Something I hear over and over from my clients is that they don’t know how to organize, store and keep track of all the personal photos they take. The parents take photos, the babysitter takes some, friends at a party take some, and of course the grandparents, too. Where can you put them to all “live” together, in one spot?
I know- it’s really difficult! You fill up your phone with adorable images and videos, it runs out of space, you hastily transfer to your computer to a random folder and you never see them again. It happens so often! As we all try to simplify our lives and keep things less cluttered, the digital clutter of images can be overwhelming.
Before I became a professional photographer, I discovered Smugmug. I was in college and digital cameras were just becoming a thing and my (giant Gateway!) laptop couldn’t hold the hundreds of images I was taking a week.
Smugmug was exactly what I needed- a place to store images (and video) that’s also easy to organize, customize and share. And so, since 2006, I have trusted Smugmug to both my personal and professional images. I have 88,000 photos on my personal Smugmug site and almost 220,000 images on my professional Smugmug site!
Why do I like Smugmug so much?
- The customer service is the best. Seriously. They rival almost every company I have ever had to get help from. The speed and knowledge of the help is second to none. For this reason alone I am an evangelist for them.
- It’s affordable. Personal Smugmug sites start at just over $3/month or $40 a year. The basic account is perfect for most users. $40 to save all your photos is a crazy good deal.
- It’s safe. You can password protect the whole site or specific galleries. This is great for photos you don’t want to share with Facebook but do want to share with family and friends.
- It’s not just for photos- save your videos, too. Amazing!
- You can also print your photos! As a photographer I am slightly biased, but I think prints are SUPER important. Grandma really wants a photo you took at a party? Send her the link and she can order whatever size she wants. (or order it for her and surprise her with a gift!)
- The organization of your photos is invaluable- and totally flexible. I’ve had clients save photos they’ve taken of their kids by month (especially when you have very little ones!), by vacation/events, and by season. It can be done however you want to. If just having a big “2016” folder works best for you, do it. It’s also fantastic for archiving old family photos. As my parents downsize, we are scanning photo albums and those photos live in a special Smugmug folder. All the photos I love from my childhood- all in one spot!
- They have an app so you can upload photos directly from your phone to a smugmug gallery- score! I use this feature ALL THE TIME. Every Sunday I transfer my photos from my phone to a Smugmug gallery. I’ve named it “iPhone photos- 2016” and they all live there. Also, the app is great for sharing photos on the go and not using all the storage in your phone. How I use it: I’m at a family photo session with a family I have photographed for several years- I can share photos from sessions of years before with the kids before westart- they can’t believe how little they were and it’s always so fun to go back. I literally have every professional photo I have ever delivered (the over 220k I mentioned earlier) IN MY PHONE. Mind blowing.
- If you lose all the photos in your phone, crash a harddrive, etc- all your photos live on and are not lost. Smugmug makes it incredibly easy to re-download your photos from their site. I love that.
So yes- I love me some Smugmug. Love love love love.
If you are interested in trying Smugmug out for yourself, they have a 14 day trial. Try it out over the holidays and see what you think! Also, my blog readers can get 20% off by using this affiliate link!