The latest version of Apple’s professional image cataloguing application has brought a couple of interesting updates. One is the swap from Google Maps to Apple Maps for the Aperture Places feature, which I’ve covered already. The other is the inclusion of support for online photo sharing site SmugMug with the new Aperture SmugMug upload tool.

There are lots of ways to share your photos now, of course, and most of them entirely free, like Facebook and Google+, for example. But SmugMug is rather different. It’s not free, but the Basic subscription costs just $5 a month, and there’s a 14-day free trial, so there’s plenty of time to check it out and it doesn’t cost much to sign up.

It’s what you get for your money that’s signficant. First, there are no ads. Second, you can upload as many images as you like. Third, you get to control who can see and access your pictures. Fourth, you get tools for customising your own website/gallery design.

There are Pro and Commercial subscriptions too, which you can use to market and sell your photos. SmugMug even incorporates its own e-commerce tools for customers to order and pay for photo products.

That’s just a brief overview. You can find out a lot more by going to www.smugmug.com and checking out the information there. The point is that if you’re already a SmugMug user, or you’re interested in trying it out, you can now upload directly to SmugMug from Aperture 3.5. And here’s how it works…

01 The Share button

Aperture SmugMug upload

First, select the pictures you want to upload. I’ve chosen some black and white shots I took recently. Now click the Share button on the top toolbar – you’ll see that in Aperture 3.5 a SmugMug button has been added to the bottom of the list.

02 Aperture access

Aperture SmugMug upload

If it’s the first time you’ve done this, Aperture will now ask ‘Do you want to set up Aperture to publish to SmugMug?’. Click the ‘Set Up’ button.

03 Log in/sign up with SmugMug

Aperture SmugMug upload

You’re now redirected to the SmugMug site login screen. If you already have a SmugMug account, enter your login details. Otherwise, sign up to create a new account. All you have to enter is a name, URL, email address and password. SmugMug will sign you up for a 14-day trial – you don’t have to pay now or enter any credit/debit card information.