REDWOOD CITY, CALIF. – (May 11, 2004) — As use of film cameras inexorably gives way to digital photography—digital cameras outsold film for the first time in ‘03—the long-simmering irritation between the one who always snaps the pictures and the one who unfailingly asks for copies is expanding into the unwieldy world of the Internet.
“Anytime a high tech tool is introduced — cell phones instantly come to mind — society must decide how to mind its manners when using the new product or service,” says Etiquette Expert Jodi R.R. Smith, founder and president of Boston-based Mannersmith (www.mannersmith.com) and author of The Girl’s Guide to Social Savvy (April 2004) and The Guy’s Guide to Social Savvy (April 2004). “With digital camera sales estimated at over 70 million this year, we believe that National Photo Month (May) is the appropriate time to determine proper ‘netiquette’ for sharing photos electronically.”
The Photo-Clogger Emerges as the Primary Problem
According to the Photo Marketing Association, most first-time buyers purchase a digital camera to be able to send photos by e-mail. In their enthusiasm to share their latest snapshots, Smith says, these new users sometimes unwittingly become “photo-cloggers.”
Smith describes photo-cloggers as well-intentioned friends unaware of the potential consequences of their online photo sharing practices. “In their eagerness to show off the latest photos of their new baby or pet, they forget that such large files clog e-mail inboxes, gobble up hard drive space and can even cause problems on the job when they jam workplace file servers,” she says.
But there is an easy way around this problem, says Smith. “Using an online photo service, such as Shutterfly (www.shutterfly.com) to share snapshots is the polite option,” says Smith. “Your friends and family will receive an email invitation from you to view a slideshow of your pictures with an option to order their own prints. No attachments. No clogging. No waiting.” With free online photo albums, Shutterfly makes it simple for the recipient to view your pictures. Unlike many of its competitors, there are no membership requirements, special software, passwords or monthly subscription fees.
The “Cheese” and “Thank you” of Sharing Digital Pictures
Photo-taking will reach its pinnacle next month when weddings, graduations and reunions are crowded onto the June calendar. At any of these festive times, you’ll find at least one of the following: the reliable relative or friend who invariably brings a camera and snaps away; and the other who, just as faithfully, stands empty-handed and asks for copies.
What was once a potentially sticky situation, is now easily resolved in the transition from film to digital. “With digital cameras, it’s easier for photo takers to amiably agree to send pictures to a friend or relative,” says Smith. “Snapshots from a celebration or party can be shared immediately, simply by adding the images onto Shutterfly. The recipients can view, select and order the photos that they want, resolving their need for instant gratification and saving the ‘photographer’ a trip to the store.”
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Founded in 1999, Shutterfly, Inc. (www.shutterfly.com ) is a premium photo service specializing in the consumer and professional photography markets. The company provides customers with simple and fun ways to organize, enhance and archive images; share pictures with family and friends; order professional-quality prints and create an assortment of personalized items such as Photo Books, Calendars and Greeting Cards. In 2005, Shutterfly ranked no. 170 on the 24th annual Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the country.
Shutterfly, Shutterfly Collections and Shutterfly.com are trademarks of Shutterfly, Inc.
Mannersmith is an etiquette-consulting firm, which creates and delivers seminars to clients ranging from children to CEOs. Jodi R. R. Smith, president and owner of Mannersmith, uses her background in motivational psychology and human resources to help individuals develop their social savvy and enhance their confidence. Ms. Smith’s believes that proper manners and etiquette are an essential part of functioning civilly in today’s world.