Are your computer and phone full of photos that you want to show your friends and family?
In this guide, you’ll discover 11 of the best ways to share your photos privately in 2022.
(We’ll also include some photo sharing options for professional photographers to share photos with clients.)
Sharing photos is an important part of our society. Thankfully, technology makes it easy for us!
What’s more, many of the options discussed below also provide unlimited photo storage, making them a great backup solution.
Let’s take a closer look at the top options available right now.
Table of Contents
6 Best Ways to Share Photos Privately with Friends & Family
Whether you need to share thousands of photos or just the occasional photo album, here are some of the easiest photo-sharing site options available.
Note that while several of them cost nothing or offer free photo storage or free accounts, you can usually pay more for premium features such as unlimited storage, group members, password-protected photo galleries, video files and even photo editing features.
Facebook doesn’t need a big introduction as most of us know it – it’s one of the biggest social networks. Among the many things you can do on it is to post pictures and turn them into albums.
You can choose to share these albums with everyone, only your contacts, a sub-set of your contacts or only you. This is really handy because, with the same account, you can still grant different access to your photos.
For example, you can have an album that you share with family members, another one for your close friends, another one just for the people who attended the party you photographed last night, and so on.
You can upload as many photos as you want and create as many albums as you need, and the people who can see the photos can also download them. However, image quality isn’t great since all photos get heavily compressed by Facebook’s algorithm.
As you probably know, a Facebook account is free – although it does have several concerns regarding the use of your data.
That could be a different type of price you pay when you use Facebook – but if you already use it either for fun or for business, then it’s an easy way to share photos with your loved ones.
2. Amazon Photos
With Amazon Photos, you get 5GB of free photo storage in the cloud if you have a regular account. From there, you can order prints and photo booksfor yourself or send them to friends and family at very accessible prices.
Amazon Prime members get unlimited space for their photos and 5GB for videos. Plus, you can invite up to five members of your family using the Family Vault for them to see, upload, and download shared images.
There’s an useful image recognition feature that uses AI to help you organize and search for your photos of certain places and items without the need to tag them. You can also name the people in your photos if you want to be able to search them by name.
Within Amazon Photos, you can also edit your images.
Keep in mind that Amazon Photos can’t be used with a professional photography business – its photo-sharing services are intended for friends and family.
To open an account with Amazon is free, and it gives you the 5GB photo storage I mentioned above. If you want to become a Prime member, there’s a $119 annual fee or $12,99 monthly fee.
3. Google Photos
You can set up Google Photos to regularly back up the photos and videos from your phone. You can then choose the quality you want to save on the backup.
This used to make a difference between unlimited and limited space, however, from June 2021, all your backups will use the storage from your Google account, and there won’t be any more free unlimited space for any quality.
A Google account gives you 15GB of free storage in Google Drive that’s shared crossed all Google services, not just for Photos.
Unfortunately, upgrading the storage in Google Drive is only available in some countries – you can check the availability and price range in your country here.
One of the best things about Google photos is automatic management. It features excellent face recognition, it groups your photos from the same location, it creates animated GIFs with photos taken in burst mode, etc. All of these features can be disabled if you prefer not to use them, of course.
You can share photos and albums on a conversation in Google Photos to a single person or a group. If you want to share them with someone who isn’t in your contacts, you can generate a link to send them.
If you use Google Drive or have the Google Photos app already, you’ll find it very easy to use. It’s also a popular free way to organize your photos across all your desktop and mobile devices.
Despite the uprise of other social media giants, Flickr remains one of the favorite photo-sharing places for occasional and serious photographers alike.
This is largely due to the possibility of choosing the licensing for the photos you share – you can add a creative commons license or keep it as all rights reserved – a form of image copyright.
Flickr provides public and private storage so that you can set the privacy of your photos to only you, family and friends or public – this can be managed through groups.
People who have access to your photos can also download them. The great thing about Flickr is the large and interactive community of likeminded photographers.
