Carter Hargrave Blog

Second generation Bruce Lee School instructor Carter Hargrave writes about current events, technology reviews, culture, martial arts, and becoming a master of life.

2013 Online Photo Service Review – Smugmug vs. Zenfolio vs. Flickr


Discount codes at bottom of page.

Over the past two years I have used a ton of different photo services for my big load of  photos that I take. While I am not a pro as in doing it for money, I do use the professional level categories of services from the companies for my needs. What I am saying is I understand the pro needs and not just the average joe camera guy. I dont use the selling services but I understand them completely and know how they work and how well. I read the companies forums and look at the whines and complements. So here we go.

Here is a very short run down of what I wanted. I take mainly 13 mega pixel shots of my desired subjects. Take lots of photos with ipone 5 (remember the best camera made is the one you have with you) . Wanted a company that would not jack with my images in any way. My computer programs of choice are iphoto and aperture as they can access the same libraries now avoiding the need for a separate library. Lightroom is another great program. Just tired of giving Adobe any more cash right now.

Wanted an Ipad and Iphone app that was not buggy (wow thats a chore) so I could easily show my work to others. Also wanted a nice experience via web browser. My other need was for another way of backing up all my photos. We all have main drives then the external drives and cloud backups, but I wanted yet another. And this fourth way saved my butt when you guessed it when I was distracted when working on hard drive hierarchy and hit format the wrong drive and BAM I JUST SCREWED UP BIGTIME. After a week the cloud backup for reasons unknown was missing random date libraries with over three thousand pictures gone. (More on the rescue effort latter). I now have another external additional.

The Flickr

My first site that I used for a year is Flickr. Its not anywhere near a pro site so if thats what you are thinking just forget that now. Its strong site was its social interaction but for the most part it sucks pretty bad. All but the Flickr pro compress the crap out of your great pics. The pro package does not and is the only way to go if you are so inclined. I did not renew after a year. The interface is goofy and busy as hell so you cant find anything easy. If you cant find it, no one can find it, and you know where it is, probably. Checked it a few days ago and it sucks even more. They have put no resources into making it better or more friendly. All the photo movers are out of date and some just arent in production any more. Advice, just don’t. You deserve better.

Piece Of Picasa

Picasa looks ok. I just don’t want Google having access to my pictures. They know everything about us and store all our information. It’s just too much.

The SmugMug

Moved all to Smugmug. Smugmugs people are all nice and helpful. Problem is like Flickr, they just arent making any advances. They are stuck in years ago technology. Thier upload and download programs are weak. Especially the download. After the loss I attempted to find a mass album download program, but there is not one anymore. The best you can do is download one at a time. I had almost four hundred albums. When I downloaded one Album is was a mess. No longer had any tags or names. Thanks a bunch!!! Whats more for the pros Smug was like doubling the price and not adding any new upgrades or features at all. Customers were leaving in droves which made me fear for the stability of my pictures as well. On top of that the Apps were buggy so there were lots of crashes. The Camera Awesome app is pretty cool though. Just not enough to get me to stay when for the same money (more if you are a selling picture pro)  you can get cutting edge tech and better experience with Zenfolio. Dont get me wrong, Smugmug is not bad, its just not quite up to the standards I was looking for. I want a company to keep updating the tech to keep me using the best interface.

Enter Zenfolio

After much research I found upload junction dot com. They have a great migration program for free that they did to help out thier fellow shutter bugs. I singed up at Zenfolio went to the upload site and hit migrate from Smugmug (entered login) then hit migrate to Zenfolio (logged in to trial account) and ht go, then after a few hours my elven thousand precious shots were in the new account.

Downloaded all the ipad and iphone apps and yay it all worked like a charm. No crashing and it was simple to use. Photos were displayed in high resolution as you moved your fingers to enlarge a shot. The browser experience online was easy and fast. There was even a mass download program. I downloaded it and did a few albums at a time. Took about six downloads to get all the three thousand that were missing back on my hard drive safe and sound. So yes Zenfolio took care of my problem and I no longer have a trial account. The pro features are easy to use and click by click all on one page you can change settings, invite others (enter emails) to see your work or to make a purchase. I was impressed how easy things were to navigate. I asked customer service a question and had an after hours answer on a Friday in two hours.

Hello Goodbye – 500px, photoshare, pbase, thislife.

I also did a trial on 500px, it kind of left me with, what the heck is going on here. Wait this wont do what. I need to do this to get that and then…. Im outa here.

Then there was a couple of others that were so expensive I instantly deleted the account, it was phase and photoshare I think . looks promising down the road when their tech dept catches up to the leaders.

Hope you found my experience helpful and my review. Click on this link and you will get a discount (I think its like 17%, its the max they offer I know. You get a discount and I get a discount on my renewal. We both win.) Here is the Zenfolio Coupon Discount Code.

Note when I did a google search for a discount code there is some jackass with a gif and jpeg image of  a $25 off coupon thats a bait and switch. There is no such discount. I tried that link and was mad it didnt work like he claimed when i was ordering so I removed it and used an honest guys code for a Zenfolio discount.


Zenfolio Discount Code 2013   DMV-71W-AGZ

Author: Carter Hargrave

Carter Hargrave Carter Hargrave is a Martial Arts Grandmaster and the founder of American Combat Kempo. He is the President of the World Kempo Association and the World Jeet Kune Do Federation. Carter Hargrave is aSecond Generation Bruce Lee School Instructor. Find us on Google+

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