Displaying photography


One of the first things that strikes many non-Americans when they first visit a grocery store in the US is the cereal aisle. A nausea-inducing wall of choices ranging from mostly-candy to crunchy-bran-laxative-chips. It’s not uncommon to see grown men gibbering in tears as they try to decide what particular kind of honey nut cornflakes is The One.

Finding a good place to store and display my photographs has felt like wandering through a grocery store selling nothing but cereal. There are so many different choices, and none of them fit my purposes exactly.

In all my research I haven’t come across anything that hits every one of my criteria. I’ve seen no replacements for the three services I’ve already been using. Here’s how they stack up:

Flickr
Dropbox
VSCO Grid
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Easy upload
Attractive presentation
Plenty of space
No social nonsense
Easily embeddable
Easy to migrate from

I’d really love to move to one service for simplicity sake, but each of these has something that I’d be loath to give up.

Flickr

Where it excels:

  1. I’m grandfathered in on the unlimited plan
  2. I can embed and easily share sets and individual photos

Where it doesn’t:

  1. Too much crap going on that has nothing to do with simply and easily displaying photos
  2. Photo organization is awkward under the hood.

VSCO

Where it excels:

  1. Right now, most of the photos I take go through the VSCO Cam app. It’s just the best way to edit photos on the iPhone.
  2. The VSCO Grid (here’s mine) is a really nice way to display photographs that puts the emphasis on the images.

Where it falls down:

  1. No organization of photos at all.
  2. No way to use it to back up a lot of photos.
  3. Can’t embed photos anywhere else.

Dropbox

Where it excels:

  1. Once photos get in my Dropbox, I have a bunch of automation that organizes and tags them, making it by far the best way to keep a photo archive.

Where it falls down:

  1. A terrible way to display photos.
  2. Awkward to embed photos anywhere else.
  3. Limited space. (I have no interest in paying a bunch for more space.)

Conclusion

So I’m stuck with all three services for now. I’m on the verge of doubling down on Flickr, but I’m hesitant to put all my eggs in that basket. Yahoo! make me nervous. I’ve gone halfway towards rolling my own version using Statamic, but that seems like a hamfisted replication of effort.

Are there any genuinely good solutions to my problem out there?

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