Tag Archives: Flickr

Photo Book Deals In Time for the Holidays 

By Tracey Dowdy

Remember the fun of flipping through family albums reminiscing over holidays and parties, or laughing over bad haircuts and questionable fashion choices? Sure, you can scroll through photos online thanks to cloud-based storage like Google Photos, Livedrive, or Amazon Photos. Still, there’s something transformative about physically holding an album in your hands.

The one good thing to come out of the coronavirus lockdown is when many of us have added back into our schedule, so there’s no time like the present to get those photos organized and into a photo book.  

Probably the best known is Shutterfly, a site that does everything from photobooks to wallpaper. It offers free, unlimited storage and will never delete your photos, so you have plenty of time to sort through all those years of photos. You can choose from templates, or use Simple Path, a tool that automatically lays out your photos but allows you to rearrange, decorate, and add captions to customize your book. Pre-tax, an 8- by 11-inch 20-page hardcover photo book costs about $40 before shipping and tax, but they almost always have a sale or coupon available, so look for deals before you order. 

Suppose you’re looking for more design choices. In that case, Snapfish offers dozens of templates and themes like Moments with Mom, Grad Nostalgia, Family Farmhouse, Summer Snapshots that extends through their catalog of products – think aprons, mugs, calendars, photo tiles – so it’s easy to create a unique and themed gift. You can add photos manually, and if you’re unhappy with your design, it’s easy to swap out the background or theme. The price is similar to Shutterfly, with an 8- by 11-inch hardcover 20-page photo book for $40. And, like Shutterfly, they continuously run deals, so be on the lookout for special offers. 

Walmart may not be the first name to come into your mind when you think of high-quality photo books, but you may be pleasantly surprised. Their site allows you to upload digital photos from your computer, social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Dropbox, or Google Photos, but there are fewer editing options than Snapfish or Shutterfly. They allow you to add stickers, but customization is limited compared to other sites. 

Google Photos is the most stripped-down choice on this list with a minimalist, plain white background with the option to caption your photos. Google will format a book based on your uploaded albums, or you can customize it by choosing an album you already made. If you want a more creative look, Google Photos has editing options within its app that allows you to add filters. A 9×9 photo book costs $20 before shipping, and each additional page costs 65 cents. If you’re looking for something less expensive, a softcover 7×7 book costs $10, and it’s 35 cents for each additional page.

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits, and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

Yahoo may owe you $358 for data breach settlement

By Tracey Dowdy

Did you get an email from Yahoo stating you may be eligible for compensation due to a data breach? Unfortunately, it’s not a scam. If you had a Yahoo account between 2012 and 2016, you’re eligible to take part in a class action settlement to compensate you for losses as the result of a data hack.

According to Yahoo, over the past several years, hackers gained access to Yahoo user accounts on multiple occasions and stole user’s private emails, calendars, and contacts. On the Frequently Asked Questions page of their website, Yahoo outlines just how far the hackers went

  • In the initial breach in 2012, Yahoo states that no data was taken, but in 2013, hackers gained access to all of the more than three billion Yahoo accounts. They stole names, email addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, passwords, and answers to users’ security questions. 
  • Then in In November 2014, “malicious actors” again gained access to Yahoo’s user database and “accessed  the names, email addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, passwords, and security questions and answers of Yahoo account holders.”
  • From 2015 to September 2016, hackers bypassed the need for a user account password by creating “forged cookies” that provided them with access to Yahoo email accounts, impacting approximately 32 million user accounts worldwide.

As a result, Yahoo has announced that if you had a Yahoo account any time between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2016, and are a resident of either the US or Israel, you are eligible to file a claim for part of the $117,500,000 settlement fund. This includes accounts with Yahoo Fantasy Sports, Yahoo Finance, Tumblr, and Flickr.

As for how much compensation you can expect, the number varies, and you may choose either money or credit monitoring.  

According to the website, the settlement provides the following benefits to Settlement Class Members:

  • Data Security Practice Changes and Commitments by Yahoo (see FAQ 10);
  • Credit Monitoring Services (see FAQ 11, FAQ 17);
  • Cash Payment as an Alternative to Credit Monitoring Services (see FAQ 12, FAQ 17);
  • Fraud Resolution Services (see FAQ 13);
  • Cash Reimbursement for Out-of-Pocket Losses (see FAQ 14 and FAQ 18);
  • Cash Reimbursement for up to 25% of Paid User Costs (see FAQ 15 and FAQ 19); and
  • Cash Reimbursement for up to 25% of Small Business User Costs (see FAQ 16 and FAQ 20).

If you choose to submit a claim, you must submit all forms online or postmarked by mail by July 20, 2020.

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

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.