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The Best Online Photo Printing Services in 2021

The Best Online Photo Printing Services in 2021

The Best Online Photo Printing Services in 2021 1

Thanks to the smartphone camera, we can capture any memory we choose, at any time, but they’re more vulnerable — and temporary — than ever, but they all feel more temporary than ever. This is the modern paradox.

Recently, a friend offhandedly commented that it was “somewhat mind-blowing” to consider a simple truth: “Thanks to digital cameras, we are creating a larger record of more moments than at any point in our entire history.”

Whatever mental explosions they expected were cut short, however, when another friend rather dryly interjected “Yeah, until an EMP knocks out everyone’s hard drives.”

One may argue that the same progress that led us away from the One Hour Photo kiosk led us to home printing at an even superior level. For many Americans, however, home printing remains a frustrating and expensive endeavor — even a budget-level photo printer, like the Canon PIXMA iP8720, is financially well out of reach for many people, even before you include the costs of ink and paper.

To guarantee the life of one’s memories, most now turn to an Online Photo Printing Service. But which one is best?

What We’re Looking For:

We have sifted through the sea of options available to the average consumer and identified seven choices that we believe offer the best product for the price depending on the user and their needs. We considered factors such as affordability, accessibility, customization, image fidelity, and strength of packaging when making our picks. The goal is clear: we want you to get the best prints for the best price, with the safest trip to your doorstep.

With that in mind, we have broken our list down into seven distinct categories, with options to satisfy everyone from those seeking bargain-basement pricing to those who demand the best of the best, price be damned.

Best Overall Online Printing Service: Printique

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Formerly Adoramapix, Printique’s logo itself bolsters its cred, proudly letting you know it is “An Adorama Company.” Adorama, the popular New York-based camera and electronics retailer, is a name that holds a lot of weight in the photography community, and Printique does no less than live up to the company’s high and well-earned reputation.

In nearly every category of concern when purchasing online prints, Printique excels. Wide choices in paper type include many high-quality options that will satisfy even the most demanding customers. Even better, these choices are listed by proper names. Whereas some services are vague about their materials, Printique proudly lets you know you are selecting Fujifilm Matte, Kodak Endura Luster, et cetera. While this may be lost on the casual user, those serious about photo printing will appreciate the detail (I know I do).

Printique’s interface is clean, simple, and bolstered by the existence of its very own app. While you cannot use the app to place an order, you can use it to upload your photographs – perfect for the average consumer whose phone serves as their primary camera.

Across the board, Printique makes its case as a top choice, from plentiful sizing options, clean interface, and, crucially, solid packaging. Many printing services stumble on this last metric, delivering beautiful images to your home in the flimsiest, most easily damaged containers. Printique takes great pride in its image quality, among the best of all the services on this list, and they strive to make sure your prints arrive with the least risk of harm.

Cost-conscious customers should know that such effusive praise will always follow with a warning: While by no means exorbitant, Printique is far from the most affordable option on this list. We believe you truly do get what you pay for here, but for those on a budget, other options may be preferable.

Disclosure: PetaPixel has an ongoing affiliate relationship with Adorama, but the links above are not part of that agreement and are not affiliate links. The author is not connected to the affiliate program, was not asked to include Printique in coverage, and the authenticity of his selection is genuine and based on anonymous experience with the brand.

Best Value Online Printing Service: Mpix

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Few options on this list are as popular as Mpix, and it’s easy to see why. Consumers are always seeking the perfect intersection of price and quality, and this is where Mpix shines. You will find options that lean much harder in either of those directions on this list — Mpix hits the sweet spot.

Truly a service targeted toward the broadest possible audience, Mpix offers any kind of printing you could want. Calendars, holiday cards, photo books: you name it, Mpix is ready. This “everyone welcome” ethos is on full display when using the company’s interface, which is crystal clear. I always ask myself, “Could my dad use this site without calling me ten times?” Mpix answers with a comforting nod.

