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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Photo Hosting Sites, 2013
Michael Myers, Photographer
Miami | Florida | USA | Posted: 2:12 AM on 04.08.13
->> Over the years, there have been many discussions here about the various places one can host photos "for friends, family, or the world to see". Can someone suggest which ones are considered the better ones now?

I'd like to exclude any sites that in any way say that they have the right to use a person's photographs.

It would be nice to have the ability to view images small, mid-sized, or full-size.

It would also be nice to have the ability to watermark one's photos, to at least discourage theft of the images.



As another option, does anyone sell a software program that is reasonably simple to set up, that would allow people to create their own easy-to-use web application on their own server, and which would provide the features that the major image hosting sites provide?
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Ralph Mawyer, Photographer
San Antonio | TX | United States | Posted: 7:49 AM on 04.08.13
->> Michael, the three that come most quickly to mind are:

Smugmug, Zen Folio and Photoshelter.

Pretty much depends on your target market, volume of photos, whether you are selling and what you can budget.

Photoshelter obviously has the edge for editorial/commercial client visibility and self-service licensing via Fotoquote rates, but the other two are a lower cost alternative for high-volume storage at reasonable cost, e.g., events, prep sports, etc.

All provide customization options from simple to complex and present a clean experience without ads, etc.

I'm sure you'll hear more, but I'd at least compare these three. For what you describe I'd give Smugmug a good look. Customer service is excellent with good presentation options.
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Michael Myers, Photographer
Miami | Florida | USA | Posted: 9:04 AM on 04.08.13
->> Thanks; I used to have Smugmug, but apparently never got the renewal notice.... account is no longer accessible, but I emailed them to see if it can be re-activated.

Flickr would be $25 or so per year - and is very easy to use for uploading, even from a phone. Is it in the same category as facebook and other social sites, which I should avoid?


I'll wait to see what others say, but I have nothing but good memories of SmugMug.
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 9:07 AM on 04.08.13
->> Zenfolio
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Steven Limentani, Photographer
Charlotte | NC | United States | Posted: 1:46 PM on 04.08.13
->> There are also hybrids to consider. A Smugmug site has limited ability to customize. That is what I used originally. So, I created (with the help of my web guy) a wordpress site that links to two separate smugmug pro accounts.

www.stevenlimentaniphotography.com

When I looked at a variety of options, this seemed to me to be the most cost effective.
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Tim Casey, Photographer
Gainesville | FL | USA | Posted: 2:09 PM on 04.08.13
->> Flickr is incredibly cheap for online storage for yourself. You can set photos to only viewed by friends or family. You can have them be protected from right-click-download, but, as in anything on the internet, a screen capture can be made. Further, there is a backend to access the large files, so the security isn't there.

You can't sell photos from flickr. People can buy prints, if you allow, but you don't get any money out of it.

I have 80,000+ photos on there that only a couple of people and myself can access. Since I have a solid filename/keyword/caption system, I can find my photos very quickly when in a pinch away from home.

They have a new person in charge of flickr and say they want to make it relevant again, so we'll see what changes they have in store.
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 7:34 PM on 04.08.13
->> Do you have a website? Why not host it on your current web server? There tons of server side gallery programs that run from free to $500, depending on the features you want, that will do the trick.
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Eric Isaacs, Photographer, Assistant
Santa Barbara | CA | USA | Posted: 10:48 AM on 04.09.13
->> I'm a long time exposuremanager customer and continue to be a fan.

http://www.exposuremanager.com/aff/emiphoto

Lots of customization, great customer service.

I see smugmug and shutterfly in the same light as an .aol email address. Amateur appearance.

Happy to give you more specifics if you'd like to pm.

Eric
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Tom Ewart, Photographer
Bentonville | AR | USA | Posted: 11:14 AM on 04.09.13
->> As a long time user of printroom, I will no longer endorse them, they have stopped paying out to their photographers in a timely manor, Watch out because they have changed their name to Professional Photography Store Fronts or something like that. I would check a web based software package called Photo Cart that you install on you server and host on your own web hosting account. Make sure you can get or meet there hosting requirement. It's a one time fee for the program and no monthy or percentage of sales to them. You do have to do your own fullfilment, but I have found more and more people are doing downloads, and you can set it up to auto fulfill those with your set up on the front end.
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Brett Groehler, Photographer
Duluth | MN | USA | Posted: 5:27 PM on 04.09.13
->> DO NOT USE PRINTROOM OR PRO PHOTO STORE FRONTS!!.. They still owe me and lots of other photographers money!... Photoshelter is my recommendation.
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Todd Spoth, Photographer
Houston | TX | USA | Posted: 10:02 PM on 04.09.13
->> PHOTOSHELTER!
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Richard Uhlhorn, Photographer
Chelan Falls | WA | USA | Posted: 11:00 PM on 04.09.13
->> Photoshelter
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Mike Huffstatler, Photographer, Assistant
Rancho Cucamonga | Ca | United States | Posted: 1:10 AM on 04.10.13
->> I'm not sure if this would fit your needs, but Graph Paper Press has released a plugin called Sell Media. This works with a Wordpress site and appears to have a lot of functionality.

