking to brush up on the basics.

And as always, be sure to let us know if you have questions, problems, or just need some advice getting your site working the way you want. We’re here. 

Link roundup: 

The Encyclopedia of the Watermark

May 13, 2013 19 comments

Alright, photographers. Since SmugMug started offering a non-destructive watermarking feature it’s been a favorite of lots of you, and it certainly has been one of ours. But our Support Heroes get questions about the nitty-gritty details all the time, so let’s dig deep and show those of you who haven’t tried it yet how much it rocks.

Watermarked wrinkly dog with glasses

What’s a Watermark?

Watermarks are custom graphics or text that SmugMug Pros can apply to their photos. They appear on all the photos that appear in your SmugMug galleries. Your original uploaded files won’t contain them, which means that all downloads, print or gift items that clients purchased from your galleries will remain clean and pristine.

Who Can Use Watermarks?

At SmugMug, Portfolio and Business account holders can use Watermarks. If you have a Basic or a Power User account you can use programs (like Lightroom) to apply watermarks to your photos before uploading to SmugMug, but if you do this just remember that this means your original photo file will be marked and anything purchased from your site will contain them.

Why Use Watermarks?

Watermarks are awesome for keeping your name and brand associated with the photos you take. Especially if you sell your photos for profit, using this feature ensures that people pay you for your images.

Watermarks and image protection gallery settings

Plus, once you set them up in your Gallery Settings (shown above), we’ll automatically apply them to new photos as you upload, so you don’t even have to think about it.

Tip: When you Watermark, why not consider letting your fans use your display copies for free? They get to share the low-res files with their friends, which means free advertising for you.

You can add watermarks to your images prior to uploading to SmugMug (through Lightroom or other image editors) but that watermark becomes a part of the original file that we print from. If you do this we, recommend that you disable printing in your galleries. By using the SmugMug Watermark tool, the custom watermark is applied to your display copies only after upload, leaving your originals in pristine condition.

Finally, you can have as many different Watermarks as you wish on file in your SmugMug account. We just recommend that you don’t keep too many, or the list can start to get confusing.

Where to Find Your Watermarks

Your SmugMug Account Settings

Look in your Account Settings > Business tab. The first section there, Branding, will contain several important pro features, including Watermarks. This is your home base where you can manage, edit or delete any Watermarks you’ve uploaded to your site.

Tip: To change or remove the watermarks on your photos, you’ll go to your gallery’s Tools button. We’ll cover this in a minute.

How to Create and Apply Your Custom Watermark

Create transparent png file in Photoshop

First, you’ll create a special file using your favorite image editing program, like Photoshop. We suggest starting with a transparent file about 1000 x 2000 pixels in size (you can always crop it down or change this later), adding in any text that you wish and/or using your logo. When in doubt, start with a large canvas so that your finished watermark looks good on our full range of display sizes.

Tip: Given that your Watermark will be sitting over colorful images, you may want to keep the font color a simple opaque white, but it’s up to you.

Save your file as a transparent PNG file and upload it to an unlisted gallery on your site. Then click the gallery Tools button > This Photo > Make into Watermark. We’ll then let you set up the opacity, placement and other settings for that Watermark. Don’t forget to give it a unique name!

Tip: If you plan on using several watermarks, or if you’re experimenting with different ones, you may want to be specific and call out placement and the font, like “Center Helvetica for portraits” or “Bottom right logo 2013.” Being tidy is just a good idea, anyway.

We have a comprehensive step-by-step tutorial showing you how to make a sample Watermark file on our help pages. And we have a fabulous video tutorial, too, where you can see watermarks in action.

How to Change or Remove Your Watermarks

First, create and upload your new Watermark to your site, then set it up as aWatermark with a new, unique name. Once that’s done, you can go to any gallery on your site and open the Tools button > Many Photos > Watermarking.

Change or remove watermarks

You’ll see a new screen with thumbnails of every image in that gallery. Click to select one, a few, or all of them so that they’re highlighted in red, pick the new Watermark name from the menu bar at the top and click “Watermark.”

If you want to remove watermarks from your photos completely, it’s the same deal. Only choose the “Remove” radio button at the top. Again, click the “Watermark” button to save your changes.

