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06/24/2009 06:21:41 PM · #1
I've been shooting more sports again. I'm looking at providing images for participants and trying to work out what the best site might be to let them buy images.

I'd like to be able to upload images, let people see them, then select them for purchase.
Would love to be able to get final approval over images to get printed (or change them at that stage)
Set prices, let people download high res digital versions.

Decent print quality is also important.

Last time I looked a few years ago, there wasn't really anything that offered all of this - any suggestions, or
suggested places to look?

06/24/2009 09:14:31 PM · #2
Exposure Manager - ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Skip recommended them to me a few weeks ago and I got an account setup and made several sales of event photos since. They can fulfill print orders or you can self-fulfill or combination of both.
06/24/2009 10:53:12 PM · #3
I used to use breeze browser with a paypal template and upload them to my own site. It was pretty simple.
06/24/2009 11:31:42 PM · #4
Originally posted by Art Roflmao:

Exposure Manager - ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Skip recommended them to me a few weeks ago and I got an account setup and made several sales of event photos since. They can fulfill print orders or you can self-fulfill or combination of both.


Gotta go with Exposure Manager which is who I am with now. Photoshelter is another good one. If you want a discount on EM anyone of us with an account can get you a $10 break on your account.

Matt
06/27/2009 11:31:14 AM · #5
I'm using Zenfolio for event stuff, and I love it. Super easy to set up, and you have total control. You can set prices, create coupons, review orders before they are fulfilled, edit the crop, check the sizes, whatever. You can set it to private and give a password if they don't want the whole net to see, it's very functional. I downloaded the Lightroom plugin and can upload directly to my Zenfolio account out of lightroom, and don't have to worry with anything else. It's lovely, and my clients like using it as well, and say it's very easy to use and order the prints they want online.

See it in action! Client Area: Nathanael Gassett Photography.com

I also use Photoshelter but I only use that for stock sales, and not really for events. It's a little bit more complicated for clients to use, I think, so I keep all the events on Zenfolio.

Message edited by author 2009-06-27 11:35:25.
06/27/2009 03:04:11 PM · #6
how do exposure manager and smugmug compare? similarities? differences? etc.
06/27/2009 05:22:51 PM · #7
Originally posted by karmat:

how do exposure manager and smugmug compare? similarities? differences? etc.


I wouldn't let SmugMug touch my stuff, they splatter their Smugmug logo all over everything. Exposuremanager doesn't, my copyright and website are printed on the back if I want, they also use a return address that is mine if I mail them directly to my clients, and they also take a lower percentage of the price of your photo.

Matt

Edit to clarify, if I'm going to pimping someones name its going to be mine not the company that I am PAYING to print and ship my photos.

Message edited by author 2009-06-27 20:38:21.
06/27/2009 09:34:25 PM · #8
Originally posted by MattO:

Originally posted by karmat:

how do exposure manager and smugmug compare? similarities? differences? etc.


I wouldn't let SmugMug touch my stuff, they splatter their Smugmug logo all over everything. Exposuremanager doesn't, my copyright and website are printed on the back if I want, they also use a return address that is mine if I mail them directly to my clients, and they also take a lower percentage of the price of your photo.

Matt

Edit to clarify, if I'm going to pimping someones name its going to be mine not the company that I am PAYING to print and ship my photos.


where do they put the logo? if the customer orders from my website, i suppose it is in the return address, but i explain to my customers up front that someone else does my printing. i've never tried to ship it with my return addy. i can choose what is printed on the back, and i set the prices for my stuff, so i control what they "take" of my profit. i guess i sound a bit "loyal" because their customer service has been over and beyond my greatest expectations for me.

i'm just trying to get an idea of what the differences are. thanks for your answer.
06/27/2009 10:05:42 PM · #9
Originally posted by karmat:

Originally posted by MattO:

Originally posted by karmat:

how do exposure manager and smugmug compare? similarities? differences? etc.


I wouldn't let SmugMug touch my stuff, they splatter their Smugmug logo all over everything. Exposuremanager doesn't, my copyright and website are printed on the back if I want, they also use a return address that is mine if I mail them directly to my clients, and they also take a lower percentage of the price of your photo.

Matt

Edit to clarify, if I'm going to pimping someones name its going to be mine not the company that I am PAYING to print and ship my photos.


where do they put the logo? if the customer orders from my website, i suppose it is in the return address, but i explain to my customers up front that someone else does my printing. i've never tried to ship it with my return addy. i can choose what is printed on the back, and i set the prices for my stuff, so i control what they "take" of my profit. i guess i sound a bit "loyal" because their customer service has been over and beyond my greatest expectations for me.

i'm just trying to get an idea of what the differences are. thanks for your answer.


Karma don't take my response as anything other then it is.

