A “Pool” Party in Winter? That’s Guest Uploads for You

Quick tip for you holiday planners: Guest Uploads are your party’s best friend! With the season of cheer finally here, cameras will be snapping right and left. Use guest uploads to pool all your friends’ photos from the event and remember every antic in years to come.

Get started by looking in your Gallery Settings.

Here’s why you’ll love this handy-dandy feature that comes built in to every SmugMug account (even yours):

What it is: A way to let your friends and fans upload photos & videos to your SmugMug gallery. They can also browse that gallery and see what fellow event-goers have snapped and shared.

How to use it: Look under your gallery settings for the Upload Key and type something in the field. Choose something personal, because it’ll become part of the link you’ll share (and prevent strangers from randomly guessing the URL). Once you save it, we’ll give you a secret link to share. When guests visit that link, we’ll present our web uploader and they can drag their pictures in.

Why it works: After hosting the merriest party that was ever held in the history of holidays, do you really want to be chasing down your friends for their memory cards? Guest Uploads let them do the work on their own time. All you have to do is share the link… and be sure that somebody else volunteers their house for next year’s big bash. 😉

Add an Upload Key so the URL is personalized to you… and safe from party crashers.

Quick-Thinking Tip: Print out the link and include it with your holiday party favors and thank you notes.

So whether you’re hosting your family’s Thanksgiving dinner, planning the office party, or are getting hitched this winter, be sure to capture every last smile!

  

Link roundup:

Treat Yourself This Halloween with More Smug Friends

This is a favorite time of the year for lots of us who love to have fun with friends and family, dress up, and watch the leaves change on the trees. Remember pooling your trick-or-treating candy and swapping and sharing with friends? We hope that at SmugMug, you’ll still be able to do this in the spirit of the holiday.

No Tricks, Just Treats at SmugMug

20% credit is a sweet, sweet reward for every friend you bring over to join us. Remember that when you share the secret of beautiful online galleries with friends using your unique referral link, you earn a percentage of their account value back into yours. And they get a discount off their first year, too, just for knowing you.

Why would they join? Great memories start with friends, and everyone needs a safe place to put them. Whether they love to document the kids’ adorable costumes year after year or are famous for throwing wickedly delicious Halloween parties, there’s room for it all in SmugMug’s unlimited galleries.

SmugMug’s “Spooky” theme
Try our festive “Pumpkins” theme.

Let’s not forget that every account comes bundled with dozens of gorgeous one-click themes (like “Spooky” and “Pumpkins”), so your Halloween galleries will look appropriately festive… even if their personality’s sunny and warm.

And if the party gets a little too crazy, we’ve got powerful privacy features to boot.

So what are you waiting for? Your friends are waiting!

Kudos to September’s Winner: Chip Jones

Congrats to Chip Jones, our most recent winner of our monthly Refer-a-Friend contest! Chip takes gorgeous Fine Art, Landscape, and Architectural Photographs, and we’re pleased to be able to add a GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition camera to his lineup of photo tools.

Chip Jones Photography

Time’s running out on our contest, so if you’re looking to win one of your own, don’t forget to check out the contest and prize details, and start sharing SmugMug with your circle of friends.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Links to love:

Why You’re Safe with SmugMug

SmugMug for Safe and Secure Photo Hosting

There’s been some chatter about the slipshod practices of photo sites who lose precious content. Naturally, this makes photographers wary about their options while raising the all-important question: “Where can I park my pics?”

If you’ve never heard of SmugMug, are still seeking that perfect photo-mate or are just curious about our approach to the matter, know this: Your photos are safe with us. We promise.

Here’s why:

  • All SmugMug photos and videos are stored at Amazon S3 for their 99.999999999% durability. If you’ve uploaded 10,000 photos at Smug this means on average, Amazon will lose 1 pic every 10 million years. Think you’ll live that long to find out? We accept that challenge!
  • Deleted stuff falls into a queue, not a void. When you nuke photos, videos or galleries and then change your mind, we can undo it if you ask us quickly. Lots of Smuggers write to us after accidentally (or hotheadedly) deleting content and we love delivering good news.
  • We’ll hold your spot for a few months if you’re kidnapped by aliens, fall into a time warp or just forget to renew your account. After all, you might change your mind or reappear… and we’re always pleasantly surprised at how many people really do.
  • For everything else, there’s SmugVault. It’s our Amazon-backed, iron-clad archival service for the non-garden variety files that you want to keep. PSD, RAW, TIFF, DOC… You name it, we’ll take it. There’s even an option in your Vault preferences where you can set the number of days to hold your deleted files before they’re actually trashed.

And don’t think for a second that just because you’ve got a free trial account that you’re immune to these safeguards. Even after your trial is over, we keep your goods for several weeks so you can decide that yes, you do want to join us.

These are just our current practices and it may change one day, but we hope that you get our drift. After all, SmugMug is a paid service; We work our fingers sore so that you get stability, reliability and all the latest bells and whistles in return for that paltry $5/month. While it’s not possible for us (or anyone) to guarantee 100% safety and we will eventually close old, unused accounts, we go the extra mile to make sure your photographs aren’t lost.

If you’re unsure of how your existing photo service measures up, give us a try. SmuggLr quickly funnels your photos in to safety.

We’re photographers, too, and that kind of uncertainty would just kill us. Yikes.

Here’s to staying safe together,

The SmugMug Family