Note that it can take a few minutes before you see the changes on your photos, so it’s a great time to put the kettle on or stretch your legs.

How to Fit Both Landscape and Portrait Images

We get this question from time to time, but it’s a bit tricky. After all, your camera’s sensor and how you crop your images can drastically affect the aspect ratio of your final image, which changes the placement of your Watermark.

If you want your Watermark to look good on both portrait and landscape-oriented images, here’s a suggestion: Go square! This doesn’t mean that the visible Watermark has to be square, only the image file that you’re using. So try creating a square transparent PNG, center your watermark text and make sure you keep it centered when you set it up in SmugMug.

Another alternative is to make a corner edge Watermark. Simply align your Watermark’s text along the bottom and one side of your image file and when setting it up in SmugMug, choose one of the Bottom left or Bottom right placement options.

Option 3: You can always tile your Watermark so that your design is repeated uniformly across the image. (See below for example)

And finally, if you’re really picky about perfect Watermarks on all your images, you may want to create and set up two versions of your design: one for landscape photos and one for portraits. Note that you can only set your Gallery Settings to automatically apply one Watermark, but you can manually apply the second one to only the photos you want to switch.

Watermarks vs Printmarks: What’s the Diff?

These two features are cousins. The thing to remember is that Watermarks are applied to the photos displayed on your website. Printmarks are like watermarks for your prints, and only appear on products that you and your customers buy.

Set Printmarks up just like you set up your Watermarks! The only thing to keep in mind is that Printmarks, unlike Watermarks, are limited in the size and area of the photo so they stay unobtrusive. Check the preview if you’re unsure.

Tip: Great ideas for Printmarks include the event date, your handwritten signature, team name, graduation year. What else can you dream up?

When They Work Great and When They Won’t

Watermarks go a long way towards preventing image theft by right-clickers and screen-grabbers, plus they’re great for spreading the word about you… but not everyone loves them. Some people find anything extra on the image distracting, and large Watermarks can sometimes cover up vital parts of the photo.

Unobtrusive Watermarks close to the edge or in corners can be cropped out, and of course there’s always the chance (however slight) that someone with lots of time and Photoshop experience can remove it.

Finally, Watermarks can be applied to photos only, so they won’t work on your video files. For security on your videos, and for better image protection all-around, we recommend using Right-Click Protection as well.

Great Watermarks We’ve Known

For your inspiration, here’s a few examples of various watermarks we’ve found along the way. You may want to try these  yourself!

Corner:


Photo by Schmootography

Center logo:


Photo by Brian Rice Photography


Photo by Creative Focus Portrait Photography

Banner style:


Photo by Barnet Photography


Photo by Barn Door Studio


Photo by Meghan MacAskill Photography

Strike:


Photo by Trick The Light Studio

Tiled:

Photo by MJR Photography

Let’s Get You Started!

Are you ready to dive in? We’ve already pre-loaded a generic “PROOF” watermark into your website that you can use right away, but here’s a few basic watermarks you can snag to change it up.

Grab PNG files for square, portrait, landscape and banner watermarks

We hope that these questions hit all the points you may have been wondering about this powerful feature. If we missed one and you still need help, give our Heroes a shout!

Why Pricelists Will Change Your Life

December 13, 2011 135 comments

Hey, SmugMug Pros! We’ve revolutionized the way you do pricing with our new feature: Pricelists.

Traditionally, SmugMug pricing has been done on a gallery-by-gallery basis. It worked OK if you wanted to copy pricing over from one gallery to another, but changing it later (across your hundreds of galleries) was a different story.

But first, our co-founder and president has something to say:

What are Pricelists?

In short: Each Pricelist is like a bucket, into which you can easily drop galleries to price and sell your photos.

Start by choosing products that you want to sell, tell us how much profit you want to make, and then add your galleries (or photos) to that Pricelist. Done.

Isn’t it a thing of beauty?

Why the change?

Pros have told us that doing gallery-by-gallery pricing wasn’t working out so well once they had lots of galleries to manage. Our goal was to make it super-simple and super-fast for all Pros to easily price their stuff and get photos sold.

