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Anyone using pro accounts with Flickr and Smugmug and care to share your experiences? I'm thinking of signing up for one or the other... Just from having a play, it seems to be that Smugmug feels more "professional", gallery oriented to me, but Flickr has the web 2.0 appeal with massive integration with other sites and networks.

What tools do people use to upload? How many photos have people uploaded and how large before it becomes unmanageable? Anyone tried to use these services as a complete 2nd online backup?

Other likes and dislikes?
I've had a pro account for a few years (thanks to Guerito!), after which I renewed a few times.
I did not renew the last time.
I wanted something which I could customise better - so ended up making my adamloh.com
Since I didn't renew my pro account, flickr only shows my latest 200 photographs and the rest (I have 1000+) are now hidden, and I can't see them unless I renew my account, which means I'll always be paying ..forever... if I want those old pics to show... True I need to pay for hosting too, but the flexibility of being able to customise was better for me Smile

When using flickr, I used the uploading program, it was really good!
I have a Flickr account - but not a pro account. Frankly, I don't like Flickr that much - its way too much about social networking and not so much about the photos. If you go to a page to look at a specific photo, the photo only takes up maybe a fifth of the page - and the rest is networking garbage. How about letting us see the photo properly instead?

I use Pbase for my professional galleries. I can direct a potential client to a pbase gallery for their proofs and password lock the gallery to others. The presentation on pbase is far superior to flickr. I always lock off comments etc on pbase as well. I use it as a *real* gallery - and try not to make it look like a bunch of junk stuck on a refrigerator door. .
I use flickr but not Pro, I use it for images that are going to suck a lot of bandwidth.

My own galleries are on my own server.
SmuMug is awesome! I have had a pro account for a year and a half. I have 20,000 images on my SmugMug site and do very, very well with it. Flickr can't do the 10th of the things that my SmugMug site can do. Free isn't the way to go if you are a pro. SM customer support is amazing plus my site ranks very well in the search engine. Flickr doesn't rank at all and I don't get any work from Flickr. I get e-mails from people looking for free use of my Flickr images. So I guess you know how I feel at SmugMug...they rock!
I use Smugmug; I have a Pro account that I won in a contest, but if the free ride ended, I think I'd still pay for it. It's a hosting and gallery site, which is fundamentally different from Flickr, which is a sharing and community site. I used to use Flickr, but never really got into the whole 'community' thing, and didn't get that much satisfaction from being a resource for people who couldn't afford microstock photos.

I use a desktop uploader, and it will let me do everything I need without going to the web interface. Set up a new gallery, password protect it if needed, choose the style, and select a watermark. Being able to update the watermarks has been really useful, and I don't need to apply them to the source image. All of the photos I've posted in the past couple of years - here, my two blogs - have been hosted from it.

My biggest complaint about smugmug is the URLs of the links it generates, both to galleries and individual images. They look ugly in e-mail, and are impossible to say or remember.

My largest gallery has about 700 photos in it, and I have 37 different galleries. Almost all of them are private, and a few are password protected. I'll put up sample galleries for different lenses, ones for family photos, proof galleries with huge-but-transparent watermarks, and I have one gallery with pricing set up to let complete strangers order prints. It's pretty flexible.
Toad Wrote:I have a Flickr account - but not a pro account. Frankly, I don't like Flickr that much - its way too much about social networking and not so much about the photos. If you go to a page to look at a specific photo, the photo only takes up maybe a fifth of the page - and the rest is networking garbage. How about letting us see the photo properly instead?

In defense of Flickr: To say that Flickr is about social networking is true and false like just about anything else you say about Flickr, Americans, Europeans, food, music etc. Flickr is a world or resources and you pick what you want and leave alone what you do not. Flickr has superb groups that display first class images, it has groups which can answer anything you want to know about Photoshop or Lightroom or any other software, there are equipment freak sites that forever debate pros and cons of equipment, thee are sights which help you learn to appreciate and critique photography, there are sites that teach composition and even creativity.

