We all like to hang pictures on our walls right? Or, place them in various spots on our desks. It's a moment in time you want to remember, a favorite place, a loved one, or something you want to initiate conversation. I'll get to why I think this is important in a moment.
As a designer, former print-maker, and photographer, getting to see prints of your work on a daily basis is always rewarding. Even when most of the time, it's for someone else. I've had prints completed in a variety of ways over the years, with using local stores, design shops, and even my own printers. I discovered that I wasn't as interested in the 'how' factor as much as I was the 'wow' factor. I didn't care how the prints got done, as long as they looked great. I wanted to spend my time taking pictures, editing and hanging them on my walls, not printing. You know what I decided? I needed to let someone else handle this - Someone who is passionate about great prints and who knows what they're doing. That's where Smugmug comes in.
Each of us all have certain 'go-to' tools for things right? That special sharp knife for cutting up veggies; That great little flashlight; That favorite coffee cup; That favorite bottle opener, which by the way I recently discovered is nicknamed a 'church key.' I still haven't gotten my head around that one yet. Either way, they're all great tools that you use constantly. Smugmug is one of those tools in my arsenal. I love them. Not only do they make great looking prints, they are FAST. Most of the time, you can receive something you order in the same week. They have drop-shipping too in case you want to buy something for someone else and have it shipped to their door instead of yours.
Personally, I like metallic standouts. I think they look great and they come ready to hang. No framing necessary. Under the merchandise tab, you can also order coffee cups, coasters, puzzles, fridge magnets and stickers. All with your own photos. You can also buy digital downloads in case you want to print them yourself.
Now, why is this important? I'll give you two of my thoughts. Bear with me.
One. Have you guys ever watched the show on NBC called Revolution? There was a scene last season on there that struck me. The show is about characters trying to survive 10 years after the whole world lost power. No computers, phones, TV's or the like. Nothing. In one scene last season, there was a woman who had lost her young children in the years before, but she still carried her dead iPhone with her where ever she went. Another character asked her one day, 'Why do you still carry around that thing?' She answered, 'Because it's the only memory I have of my children.' The iPhone was dead. All the pictures she had taken of her children since birth were on that phone. She didn't own a single print. See where I'm going with this? Hang on. I have another one.
Two. We've all seen the devastation in recent times from tornados and hurricanes. We see people digging through the rubble of their own homes on the news searching and recovering. What are they doing? When asked they respond with, 'I'm looking for pictures. I have to make sure my family's pictures aren't lost.' Now do you get it?
Use places like Smugmug people. Please note that Smugmug isn't paying me a dime to say this. I just like to talk about what I think works for me. Get those photos off your phones and cameras. Upload them to Smugmug and get the prints in the mail a few days later. Now you have actual prints and digital backups. Then smile. Have a Pepsi. Smile some more. Then order some photos from me. In that order. You'll be glad you did. Someday.