Smartimage News Archive

When is Smartimage right for your business?

DAM System Solutions & Digital Asset Software

If you have a business, chances are good that you have images and documents and other digital assets that you need to store, find and then share — with staff and vendors and customers. Oh my!

And if you’ve found your way to this blog, you probably already realize that you need a “professional-strength” digital asset management system. In short, you’re DAM ready for digital asset management software that can help you manage and streamline all your visual content. But which DAM solution is right for you? Let’s take a look.

Widen’s full-scale digital asset management software is our original. Launched in 2000, it was designed for mid-to-large businesses. But we soon saw that there was a need for a smaller — but equally professional — DAM system that would bridge the gap between Widen’s comprehensive digital asset management system and personal-use products like Dropbox. So Smartimage was created to fill that gap. We like to think of it as DAM lite.

Launched in 2013, Smartimage was made especially for small-to-medium sized businesses of all types. From mom-and-pop operations to non-profits, it’s used by schools and churches, clubs, teams — and yes, even big businesses. Because no two organizations are alike, their needs will differ — along with their DAM solutions.

So to determine if Smartimage is the right DAM system for you, you need to look beyond just size. With less storage than the original, it comes at a significantly lower price — making it a perfect fit for many smaller organizations. But more importantly, you need to ask yourself this: what are you looking for in a digital asset management system? What file-sharing problems do you want to solve?

Widen and Smartimage will both solve your basic digital asset management requirements —allowing you to store visual content and share your digital assets with other users. Here are some of the features you’ll get with Smartimage:

  •    Basic metadata
  •    Public and private sharing
  •    Anonymous photo collection
  •    Password-protected collections
  •    Basic analytics
  •    API

Widen DAM, of course, offers you all of these features and more. But … we’ve found that many smaller companies just don’t need the extras that our large clients do. Not because they’re less important — but because they’re typically working with fewer employees, fewer customers, fewer vendors, and fewer digital assets. And that makes their DAM needs — and DAM solutions — that much less complicated.

Our full-scale Widen DAM system provides customers with a guided implementation, consulting services and continuing support. But here’s the deal — we believe that our Smartimage DAM software is so easy to use that no training is needed. But don’t worry, if you do have questions, our email and chat support is here to help you every step of the way. Because no matter which DAM system you choose, our goal is to help your business be the best that it can be.

Still not sure? Feel free to contact us — or sign up for a free trial today!   

Is Smartimage right for your business? DAM lite!


Digital asset management is a valuable tool for businesses of any size. Why? Because a DAM is an easy and effective way for employers to store and share digital assets with their employees, vendors and potential customers. But if you’re a small to medium sized company, bigger isn’t always better.

In fact, when it comes to digital asset management, you may not need all of the services offered by a large-scale DAM system. So why pay for them — especially when Smartimage can provide a DAM software system that’s just the right fit for your company? Just think of it as DAM-lite.

So what’s the difference?

In a nutshell, the Smartimage DAM system is designed to help organize and store all your visual content such as documents, logos, and videos. And once these digital assets are housed in one central hub, it’s very easy to share them with anyone, anytime. But wait. If this sounds suspiciously like the services offered by our parent company, Widen, well, you’re right. In fact, it was the success that the “big guys” have found with our original DAM system that made us realize we could — and should — do the same thing for everyone else.

Like the iconic light beer commercials that claim to “taste great” and be “less filling,” Smartimage’s DAM software still does it all — on a smaller scale. Users find that our DAM-lite system works great — with just the right services for your business. And best of all, instead of cutting key elements of the original DAM software, we’ve simply focused on, well, simplifying it.

Most small and medium sized companies have smaller budgets and less manpower to devote to their digital asset management system. That’s why management of our DAM-lite system is designed to account for just a small portion of someone’s duties. At a lower cost.

A few more facts about Dam-lite

Smartimage’s DAM system plans start with 50GB of storage for your digital assets. We’ve found this is plenty for most small businesses. But don’t worry — you can always add more if you need it.

While you can certainly designate someone to manage your DAM-lite system, it’s easy and accessible enough for anyone to use.

