Everyone takes lots of photos when travelling abroad or on any holiday vacation. On a single one-week vacation, you might come away with over 1,000 photos. How do you sort, save and share all of that content? Luckily, there are a lot of tools at a traveller’s disposal to help spread and share their travel photos (and stories, too). And with an increasing amount of our personalities stored online, it’s never been easier to share using social media.
Use Instagram and Twitter to share instantly
Services like Instagram are ubiquitous among iPhone and smartphone users. With the ability to snap a photo on just about every handheld device, you can also share that moment with just a few extra clicks. If you think about it, Polaroid film was one of the first photo sharing networks. Even though it took three minutes for the photo development process, it was still much quicker than most other cameras.
Nowadays, you can use your phone to take a photo and instantly upload it to any number of online services for immediate sharing. With the real-time aspect of social networks, combined with easy & accessible internet access across the world, you can share every moment of your trip with your friends, family and followers.
Instagram allows users to instantly add filters and share their photos as soon as the photo is taken. Because so many social networks are inter-linked as well, posting a photo to Instagram could easily be automatically sent to your personal Facebook and Twitter networks. So a quick photo you snapped of yourself in front of the Coliseum in Rome becomes immediately available to all the people you’re connected to online. Rather than having to sit your friends down to show them an album or some tricked out slideshow on your MacBook, they’ll get real-time updates.
Microblogging with services like Tumblr or Posterous
Microblogging platforms such as Tumblr and Posterous allow users to quickly upload photos which are then instantly available to their followers. With social media increasingly dependent upon live updates, microblogging sites (Twitter included) are a great way to keep friends & family updated on your travels with your travel photos. They also provide space for comments and feedback (along the lines of a “like” button). As a photographer, instant feedback on your photos can be both a burden and lifesaver.
Facebook, Flickr and Picasa – share photos directly to your personal network
With Facebook’s recent update and redesign, the way photos are shown on the site has improved greatly. With a much more photo-friendly user experience design on Facebook and Google+ (tied in with Picasa), it’s much easier to view the most recent photos from your friends. The trend in social media has increasingly focused on larger photos appearing directly in the live feed. Even Twitter has begun to introduce this measure. So uploading your photos to any of these networks not only makes your travel photos more accessible, but they’re increasingly presented in a more visual way to enhance the user experience.
Many online photo storage services allow for limited upload space, however with subscriptions you can store your digital photos while you travel and not worry about them being lost. Flickr, one of the web’s first social media & sharing websites, has since had to focus more on social media sharing. Picasa and Flickr both include “share” buttons which allow any user to tweet or post your photos to their own social networks. While digital copyright can be an issue, being able to spread your travel photos further is beneficial not just to a photographer but to the viewer as well. You might receive more exposure and any visitor to your photo stream gets the benefit of unique captures from all over the world. Travel is all about escapism and being able to share that through photos only enhances the experience.
How do you share your travel photos?
Phone or not, having a small, easily accessible device that allows for instant connectivity to the internet makes the sharing of photos easier for travellers. With hundreds of apps developed for this explicit purpose, you can share your real-time travels easier and easier. Native in-phone apps on BlackBerry, iPhone and other smartphones almost always allow you to share a photo from simple cameras. With geotagging almost a universal feature on cameras these days, travel photography has never been more social than it is today.
About the author: Adam is a graphic designer living in Berlin after spending the past year and a half travelling around the world from the North Africa & the Middle East to India & Southeast Asia. Stories and photos from his travels appeared on just about every social network available, as well on his travel blog.