With a free account, you have a limit of 1000 photos. With a Pro subscription, you get unlimited storage and stats on the views of individual files. You can also make commercial activity in your account – such as link your profile to the shopping cart of your website.
The cost for Flickr Pro is $6,99 per month. Aside from the upgrades on your Flickr account, these memberships entitle you to several discounts and perks with partner websites.
For example, you get a 50% off the first year of a SmugMug subscription, 2 complimentary months on Adobe Photography plan, 35% off on Capture One, etc.
Make sure you check the active offers at the time of your upgrade as these may vary.
Dropbox is a cloud storage service. Since it’s not dedicated to photography, the free version only gives you 2GB of storage – which might be enough for text documents, but it’s not much for photos.
The positive side of it is that it supports all types of files.
Dropbox is very easy to use because it works like the file browser of your computer. You can create folders and drag and drop the photos to manage them. Each folder can have different sharing options, so you can decide who has access to what files.
You can sync your Dropbox across devices manually or set it to auto mode – the free account has a limit of three devices.
You can choose to keep your files on the cloud or download them to your computer. Thanks to selective sync, you can combine both and choose which folders you want on your hard drive and which ones only on your online account.
To upgrade your Dropbox account, you can choose between different plans. A Plus membership gives you 2TB of storage space for $9.99 per month, but it’s still for one user, while the Family membership allows up to 6 users.
6. Apple Photos
Apple Photos is a free iOS software for photo storage and sharing – as such, you can only use it on Apple devices (macOS and iOS).
It’s a well-rounded, easy-to-use program that allows you to add photos, organize them manually or with smart albums and share them – it even has some editing tools built into it.
A neat touch is the ability to make movies with your photos and videos to share with friends and family members using Memories. Everything can be synced across devices if you use iCloud Photos.
One of my favorite features is that you can set it up to upload photos in full resolution to the cloud while keeping an optimized version on your device.
All Apple users get 5GB of storage in iCloud, but you can upgrade it with different plans according to your needs from $0.99/month for 50GB up to 2TB for $9,99/month.
File sharing in general is simple with Apple devices, with numerous options to do so. If you’re photo sharing in a coffee shop with a friend, you may choose to use Air drop, for example.
With Apple Photos, your photo storage is really only limited to the size of your computer’s hard drive – as long as you decide that you don’t need everything synced to iCloud, of course.
Fortunately, modern photo editing laptops have very large HDD and SSD internal storage, and external hard drives have come down in price a lot.
5 Best Ways to Share Photos Privately with Clients
Professional photographers need to find the best way to share photos without losing quality to deliver the best possible service to their clients.
Other premium features might include unlimited photo storage, downloadable high-resolution photos, watermarking of digital files, options to print photos, order photo prints, shareable link creation, full-resolution cloud storage services for large files, options to deliver images, etc.
Let’s have a closer look at some of the top paid services to send photos to clients.
ShootProof is more than a simple photo-sharing website. It’s a well-rounded workspace designed to manage your photography business.
ShootProof allows you to have password and PIN protected galleries with purchasing options if you need to share photos with multiple clients.
Alternatively, if you want to sell fine-art work, you can set up and customize your photo gallery for digital downloads with different sizes, prices and watermark permissions.
To sell physical photos, you can offer high-quality prints through any of the professional print labs partnered with ShootProof.
With Shootproof, you can draft your own photography contracts or buy attorney-crafted templates, collect the client’s signature and handle your invoices from your workspace. Also, you can give different privileges to each member of your team.
Starting at $9 per month, you can get the 1,500 Photo Plan with unlimited galleries, digital contracts, invoicing, branding and the possibility to sell your work.
If your business is thriving, you can upgrade your plan to one with 5000 photos, 25,000 photos, or even an Unlimited Photos plan for $45/month.
All plans allow you to save if your use a yearly plan. There’s also a 14-day free trial available without a credit card.
If you’re looking for the best ways to share photos with clients, ShootProof makes everything really easy, and the option of unlimited photo storage is ideal for high volume shooters.
SmugMug is a portfolio builder with professional features that’s easy to use and helps you to share images with total control over who can see them and download them.
