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Selling your photos online is a great way to make money. But with the increased exposure you gain by putting your images online, you also increase your chance of having your pictures stolen and used without payment.  You might also forfeit your photo copyright by posting your photos on a website without reading their fine print first (see yesterday’s article about selling your photos after they’ve been posted on Facebook). The good news is that there are a lot of “safe” places on the Internet where you can store, share, and sell your photos. I’m including a few of them below. Tomorrow we’ll talk about the pros and cons of putting watermark symbols on your photos for further protection, as well as how to add an official copyright to your work. Enjoy! –Lori Lori Allen Director, Great Escape Publishing **************** The Right Way to Travel July 15, 2010 **************** Zenfolio, SmugMug, and Dropbox: Three Safe Places to Store, Share and Sell Your Photos 1.  Zenfolio — great for storing, sharing, and selling photos.  This site gets extra bonus points for making you look like a professional, too. With Zenfolio, you can  upload photos to your different galleries and assign different levels of protection to each gallery. You can also password protect individual galleries (or all of them) and create specific lists of people who have access to them. Professional photographer Rich Wagner uses Zenfolio for his portrait customers, fine art sales, and family pics.  For portrait customers, he uploads his best photos, password protects the gallery so that only family and friends of his customer can view the pictures online, disables the ability of the customer to download a free copy of the picture, and includes prices on each photo if the customer wants to order online. Rich pays the top-tier one-year membership fee at Zenfolio of $100 per year and that gives him the ability to accept credit cards through the site, print and display photos, and, with the top-tier membership level, he can also customize the pages his customer sees so that there are no advertisements and no mention of Zenfolio.  Only Rich’s information is visible. For family and friend pictures, Rich can allow them to download the photo for free.  And he can also set prices to cover his printing costs if a family member wants to order prints and have the photos shipped directly to their house.  Zenfolio gives him that option. If you’re frequently selling your photos and are looking for a professional site that will help you take credit card orders, print on demand, and take orders online, Zenfolio is definitely worth your consideration. 2.  SmugMug — great for storing, sharing, and selling photos.  This site might not look as professional as Zenfolio but it’s a lot more creative and also cheaper. Zenfolio charges $100 per year for watermarking your photos, customizing your pages, and setting different price levels for different customers, family, and friends. Smugmug doesn’t allow you to remove the SmugMug logo from your pages so it loses professional points in that regard.  But it does let you watermark your images, take orders online, charge credit cards, print on demand, and set different price levels for different customers with their basic membership rate of just $39. SmugMug also has different page themes to jazz up your display should you want to get creative.  And they allow you to upload videos…create slideshows…download apps on your iphone…and more. Both SmugMug and Zenfolio offer free trials if you’re interested in testing them out before you buy.  But the biggest differences are in creative control of how your photos are displayed and also in price. 3.  Dropbox — great for storing and sharing photos.  This site will not take credit card orders or print on demand.  But it’s free and great for sharing photos with friends and family. This free online file storage site allows you to upload, store, and share files with anyone else who has Dropbox. You can store up to 2 GB of data when you first sign up. And if you don’t think that’s enough space, you can invite a friend to join.  If they use your affiliate link to sign up, you get an extra  250 MB of storage space and so do they (up to 8GB max as a free customer). The best part is, you can install Dropbox on your computer, too, so you don’t even have to login to their website to view the items in your Dropbox folder. Anything uploaded to Dropbox will also appear automatically on your computer. I use Dropbox for work and also for sharing photos of the baby with family and friends. Whenever I upload new photos online (or simply drop them in the Dropbox folder on my computer) they automatically appear online, as well as on the computers of whoever I’m sharing that folder with. I have a baby folder that I share with my mom and dad, friends, and family.  And a work folder that I share with my co-workers.  I also have a folder for Rich Wagner so he can drop photos into his Dropbox folder and they automatically appear on my computer.  And a folder for Shelly Perry so she can do the same. Dropbox doesn’t claim any ownership of your files. You have complete control over who sees them and you can remove and delete them at any time. It really is a great site for sharing large files like pictures, without clogging your e-mail inbox. [Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]  

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