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The Geek Girl Report: Say Cheese! What Are The Best Photo Sharing Websites? [AUDIO]

 

Koichi Kamoshida, Getty Images

So, you got yourself a nice, shiny digital camera and a ton of pictures.  Now what do you do with them? Well, you could post them all over Facebook and twitter like everybody else does. But if you’re particularly proud of your pics and want to share them with the masses, not just your Facebook buddies, you might want to check out a photo-sharing website. Photo-sharing sites like Flickr and Tumblr are becoming increasingly popular, and the best part is you don’t have to be a pro photographer to open up your own online photo gallery.  Here are my picks for the best photo sharing websites:

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Photobucket [link]

Photobucket was one of the first photo sharing sites on the scene, and today, it’s still one of the most popular. Once you’re uploaded your pictures, you can use the site’s fantastic photo editor tool to spruce up your images, like getting rid of red eye or brightening up the colors, or give them a cool effect, like turning them into an old-timey black and white photo. PhotoBucket also gives you the option to order prints of your favorite pictures, and can also turn them into coffee mugs, stickers, and other customizable gifts. A basic membership to PhotoBucket is free, but a paid membership (for about $25 a year) gives you added perks such as unlimited bandwidth, no ads and 25 gigabytes of storage space. It’s no wonder that PhotoBucket continues to stay at the top of the pack when it comes to sharing photos.

Flickr [link]

If you need a photo of just about anything, you’ll most likely find it on Flickr. This is one of the services I use the most, especially when it comes to finding some high-quality photos for my blog. And adding your own pictures to their already humongous gallery is a snap. Flickr offers a wide array of applications for both Windows and Mac to make it easy to get your photos on the site. The only drawback is that if you want to really get the most out of Flickr, you’ll need an account. But when you consider all you’re getting from Flickr, that’s just a minor inconvenience.

Picasa [link]

You know the deal: if it’s on the Internet, Google has to come out with their own version of it. And for photo sharing, the Google version is Picasa and the Picasa Web Albums. This is actually a two-fold system: Picasa is actually Google’s photo editing tool, and Picasa Web Albums is the actual photo sharing tool. Either way, Google fans will feel right at home with the minimalistic interface, and the options for sharing your photos are endless. One interesting thing about Picasa is that Google will give your photo album its own unique web address, so people can check out your photos at any time. It would have been nice to see some more security features implemented here, like controlling who can see your photos, but nonetheless, it’s still another impressive offering from the Google-verse.

SmugMug [link]

If you take photography a little more seriously than your typical weekend hobbyist, you might find a lot to like about SmugMug. This site isn’t so much a photo-sharing site as it is a photo-displaying site. (think of it like one of those snooty art galleries you see in museums, only online) That being said, SumgMug offers a surprisingly user-friendly setup and plenty of control over your photos, such as controlling who can see them and protecting your pics against illegal downloading. But be prepared to spend a little cash: there is no free membership for SmugMug, and the lowest tier of membership starts at $35 a year, with a Pro membership costing about $145 a month. But if you’re serious about photography, it could be a worthwhile investment.

Pinterest [link]

The best way I can describe Pinterest is a giant online bulletin board that’s jam packed with recipes, homemade crafts, and fashions.  Once you join the site, you can create your own little “pinboard” where you can find photos based on the interest you like, (such as food, fashion, etc.) and post, or “pin” them to your pinboard. It’s a terrific tool for the creative folks out there who are looking for a little inspiration for their next big project. However, it’s not without its faults. You can only join Pinterest via invitation, either by requesting one from the site or getting one from a friend who’s already a member of Pinterest. Also, the site can be a little tricky to navigate, even if you’re a seasoned user.

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