Firstly, what is a photo sharing site or online photo gallery? It’s a collection of your valuable photos organized in albums. You should only upload photos that are valuable to you. Maybe recent events with your friends and family, maybe your latest travels, maybe some artistic photos. You should select only good photos for the gallery. This kind of gallery has value. Not necessarily a monetary value, but a value to you and to your gallery visitors. Upload your photos and share or keep them private until you are ready to share – it’s up to you. You should choose a gallery provider where you are in full control of your photos. You should choose a gallery that provides a permanent web address (URL) with your or your screen name, for example, JohnDoePhotography.somephotogallery.com, something that you can put on your business card or just email to your friends. It’s not a lot of work, it’s a quick upload, and now you look professional.
When it comes to photo sharing websites or online galleries, there are just a few choices: Free and paid sites.
Free photo sharing websites – Facebook of course comes to mind first, but there are others that don’t charge money for photo sharing. Are they good for photographers? If you shoot everything you see and don’t care about your photos – free sites are good. Somebody will see your photos after the upload and then they will be lost in the billions of other photos.
Problems with free sites:
Social sites severely compress your photos, making files smaller to pay less for the storage, meaning the quality provided by your digital camera is reduced to the level of an old smartphone. Compressed images lose details. Compare images before you upload to a free site with what you see on the site and you’ll see a huge difference.
Your photos are displayed with annoying ads that take viewers’ attention away from your photos. You can’t enjoy a photo when there are thousands of ads flashing around!
If privacy is concerning for you – a social site is not the right place. Social sites make money selling your information. They don’t want you to have private photos, therefore making photos truly private is harder on social sites. Users of social sites are prone to oversharing, i.e. they think they’ve selected the right privacy options just to find out later that the photos have been shared publicly. It happens all the time when what users thought was private became public after all.
Paid photo sharing websites: Paid photo sharing sites provide additional privacy features and they allow you to have your own personal galleries. This is important because when visitors are looking at your gallery, they are not distracted by other people’s photos. It’s like you gave them your physical photo album and they see your photos the way you want them to be seen.
There are a few types of paid photo sharing websites:
Professional photo sharing websites that are designed for professionals, like wedding photographers, product photographers etc. You can use those professional sites and get an okay result, but you’ll have to deal with the complexity of the site that was designed with professional needs in mind.
There are photo sharing sites that are designed for photographers from amateurs to professionals created specifically for photo sharing, with all the bells and whistles, including privacy and ease of use. SlickPic is of this kind of site.