When it comes to uploading, let’s think outside the Dropbox.

Can we be frank for a second? Dropbox may be a convenient place to backup your photos and videos, but it’s not the best way to showcase, share or sell them. That’s why you have SmugMug, right? So now we’ve made it super simple to transfer your photos from Dropbox to your SmugMug galleries in just a few clicks—right from the SmugMug browser uploader.

Just select Dropbox in the uploader,

sign in to your Dropbox account,

select the photos you want to upload and, drop those photos on SmugMug like they’re hot!

Remember you’ve got unlimited, pixel for pixel secure storage with SmugMug so go on and give us all you got.

See how easy it is to free your photos from Dropbox’s virtual shoebox in the sky, right here.

Special Note: This feature currently doesn’t work if you’re on a custom domain. Custom domain support is coming soon, but in the meantime, switch your URL to your SmugMug nickname version (yoursmugmugnickname.smugmug.com) to get Dropbox to work correctly.

Uploading to SmugMug: What, How Big and How Many?

If you’re new to SmugMug, you may wonder exactly what, how much and how often you can upload to your galleries. And we agree — it’s a good idea to get an idea of what your limits are… particularly when there isn’t one.

The quick version: Upload JPG, PNG, or GIF files up to 50 MB and 100 megapixels apiece, videos up to 3 GB and 20 minutes apiece. Add up to 5,000 photos into each gallery and create as many galleries as you want.

Uploading at SmugMug

You’ve got tons of options for getting your photos from your computer and into your galleries. Our two favorite methods right now are:

1) Our default, browser-based HTML5 uploader. It’s lightweight, accessible from any computer/browser, and lets you drag and drop files from your desktop into the upload box. Voila!

2) Lightroom’s free SmugMug plugin. So many photographers from all walks of life love Lightroom for its ease of use and powerful editing capabilities. Download the free SmugMug plugin if you haven’t already got it, and start making your life that much simpler. Best of all, you’re publishing direct from your digital negatives, which means no extra JPG files to suck up space on your hard drive.

We’ve got lots of other options if those don’t bake your potatoes. From SmuggLr to Star Explorer, our community has created as many methods as possible to upload photos from wherever they are, just the way you like it. Check out your options here on our Apps page, or click the green “Choose a different uploader” from the bottom of the web uploader box.

How Big Can Galleries Go?

You can create as many galleries as you wish on your SmugMug site, and each one can be tweaked to have different SEO, privacy and print settings as you’re aware. You can give them a total makeover by choosing one of four different Viewing Styles, too.

Your galleries stretch with your screen and adjust to fit the largest images the gallery settings allow. They’ll also auto-adjust so that you see fewer gallery pages on big screens and more pages on smaller ones. We’ve capped photo count to 5,000 per gallery because basic tools like sorting and keywording become impossibly difficult when you have that many photos in one place.

The Many File Flavors at Smug

When it comes to photos, we accept JPG, PNG and GIF files up to 50 MB apiece. Which file you use depends on what you’re going to be doing:

JPGs are the format you’ll use the most. The only file type our print labs will print from, and they’re ubiquitous, so it’s easy-peasy for your fans and clients to view them if you’re offering digital downloads.

PNG files are recommended for images that contain transparent areas, like the site branding files that Power, Portfolio and Business users will use. We’re talking header logo images and watermark image files, to start.

GIF files are commonly used for animations. We don’t hear much about them these days, but who doesn’t love watching a good cinemagraph? We’re always thrilled to see what great ones you’re making.

If your tipple is video, you’ve got a lot more options. There’s tons of codecs out there and we support a good number of them. Check out the list here, which may not include everything but does come with bonus conversion info.

Just be sure that your videos are under 20 minutes long and 3 GB apiece.

Vault It! For Everything Else

SmugVault, our archival service provided by Amazon, is for the kitchen sink. PDFs, TIFFs, RAW, CR2, DOC whatever you’ve got and want to keep safe, keep it there. You can upload any file up to a max of 3 GB, and you can view and retrieve them from the familiar SmugMug gallery interface. When possible, we’ll even create a JPG preview so you know exactly which file you’re looking at.

Take a closer look at SmugVault, Amazon and how it works.

Tip: Because all video files are processed slightly on upload to SmugMug, you can choose to Vault your originals. This way, you always have a copy in case your hard drive goes boom.

We hope that everyone has a better idea of what’s possible with their accounts. So go ahead, grab your bag and get out there shooting. We’ll see you on the upload!

Link roundup:

6 Essential SmugMug Tools for Celebrating a Sane, Organized (and Profitable) Holiday

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!

