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SmugMug: How to Sell Different Size Prints?

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by NewBert, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. I'm considering trying my hand at putting some of my images (prints) up for sale on SmugMug. I have a few questions on how to go about this:

    1. At what aspect ratio do you upload your images (to cover various crops such as 10x8; 11x14; 5x7; 4x6 etc.)? What format are they uploaded in (ie - JPG, TIFF, NEF, what dpi, etc)?

    2. When someone orders a print at a particular size, who (the buyer, SmugMug, me) controls how the cropping is done to arrive at that aspect ratio?

    Thanks!
     
  2. LeeF

    LeeF

    327
    May 24, 2008
    Massachusetts, USA
    If you get a "PRO" level site from Smugmug all of your questions are answered.
    I upload almost everything in a 2:3 ratio. I use JPG. My site "shows" a square thumbnail image but opens to the correct ratio when clicked on.
    The buyer has the option of cropping the way they want the image during the "buy" process which Smugmug handles for me. They also select the size they wish from a large selection.

    Check out my site: www.leefortier.com and click on the buy button to reveal all of the options. There are more features available in Smugmug than you will see on my site. No one uses ALL the features.

    If you want to give Smugmug a try, sign up for the free trial. Put my url (www.leefortier.com) in the 'referred by' box and save yourself some money on your first years rent. I believe the Pro Level is currently $149.95 annually. It's a great deal at only $12.50 a month. Your uploads are UNLIMITED and your hit rate is UNLIMITED. There are NO additional charges!!!!! They also offer through, www.dgrin.com, all the help you'll ever need to get your site to the level you want it.

    Good Luck.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2009
  3. Lee,

    Thanks so much for the info. Very informative, and your website looks great!

    A few more questions regarding the JPGs you upload to the site:

    1. I use LR2 and when I export my NEFs to JPGs, one of the settings available is resolution (pixels per inch). To help protect my images from being downloaded, I've sometimes used resolutions as low as 72 for strictly web images. But at that resolution, they wouldn't print out very well if downloaded. At what resolution do you upload your JPGs?

    2. I also noticed that there are no watermarks on your images. I've used them to at least try to protect my images when posting to the web. Do you feel no need to do so? Or does SmugMug provide some sort of protection that I'm not seeing? And if watermarks are used, how do they get stripped off when customers order prints or downloads?

    Thanks!
     
  4. I have the Pro account. It costs $150/yr., but if you use the coupon code YaHoO you get 50% off the first year. Note, this coupon code can be changed at any time, but if Smugmug holds true to form, the a replacement code will be widely publicized. It's part of their marketing program to lure in new customers. And it works, cause once you join, you'll find it's a very "sticky" site.

    I upload full sized jpgs, in native 4x6 aspect ratio. I have specified a delay of up to 5 days for proofing before an order will be released to the print lab. When Smugmug receives an order for prints, they notify me, and I get to decide how the print will be cropped. And I also have the option of replacing the image file if I decide it needs further editing.

    Edit: I just saw your additional questions.

    I upload my files at full resolution, but Smugmug gives me control over how large they are displayed to viewers. I can also right click protect them, or have them displayed with a watermark of my choosing. Smugmug removes the watermark when they send the file to the print lab.
     
  5. LeeF

    LeeF

    327
    May 24, 2008
    Massachusetts, USA
    I send Smugmug HiRes images at full size but I restrict the viewer to seeing only a "large" image. This limits what they can screen print to a small size.

    I've yet to see a watermark that doesn't intrude on the picture yet still protects the image. Hence, the size limit that may be shown on the screen.
     
  6. tfboy

    tfboy

    734
    Aug 22, 2008
    Berkshire, UK
    If you go for the pro account, you get the option of watermarking your photos, but only on the ones shown via the website - prints are of course free from watermarking :smile:

    If you use LR2, I'd highly recommend Jeffrey's export plugin, here. Full gallery management and stuff from within Lightroom and as you export to Smugmug, you choose how to resize, jpeg quality, etc. Fantastic plugin and well worth giving him a little donation for the effort IMO :smile:
     
  7. A question for you on the issue of "who does the cropping". I am still waffling on Smug vs. Zen as the host, but I wonder what the consensus is on letting the Buyer do the crop? I would be concerned that they could do a very "unflattering" crop to an image, but I have also had occasions where I have cropped a sports image and the buyer was upset because all the extrneous stuff was not on the print that showed up on the image to be viewed.

