If you’re just getting started in the world of photography, it can be a lot of fun to post some photos you’re particularly proud of on the Web to share with friends and family. It might be easy to lean on the photo sharing features of Facebook for this task, but Facebook doesn’t do much to help viewers see the actual detail of your picture. It optimizes your photos to a point where color detail and pixel density are pretty much lost.
There are plenty of sites out there that make uploading and managing your photos easier. In this article, we’ll discuss five of these options and why they might be a good choice for you.
Perhaps one of the oldest and most widely used photo sharing sites on the Web right now is Flickr. Owned by Yahoo, Flickr combines some social elements such as commenting and control over who can and can’t see various pictures to sharing your images on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and others.
Flickr allows you to upload and discover photos in a variety of ways. You can easily find images that are licensed (by the photographer) under Creative Commons or All Rights Reserved licensing, as well as license the photo for commercial use through Getty Images. The photographer gets a cut of the action, and maintains control over their content.
Perhaps one of my favorite features of Flickr is the ability to sort pictures into sets and sets into collections. This enables me to showcase particular image sets that fall under basic themes and make them easily linkable. For example, I can send someone a link to my product shots, landscapes, or urban street photography.
Google+ / Picasa
Google+, like Facebook, is a social network intended to connect people with similar interests. When Google+ first became available, it seemed as though the group that found it most useful was photographers and other visual artists. Images appear in timelines as they are shared in a moderately large form. With a click of the mouse, you can examine EXIF data and expand the image to see it in its entirely. Users can also download images in full size to use as desktop wallpaper.
Google combined its social network with its cloud-based photo editing and sharing service, Picasa. This allows users to not only store their images in organized groups, edit them in the cloud, but also share them directly to others on Google+. It really is a popular platform for beginning photographers to seek out tips and feedback from their latest shoot.
500px is an excellent platform for discovery and sharing photos with a greater community. You can also make some extra money selling prints through 500px, and some photographers do quite well at it. It’s generally viewed as a Flickr for professionals, though even the amateur photographer can find its vast array of features useful. Show off your work to friends and check out photos taken by some of your favorite photographers.
Artistic expression is at the heart of deviantART. Not only can this network offer you a place to show off your favorite photos, but you can also find some incredible Photoshop tools made by users to use in your own editing. It’s a community that has been thriving for a very long time and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere any time soon.
deviantART has been one of my go-to sites for stock photography and artistic inspiration. If I’m looking for something that would make a bland shoot more interesting, I’m likely to find it within the deviantART Archives.
It’s easy to write off PhotoBucket as just another photo sharing site, but there’s quite a bit more to it. The site made its name by providing free hosting of photos to forums users and even some personal sites, but today it has expanded its services to editing and sharing across multiple social networks. You can even create a photo gallery to link and show off in order to draw some eyes to your work.
I personally wouldn’t consider PhotoBucket a primary photography hosting site, but it is certainly one of the most popular out there. There really isn’t any reason why you wouldn’t want to at least sign up for a free account and give it a test drive.
What about you? Which site(s) do you use to host photos?
Photo of surprised sugar glider by Stacina