We don’t go on vacation to spend more time with computers. We go to get away from them. Naturally, there’s a problem when you want to share the pictures you’ve taken on vacation with your family. With no computer in sight, how do you email them to your loved ones? Is there an easy way around this, or are we supposed to wait until we get back to share them?
Sadly, no matter how you feel about bringing your computer on vacation, you’re going to have to use one if you want to share any of the photos you’re taken. That is, unless you’re taking all of your pictures with a smartphone. Then you’re simply carrying your computer in your pocket. No breaks there.
If you don’t have your computer with you, you won’t have access to your email program directly. This will definitely throw you off. There are ways to access your email, but you have to go through a totally different and often confusing thing called a webmail client. It’s basically the same thing as email but it lives in your browser window. It works, but it will require some learning.
Facebook + Flickr = Awesome
I have a much better solution. These days, there’s a strong chance most of your family is on Facebook. For smaller pictures where you don’t care too much about quality, Facebook is much better than email. You simply upload the photos to your Facebook, click “share,” and everyone in your family can see them. Easy as that.
There’s only one problem with the strict Facebook approach. If you want to show off your skills as a photographer, it’s somewhat lacking. Facebook automatically resizes your photos down to something smaller and faster to download. This will reduce the quality. What can you do?
Use Flickr in conjunction with Facebook. Flickr is pretty much the Facebook of photo sharing. It’s an online community of photography enthusiasts who appreciate quality photography. None of the photos you upload to Flickr are resized down to take up less space. They’re online at 100% quality, ready for your friends and family to download whenever they want.
To share a photo from Flickr with your family, just copy the link to the photo and paste it on your Facebook wall. When you do this, Facebook realizes that it’s a link to your photo and provides a little preview with a description. If you want someone to download your photo, just send them a message through Facebook and have them download it. Easy as that.
Guess what the best part of all of this is? You don’t need your own computer to do it! You can do everything from the guest computer lounge at your hotel or from a friend’s computer. Let the break from technology commence.
(Oh, and if you're not sure how to use Flickr, I have a video tutorial showing you how to sign up and upload images as a bonus on my Digital Photo Secets book)
If you still need to use email...
Consider getting a second email account that’s easy to access from the web. Some obvious candidates are Gmail, or Hotmail. They have a web-based email program you can use from any computer all over the world. You still have to be careful about the size of the pictures you send. If they’re too big, the email server will reject them. This is another area where Facebook + Flickr shines.
The world is gradually moving away from email anyway. At some point in the future, we probably won’t have email boxes. It’ll all be done through social networking sites like Facebook and Flickr. This approach makes sense. It’s easier to send something directly to your friends than to remember email addresses and aliases for them. Yet another plus for Facebook.
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