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Zenfolio or SmugMug - what do you guys use?

Discussion in 'Sports Photography' started by Hockey_Nut, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. Hey guys,

    I'm currently scrambling to get an account with a company that will allow me to quickly upload my photos for my clients to view. I just found out that I'll be shooting an equestrian event this weekend (hunters & jumpers) and because I'm normally hired to shoot specific teams or individuals, I haven't had the need for my own website to get people to look at my work as I upload photos to Picasa and provide links to my clients. Shooting on spec has opened up a whole new dimension for me. I don't think I will be doing much of it, but I think I need some sort of website vs just using Picasa (url is waaaaay to long to remember let alone give out to people.

    I've narrowed it down to SmugMug & Zenfolio & I just can't seem to make a decision. Shipping the orders is the biggest problem for me as all orders will be shipped from the US and costs look kind of steep, so I just want a place to post my photos and have people contact me with their orders.

    These are some items of importance to me:
    - right click protection
    - ease of use for both myself & clients
    - quick uploads using Mac supported software (Picasa is great for this!)
    - shopping carts/placing orders with host not as important but if I could fill the order while they process the order & collect payment, that would be ideal.

    Which company sounds best for my needs? I have to make a decision soon.

    Thanks for your help.

    Take care,
  2. smugmug
    pro account

    and.... i love it
  3. Can't go wrong with either, IMO. Although get you can get $5 off with my link below.:eek: 
  4. CoOokie


    May 4, 2008
    Hi Brent. I personally have SmugMug's Standard account but I know that Pro has right click protection, is easy to use (for you and your clients), you can download plugin for your Picasa to easy upload your photos, you can setup prices for all your items yourself and you can even get your own domain for easy url :)  You can try any account level that you like (even Pro) for 2 weeks and then if you like it buy it for a year. All your settings, photos and other stuff will be there, so don't worry :D  And if you will decide to go with SmugMug, then use my referral code " fiHmpSZczOqQ6 " to get 5 or 10 $ discount (I don't remember which)!
    I hope I've helped a bit :) 
  5. i use exposure manager and so far it works great. Not as pretty as SmugMug but to me it's faster. They allow FTP uploading of your proofs and also will take and process orders for self fulfilment.


    My Site - http://shop.chapelroadimages.com <<< Main reason I chose EM is that they provide domain mapping.
  6. I just got a Smug Pro acct yesterday and I'm struggling with the learning curve, but I'm not that smart so you may have a different experience. I'll figure it out though, no worries
  7. kwf1


    Nov 15, 2007
    S. Florida
    Another vote here for exposuremanager, although I have not used either Zenfolio or SmugMug.

  8. Vienna Pics

    Vienna Pics

    Nov 14, 2005
    You really need to check out the 'forum' tab at the bottom of the smugmug page - they have many modirators that are so great to work with (they are not as quite as good as the cafe mods) and they will really help you out. They have several tutorials and from there I asked my questions and I even was able to highly customize my pro site.
  9. anthonyc


    May 30, 2008
    zenfolio rocks!
    Referral code K83-AKV-TQY
    5 bucks off for whoever signs up for an account, and 5 bucks for me as well :D 
  10. wembley


    Mar 26, 2006
    Naples, Fl
    I was in this predicament earlier in the spring.

    I went with a monthly account at exposure manager. It worked out great. i shot some local soccer, sold an OK amount and thought i'd drop the monthly account when the season was over, but I'm still keeping it and will use it for printing my own stuff at cost and then for future season and sales items.

    Heres my site.http://wembley.exposuremanager.com

    Use this link if you want a discount.

  11. You did a really nice job on your EM page. It's on my to-do list but I just haven't had the time.

  12. Hey guys,

    Thanks for giving me lots to think about. I'm no further ahead than I was earlier. I appreciate people providing the links to their own sites as I've found this to be very useful. I like seeing the concrete/final product.

    I just don't know how often I'd use the site though as I normally get hired for specific events & I just exchange phone/email messages with my clients. They view the posters/collages and make changes as they see fit ... I get them printed & deliver them to the client. Pretty basic. All my stuff is local, with the possible exception of this weekend's equestrian show.

    I've checked out Exposure Manager & they seem the most flexible in terms of self-fulfillment as they will accept orders & money and I will send the files to the lab & deliver. Perfect - that's what I want if I am in a position where my clients are not from the local area, plus this allows them to use a credit card for the purchase (when I told my wife I was thinking about this option she was not happy. I'm a small business and there's no reason why I have to bring a 3rd party into this, especially regarding the collection of money via credit cards ... she really did not like this ... better lay low on this for a while). I also read through some of the FAQ stuff & tutorials and felt a bit overwhelmed ... very detailed but did not seem as intuitive as my Mac is. I haven't seen flow charts in a while :biggrin:

    Zenfolio has, imo, the cleanest layout & presentation. Very simple and straightforward. Moreover, according to one Cafe member, I can simply load my photos & if I don't sell any, no worries, my account won't be deleted. In the main gallery I could even have my personal email and instruct potential clients to email me about ordering particular photos. Again, a very big +.

    SmugMug has a neat interface & seems slick. Lots of instructions to help get the site up and running. But, no monthly rates ... a trial period though.

    So, I'm back to square one. I guess I will do all taking of orders & payments & delivery but I guess I really want a site that is a) affordable/monthly plan to see if this is a good fit for me b) have right click prevention c) allow me to upgrade to have my company name as the domain name.

    Thanks for all the suggestions & for taking the time to read my thoughts as I process the info.

    Any further suggestions of the above mentioned sites is still very much appreciated.

    Thanks again you have all been very helpful.

    Take care,
  13. I've been looking long and hard at Exposure Manager, so I'm interested in where this thread goes. So far, I've liked what I read about EM on THEIR site.

    Keep the post coming, guys and gals!
  14. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005
    Smugmug. They just updated to accept NEF files, an added plus.
  15. Steve ...

    Hi Steve,

    What is it that has caught your interest with EM? What are some pros/cons that you see? I like the flexibility as I mentioned earlier, and they seem to be very well regarded.


  16. You might also consider PhotoReflect.com

    Not adds. No pop-ups. Easy to use with your own domain and so on.

    They take a slight % of sales.
  17. I'm another happy EM user. I love the ability to quickly upload proofs, and get notification that orders have been generated, when I can then do a more comprehensive job on the prints.

    Very reasonable, compared to SmugMug Pro (at least when I last evaluated) on an annual basis.

    Print quality is very good. Customer service is top notch, too.

    I also like the flexibility of their price lists, you can create different ones for customers, family, friends, etc.

    Discount coupons, one-time use, or constant, promotion codes for tracking are also bennies.
  18. I've only had my Smugmug Pro account since late June and I simply love it!!!
  19. Brent,

    Pretty much what Chris(Aqualung) has stated above. Other than that they "seem" from the outside looking in to be more professional.
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