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Social Media & Your Vacation Photos

Sharing photos of my travels without losing friends

Ever been invited to your best friend's house after their epic Caribbean vacation? Sure, you enjoy pictures but 700 of them? In all honesty, there isn't enough cabernet in in this world to make that evening bearable. I am not exaggerating...

Las Vegas anticsLas Vegas anticsMy husband and I can get a little snap-happy on our travels and collecing more than 1,000 pictures for a week-long adventure is our normal. Rather than torturing our friends and family with disorganized pictures après-vacation, we use social media to help us as we go along.



If you want to keep your friends, learn how to organize your vacation photos efficiently and effectively online as you go.

Creating photos and photo collections my friends WANT to see

take lots of photostake lots of photosOn a typical vacation, we're toting a couple of cameras along with our iPhones - as well as a laptop or iPad for each of us.

"Nothing beats the size, simplicity, and ease of the smartphone camera. It's in your pocket anyway, and the built-in camera's quality and functionality is better than some basic point-and-shoots," says Trish Friesen at Fodor's, Top 5 apps for vacationing photographers.

Instead of leaving the sorting out until we get home, we sort day by day, moving the best shots into a shared folder that we can both access.

Hawksbill ResortHawksbill ResortThe best advice I ever received was to take more pictures than I think I'll ever need and then be ruthless when it comes to sorting. But getting from photo-overload to picture-perfect sharing with friends takes practice.

Before I even begin shooting, I ask myself a few questions:

  • Who are my pictures for? Am I going to use them to show my family or for social media or for stories I might write for GoGirlfriend. Hint: the Chicago Sun published a picture of my husband's (he shot with a point and click dummy-proof camera 10 years ago). This isn't rocket science.
  • Am I creating albums on social media that I want my friends to be able to see with me being present? Hint: If I'm creating multiple albums for a week-long vacation, I'll need a lot more pictures than if I'm creating one album for the entire trip.

Then I start killing the duds, the out of focus and near-misses that don't tell a story. If I don't like them, I'm not going to sunject my friends to them.

If I’m sharing while I'm traveling, Instagram and Pinterest are a great way to capture a story – and both can be sent directly to Twitter, Facebook and Tumbler. What I love about social media is the storyline it creates for my future reference – and to let my friends know I’m still alive. Yes, they use social media to find me some days. 

Sharing photos, wine & cheese

do you have lots of pictures?lots of pictures?There's nothing I love more than an evening spent pouring over pictures, along with a few bottles of wine. But if we look at 75 pictures, at 2 minutes each that's 2 1/5 hours of sharing. And let's be honest, the story that goes with the picture is important - more important than the actual picture.



If you're including the duds in your picture sharing, your shortchanging your friends of some great stories.

Improving the best to be even better

Once you've got your favorites picked, start cropping and editing. If you don't have a picture editor on your computer, use a site like Google + to help. It's amazing what a little croping can do to an already great shot and online photo editors are simple to use now.

relaxed Juliarelaxed JuliaIf you're looking for an advanced photo editor, check out Adobe Lightroom, part of the Photoshop family. It can enhance images simply and easily.

Free photo editing software like Picasa, iPhoto, and Windows Live Photo Gallery will allow you to correct photos quickly and easily.

Go forth and share

let the photos be part of the storylet the photos be part of the storyOnce your pictures are the best they can be, it's time to share them with the world. Shutterfly will help you make printable albums that you can also import directly into Facebook.

Of course you can upload pictures yourself to Facebook too. Make sure you title your albums, add descriptions and adjust your privacy settings if you'd like to limit who sees your pictures.

Got any photo-sharing tips?

You don't have to be a seasoned travel writer to take great shots and we'd love to hear what you do to make your pictures beautiful! Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and let's start talking!

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