What were we thinking?

Sometimes you see the dumb things companies say and you wonder, “What were they thinking?”

I never imagined that happening to us, but we did something so dumb in a blog post, we’re now looking at each other blankly and asking, what were we thinking?

The post was about image theft and we used examples from pro photographer Valerie Schooling’s site and gave the impression she was doing things wrong, which she wasn’t.

To make matters worse, we somehow embedded screen captures of her site without asking her permission.  If it weren’t such a dumb thing to do, I could explain why we did it other than the obvious: she and her photos are awesome.

Naturally, her friends and other respected photographers in the industry asked us what we were thinking, and unfortunately the honest answer was, “We weren’t.”

We learned a lesson we’ll never forget because we also betrayed ourselves, since we are photographers.  We apologize for the time and angst this caused a lot of wonderful people.

Chris MacAskill
President & co-founder
Not usually so clueless

New Updates to Camera Awesome(r)

If you’ve used your iPhone today, you may have noticed that Camera Awesome just got a nice big update. Here’s what’s included:

  • Better bundling: It’s now just $9.99 for all effects, forever and ever. If you’ve already bought a few, it’ll do the right thing and bill you the difference.
  • Getting started guide: In-app help shows you how to post, edit and share.
  • Pinch to zoom: Easier, intuitive zoom. The way Apple intended.
  • White Balance lock: Stick to one white balance in tricky light.
  • Instagram sharing: Publish to Instagram with one tap.
  • Smoother timer: Drag to set the self-timer. No more fat fingers.

These updates may look a little familiar – they’re some of the top feature requests you’ve been telling us since we launched Camera Awesome a month ago. We hope you love the additions and will keep sending us your feedback.

We’ve crossed 4 million downloads already (thanks to you)! To all you shutterbugs out there: Happy shooting and sharing.

Pros: Now Sell in Currency Near You

It’s here! In conjunction with the launch of our brand-new European print lab, Loxley Colour, we made it possible for Pros to set their prices in 5 different currencies.

This way you get the benefits of this beautiful launch day even if you don’t live in Europe.

Start Now In Your Pricelists

Fire up your Pricelists manager and you’ll see the new currency options when you create new Pricelists and when you edit an existing one:

Any other changes to know about?

In order to fit with these shiny new advances, a couple of our popular Pro commerce features have gotten some tweaks:

  • You can now offer Coupons in each of these 5 currencies, like so.

  • Boutique Packaging now offers the option to require a minimum order before it kicks in. This is a great way to make sure your high-dollar purchases are that much more special. Choose whether it’s based on total order cost or amount of profit, customize the amount, or remove the minimum completely. Find it in your Control Panel under the Pros tab:

What happens with the different currencies when it’s time to get paid?

You’ve been able to get your pro profits paid to you in one of 5 currencies for a while now, but if you haven’t set this up yet you’ll find it in your Control Panel.

Click on the Pros tab, then fill out the Tax and Payment info so that we can pay you.

Got several Pricelists in different currencies? When your client buys prints in mixed currencies, we’ll tally your profits into the currency you’ve selected to get paid in, based on the conversion rate at the time of the order. Capisce?

Will my customers see pricing in the currency I’ve picked?

We’ll do the best we can to figure out where your clients are and display the currency used there. But, remember that they can pick their favorite one from the drop-down list in the catalog and shopping cart.

Questions? Talk to us!

Welcome, Loxley Colour!

Hellooooo, Europe. Loxley is finally here to serve SmugMug Pros who live across yonder seas. (Well, the Atlantic.)

Before we dig into the details, we just want to say a quick, heartfelt “Thank you!” to all of your European SmugMuggers who have waited so long for this sweet moment. Huzzah for the printer!

What’s so special about Loxley Colour?

Where should we start? Their unmatched reputation is the result of over 50 long years of incredible quality and service. They’re a family-driven company, which we dig. And like SmugMug, they’re completely and wholly focused on bringing the best products to photographers and their clients… no matter what. They know the business, and it’s their mission to continue to make sure that artists thrive doing what they love.

In other words, they rock. And we’re thrilled that they’ve said “Yes!” to becoming part of our family.

What products can I buy (or sell)?

Swing by their corner of our catalog and you’ll see the traditional glossy, lustre and metallic prints in the sizes that your clients already know and love. But you’ll also see some tasty new ways to showcase your images, like:

  • Glacier Block. Crystal clear 30mm acrylic block creates a unique prism effect.

  • Acrylic Window. Contemporary acrylic mount with 2″ frosted borders and corner standoffs.

  • Alumini Print. Offers the most vibrant, luminous and waterproof option for your photos.

  • Edge Print. Durable 1″ borders provides a polished, modern look without the need for a frame.

Juicy, right? And there’s more, so see it all in our Loxley catalog.

How do I start selling through Loxley?

Simply open your Pricelists manager and create a new Pricelist, choosing Loxely Colour’s logo. Add in the products you want to offer, specify your profit (or price) and you’re done.

Remember that due to the unique SKUs each lab offers, you can’t just switch labs on a Pricelist you’re already using. But it’ll only take a few minutes to set up and apply a new one, you’ll see!

What if I have VAT Exemption number?

Open up your Control Panel and click on the Settings tab, then click to edit your billing info. The last field at the bottom is where you enter that number.

How do I sell to both US and EU markets?

You already are! It’s true. You’ve always been able to sell and ship to anyone, anywhere in the world. And since we added the ability for customers to check out in one of 5 popular currencies, it’s gotten even easier.

Still, if you want to offer different labs to different customers, try setting up separate Pricelists for each lab that you use and apply them to your galleries or photos. You may want to point your US customers to a different gallery than the one from which your European clients buy.