I don't want any company that I pay to be pimping their services, their name, or anything but my name. I've ordered from another photographer in my area to see not only the quality of his work, but also the packaging since he uses Smugmug. I don't know where I have the photos of the packaging but I remember seeing Smugmug's name just as much as the photographers. In reality any person who orders from you and see's the Smugmug name plastered can go onto their site and see their prices for photos or for anything else. All my clients need to know is they received great products at a great price from me and my lab. Who my lab is isn't something I want them to know or care about.

Exposuremanager lets me make and price my galleries how I want they package all the items as if they came directly from me not one mention of exposuremanager anywhere. Just my name and website and the return address of my business, their quality and customer service has been nothing but great for me and others I have spoken with. I suppose the downside for someone who has their website integrated alot with smugmug. But the cost for each year and the service and quality is great. YMMV

Matt
06/27/2009 10:12:29 PM · #10
how much is exposuremanager?
06/27/2009 10:17:27 PM · #11
Originally posted by karmat:

how much is exposuremanager?


Depends on what you need. I use the $99.95 a year event plan.

Matt
06/27/2009 10:25:10 PM · #12
Originally posted by MattO:

Originally posted by karmat:

how much is exposuremanager?


Depends on what you need. I use the $99.95 a year event plan.

Matt


thx
06/27/2009 11:43:01 PM · #13
there are a lot of differences between smugmug and exposure manager; i've detailed most of them here.

in a nutshell, smugmug started off as a photo-sharing service with a warm & fuzzy interface, and then it bolted on a sales process. exposure manager was started by professional photographers for professional photographers. even though smugmug has responded to the demands of professionals, i've always felt that they were catering to the professionals as an afterthought. smugmug does offer high quality products and excellent customer service, no question, but, at the end of the day, my customers get excellent products and support, i get excellent support, and...i make more money (which is important to me, as this is how i make my living. that 8% difference in commission gives me an extra $80 per $1000 in print sales, and that adds up...apples to apples, why give money away?).

Message edited by author 2009-07-01 09:22:49.
07/01/2009 03:08:25 AM · #14
Originally posted by Art Roflmao:

Exposure Manager - ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Skip recommended them to me a few weeks ago and I got an account setup and made several sales of event photos since. They can fulfill print orders or you can self-fulfill or combination of both.


Another vote/reference for EM here. Been using them for my theatre and other event shoots for the past couple of years now. If Ken hadn't already post his affiliate link, I'd post mine -- oh, well. ;)

As a little teaser, if you search/hunt around, you might just find one or more discount codes for EM membership -- for example, if you belong to certain event-related photography communities -- that might save you as much as 1/2 off their list price.

I've worked with Photoshelter also; especially last year when they were pushing their stock photo "Photoshelter Collection" product, which has since withered and died. They are a really great provider, and are now heavily cross-promoting with Alamy (macrostock site) -- Alamy is encouraging folks to use Photoshelter for their "full-service" web site, and Photoshelter is encouraging folks to sell their photos on Alamy. The only problem there, in my opinion, is price -- they are really proud of what they provide, and you'll pay for it...
08/16/2009 08:37:30 PM · #15
Hmmm, I'm still looking for a good print service.

Apart from stuff like event photography which I can understand why you would use such a site, I think paying up front is a bit much.

I posted a similar question here:
//www.dpchallenge.com/forum.php?action=read&FORUM_THREAD_ID=927340

All I want is a few one off prints for myself and the ability to sell the odd print to others, should I stick with redbubble seeing as I don't have to pay an annual fee?
08/17/2009 03:39:15 PM · #16
I am still looking for the same type of service as the OP asked about - a friend told me about Pictage ...just to throw it out here.
but I think I am leaning more toward exposure manager

All I want is a few one off prints for myself and the ability to sell the odd print to others, should I stick with redbubble seeing as I don't have to pay an annual fee? I delt with that through individula e-mails and uploaded a high res photo to snapfish for the Irish Dance crowd asking for photos
08/17/2009 03:56:02 PM · #17
Originally posted by Skip:

there are a lot of differences between smugmug and exposure manager; i've detailed most of them here.

in a nutshell, smugmug started off as a photo-sharing service with a warm & fuzzy interface, and then it bolted on a sales process. exposure manager was started by professional photographers for professional photographers. even though smugmug has responded to the demands of professionals, i've always felt that they were catering to the professionals as an afterthought. smugmug does offer high quality products and excellent customer service, no question, but, at the end of the day, my customers get excellent products and support, i get excellent support, and...i make more money (which is important to me, as this is how i make my living. that 8% difference in commission gives me an extra $80 per $1000 in print sales, and that adds up...apples to apples, why give money away?).


A little late to respond, sorry, just seeing this with another bump by someone else, but I'm really confused now, and even more so after reading that blurb on your site.

