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How to share photos online

Jen Wolfe lives in Scottsdale, AZ.

Tips for photo sharing

Today, most people have digital cameras, which means they can download and store photos directly to a computer. Downloading images is as simple as plugging the camera into the computer, or using a card reader. However, if you still favor film, you can take your exposures to be processed and have them digitized (saved on a disk that you can transfer to your computer) as well. Of course, part of the fun in taking pictures is sharing them with friends and family.

Woman with laptopStep 1: Consider your sharing options

You can e-mail images, but many e-mail programs have a limit on the amount of data you can transfer at one time. You can build a website and put your photos on it, however, anyone can access it. If you are concerned about limiting access to just friends and family, you can post photos on Facebook or MySpace and limit access to only those people you want to see your photos. However, usually you can only have a few photo albums on these social networks — and there is the added problem that not everyone has a Facebook or MySpace account. Therefore, if you want to offer access to everyone who has a computer in your family, you should consider a photo hosting service.

Step 2: Choose a photo hosting service

The two most popular services are Flickr and Picasa (a Google company). They offer free hosting, a large quantity of albums, or storage space, and the ability to hide or limit access to each album. In other words, you can have a public photo album, an album for just your friends, one for just family and so on, with access limited to whomever you want to see it.

Step 3: Create an account and add your photos

To add your photos to one of the hosting services, you simple create a free account and then you will be able to upload your photos from your computer to the hosting website right from the web browser. No special software or tools are needed. The free services have a limit on the amount of free space you can use but, if you find that you are running out of space, most have inexpensive paid accounts that can increase your storage space.

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