We may have discovered the most annoying thing on Earth! The situation is as follows: you’ve worked countless hours on shooting an event, commercial or artistic project. The day to send the photos to your client has arrived. You prepare a cup of hot coffee, turn on your computer and… nothing, nada, zip. The desktop is dead and unlike Jon Snow, there’s absolutely no chance that it will resurrect anytime soon. Which means that your files are lost. Forever.
Image hosting sites have been created precisely to prevent this kind of drama. By saving your content on external servers (the ‘Cloud’), you have reliable backup. This way, you’ll never lose a photo, even if your gear is damaged, lost or stolen. Moreover, uploading your images means that you can save space on your phone and computer, allowing them to work faster. Last perk, your images will be available anytime, from anywhere and any device – so that you can share them more easily with clients or friends.
Of course, nothing will replace your own online portfolio. On top of being a reliable hosting option, it’s essential to develop brand recognition as a photographer, and be found by potential clients. Other platforms can complement your website with interesting add-ons such as integrated editing tools, online stores or access to a community of shutterbugs. To help you find your way, here’s the top 8 free image hosting sites:
You can compromise on many things in life, but not on your morning coffee and certainly not on having your own photography website. Think about it, what’s the first thing you do when you hear about someone? That’s right, you ‘google’ them. The same goes for potential clients who want to know more about you, or look for a photographer like you. When they enter your name or practice on the Internet, they expect to find your own branded outlet. Today, it’s considered a paramount indicator of credibility and professionalism. And unlike all other image hosting options, you have full authority over every element of your portfolio, from the design to content. This way, you’re sure to get a result that is truly unique.
Wix gives you the ability to easily create a complete website. Moreover, the Wix Pro Gallery (the most sophisticated online gallery on the market) preserves the quality of every picture you upload so your visitors can enjoy your images in a fast and optimal way, on desktop and mobile alike. Last but not least, you can store, share and sell as many images as you’d like – all for free! So, ready to start? This step-by-step guide will show you how to create the photography website of your dreams.
Max free image storage: Unlimited.
The name says it all. The best way to understand this platform is imagining a virtual “box” (one per account) where you can “drop” your photos. They are kept safe on the Cloud, waiting for you to access anytime, from any possible device. The nice thing about Dropbox is that you can easily share the link to your folder, for friends or clients to consult or add their own files. For the smartphones addicts, Dropbox’s mobile app is a little gem. It lets you manage your content straight from your phone, and also comes with the option to sync your camera roll with your box – so that your latest photos are automatically saved!
Max free image storage: 2 GB.
Photography can be a very solitary activity. Sometimes, you could use a fellow shutterbug to talk about your last shoot, share tips, or simply cheer you up (and God knows you need it, especially when you hear one of these things that drive all photographers crazy). 500px might well be the solution. It hosts a community of 12 million photographers, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, connected to one another via this niche social media. For example, you can follow your favorite members, like or share their pictures, or leave them a comment.
Joining this major platform is a great way to build a network of friends, colleagues and mentors – and learn valuable new skills from the community. Moreover, 500px is browsed by tons of magazines editors, art curators and companies eager to find beautiful images. If you go for the monthly package (paid), you’ll be able to sell your pictures, and make some extra money to invest in your photography business.
Max free image storage: 7 photos per week, 2,000 photos in total.
Amazon has a very nice “Prime Photos” storage plan. You’ll enjoy unlimited photo storage and a wild diversity of perks including inviting up to 5 friends to also receive unlimited storage, free shipping of your Amazon commands, exclusive access to TV shows, etc. The only con is that you have to pay $10.99 per month. Don’t want to take your wallet out? The free plan grants you 5 GB for you to store your images and other files. A very convenient backup solution for your latest photos, especially since you can upload them from any device, smartphones included.
Max free image storage: 5 GB.
It’s one of the oldest and most appreciated image hosting sites. Even though Flickr can be used to stock a nice amount of photos (1,000 GB for free!), its original calling is sharing. 13 billion photos have been shared on 2 million groups so far. The exposure for photographers is huge. If you share the right picture in the right group, you really might get your 15 minutes of online fame. Want to keep your work more intimate? You can publish it for your eyes only (and use the platform purely as an image hosting site), or for a limited pool of friends. More interested in getting the most exposure possible? Make your account accessible to the world for virtually everyone to see it.
While you’re busy showing off your stunning work, don’t forget to take advantage and browsing other photographers and use Flickr as a true source of inspiration. We’ve spent endless hours admiring the images posted by our favorite photographers, and discovering the profiles of talents we’d never heard of. For convenience you can download the Flickr application, one of the best photo apps to have on your smartphone.
Max free image storage: 1,000 GB.
With 15 GB of free storage to share with Gmail and Drive, Google Photos isn’t the most generous hosting site. That said, it shouldn’t be discarded just yet. First, it automatically syncs with your other Google accounts, for you to save a lot of time (and clicks) when accessing or sharing your images. Second, the platform comes with a very cute tool to create your own collages and animations, based on the photos that you’ve upload. Lastly, Google Photos might be the smartest solution when it comes to organizing your pics – by location, date or even people appearing. Even more stunning: the more you upload, the more the algorithms will learn about your habits, and end up sorting your content automatically for you!
Max free image storage: 15 GB to use across Google Photos, Gmail and Google Drive.
This is by far the simplest image hosting site we’ve found. Want to upload an image that will be available online forever? You don’t even have to create an account. Just click on ‘upload’, choose the resolution of the uploaded file, and that’s it! For every image uploaded, you get a shareable link, along with HTML and BB codes to embed on any website.
Max free image storage: Unlimited number of images. 10 MB per image.
Feel like you have a picture that could take the Internet by a storm? Share it on Imgur, the 2015 Webby award winner for “Best social media and community website”. Every day, thousands of web addicts post their most hilarious, cute or stupid image, hoping to win the votes of the assembly. All shots are allowed, including memes, baby cats, and memes of baby cats. Not surprisingly, it’s the favorite image hosting and sharing site for Redditors.
If you don’t want to participate to this competition of best (or worst) of the Internet, simply upload your content without clicking the “Share to community” button. Your photos will be stored as long as you wish, and you can always share them privately using their URL.
Max free image storage: Unlimited.
Want to showcase your photos in the best possible quality? Create your own online portfolio, for free!
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