Photo Sharing

What is photo sharing?

Photography has come a long way from the days of the Kodak Instamatic, 35mm slides, and 8 X 10 glossies! Digital cameras are more popular, inexpensive, and feature-filled, and digital photos can be used in many ways in education. “Photo sharing is the publishing or transfer of a user’s digital photos online, thus enabling the user to share them with others (whether publicly or privately). This functionality is provided through both websites and applications that facilitate the upload and display of images.” Wikipedia)

Once the photos are online, different photosharing sites offer a variety of tools to organize, print, display, edit, annotate, tag, manipulate, and use them.

You can add “tags” or keywords to your photos. That will help you organize, sort and find information.

Uses of Digital Photo & Photo Sharing

Schools are finding many ways to use photo sharing sites. Here are a few:

  • Archive and share bulletin boards and display ideas
  • Create unique screensavers with students, activities, book covers, graphics, class projects, images related to topics of research, etc.
  • Shoot and share photos of student activities, field trips, etc. for students and teachers to use in projects and presentations
  • Create slideshows of school and library media center events to share on website
  • Share photos for use in TV production
  • Display student work, art work, activities
  • Post pictures for faculty to view
  • Include in morning news show
  • Display in LMC’s digital photo frames
  • Share vacation photos appropriate to education
  • Document programs we’ve created
  • Send photos to teachers of student activities
  • Send photos to art classes for mural that will be in the library media center
  • Post pictures on our blog
  • Order prints
  • Create photo albums of school events, author visits, special programs
  • Share facilities ideas and furniture arrangements with colleagues in other media centers
  • Create photo books
  • Create posters
  • Store images for use in the annual report and presentations to administrators and parents
  • Use as writing prompts (Library of Congress images on Flickr, etc.)
  • Post on sites where parents can purchase images of their children at school and school activities
  • Organize photos
  • Use on local cable channel
  • Photograph book covers, related titles and post to the web
  • Create monthly photoshows of library media center activities to email to teachers with upcoming events for the next month
  • Use images for newsletters
  • Use for students’ multimedia projects
  • Use in digital storytelling
  • Keep photos storage off-site, freeing hard disk and server space and making them available from any computer
  • Teach students about photography, digital cameras, composition, lighting, etc.
  • Teach about photo sharing, tags, searching for images, copyright, creative commons licensing
  • Post a photo of the day
  • Promote reading programs
  • Locate and print photos to be used in displays or on bulletin boards
  • Document library conferences and workshops attended
  • Use as a fund raising activity. Parents and students can order prints
  • Create calendars, cards, gifts with unique library media center photos


Photo Sharing Websites

  • Snapfish All the above with the additional ability to create “group rooms” where all your staff, students, teachers, or fellow-library media specialists can add photos to one collection.
  • Flickr One of the largest and most popular photo sharing sites, you can tag your photos, comment on the photos of others, search by tag or user, create (or use) RSS feeds, download images in multiple sizes, form sets, establish groups for sharing among colleagues, use geotags (location information, and much more. Many other web-based applications have been developed for Flickr (see Photo Ideas to Share)
  • Shutterfly In addition to being able to pick up your prints at your local Target, shutterfly offers an online community where you can share your work and see projects created by others as well as a blog full of ideas. Includes a section on digital storytellingShutterfly Share offers free webpage space and templates for showing and sharing your photos. Shutterfly works with Animoto
    to help you create videos from your photos and, of course, you can print your photos, making them into cards, posters, or other gifts.


