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Tools for the Digital Photographer

If you have ever worked for a marketing or ad agency, you may have been charged with finding images that help convey quality, service, freshness, or some other attribute for a product flyer, advertorial, datasheet, or website, only to find that the world of image rentals is a very pricey business. Thanks to technology, consumer awareness, and the vast plethora of search engine indexes, the web prices for images have come down quite a bit.

Today, it's easier than ever for non-technical professionals to have a professional-looking website without all the design costs. Digital Railroad built a user-interface for photographers (amateur and professional) to market, share, and sell their digital photographs in an easier medium than what is currently offered by sites like Getty Images, Corbis, or JupiterImages, with those who buy digital images.

I use a similar online photo hosting site, Smugmug, for my photography, mostly for the unlimited storage, no ads, registration-free guest viewing, and the ability to convert any of my photos into photo gifts. Aside from its 14-day free trial period, all of its user accounts are paid subscriptions. The site does this because they believe their web tools and services are worth paying for, and the 200,000 mostly paying subscribers agree.

Differences in UI (can you spot them?):
Digital Railroad
Smugmug

Reference links:
http://www.popphoto.com/inamericanphotomagazine/3514/2006-innovators-technology.html
http://www.ephotozine.com/freelance/fullstory.cfm?freelanceid=19
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