    I should probably post this question as new thread, eh?
     
  8. luke_28

    luke_28

    506
    May 12, 2008
    North
    I use Zenfolio and have mine set up so that I approve the order before it becomes final. This allows me to insure that the crop is correct, as some users don't even realize they should crop. I upload everything in 2:3 aspect ration, since most orders are 4x6 prints. If I have many, many photos to upload and use a lower resolution for faster uploading, then when I receive an order, I just go back in and re-upload the full size image of the photo and replace the low rez. This can be done even after the order is placed, provided that you are approving the orders before they are final.
    I use Zenfolio's watermark feature.
    +1 on the comment for Jeffrey's plugin for LR2. It is a great plugin that allows you to upload them upon exporting from LR2.
    Zenfolio and Smugmug are very similar in their features, but Zenfolio is slightly cheaper ($100 vs. Smugmug $150). The one thing Zenfolio is missing right now is uploading video, although I don't know if that is a standard feature with SmugMug Pro acount.
     
  9. jfrancis

    jfrancis

    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    You can use the "delayed printing" option in Smugmug to give you time to upload an image cropped according to the order.
     
  10. No - Keep the question here. It's a question that also entered my head, and I'm the OP so this is my thread! :tongue:

    I would even extend this question to what the consensus is on further editing of the image after the order is made. (See Uncle Frank's post above). I guess that this might work for portraits which may need some "cleaning up". But for images like landscape/scenics, I'm not sure if it would be wise to "tweak" afterwards, since the customer is purchasing a certain "look" to the image. Any thoughts on this (and whether or not to let the customer crop)?

    Thanks again for all the info provided to my original questions!
     
  11. No, I would not let the customer crop. The tool can do more than position the crop... it can determine how deeply the picture is cropped. Even if someone buys a print, it's my composition, and I prefer to retain control over how it is presented.

    Some folks upload low resolution versions of lightly edited pics, and replace them with fully edited high res versions during the proofing cycle. It's a reasonable tactic if you're uploading lots of pictures and only expecting a few of them to be ordered. I'm an optimist, so I upload fully edited high res versions from the get-go. Note that there is no limit on storage or bandwidth useage for Smugmug accounts.
     
  12. This has come up with our Youth Sports photo's. Over the past several years we have found that anything that looks "different" can generate problems, go figure.

    My preference is to specify the crop. I have seen sites where they actually post each cropped size, for example an 8x10 and a 30x45 of the same image and others where just the sizes are listed. My concern with just listing sizes is that the buyer might not like "the look" do to the aspect ratio required.

    UF, I could not agree with you more, and your first point I think bears repeating.

    Thanks,
     
  13. ArtScott

    ArtScott

    Jul 11, 2009
    WICHITA, KS
    above in bold
     
  14. Question about Website Name?

    One more question about a Pro Account:

    How do you get a unique website address (ie - www.newbert.com for example <I'd come up with a better one than that....> :smile:) . Do you just select one that's not already in use and Smugmug does the rest? Or do you first have to acquire the web domain yourself, such as thru something like Godaddy?

    Thanks!
     
  15. jfrancis

    jfrancis

    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Yes. Buy a domain name through Godaddy and then point it to your SM site. SM has lots of help on how to do that - especially if you got the domain through Godaddy.
     
  16. ArtScott

    ArtScott

    Jul 11, 2009
    WICHITA, KS
    GoDaddy lets you input the name you wan then tells you if someone else already has it and if so gives the choice of making up another one or giong with one of their suggestions..............
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2009
  17. I just set up a SM account because I was tired of messing with code on my website. It was easy to transfer my domain name as others have said. The only issue I had was forgetting to update my navbar links.

    I have a power account and haven't tried printing yet. If it works out, I may upgrade for the pro level though, so I'm following with interest what others have to say in this thread about the printing.
     

  18. you can't stop em from cropping but you should chk every pic before they print
    I crop for composition on the upload and then crop for the exact size on the order
     
  19. You can't stop a crop on the order? I know that you can set up so that you get to see, and fix, prior to print, but I would be concerned if the person purchasing could do an "on-order" crop and then get something different.

    Thanks for the info.
     
  20. Question(s):

    How many orders do you all get on average per photo?

    I know the sales part depends on if folks like your photos, etc., but I'm just trying to guage if it's worth it to open on of these accounts.

    Thanks. :smile:
     
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