Ever since I bought my new camera, the Olympus OM-D EM5 Mark II, I have been using Flickr and WordPress to first, store the images, and then showcase some of my very best images through WordPress. It worked well for a while. Flickr is free with 1TB of space to store your photos. That is more than enough for most users, including me, since I don’t upload all my photos taken, but instead, only the ones that I want to showcase through WordPress.
But I realize that it doesn’t really integrate well, especially when you need to showcase lots of photos on one blog post, it can get quite manual, getting the links to the photos from Flickr, and then arranging them properly so that it displays well.
Recently I stumbled upon Smugmug, a place where you can store and share your photos at the same time. As an added bonus, in the last couple of years, they have completely revamped the look and how you share those photos. They now have many beautiful templates to choose from based on how you want to present your works, at the same time, having complete control on how it looks.
It’s not free. As a Power user, one of many tiers of subscriptions based on your needs, I pay USD 60 a year for various features that are useful for me. That includes the ability to choose the templates I want to present my images, and allow full customization. Also, with a paid subscription, I can upload an unlimited number of photos I want, organized to my needs. This full control and full flexibility is what I personally feel, that the cost is worth the subscription.
I registered for an account and got a 14-day trial. I was initially quite overwhelmed at the sheer level customization you are allowed to do based on the templates designed by the people of Smugmug. But within the hour, I had the basics of a working website in order and already it looks more or less presentable. As smugmug is a web service catered to photographers for novices and professionals, naturally, the templates designed by Smugmug, are designed in a away to put your photos at the forefront in any website designed by the tools provided for users. And those templates are remarkably gorgeous. And having a more gorgeous website does not come with the added complexity. That’s the beauty of Smugmug in my opinion. It comes with a powerful and intuitive tool to design the website you want. You can see the changes in real time, you can make sweeping changes to the overall layout of the website, but also give you granular control of each and minute detail in every photo gallery you created in showcasing your works. That, in my opinion was what sold me the very instant I realized that I have the control to design it my own way.
Another aspect that comes as part of a sweet deal is that Smugmug is also a place where you can store all your photos, not just the edited or enhanced ones, but your entire folio in an easy to create Folders and Galleries. Just like how you would organize your entire photo collection into folders based on either date, subject or location, you can do all that in Smugmug just like how you do it in when you back up your photos on your own personal hard drives. Because Smugmug give you unlimited storage space, you can use it as a cloud service to back up your entire photo collection. This is particularly useful is some catastrophe were to happen to your own physical hard drives where your photos are stored. And if you do need to download the entire collection again, you can download the entire folder at one go, not just individual photos. Thus, having a systematic way to organize your photos is possible in Smugmug and the tools provided by them to do so, is easy and works remarkably well.
I would highly recommend Smugmug to any photographers out there who are either starting photography as a hobby, or a current enthusiast or a professional to try it out and see how you can integrate Smugmug in your workflow.
Do visit my Smugmug page as well.