Organizing Photos on SmugMug

Those that know me well, or have had the opportunity (or perhaps bad luck) to travel with me know that I enjoy taking pictures. Late last year, I started looking for a place to store the over 10,000+ digital photographs I have taken over since I acquired my first digital camera in earlier this decade.

After doing some research, I settled upon SmugMug after reading raving reviews and signed up for the free 14 day trial. For several years, I used Adobe Photoshop Album to organize my photos, so I had a big directory filled with many a directory for each time I downloaded photos from my camera.  Because I had already uploaded my photos to a web hosting account, I needed a command line uploader to get the photos into SmugMug. There were a few available in the SmugMug Hacks section, but none at the time were able to handle recursive uploading of multiple directories.

I ended up spending a few hours putting together a simple Java-based command line uploader for SmugMug to solve my problem.

Unfortunately, I got busy and was unable to actually upload my photos until recently.  Now that I have finally have uploaded all of my photos, I am now faced with the prospect of organizing them. What I would like to do is make most albums unlisted and select only the best photographs to display publicly.

The way to do this that makes the most sense to me, is to have the ability to make photos exist in multiple albums. For example, my photo of a dilapidated military plane abandoned in the Mongolian countryside should exist both in the unlisted gallery that contains all of my photos from that trip that I share with friends and family and also in the public Mongolia gallery that the whole world can view on my photo’s page.

Right now, I have to create a copy of pictures that I want to be part of public galleries and then move them to the public gallery.  It works, but is a bit click-intensive and has the downside that there’s no way to tell in which galleries a given photo appears.

Wishlist:

  • Virtual albums  (one photo can be in multiple album)
  • A way to copy multiple photos, and select a destination album besides the current album
  • An easy way for friends to download all photos in an album in one click (download as ZIP)
  • Multilingual interface - (specifically Chinese) - I know this is a long shot because I know firsthand how hard it is to maintain internationalized websites. I cannot blame the wonderful SmugMug folks for focusing on one language.
  • A search interface in the API

I am incredibly happy with SmugMug. They are among the top tier of high-quality web-based businesses out there. One can think of them as the 37signals of digital photography.

I have some updates and bug fixes to SmugJCU that I will put together and release in the near future. In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for new photos.

  Updated
Larry Salibra

About

I'm an entrepreneur and Engineering Partner at Blockstack where I'm building a new internet for decentralized apps. More about me.