Sharing Pictures – not with Email

collage-of-snapshot-photos-image-from-shutterstockSharing Pictures – not with Email: a reader asks…

good morning. i’m running into trouble sharing photos with my family and friends. my email service won’t let me attach more than one or two photos to an email and won’t let me send emails to a lot of people. i have alot of family and friends. what can i do to share my photos?

Emailing pictures has never been a very efficient way to share your memories with others. Easy for you to do but not efficient. Free email services and even the email service provided by your ISP are usually pretty strict about how big your messages can be and how many people you can send messages to. That’s partly because junk mail senders often use large distribution lists to send spam to people, and often include poisoned file attachments. ISPs are constantly watching out for spammer-like activity in their mostly-futile attempts to combat spam.

There are tons of ways to share photos online without having to resort to email. You can share pictures on general social networking sites/services like Facebook or Twitter. You can share pictures with image-dedicated services like Flickr, Instagram or PhotoBucket. Or you can share photos with cloud-based file storage services like Google Photos, Amazon Prime Photos, or Apple iCloud Photo Library. So which one do you choose?

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amazon-prime-google-photos-icloud-photos-logosIt all depends on your personal situation. I’d say if you have a Gmail account, then use Google Photos. If you have Amazon Prime, you can use their photo services. Both these options offer free, unlimited photo storage online, and make it easy to share with anyone (but just the specific people or groups you choose). If you’re an Apple user (Mac, iPhone, iPad) you can use the iCloud Photo Library, which also has some photo sharing capability. The nice thing about these file storage services is that you can store all of your pictures online (way more than might fit on your computer’s hard drive), and share them as you wish – if you email someone a link to a picture or an album, they look at that image online. Most of these services let them download the picture or album for free (you can restrict that if you wish).

Sharing images via social networking is also easy, but I’d suggest you do that from a photo storage service from Google, Amazon or Apple. And while there are tons of fans of the specialized photo services like Flickr, sharing with folks who don’t have an account can be a little more complicated. I haven’t even mentioned the for-fee photo sharing services like Shutterfly or SnapFish, they’re more about printing pictures and making physical photo albums, coffee mugs and the like. I also haven’t mentioned cloud-based storage services like Dropbox that have ways to store and share photos, but really haven’t focused on creating the best online tools for managing and sharing your photos (yet).

woman-holding-a-checklist-image-from-shutterstockSo here’s what I suggest you do:

  1. Sign up for (or use if you already have it) one of the 3 storage services: Google, Amazon Prime or iCloud. Start loading your pictures into the online library (hint: you can and should create albums just like you can on your computer).
  2. If your family & friends use social networking, share pictures that way. Otherwise, email them with the link to an album you’ve shared from your storage service.
  3. collect the compliments on your efforts from your friends and family, it’ll be a lot easier for them and a lot easier for you!

 

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