Between phones, tablets, cameras and desktops, there are ways to de-clutter your photos without breaking into a sorting frenzy. Photo sharing services like SmugMug, Flickr and Photobucket are virtual photo albums to store, organize and share your photos. If you're an aspiring or professional photographer, building an online presence through photo storage and social media is crucial. Also, take a look at our articles about photo sharing services.
The best photo sharing service fits the needs of casual and professional shutterbugs alike. These services vary in how they allow you to display, share and organize your photos. Some of these services allow you to design a portfolio or webpage to display your work. Others border on acting as social media that keep your photos on a profile. Before registering for a photo sharing service, consider what you want to do with your photos. For example, if you only want to share with friends and family, portfolio options shouldn't be a priority.
Sharing & Storage
Uploading should be effortless for single and entire collections of images. But storage capacity can affect upload times. Whether you typically use a cell phone or a professional camera, your images need lots of space. Look for at least 10GBs of total storage and a high maximum upload size. Depending on your camera, you should look for services that can handle at least 20MB per image.
Look for a photo sharing service with connections to social media you use the most such as Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus. It's best to have a two-way connection that uploads to and from other sites into your photo library. If you find yourself constantly snapping photos, look for a service with a mobile app for Android or iOS so you can upload to your profile immediately.
It's no secret that some of the best photo sharing services also provide free accounts. That's what makes them so useful. But if you're a professional photographer or aspire to display your work online, you should consider the advantages of subscribing to a paid account.
Common subscription perks include extra storage space and ad-free use. The best photo sharing services can host an online business selling your photos. Some provide extra privacy and protection for your photos with watermarks and right-click protection. To improve your portfolio, most photo sharing sites include SEO services and analytics in a paid subscription.
Many photo sharing sites let you create keepsakes with your photos printed on them, but the best let you make money from selling your merchandise. Look for a service that can print your work on basic photo paper, at minimum. If you want a more interesting way to display your work, some sites print photos on items like mugs, blankets, mouse pads and even shower curtains.
If you're a professional photographer, it's likely you know your way around editing programs like Photoshop or Lightroom. Some of the best photo sharing services offer simple editing for final changes. The most basic editors can crop and rotate. More advanced programs can airbrush, remove blemishes, whiten teeth and apply color filters to change the mood of an image.
Help & Support
Forums are a kind of barometer for activity on any website's community. Look for user and help forums with recent posts and plenty of threads. Even if you aren't looking for support with the website, user forums are handy for swapping photography tips and tricks. For the simple questions, FAQs are also indicative of good support. If you're new to photo sharing or just a visual learner, tutorials show, rather than tell, you how to complete common tasks. Some sites even have webinars and photography tutorials to give you extra tricks to use on your photos. But when it comes down to the most helpful method of support, direct email or contact sheets are the best if you want to speak to a representative from the site.
Professional and casual photographers all want plenty of space to let their photos roam. Whether you're a cat picture connoisseur or getting your photography business off the ground, look for a photo sharing service that meets your needs. Fast upload times, massive storage capacity and sharing options should be a priority for the best photo sharing services.