A web presence is an absolute necessity if you’re an imaging professional, and now that these last few years have seen a revolution in online and cloud storage, it only makes sense that a number of services are beginning to offer huge amounts of capacity at negligible, and even free, price points. Comparatively, there are a few important differences between services, however.
If you’re concerned about maintaining an easily accessible library for editing and image licensing rather than displaying portfolios, there are a number of new services and applications like younity, Mylio and Adobe’s comprehensive Creative Cloud plan for syncing your images and files across computers and devices. Dropbox, Backblaze, Hightail, Google Drive, SugarSync, Zip Cloud and Box all offer similar services with folder organization, previews and FTP-like direct transfer of files to clients. Backblaze, for example, is only $5 a month for unlimited backups and storage of a single computer and external drives, but it doesn’t offer a specialized website interface for browsers.
Myth: There Is A Best Way To Back Up.
At $99 a year, Amazon Prime is a fantastic deal for those who already use the website for shopping or media consumption. In fact, many other backup and storage services rent out Amazon’s servers to provide similar services, including secure and unlimited photo storage, automatic backups and access to images including RAW files from phones, computers, tablets and, of course, Amazon’s Fire devices. Membership in Amazon Prime includes unlimited photo storage in the company’s Cloud Drive alongside plentiful support for files like RAW, TIFF and video clips of up to 20 minutes in length. As a bonus, Amazon Prime also includes free two-day shipping on purchases and numerous streaming options of TV, music and films.
Apple’s iCloud service is ideal for photographers who like to stay in the simple-to-use Apple workflow architecture. But, like Amazon Prime, the service isn’t oriented toward professionals as much as others because it’s simply meant for image storage and basic organization.
For more extended capabilities, a few websites that used to exist solely as portfolio sites like Flickr and 500px are expanding to offer similar services as the others, like photo storage and full-resolution files along-side nicely designed websites and templates.
Hoping to drum up lagging web traffic, photo-sharing site Flickr has been pushing to become a social-media site by opening up its storage to 1 TB of capacity for every free account. This means you can post original-sized files that can be hidden or displayed as you prefer. Google+ and Google Drive have been incorporated to an extent, as well, which will allow you to post full-resolution files for friends, fans and peers to preview and download through the Google+ social-media site.
Currently, 500px offers 20 uploads a week with a free account, but stepping up to the Plus or Awesome accounts removes that limit. Perhaps, most excitingly, their Awesome + Adobe membership provides the unfettered features of the top-of-the-line Awesome account (like stock sales of uploaded images) while throwing in a Photoshop and Lightroom membership at only $13.75 a year (with an up-front payment of $165).
Like Flickr, Facebook and Tumblr offer unlimited portfolios, but files are limited in capacity to 25 MB with Facebook and 10 MB with Tumblr. Only JPEG and PNG formats are supported, and Facebook adds very heavy compression to files. Tumblr is very customizable, however, and you can set it to act as if it was your own website and domain. Many photographers choose this option, as Tumblr then can be used as a way to host imagery and portfolios for free.