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Group Photo Sharing Is Great for Sports teams, Families, Clubs, Weddings and more

One of the coolest things you can do these days with your digital photos is share them on line with your friends and family. While there are many different ways to share, there are two ways that I think are especially fun and useful: free group sharing sites (who doesn't like something nice for nothing) and group collaboration for making photo books and other projects.

Group Sites

Group share sites are popular for sports teams, family reunions, school, social clubs, weddings, babies and other special occasions. It's an easy way for a group of people to have access and contribute to a large number of photos and share information. For instance, I recently made a group share site for my college sorority alumnae association through Shutterfly, which offers free, customized group share sites. Why is this so great?

On my group site I've got large photos posted as a banner and a "film" strip" that can be viewed as a slide show. There are also sections with a calendar of upcoming events, members' roster with contact info, a comments section similar to the Facebook format, and integration with Facebook. I was even able to upload PDF's of my groups' monthly newsletter.

Shutterfly group share site

Above: Example of Shutterfly Group Share Site for a Wedding

Youth sports teams often use group sites. In addition to posting photos and video, groups can add:

Group sites are also very popular for wedding planning as well as for photos and video of the big day. A new feature is the ability to add your wedding gift registry to your site.

What Can You Do With the Photos

You can select the best of the shared photos and create a photo book or order prints. Group members can order copies, or, depending on how you set permissions, members can create their own photo books from shared pictures.
Secret tip: Shutterfly is the only service that I know of that lets group members download original, full resolution images from the group site to their own PC.

Group Collaboration Sites

Did you ever want to collaborate with someone to make a special photo book, such as for a 50th birthday, a farewell gift for a co-worker, a sporting event, etc? Well you can. There is a photo book service that offer online collaboration: Mixbook.com. They have a collaborative scrapbook editor for creating photo books and other projects like calendars. This enables friends or groups of people to design a project together. For example, a user can start a book then invite friends (via a pop-up window where they enter their friend's emails on an invitation request) to upload their pictures and add them to the book and contribute to the design. The original creator still has control over the book and has final say.

I especially like Mixbook because of their array of scrapbook-style backgrounds, stickers and shapes. They offer tremendous flexibility including  the ability to insert your own text boxes, change the size of photos and even the page layouts, add shadows and transparency.

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