Digital photography has changed how we take pictures and store photographs. According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, more than half of all Internet users have shared digital photos with others, and that number continues to rise. The online environment has become the canvas on which people share their memories.
Photographers of all skill levels can upload their photos on a number of major sites, such as Flickr, Photobucket, Webshots, Kodak Gallery and Snapfish, as well as many others. What the sites have in common is the ability to upload a fixed amount of photo data. After uploading, users can print pictures or send links to other users so that they can view their online “albums” and order pictures themselves. Some sites also allow or encourage users to share their pictures with the public so that photographers can appreciate what others are doing.
Flickr. Flickr is owned by Yahoo!, so existing Yahoo! users can simply link to their account. Flickr is based around sharing, so this can pair well with those who are accustomed to sharing photos in an online environment. The downside is that sharing with the public may result in users who take others’ photos, which can be an issue for people who want to protect their property.
Photobucket. Photobucket allows users to upload photos and also includes the ability to add videos, which are becoming increasingly popular. Users can also add captions and effects to their uploaded photos. For those who are mainly interested in printing photos, one downside of Photobucket is that the site is more focused on social networking.
Webshots. Webshots is a photo-sharing site that is more geared to professionals who want to display their work. The site, owned by American Greetings, also focuses on online greeting cards. Those who are interested in interacting with the site can pay a fee to access the premium membership.
Kodak Gallery. This site is mostly focused on uploading, sharing and printing pictures and photo books. For consumers who want a fairly simple site for uploading and producing pictures, Kodak Gallery is a fairly mainstream and recognized destination. The downside of this site is that it may be limited for serious photographers who want to edit or display their work in a more professional setting.
Snapfish. Snapfish is very similar to Kodak Gallery, as users can upload pictures and easily share them with others or produce different printed materials. This is a fairly straightforward site that does not necessarily have a wide variety of editing or social networking tools. Sites like Snapfish often have pricing deals, but they can sometimes be hard to track.