Color balance is strong, paper selection respectable, and packaging is second only to Printique in terms of durability. Professional photographers should be advised, however, that Mpix is not geared toward them. The printed image is more than acceptable, but better options exist for those truly looking to showcase their talents. More frustrating still is Mpix’s inability to handle TIFF files; the service is currently JPEG-only.

For most users, however, Mpix’s ceiling is plenty high. Better quality than the budget options, more affordable than the more professional services. “Better than average” sounds damning, but in Mpix’s case, it is the perfect selling point.

Best Fine Art Online Printing Service: Whitewall

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Whitewall — winner of the coveted TIPA Award in 2013, 2017, 2020, and 2021 — is maybe the finest producer of fine art prints on the market. Unlike many of the others listed here, Whitewall is dedicated entirely to prints and prints alone — no photo books, calendars, or anything of the sort.

Whitewall strives to offer the best quality prints on the market. You’ll pay for it — it is far from the cheapest option here — but the quality is utterly undeniable and no one else here offers what it does.

The company offers six types of basic photo prints: Lamba on Fuji Crystal DP II, LightJet (Kodak Pro Endura), ultraHD Photo (Fuji Crystal Archive Maxima), LightJet on Fujiflex High Gloss, Metallic ultraHD, and LightJet Ilford Black and White Paper. But it doesn’t stop there, which is what really brings Whitewall head and shoulders above others on this list. The company also offers canvas printing, acrylic, photo prints under acrylic glass, Giclée Fine Art prints (Hahnemühle Fine Art and UV Poster), photo prints on aluminum backing, multi-panel wall art, round prints and other shapes, and maybe most excitingly, HD metal prints.

I have personal experience with their metal prints — offered in Glossy or matte Aluminum Dibond, HD Metal, and Brushed Aluminum. The metal prints I have received are absolutely gorgeous. Another PetaPixel staff member has a six-foot by four-foot high-definition print set behind acrylic and reports the quality is spectacular.

WhiteWall also has a variety of framing and wall mount options available: floating frames, solid wood, Aluminum ArtBox, Solid Wood ArtBox, acrylic with slimline case, shadow box frames, pop art frames, and gallery frames.

No, the offerings aren’t cheap, especially if you order a large print (a basic metal aluminum dibond print tops out at 40×60-inches and starts at $538.95), but the quality of the results and variety of options are unmatched.

Best Online Printing Service for Portraiture and Weddings: Nations Photo Lab

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With impressive quality, solid contrast and detail, and secure packaging, many would argue Nations Photo Lab deserves a top spot on any list. And they would be correct. Almost.

Nations plays in the same space as Printique, both in terms of price and professionalism, so comparisons between the two are natural. While images with stronger highlights from Nations may lag behind Printique’s, Nations closes any gap with its portraiture and darker images. For these types of photographs, Nations is not only a solid choice, but it might also be your first.

By no means opaque or inaccessible, Nations interface is still far less friendly than some others on this list. The issue is not that the service lacks functionality. It is simply buggy, slow, and a little cumbersome compared to its peers. On the plus side, the website offers drag and drop functionality that is surprisingly not the norm. For more eager or advanced consumers, Nations also offers its own downloadable ROES (Remote Online Ordering System) that comes with more options. Wedding and event photographers are familiar with such ordering systems, but the average user should have no trouble navigating as well. In fact, we recommend using this software to all, finding it offers users more clarity in addition to more features.

Despite these small hassles, Nations makes its case as a top printing service in the prosumer space with its pleasing images, top-of-the-line packaging, and quick turnaround on orders. For those who need an added sweetener before checking Nations out, take note: the company accepts TIFF files!

Best Online Printing Service for the Social Shutterbug: Snapfish

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Listen, not everyone is out to hang their work over the mantle — most consumers just want decent prints of the pics they have loaded on their phones and social media, something to put on the nightstand or give grandma for her birthday. There is no shame in that. For them, Snapfish is the answer.

With the ability to link social media or any other site where your pictures reside and a user-friendly app to make the process seamless, Snapfish is really the cheap, easy answer a lot of folks are looking for. With more powerful editing options than the bulk of competitors — again as a result of being geared toward the average consumer who lacks Photoshop or other high-powered editing software of their own — Snapfish is practically built for the Instagram-to-Print pipeline many younger people crave.