http://graphpaperpress.com/plugins/sell-media/

I have not used it, but I use other GPP products with good results
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Clay Begrin, Photographer
Petaluma | Ca | USA | Posted: 3:16 AM on 04.10.13
->> Michael, I had been with Printroom from 2005 until 2011 and was very happy with them until they stopped paying me my monthly profit check in a timely manner. In Sept 2011 I switched to Zenfolio and have been very happy with them so far. In many prior SS threads about this topic over the past few years it seems that Photoshelter, Zenfolio and exposure manager seem to be the most popular.
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Ron Hawkes, Photographer, Photo Editor
Rockland | ME | USA | Posted: 1:08 PM on 04.10.13
->> I just today switched to Zenfolio. Have used most every popular service to sell my photos and have been struggling lately to find the right niche.

Was with Exposure Manager for many years and still have an account that I do not use. They were sold to Simply Color last year and while what they offer is outstanding the Simply Color company really works better for Wedding, portrait type photographers. They are still keeping Em going for the photographers that want to keep what they have had, I just was tired of waiting for improvements to the site and as it is did not do what I wanted.

The Simple Color Solution (Commission Free) is a great setup, just not for my business, but if I was a wedding or Portrait photographer I would be buying into it with no problem.

Tried PhotoShelter starting in Jan. and was and still am very much a fan, however the limitations on features for someone like myself that sells to friends, family and relatives the site is way behind what I found at Zenfolio.

If this does not work out it is off to Photo Cart for me and I will be running my own server.

I am curious to see how my customers like the new site. I'm happy with it and there are still many features I have not even explored yet.

Lastly the Zenfolio site works because they use the two labs that I use for self fulfillment anyways. MPix and MpIx Pro. Love the fact I was able to get rid of the cost and work of a separate Blog site and trying to integrate it into a different site. With Zenfolio it is all in one.
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Eric Isaacs, Photographer, Assistant
Santa Barbara | CA | USA | Posted: 4:04 PM on 04.10.13
->> I'm guessing the person that gave me an inappropriate uses aol for their business email.
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 7:20 PM on 04.10.13
->> Burn!
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Tom Ewart, Photographer
Bentonville | AR | USA | Posted: 9:52 AM on 04.11.13
->> Another company I would be leary of is Brightroom, they may have a good product, but they started out as an event photo company that signed up several thousand events with auto renewing contracts which locked out many local photographers for several years, then they scaled back and just kept the better events then try to position themselves as a company that helps photographers. It would be like the AP saying they had the photography industry interests at heart when they came out with their stinger contract. I an weary that if you came to them with a good event that they might try to cherry pick the event from you... Printroom has an event photo group now as well and would be weary about them for that as well as lack of consistant payments.
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Michael Myers, Photographer
Miami | Florida | USA | Posted: 2:25 AM on 04.16.13
->> Thanks for all the feedback.

After a lot of thinking, I found out my SmugMug account was still there, and for only $30 or so, I could bump it up to a "pro" account until July, when I would either renew it, or move on to something else. If I keep it just the way it is, it will cost me $150/year.

I'm feeling very worn out by a lot of things lately, and SmugMug seems to me to be "good enough", and very easy to use. They seem like good people to work with - I don't remember anyone ever complaining about them.

I haven't done much with it yet, I'm mostly just learning. I haven't set any pricing, or even figured out how to sell things there. What I have sorted out is the basics of Categories, Sub-Categories, and Galleries.

If anyone cares to look, the URL is:
www.mikemyers.smugmug.com
I'm mostly just playing around, learning the ropes, but if anyone sees something I'm really doing wrong, feel free to tell me.

