Sharing Photos Online

After your images look the way you want them to, learn all about sharing photos online so your friends can see them too.

Introduction

There will likely be a time when you want to share your photos with others. In this lesson, we'll talk about some of the most common ways to share digital photos, along with some general tips for sharing photos online.

Photo-sharing options

There are many different ways to share digital images. You can learn more about some of the easiest and most popular methods below.

Email

If you want to share a photo with a small group of people, you can send it as an email attachment. It's important to realize, however, that email isn't a very convenient photo-sharing tool. Depending on your email provider and Internet connection speed, you may need to resize your images to be small enough to send as attachments. Resizing will also make it easier for your recipients to download and view photos.

screenshot of gmail

Facebook

Whether you need to share one photo or an entire album, Facebook makes it easy to share photos with several people at the same time.

screenshot of Facebook

Instagram

One of the most popular ways to share photos from a mobile device, Instagram allows you to edit photos and apply a variety of filters.

screenshot of Instagram

Twitter

Another good option for mobile sharing, Twitter makes it easy to share photos with any post.

screenshot of twitter

Flickr

If you want to share a lot of images, Flickr is one of the best photo-hosting sites on the Web. With 1000GB (1 terabyte) of free storage space, Flickr allows you to store thousands of photos online. You'll also have the option to share some photos publicly while making others private.

screenshot of flickr

Simple image-sharing sites

If you just want to post a single image on the Web, there are a variety of image-sharing sites, such as Imgur and TinyPic. These services allow you to upload an image and then share it with others by sending them a link.

screenshot of Imgur

Online photo-sharing tips

Before you share a photo online, there are a few final changes you may want to make to ensure your photos look as good as possible. These changes will also help to optimize your photos for web viewing.

Save as JPEG

As we mentioned in the first lesson of this tutorial, the JPEG format provides a balance between image quality and file size, which makes it a good choice for web sharing. If your image isn't already using this format, we recommend saving a new JPEG version to share online.

Resize when needed

Many photo-sharing services, such as Facebook, will resize images automatically when you upload them. If you're using a service like this, you probably won't need to worry about resizing your images manually.

However, if you're not using a service like this, you'll likely want to resize the image to suit your needs. Most modern digital cameras take large, high-resolution images, which will have much more detail than you actually need for online sharing. Resizing will allow you to dramatically reduce the file size. For example, take a look at this photo (it should open in a new browser tab or window—click the image to view it at full size). This image is 4608px by 3072px and 4.5MB (4500KB).

By comparison, take a look at the resized versions of the same image below:

While the 800px version has a slightly larger file size (60KB) than the 400px version (22KB), both of these are much, much, smaller than the original version (4500KB). The 800px version is actually about 99 percent smaller than the original, which will make it easier for people to download and view the image on the Web. But remember, if you want to resize an image you should also keep an original, unedited version of the file. This way, you'll have the full-resolution version if you need to print it or make further edits.

You can review our lesson on Making Basic Adjustments to learn how to resize an image.

The tips above will help your images to look their best when sharing. Again, most online photo-sharing services, including most of those we discussed earlier in this lesson, will resize your images automatically. This is one reason these services are so popular—they make it easy to share great-looking photos without a lot of effort.