The new look is clean and modern, and this renovation makes it easier for us to add shiny new features down the road… like new products and foreign currency support. (*hint, hint*)

What does this mean for me as a Pro?

We can think of four big benefits for you right off the bat:

1. Manage all of your pricing from one place.
2. Manage your pricing across hundreds of galleries with a few clicks.
3. Easily maintain different pricing for weddings, sports, or family photos.
4. Decide how much profit you make on each sale.

What do I need to do?

If you’re a veteran Pro with existing pricing, we’ll ask you to migrate to the new system.

Migration is quick and painless. We’ll comb through the pricing on all of your galleries and fold them into Pricelists. The whole process takes just a few minutes and we’ll email you when we’re done. Here’s a new help page (with video!) to help you do it.

During the migration you won’t be able to make any changes to your prices, but your current pricing will remain live and your customers will continue to have the ability to purchase your images at your current pricing.

After migration, your pricing will appear unchanged to your customers, but you’ll have more power to edit them, behind the scenes.

Upgrade to Pricelists in 3 Steps:

1. Log in and visit your Control Panel.
2. Look under the Pros tab > Pricing > Set Prices.
3. Choose “Migrate My Existing Pricing.” That’s it!

You can choose to start over and just build new pricing from the ground up. Or you can delay your choice a little longer. On March 1st, 2012, we’ll migrate everyone over to use the new system automatically, keeping your current pricing structure but giving you instant access to Pricelists.

Anything else I should know?

We thought you’d have questions. Here’s some answers.

  • There’s almost zero risk of accidentally selling something with no gain to you. In the old days (like, uh, yesterday), you had to price something at $0 to remove it from your cart, and unpriced items were sold at-cost. Now you manually add in each item you want to sell.
  • Digital Downloads now have a minimum cost: $0.49 $0.01 for individual photos and $.99 for gallery downloads, plus a $0.50 fee if your download order subtotal rings up under $10. Want to offer these for free? Enable Originals in your gallery, create a backup file to share, or create a Coupon to nuke the charges at checkout.
  • You determine your markup, not the final price shown in the cart. UPDATE! You can set your profit OR your price. Set a general percent increase over the whole Pricelist, or you can fine-tune the amount for each product you offer. We also give you the option of rounding up your pricing to make the displayed cost easy on the eyes.
  • Choose between Bay Photo and EZ Prints the moment you create the Pricelist. If you change your mind on an existing Pricelist, you’ll need to create a new one with the lab of your choice. Need to compare the two labs to make a choice? Check out the full catalog.

If you still have questions about migrating your pricing over to Pricelists, look right here and check out the video tutorials. And for everything else, check out our pricing help page that’s been updated with a video series on all the details.

So go migrate, play and sell some prints. As always, we’re hoping to add to and improve this feature as 2012 rolls in, so tell us what you think and how it’s working for you.

Merry money-making Christmas!

New Video Downloads: Shoot, Sell and Share

September 30, 2011 82 comments

Hey, Smuggers! Pros can now sell video downloads just like prints, cards and the whole shebang:

Sell video downloads

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.

And of course, check out more information on our video feature on our help pages. If you’ve got questions, feel free to write us at the help desk. We’re always happy to help.

Links you’ll love:

You’ll Look Better with zookie pro Albums

July 11, 2011 8 comments

It’s always more fun when someone else does the work for you. And it’s even better when they do it with a smile.

SmugMug’s teamed up with zookie pro and Zookbinders to help photographers get quick, beautiful, no-brainer albums for every occasion. Check out their beautiful work!

The folks at zookie pro really know what they’re doing. You can trust your beautiful photos to these guys, who have been crafting albums since 1995.

How to Make a Gorgeous Album

It’s easy. Tell the design experts at zookie what you want and how many photos you’d like to use. The minimum is 50, but you can do more if you want.

(Photos courtesy of Jared Alvarez Photography)

The pros at zookie will color correct your images (if you wish), then tuck them all into beautiful layouts that show them off best. Within a week you’ll get a digital proof to review and the designers work with you to tweak it to your taste. With your approval they’ll print, bind and ship your albums to you… all in two weeks or less.

This means download to delivery in less than a month. That’s fast!