Will your photos come back vaguely washed out, without the pixel-perfect rendering of some other options on the list? Yes. Will you risk damage due to flimsy packaging? Yes. Will you spend less than a third of what you would through one of the most professional sites? You bet. Is this what the average person is looking for? If Snapfish’s popularity is anything to go by, absolutely.

Best Accessible and Affordable Online Printing Service: Walmart Photo

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If you miss the old days of the One Hour Photo, why not relive them? Walmart remains as omnipresent as ever, and though the times (and formats) may change, its utility refuses to wane. Want your prints the day you order them? No other service here can boast that feature. This is the benefit of dealing with a big box store with a hundred times as many locations as this country has states.

How are the prints themselves, though? It depends. To make use of the in-store option, you accept that you are also making use of the in-store equipment. Everything is automated and there is little hands-on expertise or examination of the results. Maintenance and attention vary wildly from location to location, and subsequent quality naturally follows from that. Regardless, Walmart has been in the photo game for decades, and some trust is justified. Maybe the company’s work will fail to wow you, but it will also very likely fail to enrage you.

One surprising upside of the Walmart experience is, while it does not accept TIFF files, it does welcome PNGs. The interface is one of the cleanest and easiest to understand in the whole industry, and just the right amount of final minor image tweaking is available. If you do use shipping, it is pleasingly speedy and reliable. The packaging will win no awards, but it is a significant step up from the flat envelopes many competitors use.

The goal of Walmart has always been to be most things to most people, and that holds true here. Most people do not need limitless photo sizes to choose from and are happy with a standard, limited selection. Most people do not need eye-popping recreations of their images. You could do worse than a consistent, 70% across all categories. Those deficits are what give you that 100% convenience, and your wallet that trademark smiley face.

The Online Printing Service to Keep an Eye On: Bay Photo/Aspen Creek

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This is an interesting entry because both Bay Photo and Aspen Creek Photo have made numerous “best of” lists for years as individual companies. On September 1st of this year, however, Aspen Creek announced the two companies had merged. At present, both still retain individual sites, but behind the scenes, the marriage is well underway.

One exciting element of this union is how perfectly each company answers the weaknesses of the other. Where Bay Photo has been dinged for so-so fidelity, Aspen Creek has been praised for the best color accuracy in the business. While Aspen Creek Photo consumers have groused about long shipping and turnaround times, Bay Photo users are accustomed to speedy delivery. Aspen is known for its “white glove” care for high-resolution prints, while Bay has been a personal favorite for smartphone photographers due to its small print sizes perfectly suited to those types of photos.

For immediate needs, there are other companies on this list worthy of higher consideration, but we included this “hybrid” entry out of pure fascination for what the future holds. We will have our eye on how this synergy plays out, and we recommend you do as well.

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Shutterstock.

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Over 1,000 online photography courses are now available for free ~ Photography News

Over 1,000 online photography courses are now available for free ~ Photography News

Over 1,000 online photography courses are now available for free ~ Photography News 9
March 25, 2020 /Photography News/ With thousands of people now stuck at home, organizations and institutions around the world are unlocking some of their paid services so the public can access these resources for free online.
Following in the footsteps of Cambridge University and JSTOR, the Professional Photographers of America association has announced that its catalogue of over a thousand online photography courses will be accessible for free for the next two weeks.

There’s over 1,100 courses available, ranging across a variety of topics for beginners and more advanced photographers – from Lightroom tutorials to how to use a flash – with the courses open to both individuals and small business.

All you have to do is set up a free account on the PPA website, and you’ll automatically get directed to the list of courses. No specific end date is mentioned on the site, but the courses were unlocked on March 21, meaning they will be available to everyone until at least April 4.

“Times are tough,” the PPA says on its website, “We need to be at our best. More kindness. More patience. More giving.”

