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The Best Ways to Share Your Digital Photos Online

Don't send those enormous digital camera files by email!

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Flickr Studio iPad App

Flickr Studio is an iPad app with a beautiful interface for sharing your photos on Flickr as well as for browsing photos from friends and family and exploring interesting photos from around the world.

Flickr Studio for iPad

One of the first things new digital camera owners want to do is start sharing their digital photos with friends and family. Of course, the easiest way to do that is by email. But is it the best way?

Often, the new digital camera owner will take their enormous multi-megapixel files straight from the camera and attach them to an email, sometimes CCing their whole address book. The unsuspecting recipient may not appreciate this, especially if their ISP puts a small limit on the size of email attachments they can receive. Many times, these large attachments will clog the recipient's inbox, making it impossible for them to access their remaining mail.

Nowadays, we have much better options for sharing digital photos online.

Reducing Digital Photos Before Emailing

Just about everyone knows how to use email, and it remains one of the simplest ways to share photos, although today there are better options. If you are going to continue to share photos by email, do your recipients a favor and scale copies your photos down to a reasonable size that will fit on most screens and take less time to download. (You can delete these smaller copies after emailing them.) Users of Windows have a way to do this built right into the operating system, and many photo cataloging programs have a send email feature that will also resize copies of the pictures before sending them. The following tutorial links offer many options for emailing or resizing multiple photos with free or inexpensive software.

Use a Photo-Sharing Web Site

Preferably, you could scale copies of the photos down and post them to a photo-sharing site like Flickr, iCloud, or Adobe Revel, a social network like Facebook, or to a personal Web site. Posting photos to the Web is a better solution if you have many photos to send, or when you want to share the same group of photos with many different people. Most photo-sharing sites will automatically downsize very large images or offer a choice of sizes to the viewer. In addition, they can offer useful services to viewers of your photos such as printing, saving, and slide show viewing. If you already have personal Web space (check with your ISP), you will find lots of free or inexpensive software to build a Web photo gallery for you. These are a little more work compared to using a photo-sharing site, but you have a lot more personalization options when using your own Web site.

Use Online Cloud Storage

Cloud storage is one of the best ways to share your photos online because you can control exactly who you share it with and the recipients can view the photos when it is convenient for them to do so.  In addition, many cloud services allow recipients to download the photos to keep. Most cloud services offer a free plan for users who do not require a very large amount of space. In most cases, only the person sending the photo is required to open an account, and the recipients will be able to view and access the photo without an account. I personally have several online cloud storage accounts which I use for different things. A cloud service is the ideal solution for sending many large photos and videos where you want total control over what you send, how it is sized, and who can see it.

Instead of going straight for email, next time consider your recipients and try out another way to share your photos online.

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