Beer or Coffee – 10/14/16

It’s Friday again already! While this week has been relatively quiet, we still have some really fun stuff to talk about. Tune in to our Facebook Live show to see us tease some unreleased products from Bay Photo that you’ll be able to sell very soon! In case you missed it, we’ll be live every Friday morning at 11 AM Pacific. Join us there, or watch it here!


If you don’t want to watch, here’s what we released this week:

Photographer Profile: Dracorubio

With Halloween fast approaching, we wanted to highlight the creatively dark and fantastical work of SmugMug customer, Roderique Arisiaman. Roderique’s images take viewers on an imaginative journey, so much so that we couldn’t resist asking him to judge our upcoming SmugMug Halloween Photo Contest (launching soon, very soon!). Please note, some images are NSFW, so please review his website first before sharing with younger photography fans. Read on to discover Roderique in his own words.

Hello, and welcome to my story. My name is Roderique Arisiaman, and I’m a photographer and digital artist known to many as Dracorubio.

I used to be a 3–D animator, motion-graphics artist, and visual-effects artist. Photography crossed my path a few years ago. At first, I was only documenting what I saw, but I soon discovered I could use my skills with Photoshop and other software to actually tell the stories I wanted. Working with a single image, instead of a set of frames, allowed me to work fast and get my idea done.

I will always stay a creative person. I don’t know if I will keep doing photography and photo manipulation. Maybe some new kind of creative art form will emerge from our technical advances, or maybe I’ll pick up wood carving or oil painting after a few years. As long as I can keep telling stories and design worlds, I will.

Being a digital artist.

I have a lively imagination, and being a digital artist allows me to create worlds that are hard to create in real life. Additionally, my ideas are quickly realized. Working digitally is usually a personal effort, where I can dive into my own thoughts and music and shut myself off from the world around me. And best of all, digital mistakes are only a CMD-Z click away.😉

dracorubio ay carambaaaa

Ay Carambaaaa by Dracorubio.

dracorubio esmeralda

Esmeralda by Dracorubio.

About creativity.

I have my ups and downs when it comes to creativity; I never fail in ideas and concepts—my mind is full of them. As are my sketchbooks. I do have times that I can’t get myself to create…sometimes I have too many ideas and have no idea where to start. But I’m learning to work on that, tackling one idea at a time. When I’m not creating, I try to immerse myself with inspiring stimuli like movies, comics, theatre, and museums. And from time to time, it’s also important to just disconnect from the creative whirlwind and be in the everyday moment. Things like going to the gym, spending time with loved ones, and having a good time. It’s a tough balancing act, but I try to make it work.

dracorubio precious

Precious by Dracorubio.

Creating a compelling image.

The photograph acts as my canvas and starting point for my edit. It dictates my main lighting and the color palette. Also, the dynamic of the photo directs the final image. I always try to retain as much of the original photo as possible. I have a few images where there is too much digital and not enough photograph, and they do bother me.

No matter what the subject of the image you’re trying to create is, make sure you have your story to tell. Figure out the narrative of your image and how you can best describe it in one single image. What or who is your main subject? What props are needed? What is your color scheme? If you have these written or sketched down, you can start creating.

dracorubio hellraiser

Hellraiser by Dracorubio.

dracorubio spiderman

Spiderman by Dracorubio.

Also, don’t try to recreate the exact image you have in your head; that will never happen and will leave you unhappy. Allow yourself freedom and room for experimentation. Step out of your comfort zone.

Find what tickles you, what gives you a tingle in your tummy. Follow that path and look for other creatives in your field, see what they are doing, and learn from them. And never get yourself stuck inside this one field. Go out and be inspired by everything around you. Read a book, go to a museum, or have a walk in nature. Be sure to enjoy real life as well.

dracorubio do you believe there is a demimonde mr chandler

Do you believe there is a demimonde, Mr. Chandler? by Dracorubio

dracorubio valentine

Valentine by Dracorubio

Beer or Coffee – our new weekly roundup!

Happy Friday!  Even though we are only a week into posting these updates, we’re already making them better.  I’ll be jumping on Facebook Live every Friday morning at 11am Pacific with awesome guests to talk about the exciting things we’re working on.  Watch replays right here on our blog!