It offers some beautiful, streamlined templates that you can easily customize using drag and drop features. Each gallery can be protected with a password.
You have unlimited image storage to upload full-resolution photos without concern. Then, SmugMug will use these high-quality files to print any product that your customers buy with its partner print labs.
Worried about protecting your images or having a slow-running website? Even if you upload in full resolution, SmugMug will automatically make up to 12 display copies to optimize your site – you can set up the maximum display size in the Gallery Settings.
You can disable right-click and download buttons for further protection and choose if you want to apply a watermark.
You can upload pictures from your hard drive, your Flickr and Dropbox accounts, or sync with Lightroom to simplify your workflow.
There are four plans from Basic to Pro with a price range of $9 to $51 per month.
Here’s a comparison of SmugMug vs Shootproof.
Format is one of the best portfolio websites that allows you to build a professional portfolio, run a photography business, open a marketplace, or use it as cloud photo storage.
Its beautiful templates provide you with an easy way to share photos online and sell them worldwide. It’s also an easy way to store and share your photos thanks to its organization tools that allow you to manage your files and download images from the cloud when you need them.
You can connect a Format website to your own domain name and attract new clients using SEO tools and building a blog.
The Portfolio plans are perfect to showcase and share images, while the Workflow plans offer you everything you need to promote your business and establish yourself as a professional photographer.
There’s a 14-day free trial for you to decide which plan is best for you – the starting price is $15/month billed annually.
Squarespace is one of the most popular website builders for photographers and creatives due to its many templates that can be searched by tags, allowing you to find the best designs for your type of work and marketing strategy.
You can share and sell your photos with an eye-catching portfolio and drive more clients, thanks to the website analytics and SEO tools.
To share insight into your work and expertise, you can build an attractive Squarespace blog and even offer premium content through a special members area.
The biggest feature missing from Squarespace is a password-protected client-proofing gallery. This may or may not be a problem for you, depending on the type of business you want to run and how you decide to share photos.
There are four plans starting from $15 per month ($11 per month if you pay annually) up to the most complete plan for $42 per month ($36 per month if you pay annually)
If you’re looking for a website for photo storage and sharing with tools for your photography business, you can consider Zenfolio.
Their different plans allow you to start building your online presence for a small fee and upgrade as the needs of your business grow.
With the Portfolio plan ($5/mo), you can easily upload photos to the gallery templates and create a beautiful portfolio in no time. The design is clean and minimal with a certain degree of customization, such as changing the layout, colors and branding.
To sell your images, you need to upgrade your plan to an Advanced ($32/mo), Pro ($22/mo), or Portfolio Plus ($12/mo) account. Then, you can allow digital downloads or sell your photos printed in over 2000 available products with auto-fulfilment from partner labs.
Finally, with the Pro and Advanced plans, you get password-protected galleries to share images with your clients easily and safely.
Whether you’re looking for a file-sharing solution for a few photos or thousands of images in a gallery, Zenfolio is a near solution that also has a free version to get you started.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional photographer or you just like to take pictures of family and friends – sharing photos is an important part of the process.
That’s why there are many different solutions to fit the multiple needs each of us has.
I think these are the best ones on the market right now – I hope you find them helpful. If you have any questions or other suggestions, please leave them in the comments section.
How do I share photos with friends and family? ›
- On your mobile device, open the Google Photos app .
- Sign in to your Google Account.
- Select a photo, album, or video.
- Tap Share .
- Under "Send in Google Photos," select people to share with. To share with one person, tap their name. ...
- To share, tap Send.
- Deviant Art.
One of the most popular methods for sharing large amounts of photos online is by using a file-sharing site. Sites like HighTail (formally YouSendIt), Wikisend and Streamfile let you sign up and upload your photos, where they'll be stored in a downloadable zip file.What is the safest way to share photos online? ›
The safest way to share photos is to print them out (on your own printer, over on a secure wireless network) and hand them to the grandparents. They'd probably love a visit. Bring the kids! The next most secure option is to use end-to-end encrypted messaging apps like Signal, WhatsApp or Apple's iMessage.How do I share photos without social media? ›
Share photos using cloud storage services
If you subscribe to a cloud-based storage service, you have another efficient way to share photos with others who can access them at their leisure. Dropbox is one of the most popular, but the same thing applies to others, like Box, Microsoft OneDrive and iDrive, among others.
