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How to Stop Spamming Your Friends & Family with Photos

by Allan Naguit – February 2006 Publish and browse your photos online

You want to share your holiday snaps? Wedding photos? Baby photos? Some other big (or not so big) event in your life?

Especially these days when just about everyone has a digital camera, there are just so many memories to share! How do you normally share them? That's right. You email your photos. But there are several problems with that:

  • There are so many photos to share
  • The size of the photos can be quite big
  • Your captive audience may not want to enjoy your photos right now

How do you share your photos easily (and without becoming a pain-in-the-neck "spammer" to your loved ones)? Use an online photo album!

When you set up an online photo album, life for you becomes much easier because you only need to maintain one thing.

Even with so many photos to share, you can take your time to build your photo album, add and remove photos at will, add or change comments, etc. You'll just be updating one thing (your album) instead of emailing a long list of people again and again.

Photo file size becomes less of a problem. These days, digital photos can have quite large file sizes and take some time to open up and view, especially with the very high resolutions of today's cameras. But online photo albums can allow your viewers to look at thumbnail images of the full-sized versions first. They can choose if and when to view the full-sized photos in all their glory.

And finally, your audience is no longer a captive audience - it's up to them when they want to browse your photo album. No more "spamming" of friends and family is required (except maybe, the teensy eensy email that just lets them know you've updated your photo album and to go and have a look right now, it's great!)

So, let's look at one online photo album service in particular, called Flickr. Why Flickr? It's easy to use, it's cool... and it's free.

Flickr logo (beta)

What is Flickr? According to the FAQ page on the website (, "Flickr is the best way to store, sort, search and share your photos online. There is a huge mass of photos in the world, and Flickr provides a way to organize yours, and for you and your friends and family to tell your stories about them."

There's a lot to Flickr but for this article, let's just concentrate on how to do these three things:

  1. Set up your photo album
  2. Add photos to your photo album
  3. Show people your photo album

How to Set up your (online) photo album

First, you need to set up a Flickr account. Flickr is part of Yahoo. If you don't have a Yahoo account, you'll have to sign up for one (the Flickr website ( has a helpful Sign Up button). Then, go to and click on the Sign Up! button, this time to set up your Flickr account. Choose your screen name, read the fine print if you want, click on Sign In and you're good to go.

How to Add photos to your photo album

Having signed in, Flickr is now ready to accept your digital photos. Click on the Upload your first photo link to get started. On the next screen, use the Browse buttons to upload photos from your computer to Flickr.

Browse images for upload

Private versus Public

If you only intend to share your photos with friends and/or family, make sure you tick on Private and the appropriate boxes beneath that! Otherwise, the entire Flickr community will be able to view your photos. You can change the privacy setting of your photos later, if you want.

Upload Tools

You can upload photos using the website. There are also various upload tools you can find at suitable for various installing to various flavours of Windows and even the Mac.

An interesting option is the "upload by email" option. You can email your photo (attachment) to a special email address provided by Flickr. Upon receipt, Flickr will update your album automatically. More info is available at

How to Show people your photo album

First, you invite them to join the Flickr community. Once they've joined, you add them to your list of Contacts. Once that's done, they can view your photos!

To invite friends and family, click on the link called "Invite" that's at the top of just about every Flickr web page. You'll get a screen like this:

Send invite to join Flickr

Send them an invitation and hopefully they'll join!

Once they've set up an account, you should add them to your list of Contacts, as in the screen shot below:

Add your new contact to Flickr

And that's it! Here's agnblade, having recently joined Flickr, looking at fottoman's photo album (thumbnails).


Looking at Thumbnail photos

Allan's signature

Allan Naguit is an I.T. Consultant for Funai Pty Ltd, an outfit that provides "I.T. Handyman Services" for small businesses and home offices based in the Sydney Metropolitan Area (Australia).
Just like a handyman, but for computers and IT.
To see "how to unblock your computer's pipes", visit our Services page.
Copyright 2007 - Funai Pty Ltd


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