TWiP Family 016: A Photo Sharing Question and New Challenge

In this episode, we have a photo sharing question and new challenge.

Simon has two questions about sharing his photos with family. Simon’s first question has to do with getting his photos ready to share. The second question is about where to share the photos.

I called on my friend, Randi Voss, to help me answer Simon’s question. Randi is a wedding photographer, mother and good friend. And, she has a good system for making sure the photos she takes with family are shared with family.

Our tips for getting photos ready to share with family:

1. Randi: Create a user preset in Lightroom that is applied on import. Simon shoots in RAW and knows his photos won’t look their best if the photos are not edited at all. By creating a preset, the little changes you commonly make are done right away. The time you would have spent adjusting a hundred photos can be used snuggling your baby instead.

2. Jenny: Lower your expectations. How good do the photos need to be for the people who you are sharing them with? Would it be better for your cousin to see a photo of his daughter with low contrast and bad white balance or not see the photo at all?

3. Randi: Schedule a photo sharing night. One night a month, go through your photos from the previous month and share them that night. It’s a regular event so the photos don’t pile up endlessly. And, family members know when to expect to see the photos. (I am going to try this. Can you hear my mom and sister rejoicing? They’re waiting on photos from last Christmas.)

The next part of Simon’s question was where to share the photos.

Free services like Dropbox or Shutterfly don’t cost you anything but the person you are sharing with usually has to sign up.

For sharing family photos, both Randi and I use paid services. You can send a link to a gallery you are sharing and the person who gets the link only needs to click on it. If you want it to be more private, you can make it password protected. Randi uses Smug Mug for sharing and backing up her photos..

I use Zenfolio to share my photos. Zenfolio generously offered Simon a Pro Account for the year – so he doesn’t have to wait until “things are more juicy.” Zenfolio has a new app – Photo Moments – to make sharing photos even easier.

The New Challenge: Record a Routine

Some things in our life happen so often, we hardly notice them. We also don’t realize that the routine will be different in a few weeks or months. Examples of routines you could photograph are: making breakfast, going to the library, reading books at night, and brushing teeth. The challenge for the next few weeks is to notice something that happens regularly and take a photo.

The advanced challenge is to do three photos of the routine. Take a environmental photo (a wider angle), a portrait and a detail shot of the same routine.

Share your photos in the comments by September 29 for a chance to win an e-book from Rocky Nook.

Last month when I talked to Kristen Kalp, she told us about the course she is working on. She mixes business with spirit and helps you get on with work that scares you.  
Calling to the Deep


Next week, I talk to Audrey Woulard about photographing tweens. They’re not kids, they’re not teenagers – they’re in between. And, they often disappear from the photo album for a few years. Audrey specializes in photographing this age group and tells us what she knows about getting great photographs of them.

  • Great challenge, thank you! I tried to capture a “new” routine in our family life. Our son just learned to put on his shoes. Its amazing to watch those little ones to learn so much so quickly. For a couple of weeks now our son was able to work the velcro straps, and now he puts on the shoes completely by himself.
    As amazing as I find this, its even more amazing that you completely forget to put the camera out when he does this. Its such a common task, that it doesn’t seem worthy enough to become an image.

    So thanks very much for this week’s task and for making me see the little things a bit more.

  • Hi Florian,
    You did a wonderful job with this photo. It really captures the concentration and the action. I’m so glad that the challenge encouraged this photo of an important new routine. ~ Jenny

  • Here’s one of my son doing his nightly homework. Also, a bit on the nerd side, I used my 30 year old new to me lens and a tilt adapter. He had to color the ovals different colors, which looked the same in BW, so I added a color filter in the BW conversion in Snapseed for contrast in the colored ovals

  • Hi David,
    I love it. You can see the way he hold his crayon (not a pencil yet) and his concentration. Thanks for also sharing about what lens you used and how you processed it. This is a great example of a routine that can go unnoticed. ~Jenny

  • Hi Harry,
    I don’t mind you asking but it’s tricky. I have a plan that they no longer offer. It was called Premium and was between the basic and pro accounts. What are you hoping to use it for? ~Jenny

  • Jenny,
    Back up and sharing with family and friends. I love the idea of sharing once a month. I’ve tried Flickr but it was hard for people to download them. I have tried google photos once by sharing a link to the pictures but I haven’t heard how that went yet. At this point I’m looking to sell, it would be nice if family or friends could order prints from there as well.

  • I would look at Zenfolio’s Starter plan – $5 per month. Do you think you’d sell enough to pay $20 a month for the Pro? Also, check out Smug Mug. They have more plans to choose from and have a nice way to make a family website. Both offer free trials. I would try both and see which one you like better. Be sure to try out the sharing options with family and find out how easy (or difficult) it is for the people who you share with to view and download the photos. ~ Jenny

  • Has anyone tried Amazon cloud drive for this purpose? It has unlimited storage if you are a prime member (including RAW files), and you can share whole folders at a time, linked via email. Unfortunately, I am not a good barometer, as all of this pretty much make enough sense so that I can navigate it all. However, anyone I would send photos to are unable (unwilling, really) to figure out most basic computer operations.

    So, In one way, I offer this as a possible solution, and in another as a question to get practical feedback.

    Incidentally, I had Zenfolio at one time, and it was an awesome business solution, and if I were to pay for this service exclusively, that is likely who I would turn to.

  • Out to Breakfast.
    Every wednesday with our parents. Every wednesday, dad gets a waffle…with sugar free syrup. Every wednesday, we go through the same stories and questions from mom. Not every wednesday do we have a little cutie from Colorado, but we did this week.
    I used a little point and shoot for this challenge…not my favorite. The “overall” picture of the scene was less than satisfactory, but I included three little vignettes of what happens on Wednesdays.

  • A little tooth brushing ritual with my friends’ kiddo. There is so much I love about these photographs. It’s fast becoming my favorite way to photograph families. I look at these, and I love that my friend will have these to share with her daughter later (they are already printed and in her possession). I wish I had more images like these with my parents. I know I made their lives just as delightfully difficult at times.

  • Hi Michelle,
    Already printed and in her possession! Well done. And, I love the routine. It’s great that you did this for your friend. I love the small gestures in these photos. In the second one – both your friend’s hand holding her child and her child reaching for something. Thank you for joining in on the challenge. ~ Jenny

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