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Sharing Digital Photos In A Snap

November 16, 2008, 10:31 PM by Brian Kushida

Snapping photos on digital cameras makes it easy to take thousands of pictures and store them on your computer. But often those photos end up sitting on your hard drive and not printed to share with friends and family. With the holidays right around the corner, there are some easy ways to make sure everyone can enjoy your photos.

As much as Danny Van Deest, of Brandon, South Dakota, loves his family, he loves capturing every moment on his camera.  Van Deest says, "I don't know, it just warms your heart, to make you realize just how special, you know, your life is."  And when it came to sharing precious moments of his nine-month-old son, Evan, Van Deest is one of many in KELOLAND who's taking his digital photo collections online.  Wife Angela Nuss says, "He's the computer geek of the house, so he came up with the blog and shared with me what he had done." 

That blog, is through Blogger, a free online weblog service owned by Google.  While many have long-used blogs to post viewpoints and opinions, Van Deest uses the site to connect with friends and relatives who live across the country, writing blog posts as a form of a family newsletter. 

On his web page, Van Deest adds photos, family stories, and plans for the holidays.
He also takes advantage of the video capability on his digital camera to post short videos on the site. Van Deest says, "It was an easy way to make sure that our members of our family and friends that wanted to see updated photos constantly would be able to have an instant access to them." 

And it's something that can be done even on a busy family schedule.  Nuss says, "Three kids, full time-jobs, that kind of stuff. It's real simple to go online real quick, figure out what type of pics you want, to put it on there and you're done in a couple of minutes." 

If you'd like to get those photos from the computer to the scrapbook, there's a convenient way to go about that, too.
Just ask mom-of-two Michelle Miller of Sioux Falls. Miller says, "I'm very passionate about our photos, particularly our family photos, it's something I've been interested in for a long time."  

Miller likes to find convenient ways to get family portraits organized, which is why she sorts and orders her photo prints through the Harold's Photo website. Miller says, "What I do, typically is that I download my photos, probably a couple of times a month...I decide which ones I want to process and print...I upload them to Harold's, click, click, click, done..and I submit the order. "

The website allows you to order prints for yourself, but you can also grant access to your online albums to friends and family so they can order your photos as well. The prints can be picked up, or shipped directly to homes.  Miller says, "We'll send them an e-mail and say, they check out the site, I just uploaded some photos of the girls, doing Halloween or at the apple orchard, go on and check them out and select which ones you want."

And with Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner, Miller knows she'll be adding more to the scrapbook very soon. 

But scrapbooks, weblogs and online ordering aren't the only options to share your pictures.  Tara Johanneson, a computer teacher at O'Gorman Junior High, uses many different photo-sharing websites, but thinks one is particularly unique.  Johanneson, who lives in Tea, South Dakota, says, I upload to Facebook and MySpace, as far as social networking groups, and also a website called" 

With, Johanneson gathers photos together on her computer and creates slideshows to share with friends and family. Johanneson says, It has transitions different ways slides can come in, and captions you can put on the slides, you just upload all the pictures, put them altogether, and send them off. It's very, very easy. 

And it also makes it easier on Johanneson's pocketbook, because others can keep up with her photo-taking by visiting her slideshow pages. Johanneson says, I used to print doubles, triples, even quadruples prints and it would actually run up the bill, become pretty expensive, whereas now I can make a copy for myself and have them look online. 

It seems online is where you can help share your favorite family memories this holiday season. 

And it's so easy, you can get it done, in a snap.

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