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By: Danette Mckay
The combination of digital photography and the Internet opened many new options for storing sharing and printing photos. During the film era you could only print photos on paper and had to physically hand them to people for viewing. These days are over.

Digital cameras are not just a replacement of the old film cameras. They open a wide range of new things that can be one with photos. Since digital photos are computer files they can be sent like any other file uploaded to remote servers downloaded and shared. Many online services were developed just to provide services for those special digital photo computer files. Snapfish is one such online service originally a startup now bought and owned by the big hewlett Packard corporation.

Snapfish like other online digital photo services provides a large number of free services and also some paid premium services such as digital photo printing. One of the most popular services that made Snapfish popular is photo sharing. The idea behind photo sharing is that people that take digital photos do not want to just look at them themselves but also want their friends and family to see them. In the old days this was only possible by meeting friends and family face to face or by mailing photos which could take a long time.

With the Internet however sharing photos is instantaneous. You can take a digital photo in the UK upload it to your Snapfish photo album and in a few seconds have your family in the US browse your Snapfish photo album and view that new and fresh image.

Digital photos can be private and to address this concern most digital photo sharing services allow users to define access rights to their photo albums. You can set your album to be open to the entire public or in other words allow anyone that feels like it to look at your photos. If you feel your photos are private and you do not want to allow public access you can define specific user names or email addresses that are allowed to view the photos while anyone else trying to view them will be denied.

The Snapfish service does not stop at digital photo sharing. Snapfish also allows you to print your digital photos in a variety of sizes and qualities. You can also print your photos on non paper products like mugs and mouse pads. Snapfish combines photo sharing with photo printing by allowing the people you share photos with to order photo prints too.

One of the ways in which Snapfish and other photo sharing services make sure that users continue using their service is by not allowing downloading of full quality photos. In other words if you upload a high resolution photo to Snapfish the photo will be stored on their server and used in two ways. When shared and viewed online through the Internet a lower resolution lower version of the photo is displayed. When ordering prints the higher resolution photo will be used for printing but it will not be available for download.
Danette Mckay writes more about this and other subjects. Check out prints for more about this and other subject from Danette Mckay
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