Tech-Savvy Daughter

Digital Photo Basics

Last updated: Oct 12, 2010

Portrait of extended family resize

When I tell my friends about my blog, they often tell me about tech topics that they'd like me cover for their parents and other loved ones. One of their most common requests is a post about digital photos and digital cameras.

Gone are the days of dropping off a roll of film to be developed at the local camera shop. Today, digital photos are stored on the memory card of digital cameras, and there are various websites that enable you to store and share your photos electronically. These sites also include shopping features where you can order prints of all sizes, photo books, picture mugs and more.

Uploading your photos to an online photo gallery is a two step process:

Step 1: Import photos from your camera's memory card to your computer's hard drive

  1. Using the cable that came with your camera, connect your camera into your computer.
  2. Once your camera is plugged in, turn on your camera.
  3. Your computer should recognize your camera and begin prompting you to start the import of your photos.
  4. Make note of the location where you store the photo files. I suggest making a new folder for each set of uploaded photos e.g. Grandma's Birthday Party Photos.

The exact process will vary based on your camera and your computer's settings, but the general steps will be the same. If you have questions about your specific camera, reference the camera's user manual. Misplaced your manual? No problem, check out my post about how to find user manuals online

Step 2: Upload photos from your computer's hard drive to an online gallery

  1. Select an online photo sharing website to use. Some of the most popular sites are Flickr, Kodak Gallery, Picasa, Shutterfly and Snapfish.
  2. Create an account on your photo sharing site of choice. Don't forget to make note of your username and password.
  3. Once you're logged in, click on the button that says "Upload" or "Upload Photos."
  4. This will usually bring up a box, which gives you the option to either create a new album or add photos to an existing album. In most cases, you'll probably be creating a new album.
  5. Once you have your destination album specified, you'll see a button that says "Browse" or "Choose File." Clicking on this button will open up a window where you can navigate to your photo folder on your hard drive (e.g. Grandma's Birthday Party Photos).
  6. Once you have located the photo files on your hard drive, highlight each photo that you'd like to upload to the album. Some of the sites allow you to select and upload multiple photo files at a time. However, other sites only support one-at-a-time uploading unless you download an additional plug-in.

Note: Facebook is also a great way to share your photos with friends and family, although Facebook doesn't have any print ordering capabilities.

There are also two easy offline ways to get prints of your digital photos. One option is to simply remove the memory card from your camera and take it to a photo printing kiosk at your local Target, Walmart, or large pharmacy. The kiosks are easy to use, and the store employees should be able to answer any questions you may have. The second option is to buy a small, inexpensive photo printer for your home. Most of the major camera manufacturers (Kodak, Canon, Sony, etc.) make reasonably priced, compact photo printers.

Say cheese :)