After Dashiell was born I was taking pictures constantly but didn't have a consistent way to share them with family and friends. I didn't mind putting a few photos on Facebook but I didn't want that to be the primary way that I shared photos. I texted photos daily to my family and best friends but that required lots of back and forth replies and I felt like I was bombarding everyone. Plus, I couldn't keep track of which pictures I'd shared with someone already.
Enter iPhone Photo Stream. A friend clued me into this iPhone feature and it's solved my Dashiell photo sharing problem. With Photo Stream I can upload photos to a single place and everyone I've invited to the Photo Stream can see the photos and even "like" them and comment. Maybe everyone already knows about this but it was news to me and I'd love to pass on the knowledge to you. This isn't a sponsored post, just a tutorial on something that has beautifully solved my photo sharing problem. Unfortunately this is only for iPhone users but you can share a Photo Stream with non-iPhone users.
To set up a shared Photo Stream open the Photos icon on your iPhone:
Open Photo Stream (I was used to seeing my albums but had never noticed the Photo Stream option at the bottom),
and you'll see this screen:
In the screen shot above you can see all the Photo Streams that are shared with me. The "My Photo Stream" had been created automatically by my phone and has all my phone photos. If this is the frist time you've opened Photo Stream you will probably just see My Photo Stream. In the screenshot above the Dashiell Photo Stream was created by me and it's where I upload pictures of Dash and the rest were created by others and shared with me.
To create a new Photo Stream, choose the "+" to the left of Photo Stream in the top left corner of the screen.
A new screen will open where you can name a new Photo Stream and share it with friends and family:
Share it by adding email addresses where to "To:" is and then selecting the "+". One annoying thing here is that you have to enter email addresses, not phone numbers, so it's not quite as easy as accessing your Contact list. At least for me this was the case, I had to look up a few email addresses in my email.
The people you invite will receive an email about joining your Photo Stream. In order to view it on their iPhone they must have Photo Stream turned "On" in Settings > iCloud.
To share the Photo Stream with someone who does not have an iPhone you will turn the Public Website feature "On". This has been a great feature for me because I shared the link with my grandmother. Seeing the pictures on a website it easier for her than using Photo Stream on her iPad or iPhone (my grandmother is pretty hip!).
With the Public Wesbite activated you'll see a link that can be shared:
The Public Website is only accessible by someone who has the link so it seems relatively private although I wish there was a way to password protect it.
To upload a photo to your Photo Stream go to your Camera Roll in Photos and choose a photo. Then, select the "send to" icon at the bottom left. In the screen that pops up select Photo Stream.
You can then choose the Photo Stream where you want to share the picture (only Photo Streams that you have created are available) and you can write a caption for the photo.
Once someone subscribes to your Photo Stream they'll receive a notification when you post a new photo to the Photo Stream, when someone comments on a Photo Stream photo, or likes it.
If this is too much, the Photo Stream notification settings can be changed in Settings > Notifications > Photos. There's a section titled "Show Photo Stream Alerts from:" and you can choose Everyone or My Contacts Only or chose neither.
Photo Stream has a pretty nice interface and allows members to comment or like a photo.
This has been a great solution for sharing lots of pictures of Dashiell with family and friends while maintaining some privacy. Two of my girl friends in Austin also share pics of their babies with me through Photo Stream and it's so fun to see new pictures every week!
Hopefully there's at least one person out there who didn't know about Photo Stream. Sometimes I think I'm the last to know about technology. :)
Oh, and for your reference, if you clear out all of the photos in your Albums your Photo Stream will not be affected! I downloaded all the pictures off my phone this weekend and deleted old Backup files and nothing changed in my Dashiell Photo Stream. And now I actually have storage space on my phone again, woo hoo!