Can I use Loxley if I have a Basic or Power account?

Not yet, but we do plan on including Loxley’s print services to all SmugMug accounts after we’ve confirmed our Pro integration is a smashing success.

Ready? Set? Sell!

We hope that you and your clients love the quality and innovation that Loxley Colour brings to the table. We can’t describe how sweet it is to finally bring you a lab in Europe, and one so highly sought-after, to boot.

As always, tell us how it’s going, how they’re doing and how it’s working for you.

4 Signs That Your Clients Are Ripping You Off (and what to do about it)

Update March 27, 2012:

Dear Smuggers, we screwed up, big time. 
In the original version of this Pro Tips blog post, we featured screen grabs of photographs from a customer whose work we admire and respect. We did not ask their permission before publishing the post, and the photos were displayed in an inaccurate context. This was dumb, and we are ashamed to have caused this photographer even a moment of grief.
Our editorial team has been working hard to help customers make the most of their SmugMug accounts. In this case, we wanted to spread the word about image protection. To our dismay, we made a really bad decision that hurt a customer we have nothing but respect for, and we are so sorry.
Our Editorial Policy going forward is to Ask First, Period. No image will ever be used in our blog posts, emails, or any other communication without your permission. 
We messed up, have learned a hard lesson, and are always committed to doing right by our customers.
–The SmugMug Family


Picture this:

You spent all weekend at the local soccer match shooting thousands of photos. When you got home you made sure to download, edit and upload them all right away. Parents are expecting photos! So you immediately shared the link, anticipating a slew of gushing order emails. Finally you drift asleep, thinking about the hundreds of successful dollars you’ll see in the morning.

But you get nothing.

If this sounds familiar, today’s your lucky day. We’ll talk about four painful symptoms that may indicate that something’s seriously wrong with your business.

1) No Sales. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Did you forget to enable buying in your gallery? If you’re hearing crickets from the peanut gallery, this could be the case. When it’s off, your viewers have no way to add items to the shopping cart, even though they’re still able to browse photos. They probably think that you don’t intend to sell your photos at all.

HOW TO FIX IT: Visit your Gallery Settings and be sure that you’ve got Printing enabled. (It’s towards the bottom.) To be extra sure you did it right, take a minute to log out of SmugMug and browse your site like a customer.

2) No Download Sales: You Can’t Sell What You Give Away

Are clients emailing you every 5 minutes for their photos, but once you share them you don’t hear a peep? This could mean you’ve enabled your Originals. Don’t do this if you’re trying to make money! With Originals on, any visitor can easily download a full-res version of the image for free. It’s fab for friends and family. Bad for business.

HOW TO FIX IT: Open up your Gallery Settings and scroll down to “Security & Privacy.” Make sure any size other than Originals are selected there. You can go as small as Medium if you’re feeling saucy, but remember people won’t be able to enjoy screen-filling photo goodness that way – but our data shows going too small will harm your sales.  X3Large + Watermarking (see #4) is probably your best bet.

3) No Profits on Print Sales

You’ve received an order, yay! But there’s no profit. Uh oh. This means you haven’t properly set up your pricing and clients are buying your photos at-cost. If you’re reading this post, chances are that’s not exactly what you had in mind.

HOW TO FIX IT: Hit up this tutorial that guides you on setting up your pricing using Pricelists. You can set the amount of profit you earn (recommended) or set your final price that’s shown in the cart. Not sure how much to charge? Just don’t go too low. Here’s why.

4) Surprise! Your Pics Pop Up on Facebook

You’re browsing social sites and to your dismay, you find your photos in your stream being shared by your clients without your credit… or your permission. How did they get there?

HOW TO FIX IT: Make your (water)mark! Look here to see how to turn your logo or name into a transparent image and slap it on your display copies. Any legally-purchased downloads or prints will be clean and clear unless you set a Printmark, too. While you’re at it, enable Right-Click Protection and use the Easy Customizer to type easy buying instructions into the custom pop-up message.

Now we hope that you’re better-prepared  to take on the next few gigs and start setting your sales on fire. Stay tuned for even more tips, tricks and best practices to help you have your best year in the biz.🙂

Win a Year of Membership at SmugMug Pro and Borrowlenses

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

Win Great Perks

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

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

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

Good luck!

Get TriggerHappy

We love photo gear and bet you do, too.

But sometimes just loving isn’t enough. Sometimes you take matters into your own hands because it’s fun, educational, and fills a photo niche.

Remote Tether Your dSLR to Your Smartphone

SmugIntern Kevin Harrington came to us years ago with little but a burning passion for photography. We’re sad that he’s all grown up, now. But somehow, between his Frankencam, mountain biking and morning classes, he’s found time to create the TriggerHappy Camera Remote and put it up on Kickstarter:

This idea totally toasts our bagels. You get one cable and an iPhone or Android app to control your dSLR on the go.

Why is it better?

It’s easier. Simpler. More versatile. And who doesn’t already do it all on their smartphone?

You can:

  • Fire the shutter (duh!)
  • Throw it into bulb mode for suuuuuuuper long star trails.
  • Bracket for HDRs.
  • Bramping. AKA “bulb ramping” for time-lapses when the light varies.

Swing by their website here to see all the details!

Pledge $5 by May 4th

Intervalometers are so passe, but TriggerHappy needs to raise $25,000 by Friday, May 4th, to launch. We know they can do it. We know you want one.

Go here and pledge $5 or more to make it happen! Pledge at least $50 and get yours hot off the press.

Don’t you want to spend your summer taking epic pictures?🙂