Open the Photos app and find the photo(s) you'd like to share. Tap on the share icon, which looks like a box with an up arrow, in the lower left corner of your device. You will be given several icons (slide right to left to see all of them). Choose where you would like to upload your photo.What is the best way to send someone photos? ›
- Wi-Fi Direct.
- Google Photos.
- Filemail: File-Sharing App.
- Make a List of Ideas. Make a list of the ideas you have that will help your client produce better results. ...
- Build Proof Your Ideas Work. When you provide your clients with actionable ideas, it helps to give them some evidence as to how it is going to help them. ...
- Make the Two Asks.
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One of the most effective ways to back up photos on smartphones is by using one of several well-known cloud services, such as Apple iCloud, Google Photos, Amazon's Prime Photos, and Dropbox. One reason you should use them is that they all share an important feature: automatic backups.
How do you share a lot of pictures with someone explain? ›
- 1. Facebook. Facebook has many faults, but it remains one of the best ways to share your photos. ...
- Cloud Storage Services. Another way to share photos online privately is to use a cloud storage service. ...
- Google Photos. ...
- Instant Messaging Apps. ...
- Flickr. ...
- AirDrop. ...
- WeTransfer. ...
- USB Memory Stick.
The safest way to share photos is to print them out (on your own printer, over on a secure wireless network) and hand them to the grandparents. They'd probably love a visit. Bring the kids! The next most secure option is to use end-to-end encrypted messaging apps like Signal, WhatsApp or Apple's iMessage.Can my family see my photos in family sharing? ›
Answer: A: Actually a Shared Family photo album is a feature of Family Sharing. Photos need to be actually shared through that album to be visible to other members of the family group however. So unless you actually share you photos, they cannot be seen by anybody else.What is the best way to send photos without losing quality? ›
Using Google Photos is probably the easiest and quickest way to share your mobile photos without sacrificing picture quality. If you're using an Android device, then Google Photos is probably already installed on your phone. Otherwise, you can download it for free from the Play Store or App Store for iOS.What is the most secure way to share? ›
The most secure method is to share a file directly with the recipient's email address. So only the person with access to that email inbox can view the file you have shared. Many people get confused with this option, incorrectly thinking the recipient also needs to have a Google account - this is not the case.What is the best way to save photos? ›
One of the most effective ways to back up photos on smartphones is by using one of several well-known cloud services, such as Apple iCloud, Google Photos, Amazon's Prime Photos, and Dropbox. One reason you should use them is that they all share an important feature: automatic backups.How can I share my social media safely? ›
- Set your profiles to private. ...
- Remember anything you post can be shared. ...
- Recognise the fakes. ...
- Spring clean your contacts. ...
- Block anyone who bothers you. ...
- Protect your identity. ...
- Avoid the big risks. ...
- Let your friends and family know about your online choices.
- On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Photos app .
- Sign in with your Google Account.
- Tap your account profile photo or initial Photos Settings Partner Sharing. ...
- Enter or select an email address. ...
- Select which photos to add to your partner account. ...
- Tap Next.
Information shared with family members
When you join a family, your family members can find your name, photo, and email address. They can also find how much shared storage each family member uses. Family members aren't able to find your photos, videos, or other items unless you directly share them.
The easiest way to send a good chunk of photos via email attachment is to compress them into a zip file. Compressed files are much smaller in size, which means they won't trigger your email provider's attachment limit, and zipping files doesn't reduce image quality. Both Mac and Windows have a built-in zip feature.
How do I send photos? ›
Share in a conversation
- To share with one person, tap their name.
- To find someone specific, tap Search . ...
- To share with more than one person, select multiple people.