Photo Printing and Sharing

Category: Cool-Stuff , Photography

To say that digital cameras have revolutionized photography would be an understatement. It's not just the way we take pictures that has changed, but photo printing, photo storage and photo sharing have all gone digital as well. Free digital photo printing, storage and sharing have become some of the most popular online activities, and a crop of websites have been developed to make all these digital photography tasks a snap. Let's put the lens on some of the best photo printing, photo storage and photo sharing sites...

digital photo printing and sharing

Digital Photography Online

All of the digital photography sites we'll visit are similar in that you can upload and store your photos. Some offer innovative tools to organize and share your digital photos. You'll also find some great tools to edit, fix and enhance your photos. Some sites make it easy to print digital photos, and there are even some FREE digital photo print services. Others offer photo enlargements or will sell photo gifts on mugs, calendare and t-shirts. Here are my picks for the best photo printing and photo sharing services on the Web.

  • Flickr isn't shy about promoting itself. The self-proclaimed "best online photo management and sharing application in the world" wants to help people make their photos available to others, whether it's showing off their best pictures to the whole world, or privately sharing photos with family and friends. Flickr also focuses on new ways of organizing photos. The concept of "albums" may have worked in the days of film, but this metaphor has outlived its usefulness. Flickr makes the process of organizing photos collaborative, meaning you can give your friends and family permission to help organize your photos, add comments, and category tags. As all this searchable "metadata" accumulates around the photos, you can find them much easier later on.
  • Snapfish makes it fast and easy to upload your photos from a computer, digital camera or camera phone. Even better, you can email your photos to Snapfish from a camera phone or your email account. Store and share your photos for free, or use the Snapfish photo printing service and get your first 30 prints for free. You can also use Snapfish for developing film or disposable cameras. When you mail your rolls to Snapfish, they automatically put your photos online – so you can enjoy the benefits of digital photos without a digital camera. Tools are available to fix and enhance your photos. You can transform color photos to black and white, add borders, crop unwanted background objects, lighten up dark images or remove red eye.
  • Photobucket provides a simple and reliable service for sharing and publishing digital photos online. Images and videos can be directly linked from Photobucket to any site, including popular sites like MySpace, eBay, LiveJournal, Xanga, Friendster, and Neopets. This is great for people who don't have their own website, but want to include photos in online auctions or social networking sites. Some cool tools at Photobucket enable you to make scrolling image strips, slideshows and animated image collages. You can also have your Photobucket images printed into posters, photobooks and calendars. Mobile and email uploads allow users to upload their images via a camera phone or email address, and advanced searching makes it easy to find the images you're looking for. Photobucket was named the fastest growing site of 2005 according to Nielsen/Netratings and now ranks as a Top 100 site by traffic, serving over 50 billion images a month.
  • Picasa is a free software download from Google, and runs on Windows XP/2000 and Linux. WIth Picasa you can quickly find, edit and share all the pictures on your PC. Every time you open Picasa, it automatically locates all your pictures (even ones you forgot you had) and sorts them into visual albums organized by date with folder names you will recognize. You can drag and drop to arrange your albums and make labels to create new groups. Picasa also makes advanced editing simple by putting one-click fixes and nifty effects at your fingertips. When you're ready to share your digital photos, Picasa helps you email, print photos at home, make gift CDs, and post pictures on your own blog. The new Picasa Web Albums service helps you post your photos online with a one-click web upload directly from Picasa. The online portion of Picasa lets you keep track of your favorite people and see when they've added something new. Scroll through photos quickly, rotate, zoom or add your own captions and comments.

Are you a photo sharing fanatic? Do you use an online photo printing service? Share your comments below...

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Most recent comments on "Photo Printing and Sharing"

Posted by:

15 Jul 2006

What free site allows you to print several different pictures on one page as opposed to multiple images of the same picture? Any of them?

Posted by:

Jason Miley
17 Jul 2006

I've used a photo sharing site for several years called Smugmug ( ). It features unlimited photos, no ads or spam and great flexibility. Please check it out. I do think it'd be worth a look.

Posted by:

Jane Stein
18 Jul 2006

I'd like to upload to a service that lets others download a full-sized (not mini) version of a photo. I think SmugMug lets you but it's a little expensive for what I need. Do any of the others?

Posted by:

19 Jul 2006

I use Shutterfly to store and print my photos. I have been very satisfied with them for about 3 years. I try to get around the shipping fees by waiting until they offer free shipping. I also use their prepaid service to get the lowest per picture cost that I can.