Link roundup:

New: Guest Uploading Lets Your Fans Join the Fun

You’ve always asked us if we had a way for your friends to upload lots of photos to your galleries without using a special Pro-only login. Someplace for your wedding and party guests to share all their crazy candids, funny faces and those micro-moments even Sherlock Holmes would miss.

You didn’t have a way to do that before. Now you do, whether you’ve got a Basic, Power or Pro account.

Here’s how it works.

How to create the most awesome pool of photos, ever

Step 1. Open up your gallery’s settings page and scroll down to Security & Privacy.

Step 2. Type a password into the “Upload Key” field. Note: Whatever you type here will be visible to your guest. (Just sayin’)

Step 3. Click the Save button at the top, then take a look at the “Upload Key” field again. We’ve baked your password into a special link like this:

Alternatively, you can fire up that gallery’s uploader and see the “Guest Upload” link at the bottom:

Step 4. Copy and share the link! Anyone who hits it will be taken straight to a special version of our web uploader where they can drag and drop files into your gallery… and only that gallery.

Stuff you should know

  • If your gallery has a viewing password, your guest can still upload photos to it with your special link. However, they will need to enter the viewing password before they can browse the gallery.
  • Anyone who has your link can upload files to the gallery, so be aware when you share. If you’re concerned about it getting into the wrong hands, you can give your guests a deadline, then delete or change the Upload Key after that date.
  • Want captions? Have your guests fill out the caption field of their photo files before they upload. When it’s in the gallery, their text will automatically show up under the image. They can easily do this in programs like Picasa, iPhoto and Windows Photo Gallery.

There’s never too many cooks in the kitchen when fun photos are involved. So gather your friends, give it a try and let us know how you’re using it.

We’d love to hear your feedback so we can make this feature as awesome as humanly possible.

50 Very Megabytes

Good news to all photographers lusting after the new CaNikon D900000 Mark XII: We raised the roof. Again.

All SmugMuggers can now upload photos up to 50MB and 100 megapixels in size.

This means you can upload one of these. Or these. You can go out right now and shoot a pano and invite your friends to a pixel peeping party. Print a new view for your office wall. Make a poster for St Paddy’s Day. Nudge the HDR slider up to eleven.

The possibilities are endless.

So go ahead and buy yourself (or rent) that Hasselblad everyone’s talking about. Shoot like you mean it and upload it right to SmugMug using your favorite uploader. As long as your file stays in JPG, PNG or GIF format, it’s fine.

We know that megapixels don’t always matter to everyone, but if you’re like us then you probably love printing B I G . We get it.🙂

PS. Your video uploads are still capped at a juicy 3 GB and 20 minutes in length. That’s a lot of frames to take in. (36,000 to be exact.)

Just For Fun…

OK, you’ve seen examples of our print collection at HQ. Try and guess how many square feet they cover in all.

Closest guesser wins a huge print of their own photo, from us. Post your numbers below and we’ll reveal the answer right here in a week, March 14th, 2012.


Links you’ll love:

UPDATE! The numbers are in. SmugMug HQ has, as of today, 2,227 sq feet of prints hanging on the walls. Chris Skopec, we’ll be in touch with you because you had closest guess at 2,132 sq ft. Congrats!

UPDATE 2! Two folks submitted guesses on FB that were pretty darn close too. Spreading the love is fun, so we’re awarding not 1 but 3 winners! Congrats also to Jonathan Wilson (2200 sq ft) and Jennifer Shirley (2150 sq ft)! We’ll get in touch with you about your prize.

Some of you had some really juicy numbers… which just goes to show that we need to up the ante and cover more walls.🙂

New: Sync Your Photos with Lightroom’s Latest Plugin

Calling all Adobe fans! We’ve heard that Lightroom’s built-in SmugMug uploader has been one of your favorite ways of getting photos into your sites. So we thought we’d let you know about our most recent update.

What’s New in the Latest Version

  • Previously, syncing went in one direction only: from Lightroom over to SmugMug. Now it’s a two-way street. Lightroom will find any images you’ve previously uploaded to your SmugMug galleries and match them to existing images in your library. Synchronicity, baby!
  • Pros who use Events will find that their clients’ Favorites get pulled into into a separate Collection in Lightroom.

  • Finally, we’ve heard your cries about how your innovative, snappy image titles were getting left at the door. You now have the option to publish your Titles or Captions (or both) in the SmugMug image caption field for all to see.

No plugin? Get it now

If you’re coasting on an older version and want to upgrade to the shiniest version, look here.

Questions? Follow the instructions on our help page to get started.