How often do you share photos online?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| January 20, 2013

While I don’t consider myself even an amateur photographer (I barely take enough pictures to be considered for any experience level), I enjoy it when it happens. I tend to snap photos of landscapes, though, especially if there’s a particularly nice sunset or sunrise happening. The majority of my photos, as I’ve said, are of my two babies, though, and for that reason I don’t necessarily share my photos as often as others I know. Indeed, my Twitter feed very often turns into a feed of photos of all sorts of different things, but more often than not it’s a lot of food or bottles of alcohol.

I’ll admit that I’ve done it. I may be a bit squeamish about it, but I can’t deny it: I’ve taken photos of food. As you can see above, which was taken during a trip to Boston two years ago, I have snapped a photo of food. In fact, during that particular trip, I took a lot of photos of food. (And other things!) I didn’t feel too bad about it at the time, but sharing the photo wasn’t something I went out of my way to do. The photo was uploaded to Facebook, but I wasn’t utilizing some photo-focused social networking tool to blast it all over the place.

That probably has more to do with the fact that I’m not even sure how to start taking photos of food. If there are more steps than: 1. Put plate of food on table. 2. Take photo, then I’m already way behind the curve on this one. There’s no denying that a few people can make a relatively simple bottle of their favorite beer look like a photographic masterpiece, though. So props to them.

It goes a bit beyond taking the photo, though. I saw someone on Twitter once say that they think it’s weird when they’re with company at a restaurant and they whip out their phone to snap a quick photo of their entrée. I can see where they are coming from. I’m sure for some people that would be strange. Then again, it’s impossible to ignore the presence of social networking in our culture. It’d be a fool’s errand to try and say that sharing our lives with people, even complete strangers, isn’t perfectly acceptable in today’s world.

While we strive for stricter security in some social networks, we are genuinely quick to share almost everything. Of course, it always comes down to what we’re comfortable sharing. Food? That’s probably okay.

When the mess with Instagram was starting to gain more attention, regarding their changed terms of service, our very own Taylor Martin wrote a piece why he’s quitting the social service (which didn’t necessarily come down to the ToS alteration, mind you). I thought about quitting Instagram once, but the truth of it is that I don’t use it enough to “quit it.” I don’t even have it downloaded onto my phone, and I don’t remember the last time I put the app, willingly, on my phone. (Depending on the OS, it can get synced to a phone automatically.)

The same goes for Flickr. When people were busy switching to that particular sharing service, I got an email that said a friend of mine had started following me on that service. I stared at the email in disbelief. Not because someone was following me there, but simply because I had forgotten that I had signed up for it. Or ever used it. I couldn’t even log in without recovering my password, it had been that long.

Turns out there were some photos of my daughters there that I thought I had lost, so, that was a nice surprise.

There are other social networks out there specifically geared towards sharing your photos, but Instagram is the big one. Flickr was gaining popularity not too long ago, but I’m not sure if that’s died down or not by now. If not, I’m sure we could call it a popular service without too much effort. For me, though, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to jump on board with them. I do share photos on Twitter and Facebook, but I generally just use those particular apps to share them directly. I don’t add filters (even though the filters in BlackBerry 10 look pretty cool), and I don’t need an app to add filters and then share my photos.

It basically boils down to this: As little as I take photos, I share them outside of my immediately family even less. Maybe I’m a stickler to some old, unwritten rule that photos –especially of family—are more personal than anything else. And since I don’t snap pictures of my food anymore, my photo sharing days may be in the past.

Where do you stand on social sharing of photos? Do you do it often? If you do, do you use an app to do it, like Instagram or Flickr? Or do you just share them directly through tools like Facebook or Twitter? Or are you like me and keep the majority of your photos to yourself? Let me know where you stand on photo sharing: Will pictures of food be the constant of our lives for the foreseeable future? Let me know!