Variety is the Spice of Life… and Your Business

zookie pro does way more than just albums. Sure, their designs and quality are totally pro, but you get a huge variety of book sizes to choose from, too. You can offer Bigs, Smalls and even magazine-style press books to all of your clients, with great color options and premium leather upgrades. You can also sell pages from the finished album as framed and ready-to-hang prints so their favorite memories are never out of sight.

Check out their full product line here and see a video on how they’re made.

The icing on the cake is zookie pro’s shopping cart feature that lets you set your own markup and branding so you can sell products. (Sound familiar?) Send your client there after you approve your design for a completely custom shopping experience. Click here to try a demo and get a feel for what your clients will see.

Take zookie for a spin and show us all the great albums you’ll be making. You can also get started via your gallery’s Buy button when you’re logged in, under “Design an Album.”

We’d love to see (and hear) your reviews!

New Printmarked and Web Sized Digital Downloads for Pros

June 27, 2011 40 comments

Great news for Pro photographers! You’ve always asked us, “Can I sell web-sized photos that my clients can use for Facebook?”

We’ve recently added a few new options to your Digital Download catalog, so the answer is yes!

More Options for Selling Downloads

Open up your custom pricing and click on the Downloads tab. See all that new hotness?

There’s a total of four different download type and four different sizes for Personal and Commercial licenses. Before you had 12. Now you can offer (count ‘em up)  32 versatile download options.

The new stuff includes:

  • Web Sized.  Fun-sized! These are up to 640 x 480 pixels, ideal for sharing on blogs, forums and Facebook.
  • Gallery Downloads.  The new and more-accurate name for the feature formerly known as Album Downloads. Since we already use the term “galleries” to refer to your groups of photos on your site, we thought this would make more sense to you. Remember that you can set one price for a gallery’s worth of images and your client can purchase it easily. This gives you the ability to price bulk photos at a discount, making it a powerful marketing tool.
  • Printmarked photos.  Watermarks for your downloads. Lots of Pros want to add their logo, name or even an event date to their images but as a rule we don’t apply watermarks to digital downloads. Now you can do this by setting up Printmarks in your Control Panel, then apply it to whole galleries in the gallery settings.

Anything Else I Should Know?

Lots of you have given us great feedback about our zip file feature and the speed of which you can typically expect to receive the notification email. When your clients are buying single unmarked photo downloads or Originals they’ll have virtually instant gratification; keep in mind that applying Printmarks and resizing entire galleries requires more juice. This means that it may take just a little longer for your client to get the zip file for large purchases or Printmarked downloads.

Tip: Want Printmarks on your downloads but not your prints? Turn on Proof Delay and remove the Printmarks from print orders as they roll in.

If you have any feedback or questions about this feature, we’re listening. Till then, happy pricing and selling!

Easy Sharegroup Links and Packages That Play Nicely with Privacy Settings

June 9, 2011 3 comments

NiceNames for Sharegroups

We made Sharegroups NiceName-friendly. This means that instead of random gibberish, you can pick the URL for any Sharegroup you share. Make sharing your favorite galleries so simple, you can do it over the phone!

Keep in mind that if you don’t want to reveal your SmugMug nickname this way, you should skip this option. Read more about Sharegroups.

Perfecting Package Permissions

Pros have been telling us that they weren’t thrilled with a recent change to how Packages play along with gallery privacy settings. So, we listened! You’ll now see a third button whenever you create or edit a package, under the “Limit the galleries” section:

In the past, packages set for All Galleries were really only visible to your clients if they were browsing and picking a package from a public gallery. So if they were viewing photos in a passworded gallery, they would have only seen packages that you created specifically for that gallery. Now we’ve clarified this with the new All Public Galleries button.

In short, you can choose individual galleries for a package, All Public Galleries (public and non-passworded) and All Galleries on your site (which include unlisted and passworded galleries).

As always, you can just pick specific galleries for your package, but we hope the additional button and the clearer wording will help you sell more Packages to more happy customers.

Coda of Bug Fixes

  • While we were mucking with the wires, we also fixed a bug that prevented Packages from loading when they were picked from video galleries. Start selling bunches now.
  • We added an additional quick link that lets you quickly view your site’s stats for the past month. Find it on the main Stats page, at the top. See all about Stats here.
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