Event Photo Hosting/Sharing
December 5, 2007 4:16 PM   Subscribe

As part of some wedding planning, we're trying to find a way to allow our photo-taking guests to share their photos with everyone else. The idea being a big collection of photos from various people during the evening. Bonus points if those viewing can order prints through the website. Any web-sites out there to facilitate this sort of thing?

I'm a Flickr Pro user, and while a group for my event is the right kind of idea, it would require everyone uploading photos to be flickr users as well. I'd prefer that I bear any and all costs involved, and our guests can simply use the site to upload and view photos (and potentially buy prints if they'd like).

Due to a lack of time on my part, I'm not really looking to use a self-hosted solution like DAlbum or Album. I've googled around a bit, and can't seem to find anyone that fits this kind of need. Free is obviously great, but I wouldn't mind paying a nominal fee for a service like this. What's important is fairly easy access and uploading for my guests. Here's hoping Me'Fi-ers out there can help out.....
posted by jhelle2 to Technology (22 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
I dealt with a similar issue for a client, with the additional restriction of having the photos be private. In the end, they decided to commission a custom-made gallery for their internal website. I think Flickr might be your only option. However, perhaps you could set up an account in advance and have all of the guests log in using that?
posted by lhall at 4:44 PM on December 5, 2007

You can't purchase from this site, but it's free:

posted by Liver Killer at 4:45 PM on December 5, 2007

I think you could do this with Flickr also, but - try Fotki.com. Create one account and give the username and password to everyone you want to be able to access it. They'll be able to upload very easily and order prints. Of course the downside is that they'll also have the ability to make changes too - delete photos, etc so a fair degree of trust goes into something like that.
Fotki allows unlimited storage for about $35/year so its a good deal. I've used them for years.
posted by blaneyphoto at 4:48 PM on December 5, 2007

Also, I don't know if you're considering having disposable cameras at the wedding but if you are, you may want to read this - Disposable Cameras at weddings???
posted by blaneyphoto at 4:55 PM on December 5, 2007

I was going to suggest the disposable camera thing as well... leave them as table gifts, with card explaining that you can leave the cameras at the table, and all the photos will be uploaded to a Flickr account.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:56 PM on December 5, 2007

I did the disposable camera thing, and found that most of the pictures came out too crappy to be useful. Much better to have everyone upload their pictures somewhere, provided people have the technical ability to do so. gallery2 is software you can run on your own site, so you could make accounts for people and ask them to go upload the pictures there, or you could visit everyone the next day with a card reader attached to your laptop and just suck them up that way.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 5:04 PM on December 5, 2007

You can use Snapfish for this. First you set up your own free account and then make a group room called 'jhelle2's wedding'. Send out invites to join your group room. Everyone will have to register at snapfish, but this is free. Whenever they upload photos, they can click a box that allows them to add photos to your group room. Each person can only delete the photos that he uploaded. However, everyone with access to the group room can order prints, photobooks, calendars, etc using the group's photos.
posted by happyturtle at 5:04 PM on December 5, 2007

I was going to suggest the disposable camera thing as well...
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:56 PM

Actually, I was suggesting the opposite - click that link to see why.

posted by blaneyphoto at 5:06 PM on December 5, 2007

Whatever you do, don't employ a professional photographer unless you want to pay thousands for the right to have a DRM-encoded CD that you can't share with anyone.

However, if you'd like to have someone else choose which pictures you get, and you only want pictures taken for an short period, instead of the whole time, then a professional would probably be a good idea.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 5:09 PM on December 5, 2007

Why not bring a laptop to the reception, and have someone designated to download all the pictures from people's memory cards? Then you can upload them all later (or, have this designated person do it).
posted by dpx.mfx at 5:11 PM on December 5, 2007

I have some very non-technical relatives that use a Kodak Online gallery. It's free and easy to use.

If it's not a big wedding, you could do the disposable thing, too, because you do get some funny stuff from them that you wouldn't get any other way. People become kinda attention whores and showoffs when there are disposable cameras laying around.

no offense, blarneyphoto. I'm sure you're great, and I do agree with you about the disposable cameras, but every single photographer I contacted worked as I described above.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 5:14 PM on December 5, 2007

The way that ended up working for me was just to have a friend who had a great camera get a huge memory card and send me a CD later, but I did get some good pictures from other people later, just not a lot.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 5:16 PM on December 5, 2007

dpx.mfx nailed this. Not doing this (I had the idea but didn't have time to get the implmentation work) is something I regret. I think you have the highest probability of this working if you end up with all the pictures yourself that day. Then throw them up on flickr or whatever and people can buy prints from there.

I shudder at the thought of me trying to show my mother or aunt with a digital camera how to upload ll the high resolition photos to $SOME_WEBSITE.
posted by mge at 5:17 PM on December 5, 2007

Mr. Gunn: No offense taken. I don't do weddings anyway... :)
posted by blaneyphoto at 5:35 PM on December 5, 2007

We did disposable cameras; most cameras had only a few pics taken and they were terrible long-distance shots of a dim crowd not facing the camera. A few great shots came out of it, but it was expensive.

I agree that there needs to be a site like you describe, I couldn't find one when we got married, and it frankly shocks me that nobody has filled this role. Attention e-commercey mefites: make a million this way.
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:44 PM on December 5, 2007

If you want the hi-res digital files from the professional photographer, then ask for them up front and put it into the contract. Specify whether you want a straight data dump or if you want the photos edited first. Negotiate the price. If you want a data dump with no editing, and you won't be ordering any prints through him, then you are buying his time in taking the pics plus the lost opportunity cost of his being able to shoot another wedding in that time where he's using his traditional model (fee + profit off of prints) to make money.

Everything's negotiable.
posted by happyturtle at 6:08 PM on December 5, 2007

No mention of Picasa + PicasaWeb yet? It seems to be as near to seamless for Windows users as I've seen. Even my Mom has a grasp on it, plus it does all of the resizing etc locally.

Once everyone uploads, you can just share your galleries with everyone else. It's not really the group thing, but it was pretty close and super easy.

Oh, and this. Never used it myself, but looks promising.
posted by cdmwebs at 6:40 PM on December 5, 2007

Shutterfly also has a way for people to upload their individual albums, but to have those all located in the same place, with a unique web address - and password protected, if you so choose. My friend did this for his wedding several years ago and it worked well. Personally, though, I like the quality of snapfish and Kodak prints better than shutterfly.
posted by gecko12 at 6:53 PM on December 5, 2007

posted by sock it to me monkey at 6:53 PM on December 5, 2007

I just did this exact thing with Gallery2 with the (included) Digibug plugin and a Digibug account (which is free, because a portion of the print sales goes to them...)

Super simple, and you can set it up so that attendees can register themselves on the site, and an administrator can approve them. Then, another setting will create a default album for them which is their sandbox.
posted by tomierna at 7:02 PM on December 5, 2007

Well this doesn't exactly fit what you meant but as soon as I read your question I was reminded of the Friends episode where Chandler and Monica get married. Their concept was buying a whole bunch of disposable cameras and handing them out to people during the wedding. These people got to take pictures at any time during the wedding and then they deposited the disposable camera in a big box as they left. That way Chandler and Monica got a bunch of pictures from many different people's angles, and it turned out cool.
I don't know how you could re-distribute them afterwards though... Maybe scan them onto one of the aforementioned sites, although scanning that many pictures would take a very long time.
posted by alon at 3:30 AM on December 6, 2007

you could go low-tech and have a laptop outside at your venue and encourage guests to download their pictures.
posted by maulik at 4:22 PM on December 6, 2007

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