How do I post many photos for a group to view?
January 31, 2009 9:27 AM   Subscribe

I'm taking lots of photos for my community theater group, and I want to post them online for cast members to view and download. What's the best way to do that?

Before the show is over, I'll probably have 400 high resolution photos to post. I want to leave them up for 6 weeks, so I don't need a long-term storage solution, just a way to provide easy access to cast members.

I opened a Flickr account, but I would be way above their free account limits. I use Picasa for editing, and Picasaweb has similar limits. I thought about setting up an online group through Yahoo or Google, but I don't have email addresses for cast and crew. I'm not sure if those are ideal for pictures anyway.

Free is best, as I'm donating my time and talents to the group, but I would be willing to pay a small amount for this service. What would you suggest?
posted by rdauphin to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: A couple less than ideal options:
Find someone with a "pro" flickr account who would be willing to host the images for you for the 6 weeks.
Or, depending upon how you're organizing the photos open a couple different accounts - "theater performance week 1" then week 2, etc. That's kind of a hassle though.
Or perhaps guilt the cast into donating a few bucks to you - a pro acct is only $25, so it should be easy to scrape that together. Maybe put a gentle reminder of the cost in the description of each photo?
posted by blaneyphoto at 9:38 AM on January 31, 2009

What about Dropbox? It has a 2GB limit, I have no idea if that's enough. They have a way to make a public gallery with your photos, I think.
posted by cabingirl at 9:39 AM on January 31, 2009

Best answer: We run a community theater and we have a Flickr Pro Acct for the group. It's inexpensive enough (and we run on $5k/year so we have little to no money, really) that they should have no problem setting one up for you.

I realize you said you want to leave them up for just a short period of time. However, if you are cool with the the people who RUN the thing having access to them forever, and they are cool and will actually honor the copy right, then you can upload to that account, set the rights, and let the cast members do what you wish. In my experience, working with my community theater people, they are generally very honorable about this sort of thing. You can also have them set up private "sets" on flickr and then give a guest pass to each cast member, and the guest pass can be revoked after six weeks. The people who run the group would still be able to see the photos, but that may or may not be an issue for you.

Also, good on you for this. We basically take all of our own pictures, and they're pretty good usually, but (as you may know) having pro photography of your hard work is such a great thing for us community theater types.
posted by Medieval Maven at 9:44 AM on January 31, 2009

Picasaweb has similar limits

I would do the math first. You get a gig of free storage on Picasaweb. A maximum quality JPG from my 6 megapixel D40 is a little over 2 gigs. If your camera is higher resolution, saving a 6 megapixel image is plenty big for anything anyone would need to do. You can upload well over 400 photos in that space.

If it's not enough space, upgrading to 10 Gigs is only $20. I don't think there's an easier or less expensive solution, to be honest.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 9:48 AM on January 31, 2009

I believe JAlbum's web space is 30Mb for a free account.
posted by Drasher at 9:52 AM on January 31, 2009

Seconding Thirding a pro Flickr account. 25 bucks for a year, and you could ask some members for 1-4 dollars each to help you defray the costs, at least a little.
posted by dozo at 9:54 AM on January 31, 2009

Also, if you're not scared of technical things, don't mind getting your hands dirty, and have a constant broadband connection you could set up a web server by yourself.

Make sure to check your TOS for your ISP so that you won't be in violation, but generally they don't mind small server activity.

I don't mind answering some of your questions if you don't other geeky friends to help. Send me an email.
posted by dozo at 10:43 AM on January 31, 2009

Another option along the lines of what dozo suggests would be to get a domain name and hosting account through any of a number of domain registrars; right now it looks like GoDaddy has .info domains for 99 cents and hosting plans as low as $4.99/month. They also have free photo gallery and guestbook software you can use with a hosting account. That is what I did when I took a bunch of pictures at my sister-in-law's wedding and ended up with this site. I believe the largest versions of the pictures in the photo gallery are 1200 pixels in the longest dimension which is enough for a 4x6 print, but you can change that as needed. Full resolution uncompressed files are generally overkill unless the people downloading them intend to make poster-sized prints.
posted by TedW at 11:33 AM on January 31, 2009

I also don't mean to endorse Go Daddy as registar/hosting provider. I use them and they are fine for my needs, but definitely shop around; they have their critics just like any business.
posted by TedW at 11:57 AM on January 31, 2009

Response by poster: Many thanks for the great suggestions. Since I've got a Flickr Pro account, I'll post the photos there for the next 6 weeks. (Duh...why didn't I think of that!) I will also set up a Flickr group for our theater company and post the pics there, and I'll promote the group URL for public use.

The other options were equally thoughtful...thanks again to all.

PS: The current show is the musical "Ragtime". We have a large and diverse cast, all working hard to put on a terrific show.
posted by rdauphin at 12:25 PM on January 31, 2009

Fuzzy, you meant a little over 2 megs, not a little over 2 gigs, correct?
posted by imjustsaying at 1:12 PM on January 31, 2009

Flickr's pro accounts are, for $25, cheaper and easier to use than pretty much any other solution I think you're going to find.

Yeah, you could probably roll something together yourself for less than that in bandwidth costs, but to make something that has a nice gallery interface, and then lets people click to see a high-res version and even save it (if you have it licensed as something other than "All Rights Reserved") … even to set it up with basically off-the-shelf packages would cost a lot in time.

A free file-hosting service would let you pass the images (as a ZIP file or something) to other people without any cost, but I don't think you'll actually get nearly as many people viewing the photos. Making people download a big archive of photos just to look at and potentially keep a handful is borderline obnoxious anyway.

If $25 is really too much, you can ask around and see if someone in the cast already has an account — Flickr has enough users now so that it's not unlikely you know someone already. (However, even if someone does have an account, they may not want to let you use it if they're trying to maintain separation between their online and real-world selves.)
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:26 PM on January 31, 2009

Fuzzy, you meant a little over 2 megs, not a little over 2 gigs, correct?

Gigs... megs... it's alla same to me.

Now, watch me eat a pint of Americone Dream ice cream... or do I mean a gallon?

Yes, my brain said megs, my hands typed gigs. Thanks for the correction.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 3:44 PM on January 31, 2009

I know your files are high res, but couldn't you just re-size the images for web use? Photoshop even has a tab to "save for the web", or just download a free image resizer?
posted by captainsohler at 8:33 PM on January 31, 2009

Unless of course, you want people to be able to use the images.
posted by captainsohler at 8:36 PM on January 31, 2009

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