The people at SmugMug sent me this link to check out:
http://quicksite1.smugmug.com/
Seems like something I might try to include in my site, but not until I learn "the basics".
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 7:04 AM on 04.16.13
->> Michael:

Anymore, a photographer's web site is more than a place to sell prints. It's a place where first impressions are made and opportunities are born. To be successful, you have to invest your money, and your time, in your opportunities if you expect them to amount to anything.

I don't mean to sound critical, but I would suggest you carefully assess your current perspective and priorities. Cheap and easy shouldn't even be on your list.

Professional presentation of your work, site navigation that's logical, order entry system that's easy for your clients to use, outstanding prints and delivery, and exceptional customer service and support. These are just a few items that need to be on your priority list.

There are many great options out there. None of them, however, are cheap and easy. Spend time looking at other photographers sites, make note of those that impress you, find out who they use and why, then do your +/- assessment to see which is the best for you based on your new found priorities.
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Michael Myers, Photographer
Miami | Florida | USA | Posted: 10:27 AM on 04.16.13
->> Kevin, thanks for the suggestions. They all make sense for a professional photographer.

For me, it's overkill. I'm retired, and spending half my time doing volunteer work in India. The "photography" is reverting back to being more of a hobby, than a profession. I'm tired of doing websites, and forums, and all the rest - I've been doing that since the late 1970's, before there was any "internet".

About "cheap and easy", it's all relative. I'm willing to spend up to $200 per year. I want a site with zero "maintenance", as doing that from India is impossible for me. I very much want "easy". I want to spend my time creating photographs, not on what I see as a "picture frame". I do like the way SmugMug presents photos, and the ability to view them at whatever size someone prefers (if allowed in the settings).

I guess I like SmugMug for the same reason that I like the Leica cameras, and now the X100.

For a working professional, competing with others, your advice is very true and useful.

I detest facebook, and never really liked flickr. I used to enjoy putting photos onto my own website, www.sgrid.com, which is still there, but the forum discussions died out because of all the social disease going around. SmugMug is the closest I could find to what I want for me, an easy to use site, that emphasizes the photographs, and not the site.
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Brad Barr, Photographer
Port St. Lucie | FL | USA | Posted: 9:33 AM on 04.17.13
->> Big recommendation for Zenfolio....imo, its the most versatile, and cost effective solution, with the best interface both on the photographer end (useability) and the viewers end (aesthetically and functionally)

If you decide to go there...use this code, and you will save a few bucks (and I get 5 too) ZB4-ANJ-1MY

BTW, you prob wont need their "business premium", so I'd recommend trying their cheaper option first. You can always upgrade, but I havent found the need. You can see mine at

www.photobrad.zenfolio.com
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Michael Myers, Photographer
Miami | Florida | USA | Posted: 1:01 PM on 05.22.13
->> Tip - if anyone does get a SmugMug account, you can sign up with one name, and take your time settling on what name you'll be going with, then setting that us as your official "name". For ages, I had my stuff at "www.mikemyers.smugmug.com" which is far too much to expect anyone to remember. I did some testing, and was amazed to find that I could (and then did!!) change it to simply www.m.smugmug.com .


I've now spent a week or two in organizing all my photos on my PC. I doubt that the answer is yes, but does Lightroom have any add-on software that allows it to keep your on-line photos in "sync" with something you might do on your PC?

Specifically, can I create a folder structure on my PC, that is handled with Lightroom, and somehow have what's posted on an on-line gallery (in my case, SmugMug) remain in sync with that folder structure?
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Robert Herrera, Photographer, Assistant
Lakeland | FL | United States | Posted: 10:44 PM on 05.22.13
->> Smugmug does have a Lightroom plugin

http://help.smugmug.com/customer/portal/articles/121321-lightroom-plugin-up...
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Patrick Fallon, Photographer, Assistant
Torrance | California | USA | Posted: 12:17 AM on 05.23.13
->> PhotoShelter is launching a new service soon for portfolios, I don't know much about it, but I signed up to receive info when it launches:
http://www.photoshelterbeta.com?kid=1Q7BV
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Mark Sutton, Photographer
Herndon | VA | USA | Posted: 11:11 AM on 05.23.13
->> http://www.photoshelter.com/ HANDS DOWN!!!!!!
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Patrick Fallon, Photographer, Assistant
Torrance | California | USA | Posted: 2:35 PM on 05.25.13
->> Has anyone moved a self-hosted wordpress blog to Photoshelter/GraphPaperPress/SamExhibit/or SquareSpace?
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Thread Title: Photo Hosting Sites, 2013
Thread Started By: Michael Myers
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