Why use a photo storage site anyway?
I’ve been blogging for a little over a year, and for that first year I didn’t use any photo storage sites. If you’re on blogger, I think your pictures are automatically stored with Picasa. But if you have a self-hosted blog and aren’t using any kind of photo storage site, then all the images you use on your blog are taking up storage space.
If you’re like me, you probably have plenty of storage space and this isn’t a pressing issue. But, I figured if I start storing my photos now, in 5 years I won’t spend a Bloggiesta moving photos to make space 🙂
What are your choices?
I spent quite a bit of time during the last bloggiesta researching options. Here’s the storage sites I tired (all free) and why I ultimately thought Flickr was best. There are in order from worst to best (in my unskilled opinion):
- Shutterfly: I spent maybe ten minutes on Shutterfly. It was pretty quickly apparent that Shutterfly didn’t meet my needs. I felt this was more for storing personal photos and getting prints made (that you have to pay for BTW). I couldn’t find an easy way to share on the blog, so this was a no go for me.
- Photobucket: I thought this was a lot more user friendly, but as I explored I found that it had a lot of limits for overall storage. There were even limits on the photo upload sizes, even if it wouldn’t take up my storage. Of course, you can upgrade with some money, but I want free. The other thing that drove me crazy were the ads! They pop up like crazy and I have an ad blocker. So that was too annoying.
- Picasa: I’ve used Picasa before in the past and liked them. And if you are transitioning from Blogger to WordPress, this might actually be a really good option for you. In fact, when I started exploring this, I found my photos from when I was on Blogger. I hung on to this one as an option for a while – but ultimately found it’s integration with Google + (something I’m still not great at) frustrating and the extra options inferior to Flickr.
- Flickr: So you know this is the one I chose. I thought the sharing options were the best, the organization most natural, you get 1 Terabyte of space for free (I have 250 photos and still am using 0.0% of my space!), and you have great privacy, copyright settings. So it was a win! Now to show you how to use it!
How to Use Flickr
I’m going to walk you through how to setup an account, upload photos, and use them on your blog. Then for your challenge you can go through the steps yourself!
Create A Flickr Account
- Go to flickr.com (there is no “e” in Flickr) and in the top left corner click on “sign up”
- Flickr is managed by Yahoo! so if you have a Yahoo account already, you can just sign in with that. If you’re like me and want to keep everything separate, just create a new yahoo account. The one thing I didn’t like is that you do have to give a phone number and did a code verification. But I have NEVER gotten any other texts, so I don’t think they do anything with it except using it for password retrieval.
- Once you’ve either logged in or created a yahoo Account you’ll get a Welcome to Flickr page and your details should be populated automatically. Hit Next.
- You’ll be given the option to connect with Facebook or you can do what I did and click “Take me to flickr”
That’s it! Super easy right?
Upload Photos to Flickr
I’m a really visual person for things like this, so I’m going to give you these steps in a series of screenshots, rather than try to explain what you do. It’s fairly intuitive, though, so you probably won’t even need my instructions for much more than clarification.
- This is the Flickr Homescreen. I don’t use this at all. Instead I click on you (indicated with red arrow) and do all my work from that page.
- This is the next screen you’ll get, called your photostream. Mine is personalized (something I’m not explaining in this challenge, but is super easy. Feel free to ask me how.) I bookmarked this page, eliminating the first step from here on out. To upload a picture, simply click upload in the black bar at the top of the screen (indicated with red arrow)
- This is the screen that will come up. Pretty self explanatory…
- Once you upload some images there’s a few things to note on this screen. In the top left there’s a button that says “add” (circled in red below). If you want to add more photos right now, rather than returning to this screen, you click that. Moving down the screen there’s the option to add the photos to an album. This will bring up a dialog box to select and/or create albums. In the center, indicated by the red arrow pointing to the text under the image, you can rename your image and add a description. Finally, when you’re ready to upload, hit the blue button in the top right corner (red arrow).
And you’ve uploaded your images!
Use Photos from Flickr on Your Blog
It’s easy to share those photos on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pintrest, or via email, but there’s a few more steps involved to use them in a blog post. But it’s still really easy.
- When you’re done uploading your photos it will take you back to your photostream. Scroll to pick a picture you’d like to share and click on it.
- This is the share screen. Circled in the middle under the photo is a photo reel. If you hover over it the photos will enlarge and you can quickly move to a different photo. I’ve underlined where it shows the copyright for the photo, but I’ll explain that feature in a minute. Finally, the arrow pointing to the right (indicated by the red arrow I drew in below) is where you want to click.
- This box will come up when you click. You’ll notice the easy share icons are here too. But to use the image on your blog, you’ll need a code. You have three choices – link, HTML, BBCode. I use HTML (red arrow). Once you pick that you’ll have two options at the bottom of the box – Embed or HTML. Again, I use HTML. You’ll notice a drop down box in the center, where you can choose between multiple size options. This was probably the main reason I liked Flickr so much, I’m not good at resizing images proportionally, and it does it for you (with the exception of the square options).
- Once you’ve set all your options, highlight the text (I’ve highlighted it in yellow in the picture above) and copy. You’ll paste this code into your blog post where you want your image (in the text, not visual, editor). It will look like this:
- The info in the first set of <> will make it so that if someone clicks on the image in your post, they’ll be taken to your Flickr page. I often change this link to a goodreads link or delete this info all together. If you do delete it, also delete the final /a in the last set of <>
- The info in the second set of <> is your photo link. You’ll notice your dimensions are included here, so you can alter those numbers manually in your post if you want. You can also add stylistic changes. I often add class=”aligncenter” after img to center my photo
And that’s it! You’ve added your photo! All these steps probably make it look a lot harder than it is, since most the steps are fairly intuitive and it’s mainly about getting to know where things are on the site.
I wanted to share one feature that made Flickr attractive for me – the Copyright settings. I’m not a graphic designer, but I have a friend who is and often designs things for me. By uploading the images to a photo storage site for public viewing, I could potentially be opening up her images for theft. Of course, this is a possibility on my site as well. But what I like about Flickr is that when I upload a photo I can set copyright details and provide that extra layer of protection for her images.
I noted where it appears already above on the share screen, but here’s a close up, with all the options:
So you can create anything from an All Rights Reserved Copyright to a Creative Commons Copyright. And if you need them explained, clicking on the link once you select an option will give you a great description of what it means.
Now It’s Your Turn!
For this challenge you’ll need to do four things:
- Create a Flickr Account
- Upload a photo. Make sure you use something you have the right to share – so I’d recommend something like a book cover or your own graphics.
- Add the photo to a blog post. You can just include it in your bloggiesta tracking post or create a whole new post to try it out.
- Comment below with a link to the post (you can use the commentluv to link, that’s probably easiest)
Good luck! If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments or tweet me! Hope this was helpful 🙂