Upload Your Pictures – Flickr Photo Sharing Explained

Explains why you should upload your photos to the web, and explains why Flickr is a good place to do this.

Please, please, please put your photos online.

Quick story:

I recently stopped by my parent’s home in search of a few pictures of their home for use in a web project I’m working on. They have lived in the same home since 1983 so they have a ton of pictures of the house from the past twelve years.

What did I have to do to find the photos I was looking for? Dig through shoe boxes and photo albums! How primitive. And to make matters worse, what else did I find in the shoe boxes? Photos of me from the past two decades! Outside of a few awkward teenage years, I don’t belong in a shoebox.

Memories Should be Easily Accessible

Have you ever taken a picture with the intention of putting it in a shoe box? Leaving it in the package from the developer? Stuck on your computer in a random folder? Trapped on your camera’s memory card? Of course not, but that doesn’t stop most of us from doing exactly that every day.

Photos Should be Shared

The photos I find most interesting are often candid shots. There is something special captured in pictures that managed to discretely document a moment in time. Posed photos simply capture a group of people trying not to flinch when the flash goes off while wondering how much longer they’ll have to smile. The problem is many of photos like this are distributed over the group of cameras that were used at any given event. Those pictures deserve each other.

How many pictures of your friends do you have that they’ve never seen? Put those photos online now so your friends can enjoy them too.

Share Photos Online

There are certainly a lot of options for uploading and sharing photos online today. I’m going to share what I like about one photo sharing service below, but this doesn’t necessarily make it the best choice. Please share your thoughts in the comments below about the photo sharing services you’re tried and loved or hated.


Flickr is a web based photo sharing service acquired by Yahoo in March that lets people upload and share photos with others. It’s a popular and fast growing web site with over 1 billion uploaded photos. That’s a lot of photos, but considering that more than 1.3 billion photos were uploaded to online systems last year alone, and over 28 billion digital photos are snapped per year, it represents only a fraction of our documented world.

Here is what I like about Flickr:

  1. I can batch upload photos to the site while doing other things like writing this blog post.
  2. I can set permissions on every photo I upload. This lets me decide which photos are appropriate for my family, friends, everyone, or should remain private.
  3. I can “tag” each photo with descriptive keywords that allow me to easily search for related photos.
  4. Other people can add comments to my photos, sharing memories or perspectives of the photos I took.
  5. It gives me peace of mind to know that my digital photos are backed up somewhere beyond my computer.
  6. I can order prints for as little as $0.15 for 4″x6″ photos and pick them up at my local Target store.
  7. I can let my friends, family, or even people I don’t know print my photos without lifting a finger. 
  8. Flickr will store photos at their original resolution, so I can print photos larger than 4×6.

Does this beat the shoebox treatment? I think so. Think outside the shoebox!

What online photo services do you prefer? Which ones drive you nuts? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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