Don’t want to watch the video? No worries, I’ll keep writing the updates too. Here’s what we have released in the last week.

  • Upload directly into your settings pages!  Need to change your profile photo? Or maybe create a new watermark? Now you can upload the new photo right there in the settings page, instead of finding it hiding in one of your many galleries.
  • We’ve dramatically improved the underlying code in our Dropbox integration. Now it’s easier than ever to get all of your photos on SmugMug.
  • If you use our awesome Lightroom plugin (you should), you’ll now get smart auto-cropping of thumbnails. When we have to crop a thumbnail down to a square, we are analyzing for faces and doing our best to not lose the good parts. Pretty cool stuff. EDIT: This feature also works with any camera that stores facial recognition in the image itself! Your iPhone, Android, and even fancy cameras will all help us intelligently crop your photos.
  • Did you know we sell Photo Aprons? We do, and they now have an updated and accurate picture of the current aprons!

PS- Did you see the Halloween promotions we are running?

Get your candy bag ready, Halloween 2016 is here.

We love Halloween so much we decided to take the entire month to celebrate it. I mean given our track record of dressing up, we knew we had to blow our favorite holiday out of the apple-bobbing water this year.

We’re starting with a big fat candy grab bag of 31 Days of Halloween on Instagram. We’ll be featuring our very best in spooky and scary, plus some special cute and costumey. Do you have a favorite Halloween photo? Tag it on Instagram with #Smugoween and maybe we’ll feature your photo on our feed.

wt3 2

Got a fun Halloween photo? Share it with us on Instagram with the hashtag #Smugoween

While you’re at it, take a few seconds to login, or sign up for a SmugMug account (if you haven’t already.) Upload your favorite Halloween picture to a new public gallery after our contest starts on 10/17. If you tag that photo with #Smugoween,  we’ll include it in our Halloween Photo Contest where we’re giving away almost $8,000 worth of prizes including a grand prize package that includes $3,000 cash! But that’s not all—you could also win SmugMug swag bags with one of our coveted hoodies, a free year of Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography, $50 Mixbook credit for any of their print materials, one of two large Xposer wall prints from Bay Photo, and more!

We’ve got a special panel who will be judging our winners. Sign up for the SmugMug newsletter to be among the first to know when the contest launches.

Getting excited? Well, we’re just getting started. Now through the end of the month, we’re giving new SmugMug customers 31% off their SmugMug subscription for the first year. Signing up couldn’t be easier, and we’ll even give you a free 14-day trial if you’ve never tried SmugMug before.

Save 31%

We wouldn’t dream of leaving out our own loyal photographer friends though, so we’re capping off the month with a very special 31% discount on Montage photo books starting October 25. That way you can commemorate your Halloween holiday or any other life event in a unique photo book full of your favorite images. Either follow us on Facebook or join our mailing list for more details when the discount begins.

If you can’t tell, we’re pretty excited to share our Halloween with you, so get your candy, costumes, and decorations prepped, then you’ll be ready for all of our treats.

Release Notes – Week of September 26th, 2016

Lately we’ve only been talking about all the bigger features we’ve shipped. Features like Telephone Cases, Google Translate content blocks, and Custom Web “Apps” are awesome, but a lot of work happens behind the scenes to continually improve your overall experience with SmugMug.

Starting right now, we’re going to do a better job of outlining the small improvements and bug fixes that make everything work soooooo smoothly.


Okay, that’s enough rambling. Here’s what actually changed in the last week or so:

  • As mentioned above, we added Google Translate content blocks!
  • We fixed a bug in the display of some cover photos in your Profile content block, and some Gallery cover photos. They should look pixel perfect now.
  • The unreleased, beta version (v54) of the Chrome browser broke our Account Settings. We’ve fixed that, so you don’t have to worry when your browser updates.
  • Changing restricted galleries in the Coupon interface had some weird behavior, so we made that work just a little bit better.
  • We also made that improvement work with changing galleries in Sharegroups, too!
  • Our Marketing team had some fun with the 404 pages on our marketing content. Maybe getting lost isn’t so bad after all. If you want to add some fun to your own 404 pages, you can learn all about customizing them here.
  • Embedded videos now use HTTPS, eliminating those pesky “mixed content warnings.”