  • Picasa Web Albums from Google. Upload and manage your photos. Public albums are searchable through Google image searching.
  • SmugMug Ad-free storage and galleries.
  • 72 Photos Store, edit, add effects, arrange in galleries, share
  • BeeClip Create photo collages, scrapbooks & more from your images and videos. Upload photos or use those from your FLickr or Facebook accounts. Free. No registration.
  • Blockposters Upload an image and download a pdf to print a poster.
  • CleVR create and share panoramic photos online. Embed on your own site.
  • DropShots Photo and video sharing; sharing by invitation only.
  • Fotki
  • Fotobabble lets you add narration to any photo and then share it. You can also create a slideshow by using a series of Fotobabbles.
  • flauntR Photo editing, slides shows, magazine covers, ecard generator and more.
  • Hiboox
  • ImageCave
  • ImageLoop is an image hosting site that also lets you create slideshows, guest books, and videos from your images.
  • Ipernity “Share what you want with who you want.”
  • Kizoa Slideshow maker and photo editor. Online photo storage and sharing and you can download to DVD!
  • MyPicGallery
  • Parade Create beautiful sharable, scrollable albums and stories. Parade uses your pictures on Dropbox, your computer or mobile device.
  • A suite of photo tools including a photo gallery, photo editing, cartoon and avatar creation, special effects and frames, 3D photo album and 3D screensaver…and more. Check out the photo tips and tricks.
  • Photobucket Albums, slideshows and more.
  • PhotoRem Upload, edit, organize, create slideshows and share. Upload videos, too…and pdf files and more!
  • PhotoSnack
  • Photo! Web Album Easy way to create an online gallery of your images.
  • Picadilo is a totally free online photo editor that’s easy to use. Pros: Slick interface, nice features, text overlays make this a standout. I especially like the Miniaturize photo effect example on right. With Picadilo you can “enhance your photos using effects, versatile editing tools and a wide range of textures. Some of the best features are the photo mosaic and the ability to use multiple windows – commonly available in only much more expensive photo editors.” (The Daring Librarian)
  • PicBite Add speech bubbles to your images…lots of speech bubbles if you’d like..and animate them, too.
  • PicLab Edit photos, add captions and special effects.
  • PictureTrail Photo sharing and slide show generator; very large selection of slide show styles.
  • Pixie Photo sharing sites. Set your photos to public or private. Organise your photos using into easy to manage albums and tags. Set detailed permissions on each photo so that others only see the photos you want them to see.
  • Ribbet is “built on the same platform that made Google’s Picnik great and is an easy to use yet powerful online photo editor. You can use Ribbet for collages, touch-ups and advanced photographic effects like curves and clone tools, fonts, frames, stickers, vampire effects, beards, and an entire pond full (yes, get ready to deal with some froggy puns) of effects. (The Daring Librarian)
  • Shape Collage Free Automatic Photo Collage Maker. Make a shape or spell a word with pictures.
  • ShutterFly Photo storage, albums, webpages and slideshows from this site!
  • Smiling Moments
  • Snapfish
  • SnapMania Upload, organize, edit, share, publish to the internet, export.
  • Tabblo Lets you create posters, comics, photo cubes and other projects. Share, print or send them to Flickr.
  • TinyPic Lets you easily upload, link, and share your images and videos on MySpace®eBay®Orkut Scrapbooks, blogs, and message boards. Browse by category or keyword.
  • Walgreens Photo Pick up your prints but store and edit your photos, too!
  • **Walmart Digital Photo Cente**r More than just prints!
  • Webshots Thousands of images to search, share, admire and then add your own. Create slideshows and desktop images.
  • **WinkFlas**h Online storage and photo editing tools.
  • Woophy
  • Zooomr

Photo Editing Tools

  • PicMonkey is probably the most popular online photo editing tool right now. You can crop, rotate, add filters, add icons, text and special effects. You can also creat collages and Facebook covers.
  • FotoFlexer is a user-friendly photo editor that allows you to create fun images from your photos, with distortion effects like stretching or shrinking [an] area, and filters like stamps or cartoons.
  • Fotor You can resize your photos, crop them, adjust the lighting curve, rotate them, adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, and sharpness, adjust the tone and colors, or just straighten a crooked shot! But wait! That’s just in the basic edits module. You can also add a photo effect, photo frame, clip art, text, or use our unique color splash, mosaic, and big aperture tools! Oh, did I mention you can create collages?
  • iPiccy Edit pictures, apply beautiful photo effects, add text and even paint! Enjoy free photo editing online and show your creativity with iPiccy editor.
  • Pixler is another photo editor with 3 “levels” of tools: playful, efficient and advanced. Each level has different features.
  • dobe PhotoShop Express
  • Croppola More than just a cropping tool, Croppola will suggest, based on your image, how it should be cropped.
  • FotoFlexer is a free, web-based photo editor that has tons of features but is still simple to use. Check out FotoFlexer’s demo page to see some of the useful capabilities of the application.
  • Image Analyzer
  • LunaPic
  • MugTug Darkroom A free full-featured photo editing tool
  • Phantasmagoria
  • Phixr
  • Photobie is image editing software that combines features amateurs can use with advanced tools – all for free.
  • Photocat Pros: Photocat offers the standard array of basic photo editing features – with the addition of an excellent collage option. Between the collage, some nice holiday features and some advanced handling of large images. Cons: Better like the layer you’re editing because once you navigate off it – there’s no going back. Unlike all the other editors mentioned you can’t re-edit or reposition text once you navigate away from the Text editing page. (The Daring Librarian)
  • PicTreat One click photo editing.
  • Pixinate
  • Pixlr crop, resize, rotate, apply layers, adjust filters and colors and more. Once you’re done fixing the image you can download and save it to your computer.
  • PiZap Fun with photos. Make collages, add backgrounds. Add stickers, paint, special effects, word bubbles and then share.
  • SnipShot
  • Splashup Layers, layer effects, filters and brushes. Photosharing, too.
  • SumoPaint Crop, layer, resize, and perform other essential functions, and its easy-to-use interface is similar to those in Photoshop. Share and rate, too!
  • Webinpaint Just swipe over the parts of the picture that you want removed, and WebInPaint will do the rest.