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Top Photo Pros Unite to Support Charity and Improve Online Education for Photographers

Top Photo Pros Unite to Support Charity and Improve Online Education for Photographers

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Over 20 of the most highly acclaimed photographers and creative brands from around the world have joined forces to raise money for charity, and creatives like you are benefiting. Serge Ramelli, Mads Peter Iversen, Alexander Stemplewski, Karlie Place, Peter Hurley, Phlearn, KelbyOne, and Fstoppers are amongst the notable contributors to a digital bundle of tools and resources purposed to save photographers thousands of dollars while raising millions for deserving charities.

Top Photo Pros Unite to Support Charity and Improve Online Education for Photographers 12

Top Photo Pros Unite to Support Charity and Improve Online Education for Photographers 13

Organized by 5DayDeal, the annual initiative has distributed over $2 million in funds to a plethora of charities since 2014, but the charities aren’t alone in benefitting from these efforts. Over 160,000 creatives (and counting) have also profited from this creative approach to collaborative philanthropy. That’s because these photography bundles, which have been marked down anywhere from 95 to 97 percent, are filled with training and tools to assist creatives in the advancement of their own abilities, careers, and artistry.

The sale of these bundles has funded such achievements as life-saving rescues of human trafficking victims, surgeries made possible by medical ships providing care to impoverished coastal regions, spirit-lifting camps for children beset with cancer, and so many more. Since the onset of COVID-19, primary efforts have been centered around providing meals and education to those who would otherwise be unable to obtain such necessities.

Funds raised from the 2020 bundle events enabled the company to pay for a food silo that helped feed more than 500,000 meals to families last year alone and will continue to provide consistent means for families for years to come and that’s just one example of the many ways the company provides charity support each year!

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Each year, 5DayDeal selects charities to raise money for and they team up with some of the world’s most renowned photographers and educators to develop exclusive bundles of educational resources and post-processing tools. They then offered them at an extreme discount for just 5 days. This year, photographers can save up to 96% and get thousands of dollars worth of tools for as little as $89.

See all 2021 Photography Bundle options here.

The selected charities benefiting from this year’s bundles include:

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Learn more about these charities here.

Photographers seeking professional and/or artistic growth mark their calendars for these sales each year to ensure they don’t miss them. The collection of materials is only offered for 5 days, and once they are gone, this unique combination of resources is never offered again. Past purchasers note the extreme value they obtained due to the high quality of resources and bargain pricing.

Purchasers of this year’s bundles can get as many as 285 educational tutorials, demonstrations, and masterclasses; over 11,000 presets, tools, actions, brushes, and overlays; and nearly 550 practice images. Additional perks include creative solutions, digital magazines and ebooks, access to a website with exclusive photography resources, and so much more.

Take a look at this incredible assortment of products included in this year’s Complete Photography Bundle!

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Don’t miss your chance to experience creative and professional growth in your craft while joining hundreds of thousands of photographers in this philanthropic effort! Get the unique set of resources found in The 2021 Photography Bundle before it disappears on October 19th at noon PST.

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5DayDeal is also giving away over $10,000 in photography gear and resources. Sign up for your chance to win. No purchase is necessary to win and no strings attached!

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Top Photo Pros Unite to Support Charity and Improve Online Education for Photographers 13

Full disclosure: This article was brought to you by 5DayDeal.

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Save 10% On Everything In The Regatta Online Store With Our Discount Code

Save 10% On Everything In The Regatta Online Store With Our Discount Code

Regatta is giving you the chance to save 15% off their entire range of clothing, shoes and more with our discount code.


Regatta Jacket


We’ve teamed up with outdoor clothing specialist Regatta to give you the chance to save 15% when shopping on the Regatta website

The Regatta online store features a wide range of men’s, women’s and children’s outdoor clothing as well as walking boots, accessories and more. Perhaps you’re looking for a waterproof jacket for weekend walks or a pair of waterproof trousers to keep you dry when the rain starts falling on your staycation? Whatever outdoor clothing you need, we’re sure that Regatta will have something that suits your needs. 

To save 15%, use code: 15OFF at the checkout before the end of 27/09/21. 

