By Megan Jaunich, One Senior Place, Director of IT and Systems Integration

Staying in touch with friends and family has become much quicker, easier, and cheaper through the use of email and social networks.  It’s no surprise

Below we’ll discuss a few popular photo sharing sites, in no particular order:

  • Shutterfly Share Sites – A very popular site for uploading pictures for purchasing prints and creating various photo-adorned gifts, Shutterfly recently purchased Kodak’s similar online photo site.  Some people use the site simply as a way to purchase prints without making a trip to the store, while others will order prints online and pick them up at a local retailer (Shutterfly uses Walgreens, CVS, and Target).  A great feature that is worth looking into is the ability to create your own “Share Sites.”  Using this, you can upload photos, share them with specific users (rather than making them public), and those users can even order their own prints from your site.
  • Snapfish Online Sharing – Similar to Shutterfly Share Sites, Snapfish allows users to view photos by emailing them a link to an album or photo that you would like to share.  Users can view, comment on, and print the photos which you share with them.  Prints and projects are similarly priced, and prints can be ordered online for home delivery or can be picked up at big chains such as Walmart and Walgreens.  Snapfish states that they have the most pickup locations nationwide – over 10,000.
  • Flickr – With Flickr you can do much the same as described above, including purchasing prints and gifts through Snapfish and other methods.  A really cool part of Flickr is The Commons.  The Commons on Flickr allows you to search and view “hidden treasures in the world’s public photography archives” as well as contribute.  Even if you don’t plan to use it as site for sharing your own photos, it is definitely worth a look – there are some fantastic images (not just photographs either – political cartoons, documents, and drawings can be found too) dating back much farther than one would imagine.
  • Picasa Web Albums – Google’s Picasa is a free downloadable piece of software which allows the novice user (like me) to do basic photo editing.  Picasa Web Albums allows you to upload and share photos and albums as well as order prints through services such as Shutterfly.  Using Picasa to organize photos on your computer and then select ones to share through Web Albums is very simple, although free storage is more limited with this method than others.  The Picasa software, however, is handy in that it can interface with online photo sharing sites (such as Flickr) to easily upload your images.
  • Phanfare – This site is for those who may be more serious about photography.  This site is a paid service which gives you unlimited storage of full-quality images, allows you to create users and control what they can and cannot view, and even create your own “website” based around your photos.  You could use this service to back up ALL of your images, and the company is in fact a service of Carbonite, a company which offers online backup of all your files.  Depending on the account you choose, you can use Phanfare for prints, merchandise, and integration with other sites such as Flickr and Facebook.

Your turn to add your two cents (chip in another dime and you could buy one 4 x 6” print using the methods described above)!  Is photo sharing the best thing about the internet?  Do you have another way you like to share photos?  Let us know what you think!

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