In my first article in the series about publishing pictures on line, I have written about asking and answering two fundamental questions before publishing your pictures online. But what do you do next, what do you do after you answer these questions? This article will analyze the pros and cons of using an online sharing library for publishing your pictures online.
1. What is an online sharing image library?
An online sharing library is an online software application that provides an easy way to upload your digital pictures, categorize them and then share them with…well whomever you want. These days, the choices are many and to try to review each service would be useless since there are so many reviews available already for the different services. My intention is to provide a quick list of pros and cons that would help you decide if this is the way you want to go when it comes to publishing your pictures online.
Do you know how to share your pictures online?
2. What’s to like and … not to like
- This is the simplest option. You don’t have to do any programming…you just upload your pictures, title and tag them and you’re done.
- You can start sharing your pictures with your intended audience immediately. Once you create your account you can start sharing the internet address of your photo albums.
- Your pictures become part of a very large collection of pictures and many people can find, see and comment on your pictures. Depending on your purpose, this might be a good thing.
- Many online sharing companies offer photo printing services at better quality than regular stores like Costco, Walmart and Target. However Costco and Target have improved their photo printing quality and their price is really unbeatable.
- Lots of programming power already available on the sharing platform. So many widgets are available immediately: comments, picture rating, community building, etc.
- Lots of free choices available: iCloud, Google Photos, Facebook, Flickr, Shutterfly. Also Smug Mug is a great choice at a reasonable price.
- Limited control over the content around your pictures. You have to use the templates provided by the online library software.
- Limited control of the size and resolution requirements used by the online software. Yes, some providers are more or less flexible but nobody allows you to upload at whatever resolution you want.
- Limited control over the space offered. Most online libraries will ask a fee for extra space for your pictures.
- No control over the folder structure where your pictures reside.
- Some free services like Flickr and Shutterfly have lots of adds on the photo pages.
3. Are online image sharing libraries for you?
Well…it depends on your purpose. If you’re just interested in sharing pictures and/or printing then this is the way to go. If you’re looking to print your pictures this method is also great because most sharing services offer printing services. However, if you’re looking to sell advertising on your site, or you want complete control over content and categories this is not for you. Selling pictures is a little different since there are a few online libraries that make it very easy to do.
4. What library do you use?
I am really interested in what library you’re using. How has it worked out for you so far? Does everyone use Facebook? Does anyone still use Flickr? Why…or why not? I appreciate any comments on this article.
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I recommend using Adobe Lightroom Classic CC via the annual Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Lightroom has excellent photo editing capabilities. Yes, Lightroom has a steeper learning curve as you have to learn to keep your catalogs in sync with your hard drive. However, Adobe Lightroom makes most sense especially when you do lots of image editing.
Excellent Lightroom and Picasa alternative. If you're looking for a cheaper and simpler photo manager then ACDSee Photo Studio for Mac or ACDSee Pro for Windows is my preferred solution for organizing your media on your computer. It has a very fast browser, beautiful image editing capabilities and you don't work with catalogs at all.
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