Where do you host your 'personal' photos?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by DaveG, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. DaveG

    DaveG Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 5, 2014
    I'm struggling with trying to find a good solution of where to host my personal photos. Photos for friends and family, that sort of thing.

    I'm new to this whole take-photography-somewhat-serious thing and until I accidentally take a really good photo, I don't need to host for artistic merit/accolade purposes.

    Where do you host photos that aren't for professional/enthusiast purposes?

    I used to use Picasa Web Albums, but I'm trying to go Google-free and I hate that G+ is integrated and mostly in general have a Google-bluh feeling about them. And Google.

    What I liked was it was easy to post, easy for people to comment, and easy to provide some basic privacy so the whole internet isn't indexing the fact that I had a delicious taco in Cabo.

    I don't really like Facebook either, for similar reasons but more that the privacy is too much work. I really just want to email a link to a web album that only people with the link can see the album, maybe comment and that's about it. Also, I not a post-crap-to-Facebook-dude.

    I'm not interested in general public access or 'social' features (such as Flickr and/or 500px), unless they can be turned off easily. EYES OFF MY TACOS!

    I don't mind paying for a decent service.

    I currently use OneDrive (SkyDrive) as my cloud backup solution and this may end up just being the easiest in the long run, but it'd be nice to have something a little prettier for the front-end.

    I use Lightroom, so an export plugin would be a requisite too. I like simple.

    Any suggestions or feedback would be muy apreciado tacos!
  2. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror!

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Real Name:

    I can pm you my site if you want to see an example.
  3. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA

    I use 500px and Flickr, but for family photos, they all go on Smugmug. I like how you can password protect individual galleries, send links and their print partners are good (easy for family to order prints if they want).
  4. tosvus

    tosvus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 4, 2014
    Yes, another vote for SmugMug. I have actually used lightroom to upload ALL my pictures, as full size jpg w/92% compression quality. As of now, I only let my wife and mom have full access to those galleries, but I have also started to take the best pictures and put in galleries I will share with more people (but probably not fully open...)

    I also like the idea that even if the 3 harddrives that contain mirrors of my entire picture taking collection should fail, I have really good copies of them online (though granted, I felt like I had to draw the line at full raw imagefiles due to upload times..)
  5. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    I used Zenfolio and Smugmug - both will let you to make password protected or "unlisted" sections.
  6. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    another smugmug vote. $40/yr for basic plan gives you unlimited uploads and the taco privacy you are looking for.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Richella

    Richella The Wandering Scotsman

    Aug 21, 2011
    Kuala Lumpur
    Just found your thread after I posted a similar thread this morning. I've been testing between Smugmug and Zenfolio and am undecided. Both seem to offer what you are looking for. I wrote a little on my experience of testing both of these sites this week and my thoughts on a few different options.

    • Like Like x 1
  8. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 14, 2010
    Real Name:
    I use Dropbox for that. You can decide which folders (albums) are public etc.
  9. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    facebook. picture quality is quite bad, but you have easy control of who has access to each particular album. you can do this via tagging the entire album - only needs to be set once.

    g+ has similar controls. probably better. and they did it first. but nobody is actively on g+

    flickr i post my photoset sans identifiable persons - its meant for wide open public access
  10. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror!

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Real Name:
    If you need a coupon for smugmug...here's one for $5 off a years subscription...I'm surprised no other users of smugmug haven't offered up their codes. It helps both of us. You get $5 off and I get $10 off my account.

    • Like Like x 1
  11. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
  12. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 6, 2013
    Real Name:
    Zenfolio. Flickr can also be set to only allow friends/family to view.
  13. heedpantsnow

    heedpantsnow Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 24, 2011
    +1 for dropbox. There is even a "download all as .zip" option so that they can just grab all the photos from one event in a click.
  14. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter

    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    Real Name:
    Photobucket gives me adequate service for free, hosts video as well as stills, and has password-protected albums, so I use it for family photos.
  15. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    If you are serious about keeping an online album for decades, get a discount hosting provider (I like Dreamhost) and use one of the free album packages, I like Gallery


    Years or decades later when smugmug/facebook/whoever else turns into dotphoto/myspace/disappears you'll still have full control of your photos.
    • Like Like x 2
  16. ex machina

    ex machina Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 3, 2014
    Northern Virgnia
    Flickr does have the ability to limit access to groups you define, so you could limit certain sets to just friends and family. You can also share a "guest pass" to users who do not have Flickr accounts:

    • Like Like x 1
  17. DaveG

    DaveG Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 5, 2014
    Thanks for all the feedback, Smugmug seems popular so I'll give it a go and see how it works.

    yakky, you make a very good point, definitely adds to the effort and management but full control is always nice. My one concern is that development of free software like Gallery often goes stale and un-maintained (unless there's a solid community effort behind it), which can be more frustrating in down the road when newer browser technologies come along and you're stuck the last decade, meaning more work to re-migrate to something new.
  18. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    Nice to see all the positive feedback on Smugmug. I've never really had an online host for my photos - which is one reason I rarely post photos on any of the forums.
  19. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    If you don't need the social, and willing to pay, smugmug and zenfollio are he best options I think.

    I actually love G+ and how it does pictures, but the level of privacy you can do with smugmug is pretty nice-each gallery can be a different password if you want (I presume zenfollio is probably similar). It'd be a nightmare to manage, but the option is there
  20. aukirk

    aukirk Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 9, 2012
    Although the consensus has already suggested SmugMug, I wanted to throw in another vote.

    The customization options for the site are second to none, photos load super fast and they have some real slick template options.

    I use a theme that allows me to put a handful of selected galleries on the home page, and then I have it display an endless stream of all photos that I tag with "best" in reverse chronological order. You have great control over what people can see.

    Use Flickr for stuff you want to share with others, but SmugMug is my personal photo album and every photo that warrants at least one star gets uploaded to SmugMug.