Photographs were meant to be shared. Or, at the very least, organized and uploaded to a secure website. There are lots of websites competing for the top photo sharing spot. Some are free, while others offer complex interfaces and a number of features. SmugMug is the preferred service amongst professional photographers. Those who enjoy quality photographs and printing options will find SmugMug useful too.
Even though most reviews begin on a positive note, there is one thing about SmugMug that we’d like to warn you about. This service is not free in any manner. You will have to select one of SmugMug’s three paid memberships in order to use this website. The site does offer a 7-day trial, though you will have to provide a credit card number in order to gain access to the 7-day free trial.
Once photos are uploaded, SmugMug provides a number of ways to view them. You can invite friends and family members to view your photos too (no pesky passwords needed). You can even order gallery quality prints and other photo items directly through SmugMug. While the SmugMug website looks complex, this photo service is actually very easy to use.
Artistic photographers should be aware that SmugMug does not allow any nude photos. Photographs that are not appropriate for public viewing will not be permitted on the SmugMug website. This may be a deterrent for some people who actively snap artistic nudes.
SmugMug offers three account options. As previously mentioned, there is no free account option available. The three memberships include “Power User,” “Standard Account,” and “Professional Account.” The Power User account allows you to fully customize your SmugMug experience. Users who have a basic understanding of HTML will get the most out of this membership option.
The Standard Account is the least expensive ($39 at the time of this writing), and offers users a basic membership. Professional photographers will want to look at the Professional Account ($100+), which allows users to sell photographs directly from the SmugMug site. Most people will find the Standard Account sufficient.
SmugMug is easy to use in every manner. This is especially true when it comes to customer support options. The service comes with an extensive list of FAQs, a customer support contact email, helpful tutorials, and a user forum. In short, it’s hard not to find the answer to any SmugMug problem when using this site. Avid SmugMug users are happy with the service that this site provides, and customer service representatives do respond to email in a timely manner.
From the direct and simple interface to the various membership options, SmugMug is an ideal photo storage site. As mentioned, the only drawback to this site is the high membership fees. Many find these fees more than fair for the service and quality that SmugMug offers. Others may find free sites more appealing – granted, these sites may not let you upload as many photos as SmugMug does, but in this case you get what you pay for.