A comparison of Zenfolio vs SmugMug

Photographers need a certain set of tools to excel at your craft – like, a camera to start. Now let’s get serious about the tools you need to excel at the “business” of being a photographer. Just like cameras and lenses, it’s important to compare features and benefits of the tools available from service providers for the business side of photography.

At Zenfolio, we eagerly listen and learn from photographers about your needs. We constantly work to develop and deliver the resources you need to succeed. We know other companies also offer business systems for photographers. Let’s take a look at how one competitor stacks up in a Zenfolio vs. SmugMug comparison. 

Key differences Zenfolio offers.

As you look into these two most popular service providers for photographers, Zenfolio emerges with distinctive differences over SmugMug.

As depicted in the table below, Zenfolio emerges as the leader in sophisticated technology-based tools such as BookMe automated scheduling and payment, automated workflows that include auto-generated client galleries at the time of booking, and Client Campaigns to market images and drive seasonal revenue without a photographer lifting a finger. Zenfolio advanced technology also steals the spotlight with People Filter, utilizing facial recognition to easily find a face in a crowded photo – like a bride in the middle of a wedding reception dance floor.

Feature Comparison

In a head-to-head view of features, some basic tools preferred by photographers are similar across both platforms – multiple website design templates, custom fonts and colors, galleries, social media sharing, watermark protection, client proofing and e-commerce resources.

Website Templates
Custom Fonts & Color Themes
Photo Galleries
Hosted Video with Watermark
Gallery Presets
Automatic Watermarks
Focal Points
AI/Facial Recognition
Social Media Sharing
Client Proofing
Client Galleries
Password Protected Pages
Commenting in Galleries
E-Commerce & Marketing
Appointment Scheduling
Automated Workflows
Contact Center
Online Store
Digital Products
SSL Certificate
Marketing Campaigns
Discount Codes
Custom Email Notifications
Photography Tutorials
Customer Support
Multiple with thousands of ways to customize them.
Award Winning & 1:1 onboarding sessions

Pricing Comparison

Annual Plan Pricing
Custom Domain
Free Trial
(for aspiring photographers)- $72/yr
(for part-time photographers) – $180/yr
(for professional photographers) – $360/yr
Basic – $55/yr
Power – $85/yr
Portfolio – $200/yr
Pro – $360/yr
(Power & Above)

About Zenfolio and SmugMug

Based in Mountain View, CA, SmugMug has provided website designs and resources for photographers since 2002. Zenfolio and SmugMug are among the more seasoned providers in the industry with Zenfolio founded in 2005. Both companies offer multiple service tiers to accommodate photographers at every career level – from aspiring, to part-time/hobbyists, to busy professional studios. Both offer free trials to try out their services.

SmugMug Logo


Just like picking the right camera body and lenses to meet your needs for a session, a detailed comparison of features, benefits and pricing will help you pick the right business partner for success. SmugMug and Zenfolio are two of the longest-running and most popular business resource providers in the photography industry.

Zenfolio delivers advantages over SmugMug:

Website design templates

BookMe automated scheduling and payment.

Automated workflows.

Client Campaigns automated marketing and sales.

AI facial recognition with People Filter.

Award-winning support.

 Online Photography Portfolio site examples

Begin your FREE trial.

No credit card required.

*Promotion valid until January 31, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Promotional discount off the subscription price of a new Portfolio, PortfolioPlus or ProSuite annual plan will be automatically applied at checkout with code ZENFOLIO50. Discount applies to the first year only. Cannot be combined with any other promotion.