Save 15% With Regatta

Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates:
Amazon UK,
Amazon US,
Amazon CA,
ebay UK

It doesn’t cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

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How to Deal With Online Image Theft

How to Deal With Online Image Theft

Image theft is both morally wrong and also incredibly frustrating. As a photographer, my images have been stolen so many times that it now no longer upsets nor surprises me. Until recently there wasn’t a great deal I would do about it, but now I have a great system.

For me, image theft is a fact of life. It comes in many forms, from the blogger who simply doesn’t know better, to the ad agency that are publishing outside of the usage agreement. Both of which are usually fixed with little issue through a nice conversation. Then we have the stranger ones, there are currently a few photographers out there who are using my images in their portfolios, a few ad agencies far away in different countries who are claiming that my work is their own, and even a few companies offering prints of my images seemingly from nowhere in the world. 

Dealing with these types in the past has been so far down my list of things to do. Dealing with people who are committing theft is never fun, there will be no reasoning with them and the time you will lose just really isn’t worth it. I also find it to be a very negative experience, and I would rather spend that time and emotional effort in a more positive way of making money. That is until I came across this latest method and system that I discuss in my video. It both removes any stress from you, and gets someone else to do all of the leg work!

How do you deal with image theft?

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PhotoPlus Launches Learning Lens, A Free Online Educational Resource

PhotoPlus Launches Learning Lens, A Free Online Educational Resource

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PhotoPlus has launched Learning Lens, a new online platform that will play host to educational resources for photographers. The company says that it plans to cover anything and everything photographers could possibly want to learn about, all for free.

Online educational resources aren’t new, as perhaps the most well-known one aimed at photographers and creatives has been around a long time: CreativeLive. But unlike CreativeLive, PhotoPlus does not have plans to charge for access to the educational content it hosts. It’s not clear if Learning Lens will remain free forever as the signup process does require a “subscription” of sorts to be purchased, but it costs $0 to subscribe and the company has not indicated that it plans to charge for the service. It is likely that this was just a method of registering users.

Learning Lens is hosting its first live class on August 3 at 12:30 PM ET, but already has three classes previously recorded by Jesus Ramirez, Paul Von Rieter, and Jen Huang Bogan. Ramirez shares his best Photoshop techniques for photographers, little-known features, and better ways to work with the tools that photographers are already using. Reiter discusses what it was like switching from film to medium format digital, and Bogan’s class discusses how she found her style in natural light portraiture.

The first live class is hosted by PetaPixel’s Jaron Schneider, who will explain how photographers can still get discovered and noticed in a time when Instagram is losing relevance.

In addition to these classes, Learning Lens has 18 more pages of classes that are currently planned for release, which amounts to a colossal amount of free education, especially for a brand new resource. Altogether, the platform will soon play host to nearly a week’s worth of hours of free content.

While WPPI, which is a photo conference run by the same organization that hosts PhotoPlus, still has in-person educational classes at its event, PhotoPlus removed the education portion of its tradeshow in recent years in an effort to focus on the expo.

PhotoPlus was forced to cancel the in-person annual New York-based tradeshow last year amid the pandemic and instead transitioned the show to digital. It must have learned something from the experience, as the launch of the new fully online educational resource allows the company to bring back the education it once offered in-person in a format that can be utilized year-round by anyone, anywhere.

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Google Pixel 6 Unveiled Unceremoniously in the Online Store

Google Pixel 6 Unveiled Unceremoniously in the Online Store

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In what appears to be a strangely quiet reveal, Google has listed its new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones on the Google Store with zero pomp and circumstance.

In early May, a rumor published by Jon Prosser alleged that Google would be dramatically changing its camera design with the Pixel 6 smartphone, and it appears his rumors were right on the money. The new phone shares pretty much the exact design leaked by Prosser back then, which is extremely unusual and features a horizontal camera bump that stretches across the upper portion of the rear of the device.

The two phones will come in three colors each. The Pixel 6 will be available in a burnt-orange top two-toned with a peach body, light greenish-yellow paired with a light blueish-gray, and a much more subtle gray mixed with a darker gray. That orange color is very much in line with Prosser’s original leak.