I would like Shutterfly better if I could pick the pictures up at a local location. They have very good support and even shipped 330 new pictures to me because I didn't check the correct box for glossy prints. They started making matte prints the default and I didn't notice.

Posted by:

19 Jul 2006

I use Shutterfly to store and print my photos. I have been very satisfied with them for about 3 years. I try to get around the shipping fees by waiting until they offer free shipping. I also use their prepaid service to get the lowest per picture cost that I can.

I would like Shutterfly better if I could pick the pictures up at a local location. They have very good support and even shipped 330 new pictures to me because I didn't check the correct box for glossy prints. They started making matte prints the default and I didn't notice.

Posted by:

Bridget Hefner
19 Jul 2006

I use Webshots. Account holders can upload 1000 photos for free, plus allow public or private access to albums. Uploading is easy as is editing albums. Paid members can keep 5000 photos online.

Posted by:

19 Jul 2006

Some sites shrink the file size of your photos. Others save the full resolution file. I find this information important. Is there an easy comparison of sites to see which save full resolution and which do not?

Posted by:

Mark Hoffman
19 Jul 2006

For Marilyn and others who want to print several different pictures on one photo:
You can use Irfanview (free for non-commercial use through to create thumbnails of any size as a jpg file. Put the pictures that you want printed on one photo in a directory and play with the create thumbnail properties until you get what you want and save it. You can then upload this file to any of the companies that print photos.

Posted by:

Mark Hoffman
19 Jul 2006

I use to post photos. They allow some control (more than most sites) over how the photos are displayed for free (and even more if you pay them). They allow users to look at thumbnails, medium size, and even full size (usually bigger than the screem) images. However they do not allow downloading of images unless you pay them. Also, for free, you can get a unique URL to give to friends to see you pictures, e.g.

Posted by:

Janet Crum
19 Jul 2006

Flickr lets you upload photos from a camera phone via email (see .

Posted by:

04 Oct 2006

Look at -- they charge, regular price, $1.30 for 8x10s, and 6.8 cents for 4x6 prints.

The prints come from Taiwan, but are shipped from Texas -- so I assume they bulk mail everything from Taiwan to Texas and then remail them to individual cutomers. I've done several orders from them, and they're all execllent quality and were all printed on Kodak paper.

Posted by:

Jeff W
04 Oct 2006

I too have been using Smugmug, after doing quite a bit of research into the various photo sharing/gallery services. I use smugmug for our church and for my own work. They've really impressed me, not only with their excellent features and beautiful site designs, but with the generousity and helpfulness of their people.

See also: "SmugMug - help - non profit free accounts"

Here are my areas, and some of my experiences with them.

Posted by:

Tim G
05 Oct 2006

Like Jane, I want others to be able to download full sized versions if they want OR be able to purchase photos online. Is there a service that will do this? Sometimes my family just wants to print the pictures themselves unless there is a really great shot that they want to hang on the wall or something. I am trying to get away from emailing out photos to everyone, but that seems to be the only way to meet this need.

Posted by:

Carl Conrad
02 Jan 2007

KoffeePhoto is a free photo sharing software. KoffeePhoto consists of a computer based software running on Windows, Mac OS X or Linux and the KoffeePhoto network of peer-to-peer computers providing automatic file mirroring and sharing. Thanks to this network, pictures can be shared without requiring the computer to be left on. The soon upcoming version will include a free web space and picture editing functions.

Posted by:

14 Nov 2007

I'm using a new site called "" it's online since two days. I've heard this from my dutch friends, it's the english version of "". It's free and quiet easily to understand, check it out I would say.

Posted by:

15 Dec 2007

Thanks Andrew! I've just checked it out! Are u sure it's totally free? It's a bit too good to be true ;)

Posted by:

Free photo printing
25 Mar 2009

You can print more photos for photos or free online from

Posted by:

Bob Townsend
07 Sep 2010

Bought a 2TB WD external drive. Have scanned thousands of slides. Now find I can't retrive because the slides don't have the metadata of a digital shot. How can I retrieve the slide shots?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Not sure what you mean when you say you can't retrieve the slide shots... Aren't they just JPEG files on your hard drive?

Posted by:

28 Sep 2010

Another great free photo sharing site
You can upload photos up to 8MB and you also
get 2GB of free storage. I was surprised on how simple it was to upload and share photos. It doesn’t take much to learn this site. You can
also add a security password to your album links.
It is really good and I like its privacy settings.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Photo Printing and Sharing (Posted: 13 Jul 2006)
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