How can I best share photos with my families?
April 11, 2015 5:21 PM   Subscribe

I recently had a few hundred family photos scanned and I'd like to put them up somewhere everyone who's interested can see them. This includes people across several different families and with vastly different technology access/knowledge (though everyone can browse the Internet). I'd strongly prefer not to use Facebook. What's the best solution?

No, really, I REALLY don't want to use Facebook as the primary place to host these images, even though that's the only platform we all have in common. Everyone will want to share them freely, and I keep my account locked down for very good reasons involving my own personal safety. I could send all 300+ images to someone else and have them host them on their Facebook, but no one else really has the time or savvy to do it.

I do have a Flickr account that I use actively, but I'm not sure I want to send my extended family and family friends to my Flickr profile, which contains years worth of personal and treasured photos that will confuse and/or scandalize them.

I could just create another Flickr account, just for family photos, and right now that's my leading option. But is there another decent photo hosting service out there? One that doesn't require people to have a Google or Facebook or any other account to view? That's really my only requirement--well, that and a site that's likely to stick around for awhile, and doesn't have a TOS that would let them use my photos commercially.
posted by rhiannonstone to Technology (14 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
When I was looking for just this solution I ended up using SmugMug. No one else needs to register for anything but you can still limit access with a password that your family members will need to enter. It costs something but it was worth it for me. They will also offer the option to make hard-copy prints available to your family members of your materials that they are hosting.
posted by BillMcMurdo at 5:32 PM on April 11, 2015

Drop box.
posted by COD at 5:36 PM on April 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

Our extended families use drop-box. It works great, isn't very fussy, and is typically usable for even a fairly computer illiterate audience.
posted by furnace.heart at 5:48 PM on April 11, 2015

I've heard good things about arcivr.
posted by maggiemaggie at 5:50 PM on April 11, 2015

If the only thing keeping you from Facebook is your personal account privacy, make a dupe account. Since you say you could send them to another family member to upload to facebook, that seems like it would fulfill the same purpose.

Make a fresh account, add only your family members as friends, upload away.
posted by phunniemee at 6:43 PM on April 11, 2015

I could just create another Flickr account, just for family photos, and right now that's my leading option.

If you just want to show the photos and not share the photos, this is your best option. Set up a secondary account, consider even giving people the login if they want to leave a comment but don't quite want to set up an account. Anyone with a yahoo account, by the way, can interact on Flickr as well. My dad put up a ton (2000+) pictures on Flickr which were all old scanned stuff. He, with my help, put them into a few sets (older pictures, trip to japan, family stuff) so people could look at manageable sets. He also added tags so I could, for example, see all the photos of my grandma, or my sister. You might want to do a little bit of that work (or have another motivated family member do it) and then if you wanted to, you could share stuff out on facebook or someone else could do that and not involve you at all.
posted by jessamyn at 7:23 PM on April 11, 2015

Doesn't Flickr have adjustable privacy settings for just this reason?
posted by Pater Aletheias at 7:25 PM on April 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

Nthing Dropbox. You can create a new folder that is meant for sharing photos. Then you invite people to have access to that folder by linking their email to the folder. Free. Fast photo upload speed. No fuss.
posted by eisforcool at 7:34 PM on April 11, 2015

You can create a page or a group on facebook and share them there. It would give them access just to the page or group and not to your profile. This might be the most fun way to do it, as it would allow everyone to comment, tag, and share, which is probably what they most want to do anyway. It would also benefit the less technological savvy people who may not be aware that you can use a computer for something other than solitaire and facebook.
posted by myselfasme at 7:35 PM on April 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

I use it for photo proofing, but something like PixieSet would be great for this. People can share individual photos on FB, download the entire set or individual photos, and it is a nice interface.

Highly recommended if you want something a little different / more photo gallery-like than Dropbox. And, for the basic functionality, it is free.
posted by kellygrape at 9:00 PM on April 11, 2015

Dropbox has a new feature called Carousel that is for sharing photo albums. I used it recently when I took pictures at a friend's baby shower and really liked it.
posted by radioamy at 10:01 PM on April 11, 2015

On Facebook, if you upload photos and share them only with your friends -- or with a specific group of people -- they can't share them with anyone you haven't already shared them with. That's built into Facebook privacy controls.

On almost any platform, they can copy your images and upload them anywhere, including to Facebook. But posting them to Facebook doesn't facilitate this.
posted by bluedaisy at 10:29 PM on April 11, 2015

I've found better for this than Dropbox, the free account has lower space limits but the user interface is MUCH easier for the less tech-savvy people to understand.
posted by Lanark at 7:37 AM on April 12, 2015

One nice thing about the sharing options within Box/Drop box is that you can turn sharing on and off at will, unlike Facebook where it takes years.
posted by Lanark at 7:53 AM on April 12, 2015

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