A little different

  • MapWing makes it easy to build, share, and explore virtual tours. Use Mapwing to turn your digital photos into virtual tours that include interactive maps, images, and comments. Then, share your virtual tours with friends, clients, or the entire world.
  • Photobabble Add a voice narration to any photo and link to it or embed it!
  • PicApp lets you search for images and “borrow” them by providing a code to embed the photo on your own webpages or blog.
  • PicLens (Firefox browser extension to view images full screen and 3-D) (Very cool!)
  • Upload a photo and an mp3 file and create a postcard with audio to be emailed!
  • PummelVIsion flashes your life before your eyes using photos from around the web ( DailyBooth-Dropbox-Facebook-Flickr-Tumblr) and turning them into a video.-
  • Share.Pho.ToShare your full-size photo on the web.
  • Shwup A photo album that others can view and contribute to without registering; think about a site where all the media specialists in the district can share bulletin board and/or display idea photos, author visit photos, etc.
  • Smilebox Create slideshows, photo albums, scrapbooks, greeting cards, postcards. Add music and video. Email or embed. Free version has ads. See sample of a photo display as an embedded version and the same creation as a link.
  • 4FreePhotos – A collection of images for free use

Fun Photo Tools

The Daring Librarian(@Gwyneth Jones) recommends these sites for adding a little pizazz and fun:
  • Big Huge Labs is a wonderful site where you can make motivational posters, movie posters, magazine covers, badges, mosaics, collages, calendars, frames, and a lot more. BigHugeLabs has established itself as one of the biggest destination websites of its kind.
  • Cut My Pic: Just what it sounds like, this is a way you can fast upload any pic & cut it – adding cool corners and shapes and save to your HD.
  • Deefunia is an “online image editing tool that gives users a fun filled experience. Users can upload any photos and just wait to see the wonder it does. Any photo can be placed in unique photo layouts” – both fun, fab, & a bit doofy. You can put yourself (or your pics) on subway cars, city billboards, magazine covers or in art galleries. You can also make multiple photo collages using the templates. Save your creations to your hardor share them via social media.
  • Glitterfy will customize your pictures with the Glitterfy Glitter Graphics maker, You can also create words with Glitter Text for profile comments, Photo Flipbooks
  • Photofunia offers high quality photo editing for free. See examples and comparisons to Deefunia, Photo505, Pixiz, Jpgfun, Photomontager and more free photo editing sites. With each service you upload a picture and the picture can be retouched, modified using an easy to navigate interface. Check out the Photofunia Blog for the latest templates!
  • Says-It Features Customizable: Church Sign, Official Seal, Concert Ticket, Uncle Sam Poster, old skoolVideotape, Cassette, &Vinyl Records, Safety Signs and Soft Drinks Cans
If you don’t want to “grow your own” online photo library, you can find photos at hundreds of sites. Some a free, some inexpensive, some very expensive. See Photo: Libraries from Shambles for some possibilities.
You can add “tags” or keywords to your photos, too. That will help you organize, sort and find information.

Learn More!

Most photo sharing sites have tutorials, FAQs, forums, tours, site maps and/or help pages. Here are the examples of those for the top five:
There are dozens of tutorials and video guides for an array of photo editors online for you, too. Here are a few:

More Info

For more  about digital photos and photo sharing:

Related Information:

Digital Storytelling

Digital storytelling is a great way to engage students as well as to integrate information skills, technology skills, literacy, writing and any of the content areas. Since images are at the heart of digital storytelling, it seems appropriate to mention some good references. “There are many different definitions of “digital storytelling,” but in general, all of them revolve around the idea of combining the longstanding art of telling stories with any of a variety of available multimedia tools, including graphics, audio, video animation, and Web publishing.” (University of Houston )
For examples of many digital storytelling tools, see 50 Ways to Tell the Dominoe Story by Alan Levine. He tells the same story about his dog using 50 different tools–with links and comments on each.

Creative Commons

Copyright and the web bring interesting challenges for school library media specialists, and the wealth of images available on photo sharing sites compounds the problem. Learn more (and teach) about Creative Commons licensing, which allows authors, photographers, artists, illustrators, musicians, etc. to decide the amount of control they have over their own works.
“The Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to legally build upon and share. The organization has released several copyright licenses known as Creative Commons licenses. These licenses, depending on the one chosen, restrict only certain rights (or none) of the work instead of traditional copyright, which is more restrictive. ( Wikipedia)
See Creative Commons: A New Tool for Schools “A Creative Commons license provides clear guidance to students and educators as to how they may legally use the intellectual properties of others and how they may protect their own.” Check out this slide show on Copyright and Open Contentby Karen Fasimpaur, too.
When it comes to photos, Flickr lets you establish the rights you have to each image as you load them on the website. You can also search by CC license. If you’re looking for images to use in a website or slideshow, you can search only for photos with Attribution licensing, meaning others will let you copy, distribute, display and perform your work and derivative works if you give them credit. See flickrCC, where you can search for Creative Commons licensed images and link back to the source. Image right: Attribution “What I’m Reading and Rereading”
From Doug Johnson’s Blue Skunk Blog: “There are two main ways to find Creative Commons licensed materials. CC has a specialized search tool at <> and there is a list of directories by format at <>. Both can both be effective. Google Advanced Search also allows searching by ‘usage rights.'”
A great model resource: See the Springfield High School Virtual Media Center’s Student Guidelines for Multimedia and Web Communications.
See (and share) the great videos about Creative Commons here. Also, see:



Photo Sharing from licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike Non-Commercial 3.0 License.