Sunday, June 19, 2005

Aaaaggh! I'm being buried in Pictures!

By now, just about everyone and their mother has a digital camera or camera phone. And even if you don't, you still take pictures with that old camera on that brown plastic stuff, what do they call it, film?

Well, it takes no fancy brainwork to realize that, with each passing day, more and more pictures are being taken and there's fewer and fewer places where you can stash 'em. Digital cameras, with their incredible ease of taking pictures on a cheap memory card, fill up quicker than you can shake a stick and poke me in the eye.

But what makes it soooo versatile, is that I can take virually unlimited pictures with my digital camera, then just download and empty out that memory card onto my computer, which, by the way can hold a gazillion pictures of my kids, their friends, their pet sea monkeys and whatever happens to cross my camera lens.

I've got the freedom to take unlimited crappy pictures, 'cause I don't care, it's free! All I gotta do is download them to my computer, and voila! More room for more pictures. Yay!

Well golly day, before you know it, you're running out of storage space on your computer hard drive. Not only that, but what if your computer hard drive were to crash and you lose all those pictures? So what to do? Where are you going to put all those pictures?

All those pictures and no where to go.

So put 'em on the web. Not only can you stick them on a website and share the pictures with the rest of the world (or not), there are websites out there where you can just easily store all of your precious pictures. There are so many competing websites out there that want your pictures and business, many of them virtually free.

What business? Well, after taking your pictures, you'll want to share them with your family and friends. No more sending out your pictures and clogging up everyone's email accounts with megapixels of photos. Just send everyone an email with a link to your pictures, and they can check out your pictures themselves. They can even order prints online. But not just prints. They can order pictures on a Postage Stamp, mug, cards, calendars, t-shirts, and tons of other gifts with your pictures on them. That's a billion dollar business out there.

Snapfish to the Rescue!

While I've had limited experience with other websites like Ofoto (now Kodak Gallery), Shutterfly, and the like, I've had a lot of good experience with Not only do they store your digital pictures, they also develop your good 'ole film camera pictures too.

Snapfish is for lovers of 35mm film cameras too.

Just go online, and Snapfish will send you free postage-paid envelopes. Drop your film in the envelope and give it to the mailman. In a few days, not only will your prints and negatives be mailed to you, Snapfish will scan your pictures and make them available for you to view online. Then you can share them with whomever you wish.

You can even get your first roll developed for FREE, or if you don't have film to develop and only want to upload your pictures, you can get 20 FREE prints with your first order by clicking on this link: Snapfish

Share your Photos

It's really easy to share your photos with your friends and families. After copying your pictures from your digital camera to your computer, you just upload your pictures to You create virtual albums of photos and then send out emails from Snapfish to all the people that you want to share your photos with.

Once they receive your invitation, your friends sign up for a free account with Snapfish (this ensures only those people you have invited can view your private photos) and then view your pictures. You or anyone you invite can then order prints of any picture for only 12 cents a print (plus postage). That's much cheaper than printing them yourself with a color printer.

The one other bonus of uploading your pictures to a website like Snapfish, is that if for some reason you lose all your pictures, you'll always be able to get a copy of the pictures from the website you uploaded them to. It's like a backup storage facility for your pictures.

With Snapfish, all of this storage is virtually free. All that they ask is that you purchase at least ONE item each year to keep your account active. That one item can be a single print. That's pretty cheap insurance against losing your pictures.

The only caveat to keep in mind is that if you want to get the original high resolution file of your pictures back, you'll have to pay for them. There are three options: 1) you can pay about $20 for a CD with 200 pictures plus $10 for each additional 150 pictures, 2) you can pay 29 cents per picture file, or 3) just get prints for 10 cents each. That's not so bad if this is your last resort for getting your picture files back after losing them elsewhere. If you really just want an online storage facility for your digital prints, there is another option from a website called Flickr that charges $25 per year. I'll discuss it in another blog.

But for now, you can't beat Snapfish for sharing your digital pictures with your friends and family, and getting hard copy prints for only 12 cents a copy. Now that's a way to unload your picture burden on someone else.

Happy snapping :)