Save Some Bucks and Make Some Bucks with SmugMug

Wanna save some bucks and make some bucks?

Set up a SmugMug account and start selling your prints. You can save 20% on a SmugMug Pro account by using this code: RICKSMUG20.

While you are on the SmugMug Pro site, be sure to watch the movie, Why SmugMug Pro?

Keep in mind that you don't have to be a full-time pro to have Pro account - it just makes you look more professional.

Good luck with your new venture.

Here is a link to my SmugMug galleries. I am in the process of setting up more galleries!

For now, all my prints are on sale for the holidays.

Explore the light,

Camera Awesome is Awesomely Creative

Camera Awesome image by Rick Sammon
I downloaded a new iPhone app this morning: Camera Awesome by SmugMug. Above is my first Camera Awesome image, created from the original iPhone photo below of the New Croton Dam.

Original dull and boring iPhone photo, with really boring sky, by Rick Sammon
Awesome, indeed.

The free app (with paid options) offers unlimited creative control over photos you take with the iPhone, as well as photos that are in your Photos gallery on your iPhone.

Getting back to "unlimited" creative control, the app has almost 300 presets, filters, texture and frames, but you can tweet them and combine them for endless, and original, effects. Thirty-six of the effects, more than enough to start your photo fun, are free. You can buy other effects in groups of nine for 99 cents.

For the opening image for this post, I used the More Wang effect, one of the many Presents. Other cool effects/options include: Awesomize, Transform, Filters and Texture.

By the way, I chose More Wang because I wanted to add an aged-photo look to my photo of the dam, which was under construction from 1892 to 1906. It's an aged, and aging, dam. I lead a workshop here in fall, which is an awesome photo experience.

While at the dam, I emailed the pictures to myself. Uploading pictures to SmugMug (at full resolution), Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Picasa and Photobucket are other options.

As illustrated in the above screen grabs, adding effects with a tap of the screen or swipe of a slider is fast, easy - and fun.

Camera Awesome image by Rick Sammon, from Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 100-400mm IS lens image.
Among the many cool feature in Camera Awesome is one that lets you apply a favorite effect to several images. For example, if you have several photos of big cats, you may want to apply the same effect to each cat.

No! I did not take the photo of the lion and jaguar with my iPhone. I used my Canon digital SLRs and lenses. Yes! As I mentioned, you can enhance any photo from your Photos gallery on your iPhone with Camera Awesome, too.

Enough reading already! Download the free app and awaken the artist within.

Explore the light,

P.S. I have a few of my own apps, for both the iPhone and iPad, too. Check them out here - to get some good tips on taking and making pictures. Read about the iPhone accessories I use and recommend while you are there.

Sell and Save with SmugMug Pro in 2012

I receive many emails from photographers asking me many different types of questions. I answer all of them, believe it or not.

A very common question: How can I make money, and where can I sell my prints?

First off, I say that your pictures do you absolutely no good sitting on your hard drive - and back up drive, which I hope you have. You must get your work out there for the world to see.

One effective way to sell prints is through SmugMug, where I have my galleries and where I sell prints. You upload your images, set your prices, and you are on your way. .  to selling prints (and other photo related products).

I suggest setting up different galleries for different themes. For example, I have a Favorites gallery, an Africa gallery, a Butterfly gallery and a Galapagos gallery - with more galleries on the way. In each gallery I only show the "best of." This makes it fast and easy for folks to view images. Simply put, you don't want to put up dozens and dozens of images for your potential customers to wade through.

Setting up different galleries makes it easy for folks to find your work, and hopefully make a purchase.

Other tips:
- Don't offer a million different print sizes. Only offer a few, which makes choosing and ordering easy.
- Offer a few gift items, too - such as greeting cards.
- Check your stats, which is easy to do with SmugMug. See what is selling and what's not.
- Socialize, using Google+, Twitter, etc., sales and new galleries.

If you are new to setting up a SmugMug site, SmugMug has support heros who can help you out. Below is a look at some of the super SmugMug heros. They take being a super hero very seriously. They also take helping you very seriously.

Don't have a SmugMug Pro account? You can save 20% the first year by using this code: RICKSMUG20. Just go to the SmugMug website and start the SmugMug fun.

Good luck with sales.


Catch Me at Photo Plus Expo in NY This Weekend - Even if you live in Pago Pago

I'm preparing for Photo Plus Expo this weekend. You can catch at least one of my talk at the Canon booth . . . even if you live in Pago Pago - as Canon will be streaming the presentations from its main stage. I will have the honor of sharing the stage and Speedlite booth with several other Canon Explorers of Light.

My Canon talks:
Speedlites - 1 PM Thursday
Speedlites - 10 AM Saturday
Main Stage - 1:45 PM Satruday

I'll also be at the SmugMug booth, where Andy Williams and I will be taking your questions for the DPE Podcast! Hey! You can save 20% on a SmugMug account when you use this code: RickSmug20.

SmugMug/DPE Q&A:
Thursday 11 AM
Friday 3 PM

I'll also be doing a quick demo at the Westcott booth. My favorite Westcott produce is the Westcott Apollo softbox.

Westcott Presentation:
3 PM Thursday

Want to get into HD videos with you Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 7D? Juan  Pons and I have a DVD for you.. which will be on sale at the show for $39.95! Swing by the Photoshop Cafe booth.

I'll also be hanging around the HONL, Nik Software and Lowepro booths.

Catch me at the show and say hi!

Explore the light,

300+ Teriffic Images From Times Square Shoot Made Choosing Top Shot A Challenge

Top shot from Times Square Shoot. Photograph by Margie Strange.
Last Saturday, 60+ talented photographers met in Times Square for a fun-filled photo shoot. The event was sponsored by our friends at SmugMug, who designed a custom web site and gallery for uploading and viewing the participants' images. If you want to see some awesome shots, and if you need some city-shooting inspiration, go through the gallery - slowly.

Photo pros photo by David Ortiz.
Part of the project was to selected a favorite image. That daunting task was assigned to the pros who lead the group (left to right): me, Juan Pons and Jeremy Pollack.

After reviewing all the images, we selected the opening shot for this blog post as our group favorite – a cool shot by Margie Strange of a low rider.

Left: Monte Rudze. Right: Tony Marchesano.
Above: These two shots also caught our eye. One for creative lighting, one for creative composition and humor.

A big "thank you" goes to all our Times Square photographers. You did an amazing job of following the assignment: Tell the Whole Story.

Group photo by Jeremy Pollack
Margie: shoot me an email so we can work out the prize: A Free Year of SmugMug Pro and a Metal Print of your image. 

Photograph by Andy Williams.
Our next SmugMug/Sammon shoot will be at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco on October 17th at 5 PM. Juan Pons, Derrick Story and I will be there to help photographers turn snapshots into great shots. Stay tuned.

Hey, if you need some detailed how-to info on how to shoot in NYC, check out Jeremy's book (co-authored with Andy Williams):
Photographing New York City Digital Field Guide

Explore the light,

P.S. Get 20% off your first year of SmugMug Pro with code RICKSMUG20. Just click here to start a free trial and then click "I'm Sold" to sign up for the Pro account. Enter your coupon code at checkout.

Why use SmugMug? So you can shoot as much as much as you want and upload every photo into your galleries. SmugMug gives you unlimited uploading, a fully customizable website and tons of easy commerce options that help you market your brand and make more money. Shoot, proof and sell for just $20/month.