Not long ago, in order to share a photo with someone online meant you sent them an email with an attachment of that image. This is great for one or two people, or for one or two images. Times have changed and it’s considered by many to be normal to share your photos with the world now. Photo sharing online means that you upload your images to a website and then share that location/URL with your friends or co-workers, conference attendees, or the world.
First, what are the benefits of sharing online?
- You don’t have to burn copies of CD’s of your photos collections for others to see. Instead, simply give the people the URL and they can view them easily themselves. And, most of the sites offer photo printing so the visitors can order copies of the images THEY want, instead of getting ALL of them.
- You don’t have to try to manage your photo inventory yourself. Upload to one of the websites, and let them store the photos there. (Be aware that you may not be able to get the ORIGINAL sizes back off some of the websites, so it’s best have a backup of the original that you keep.)
- You don’t have to worry about clogging someone’s email with tons of photos. Just a link in an email and you are done.
What are some of the photo sharing websites?
- Flickr — one of the best known for sharing with the public in general. In fact, many organizations have a Flickr account to help publicize events. Free for a limited number of images/month. Not the easiest to do “private” photo sharing, more of “open” sharing.
- Shutterfly — this is a personal favorite of mine. You can upload as many photos of whatever size you want. (They have a “Shutterfly Studio” application to upload whole directories quickly.) Easy to set up private shares. Free. Visitors can easily order prints.
- Picasa Web Albums — if you love Picasa, then this can be an easy choice, built right into the application. Free.
- SmugMug — similar to Flickr but with more control on the look/feel of the pages and on privacy. Paid accounts only.
- Kodak Gallery — similar to Shutterfly but visitors have to create an account to view your photos. Free.
As you can see there are lots of options, and that’s only a small sample of what’s out there. Maybe you have a recommended photo-sharing website?
So, the next time you are tempted to send someone 30 photos in an email, or burn a CD full of convention photos, STOP! See if sharing the photos online might save everyone some time!