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How to Upload Photos to SmugMug?

SmugMug is a popular photo sharing and image hosting platform that makes it
easy to upload, organize, customize, share, and sell your photos. With
unlimited storage, custom branding, and ecommerce features, SmugMug offers
professional photographers and hobbyists alike a robust solution for
showcasing their work online. Uploading photos to your SmugMug account is a
straightforward process that can be done through the website or SmugMug apps.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through the steps for uploading photos
to SmugMug using various methods.

Prerequisites for Uploading Photos

Before you can start adding photos, there are a few prerequisites:

  • Sign up for a SmugMug account – You’ll need to register for
    a paid SmugMug plan to access uploading and other core features. They offer
    plans for casual users, amateurs, and professionals.
  • Organize your photos – Determine which photos you want to
    upload and organize them into folders or albums on your computer. This will
    streamline the upload process.
  • Optimize your images – SmugMug recommends sizing your
    images at 5-20MB for the best performance. Very large files will slow
    uploads. Using image optimization software can help reduce file sizes.
  • Back up your originals – Keep the master copies of your
    photos safely backed up on an external hard drive. The uploaded photos on
    SmugMug should be your edited versions.

Once your photos are prepped and organized, you’re ready to start uploading
them to your SmugMug site.

How to Upload Photos via the SmugMug Website

The easiest way to upload photos to SmugMug is by going through the website.
Here’s how:

  • Log in to your SmugMug account and go to your account homepage.
  • Click “Upload” on the top navigation bar.
  • On the upload page, select the destination gallery or create a new one.
  • Click “Select files to upload” and choose photos to upload from your
    computer. You can drag and drop them as well.
  • Adjust the upload settings as needed – enter keywords, enable backup, etc.
  • Click the “Start upload” button to begin uploading your photos.
  • The upload status can be monitored on the page. Photos may take time to
    fully process and display depending on size and number.

The website upload tool also allows you to easily delete or rearrange photos
later on. Bulk uploading numerous files is straightforward.

Uploading via the SmugMug App

In addition to the website, you can also leverage SmugMug’s iOS and Android
apps to upload photos on the go:

  • Download and install the SmugMug app on your device – available for free.
  • Open the app and log in using your SmugMug credentials.
  • Tap the “+” icon or “Upload” link.
  • Select the photos in your camera roll or photo library to upload.
  • Choose the destination gallery or create a new one.
  • The app will automatically start uploading the images to your account.
  • You can track upload progress and manage the photos within the app.

Uploading through the mobile app is useful for transferring photos captured on
your phone or tablet to SmugMug right away.

Uploading from Lightroom Classic

For photographers using Lightroom Classic, you can easily publish galleries
straight to SmugMug without leaving Lightroom:

  • In Lightroom, go to the Library module. Select the folder or collection you
    want to upload.
  • Go to the Publish Services panel on the left and click “Create Publish
  • Choose SmugMug from the list of integrations. Authorize your SmugMug
  • Select a destination gallery or create a new one. Customize any publish
  • Click “Publish” to start uploading the selected photos from Lightroom
    directly to SmugMug.
  • Any edits made in Lightroom will be synced to the SmugMug versions.

Publishing through Lightroom allows photographers to streamline their image
editing and sharing workflow.

Batch Uploading Photos to SmugMug

For power users with many photos to upload, SmugMug offers a batch upload

  • On your account homepage, click “Batch Upload”.
  • On the batch uploader page, click “Select files” and choose the folder
    containing your image files.
  • Adjust the upload settings as needed – enter keywords, enable backups, etc.
  • Click “Start upload”. This will queue and upload the entire folder in
  • The batch upload progress can be monitored on the page. All the photos will
    be uploaded to a single gallery.

With batch uploading, you can transfer entire shoots or collections in one go
without having to individually select each file.

Uploading from External Applications

There are also various third-party apps and plugins that allow uploading to

  • PhotoSync – This app can sync folders of images from your
    computer or external storage drive to your SmugMug account.
  • WP SmugMug – A plugin for WordPress that lets you upload
    WordPress media gallery photos to SmugMug.
  • SmugMug Uploader – A desktop app for Windows and Mac that
    automates uploading entire folders to your account.
  • Plugins for Adobe Lightroom and Apple Photos – Available to
    directly publish photos from these apps.

Depending on your workflow, utilizing a third-party tool may help speed up and
simplify your SmugMug uploads.

Quick Tip to ensure your videos never go missing

Videos are precious memories and all of us never want to ever lose them to
hard disk crashes or missing drives. PicBackMan is the easiest and simplest
way to keep your videos safely backed up in one or more online accounts. 

Download PicBackMan

Simply Download PicBackMan (it’s
, register your account, connect to your online
store and tell PicBackMan where your videos are – PicBackMan does the rest,
automatically. It bulk uploads all videos and keeps looking for new ones and
uploads those too. You don’t have to ever touch it.

Troubleshooting Upload Issues

In some cases, you may encounter issues when uploading photos to SmugMug:

  • Slow upload speeds – This is typically due to large
    uncompressed image files. Try optimizing photos before uploading.
  • Upload fails or is incomplete – Network errors can disrupt
    an upload. Retry uploading the photos.
  • Uploaded photos missing – It may take time for uploads to
    process. Check again in a few hours.
  • Uploaded photos look bad – Compression and resizing can
    reduce quality. Upload full-resolution originals.
  • Wrong folder or gallery – Double check that you selected
    the correct destination before uploading.

