Using smugmug, but not selling photos. Advice needed, please!


No longer a newbie, moving up!
May 20, 2007
Reaction score
Bolivar, MO
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I just got done doing a basketball tournament. 4,455 photos are online from it...all sorted by game. You can view the highlights here

I've promoted my website like nobody's business, and my smugmug is getting gobs of hits.

In the programs for the tournament, I advertised on multiple pages. I had a huge banner that said the website..that was hung right at halfcourt, I sent flyers and cards to all 24 teams involved, enough for each player in the tournament. I had a booth to promote the website, and everyone was excited and would come by and pick up cards. We put cards by the concessions, the ticket booth, etc. The announcer announced the website during halftimes, the radio broadcasters announced where to find photos. I set up a website for all the coaches to go to for tournament info (and on that website, advertised the photos), and during halftime I met with a bunch of fans to hand out cards and promote.

Point is.. I've done the advertising, and it has brought viewers to my smugmug. In 2 days, there have already been 30,000 photos viewed! BUT no sales yet.

I think my pictures are good, and people keep coming up saying how amazing the photos I don't think the picture quality is an issue. I don't think they're expensive... $3.33 for a 4x6 so they can get 3 for 10. $5 for a 5x7 and $10 for an 8x10. At our booth, we had the prices listed and people were saying "those prices aren't bad at all, I would've expected higher". Sooo I don't think that's an issue either.

The question is... what else can I do to get people to buy these??? Do people actually use smumug to buy photos? How else should I sell photos from an event like this? Any advice would be great!


The players are a little washed out if you ask me...
Maybe taht's why? I mean...they buy the photos so they can have something of their kid on the wall. If you can't see the kid...then they aren't gonna buy em.

On the other hand...
People are always gonna say "oh ya I'd definitely buy some"...then when it comes time...they're like "oh...well I got a few pictures need."

If you take pictures for these types of events, you should take the pictures one week, and sell them the next. Have prints on show and get people to order the prints right there. They are much more likely to buy them straight from you.

If it's too much work to do both shooting and selling, then I'm not sure how you'd do it.

Also, talk to the parents of the local team, and get to know them...get them to like you and know your name. They're much more likely to buy prints from someone they like and know isn't going anywhere.

(This is how a guy I know did it, and he sold lots of prints)
the brightness.. yeah I now noticed these 2 I picked to display are real bright. When I picked them out, I was using a different computer and they weren't so bright. Most of the pictures are exposed properly.

But yeah, getting to know parents would be good. Also, the weekly thing would be nice, but now the tournament is over... maybe if I could get into some of their games sometime...
Something else, I hate to bring it up. You have a small logo in the bottom RH corner, but it isn't obtrusive. If you are getting a ton of hits (sounds like you are) this may be a case of very computer-savvy kids going to your website and right-click saving or printing the pics. I hope this isn't the case, but that may be part of the problem.
One does not even have to be that savvy to help themselves to your hard work. Start surfing around myspace & facebook and I bet you'll find some unauthorized use. Perhaps putting huge water-marks (overlay text) would help sell a few of the best ones, and maybe get you more exposure, but who wants to do that to their work and galleries - not me.

I find people have no respect for online content and therefore limit my exposure. The comment about returning with some prints is a smart way to go. You can also make the thumbnails so redonkulously small that people might develop a desire for a larger print.

It is a tough situation. I shoot my local surf break just for fun and practice and then show prints around to the locals and sometimes put them on my dash in plain site. While this generates interest and some random phone calls, I tell people it is not the right demographic to make any real money. In fact I'm glad my income is not dependent on any photography based on what I read and hear about here.

Good luck and let us know of any progress or discoveries.

Go to the CP in your Pro set up and set for No Right Click. I have a SmugMug and it will help . If they try to right click they get a blank white photo and copyright notice .
well I took some advice here.

I did the right click protect to my photos.. sure it's not bulletproof and printscreen will get past this....but maybe it'll defer a few people.

Also, I added big fat watermark across the it's annoying. It's currently applying to all the pics...probably in an hour it'll be done.
I do horse shows every now and then and allways post them on Smugmug. They get a lot of hits and very few sales. BUT every time I go to a show a few riders will come up to me and set up a private shoot because they know my work from smugmug and other riders. The farm gets a copy of the pictures ( I select )Free to use for there promotion. It brings me private shoots. :D.
smugmug sounds like it's similar to flickr and those sound unprofessional to me. not sure how they handle sales, but i recommend photoreflect. sorry, i can't view smugmug now and see it first hand (in iraq) but this may be a small issue. ?
They have free accounts and pro accounts . You set the price . They send the print and you a check. Downside is you dont see the print before the cliant. Customer Support is top notch . Email reply is typically in the hour. The prints I have ordered were very good. There is a member here that works for Smugmug but I cant remember his name.
i was also wondering about the storefront - is it all about smugmug or the photographer? sounds good, i'll have to check it out - photoreflect charges i believe 18% of sales
Sounds like maybe people are just going to your Smugmug just to look. After that, they're satisfied and don't want to buy. Not because your pictures aren't good but because maybe they just want to take a peek?
Maybe this is a coincidence, but last night I right-click protected my photos, and then added the huge watermarks. This morning I had 2 orders, totaling $180 in profits to me. That's a good sign I suppose...beginning to make this worth my long hours (8AM to 3AM) Right now my watermark just says "Keith Kelly" but I should probably make one that says "" or something to point people to my website if they see it watermarked across an image on myspace.

Most reactions