Visual content and digital assets are not one-size fits all! That’s why you can retrieve your files in small, medium or large sizes — to fit your specific needs.

Searching for visual content files has never been easier. Metadata and keywords are imported automatically to help you search and find what you’re looking for — in a snap!

Get in touch

Still have questions? We can help. Get in touch with us anytime to discuss your DAM-lite needs.

Sharpen your skills and rekindle creative inspiration at HOW Design Live 2016

We’ll be at this inspiration-packed, global creative gathering. We’d love to see you there! HOW Design Live is in Atlanta May 19 – 23.

What is HOW Design Live?

HOW Design Live is an energetic, informative conference for the creative industry. Session categories include Design & Creativity, In-House Management, Vision & Leadership, Branding & Packaging, Creative Entrepreneur, Interactive Design, and Tools & Resources.

Why attend HOW Design Live?

  • Sharpen your skills – Learn how to think strategically, develop design solutions, and effectively communicate with audiences to grow your business.
  • Rekindle your creative inspiration – Great speakers like Aaron Draplin, Elle Luna, and Oliver Jeffers will share how-tos, stories, and much more. There are more than 100 breakout and keynote sessions.
  • Say hi to the Smartimage Team – We’ll be at booth 435 in the Exhibit Hall. Ask questions, pick up some swag, or just say “hello.”
  • Connect with the design community – Take the opportunity to meet with other conference-goers. Networking not your thing? Here are some tips for how you should prepare for the HOW Design Live.

Follow the event on social #HOWLive

If you’re not able to attend, you can still follow the event on social media. Join the conversation on Twitter:

A new look for Smartimage subscriptions

We love hearing from our users. We spent a lot of time in 2015 getting to know more of you. All of the great info you share with us through survey responses, interviews, support chats, and events helps guide Smartimage to solve your day-to-day problems with image management and sharing.

We’ve received a ton of great feedback, like “We save a lot of time. When I say a lot, it’s not enough. It’s a huge amount of time.” And, “We love Smartimage. It just works really well for us and is the only place for images. This is where you go, always.” Hearing customer feedback like that makes us feel good!

We also receive great suggestions on how we can make Smartimage better. 80% of customers surveyed in February 2015 said they wanted video support. We also heard feedback like “[We] would like to see enhanced color palette customization to allow for backgrounds…” and “[We] can share individual collections w/ passwords. Can we do this with portals?” Well, we’ve been listening and you can see these updates and more are reflected in the app today.

Here’s a look at some of the things we’ve added since our last subscription change:

Sharing updates to help you get the right files in front of the right people

  • Portals
  • Password-protected portals
  • Social media cropping and sharing
  • Unique, undiscoverable link sharing
  • Expirable link sharing
  • Visitor upload

Expanded file support & previewing so you can store all the files you need — in one place

  • Video support (upload, preview, download, and share video files)
  • Office Document file previews
  • Camera RAW formats
  • The full list of supported file formats available at support center

New integrations to connect Smartimage to other apps you use

  • Dropbox to quickly ingest files into Smartimage
  • Twitter to streamline sharing images to your followers
  • An updated Facebook integration to improve image displaying

Customization options to reflect your brand

  • Expanded account theme customization, including the background
  • Home screen display options
  • Custom collection previews

Admin workflow enhancements

  • Batch download select files
  • Display all tags
  • Create collections on the fly
  • Quick replace
  • Chat support

New subscriptions

With all of these updates and plenty more on the way, we’ve released new Smartimage subscription plans. You can view these subscriptions at We’ve worked hard to make our subscriptions more tailored to specific client needs and use cases. We’d love for you to join us!

For our current users

First off, thanks for being awesome! To keep things simple for you, no action is required on your part. You can keep on business as usual. If you’re interested in moving to one of the new subscriptions, you can upgrade from the billing page of your account.

