Photo of Mark Sincevich

Mark Sincevich

Professional Photography Expert

Photo Sharing

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If you’re like most people, you want to know the best on-line photo site to satisfy all of your photo sharing, printing, and product ordering needs. All on-line sites are not created equal and you will see that certain sites might specialize in community forums or social networking with a photography angle while another site might be more geared to professional photographers.

Nearly all of the sites offer some sort of image storage although you might have to purchase either prints or products at least once a year to keep this storage feature active. I would prefer to pay for the ability to archive my images as this helps to ensure that the company hosting my photographs will continue to be a viable business, and I won’t be bombarded with advertisements.

However, even some well-known sites like Yahoo Photos and Sony’s Imagestation have gone out of business. This means you have to take ultimate responsibility for the proper backup of your photographs and not exclusively rely upon any of these sites listed for backup. In order to qualify for this review, each site needed to have the ability to share, print, and create products with your photographs.

While you might have a photographic ink jet printer for some of your printing needs, many photography enthusiasts want to share their images with others – even those images based on specific criteria like photographs of England or photographers who like taking images of trains. Most of the sites listed allow you to join communities, read blogs, and even have your own website (listed under the main online site).

Also, if you have a new addition to your family, (canine, feline, or human), and want to send out 4x6 prints, then it is not cost effective to print all of your images at home or at the office. You will need to employ the services of one of these sites. Many of the sites offer efficient uploading of your images (mostly in JPEG, but a few allow TIFF), vibrant color prints, and excellent turnaround for delivery. Some sites, such as Shutterfly, allow you to pick up your prints at participating Target stores while the Kodak Gallery site enables you to pick up at various pharmacies. Expect to pay as low as nine cents per print on a pre-paid plan and 29 cents if you are going with a more professional lab. One lab, Adorama, hand inspects each print to ensure you ware getting the best color matching and quality.

The Best of the Best online photo sharing, printing and product site is PhotoWorks. They have a robust online photo community, produce excellent prints, and have a wide variety of products such as photo books, panoramic poster cards, and photo appointment books. They even allow you to import images from Flickr and Webshots. If you want a wider variety of products that can incorporate your images, then I suggest looking into Shutterfly or into the Kodak Gallery site.

Remember, you when displaying images in public spaces, you will always want to protect your copyright. You can add a copyright or even a watermark to your images and a few of the sites will allow you to do this online. As you get more involved with any of these online sites, you might notice the quality of your photography improving. Why? Because you are paying attention to your images and how to share, print, and make products with them.

Best Online Photo Sharing and Printing by Mark Sincevich

The Best You Can Get

  • Photoworks

    Mark says: Photoworks is an excellent site. Its best products are its photo books with 74 different page layouts and style configurations. You can send in slide or negative film and get the images scanned and uploaded at the time of developing! You can store your images in their archive service for as long as you remain an active customer providing you order at least once a year. There is a nice selection of photographic gifts and you can log into their photo discussion communities. This site even ‘powers’ or works with the popular social photography-networking site, Webshots. A bonus with Photoworks is that you can sell your photo products in their storefront gallery and the site allows you to import images from Flickr and Webshots.

    • Best product: Photo books
    • Print quality: High
    • Current print cost (4x6 inch): 9 cents with a pre-paid plan
    • Other products: Panoramic poster cards, photo appointment books
    • Online gallery (storage) cost: Free storage when ordering at least once per year
  • Shutterfly

    Mark says: Shutterfly provides your friends and even potential customers the ability to order prints from your own professional gallery. It is called Shutterfly Pro Gallery. The site also includes free editing software and excellent quality prints. They have an amazing turn around time even for their products and your prints can even be picked up at some Target locations. Shutterfly has the ability to showcase your photography books for others for purchase.

    • Best product: Calendars
    • Print quality: High
    • Current print cost (4x6 inch): 15 cents
    • Online gallery (storage) cost: $100 per year
    • Other products: Poster size prints, greeting cards, & coffee mugs
  • Kodak Gallery

    Mark says: The Kodak Gallery site comes equipped with one of the fastest image upload times. It is a great place to share your photo albums, and an added bonus is the sites refusal to print files with copyright protection. The Kodak Gallery site has an extremely large selection of greeting cards. As an option to shipping, images can be picked up at CVS, Eckard, Wegmans, and other pharmacies.

