Share Your Digital Photos with Friends and Family

By: Gary Hendricks

This article will walk you through some of the best options for sharing your treasured digital photo collection. Essentially, there are four main ways to share digital photos:

* Printing the photos
* Storing the photos on CD and DVD
* Emailing the photos
* Uploading the photos to a website

Printing the Photos
Just like film-based photography, you can share your pictures by having a hardcopy printout. All you need to do is get a good photo printer and some quality printing paper, then print away! I usually print my photos from an inkjet printer (the Canon Pixma iP4000) using glossy photo paper. The prints I get are very high quality - you can't discern them from those you print at photo kiosks.

Of course, if you don't have a printer, you can still approach a photo kiosk to do the job, or even submit your images to an online photo print website. These websites usually print your pictures and are able to deliver them to your doorstep. Make sure you do some shopping around first - digital photo printing services don't come cheap.

Storing the Photos on CD and DVD
Storing your photos on CD and DVD is a very good option for sharing photos, particularly if you have a immensely huge photo collection. The downside, of course, is that your family and friends need to have a CD player or DVD player to view the content.

These days, CD burners and DVD burners are very affordable.

A single CD-R stores 650MB and a DVD stores 4GB. That is an amazing amount of storage space for your photo collection.

Emailing the Photos
Of course, one option for sharing photos is to email them to to a friend or family member. I do warn you to be careful though. Make sure your recipient would like to receive the photos first. Bombarding him or her with a 10MB email containing photo attachments is not a very nice thing to do - it's best if you obtained permission to do so first.

A good alternative to emailing photos is to upload your photos to a website, then simply email the website link to your friends or family. This avoids the problem of huge email attachments.

Uploading the Photos to a Website
One of the best ways to share digital photos is to upload them to a website. There are many online photo storage sites available. Here's a list of sites you may want to look at:

* Ofoto is one of my favorite photo sharing sites. It allows you to upload photo albums and determine who can view those albums.

* Shutterfly is another good site. The site allows unlimited photo upload, but you'll find that their print prices are higher the competition.

* Yahoo! Photos is a good photo sharing site with a clean, professional look. There is a limit of 300 uploaded photos per member.

You should know that there are limitations to using photo sharing websites. Some of them charge a fee for their services, while others require you to order prints to keep your account active. You also may not be able to customize the presentation of the website easily.

My personal recommendation is to set up your own web site to host your own picture gallery. If you're looking for a good web hosting company, I'd suggest you try Yahoo web hosting. I've used them for years without any problems and their customer support is first-rate. Transfer your files

Conclusion
There are various ways to share your digital photos with friends and family. Personally, I tend to burn my images to CD or DVD and pass them around. I also like uploading images to websites for all to see. Do try one of the above techniques the next time you want to share photos!

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