The Pixel 6 Pro will also be available in the same subtle gray mix, but also with a lighter peach top and more yellow body as well as a much lighter gray two-tone mix. The multiple colors can be seen through the Google Store.

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While the device appears to have launched with relative quiet, Google has not published much information on what to expect from the phone. As reported by AndroidPolice, Google basically has just confirmed the design elements of the phone and now allows prospective buyers to sign up to receive a notification when the phone is able to be purchased.

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Other than confirming the design of the new device, Google also revealed that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro would feature Google Tensor, a new chip designed by Google that is custom-made for the two smartphones. Without revealing how, Google says that it helps make both the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pri the “fastest smartest, and most secure Pixel phones yet.”

The video below was published as “unlisted” on YouTube on July 29 and was likely only posted specifically to the new Google Store page, as at the time of publication it had a scant 2,200 views.

The video also describes the timing as a “sneak peek,” so Google seems to be treating the launch of the product page as a precursor to an announcement rather than a full-blown reveal. While sneak peeks are nice, it is sort of strange to see such a downplayed rollout in this case, especially considering how different the new smartphones look from not only Pixel’s past but any other device currently available. It is possible that the repeated, accurate leaks for the device may have taken some wind out of Google’s sails.

Those interested in being alerted to when the device will be available to order can sign up on the Google Store page for the device.

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The new SmugMug Source service stores your raw files online

SmugMug Source

SmugMug Source is a new unlimited RAW photo storage service from Flickr’s current owners. Unlike typical cloud storage services like Dropbox or Google Drive, SmugMug Source is designed explicitly for photographers. This means you can do things like preview, sort, and organize your RAW files online—or on any device—just like you can with regular JPEGs.

Source is an add-on subscription for existing SmugMug users. Regular SmugMug plans start at $9/month for unlimited JPEG storage and a personalized photo website and go up to $52/month for professionals looking to sell their photos and provide client galleries. On top of that monthly charge, Source will set up you back $3 for up to 500GB of RAW files, or $5 for up to 1TB and then another $5 for each additional TB, or part thereof. (For what it’s worth, 1 TB is roughly 30,000 RAW files—it depends on your camera—so unless you never delete bad photos, it shouldn’t get unreasonably expensive.)

From the start, SmugMug Source will support most common RAW formats, including ARW, BMP, CR2, CR3, CRW, DCR, DNG, IIQ, MRW, NEF, NRW, ORF, PEF, RAF, RAW, RW2, RWL, SRF, SRW, TIFF, TIF, X3F. That’s all Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, and many other shooters covered. Presumably, Source’s RAW support will update as new cameras debut. 

Source also offers a whole host of workflow-conscious photographer-friendly features. It supports sidecar files from editing apps like Lightroom and CaptureOne so you’ll see the edited versions of your RAW shots. You can upload and manage files from any SmugMug app or the Lightroom plug-in. There’s AI-powered search so you can navigate your overflowing catalog without having to manually tag everything. 

How does SmugMug Source compare to other raw backup services?

I’m currently using the free trial but, so far, Source seems to deliver on what it promises—which is good, because there aren’t a lot of fully-featured alternative RAW storage platforms. 

Adobe’s CreativeCloud is the closest. It has built-in cloud storage that integrates really well with Lightroom. The big downside is that it’s pretty expensive. There are three plans:

  • The 20GB Photography plan includes Lightroom and Photoshop at $9.99/month. 
  • The 1TB Photography plan includes Lightroom and Photoshop at $19.99/month.
  • The 1TB Lightroom plan doesn’t have Photoshop, but it’s only $9.99/month. 

You can also purchase additional storage starting at $10/month for a TB on top of your subscription. 

Google Photos ($9.99/month for 2TB), Amazon Photos (unlimited photo storage included with Amazon Prime at $12.99/month), and Dropbox ($9.99/month for 2TB) all kind of support RAW files, but they don’t have the same photographer focus as SmugMug. They’re fine for backup storage but are less likely to fit nicely into your workflow. 

