Sharing photos in no longer a big deal. Whether you’re an Internet addict or just own a computer, you shouldn’t have any problem sharing your digital photos and even your old films with the world. It gets slightly more complicated when you don’t want to share them with the world, but only with a limited amount of people.
Let’s say you want to share photos of your kids with your family, but not with the Web at large, or you’re not into posting your trip photos for all your Facebook friends to see. What do you do then? Well, there are several good services out there that let you do just that. Even Facebook is no left behind, with its own set of options for private sharing. If you’re sitting on a pile of photos you’d like to keep relatively private, but not so private that no one ever gets to see them, continue reading to find the best option for your needs.
It doesn’t get any easier than this. Not long ago, Dropbox added a feature which lets you easily create a shareable link for any folder in your Dropbox account. In order to do this, you’d need a Dropbox account, which is completely free and comes with 2GB of storage. After creating an account and downloading the app (available for all major platforms), simply upload your photos to a new folder in Dropbox. Once they’re all there, all you have to do is right click the folder, find the Dropbox menu and choose “Get link”. If you’re on a mobile device, you’ll find a link icon when viewing the folder within the Dropbox app.
You can now share this link with family and friends, and only those who have this specific link will be able to view the album. The albums interface is very easy to use, and your family will also be able to download photos to their own computer. This feature works with any kind of file, so you can also share videos, presentations and more.
Facebook’s popularity makes this of the most available options on this list, although it’s not the best one if you really care about privacy. If you want to use Facebook to share your photos privately, you can choose exactly who will be able to see any album you upload. After uploading new photos, look at the bottom right corner for this button, which will either say “Friends”, “Friends of Friends” or “Everyone”, depending on your privacy settings.
Click it, and from the menu that opens, choose “Custom”. You can now enter specific names of people you want to share this album with, or specific people you want to hide this album from. You can follow the same procedure for videos. Keep in mind, however, that Facebook is full of shades of grey. Although only these people will be able to see your album, if any of them chooses to share a photo, there’s not much you can do about it. The photos may also become visible to others if your friends Like them or comment on them, so use with caution.
Wee Web is a free service that lets you create your own private social network for your family or close friends. It was made with private sharing in mind, and is geared mainly at families who want to stay updated with photos of the kids (or cats, if you don’t have any kids yet). Using Wee Web is completely free, and you can upload as many photos as you’d like, and even some videos.
To start, create an account with Wee Web. Because it’s made for sharing photos of kids, it will ask you fill in the child’s (or children’s) name and date of birth, and you can also add different family members. For each kid, you can upload photos and videos, share stories, and receive comments. All the family members you add receive automatic notifications every time you add a new photo, video or update. It’s a great way for families who are far from each other to not lose touch of kids growing up, while keeping all the photos and videos within the family. If you want unlimited video upload and access to full-quality image, you can get Wee Web Pro for $29.95 a year.
If you don’t have kids yet, but still want a dedicated service for sharing photos privately, Sharypic offers an original and slick solution. Although you can share any photos you’d like, Sharypic is meant for collaborative sharing of events, such as parties, trips, etc. It’s also great for simply sharing photo albums from your trips or other adventures with family and close friends, and you can do this using the free account.
After creating an event with Shareypic, you’ll get the chance to upload photos from your computer, or through many other sources such as Picasa, email and even your iPhone. Don’t forget to set your event as private, so that only people you invite can access the album. After uploading your photos, you can invite your family and friends to view the album, and they, in turn, can like photos, download them, and also share them on social networks, unless you ask them nicely not to.
Sharepyic has a really beautiful interface, and some useful features such as adding another contributor to the event or embedding the album on your website, if you wish. If you want to use Sharypic for big events, such as weddings, you can buy an event with up to 60 contributors for one-time payments ranging from $9 to $99.
Which Is Right For You?
The abundance of services out there to share photos means you can easily find one that’s exactly right for you. If you’re already using Dropbox to store photos and videos, private sharing is just a click away. If Facebook is easiest for you, and you don’t mind the slight risk, you can share privately in seconds. If you’re sharing photos of your kids and privacy is really important to you, Wee Web is the thing to go for, and if you’re just looking for a slick and convenient interface to share photos of your adventures, you should definitely go with Sharypic.
Didn’t find the right option for you? You might find it in Ryan’s Top 4 Sites To Share Private Home Movies With Family & Friends.
How do you share photos with your family? What are the best options out there? Let us know in the comments.