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What's The Easiest Way To Store And Access Photos Online?

The explosive growth of digital camera and particularly camera phones have lead to a huge boom in the number of photos being taken and around. Did you know that 10% of all photos taken were taken this year (out of 200 years of photography). In fact approximately 380 billion photos will have been taken this year.

In the past an physical album for a special event or to sum up a year was a perfect way to organize your photos. But With the average person taking more and more photos of everyday moments not just special moments we need better ways to store and categories photos.

What’s more with multiple devices and wanting to be able to access any picture taken on any device and instantly edit it on another photo management has become a real issue.

The start up everpix looked like it was going to provide a great solution to this problem, unfortunately the business model spectacularly failed. So what is the best tool and system to organize your photos providing you with easy access to all your photos from any device at any time.

Photo Stream

Photostream comes built in to your iCloud service. Photostream is designed as a temporary storage system for your photos. You can upload tones for photos (1,000 an hour, 10,000 a day, 25,000 a month) and share loads as well (1,000 an hour and 10,000 a day) but after 3o days…they’re going away. If you want to save photos on your iCloud account then you need to purchase some storage.

This isn’t a bad short term solution, you can easily take a pic on your iPhone, edit it on your iPad or Mac and then share it to a social media site of your choice before storing it offline…but if you want to access photos from your archive you’ve got a problem.

Dropbox

Dropbox offers you a great auto upload service as well as the ability to create folders and folders within folders for your photos. It’s also really easy to share folder and the service is extremely reliable…there’s only one issue which I mentioned in my post on cloud storage. It’s expensive. Yes, if you’ve got free space from adding mailbox and photos then you’re getting more space free but as soon as you start having to pay for storage, dropbox is significantly more expensive that other alternatives.

I had been using dropbox to store my photos because it offered this great auto upload feature. However, filling 70% of my storage space with photos and not wanting to pay the upgrade price, it has made me realise that I want this space for other items. Hence my move away and fresh search.

Sign up here (if for some crazy reasons you haven’t already)

Flickr

flickr app screen

My (not so) secret tool is flickr. With the announcement of giving 1 terabyte of data free for every user, the auto upload feature and the ability to hide all or some of the images you have and easily share those that you want to makes a lot of sense. As such it may well be the best option for photo management you can get. The only issue here is you have to trust a service that wants you to share your photos with your photos. Get one setting wrong and you might find that embarrassing photo out there.

Copy

As I looked at in my roundup of cloud storage solutions, copy gives you a great amount of free storage but it has some reliability issues when sharing and collaborating with others. However, due to it’s large amount of free storage and inexpensive upgrades, copy maybe a great a personal backup for your images if you don’t need to be able to share your images.

Loom

Loom is looking likely to be a great answer to the photo management problem. it’s iOS and Mac centric at the moment so if you or a member of your family has a PC or Android smart phone then you’ll have to wait to make the most of the service. But if you are completely within the Apple ecosystem then this service is great for you already.

When you use the apps you get 5GB free (not that different from Dropbox) but unlike other services like Google drive or dropbox it’s exclusive for photos. On top of that the premium paid options are dirt cheap compared to dropbox. Plus it arranges your photos chronologically in a timeline on the site as well as within photo albums that you can set up for specific occasions.

If you’re looking for a cloud service just for your photos while keeping another photo service for your documents and projects then Loom could be the perfect solution for you, keeping your photos private. Click here to sign up.

loom prices

Pressgram?

It’s no secret that we are big pressgram fans. The ability to be legally in control of your photos and the great interface is really nice but it’s also an option in photo management. Just think about it, set up a free wordpress.com account, send your photos to pressgram and their uploaded there for free. No legal issues, no fees, no problems.

Well almost no problem. Although you can set the blog to private and visible only to you and select approve people, you can’t opt out of the social network side of pressgram with a private profile (as far as I know). If someone follows you, they can see the photos you post. Add on the fact your photos are cut to smaller square images so you’ll lose some of the image. navigating photos could be interesting, on the one hand you’ve got your tags, on the other hand you have to set them up when you post and you won’t have handy, easily skimmable folders.

Conclusion

If you want to keep your files offline then all you need is the photostream, it will do the task perfectly fine and allow you to access your most recent photos whenever you want with plenty of time to get them off your device and free up more storage space on your mobile device. However, if you want to be able to access photos from your archive then you need a service that will keep your photos online indefinitely.

Flickr is certainly a good free option. Pressgram is free (if you have a blog) and will allow you to share those photos too, but you have to share them online  you can’t automatically upload them and they have to be squares.

if you want a cloud service that is completely private, comes at a great price and offers you great integration between your devices then Loom is the right option for you and as such, I’ve signed up to see what it’s like.

About Chris Wilson

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2 Replies

  1. Nice write up! Looking forward to see what you think of Pressgram v2.0!

    1. Chris Wilson

      Thank Michael. I’m interested to see what comes next for Pressgram, I’m having a few technical difficulties but I’m sure it will go from strength to strength.

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