We are a family passionate about photos.
Family owned since 2002.
Millions of customers, billions of photos.
"…lets you make money by selling your photos to your admirers online."
"…the strikingly handsome photography site."
"It's partly that gadget-head spirit that has made SmugMug such a hit with customers."
"...some seriously beautiful new portfolio layouts, a much-improved back-end, and an all new…well…everything. They totally nailed it..."
"…one of the top company brands in its field and one of the most-liked and most-respected personal brands."
"Sell prints and host your photos in customizable image galleries that are pleasing to the eye."
Real Human Support
By Chris MacAskill
Most Internet companies dream of selling to bigger ones, and getting rich.
We never have. For years we’ve resisted buyout offers from the most prestigious Internet companies because we’re so in love with what we do.
Into the Jaws of Death
To our friends it seemed we were following our hearts into the jaws of death.
It was 2002, when Internet companies were collapsing. Our competitors would be Microsoft, Yahoo, Canon, and Kodak.
But we were hopelessly in love with the Internet and photography. We longed for a safe, beautiful home for our own photos.
SmugMug HQ in 2002: my home.
It was a moment of truth for our belief that passion is the most important thing in business. We all know passion explains why Apple, Harley-Davidson, and Starbucks thrive, but we swallowed hard when we considered the odds against us.
We dreamed of a service that didn’t place ads alongside our photos. We wanted our photos displayed big, with the original resolution preserved. We wanted to customize our galleries so they took on our personalities. We wanted to trust that our private photos would remain private. And we didn’t want to bump against storage limits.
We couldn’t find a service like that in 2002, so we built SmugMug. We couldn’t imagine then how exciting our lives would become with the amazing rise of digital photography.
Three years after starting, we became the trustees for the priceless photos of 50,000 families, the equivalent of a medium-sized city. Gone were the sharing sites of many trusted brands.
We did it without taking debt because we felt a great sense of responsibility for the photos we store. Our reward in the beginning was huge: the joy of working with each other doing what we love, and the bonds that form when you struggle for a great cause. Delayed gratification was worth the reward.
Now we have billions of photos and millions of customers, but the same conservative approach of no debt.
SmugMug was started by CEO Don, who hired me (his father, Chris).
Along the way the contagion spread to the rest of the family. They left their promising careers and two SmugMug MacAskills became seven, solving the Silicon Valley problem of not enough time for family. Our favorite activity is to work long hours together on exciting new features. And the rest of the SmugMug team has become family, too.
Even our customers consider themselves part of the family, all of us bonded by our shared love of photos. Like us, they range from memory makers to award-winning professional photographers. Most of our employees were our customers before we hired them.
My jaw dropped when I heard that my former boss, Steve Jobs, would give the commencement speech at my alma mater, Stanford University. Had he ever been to a college graduation?
But he said something powerful there I knew he believed: "The only way to do great work is to love what you do."
That’s how our family's dreams came true.
Chris & Don MacAskill
Co-founders, photographers, and regular guys