Tributes & Video Biographies
Sharing Life Stories, Connecting Generations, Preserving Legacies

How To Share Your Digital Photos With Family and Friends

For the past two blog posts I have been writing about archiving (How I Save and Archive My Digital Photos), and storing digital photos (How To Backup and Store Your Digital Photo Files.) My first post on this subject looked at how I created an architecture to name and archive digital photos. The second post looked at how to store and backup these files. In my final post on this topic, I’m going to talk about what to do with all these digital files; some ideas on how to share them with family and friends so that they don’t just sit on your hard-drive forgotten forever. I could probably write a blog post on each alternative, and I may do that, but right now, let’s just discuss a few ways to share.

Websites: photo-sharing websites such as Flickr and Google’s Picasa allow you the opportunity to upload your photos and share albums with everyone or keep them private for friends. Their systems make it simple to upload. As with all websites, nobody knows what the longevity will be so don’t post your photos up there and remove them from your own storage thinking they are safe. Facebook is another option. Photos can be organized into albums with captions and descriptions and you can tag others in the photo so that it will show up on their walls as well as your own. If you have a Mobile me or iDisk account, you can build a website using iPhoto and place your photos in your public folder to show your friends. You’ll have to send them a link to view the photos but they will stay there until you remove them or run out of storage space to add additional photo albums. A custom website is also an option. There are many simple software programs that allow you to build a website but you will have to purchase the domain and web hosting so there are some costs associated with this. If you want to do this but have no idea how to do some basic software programs, then you will need to hire a web designer to help you with the execution.

Hard media storage: You can burn copies of your photos for your family onto a CD or DVD and send family members copies, but they’ll be dealing with a bunch of digital media which will probably sit on their desk or bookshelf and not really enjoyed. Nobody wants to receive a disk with a bunch of files on it. Same thing with a hard-drive. It’s a good way to pass the media on to others that may want to use it or have it but it’s not exactly an easy solution for sharing and viewing.

Print: photo books, calendars, and other print media from e-print companies such as Blurb, Snapfish and Kodak Gallery are great ways to share photos. Multiple copies can be made inexpensively with these options. You can also print-on-demand high-end books with the help of a book designer and custom bindery for spectacular displays. I have made several of these for my family and the ones on my parent’s coffee table get frequent viewing. You can also print digital photos for display in creative scrapbooks and photo albums. This may seem old-fashioned but a photo book sitting on your coffee table is sure to get picked up and enjoyed!

Video: Of course, this is my favorite option since I am committed to sharing life stories and creating legacies in video format. Wonderful photo slideshows can be made simply and inexpensively or highly creative multimedia masterpieces can be created by professionals that provide a way to pass your images on in an entertaining way.

The most important thing is to get the photos organized initially so that you can find them, and then be creative in sharing them with the people who will enjoy them the most.

Stefani Twyford is a personal historian and video biographer sharing life stories, connecting generations and preserving legacies. To learn more, visit her web site, find her on Twitter as @stefanitwyford, visit the Legacy Multimedia Facebook Fan Page, or send her an e-mail.

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