Two years ago I wrote about sharing photos with parents, and at the time, I was dabbling in using Cloudup. Although this is a good service and is free, users are limited to 1000 uploads (approx 200gb per account). This won’t last long in a school that is constantly uploading photos.
There are still many choices for sharing photos. We use Google Drive a lot in school and with this, comes Google Photos. This is free and unlimited and I LOVE it for personal use. For school though, what I could do is to create albums for different events and share these links on a page for parents. They could then click and view the photos for each event. We have used this for BIG events such as residential visits and then made the galleries public on the website.
We also blog photos too but for big events there could be 200+ photos and the blog isn’t really the way to share this many either.
On the Hampshire network managers mailing list (yep, I’m on that…) there was a discussion about ways to share lots of photos and one suggestion was Smugmug. On the website, it lists the basic plan at a starting price of $3.34 a month. That’s currently about £30 a year. So what do you get?
You can upload unlimited photos and videos at ridiculous sizes so no need to resize them at all. You can create multiple galleries and have some as public and some as password-protected or do like we have done, and password the whole site. So if anyone goes to http://riders.smugmug.com then they will be asked for a password. We’ve shared this with parents so they can access each gallery, but for anyone else, they see nothing.
We have a number of options too, we can change the look of the site (this doesn’t bother me) and enable/disable download access for each photo too. We could even set a pricing structure so that parents could choose photos, add them to a mug or a mousemat and have their own gifts.
You get a free 14-day trial and I asked for this to be extended as it was the summer holidays and they have given me until Sept to make a decision on whether we sign up or not. At the moment, I can’t see any flaws with it and it will work well with our blogs (for small things, lessons etc) and with our website too. I can also give one login to all teachers and they can login with an “assistant” password which lets them upload photos but not change the admin settings.
So far I really like it and we have had good feedback from parents too. What do you use to share photos? What works in your school?