Tag Archives: Photography

Smugmug does something wonderful about their price increases

Don't be a Dick - Thank you Smugmug
Don’t be a Dick – Thank you Smugmug

Smugmug does something wonderful about their price increases, they backed off a little bit and really looked at their customers and how they use the site.

Smugmug is my photo hosting site – I have been with them now for seven wonderful gorgeous years, and at the end of my current yearly payment I was seriously looking at going somewhere else. I just could not afford the price increase because I really use Smugmug for warehousing and not really for making money. I just do not have the traffic or the name to drive any kind of sales. I have however had at least one sale through the site, and I am good with that, so I did want a price list that I could tweak a little so I could make a couple of bucks off a sale if I made one.

This morning Smugmug just made my whole day, and while I won’t change what I have been doing, it is going to be so much easier to stay with Smugmug now, because my price increase of 50 dollars a year rather than 200 dollars a year. Now if Smugmug just raises prices a little every year that will also be easier to afford. Below is the total cut and paste from Smugmug this morning, and I am very glad to be staying with them, they are part of my photographic continuity, and it would have been like chopping off my own arm to leave them. I am a total Smugmug fanboy.

Dear Dan Morrill,

We’re emailing as a result of the passionate feedback many of you gave us after our pricing change–and some incredibly moving stories we heard about your photography.

It’s been two months since we created two Pro accounts, Portfolio and Business, where there once was one. The main difference between them was the ability to price and sell.

Today we’re adding the ability to price and sell to Portfolio accounts. We’re sending this email to you because, based on the features you use now, we think you’ll choose to renew your account as a Portfolio account.

Portfolio accounts are designed for up-and-coming photographers on a budget who don’t need the features higher-volume pros use, such as packages, event marketing, coupons, multiple active pricelists, and order branding. Like Business accounts, they provide deep site customization, image protection, and integration with our professional labs.

You can find a complete list of differences between the accounts now on our pro features page, and more details on our blog.

Your account will automatically renew at the Portfolio rate ($150/year or $20/month), but if you prefer a different account, you can visit your Account Settings.

Our price change was honestly scary and emotional. Two months later, we’re relieved that it’s providing us the ability to invest more in engineering because sales are up. We are gratified by the support we’ve received from so many of you and hope that this change will offer wonderful up-and-coming photographers a chance to pursue their passion.

All the best,

Don and Chris MacAskill

Founders, photographers, regular guys

 

So all I really have to say is yay! Right on Smugmug, this is the right thing to do, this is the right way to listen to your customers, this is the right way to listen to me and what I need out of Smugmug. This is just right, you can’t get any more right. With all the hoopla over price increases, account types, and everything else, I really just want to kiss you full on the lips right now. If you are in town, let me know, I’m buying you folks a drink of choice.

 

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And tonight shuts down the Fun House in Seattle

And tonight shuts down the Fun House in Seattle
And tonight shuts down the Fun House in Seattle

And tonight shuts down the Fun House in Seattle

We all know the place where we got our start learning to love photography, or any other hobby. Some of my clearest memories center on cameras in second grade when I was fascinated with my little Kodak Instamatic 125 format camera. Tonight we shut down the fun house, another place where I got my start doing bands. The fun house was one of the most camera friendly venues in the Seattle area, no bribery, no needing to know someone, just come in and take pictures of the bands, sit at the bar, have some fun with it. There were always photographers at the joint working on their craft, and all of them were always awesome to each other. No one got annoyed, we all had fun, small bands got some excellent pictures of their shows in ways that they could never have afforded. Who is going to pay for a photographer to come and shoot a punk rock show? Not many bands can afford that expense.

And tonight the Fun House closes, seven years of on again off again photography for me. I know there will be a video crew down there as the Fun House documentary has been in progress for over a year now. The documentary needs to get done now, tonight is the last night ever that any kind of event will happen at the Fun House in its current location. The Fun House will probably resurrect somewhere in the Seattle area, but finding space for a club is nearly impossible in town, parking is always going to be an issue, and neighbors will always complain about the noise.

Thank you Fun House – it was love at first sight, and thank you to all the amazingly cool bands that have come and gone from all over the USA and Canada on tour. Thanks for the many nights of entertainment, photographs, and basketball.

 

 

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Black Mist Studio

 

Black Mist Studio Shoot Model
Black Mist Studio Shoot Model

Now that I have had my say about Studio 912, a truly warm and welcoming studio here in Seattle is Black Mist Studio in Edmunds Washington at the Dayton Street photo studio. I had the biggest blast I have had taking pictures of models at the studio. Black Mist I am not ambivalent about, I really like them, good group of people including the owner/operator. Unfortunately they seem to meet maybe quarterly but when they do meet they are awesome. They usually have about six to seven models, four places to take pictures, and about five or six photographers and no one minds you taking pictures over their shoulder, which is the way it should be. The bad part is that I was having camera problems that day as my old camera was dying and I was hoping that it would make it through the whole shoot, but it didn’t make it, so I had to leave early.

Everyone was truly cool, and jumping in with the models and the main photographer, one photographer had brought a box of props with him, and that is something that I was really thankful for. So thankful that I have been building my own box of small props and other fun things like angel wings, a gas mask, hats, gloves, some clothing like boa’s and other fun things to play with for the model. Plus with a box of props, you can draw inspiration from how the model looks at the prop and how the model interacts with the prop. This was my first model shoot in a studio (I am usually an action/event photographer), so my camera was still set for doing event/action photography so I really was not using the strobes as the studio had a lot of natural light and was very awesome to shoot in, and the models all rocked.

If you have the chance to intersect with the Black Mist Studio when you have time to do a shoot, this is one studio that is worth looking at. The lead model Rebel is also starting her own studio, and we are fully supporting her mission to do so, she is having her first shoot in November. That one will be interesting as she is one amazingly cool person to work with.

 

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Rope Suspension

Rope Suspension
Rope Suspension

 

I know I had a hard time with this one – rope suspension in a crowd, with interesting lighting to go along with that, and some very worried people along the way. What was cool was that they let me continue to taking pictures with the idea that I would be willing to share them, which I am sharing them on Flickr right now. I’ll post over to Smugmug once I figure out why the uploads keep on failing. In the meantime, rope suspension was an interesting thing to shoot, what made it more interesting was all the IPhones. There were a ton of people with IPhones taking pictures, and while there was nothing too sexy going on, it really made a lot of people nervous.

So we went over and talked to the suspension group and let them know who we were, what we were doing, and that we would share the pictures. We also had to talk to the event organizer Pickles (she was awesome by the way) and let them know we were not being Mr. Creepy Man Photographer. And yes, there was at least one creepy guy in the crowd, and he was really being super creepy to go along with just being a simple creep.

And this brings me to the point, it is your right to refuse to be photographed, I respect that, and it is your right to throw people out of the tent as well. It is also perfectly in your right to shut down all the stage lights so that photography is impossible, but for the love of God please have a photography policy, post a sign that says no photography on the door by the tent, then actively police the photography action if you really mean it. Almost every photographer I know short of Mr. Creepy Man will respect that and follow along, although they might try to negotiate a couple of pictures along the way because they are not Mr. Creepy Man with a camera.

Rope suspension in the meantime is pretty cool, and it was fun watching people turned into human swing sets. I almost wanted to try it.

 

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