    • Best product: Greeting Cards
    • Print quality: High
    • Current print cost (4x6 inch): 10 cents with a pre-paid plan
    • Online gallery (storage) cost: Starts at $25 per year
    • Other products: Large product selection including Martha Stewart designs
  • Adorama Pix

    Mark says: A key feature of the Adorama Pix site is the ability to upload TIFF images that are used by serious amateurs or professional photographers. The quality is great and the site has excellent turnaround time. I also like the On-line Help section and FAQs. As an added bonus, they perform hands-on personal color correction by trained professionals. The site is very easy to use, uncluttered, and gives you the key choices you need.

    • Best product: 5x7 inch personalized greeting cards
    • Print quality: High
    • Current print cost (4x6 inch): 15 cents
    • Online gallery (storage) cost: 3 GB free storage, $20 for unlimited storage
    • Other products: Photo books, high quality prints
  • SmugMug

    Mark says: SmugMug is a very good photo-sharing site that includes blogs and forums. You can invite visitors to view your galleries and join many different types of photo communities. The site can also host individual photographic file sizes from 12 MB for standard accounts to 24 MB for pro users! It has an API that can interface with third-party websites and they have created an iPhone application so you can view your SmugMug photos on your Apple iPhone. You can also have your own URL and track web traffic to your site.

    • Best product: Rolled canvas prints
    • Print quality: Medium
    • Current print cost (4x6 inch): 19 cents with a pre-paid plan
    • Online gallery (storage) cost: $40 annual fee, $60 premium for unlimited storage
    • Other products: Photo books, greeting cards, rolled canvas prints, playing cards

You will be happy with any of these

  • Flickr

    Mark says: Flickr is a great photo-sharing site that is also one of the largest photographic databases in the world with hundreds of millions of photographs. You can create groups based on the type of photographic interest. A nice feature is you can add copyright protection (licensing) to your photos. There are five convenient and different ways to upload your photos and the site has handy organization features including batch commands. The site also displays EXIF data and showing such things as camera type, focal length, aperture, shutter speed, and many other items.

    • Best product: Photo books
    • Print quality: High
    • Current print cost (4x6 inch): 15 cents
    • Online gallery (storage) cost: Free unlimited storage, Pro is $25/year
    • Other products: Photo stamps, cubes, framed prints
  • Snapfish

    Mark says: Snapfish has good low cost prints; a good selection of products and prints can be picked up at some Walgreens locations. Hewlett Packard owns it and Snapfish will also develop your rolls of film and then post them to the site for your review. The first time you upload your photos, you will need to download specific software to make the process run smoother. The site also accepts videos and will charge a premium of $25 per year for this feature.

    • Best product: Jewelry
    • Print quality: Medium
    • Current print cost (4x6 inch): 9 cents
    • Online gallery (storage) cost: Unlimited image storage with images up to 9MB in size
    • Other products: Beverage labels, stationery, christmas tree ornaments
  • DotPhoto

    Mark says: At DotPhoto the quality of the prints is excellent and they have fast service. Be patient with the ordering process however. You can sell both prints and digital versions of your photographs. DotPhoto has a Professional site related to the main site for selling prints. If your account isn't used within 90 days, your images may be deleted.

    • Best product: T-shirts
    • Print quality: High
    • Current print cost (4x6 inch): 8 cents with a pre-paid plan
    • Online gallery (storage) cost: Can purchase in 1GB sizes
    • Other products: Mugs, beach towels, and calendars
  • Mpix

    Mark says: Mpix is a great professional photography print posting, sharing, and printing site. It has extremely fast delivery and many extra services. Their careful packing of prints ensures high quality without defects. While it may not the best site to share or store images, it is one of the best for professional photography service. There is a 60-day limit on image storage however. Prints can be ordered on glossy, metallic and black and white paper. They have a very large on-line Mpix blog community. An added bonus is you can send film and have them develop and post images online for as low as $3.95 per roll!

    • Best product: Gallery Wraps (images on canvas)
    • Print quality: High
    • Current print cost (4x6 inch): 29 cents
    • Online gallery (storage) cost: Images only stored for 60 days
    • Other products: Poster prints, baseball cards, tickets with photos, and puzzles
  • ImageKind

    Mark says: Can create a work of art with ImageKind's custom printing and framing 'engine'. It allows you to choose from eight different papers, two canvas finishes, and over 150 mats and 160 frames. Allows you to import your images from Flickr. Can post your images for sale, create new products, and you have the possibility to store your images in an unlimited way.

    • Best product: Fine Art (archival quality) prints
    • Print quality: High
    • Current print cost (4x6 inch): 15 cents
    • Online gallery (storage) cost: Unlimited storage with Platinum Status for $12 per month
    • Other products: Greeting cards, images on canvas, and framed images

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