How to Organize Your Smartphone Photos

By Tracey Dowdy

If you never have trouble finding a “Throwback Thursday” photo on your smartphone, it may be time to consider switching some of those old photos to a photo-sharing and storage website.

There are several solid options available online, but before you choose you should consider these important factors:

  • Is it user friendly? Consider your comfort level with technology: Are you comfortable navigating the site and uploading photos? Are photos easily edited once they’re uploaded? Can you easily find your photos and search by date or file name? Are photos easily accessed and shared to social media?
  • Does it store photos in a high quality format? Facebook albums are a good example. Images stored on Facebook are compressed into much smaller sizes to save on bandwidth and storage – great for them, not so great for your photos. Storing in a high quality format ensures that whether you’re looking at an online album or photos you’ve printed, your photos are top quality.
  • Speaking of storage, how much do you need? Think long term, not immediate need. You want sufficient space to store all your photos at a reasonable price.
  • Privacy? Does the site control who can see your photos or are you in charge of your privacy option? What about licensing? Who has the right to your photos once they’re posted online?

Keeping these factors in mind, here are some of the best photo storage and sharing sites:


flickr-logo-200Flickr has been around for a while but recently underwent significant changes and is once again a great option for storing and sharing your photos with mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows phones.
User Friendly: Yes – photos can easily be auto-synced for uploading through the Flickr app, tagged and sorted into albums. You can search for photos by date, tag or keyword.
Quality: Flickr allows for full-size uploading and downloading of photos.
Storage/Cost:  Storage is one of Flickr’s best features – you get a full terabyte (2 million photos) for free with ads or you can pay $49.99 a year to get the site ad-free.
Privacy: You determine the audience: friends, family, public or only you. (When you add your contacts, you can set them as friends or family.)


photobucket-logo_200Another oldie but a goodie, Photobucket offers many of the same features as Flickr, along with the opportunity to buy merchandise created from your photos.
User Friendly: Yes – photos can be uploaded directly from your computer, Facebook or other websites. Photos are easily edited through Photobucket’s intuitive editing interface and once edited they can be sorted into albums or stories for a scrolling side show.
Quality: Photobucket allows for full-size uploads of your images.
Storage/Cost: 2GB free, with an additional 8GB with use of the Photobucket app. Prices range from 20GB for $2.99/month up to 500GB for $39.99/month.
Privacy: Albums are password protected.


500px_logo-200500px is aimed at more serious photographers. Images can be bought or sold as stock photos or wall art.
User Friendly: Upload photos from your computer, Dropbox, Facebook, or other social media and tag photos to make organizing and searching easier. Choose categories you’re interested in and 500px will intuitively match your interests with other users with similar interests. Users can comment on your photos and note which ones they like.
Quality: Outstanding, which is no surprise since the site is aimed at serious photographers.
Storage/Cost: Free for 20 uploads a week. Paid accounts allow unlimited uploads, the ability to sort photos into sets, and premium accounts come with a portfolio website.
Privacy: Public by default but you can restrict photos to private only.


thislife-logo-200ThisLife is a photo aggregator and is ideal for gathering all your photos into one collection. Photos can be imported from Flickr, Instagram, Facebook, Picasa and SmugMug, as well as your computer. A Premium account supports video uploads as well.
User Friendly: Yes – photos are easily uploaded from your desktop or the Instagram app.
Quality: Full size uploads and downloads.
Storage/Cost: Up to 2,500 photos free; 25,000 photos for $59/year; 100,000 photos for $139/year.
Privacy: Only those with the link can access albums – accounts are not password protected.


Shutterfly-Logo-200Shutterfly is a great option for collating all your photos into one convenient location. Once photos have been uploaded, you can send friends a link to the gallery and they can add to the album or order prints for themselves. Albums can be collaborative, so you can share access to allow members to upload additional photos, share calendars, polls, or comment on images. Shuterfly also offers an extensive line of products for your photos from blankets to custom calendars.
User Friendly: Photos can’t be auto-synced to upload but are easily added from your computer, Facebook, Instagram, iPhoto, Google+ Photos and Adobe Photoshop, iPad, iPhone or Android apps.
Quality: Full size uploads and downloads.
Storage: Like Flickr, one of Shutterfly’s best features is storage. It’s free with unlimited storage and you get 50 free prints when you sign up.
Privacy: Albums are private by default and Share sites are limited to members only.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Dropbox, Google+, iCloud, even Facebook are options and each has its own strengths. Do your homework, consider your current needs and what you’ll need long term and you’ll have no trouble finding the right site for you.

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Toronto, ON. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances and researches on subjects from family and education to pop culture and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.


  1. What’s up, I read your blogs daily. Your writing style is awesome, keep
    doing what you’re doing!

  2. Wonderful goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff
    previous to and you’re just extremely excellent. I actually like
    what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you are
    saying and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still
    take care of to keep it sensible. I cant wait to read much more from you.
    This is actually a great web site.

    Feel free to surf to my web site: cannabis doctors

  3. I used to be suggested this blog via my cousin. I’m now not sure whether this put up
    is written by means of him as no one else recognise such targeted approximately my trouble.
    You are incredible! Thanks!

  4. Awesome site you have here but I was curious if
    you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics
    talked about in this article? I’d really like to be
    a part of community where I can get feed-back from other experienced people that share the same interest.
    If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Many thanks!

  5. Its not my first time to go to see this website, i am browsing this web page dailly
    and obtain good facts from here daily.

  6. We’re a group of volunteers and starting a
    new scheme in our community. Your website offered us with
    valuable information to work on. You have done a formidable job and our whole community will be grateful to

  7. I was wondering if you ever thought of changing
    the structure of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so
    people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having
    one or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

    My web page :: stop smoking weed everyday

  8. Hi there friends, how is everything, and what you wish for to
    say about this post, in my view its actually remarkable in support of me.

  9. Whoa! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a totally different topic but it has
    pretty much the same layout and design. Excellent choice of colors!

  10. I don’t even know the way I ended up here, but I believed
    this submit was once great. I don’t realize who you might be but certainly you are going to a famous blogger when you are not already.


  11. Greetings! Quick question that’s entirely off topic. Do you
    know how to make your site mobile friendly?
    My website looks weird when browsing from my iphone 4.
    I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to fix this problem.

    If you have any recommendations, please share. Thanks!

  12. Greetings from Florida! I’m bored at work so I decided to browse your
    blog on my iphone during lunch break. I really
    like the info you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, wonderful site!

    my webpage: situs slot bisa deposit pulsa

  13. Wonderful website. Plenty of useful info here. I’m sending it
    to some friends ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thank you in your sweat!

    Here is my page :: judi slot

  14. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment
    didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just
    wanted to say wonderful blog!

    Also visit my page :: download s128

  15. I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here.

    The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get bought an nervousness over
    that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the
    same nearly very often inside case you shield this hike.

    My blog post – slot pg soft gratis

  16. Hello webmaster, You always provide great examples and real-world applications, thank you for your valuable contributions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *