I'm beginning to seriously think about selling my photos online ... as prints, greeting cards, etc.

Can anyone recommend a site that does a good job of handling the sales translations, printing, & shipping?

I don't mind giving the vendor a cut of the sale (fairly large, I would imagine) ... but I do want something that gives me a lot of control over how the sales gateway looks.

Ideally I would like a site that let's me put a simple 'purchase this photo' button or link on my own site.

I'm not looking for a stock photo site.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What locale(s) are you interested in selling to? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 2, 2011 at 13:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ The universe :) Seriously, no specific locale ... although generally the US. \$\endgroup\$
    – David G
    Apr 5, 2011 at 20:03

4 Answers 4


My SmugMug experience as a SmugMug Pro user:

A lot of control over your gallery's settings and prices.
Excellent customer support. This high level of support on the web is uncommon.
The customer's experience is simple and straight forward (as long as you don't overwhelm them different sizes and options).
Tons of cool features with the Pro account, like coupons and packages.

Almost too much control over your gallery's settings and prices sometimes. It can sometimes be a little overcomplicated.
Not necessarily that great looking right out of the box.

SmugMug handles all of the transaction. The customer checks out, SmugMug takes their money, sends the stuff to the lab and ships it to the customer. SmugMug takes 15% of your profit. I don't think you can have a buy link on your photo that integrates with their shopping cart.

I don't think SmugMug is really all that great as simply a photo sharing site. Flickr is better. But, SmugMug is pretty darn good for the pro selling prints.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The customer support is really the only reason I have continued with them. I think they have really dropped off on innovation. The site looks like it was designed back in 2000 or so now. The gallerys really could be improved a great deal I think. I know you can customize your CSS and javascript, but still, the defaults should be better. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Sep 1, 2011 at 19:43

I've used both Photoshelter and SmugMug. Here are some quick thoughts on the two:

Photoshelter's Strengths:

  • great online image delivery system for electronic use
  • easier integration with standalone websites (they have some GREAT integration with WordPress sites that use a Graph Paper Press theme)
  • (subjective) generally seen as higher-end and more professional than SmugMug

SmugMug's Strengths:

  • they seem to be innovating faster at the moment and announcing new features quicker
  • larger product and print selection from their printing vendors
  • (subjective) their shopping cart/ordering process seems a bit easier to average (non-techie) folks who purchased my products/prints
  • cheaper
  • \$\begingroup\$ I looked at SmugMug and had a hard time figuring out what they were trying to be ... it seemed like they more of a photo sharing site (like Flickr) than anything. This might have changed though. \$\endgroup\$
    – David G
    Jul 15, 2010 at 20:52

I was looking for a similar service to easily provide prints for sporting events that I've shot. I checked out sites like SmugMug and PhotoShelter, but they didn't quite have what I was looking for as I already had an extensive self-hosted photo gallery and did not want to re-upload a lot of photos to another site.

Then I heard about Fotomoto, which has integrated nicely with my existing site so far. You basically get a couple of lines of Javascript to add to your pages and then Fotomoto handles the rest - the shopping cart, the printing, and the shipping.


I would look at options such as RedCart, Pictage, Photocart, Pickpic, or Smugmug as suggested by others.

Redcart is the biggie as far as portrait and weding photographers go. This applies to the year 2011. It works nicely with existing portfolio pages and allows customers to proof and choose which images they would like to select from a shoot.

It is very well done, works well, and the cost is reasonable considering the time that you save over doing this all manually, or building out the capabilities.


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