I pay smugmug a yearly rate.

I set my own prices.

Even figuring the price I pay them yearly for their services, their "commission" is nowhere near 18%.

I'm not arguing that SM is better than Exposure Manager, I just keep hearing that SM's "commission" is too high (from you here and others elsewhere) and honestly think I must be missing something.

EDIT -- NEVERMIND. I was "overthinking" it. duh. I know exactly what you are saying.

Just for the record, it the percentage kept is 15%, not 18. Still more than your 10, but I pay less per year (and probably don't sell near the volume you do, so it "fits" me. Kinda like you wouldn't sell super-sized volume out of your garage type thing. :P)

Message edited by author 2009-08-17 16:09:44.
08/17/2009 06:46:04 PM · #18
Originally posted by karmat:

Just for the record, it the percentage kept is 15%, not 18. Still more than your 10, but I pay less per year (and probably don't sell near the volume you do, so it "fits" me. Kinda like you wouldn't sell super-sized volume out of your garage type thing. :P)


things may be different since my last experience with sm, but there is one thing you might want to make sure of as far as those percentages. sm used to charge both a commission and a credit card service fee, and the total between the two was about 18%; they may have reduced or eliminated something, though. the 10% i pay to em is all-inclusive.

also, just like sm, em offers different levels of participation. you can get an art account for $65/yr or $7/mo. event accounts are only $100/yr or $13/mo. the pro account is pricey, but it does offer some serious marketing support.
08/19/2009 05:57:11 PM · #19
This might be helpful to a few people. I read EM's product page and noticed this...

Direct ordering:
Your customers will order through your online gallery. But what about those times where you need to place an order yourself? You can order all products 'at-cost' yourself through our website, or you can use EM ROES (Remote Order Entry System) to place your order directly with our in-house pro lab. Click here to install EM ROES. (Psst! You can use this even if you are not yet an EM user!)

So I emailed them to ask what they mean by the bold bit which on their site is red, here is their reply.

Thank you for your interest in ExposureManager. The EM ROES software runs on your computer and is only used to order prints from image files that you have on your computer's hard drive. Customers cannot be use it to order prints from your galleries. They could use it to order prints of their own files they have on their computer, that's it.

EM sounds good to me.

Message edited by author 2009-08-19 17:58:15.
08/19/2009 06:10:35 PM · #20
Does anyone have an EM site I could view to see what it looks like? I tried their site and nothing pops out at me showing this as a view.
08/19/2009 11:51:57 PM · #21
Originally posted by NathanW:

Does anyone have an EM site I could view to see what it looks like? I tried their site and nothing pops out at me showing this as a view.

following are two links. the first is my content link, the second is my em gallery. i could still brush up the em site a bit, but it more than gets the job done. i use the content site to manage the links to galleries, in an attempt to make it a little easier for the customers to find what they're looking for.

www.rmcphotos.com
www.rmcphotos.net
08/20/2009 03:03:33 AM · #22
Does EM cover countries other than the US ?

All the shipping options etc look like they are aimed at the US and I can't find anything on their knowledge base that talks about other parts of the world.



Message edited by author 2009-08-20 10:02:24.
08/20/2009 07:59:01 AM · #23
Thanks Skip.
09/14/2009 03:30:11 PM · #24
Based on the high praise in this thread I tried out Exposure Manager and am very disappointed. It's been a nightmare trying to upload images to them over and over again. Their resizing process leaves banding on 10% of my images. If I upload and forget to change the default from "Display Only" to "Print Ready" I'm screwed and have to start over. The whole site is very "flimsy" in my opinion. Customer service insists on blaming me for the short comings of their site stating the Customer Service equivalent of Read The <Bleeping> Manual.

Not impressed.

09/16/2009 07:27:50 AM · #25
as i posted in your other thread, it's a shame it didn't work out for you, eug. nothing's perfect and few things are ever past needing some improvement. all the same, of all the online sales services i investigated and/or subscribed to, i've had the most success with EM. granted, there's a learning curve, and absolutely, some of the administrative tools are fairly primitive. all the same, once i got settled in, it has been a pretty smooth ride. i've never proclaimed EM to be the be-all-end-all of online sales tools, but i've yet to find anything else that comes close.

one of the main things that attracted me to them was the ability to upload TONS of display only images quickly, via FTP, so that i didn't have to waste time uploading higher res images (as was required by smugmug at the time i was using them...that may or may not be the case today).

i guess it all depends on what you need. if you aren't going to be using it that often or if you aren't going to be doing much volume or if you don't have the patience to get through their learning curve, something like smugmug probably makes more sense.

on the other hand, i'm typically uploading 6 to 8 galleries a week with anywhere from 150 to 750 images per gallery, and there's no other tool for me but EM...

hope you have better luck with the next service you try.
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