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Using Flickr to create a holiday photo album to share with friends and family

Jan 10, 2012, 6 a.m.

Sharing holiday photos these days is much different than it was back in the old days when you had to go to the trouble of having film developed and then mailing them to your intended recipients. These days, Holiday pictures can be shared instantaneously with people on the other side of the globe, thanks to the advent of services like Flickr, which allow you to create online photo albums using nothing more than your computer and an internet connection. But for the non-computer expert who hasn't used Flickr before, what's the easiest way to go about it?

First, get yourself familiar with Flickr. Flickr is a web service powered by Yahoo that gives you the opportunity to view other people's photos and videos, and that lets you share your own. It's a free service to use, but you have to register for it with your email address and a password. There are different levels of membership that require payment, but this is only something that you'd have to utilize if you shared an inordinately large number of photos. The free version of Flickr allows you to upload 300MB of photos, which is perfect for casual use.

Upload your photos to Flickr. This will require that you have your photographs scanned into digital format on your computer, something that's best accomplished by using a digital camera to take the snapshots, then transferring them to a saved folder on your computer. However, you can still use Flickr even if you took the original snapshots using a standard film camera -- you'll just need to have someone convert the photographs to digital format for you. This is something that can be done at most photo development shops for a minimal fee. Once you have your photos loaded into your computer, you can upload them to Flickr.

Upload your videos to Flickr. You can also use Flickr to share videos with friends and family. There are some limitations on the size and file types allowed for videos: the length can be no longer than 90 seconds, and the file size of the video can be no larger than 150MB. Videos can also be transferred to your computer in the same method that photos can, either by taking the video on a digital camera or by having the video transferred to a digital medium by a professional.

Make your photos and videos visible to all, or only some. Flickr has privacy settings that let you determine who can see your photographs and videos. This is done by choosing Private or Public options when you upload a file. Private options also allow you to filter your privacy options to make it so that only you can see your uploads. You can also allow friends or family (or both) to view your shared images and videos.

Create an online photo album by choosing the Create a New Set option after your uploads are complete, which places all of your images and videos into a single folder that you can assign a name to. For example, you can name your online photo album "My Holiday Pictures" so that it's easier to identify and to share with others.

Once everything's been completed, you can utilize the various sharing options available to you. Email is the simplest method that you can use, which simply sends a message to your intended recipients and give them a link to your online holiday pictures photo gallery. There are also options available for you to share directly through social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, allowing you to kill numerous birds with one stone instead of having to enter individual email addresses for recipients.

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