Tips & Techniques » Sharing Your Holiday Photos
The Internet has made the world smaller, increasing your ability to connect with family and friends during the holiday season. Parents, grandparents, friends and relatives who live across the country can immediately be greeted by your warm, fuzzy photos and letters on one of the many photo sharing sites.
With the holidays upon us, photo sharing is a quick, easy, and affordable way to reach out to loved ones by sending cards, slideshows, online photobooks and other virtual creations - no stamps required! From a simple postcard with a brief message to an elaborate website with a pictorial and text narrative of the entire year’s events, all are made easy with your keyboard and mouse and the right site.
You don’t have to be a pro to post photos to share but the results will make you feel like a pro, due to the myriad designs, formats and easy-to-use upload apps which allow you to customize your photo sharing. The results can be highly polished pictorial displays sharing your most treasured and memorable photos.
Some photo sharing sites are more elaborate than others, with countless options to take advantage of. I’ve listed them in order for you to try, from the simplest to the more complex.
Flickr from Yahoo!
This is one of the most popular photo share sites - the 'Facebook' of photo share sites, that’s very community-oriented. It allows you to upload and share your photos and also edit and easily organize them into 'collections.' Flickr has privacy features allowing you to pick and choose who can access your photos, along with a usage license for copyright protection. You can also download a stand-alone desktop Flickr application that gives you immediate connection to your personal Flickr account, allows you to organize your photos on your hard drive and expedites upload of your photos to the site directly from your desktop.
Click here to view and navigate a Flickr album.
Webshots from American Greetings
This site is a great pick if you’re looking to do more than just have a web-based photo collection. You can upload, organize and share your photo collections, as well as convert them into customized calendars, cards, mugs and more for holiday gifting.
Click here to view and navigate a Webshots album.
Snapfish by HP
Similar to Shutterfly, Snapfish offers unlimited photo storage and free photo sharing. It strongly focuses on the printing aspect by offering you the ability to print photos on just about anything, with hundreds of printing options to choose from.
Picasa from Google
Picasa was one of the first sites to offer free photo-editing software to enhance your photos. Similar to Flickr, Picasa also has a downloadable desktop feature allowing you to connect to your account and organize photos on your hard drive. It also has the ability to easily choose photos from your computer to add to your web-based Picasa account.
Shutterfly calls itself a “social expression and personal publishing service.” Their flagship product is their award-winning photobook line, which allows photos to be compiled into professionally bound paperback or coffee table books. Even if you’re not a professional, you can design a book as if you were!
As a professional photographer capturing weddings, family portraitures and such, I use this site to provide my clients with a way see their proofs immediately. As I do my post-production editing, I post the photos to a Shutterfly website made expressly for the client. Another great option for the professional photographer is the opportunity to join an annual service that affords you a percentage of the proceeds whenever someone orders merchandise with images you’ve posted.
Shutterfly websites are not only great showcases for special family events, but also for holiday catch-ups. Shutterfly is easy to navigate, interactive, has an optional built-in blog, comment area and the capability to allow others to post their photos onto the same site.
Click here to view and navigate a Shutterfly album.
Other popular photo share sites:
Advanced photo share sites for professionals (Annual fee required):
Rochelle Riservato is a journalist & photographer who has a degree in marketing and advertising from SUNY Farmingdale. For the past three decades she’s worked for many local and national publications. She was recently the recipient of an Outstanding Journalist/Media Presenter Award from the New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers (NYSAFLT). Her photography has been showcased at Gallery 128 in Manhattan, The D&H Canal House Museum, and several Kingston, NY galleries. She photographs weddings, actor portraits, events and family portraitures. Her artistry can be seen at www.photosbyrochelle.com and she can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.