Now that most of us have evolved to the world of digital photography it has become much easier to share your photos. No more waiting at the drugstore to pick up expensive prints. Using online photo services you can quickly upload your photos and start sharing via the web. Trading of photos is not done by hand much anymore and all the photo sharing sites have easy to use features and many extras. From keyword searches to online chat and free email photo uploading sites have all the features any person needs to start sharing their photos immediately.
Photo uploading sites can vary greatly from one to another so it is best to learn about all the different kinds of sites there are before you start uploading a bunch of pictures. Here are some reviews of some of the best and worst photo sharing sites on the web today. Many of the services are free to use and ordering prints is simple too. Learn as much as you can before you subscribe to any one service because after you upload a few pictures it is likely that you will want to stick with it.
Ringo is a great site if you are just starting to share your photos with friends and family online. Ringo includes free email via the website interface and was made for non commercial use. Once you are a member and you have uploaded your photos you can send invite emails to your friends and family. Only people that you send invites to can view your photos, and you can become friends with your friends, friends to share even more. Ringo is 100% free but does not include print ordering.
Stock Exchange is a free stock photo database aimed at working professionals, but friends and family are also welcome to sign up for a free account and start sharing. Once you are a member of Stock Exchange you can upload photos, edit your personal blog, or chat in the forum. You can also network with other professionals and amateur photographers. All photos must be in JPEG format and there is also free email via the Stock Exchange browser.
On Flickr you can host and share your photos for the general community for free, but you do not get much storage, only 20MB. You can add comments and tags to each photo but that’s about it. There are no editing tools or personal blogs either. For $24.95 you can upgrade to an unlimited account that allows you three different 20MB photo sets. If you are planning on sharing a lot of photos this is not the site.
Club Photo has 3 membership levels that are perfect for family sharing. The basic package includes free uploading of photos but they eventually expire. At the basic level you and your friends can order prints for 19 cents each. The gold package costs $14.95 per year and you get $8 worth of free prints, high resolution downloading, and an album maker. The platinum package costs $24.95 and you get $14 worth of free prints and a 10% discount on everything else. The platinum package is great for large families that share a lot of photos each month. You will also get a visitor counter as well as your choice of background in your albums.
Like most other photo sharing websites, dotPhoto is completely free but you only get 500MB of storage (that’s not much). Unlike most photo sharing sites, dotPhoto also offers video storage for a yearly fee, and your photo storage includes a slide show viewer. You can buy 19 cent prints anytime or you can send in your film or CD prints by mail.
Like most other sites, Shutterfly is really easy to use, but is aimed more at ordering prints and gifts. There are no paid memberships and the features are only basic, not exceptional. There are no editing tools or blogs here either. As with many other sites you can only share photos with people that you send invite emails to. Prints here are a little more expensive that usual at 29 cents per print.
Faces is a photo sharing/networking community aimed at younger photographers and teens. Membership is free and you also get a personalized URL and are welcome to use the live chat, personal blog, and buddy lists. New members get their first print free (except shipping) and paid accounts get a set number of prints. The website is simple to use and you can upload 500MB of photos each month with a free account.
As with some of the other photo uploading sites this may not be the best one if you want to share a lot of photos each month. The site interface is not located with extras but the membership is free. Like most sites prints are 19 cents each, and you can also purchase other photo gifts like mugs, t-shirts, or posters but there is not much to choose from.