Don’t get lost in translation. Introducing SmugMug’s Google Translate widget!

We all know the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but while photography may universally speak to us, language can often be a barrier. With potential customers from all over the globe finding your work online, we wanted to make it easier for you to share it without barriers. Now it’s easy to share your photos in more than 100 different languages with our new Google Translate widget.

Once installed, our Google Translate widget allows your guests to select virtually any language, and your entire SmugMug site will be translated to that language. Customers only have to select their language once, as all subsequent SmugMug pages they visit will be translated to that language. This includes translating gallery titles, picture descriptions, and more. It’s simple and fast to install and allows you to expand your business, or share with friends and family around the world, with just a few clicks.

english1With the widget installed, customers can choose their language from a drop-down list.

japanese1In the blink of an eye, your website is translated!

Ready to take your SmugMug website to an international level? Here’s what you have to do:

1. Select “Content and Design” from the “Customize” tab.

2. Under the “Add Content Block” > “Services” section, drag and drop “Google Translate” on to your page.

3. Hit “Publish,” and you’re done!

Don’t believe that it’s really that easy? Watch below:

Google Translate Widget

While you may not parlez français, now your SmugMug site does!


The upgrade your phone (case) actually needs.


Phones aren’t just phones anymore. They’re part of us. They’re important, they’re delicate, and they’re personal. We have them on us at all times so it seems outright wrong to protect them with some garish, or worse, a generic case that says nothing about the person carrying it. A meticulously designed phone deserves an elegant case that is unique without looking like a circus attraction. Look no further than SmugMug’s newest addition to our print product line.

We’re now offering phone cases that can be customized with your favorite images giving you an unbeatable look that will make your friends jealous and keep your phone a little safer all at once.

Our new customizable phone cases are available for the Galaxy S7 and iPhone SE, 6, 6s, 6+, 6s+, and even 7 and 7+. The cases come in two styles: Slim and Tough. The slim case is sleek and thin, keeping your phone from unwanted dings or scratches without adding extra bulk. The Tough case is more rugged using a thin, scratch resistant plastic shell with an inner silicon insert for added protection for those who need a sturdier case.


Custom phone cases start at $25. You can order your case now through your SmugMug site by logging in, uploading or selecting a photo, then clicking BUY and then THIS PHOTO, and start customizing your phone case. Those with Portfolio and Business accounts: don’t forget to add the Phone Cases to your Pricelist and set the prices at your desired price or markup. Phone cases are available for Pricelists fulfilled from Bay Photo, EZPrints, and WHCC.

When designing your phone case, there are a couple important things to remember. First, your photos must meet the size requirements. The image selected must be 900×1600 pixels or you won’t even be shown the option to add it to a phone case. Also, make sure to pay attention to the camera position and the cropping of your image. You don’t want to accidentally cut out an important part of the photo.

Ordering your own case is a piece of cake, but if you’ve never purchased printed products from SmugMug before, see how below.

1. Upload or select the photo from your SmugMug site that you would like to use to customize your new phone case. Keep in mind that your photo must be 900×1600 pixels or larger to be suitable for the phone cases. If your photo is under those size specifications, you won’t have the option to customize a phone case. Once you’ve selected the photo, click the green BUY button, and then click THIS PHOTO.


2. Your photo will appear on the left while a number of product options will appear on the right. At the very bottom, so long as your photo meets the size requirements, you’ll see a brand new category—phone cases!


3. After making your selection, you’ll be able to make sure the crop is correct for your phone case. Simply drag the cut-out of the phone case or resize to make sure the parts you want printed are within the gray box. Make sure the cut-out for the phone’s camera doesn’t cover a part of the photo that you want to show. When you’re done cropping, click ADD TO CART.


The case will be saved to your shopping cart for when you’re ready to checkout. Then all you’ll have to do is sit tight and wait for the coolest phone case you or your friends have ever laid eyes on to show up at your doorstep.

How’s that for some Hotline Bling?