From a purely backup perspective, Backblaze is probably your best bet. You get unlimited file backup for $6/month including RAW files. You won’t be able to preview your images online or integrate things as well with Lightroom, but it will keep them safe. 

Don’t rely on online RAW storage

As much as I like SmugMug Source so far, I’m still incredibly dubious about the claim you can say goodbye to your hard drives. Adobe has lost user’s photos, Dropbox has lost user data, and even Google Photos has had some file-losing quirks. An offsite, online backup is just one part of a good photo backup system, but it shouldn’t be the only place you keep your files. 

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How to sell your photos and photography prints online


In 2009, Sarah Christianson had just graduated with an MFA in photography.  She wanted to be a professional artist but didn’t have the backing of a gallery.

Inspired by a friend, Christianson launched an online store. Today, she sells her photography prints, photo books, zines, and Zoom workshops through her website. And while the prospect of selling your work online can be daunting, she says the most crucial step is simply committing to doing it.

“You don’t have to do it big or grand or have all of your inventory online,” she says. “Start small. Putting your signpost out there in the digital space and putting anything up for sale will be a big step in the process.”

Whether you want to do everything yourself or prefer to outsource logistics, there are plenty of ways to sell your photography work online.

Here are Christianson’s best tips on running a successful online photography print business.

Find the right platform

“People need to figure out how hands-on—or not—they want to be,” says Christianson. She prints her work, manages inventory and shipping, and handles all customer service requests. But if that sounds too daunting, she recommends finding a company that will sell, print, and ship automatically for you. A site like Fine Art America takes the guesswork out of selling, so you can focus on creating great work.

Price it right

Find out what similar artists at your same level or timeline in your career charge, advises Christianson.  “Look for someone that has the same trajectory as you,” she says. And then, find more experienced artists so you can map out where you want to end up, price-wise. She recommends joining organizations like the Society for Photographic Education and other professional photographer networks for support and advice, so you’re not alone. For example, a friend and curator took Christianson aside and told her that she needed to raise her prices.

You can start your research by browsing the work (and price sheets) of millions of independent artists at Fine Art America.

Consider limiting your editions

There are two schools of thought regarding figuring out how many prints you should sell of a particular image. If you run a small edition of six or fewer, you can generally charge higher prices, says Christianson. But if you run editions of 20 or more, you can charge less.

“Having a higher price could attract a more serious collector,” she says. “But at a lower price you might sell more. And a lower price might be more attractive for instant gratification, that ‘I gotta have this, give it to me now’ feeling.”

Since Christianson prints, ships and stores her work herself, she keeps her editions small. “You need to decide for yourself where you would like to position yourself,” she says.

When it comes to marketing, Christianson says social media has the biggest impact on sales. Plus, it feels like a more natural place to self-promote. She posts about new exhibitions she’s in, photo book sales, workshops, or the launch of her new zine. “It’s a fine balance,” she admits. “But I’ve noticed that when I post about a project, people will see it, buy it, and then share it on their accounts. It’s so fun to see people posting about my work—and to see sales track back to social media traffic.”

Christianson is inspired by other photographers to try new ways to sell her work—and expand her reach. Like her peer Jordanna Kalman, you might find running seasonal sales of your work (like a “Summer Special”) can help you find new collectors.

Photographer Carl Corey offers a “One Print for One Month for One Hundred Dollars,” subscription service, a model that Christianson has also piloted. And don’t be afraid to inject your own personality into it:  Eric William Carroll created the cheeky Eric William Carroll Fan Club and uses funny videos and a 1980s aesthetics to drum up sales.

Make it personal

With every online purchase, Christianson takes the time to write a personal note to each customer. She recalls thanking one collector and telling him that his purchase goes toward supporting the continuation of her work.

“I told him that I’m working odd jobs, and because of his purchase, now I can make more work,” she recalls. “That floored him. He had never considered where the money was going before, since he normally bought through galleries and dealers. And that working with an artist like me directly reinvigorated his collecting.”

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