You know what I usually want to do after finishing an afternoon’s worth of photo shoots? Yes – I can’t wait to get my pictures processed and shared. In the old days, photographers had to develop film before pictures could come out. These days, we don’t have to wait that long – and it’s great!
Of course, there’re many options for getting our photos “out there”.
For example, we can import pictures into a computer, upload them straight to Facebook or Dropbox, transfer them over to a friend’s smartphone, or copy them over to a digital photo frame.
Some folks also stick to traditional methods of sharing, e.g. burning photos into a DVD or Blu-ray disc.
I’m still amazed at these sharing options available to us these days. In this article, I want to run through some of the options for sharing your digital photos with your friends and family.
Which method you use depends on what kind of photographer you are. If you’re just shooting pictures for fun and want to zap photos out to your friends quickly, uploading to Facebook is a good option.
If you want to tinker with your photos and carefully sort and tag them, then you should probably import them into a computer, before releasing them for consumption by others.
Tip 1: Share From Your Camera
The first way to share your digital photos is also the most convenient – share straight from your camera. These days, digital cameras (e.g. the Canon PowerShot ELPH 330 HS and Samsung WB250F) have Wi-Fi built in. This means you can shoot a picture, then send it wirelessly to your computer, Facebook, etc. with ease.
There’s also an “Eye-Fi” SD memory card with Wi-Fi built into the memory card. This means that if you cameras doesn’t have Wi-Fi, you can still rely on this Wi-Fi memory card to send pictures wirelessly. How amazing is that?
If you’ve taken pictures on your smartphone, it’s even simpler to share it. All you do is perform a few taps, and your picture is off to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc.
Tip 2: Share From Email
As you know, sending huge photos over email is most inconsiderate. As such, it’s usually not very nice or feasible to send your photos over email to someone. However, these days, we have more options, i.e. cloud storage!
Applications like Dropbox, Microsoft SkyDrive and Google Drive now allow you to send photos to the “cloud”, then notify someone via email. So your recipient simply sees a link in his or her email and goes to the cloud storage to retrieve the photo(s). No more clogged email inboxes.
My personal favorite in this cloud-based photo storage area is definitely Dropbox. I also sometimes use Yahoo! Mail (which has a sidebar integrated with Flickr for photo storage).
Tip 3: Online Photo Sharing Sites
For those who want to showcase their photos to a large target audience, a good option is to go with an online photo sharing site. These sites are powerful – allowing you to tag keywords, locations and also offering a whole host of photo showcase features.
Some of my favorite photo sharing sites include:
- Flickr. Flickr is the online photo behemoth with 26 million users and an all-round, solid platform
- 500 px. This photo sharing site looks gorgeous. Serious photographers can put a price tag and sell their photos online.
- Picasa. This online photo sharing site is old but still good with very clean, nice features for photo storage.
- PhotoStreams. PhotoStreams works very well with iOS and iCloud. If you have an iPhone and take a lot of photos with it, this may be a good option for you.
One option that deserves special mention is MyPublisher. This is a photobook publishing site that allows you to upload photos, collate them in a physical photo book delivered to your doorstep. I really like this idea, because these days, with digital photos all sitting in hard drives, we hard get a chance to view them in a solid, hardcopy photobook!
One thing I’d need to warn you about – take note of your privacy settings. When publishing photos online, always look for a site that allows you to set proper privacy settings. You don’t want a photo of yourself in a “comprising position” being uploaded for the world at large to see!
Tip 4: Social Media
You’ll know that social media is now a very important platform for publishing photos. Each day, here in Singapore, when I take the subway to work, I see almost every other passenger checking their Facebook account! And you can bet that most of them are very comfortable with snapping quick pictures and uploading them to Facebook.
Facebook has admittedly vastly improved their photo sharing capabilities over the years. You can now easily click on and tag anyone in your photos. You have to be clear about your privacy option settings though – if you don’t like people to tag you and have that picture appear in your timeline, you need to make sure you enable the setting Facebook Settings > Timeline and Tagging > Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your Timeline?”
PInterest. Besides Facebook, there are some other good photo sharing options out there. One of them is PInterest, which has taken the world by storm. PInterest is basically an online photo gallery that allows you to “collect and organize the things you love”. Go into PInterest and you’ll see interesting photo collections of all manner of things – from “Iconic Art” and “Techy Gifts” to “Unexpected Burger Toppings”.
Tumblr. Tumblr is another interesting platform famed for its photo sharing capabilities. Tumblr is a microblogging and social networking platform that lets you post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog.
Case Study. You know, I know a couple of traditional photographers who are true veterans in their craft – they came from a time when film was still used in cameras. And they complain to me about the difficulty in sharing their photos. As a result, many of them still have their pictures in memory cards or hard drives. The newer options for sharing photos, e.g. Facebook do take a bit of getting used too for those used to analog photography. I usually suggest to these friends of mine that thy get a Facebook account and use it as a starting point to get into photo sharing through social media.
Tip 5: Slideshows
One of the things I like to do with a collection of digital photos that I treasure is to create slideshows. I use Corel VideoStudio to create my slideshows and it rocks! All you do is to create a project, then drag and drop your favorite digital photos, and select to create a slideshow, filled with fun transition effects. Trust me, you’ll be able to do this in a couple of minutes and the output is really professional looking. The other two programs that are great for slideshows are Serif PhotoPlus and Roxio Photoshow – I’ve use them from time to time and get great results.
And as a final note, the slideshows you create are great candidates for uploading to sites like YouTube and Vimeo for sharing with the world at large.
Tip 6: Burn DVDs and Blu-ray Discs
You know, if I want to share photos with Grandpa and Grandma, the first thing I think of is to burn my photos into a DVD or a Blue-ray Disc. Again software programs like Corel Paintshop Pro, Serif PhotoPlus and Roxio Photoshow are great tools for burning your DVD and Blu-ray media.
One of the most common uses of DVDs and Blu-ray discs for photo storage is for wedding photography. Most of the professional wedding photographer friends I know use DVD discs to store precious wedding moments for their clients. In fact, DVD is the preferred format, as not everyone has a Blu-ray player at home.
Tip 7: Digital Photo Frame
The final way to share your digital photos is to use a good old photo frame. But not your traditional wooden photo frames which hold one hardcopy photo.
We’re talking about digital photo frames – which have become slightly more advanced over the years. These days, you can find photo frames like this one which comes complete with Wi-Fi connectivity for ease of uploading pictures into the device.
I personally have a Kodak Easyshare on my desk to display photos of my wife and kids. My wife has a NIX Ultimate Cloud frame sitting in the living room, Wi-Fi enabled and able to display a huge range of our favorite photos over the years.
And that’s it, 7 super tips for sharing your digital photos. Remember, it’s no good having your beautiful pictures sitting in your camera’s memory card. Once you finish your shooting for the day, make it a habit to share your photos as soon as possible – be it from your camera, email, online sites, social media, slideshows or through physical media like DVDs or digital photo frames.
Until next time, have fun sharing those your photos with the world at large!