Photo sharing

You most likely have the tools to take hundreds of photos daily: digital tools mobile phones, tablet devices, DSLR system cameras, action cameras were estimated to take 1.2 trillion photos in 2017 - more than 1,000 pictures per every person in the world.

You’ve most likely saved all the photos to your mobile phone and shared some on Facebook or Instagram. Gradually it will get complicated when you want to find the right ones or to embed your images to a presentation or a video project.

This text gives you ideas why and where to upload your photos for sharing and organizing them. You’ll learn the best sites to find free high quality images online to build upon. The article also sheds light on what to consider when choosing a service or when in doubt about the copyright issues.

The article is an outcome of IV4J project. It has been written specifically for vocational education and its connections to the work places. In many cases students, schools, and employers have joint projects, or students are in their on-the-job learning and need to document that. The examples on the services depict using them for vocational education in the EU.

Organize, protect and share

The first thing to do is organize your photos, be it paper photos or digital images. Paper photos can be scanned even with a mobile phone if you place two lamps to each side in such 45 degree angle that there won’t be reflections. Then, there are dozens of reliable photo sharing sites to upload your photos and to organize them into folders and add tags or other useful information for find them later.

Even though the most popular photo sharing sites can be trusted to a great extent, it’s better to have at least one offline copy for example on an external hard drive.

Now, when you know what you have got and where, it’s easy to share and reuse the photos. If you make them public and if you choose a license giving others the permit to use them too, your photos will make a valuable contribution to open culture. Likewise, you can use photos shared by others.

In addition to using photos as themselves, like sharing them on social media, they are valuable raw material for presentations, school web sites, video projects and much more. Particularly for team work the easiest option is to upload the pictures to an online repository and reach them there.

Think about this when choosing a service

Choose a photo sharing site that has been around for a while and that is recommended by several articles like this one. Usability, stability, and longevity are important. Think about your particular needs like automatic syncing with your phone, storage space, privacy options, etc.

There are three main categories: 1. Dedicated photo sharing sites 2. Social media sites 3. Cloud-based software mainly for personal archiving

In order to upload and manage your photos, you need a user account. All the sites discussed here have a free account option for sharing images. With some, that has limits regarding the number of photos or the size of the image. If you are managing a school project, think thoroughly what and whose email account to use for registering so that the content stays accessible even if a student or a teacher leaves the school.

You maintain the ownership of your photos. In their Terms of Service, the sites ask you to accept them to do a variety of things with your content, mainly to be able to copy them between servers, and to show your photos to others. Some, particularly social media services like Facebook and Twitter, are based on sharing and re-tweeting content, and their Terms ask you to give the service provider full rights to use the content any way they like. It may be difficult or even impossible to get your photos deleted from the service. Thus, upload only such content that you feel at ease if they start living a life of their own online.

For example, even though the writer of this article has uploaded his photos to one of the “safest” sites,, the photos appear in other services like and

From the copyright point of view, the dedicated photo sharing sites are better. Still, always check the Terms first. The Terms of make it clear that the photos are yours and it will not use them any way they find suitable. Photobucket says any photo you have uploaded as “private” will stay so but if you mark the content as public, ● you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, non-revocable, right and license to copy, sell, convey, distribute, stream, post, publicly display (e.g. post it elsewhere), reproduce and create derivative works from it (meaning things based on it), whether in print or any kind of electronic version that exists now or is later developed, for any purpose, including a commercial purpose with the right to sublicense such rights to others.

If the copyright owner does not state otherwise, people must always ask for a permission when they want to use a photo for any other than private use. To simplify things with content that is intended to be shared, many of the photo sharing sites use Creative Commons (CC) licensing. It is the most widely accepted system for informing how the content can be re-used. The basic CC license is CC BY (4.0). CC refers to the Creative Commons licensing in general, and the letters after it refer to specific term, in this case pronoun “by”. It means one has to credit the source.

Image sharing, or photo sharing, is the publishing or transfer of a user's digital photos online. Image sharing websites offer services such as uploading, hosting, managing and sharing of photos (publicly or privately).[1] This function is provided through both websites and applications that facilitate the upload and display of images. The term can also be loosely applied to the use of online photo galleries that are set up and managed by individual users, including photoblogs. Sharing means that other users can view but not necessarily download images, and users can select different copyright options for their images.

While photoblogs tend only to display a chronological view of user-selected medium-sized photos, most photo sharing sites provide multiple views (such as thumbnails and slideshows), the ability to classify photos into albums, and add annotations (such as captions or tags).

Desktop photo management applications may include their own photo-sharing features or integration with sites for uploading images to them. There are also desktop applications whose sole function is sharing images, generally using peer-to-peer networking. Basic image sharing functionality can be found in applications that allow you to email photos, for example by dragging and dropping them into pre-designed templates.

Photo sharing is not confined to the web and personal computers, but is also possible from portable devices such as camera phones, either directly or via MMS. Some cameras now come equipped with wireless networking and similar sharing functionality themselves.


  • en/terms/photosharing.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/02/10 19:14
  • by ralf