The world of photo sharing and online photo storage and sharing is constantly changing. By the time the ink dries on the screen, much of what you are about to read may be out of date.
There are some inherent benefits to uploading your images to “The Cloud”. Offsite data storage prevents you from losing your precious photos in the event of a power surge, fire or other disaster at home or in the studio. With all your images stored online, you can access your images from a remote computer or a mobile device with a web browser. Online storage will allow you to free up space on your hard drives or devices to add more images.
Many of these services are free or have free storage up to a certain amount of data or some offer additional paid features. Some common features include the following:
Share images on the archive site
Share images on social media sites
Image editing services
Automatic backup feature
Nowadays, many of them have incredibly similar feature sets, so which one you choose may depend on completely personal preferences. Other considerations to make are:
Easy to use
Sufficient storage space
Maximum resolution allowed
Allowed file formats (JPEG, RAW, TIFF, DNG, etc.)
Upload / download speed
Mobile / remote access
Commercial use if you want to sell your prints
Business remains powerful – you don’t want your cloud to go bankrupt!
While larger business entities are joining the fray in this field, there are seven photo storage / sharing sites that have taken the bulk of the market by storm.
Amazon Cloud Drive / Prime / Amazon Photos
Amazon is fairly new to cloud storage services, but a few years ago they were also new to online commerce when they burst onto the scene as booksellers. Now the e-commerce giant is in the data warehousing business. Amazon Cloud Drive easily connects to your existing Amazon.com shopping account and offers unlimited storage plans for photos or plans for photos and other file types.
Apple iCloud Photo Library
If you’re an Apple iPhoto user, archiving your images on the web will be a breeze with Apple’s iCloud Photo Library service. The service also creates shared folders that not only allow others to view your images; It also allows them to add images to their collection, organizing images by moments, collections or dates. It can also integrate with Apple TV to easily produce presentations on the TV for friends and family.
Dropbox has long been in the cloud file sharing industry and is now starting to add photo-specific features such as automatic mobile backup and organization features. While it’s fairly new to photo storage, but established as one of the best storage and sharing sites, Dropbox is likely to continue improving the photos portion of its services.
Synonymous with photo sharing since 2004, Flickr has a powerful organizational system that works on its code for storing and sharing photos online. Acquired by Yahoo! Several years ago, Flickr underwent some changes and not all of them were popular. Supported by a large community of photographers, Flickr continues to be a leading photo storage and destination service.