Ever since its Yahoo-prescribed makeover last spring, there’s no shortage of press about Flickr. But despite what you’ve heard, the photo-uploading community isn’t the only one of its kind.
When you’re deciding where your summer vacation snapshots ought to live on the Web, check out some of these less-considered photo-sharing alternatives:
Don’t mind spending a little money? SmugMug is a slick lightbox of a photo site that offers unlimited storage for every user, for a fee. You can also customize your gallery with themes, backup your photos and opt out of searches other users perform to keep your content private. The site also just underwent a huge redesign in July, opting for an enormous lightbox image display like competitor Flickr.
SmugMug’s most basic package costs $5 a month or $40 a year, and its most upscale costs $35 a month or $300 a year. With the high-end option, you’ve got the ability to use your SmugMug portfolio as a customizable online storefront for photos and prints. Pro photographers will get the most use out of this alternative.
Toronto-based photo service 500px has long been one of Flickr’s pluckiest competitors. By offering free accounts with easier tools and a more modern interface, it was a no brainer over earlier designs of Flickr.
Even though Flickr has cleaned up its act, 500px is still a considerable alternative. Now that Flickr’s “Pro” level has doubled in cost to $50 a year, 500px’s comparable “Plus” level seems like a bargain at $25. And at any level, 500px’s comment structure and user voting system will make you feel like part of a community.
Embarking on a Photo A Day project? Worried you won’t be disciplined enough to keep it up?
is a unique photo community that prompts you to take and publish a new photo “entry” every day. In fact, the free service actually limits you to one image per day.
Blipfoto is a good alternative for people looking for quality over quantity, for something like Instagram but without the excessive hype. Follow other users’ journals in a friend feed, geek out over your own statistics or join groups to indulge in ultra-specific photography categories with other members.
Embraced by a younger, geekier crowd,
is sometimes overlooked as a prime photography haven. Offering free user profiles that can double as all-medium art portfolios, the community is perfect for photographers.
At the basic, free level, DeviantArt gives you the opportunity to store, share and showcase 2 GB worth of photos. They’ll then show up readily in DeviantArt’s sophisticated search function. If you’re interested in improving your work, you can request critical feedback with the DeviantArt Critique tool. With 27 million members, there’s a good chance you’ll make connections with other photographers, and perhaps even watch your fanbase grow with DeviantArt’s “Watchers” function.
Honestly, the best photo-sharing solution for you might not even be a purely photo-centric community, but another type of service altogether.
Some of the Web’s most popular social networks—Google+, Facebook and Pinterest—all offer built-in image uploading features where you can share your own photos and photo galleries with your vast social networks.
Want a photo gallery that you can regularly update and easily view in a linear way? A photo blog at WordPress, Blogger or Tumblr might be your best bet.
Want an online storage space that lets you share with friends and family, but keeps your photo galleries hidden from strangers? Dropbox and Photobucket both have privacy options so you only need to share with people you care about.
Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock. All other screenshots taken by ReadWrite.