Want to have complete control over how you share your photos? You’ve got it! Some of the industry’s most powerful (and customizable) privacy features come baked in to a SmugMug account. But they can seem confusing if you’ve never used them before. To help, here are five common scenarios we get asked about a lot, and a quick rundown of which settings you need to flip to be sure your stuff stays exactly as discoverable or as private as you wish.
Scenario 1: The Private Site
I want to share my site with my close family: my mom, my grandma, and my siblings, and only them. I want that to be as easy as possible since they aren’t that computer-savvy.
- Open your Account Settings > Privacy tab. In the Site Access menu select “People I Choose.”
- Enter the email addresses of the people you want to share with into the “Invite People” box.
- Only people with a valid invitation to view your site will be able to access your homepage, and the folders, galleries, and pages on your site.
Scenario 2: The Private Sharer
I want only my client to see the photos I took for her, and she needs to know she’s the only one who can see them.
- Create your gallery and set the Access to “People I Choose.”
- Enter the email address of the person you want to share the gallery with into the “Invite People” box.
- Add your photos to the gallery. When your client accepts the invitation and logs in to SmugMug, they’ll be the only person who can view that gallery.
Scenario 3: The Limited Sharer
In general, I don’t want my galleries to be found. But sometimes I want to share some of my photos on a photography forum. When I do, I don’t want those viewers to find my other galleries and see photos of my kids.
- Check your Account Settings and turn off Google Search Visibility. This ensures search engines won’t find you.
- Make sure all your Folders and Galleries are Unlisted. This ensures the public can’t see your galleries, even if they stumble across your homepage.
- Create a new gallery for sharing on the forum and set it to Unlisted, plus set Hide Owner to “On.” This removes the breadcrumb that would usually allow visitors to navigate to other parts of your site.
- Log out and view your site like a guest. Unlisted galleries shouldn’t be visible.
- Get the gallery link to share, being sure the URL starts with “www.smugmug.com” and doesn’t contain your nickname. To check, paste the link to that gallery into a new browser window. You shouldn’t see a way to get back to your homepage, only to SmugMug.com. You’re now ready to share that link on the forum!
Scenario 4: The Conservative Client, Active Pro
I want my client to see photos I took for them and share the gallery within their organization, but I don’t want anyone else knowing I work for that client. The world should be able to find my site and portfolio galleries, though, since that brings in more business.
- Add keywords and metadata to your Account Settings and to each public gallery.
- Create a gallery (or a folder) for your client, and set Visibility to Unlisted.
- Log out and view your site like a guest, checking that your client’s galleries don’t show.
- When sharing with the client, be sure to copy and share the exact link to the gallery. Test it by pasting the link into your browser bar. It should only work if you used the complete URL. Does it? If so, you’re ready to share it with your client!
Scenario 5: The Split Photographer
I have lots of landscape photos I want picked up by Google, but I do have a few galleries of family pics I’d like to keep visible just by us.
- Make sure your best landscape galleries are public and properly keyworded.
- Add keywords and meta descriptions to your website’s Account Settings.
- Create a Folder that will contain all your family photos and set the Access to “People I Choose”.
- Viewing galleries within this folder will be restricted to people who have been invited to the folder.
- Log out and view your site. Your family galleries will display, but opening them will show the access denied (401) page.
We’ve created this handy little chart for quick reference:
We hope these tips come in handy next time you’re worried about your photos getting into the wrong hands. If you ever have any questions or aren’t sure how to set up your galleries for a specific scenario, just ask us. Our Support Heroes are always ready to hear from you.
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