Looking for an easy way to collect and share photographs with others? Whether you're centralizing image assets for an organization, a public event, a family reunion, or a social gathering among friends, check out this quick how-to using a built-in and highly underrated feature of SmugMug.
Working long-term with a small nonprofit, we’ve had new photographs sent to us from a wide range of people all over the world. Every single one of them seems to use a different workflow (that word is used loosely) with varying resolution and login issues to boot. All incoming images will need to be made accessible to view in one central hub and possibly be available to download. SmugMug has an easily missed but largely underrated feature already built into galleries to streamline this workflow called Guest Uploading.
To begin, log on to your SmugMug account and either navigate to a gallery or create a new one. Under the gallery settings, select "Security & Sharing,” where the "Guest Uploading” field will be presented. By entering a key or word, you’ll generate a "custom URL for guests, making it easy to upload directly to this gallery."
It’s advisable to create a dedicated gallery for uploading, and in SmugMug's Organizer view, you can drag and drop photographs from the upload gallery to others later for better organization. The upload link can remain the same for all future events going forward to keep it simple for anyone uploading photographs. In this way, one person can organize all of the assets coming in, no additional accounts need to be created, no logins or permissions given for specific email addresses, and best of all, no work or wait time for images to upload to your SmugMug account. Simply send the link to anyone with image assets or post it on a social media post or a website, then sit back and wait for the images to arrive already uploaded to your SmugMug account.
This is saving us time already, and it's a solution simple enough we wished we had known about it years ago. It's preventing image loss through deleted or lost emails and downgraded file resolutions on upload, which already means you’re not looking at the original file. Hopefully, this can help you collect and organize photographs faster. If you're not a SmugMug user, you can try it out for free for 14 days and compare plans here. Let us know what tips you have for collaborating below in the comments!