Sell Your Photos Online

SmugMug: Sell Your Photos Online

As most of you know, I am a serious photographer. I have been selling prints through a local art gallery since last November. I joined AC in December and started posting slideshows in addition to writing some articles about photography. For several months, I have been thinking about creating my own website to sell my pictures. After researching the various online photo sharing sites, I have decided to use SmugMug.

SmugMug was created by professional photographers and offers professional users total control over their pictures, preventing theft with options such as: right-click protection, watermarking, and maximum display resolution limits. They also allow customization of the website appearance to provide a professional look with an individual feel. Lastly, they allow selection of two professional printers with a number of sizes, paper types, and framing options. The professional user has complete control to set prices and selection of the options that are offered to customers. Although I haven’t needed to use it, I’ve also read that their customer service is excellent.

SmugMug offers three account types and a 14-day free trial version, so you can try the service before purchasing an account. The standard account for $39.95 gives you unlimited photo storage and traffic and minimal customization with pre-made template themes. The Power Users account for $59.95/year allows you to replace SmugMug’s header and navigation with your own. You can control colors, add JavaScript, add a footer and more. The Professional account that allows you to make money selling your photos is $149.95/year. All accounts allow you or your friends to order prints, but unless you have the Pro account all the money goes to SmugMug to pay for the cost of the printing. Pros can add an additional margin to this default cost and keep 85% of the markup.

There are user groups where you can discuss your pictures with other photographers and improve your skills or just have fun discussing photography and sharing your pictures. There are many alternatives for online photo sharing sites today, but I think it is significant that 80% of customers who have purchased SmugMug accounts in the last 5 years are still with them today. If you are not a professional and just want to share photos with friends, use Facebook. If you want to be a little more serious about it, consider using Flickr. But if you want to sell your pictures and have total control over the whole process, I would recommend you try SmugMug.

Now that you know why I joined SmugMug, I hope you will check out my site. Even if you aren’t interested in ordering that wall-sized print of your favorite image, you can view my pictures in a much better form than allowed on Associated Content. I will continue to load galleries to this site, so come back regularly to see what is new.

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