Feb 15 2011

Accessing your personal gallery, sharing, and purchasing your photos from Smugmug: A walkthrough

Okay, so we can’t all be computer wizzes! While our vendor, Smugmug makes things pretty easy for you, in this post, we’ll hold your hand a little throughout reviewing your photos, sharing on the internet, and the checkout process.

After your shoot (generally 2 weeks after a portrait shoot or 1 month after a larger wedding or event) we will contact you with information with regard to the location of your personal gallery. This gallery will be persistent at no extra charge to maintain. The other cool thing about these galleries is that you can share your pictures on a variety of social-networking sites (such as Facebook & Twitter) with ease. (We’ll get to that later.)

Accessing your personal Gallery
The first thing you will need to do is go to our site: Aperture Photography. Once there, you will see a series of menus at the top of the screen. Under the “More” menu, click on “Client Galleries”. (Click on the example images below to make them larger.):

Once the Client Galleries window comes up, you will need to enter your information into the form. Your login name will be entered into the “Last Name of Client” field, and will indeed be your last name. Enter the date of your event or photoshoot into the “Date of Session” field. Make sure you get the date format right! Dates should be entered as: year-month-day e.g. 2011-02-14 as shown in the example below. Click “Apply” when your information is entered. If you have entered it correctly, a list of galleries (generally only one unless you have used us for multiple events or photoshoots) should appear below your information. Click on the gallery you seek to access, and that should take you to your gallery on Smugmug!

Purchasing Prints & Other Merchandise
Okay, so you’re now in your Smugmug gallery, and you want to purchase some of your photos. The left side of your gallery consists of a series of thumbnail images of all of your photos. If you have many, they may not all fit on one page. (Note that in the example, above the images it says “Page 1 of 1”. If there is more than one page, you will see a clickable number there instead which you can use to cycle through the pages.

On the right-hand side of your gallery will be a larger image. (Generally the first image in the set on the left, assuming you have not yet touched anything.) Note that clicking on the images in the thumbnails changes which image shows on the right. Also note that clicking on the image on the right will give you a larger view of that image if one is available.

You’ve identified your favorite images, and wish to make a purchase. Note that to the upper right of the image on the right, there are two buttons. One that says “buy” and one that says “View Cart”. Your cart is empty, so you want to click “buy”. That will give you 4 options: “This Photo”, “Photos in this Gallery”, “Create a Card”, & “All Digital Downloads”. We’re going to work with the “This Photo” option just to show you around the purchase process.

There are quite a few things of note in the purchase window. At the top of the page you will see a series of tabs. “Prints”, “Merchandise”, & “Downloads”. Click on these tabs to explore all of the neat options that are available! We will be working with the “Prints” tab for this walk-through.

There are two ways to navigate the “Prints” tab. On the tab, you will notice a sub-menu right below the word “Prints”. Click on any of these options and the list of items available will jump right to the section containing the product options for the products you desire. Alternatively, you can use the scrollbar on the right to scroll through all of the options available to you. (You will likely need to use the scrollbar even if you use the sub-menu to jump around as you have A LOT of choices!).

Find the products you want and add a quantity to the box to the right of it. (You can click the +/- buttons or type a number in manually.) Notice that your price (without shipping) displays next to the quantity. Also note that your subtotal for items ordered will appear at the bottom of the page.

When you have made all of your selections click the big green “Checkout” button to move to the next step of the ordering process. This will bring you to the Order Summary page. On this page you will see a list of the prints you have selected to order. Check sizes, types, and quantity of prints ordered here! You can also change, add, or remove products from here.

Sometimes, an image will not be sized the same size as the print you have chosen. When this happens, you will have to choose how to crop your image (or better yet, choose a more compatible print-size that doesn’t require cropping). You can crop an image by clicking the word “Adjust” in the box for the relevant image. WARNING!: Any time you decide to crop an image differently than our original crop you should use great care! Images with border effects will not look right with cropping and all images are generally cropped using known techniques to be most pleasing to the eye. Use this feature with caution!

Here’s what the cropping window looks like:

Okay, so you’ve selected your images, chosen the type of prints you want, and cropped them if need be. That’s pretty much it! Smugmug will take you through a few more steps: you will have to fill in your personal information for shipping and billing and at the end of the process it will let you know you final total. Congratulations! Your photo memories are on the way!

Sharing your photos
Another really cool thing about Smugmug is how easy they make it to share your photos on social-networking sites, in e-mails, and on blogs. Here are a few images illustrating how you go about that once in your gallery, and what all of the options are:

Have fun, and enjoy!

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