If you have any questions, contact us at

Image Sources For Fresh Looking Content in 2016

fresh ingredients on table
Is your marketing content starting to look a little stale? You might be one of the 87% of B2C marketers using illustrations or photos as a content marketing tactic. Or maybe photos are just a part of everything your team creates. For those of you being asked to create stunning visual content like GE or Nike with a tiny budget, you might find some inspiration from Julia Child’s advice on cooking, “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces — just good food from fresh ingredients.” Keep things simple. Understand the sources of fresh images available and when each is appropriate to use in your content.

Like selecting fruit at the market, you’ll want to look over images to check for quality before serving them up in your web and print materials. When selecting from your image sources, keep in mind your brand, quality of the image, and audience relevance.

Professional photographer (freelance or in-house)

Think of professional photographers as your local, organic farmers, providing you with fresh ingredients tailored to the dishes you’d like to serve. The images are specific to your brand. In-house photographers can provide specialization in products and brands you represent. If you don’t have an in-house photographer or want a different perspective for a shoot, consider hiring a freelancer.


Our in-house photographers help capture events we host and attend. These images can be repurposed over time.

The photographer behind the lens is the biggest difference between a quality photo and not. When you combine a professional photographer with photo subjects tailored to your product/service and direction for your brand, your output is high-quality, brand images.
The time required to setup and execute a photo shoot and the cost of hiring a photographer make hiring professional photographers costly. But when you’re looking to serve up the best brand content, you need to start with the best ingredients. Hire a professional photographer for projects that directly involve your product or service. This can range from the product photography populating your e-commerce site, images on your website, and ads.

  • Hiring a professional photographer gives you the highest-quality images that are tailored to your brand and use.
  • When you find a freelance photographer that does good work for you, build a relationship with them. Consistency is critical to a strong brand image.
  • Preparation is key to a good photoshoot. Set up time to meet with the photographer before hand for efficient time spent during the actual shoot.

Use when:
Hire a professional photographer for images that are directly relevant to your product or service. These images present the biggest opportunity for brand differentiating images.

Stock photography

Stock photography is your mass produced and widely accessible source for images. A healthy brand does not live on stock photography alone. It understands the importance of moderation and the times when stock photography is most appropriate. It can also serve as inspiration for a style you’d like to make your own with proprietary photos.
Stock photographyCompared to hiring a professional photographer, stock photography can be relatively inexpensive, but the biggest advantage to stock photography is its accessibility. Professional images are readily available for download when you need them. You can access photos of a scenic mountain range, a cyclist on a busy street, and a burrito, all from your desk.
The shortcoming of stock photography is originality. The images aren’t created with your company’s offering and brand in mind. This makes differentiating your brand difficult because the images in your content and marketing are used by hundreds or thousands of other websites and companies. It also becomes difficult to maintain a consistent look when relying on many different sources.

  • A healthy, authentic brand cannot live on stock photography alone. It requires images unique to its brand experience.
  • When multiple people are purchasing stock photography, provide guidelines for on-brand stock photography. Include things to look for in images and things to avoid.
  • Have a system setup for managing your stock photographs so duplicates aren’t purchased by different people.

Use when:
Use stock photography to support content that isn’t directly about your product, service, or company identity.

Mobile Devices

Photography from mobile devices is like your home garden. The quality of your product depends on your skill set, tools, and environment. Your smartphone can be a powerful, quality source of photographs, despite the overwhelming number of blurry selfies and poorly lit photographs of food you see on social media. It’s actually a great way to capture candid, in-the-moment stories. Your smartphone is the camera you’ve always got with you. It’s also the camera your employees and customers have with them.
mobile device photograph
Learning some simple photography tips can quickly elevate the quality of your smartphone photos. Experiment with keeping backgrounds simple, getting closer to your subjects, and following the Rule of Thirds. Learn more about these tips and others in this 16 tips to take better marketing photos with your smartphone camera post.


  • Get permission from the subjects of your photographs before posting to social networks or using in other marketing materials.
  • Find a balance between quality and authenticity. Photographs that don’t meet an identified standard of quality shouldn’t be used to represent your brand.
  • Educate your employees about photography best practices if you’re encouraging them to take candid company culture photographs.

Use when:
Use photography from mobile devices when your audience is looking for authenticity over polish. Social media is a great example for a place where people like behind the scenes, authentic looks at brands.