Your summer vacation would be a fading memory if not for the dozens or hundreds of digital photos you and your fellow travelers snapped.
Posting a few images online for all to see is easy; with the right tools, organizing dozens of photos into cloud-based digital photo albums isn’t that much harder.
When posting a photo or two won’t do
Few of us take solitary vacations and keep our travel photos to ourselves. For most of us, vacation means traveling with spouses, significant others, kids, friends, relatives, and even pets. And most of your fellow travelers (okay, maybe not the pets) have a camera or a smartphone that qualifies as one. Today, one vacation can easily produce a hundred or more digital images — most of which we feel compelled to share with others, regardless of the quality of the photos. And, of course, we want to see what our traveling companions recorded.
Obviously, the Internet makes simple photo sharing easy. At this point, who hasn’t posted a few images on Facebook or some other social site? But quickly posting and sharing a vacation’s worth of photos? That’s not so easy — especially if you want to create an online photo album in collaboration with fellow travelers. Most cloud-based photo services, social-media sites, and online-storage services let you collaborate on creating digital-photo albums, but they don’t all make it easy.
Some services require jumping through virtual hoops, such as setting up special “groups” that make the task needlessly difficult. And those services that do make it easy still put up an often unavoidable hurdle: every collaborator must be a member of the same service (though typically the membership is free). In the worst cases, photo-album collaborators must also download and install software.
There are too many online photo services to cover here — Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket, Snapfish, and many others. For this article, I’m sticking to three of the most popular services: Facebook, Dropbox, and Google Drive. All three are reasonably easy to use and extremely popular — there’s a good chance that your photo-album collaborators use at least one of them.
Photo albums as a collaborative art form
Assuming you’d like to set up a digital photo album and invite others to add to it, you should be aware of a few rules and courtesies that will make the process go more smoothly.