Getting in touch with SmugMug’s customer support can also help diagnose and
address any persistent upload problems not resolved above.

Storing and Backing Up Master Files

Once you’ve uploaded your portfolio to SmugMug, it’s important to have the
original photo masters safely backed up:

  • Store master files on an external HDD or SSD – Local
    backups allow quick recovery if anything happens to the SmugMug versions.
  • Use cloud storage like Dropbox or Google Drive – Provides
    offsite protection and universal access to your master files.
  • Implement the 3-2-1 backup strategy – Maintain 3 copies of
    data, on 2 different media types, with 1 copy offsite.
  • Organize files in a clear folder structure – Keeps master
    copies tidy and easy to navigate.
  • Back up often – Perform incremental backups daily or weekly
    to keep masters current.

With your originals protected, you can freely edit and share photos through
SmugMug without worrying about damaging the masters.

Customizing Your Uploaded Photos

Once your photos are uploaded, you can leverage SmugMug’s customization

  • Edit images – Trim, crop, adjust color, add filters,
    watermarks, and more.
  • Organize into albums and galleries – Create a portfolio
    structure that makes sense.
  • Custom themes and branding – Match the look to your
    personal or business website.
  • Keyboard-driven navigation – Set custom URLs, alt text,
    titles, descriptions and more in bulk.
  • Hide, feature or favorite photos – Control which images
    viewers see first.
  • Sell prints, downloads and products – Monetize your work
    through ecommerce.

Taking the time to arrange, enhance and customize your uploaded photos will
help them look their absolute best on your SmugMug site.


With this comprehensive guide, you now have a detailed overview of the
flexible options for uploading photos to your SmugMug account. Taking
advantage of SmugMug’s features will provide you with a polished online home
to showcase your photographic work professionally. Be sure to also implement a
solid backup plan to protect your image masters. With your portfolio safely
uploaded, you can share your photographic passion with the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

What image formats does SmugMug support?

SmugMug supports JPG, PNG, TIFF and PSD files. For best performance, JPG is
recommended. SmugMug does not support RAW files.

What happens when I reach my storage limit?

On paid plans, you get unlimited storage for reduced-resolution versions that
are displayed online. But full-resolution originals count towards your storage
limit. If you exceed it, you’ll need to upgrade your account plan for more

Can I upload photos from my mobile device?

Yes, the free SmugMug apps for iOS and Android allow you to easily select and
upload photos straight from your mobile device to your account.

How do I reorder photos after uploading?

You can drag-and-drop photos to reorder them within an album or gallery via
the website. The mobile apps also provide reordering capabilities.

How do I get photos from Facebook into SmugMug?

SmugMug provides a tool to import your Facebook photos. Go to Upload >
Import > Facebook Photos to connect your accounts and transfer images.

253+ Reviews & Counting

Kip Roof testimonial Kip Roofgoogle photos flickr
PicBackMan does exactly what it's supposed to. It's quick and efficient. It runs unobtrusively in the background and has done an excellent job of uploading more than 300GB of photos to 2 different services. After having lost a lot of personal memories to a hard drive crash, it's nice to know that my photos are safe in 2 different places.
Julia Alyea Farella testimonialJulia Alyea Farella smugmug
LOVE this program! Works better than ANY other program out there that I have found to upload thousands of pictures WITH SUB-FOLDERS to SmugMug! Thank you so much for what you do! :) #happycustomer
Pausing Motion testimonialPausingMotionsmugmug
I pointed PicBackMan at a directory structure, and next time I looked - all the photos had uploaded! Pretty cool. I use SmugMug and while I really like it, the process of creating directories in is pretty laborious when you need to make 80+ at a time. This was a breeze. Thank you!
Gavin Whitham testimonialGavin Whithamflickr
PicBackMan was really easy to setup and has been running for 3 days now backing up all my locally saved photos to Flickr. My photos are really valuable to me so it's great to be able to have them easily backed up to a secure location.
 Jim Griffin testimonialJim Griffinsmugmug
It's AWESOME!! I have tens of thousands of pictures...and they are now successfully uploaded to SmugMug, where they are safely backed up, and I can edit and organize them. If you are hesitating about using PicBackMan, hesitate no longer...try it...and you'll be glad you did!!
Robert testimonialRobertonedrive
I started with the basic plan, went to premium and now on their platinum plan and it's more than worth the price for me. PicBackMan has saved me many tedious hours of effort moving many files between my various cloud and photo site services and my local computers.
Pausing Motion testimonialVladdropbox
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Dave testimonialDavesmugmug
PicBackMan was an answer to many a prayer. How can I get this MASSIVE collection of photos onto a service that cripples uploading? PicBackMan. I uploaded approximately 85,000 photos in less than a month. It would have taken me close to a year to get all of those photos where they needed to go. Nothing short of brilliant.
Barry Graham testimonialBarry Grahamflickr
Great tool for enduring your photos are always safely backed up. I backed up tens of thousands of photos and dozens of videos to Flickr in my 1st couple of months using PicBackMan. Would unreservedly recommend as it works seamlessly and copies your photos to Flickr in sets which reflect your folders.
Achal Gupta testimonialAchal Guptaflickr
This is a fantastic piece of software! I wanted to backup 100+ gigs worth of original sized photos to Flickr and after trying many many tools, PickBacMan was the one that finally worked. It worked flawlessly for 10 straight days uploading all my photos without a single error/ timeout/ crash. Absolutely amazing! I didn't try the other premium features but the ability to replicate stuff across multiple...