Prepare files for uploading

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You have a couple choices for how to prepare your files for SmugMug. It depends on your goal for uploading!

Finished Work (Ready to Print!)

Process your files in your photo-editing program (e.g., Photoshop, Bridge, PS Elements, The Gimp, Irfanview, Apple Aperture, Adobe Lightroom) and save them as JPEG files. We can only make prints and products from JPEGs, see here for more info. Also make sure that you're processing in sRGB colorspace. If you work in a different color space, that's okay, but when you save the file as a JPG, you must convert it to sRGB for upload to SmugMug.

Do not resize or otherwise crop your images on your computer. Keep the files in their native size and resolution. Today's cameras produce files with plenty of pixels and are large enough to sustain cropping. Why not "pre-crop?" This will cause confusion in the shopping cart. Let the customers choose the crop in the cart—no worries if they get it wrong if you set your galleries for proof delay, which allows you to see and adjust the crops as needed.

Compression: Use Photoshop 10, or Lightroom 90. Both are high enough quality for our labs and will yield excellent files for printing. If you happen to be uploading a large amount of files (say, from an event) and you want to batch compress them all for faster uploading, Photoshop 8 or Lightroom 80 will do just fine. You can find out how to make an action in Photoshop here.

Files to Retouch, Edit, or Adjust at Sale

This approach is useful when you have lots of photos to upload and make ready for sale (e.g., a big event, wedding), but you intend to post-process them only upon order. First, get the display copies looking beautiful! There are lots of ways to do this quickly. One is by using batch actions in Photoshop. Or run them through Lightroom or Aperture with some really fast adjustments for exposure, color, and white balance.

The second part of this process is how large to make the files? You have 800 shots, and you want them to upload fast. You can "smash 'em!" You can leave the files in the native resolution (file dimensions) and just compress the heck out of them. They'll still look great on screen for web viewing and ordering. When you get a sale, make your edits on the original RAW or JPG, save it with much less compression (remember, Photoshop 10, lab quality), and then upload that one.

Resolution Requirements

With either of the above two workflows, you'll need to pay attention to the minimum file sizes in order to have your images available for sale. You can see our resolution requirements here. If photos don't have a large enough resolution, print sizes won't show in the shopping cart.


Now, to upload them! There are lots of choices, including our standard uploaders, as well as many excellent third-party applications written by Smuggers! Give them a try.

Preparing Video

As long as your movies adhere to SmugMug's format and size/time limits, you can upload them right into your galleries. The process is exactly the same as uploading photos.

FYI: We recommend you use the HTML5 uploader in Chrome to upload video files.

If your video runs longer than 20 minutes, is larger than 3 GB, or is in an obscure format that we can't process, you'll need to edit it.

My Video Is Too Long

Time to trim it with editing software!

Some computers come with video trimming/editing software right out of the box. The most common are Windows Movie Maker for PCs and iMovie for Macs.

If your computer doesn't have video trimming/editing software installed, there are plenty to choose from, and some are even free!  MPEG Streamclip is available for both Macs and PCs and won't cost you a dime. Other popular programs include VirtualDub (also free) and Quicktime Pro (not so free).

My Video Isn't Too Long, But It Isn't Showing Up

SmugMug accepts most video files and converts them automagically to the popular h.264 format. Whether you record video on a point-and-shoot digital camera, a cell phone, or a state-of the-art HD camcorder, we'll handle it 99% of the time.

For that sketchy 1%, we suggest running your video through one of the above-mentioned editors (or one of your choosing) and converting the file to h.264 yourself. This will usually fix the problem. We'll help you do it.

FYI: Because of longer processing times, it could be a while before a video is visible in your gallery.

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