I’ve always had a camera in my hand for as long as I can remember. I started my career as a portrait photographer, then I married a rancher and I found a niche in the agricultural industry. I shoot senior portraits, family sessions, corporate agriculture, and livestock shows. You should always photograph what you love and where your passion is.
Early on, I tried Flickr, I tried Dropbox, and neither of those did what I needed for business. I wanted to store and show my photos in the same place, and I found SmugMug through a photographer’s blog. Now we upload 12-15,000 images a week during event season and SmugMug keeps up.
SmugMug has evolved so much since we joined in 2009, which is fun, because it’s evolved alongside our business needs, too. We have an internship program, so we work with lots of young aspiring photographers, and they all learn how to use SmugMug. We’ve got our own protocols for security and privacy settings depending on the type of client, and SmugMug is great for helping them see they can control all of those details in their own photo business, too.
The amount of time we save with the built in sales tools is amazing. Literally, other than the physical act of taking the photo, there’s not a single aspect of our business that’s not run through SmugMug.
These days it’s significantly more difficult to be a professional photographer without a very specific niche, but that can limit your audience. That’s one of the things we love about SmugMug so much: it’s allowing us to market to people across the country, to the point that business is going crazy. I’m not just talking to people in my 15 mile radius. I’m making a living, I’m sending my kids to college, I’m paying my mortgage, as a professional photographer.