tagbox.io: top alternative to smugmug
(2024 comparison & pricing)

By Guy Barner
29 Apr 2024
9 min read

SmugMug is a photo storage solutions that helps photographers store, share, and sell their photos. Founded in 2002, it one of the oldest tools for photo storage, together with Flickr.

To this day, SmugMug remains an affordable and reliable solution. How affordable? SmugMug Pro costs $384/year, which is a lot cheaper than so called "real" digital asset management solutions, or DAMs. However, if you've been using it as a team, you might have found it lacking in helping you stay organized and consistent over time.

if you're struggling with organizing large amounts of photos, it might be time to consider upgrading to a solution that leverages AI and management tools to make sure everyone has direct access to all your photos.

In this article, we'll talk about the pros and cons of using SmugMug; we'll offer first-hand experience of using it, explore reviews from top review sites, and compare it to Tagbox.io.

smugmug - overview

Before we discuss alternatives, let’s examine a few reasons why you might be looking for an alternative to SmugMug. In a way, you might consider SmugMug as a "Dropbox for photographers". Like Dropbox, it was one of the first tools of its kind, and as such, it still holds some credit with its old users. Like Dropbox, it allows you to upload and store photos in folders. But in an age of AI, can it measure up against its newer alternatives?

This review is common to find in review sites:

Why You Need A smugmug Alternative

❌ Organizing photos

If you're looking to not only store, but also keep your photos organized and have team members be able to easily find them, you might find SmugMug's organization features somewhat lacking. With very basic tagging capabilities and not many filtering options, it can feel like more of a drive solution than a modern photo management solution.

❌ Advanced search

As users, we've gotten accustomed to certain features in even the most basic photo storage solutions. When Google Photos and Apple Photos having great search across your photos, there's no excuse for not offering any type of image search in a photo-first solution. In fact, even the seemingly more basic and not photo-focused Dropbox and Google Drive now offer a decent searching experience, leaving SmugMug behind.

❌ Facial recognition

Another important feature we've all gotten used to over the past decade or so is facial recognition. If you're hosting photos of people, it can be an invaluable time-saver in helping you find photos in seconds.

tagbox logo

Tagbox.io - ai powered photo management

Launched in January 2023, Tagbox is a modern solution designed for teams managing large volumes of photos. It integrates advanced AI technologies such as sophisticated photo search, automated tagging, and facial recognition. This ensures users can quickly locate the appropriate photo when needed. While transitioning from simple photo storage to comprehensive photo management does have its costs, Tagbox is considered one of the more affordable options within its category.

Search and filters

Effective tagging helps maintain organization, but it's impossible to foresee every search query users might attempt. Tagbox excels in this area by enabling searches within the content itself, regardless of how assets are tagged. This feature is crucial for those working with external contractors who might not be familiar with internal terminology. Additionally, Tagbox uniquely offers text-in-image search, which is invaluable for quickly identifying images by elements such as brand labels.


SmugMug's tagging process can be manual and labor-intensive. In contrast, Tagbox streamlines this process with advanced bulk-tagging and tag management tools. Together with AI-based auto-tagging, it allows every team to keep a consistent tagging language across the organization.

Face recognition

Similar to consumer photo management tools such as Google and Apple Photos, Tagbox supports advanced face recognition that allows users to instantly find all photos of a specific person from across their catalog. This can be extremely useful if you're shooting lots of people, since manually looking for photos of a person across all folders can be next to impossible.


Tagbox’s pricing is transparent and available on its website. It has 4 different plans:

Solo Plan (free): 1,000 items and 3 users.

Studio Plan ($100/month): 5,000 items and 3 users.

Company Plan ($150/month): from 10,000 items with unlimited users, with expansion options.

Enterprise Plan: (custom pricing) includes platform customizations, dedicated integrations, and more.

Tagbox demo workspaces

Feature by feature comparison

up and running in a week

Setting up a Digital Asset Management platformcan take months.

At Tagbox, we understand that a productivity tool is supposed to, well, help productivity, which is why our data migration team would love to help get organized within just one week of signing up.

Learn more


Who should use smugmug?

SmugMug is mostly suitable for solo photographers who are looking to store, showcase, and sell their photos online.

How much does SmugMug cost?

SmugMug has multiple tiers, starting from $31/month for the basic package. For teams and organizations, it starts at $500/month.

What's the differnce between smugmug and tagbox.io?

The difference can be summed up as storage vs. management - while SmugMug is a great and affordable solution for storage, if can quickly become messy when multiple people upload large volumes of photos. If that's the case for you, it might be time for an upgrade.

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