Of course the family wants to see pictures of the kids and online galleries are an easy way to do it, but if I put passwords on the galleries it is the same as telling my father he can't look anymore because is is so technophobic.

Does anybody have a solution that lets me put pictures online easily like flickr or picasa, while making it easy to share them only with people I know.

  • Requiring an account is bad to be made or used.
  • Typing in a password each time is bad.
  • Having a pass phrase is bad in case I want to show co-workers or something.

I would ideally like a web app I can use or host myself.

asked 13 Dec '09, 20:34

MrChrister's gravatar image

accept rate: 3%

edited 15 Dec '09, 02:36

To everybody how commented, THANK YOU! I am being critical of the ideas because I am making a requirements list and I love the feedback but I want to put a real narrow scope. All comments are very helpful and greatly appreciated. Just because I make a counterpoint doesn't mean you aren't helping me a lot. I want to spur a deep discussion.

(15 Dec '09, 17:50) MrChrister

We simply use Picasa and Web Albums that are "unlisted".

The chances of someone stumbling across the unique URL by accident is pretty darn slim.

Another thing I'll do on occasion is change the name of the album (or move the photos into a new album)... which in turn changes the URL. I then re-email the URL to close family and friends.

This is (sort of) a way of "resetting" the pictures as the old URL simply stops working (or has no pictures in it).

Anything I don't want the public to see (like I tub picture or something I guess) I simply email directly to grandma/grandpa.


answered 14 Dec '09, 23:31

KPW's gravatar image

accept rate: 25%

I do something like this now, but I get tied to emailing everybody. So then I post links to on the blog software which is very obscure. I think I am panicky, but I was hoping there was a pre-done solution.

(14 Dec '09, 23:35) MrChrister

@MrChrister Depending on your technical prowess... one other thing I have done it setup a "mailing list" of family and friends. That way if I send an email to [email protected] it goes out to everyone. MUCH easier sending one email than 20.

(14 Dec '09, 23:44) KPW

I believe you can share a private Picasa Web Album with specific people by changing its privacy settings.

(15 Dec '09, 05:19) Yuval

@Yuval - you sure can, but you need to make everybody have a Google account, which effectively limits people. Plus the friends and family you didn't think of are still locked out.

(15 Dec '09, 17:47) MrChrister

@KPW - I feel I am pretty techy, but that still makes the issue of people I forgot who want to check out my family photos, but don't necessarily care enough to get a dozen emails.

(15 Dec '09, 17:48) MrChrister

@MrChrister I hear ya... that's why I do what I mentioned above with the "unlisted" links. I then send them off to a few "key people" (ie. grandma) and let her spend her time forwarding them on. Its not a PERFECT solution... but those who want ALL of the emails and updates can always join my "mailing list". :-)

(15 Dec '09, 20:09) KPW

I am dinking around writing a plugin for my subtext blog, but until then this is the best I can do. There are lots of great suggestions but I am leaning towards accepting this one.

(30 Dec '09, 18:58) MrChrister
showing 5 of 7 show 2 more comments

Remember that anything that you let some people see it with no login and password should be understood to be visible to ANYBODY. You simply cannot avoid logins/passwords and simultaneously ensure that only people you know can see it.

I think there's a limit to the paranoia you should have, however. SO WHAT if anybody can see a few of your family photos? It means nothing to people who don't know you. But I would recommend a few precautions to keep you and your kids safe:

  • Put the photos on a site/account that doesn't in any way display your real full name. You can give your parents the direct link, but people who search for you or your kids won't find it, and people who stumble upon the pics won't have a way of linking it to you.

  • Don't let the photos, or any explanatory text, reveal your name, address, or details like when you will be on vacation or away from your house, etc.

  • Strip the photos of any metadata (header info and the like) that may contain your name, GPS locations that give the position of your house, etc. (Thanks for the suggestion, Evan.)

As long as there's no easy way to physically find you or your kids from the photos, or to engage in any kind of identity theft (those pages don't have your address, social security, or other financial data), then I think there is really no issue aside from your being creeped out by strangers seeing your pictures.


answered 13 Dec '09, 23:55

lgritz's gravatar image

accept rate: 14%

edited 14 Dec '09, 17:25


I would also hunt around for a program that clears any and all meta-data out of your image files. You'd be surprised how many photos are on flikr with GPS coordinates...

(14 Dec '09, 00:16) Evan

Very good suggestion! Though not an issue if you have an older camera that doesn't have a GPS.

(14 Dec '09, 17:23) lgritz

We have a website that we use wordpress (http://wordpress.org/) to create a blog on. It makes it easy to upload pictures directly onto our site and also allows people to visit the site to see the pictures. I use it as an online baby book for people who don't get to see my baby very often. The site is remote enough that people who don't know about it are unlikely to stumble upon it so we don't use a password to protect it.

For my parents we then added a link directly to the site on their desktop that all they have to do is click on to go to the site.


answered 13 Dec '09, 21:26

nikjoyce's gravatar image

accept rate: 11%

I have this too, but it feels to open. Even if I am careful to hide names and addresses, I worry I might screw up.

(14 Dec '09, 21:58) MrChrister

How about using the usual photo hosting sites, with a password, but logging your Father in the first time yourself, then setting a non-expiring cookie that keeps him logged in?

This seems to work for my relatives on Flickr.


answered 16 Dec '09, 07:22

Mungo's gravatar image

accept rate: 3%

Yes, but I don't live very close to my family. A dumb link is probably better. I am messing around with a 'plugin' for subtext that I hope will work.

(16 Dec '09, 08:36) MrChrister
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Asked: 13 Dec '09, 20:34

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Last updated: 16 Dec '09, 07:22