Another vacation season, come and gone, and so many photos to upload - if you went on a group vacation like a family reunion or a family camp or maybe you all rented a villa in Tuscany, wouldn’t it be great if you could all upload your best photos to one big shared online album? Good news! You can.
All the major players - Facebook, Google, and Apple - have some kind of collaborative photo album option. Some are easier than others. Apple’s is very nice. If you’re an Apple user you can set up iCloud sharing on your iOS device, your Mac or even on your AppleTV and then you can create a shared album that people can contribute to.
Now you can store up to 5,000 photos and videos in one of these albums but none of those photos count towards your expensive iCloud storage. You can publish your album as a public website that anyone can view in a web browser or you could just keep it private between your group. And even Windows users can upload photos to these albums as long as they’re willing to set up an iCloud account.
Facebook makes it pretty easy to create collaborative albums. You can just make any new album, a shared album, and then you can invite as many contributors as you want to upload photos. You can even, and this is rare for Facebook, make that album private just among your group.
Nevertheless, I had some vacation friends who are not on Facebook and do not want to be. Google also has an option with Picasa web-albums. In Picasa, not in Google+, when you share an album you can skip all the Google+ sharing options and just go down to “only share via email”. Then you can check a box to make those people contribute to the album.
The big catch, of course, is that, even though it’s Picasa, they have to have a full-on Google account in order to contribute and anything that they upload counts against your Google storage…and all of that interference from Google+ just makes the whole thing just a little bit hard to navigate.
There are some even simpler options out there. For example, if you all use Dropbox you can all just create a shared folder that you just put pictures into. And I also like a site I found called Eversnap.
You do have to create an account to use it but it’s free on the web or as an iOS Android app and it just requires a username and password, not a bunch of personal data. Albums are free as long as they include fewer than 20 collaborators and there is no limit on how many photos and videos you can upload – at least not for right now. I hope I didn’t just ruin that.
My friends and I used Eversnap after our last vacation and it was easy but it’s definitely still working out some kinks. So next time, I think I’m going to try Apple.
For me, the most important thing is ease-of-use and privacy. I don’t need to force everybody in my world to watch a slideshow of my awesome summer vacation because the only people who really care are the people who were there.