There are of course sites where members trade gaudy flashing messages (the eyeball competition freaks), groups with horrible photos, groups for of photos of sunsets, pets, flowers, churches, reflections, Nikon D300, Canon G11, lens of your choice etc.

I have learned a great deal on several critique sites on Flickr and i learned a lot from a group on composition which i started (and now passed on to others). I have started bu not really launched a group to cooperatively improve creativity. I launched a private Flickr group for my bricks and mortars photo club and in May, I will pass it on to another member.\

Frankly, I do not find Flickr great for socializing and when I want to do it, I come here.

I had a Smugmug account and I plan to open it again to display higher resolution images, although flickr allows greater file size than many sites, including this one. I intend to display my images and perhaps to sell them. For people with photos that are not of commercial grade I would recommend Flickr. There are so many great photos on Flickr that you have to be damn good for people to steal your stuff i think. Unless you are that good go to flickr and use the resources there so that you really are very good and than go to Smugmug. I have seen Matthew's prints and they are that good and I saw some images you guys make and you may be better of on Smugmug, but most of us are quite safe on Flickr I think. Flickr has strong privacy protection and you can specify who can and can not see your photos.

With all respect, Pavel - I think that flickr is FAR more about social networking than the photos. Take a look at this page for example.

[Image: flickr.jpg]

How much of the page is actually displaying the photo? Maybe a fifth. The rest is devoted to chit chat and *features*. A photo is landscape orientation (hardly a rarity in photography) isn't even really taken into consideration. It gets a tiny corner of the page. Compare that treatment to what is done on other photo forums and galleries. If I want to find a hundred photos taken from inside a refrigerator, flickr is fine - but for seriously getting to look at other people's work, its pretty marginal.
I agree with Matthew when he states that flickr and SM are different. From there, we can think that both sites satisfy different needs.

I can't say much about SM because I don't have an account. About Flickr well... my experience is vast...

I have been an Explore freak, I was part of those flashy groups too. I have had lots of contacts and I spent hours watching pictures and commenting, and all was part of my development. Now my flickr activity is different, because my needs are different and so is my photography.

Now I use flickr to get inspiration, to see trends, novelty... There is a lot of garbage, but there are a lot of great photographers sharing their photography as well, as in any other photo sharing community.

I agree with Pavel comment, when he says that flickr is a great source of information about photography. There are many dedicated groups, and they are great when you are in the need of help or you are looking for serious reviews.

I don't use flickr to show my work formally, for that I have my web page.

About presentation, I am not bothered by the size of the picture, I understand that many people post small pictures for protection,
I am one of them. What really bothers me in flickr is the color of the background, I wish I could change it into black.

At the end Jules, it all depends on what you need and what you want to do with your pictures. Maybe it is not a one or another site choice, maybe you can use both and take the best from both sites.
Thanks all for your comments - I feel I'm learning more about each one through your insights, and they seem to verify my initial impressions.

I think I'm attracted to them both because of the unlimited uploads. As to what I'll use it for - good question.

1. I'm planning on uploading a significant amount of my images and have them as a private, online backup. From a feature point of view, both SM and Flickr sounds like they would be adequate for this.

2. From these, I'll create public galleries of my showcase images - these will be public. Again, both are suitable, but as others have pointed out, I think SM wins by a mile in terms of layout.

3. I would also want to use it to crosspost to my blog and possibly forums etc. - for this I think Flickr would win here because of the web 2.0 integration and various APIs (plus it has a larger community base).

Final consideration is price, which can't be ignored - 24.95 /year for Flickr Pro is significantly cheaper than even the lowest SM plan and even worse if you're considering the intermediate or pro ones. Hmm decisions decisions.
Smug Mug's URL are ugly but they rock in the search engines! Smug Mug has the search engine stuff figured out. They have developed code for the gallery names, descriptions and keywords so they rank in the search engines. My Flickr images don't rank at all in the search engines. Not one and I have be doing SEO work forever. I have done very well with my stock photos on SM because my photos rank very well in the search engines. I think the SM pro account is only $149.00 a year and with referrals it can be a lot less. I have made that annual fee back thousands of times because of print orders and stock photos from new customers finding me because of a search engine. Smile