Demo: Sharing a Picture via E-mail

Being an avid digital photographer I am often faced with the challenge of quickly sharing the pictures I take with my friends and family.  I own and operate quite a few web sites so, for me, it is more of a question of “quick” and “convenient” vs. “cost” or “access.”

Most people don’t have web sites they can copy their photos to so when faced with the same challenge of sharing their photos they make one of three choices:

  1. Leave the photos on their camera’s (or phone’s) memory card and carry the camera with them for impromptu, in-person slideshows at the next gathering.
  2. Upload their photos to one of the online printing and sharing services (Kodak, Shutterfly, EZPrints, SmugMug or Flickr to name several) which either requires lots of time, account registration, software installation and/or money.
  3. Attach the photos to an e-mail message which is then sent to everyone in their circle.

I have never been a big fan of #1 as memory cards are for storing new photos in my opinion.  I use the services in #2 whenever I order prints.  Some of those services require a monthly subscription or a print order or else the shared photo albums they provide are eventually deleted.  They are still very viable and reliable services, however.  As an Internet purist (in most cases) I absolutely abhor #3.

Even in today’s world of megabit broadband connections and gigabyte storage limits, attaching photos to e-mail messages wastes network bandwidth, disk space and time.  It also can be a huge inconvenience for recipients who 1) Usually don’t know a message containing multiple megabyte images they may not even care to view is about to invade their inboxes or 2) Are perhaps near their e-mail storage limit and that e-mail with its massive photo payload is going to put them over so other, more important messages get bounced as undeliverable.  While the storage and bandwidth issues are less common today, #3 is still something best avoided as a simple matter of Internet etiquette.

Luckily, there are free solutions to this problem.  These solutions allow images to be shared quickly, easily and efficiently without requiring the sender or recipients to install any software, register for any accounts or click through a barrage of ads (yet!)

I have recorded a demonstration video showing how to use one of the new unlimited image uploading sites,, to share one or more pictures with one or more people via e-mail, blogs, web sites, IM, etc.

In the video I use Windows Live Mail — the new Hotmail interface — and show how easy it is to share a picture that is stored on my computer.  I show how to upload a picture to then send a link in the body of an e-mail as opposed to including the image as an attachment (bad, bad bad).

So the next time you receive a multi-megabyte e-mail containing those pictures “you just have to see” that turn out to be a huge waste of your storage and time, feel free to point the sender to this post.  If those e-mails are being sent to your work account this post may just save your job.